Hamas gunmen (Archive photo)
A gunmen belonging to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, was arrested in Egypt on suspicion of plotting to assassinate a senior Fatah official who was visiting the country, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted Egyptian sources as saying that at the time of his arrest the Hamas member, Ayman Nufel, was in possession of an automatic assault rifle and explosives. One of the sources added that despite Hamas' request the detainee would not be released anytime soon as he "harmed Egypt's national security".
The sources added that Nufel is the only Hamas member in Egyptian custody, this after 33 members of the Islamist group apprehended during January's Gaza-Egypt border breach were recently released. Senior Hamas member Bassem Naim denied Egypt's claim, saying "I reject the possibility that one of the movement's senior members was involved in this act.
"The accused, as a member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, does not travel unarmed," Naim told Al-Hayat.