Report: Hamas involved in killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers last August

Egyptian media outlets are reporting that a number of Hamas members were involved in the August 2012 attack on an Egyptian military base that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The three Hamas members linked to the attack are Ayman Nofal, Mohamed Ibrahim Salah Abu Shamala, and Raed al Attar.

Raed al Attar is the commander of Hamas forces in Rafah. In August 2010, he was linked to rocket attacks from the Sinai.

Mohamed Ibrahim Salah Abu Shamala is a commander of Hamas forces in the southern Gaza Strip. His home was reportedly struck by the Israeli Air Force during Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.

Ayman Nofal is a commander in Hamas’ military wing. He was arrested in 2008 by Egyptian authorities, but escaped from prison in February 2011, and subsequently returned to Gaza, where he received “a hero’s welcome.”

Days after the August attack, reports suggested that the three Hamas figures were on a list of persons wanted for extradition by Egypt for providing “indirect support to radical groups in [the] Sinai.” Additionally, within days of the attack, sources in Egypt said that Hamas was either behind the attack or knew that it was likely coming.

According to one survivor of the assault, the attackers spoke with a Palestinian accent. Numerous press reports have indicated that Egyptian authorities believe that the attackers entered the Sinai through the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Ashraf Badr, editor-in-chief of Al Ahram Al Arabi, which plans to run its report on Hamas’ involvement on March 16, said he corroborated the information with security sources and a figure within Hamas. Badr also threatened to submit documents to support his paper’s claims to the International Court of Justice if Egyptian authorities did not act.

A spokesman for Hamas’ military wing vowed to sue Badr for his paper’s claims. In addition, Hamas’ Mahmoud al Zahar slammed the allegations, as he said that Al Ahram Al Arabi was “collaborating with Israel” by making such claims.

Despite Hamas’ denial, an Egyptian lawyer has already filed a complaint with Egypt’s prosecutor general that accuses Hamas of carrying out the attack, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

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  • Joe says:

    Certainly no way for us to know if these accusations are true, but it is incredibly stupid if it is. Hamas has plenty of problems and many of them are insoluble without a friendly government in Cairo. I can not imagine what they could gain that would offset the problems caused by getting implicated in this attack.

  • Dr. Barak Ben Zur says:

    Some of the Arabs’ leaders leaned back in a kind of satisfaction once they gave hospice to terror activity against others until the moment it turned against their own assets (the classic example is the ongoing self destruct process of the Syrian regime), among other problems of the Egyptian regime they have to face the reality of the so called “sister authority” – the Hamas rule in Gaza strip –the rule that is prepared to sacrifice Egyptian interests in favor of their “Jihad” against the state of Israel.
    I’m not sure that the Hamas instructed and directly lead the attack –for proving that there is a need of much more solid avoidance – but being aware about the coming attack – that seems much reasonable –still the Egyptians could expect a collegial behavior on behalf of Hamas that preferred one more attack on Israel, even the cost was the lives of 16 Egyptian soldiers…


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