File - A tunnel worker ascends on a rope inside a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip in this October 8, 2013.(REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot)
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After crushing the Muslim Brotherhood at home, Egypt's military rulers plan to undermine the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the neighboring Gaza Strip, senior Egyptian security officials told Reuters.The aim, which the officials say could take years to pull off, includes working with Hamas' political rivals Fatah and supporting popular anti-Hamas activities in Gaza, four security and diplomatic officials said. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas deny accusations of terrorism, and the Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism.The situation is different in Gaza, where Hamas, an offshoot of the Brotherhood, is heavily armed, has years of experience fighting Israel, and moves swiftly to squash dissent.Contacts between Egypt and Fatah have been limited to discussing ways to help Fatah undermine Hamas, the officials said.Hamas keeps Fatah party officials under very close watch in Gaza. Many Egyptians believe the Brotherhood intended to give part of the Sinai to Hamas.No Hamas official has been allowed to travel into Egypt since then.
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