Report: Hamas chief berated in Egypt for inciting Gaza violence

The Egyptian security head told Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to stop the violent protests at the border fence, warning him that Egypt would not interfere with potential targeted assassinations by Israeli agents.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh was flown to Cairo twice in two days – once before his carefully orchestrated mass riots at the border with Israel, and once after. After Sunday’s meeting with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel, one of the Gazan participants reported that they had been promised that “Egypt will continue to stand alongside the Palestinian people…[and] try to lighten the burden of the siege.”

However, by Monday afternoon, after Gazan authorities reported over 50 dead and thousands injured in violent clashes with Israeli soldiers at the border fence, the Egyptians made a complete about-face. According to an Egyptian security source in Israel Hayom Wednesday, Haniyeh was abruptly summoned to Cairo to receive a very direct, very loud dressing-down and warning.

First, the source said, the Hamas chief was made to cool his heels for some time outside of Kamel’s office, which was “very embarrassing – even humiliating,” the source pointed out. Then, when he was allowed in, the shouting began and “it was impossible not to hear the screaming,” he said, which the dumbfounded Haniyeh did not even respond to.

“They told him in no uncertain terms that the blood of the dead Palestinians at the fence were on his head, and [Hamas leader] Sinwar’s … and the whole Hamas leadership,” he said. The source added that the Egyptian security chief warned Haniyeh that if the demonstrations continued and more Palestinians died, it would be Hamas’ responsibility and that “history would not forgive him nor the other leaders for such an illogical number of dead.”

The culmination of the sharp session was a flat warning that continued violence would start Israel on a round of targeted assassinations of one Hamas leader after another, and that Egypt and other countries would only issue condemnations but nothing else in return.

One of the reasons for the extraordinarily harsh criticism, said the source, was the proof that Israeli intelligence had passed onto their Egyptian counterparts of Hamas security people threatening protestors to get them to go to the border, and even paying families and individuals to risk their lives by going close to the fence.

Kamel wouldn’t even throw a gesture of support Haniyeh’s way, according to the source.

“Abbas demanded that Haniyeh return to Gaza in the helicopter that brought him and order his men to immediately stop the events at the border with Israel….Maybe later, when the calm at the border lasts, there will be some gestures to Hamas and Gaza’s population, but the message that was given was tough and placed the responsibility for restoring order on Hamas [alone].”