An Egyptian official has warned Hamas that Egypt will take "the appropriate measure" in response to its "silence" following calls by the Gaza-based Jaishal-Ummah (Army of the Nation) to wage "jihad" against Egypt's military rulers.
The Egyptian media has accused Hamas of conspiring to support the Muslim Brotherhood since Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, an accusation which Hamas has denied.
"We condemn Hamas's decision to allow extremist groups in Gaza to announce jihad against Egypt, and we believe that this decision to allow such Gaza-based groups to publicly attack Egypt verifies the Egyptian allegations that Hamas allows [groups] from Gaza to pose a threat to Egyptian national security," the official was quoted by the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency as having said.
Just last month Egyptian troops intercepted what they said was a shipment of Hamas rockets intended for Muslim Brotherhood fighters in Cairo.
Abu Hafs al-Maqadisi, the group's leader, made his call Thursday in the wake of the Egyptian military's move to liquidate the Muslim Brotherhood's sit-ins in Cairo that left over 600 dead. Maqadisi called on Egyptians to overthrow "the tyrant" and establish an Islamic state and expressed his hope that one of al-Sisi's bodyguards would kill him, according to The Long War Journal.
Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, a former mentor of the late jihadist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood by the military showed that al-Qaida's bullets rather than ballots strategy had been vindicated.
Posters on jihadist bulletin boards have suggested that now was the time for jihadists to go to Egypt to exact revenge against the Egyptian military.
"It is no longer possible to turn a blind eye to the obvious fact that they [secularists and the idolatrous disbelievers] are hostile to Islam and they wage war against it and they hate it," Abdullah Muhammad Mahmoud of the jihadi group Dawa'at al-Haq Foundation for Studies and Research wrote in a jihad forum, the Long War Journal reported. "If jihad isn't declared today to defend the religion, then when will it be declared?!" He continued: "Will Muslims wait until they are prevented from praying in mosques?! Will they wait until the beard becomes a charge that is punishable by imprisonment?! Will they wait until their sons enter prisons in the tens of thousands to be tortured and spend tens of years of their lives in their depths?!
"O Muslims of Egypt, if you don't do jihad today, then only blame yourselves tomorrow."
Hamas for its part condemned the Egyptian military's assault on the Muslim Brotherhood encampments, but has stopped short of publicly calling for its people to fight against the Egyptian military. Hamas has also called on the Arab League and the United Nations to intervene in Egypt to "stop the bloodshed."
Another Hamas figure described the Egyptian military's action as "a U.S.-Zionist conspiracy."