Israeli media is reporting that Hamas has begun to condemn recent actions taken by the ruling Egyptian authorities against protestors associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Times of Israel report:
August 19, 2013 Despite its determination to not be seen as intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs, Hamas has broken its silence on the violence engulfing its western neighbor, with officials criticizing the ‘coldblooded murder’ of defenseless civilians by the Egyptian military.
While the movement’s political leaders — Khaled Mashaal, Mousa Abu-Marzouq and Ismail Haniyeh — remain mum on Egypt in their public statements, preferring to direct their criticism at Israel and rival Palestinian movement Fatah, middle-ranking officials have begun in recent days to condemn Egypt for its violent crackdown on supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi, which has left some 900 Egyptians dead in the past week.
‘The continued targeting of defenseless Egyptian civilians and their killing in cold blood constitutes a crime against humanity, and is to be condemned by all standards,’ Izzat Al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’s political bureau told his movement’s daily Felesteen on Monday, blasting unnamed Egyptian journalists for ‘lying and lying until they believe themselves.’
The removal from power on July 3 of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s main ideological ally, has dealt the Palestinian movement a severe blow. Morsi was indicted for conspiring with Hamas to harm vital Egyptian interests in early 2011, while the military-backed regime which replaced him is deeply suspicious of the Gaza Strip, which it regards as a hotbed for terrorists infiltrating the Sinai Peninsula.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount against the military crackdown, accusing the Egyptian regime of targeting Islamists for the sake of the Jews.
Hamas first spoke out against the Egyptian government in a statement published on its website August 14, following the violent dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins in Rabiah Al-Adawiya and An-Nahda squares in Cairo, calling the bloodshed ‘a horrific massacre.’
‘We in Hamas express our deepest condemnation for the targeting of peaceful protesters by the official authorities in Egypt at the Rabiah Al-Adawiya and An-Nahda squares, resulting in horrific massacres and the death and injury of hundreds of dear Egyptians,’ read the statement.
Ayman Shaheen, a political scientist at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, said that Egypt’s new regime is likely to remain in power for the foreseeable future; and Hamas, therefore, would be well-advised to maintain good relations with it.
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The GMBDW reported last month that the Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza had appealed for “faith in the Arab Spring” despite the overthrow of former Egyptian President Morsi. Posts from May reported on the visit by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to Gaza where he was greeted by Prime Minister Haniyeh and where Qaradawi took the occasion to call for “Death by Jihad” for Israel.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces.