The prominent Egyptian opposition leader, Hamdeen Sabbahi, has come out in defense of Hamas against accusations of posing a security threat to Egypt.
Sabbahi, leader of the Popular Current and the Salvation Front, criticized a defamation campaign by the Egyptian media against Hamas.
Answering a question about accusations of Hamas involvement in the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers last July, Sabbahi said: "They are just false rumors." Such accusations, he added, "stabs the Palestinian resistance in the back" and serves only the Israeli occupation.
"Egyptian national security is not achieved by punishing Hamas," he said. "I will fight these rumors and Egyptians are going to continue their support for Gaza and Palestine forever."
Sabbahi also said: "Hamas is from Palestine and so are we. They defended Palestine and so did we. We do not want Hamas pay the price for our opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."
A journalist heckled Sabbahi saying, "Egyptian national security is above Hamas." Sabbahi then continued saying, "Egyptian national security comes through facing the authoritarianism of the Muslim Brotherhood."