Hamas Denies Border Breach Plans

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CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - On Tuesday, Hamas officials denied a report -- published Monday in an Egyptian daily -- of plans to blow up the wall at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas does not have any plans to knock down the border or target Egyptian border guards," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "All what has been published in this regard [in the Egyptian daily al-Ahram] is based on rumors," he said.

"We believe that Israel is behind these rumors," Zuhri added.

The Hamas spokesman also said his organization had not beefed up armaments along the border.

"Anyone can go to the border and see that we don't have any weapons there. We are afraid that such rumors would give the Egyptian security forces a green light to open fire at any Palestinian who comes near the border," Zuhri said.

Over recent weeks, the Egyptian government issued warnings that its security forces would deal harshly with any attempt to compromise the border crossing.

Zuhri also said Hamas would end the blockade of the Gaza Strip when it chose and would deal with Arab leaders responsible for closing the Rafah border.

"In addition to Israel, [we'll deal with] the Arab leaders responsible for the continued closure of the Gaza Strip because they can reopen the Rafah border crossing," he said.

Monday's report in al-Ahram, quoting "reliable Palestinian sources," outlined a detailed step-by-step plan to blow up the newly repaired concrete barrier at the Rafah crossing, kill Egyptian border guards and allow Palestinian residents from Gaza to enter Egypt in droves, as they did in January.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials haven't ruled out plans by Hamas to storm Israel's border with tens of thousands of Gazans as part of its PR campaign to end the economic blockade.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz

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