Hamas has no involvement in the recent spate of Sinai attacks, said the group’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, on Tuesday.
Haniyeh said he was communicating with Egyptian leaders to stop media incitement against Palestinians, and denied any Hamas presence in the peninsula. “We don’t have any role on the internal Egyptian arena,” he said. “We have made our stance clear; we won’t interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab or Islamic country,” reported Palestinian news agency Maan.
The statement comes after increasing accusations of Hamas responsibility for violence in North Sinai. Attacks in the peninsula have become more frequent over the last two weeks, with total casualties reaching 23 dead and 117 injured.
Two died and at least seven were injured in the latest attacks on security checkpoints and personnel in Sinai on Monday.
Unknown assailants attacked about 15 checkpoints in Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid killing a civilian and a conscript.
The militants attacked the Al-Kharouba checkpoint, killing Raed Gomaa Salama, a passing civilian, and injuring two security personnel.
Masked gunmen killed Officer Mohamed Mohamed Qotb in front of his house east of Al-Arish city on Monday; they also attacked a police station in Al-Arish, injuring one woman.
Armed men meanwhile assaulted a North Sinai Regional Radio building; security fired back and two civilians were injured with birdshot.
A civilian house was damaged when assailants fired an RPG that missed a Rafah checkpoint to a house nearby; no injuries were reported.
A Sheikh Zuweid police station and six checkpoints were also attacked on Monday.
Ahmed Abo Deraa, a Sinai activist and journalist, said an explosion occurred on Tuesday in Rafah, but it was still unclear where there were any casualties.
He said a central security camp had been attacked, injuring one soldier.
Abo Deraa denied reports of the explosion of a gas pipeline between Egypt and Jordan. News reports had stated that masked gunmen bombed the gas line early on Tuesday and escaped into the desert.
Additional reporting by Nasser Al-Azzazy