JAFFA, Israel – A recent Hamas declaration that the movement foiled an attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has been met with skepticism.
Top Hamas leader Dr. Salah Bardawil told the movement’s official newspaper, Alresalah, that a plot to assassinate Egyptian officials, including President Sisi, had been uncovered by its security forces.
Bardawil said that the conspirators were led by Fatah official Tawfiq Tirawi, the former commander of Palestinian intelligence in the West Bank.
He added that Hamas would soon present documents that support its claim to the Egyptian government, including written confessions from plotters who were recently arrested in Gaza.
Bardawil also said that they would send the evidence to other countries in the Middle East and in the West, “to expose the scheme led by Tirawi. We will not allow him or anyone else to undermine Egypt’s national security.”
He also said that the alleged conspirators were planning to name their group Daesh (Islamic State), so that fingers would be pointed at Hamas, adding that their goal was to paint a false picture of Gaza as a territory where anarchy reigns.
A Fatah spokesperson, Ousama Qawasmeh, vehemently rejected Bardawil’s claims, saying they were “so ridiculous even a Palestinian or Egyptian child wouldn’t buy them. These false allegations do not affect our robust relationship with the Egyptian people and leadership.”
He called on Hamas to “stop meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs and cut all ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Bardawil’s comments were meant to conceal Hamas’ crimes and avert public attention from the humanitarian crisis its policy and the occupation are responsible for.”
The Egyptian pro-Muslim Brotherhood network relayed Alresalah’s report on Facebook, which created a backlash among sympathizers with the Egyptian opposition.
“If this report is accurate, there are bastards among Hamas too, not only among us,” commenter Ahmad Ganem wrote.
Mahmoud rejected the report and told Hamas: “Go play far away from us. The Egyptian people will not buy these statements…. Hamas are our enemies, and the Muslim Brotherhood are our enemies.”
Muslim Brotherhood activist Ahmad Mahmoud attacked Hamas on Facebook:
“We’ve said it before: The current leadership of Hamas are bastards and political whores for whom pragmatism is the true religion. Except for a selected few who run the military wing, Hamas has turned into a version of the Tunisian A-Nahda party.”
He later wrote: “Here’s the offer Hamas made to the Egyptian government on Nakba Day: Open the Rafah border crossing, and in return we’ll give you assassins and spy rings. … And not only that: if you open the crossing and make the Egyptian media like us, we’ll give you three infiltration attempts generation 4.0 and two sets of bedsheets.”
Mahmoud’s post stirred a heated debate. Mustafa Ibrahim wrote: “Shut your mouth, traitor, how dare you talk about Iran’s political arm, their channel to the Egyptian government, like that?”
Abdelrahman Abdallah tweeted: “I wonder what the Muslim Brotherhood will want to tell Sisi’s Hamas.”
“Thank Allah Hamas foiled the plot to assassinate Sisi,” wrote another. “I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the sight of Muslim Brotherhood people condemning it and extending their condolences.”