The Gaza-based Hamas terrorist group deployed fighters along the border between the southern Strip and Egypt, the commander of the organization’s security forces said Thursday.
According to Israel’s Walla website, Hussein Abu Adrah said the deployment came at the request by Egyptian authorities, and was meant to “enhance border security, in order to maintain the security of Egypt.”
Last month, a delegation headed by Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouk held talks in Egypt aimed at normalizing relations that have been strained since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
Morsi had good relations with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip, but his successor, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, has cracked down on his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Cairo regularly accuses Hamas of supporting attacks in Egypt and has largely kept its border with Gaza closed since 2013.
It has also destroyed hundreds of Palestinian tunnels used to smuggle commercial goods, cash, people and, allegedly, weapons.
The Hamas interior ministry said 2015 was the worst year for the Rafah border crossing in recent years, saying it was open for just 21 days in total.