(JNS.org) Egypt’s military told Hamas that it would hold the Palestinian terror group responsible for any incidents along the Gaza border.
According to Israel Radio, Egyptian security officials have also told Hamas that they will not tolerate smuggling of weapons and goods.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested in front of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, demanding that the border reopen.
“We demand the Egyptian authorities open the Gaza crossing permanently in both directions and we affirm that we won’t stop our peaceful escalation on Palestinian land until the [Israeli] siege is lifted,” said Hamad El-Rakeb, a leading member of Hamas, Al-Ahram reported.
Since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Egypt’s military-backed government has severely cracked down on smuggling through the Gaza border. The military has waged a campaign against terror groups in the Sinai and has accused Hamas of supporting the Sinai jihadists.
Hamas had heavily relied on the smuggling tunnels not only for weapons, but also for goods and materials, which it taxed for revenue. According to Hamas, the closure of the tunnels by Egypt has cost the terror group around $230 million a month.