A senior member of Hamas has said that the Islamic Resistance Movement does not rule out an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip under cover of the situation in Egypt. Dr Salah Al-Bardawil said that other Arab countries are also under threat as Israel seeks to demonstrate yet again its "qualitative" military power. "The threat is real, given the extreme right-wing ideology expressed by the Netanyahu government," he added.
Communications between Hamas and the Egyptians is "ongoing", said Dr Al-Bardawil. "However, it is limited to the situation at the Rafah Border Crossing, the treatment of Palestinians at the border and the security situation." He noted that Hamas communicated with the Egyptian intelligence agencies regarding their responsibility for the campaign launched by media outlets to incite hatred against Hamas and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. "They have assured us several times that they are certain that Hamas is not interfering in Egypt's internal affairs," he explained. "The media campaign is based on ignorance of the Palestinian cause by some journalists."
The era of liberal and Marxist trends has ended, he pointed out "so they are jealous of the rise of Islamism in the region and have nothing better to do than try to hinder our progress." The Zionist occupation is the only entity which benefits from the media campaign against Hamas and the Palestinians, said Al-Bardawil, likening the incitement to racism and fascism.
"The Egyptian media campaign has extended to include Syrians and it might extend further to include all that is Arab," he continued. "Egypt may yet return to its pharaonic phase entirely divorced from its Arab and Islamic roots." He called for an end to the campaign without delay.
Hamas is trying to explain its stance on the demonisation emanating from Egypt to the media and intellectuals by communicating with them directly, as well as with Egyptian political parties and security agencies. Dr Al-Bardawil raised the spectre of legal action against those responsible because many Palestinians in Egypt fear for their lives and deny their own citizenship when, for example, seeking medical treatment.
Al-Bardawil also pointed to Fatah's role in all of this. "The Fatah movement has contributed to the smear campaign against the Gaza Strip and Hamas," he claimed. "It has fed the Egyptian media with false stories and forged some documents in the name of the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades so that they become ready material for attacking the resistance." This, he lamented, damages all Palestinians, including Fatah members, as the Palestinian Authority leadership knows all too well. "Hence, even they are now making requests for the campaign against us to be wound down."