Asharq Al-Awsat, a London-based newspaper, also claimed a Hamas commander had been killed in clashes between Egyptian security forces and jihadist militants in the Sinai.
A commander of Hamas’ military wing – the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades – was reportedly killed Wednesday by an Egyptian army strike in the Sinai Peninsula, Sky News in Arabic reported.
Abdallah Saeed Kashta, 25, died during a raid carried out by Egyptian forces against Islamic State-linked Welayat Sinai group.
Kashta’s relatives denied the report, saying that he was killed several days ago in Libya.
According to Sky News, Kashta’s family is attempting to minimize the damage that the report may cause to the Islamist group Hamas following Cairo’s decision to add the organization’s armed wing to its terror blacklist.
The London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper also claimed a Hamas commander had been killed in clashes between Egyptian forces and jihadists in the Sinai, but did not provide a name.
Hamas’ official newspaper, Al Resalah, denied the reports, saying that Kashta was not a member of the Qassam Brigades and that the group did not interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs.
Several weeks ago, the Israeli navy intercepted a vessel bound for Gaza that was carrying materials intended to construct rockets and mortars, IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner confirmed on Wednesday.
Last week, hundreds of Hamas supporters marched in the Gaza Strip to protest an Egyptian court’s decision to declare the Islamic movement’s armed wing as a banned “terrorist” group.
Since Egypt’s military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013, authorities have accused Hamas of aiding jihadists who have carried out a string of deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
The verdict followed a complaint from a lawyer accusing the Hamas armed wing of direct involvement in “terrorist operations” in the Sinai, which borders Gaza, a court official said.
The lawyer also accused the movement of using tunnels under the frontier between Egypt and Gaza to smuggle arms used in attacks against the police and army, the official added.
Egypt accuses Hamas, which is close to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, of supporting the blacklisted Egyptian movement.
View original i24news publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/60802-150211-report-hamas-commander-killed-by-egyptian-army-in-sinai