Media accusations of meddling in Egyptian affairs worry Gaza

Media accusations of meddling in Egyptian affairs worry Gaza

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Tue, 16/07/2013 - 16:00
Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, find themselves accused by the Egyptian media of interfering in Egypt's internal affairs.
 
The Al-Resala newspaper, which has close ties to Hamas, wrote on its front page on Monday about an Egyptian media plan to implicate Gaza and tarnish the image of the Palestinians in Egypt."
 
Palestinian journalist Mamoun Abu Amer called for prosecuting what he coined “fascist” and “racist” Egyptian journalists who accuse Gaza of meddling in Egyptian affairs, and suggested the formation of a Palestinian human rights commission in Europe for this purpose.
 
Palestinians displayed their resentment on social networking sites at such accusations by members of the Egyptian media that lack any official status, either from the Egyptian army or other sovereign entities.
 
The accusations point to Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, as interfering in favor of ousted President Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Hamas is considered an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood group in Palestine. Although it has close ties to the group, it has repeatedly denied any interference in Egyptian affairs, or bias for any of the parties in Egypt.
 
Hamas leading figure Ahmed Youssef told the German DPA news agency that the official authorities in Egypt denied any formal charges about Palestinians or elements of Hamas meddling in Egyptian affairs, nor any involvement in recent turmoils.
 
Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Hamas did not comment on the Egyptian armed forces ousting Morsy and abolishing the Constitution, nor did it congratulate interim President Adly Mansour.
 
Its leaders fear that not taking a stance on the situation in Egypt might adversely impact the movement, as Egypt is a pivotal geographical and historical vein for the Gaza Strip, especially as regards the Rafah crossing, the only land port of Gaza, and the hundreds of tunnels through which goods and weapons are smuggled to ease the Israeli blockade of the strip.
 
Egypt also mediates for reconciliation between Hamas and its rival Fatah movement, as well as with Israel as regards a cease-fire or a prisoner swap deal.
 
“We are coordinating with the Egyptian authorities to prevent any security breaches that can be detrimental to the existing relationship between the two sides,” Youssef said.
 
Since the 30 June protests in Egypt and their subsequent events, the Gaza Strip is suffering shortages of fuel and building materials due to the halting of smuggling activities through the tunnels.
 
Also, traffic through the Rafah crossing has dropped sharply, except for humanitarian cases, as a result of the media accusations.
 
Palestinian circles criticize Hamas for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood by broadcasting their protests live on TV.
 
Meanwhile, media affiliated to Hamas called Morsy's ouster a military coup against an Islamic president.