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Hamas Tightens Border Security with Egypt

Hamas Tightens Border Security with Egypt

Monday, 18 November, 2019 - 09:15
Hamas patrol near the border between Egypt and Gaza, in the southern Gaza Strip (File Photo: Reuters)
Ramallah - Kifah Zboun
Hamas pushed more security forces to the border with Egypt to better secure the region, which has seen occasional infiltration attempts by militants on the Gaza-Sinai border.

The movement made the additional deployments after it thwarted three infiltration attempts in 10 days, according to sources.

Hamas relies on security surveillance through patrols and cameras installed along the border.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry in the enclave stopped three people who were trying to cross the border between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt.

“The National Security Forces foiled three people’s attempt to infiltrate across the southern border with Egypt,” the ministry said in a brief statement. One of them had been arrested and two others were still being tracked by the security forces.

Last Friday, Hamas arrested three armed men who tried to cross the southern border of the Gaza Strip, after exchanging fire with them.

These repeated attempts have forced Hamas to tighten its grip on the 12-km border, fulfilling a 2017 agreement with Egypt.

Hundreds of Hamas security agents are keeping an eye on the border with Egypt at a time when the group has sought to pursue elements in contact with ISIS in Sinai. The movement is waging a non-stop war against extremist organizations.

For many years, Hamas has arrested dozens of ISIS supporters in the Palestinian enclave, while it continues to pursue others and bring them to justice.

Hamas is also trying to fight extremist rhetoric through sermons in mosques, according to the sources. Friday sermons stress the sanctity of Muslim blood and the dangers of extremism on society.

Hamas’ Awqaf Foundation has repeatedly asked preachers to urge people to curb this "deviant ideology" and confront anyone who supports it in all ways that guarantee people's security.

The Ministry of Interior works directly to secure borders, but sometimes al-Qassam Brigades intervene in securing the Rafah border to prevent any movement by the group that calls itself “Salafi Jihadism” which works with ISIS in Sinai.

Hamas seeks to rein in the organization in the Gaza Strip for several reasons especially that ISIS terrorists have often attacked the movement. These efforts helped develop ties between Egypt and Hamas, which had worsened especially after the toppling of the regime of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi.

In order to maintain the relationship, Hamas changed its by-laws and launched an unprecedented coordination with the current Egyptian government. It also issued stern instructions to its members against intervening or commenting on any development concerning Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood. 

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