Hamas denies reports of members entering Egypt to sow chaos

The Islamic movement of Hamas denied on Saturday that some of its members illegally entered Egypt in order to spread violence during the runoff elections.

A spokesman of the Hamas Movement's military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, expressed in a press statement "surprise and puzzlement" about these reports.

He added that these reports were lies and fabrications.He said the organization considers Egypt, its Arab and Islamic roots, and its national security as part of its own.

"It [Egypt] is our solid fencing," he said. "We will remain its fencing as well against our common enemy, the Zionist enemy."

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar also denied the rumors, and accusations that the group was responsible for storming Egyptian prisons during the 18-day uprising last year. 

"The results of the presidential election of Egypt is in favor of the Palestinian people and the [Palestinian] cause due to Egypt's historical and leading role in the region," he said.

Al-Shorouk newspaper quoted security sources Saturday saying that 23 members of al-Qassam Brigades infiltrated Egypt through the tunnels, to commit terrorist acts and sow chaos in the coming days.

The sources added that the armed forces, in coordination with the police, established several checkpoints, equipped with automatic weapons and tanks, on the roads which they expected saboteurs to be using. Helicopters have also been deployed, he said.

On Friday, Shorouk quoted a security source in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya as saying that the secret police, the National Security Agency, is tightening control over hotels and rented apartments and following names of foreigners, especially Palestinians, who arrived in the governorate before the elections.

 “During the inspection of all hotels and rented apartments in the cities of Tanta and Mahalla, it was noticed that more than one Palestinian booked hotel rooms in recent days,” a statement said.

The move comes one week after Egypt's state TV withdrew an ad urging citizens to be wary of foreigners because they could be spies.

The ad triggered a torrent of condemnation on social networking sites, with users slamming it as "ridiculous" and calling it an attempt to stoke xenophobia in a country that heavily relies on revenues from tourism.

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