The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the Gaza authorities for the arrest of Egyptian citizens working at the Egyptian Cultural Centre in Gaza on Saturday morning. The ministry has demanded their release and the return of equipment confiscated during the raid.
The ministry reported on Saturday that “elements of the Hamas police… broke into” the centre earlier on Saturday and “arrested a number of Egyptians working in the centre and confiscated computers.”
The ministry “severely deplores and condemns such an irresponsible act.” The statement called for the release of the Egyptian nationals and the return of the computer equipment.
Head of the centre, Adel Abdul Rahman was arrested during the raid, according to state-run news agency MENA. Abdul Rahman had previously expressed his support for the Egyptian armed forces following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president.
The statement also pointed out that Egypt has a “historical and national responsibility for the interests of the Palestinian people,” pointing out that Egypt has fought wars for this cause. The ministry “totally rejects attempts to negatively affect Egyptian interests or derogatory practices by certain factions.” It added that this “does not reflect the majority of the brotherly Palestinian people.” Finally the ministry stressed that it “will not tolerate such practices.”
Hamas was contacted on Saturday but declined to comment on the issue.
Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza strip has its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi himself was a member of the Brotherhood and during his time as President he met with Hamas leaders a number of times in the context of Palestinian reconciliation.