The Gaza Strip’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya on Saturday denied reports that his Islamist militant group was involved in fighting in the neighboring Egyptian Sinai or in Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.
“We did not interfere in the affairs of any country and are not involved in the events or differences or internal conflicts of any country,” Haniya said.
“This [is] our position regarding what has happened and is happening in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and all Arab and Islamic countries,” he said.
“We are not involved in any incident,” he added. “Neither in the Sinai or elsewhere. We only act in the Palestinian arena and our guns are turned only toward the Zionist enemy.”
He called on the media to quit their “baseless” accusations against Hamas.
He further state that Hamas was “proud to have taken from its first day a principled and moral position for the people and their suffering and their right to freedom, democracy and dignity.”
Haniya made the remarks during a speech marking two years since captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, feted in Gaza as a victory for the “resistance,” reported AFP.
Relations between Cairo and Hamas have deteriorated since the July 3 ouster of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Mursi. Hamas has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since then, the Egyptian army has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip , which supplied the Palestinian territory with food and construction materials, AFP reported.