Egypt to Hamas: ‘Israel Will Destroy You, We Won’t Intervene’
Shortly after 9 p.m. on Thursday—minutes after sirens blared across central Israel and a loud boom overhead shook the area—senior Egyptian intelligence officers became outraged during a meeting with Hamas officials in Gaza.
“Just so you know,” they leveled at Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, “if Israel decides to launch a comprehensive military operation in Gaza, we won’t do a thing to stop it, even if it decides to simultaneously topple Hamas and conquer the Gaza Strip.”
The dramatic exchange was relayed by a senior Egyptian official who attended the meeting.
“The atmosphere at the start of the meeting was very relaxed and cordial,” the Egyptian official said. “A short while before the meeting, we had returned from Israel with answers. We believed Hamas would accept them, and facilitate a more stable and long-term ceasefire. A few minutes later, an assistant to the Egyptian delegation entered the [meeting] room with a worried look on his face and handed the Egyptian delegation leaders his cell phone.
“The smiles were immediately replaced with grim faces; the delegation heads turned to Sinwar livid and told him: ‘How far do you think you will get with this double game of yours? We are sitting here to hammer out the details of a ceasefire with Israel and behind our backs, you are authorizing your people to fire missiles at Tel Aviv?’ ”