Military uniform fabrics seized en route to Gaza by Egyptian forces are being used in “children’s clothing,” a Hamas spokesman said Sunday, denying accusations that the group’s militants are using Egypt’s army uniforms to infiltrate Sinai.
Taher al-Nounou, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said in an interview with Egypt’s al-Mihwar television, “This fabric could be used in children’s clothing, and you know children tend to wear such [military] clothing in festivities.”
Egyptian Army spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali had said army troops confiscated the khaki and white fabrics “similar to those used for uniforms” by the Egyptian troops as they were about to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels in the Sinai peninsula.
The army “urges Egyptian citizens to be cautious and increase security awareness in the coming period in anticipation of the possibility of (people) posing as military officers,” Ali warned.
Recent press reports have suggested that Palestinians entered Egypt with plans to destabilize security, something Gaza’s Hamas rulers have vehemently denied.
Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar stressed that Hamas “is keen on Egypt’s security and does not want to engage in any clash with anyone,” in a recent interview with the state-owned MENA news agency.
He said stories in the media based on unidentified sources “are just meant to pit the Egyptians and Gazans against each other.”
Recent media reports suggested that Hamas elements had infiltrated Egypt through Gaza tunnels. Another report said seven Gazans held at Cairo airport were in possession of maps of vital establishments in the country.