Hamas deploys forces on Egypt-Gaza border over ISIS concerns

2016-04-21 17:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Gaza City - The militant Hamas group deployed forces on Thursday along the Egypt-Gaza border to counter Cairo's concerns that it is aiding Islamic State extremists in Egypt's lawless Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt accuses Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, of providing a safe haven for the ISIS affiliate in Sinai through a network of smuggling tunnels. Hamas denies the charge.

Hamas and a high-ranking Egyptian security official said the deployment is part of an agreement reached with Egyptian officials last month.

"This emphasises the Palestinian stand to tighten security on the border and nothing that harms Egypt will come out of Gaza," said Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri.

The Egyptian security official said the deployment is part of the new deal with Egypt that sees Hamas halt tunnel construction in return for opening the Rafah border crossing, Gaza's main gateway to the outside world. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak to the media.

On Thursday, armed Hamas men took up positions along the 13km border, with fighters in pick-up trucks patrolling back and forth.

Relations between Hamas and Egypt soured after the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Egypt has been battling ISIS militants and in 2014 launched a fierce campaign on the underground tunnels with Gaza, destroying many of them. It has also kept the Rafah crossing largely sealed. Abu Zuhri said he hopes that the deal will lead to the crossing's reopening.

Read more on:    hamas  |  isis  |  egypt  |  gaza

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.