Hamas accused Egyptian intelligence of abducting four residents of the coastal enclave after they entered Sinai on a bus on Wednesday night – after Egypt learned that the four were senior Hamas naval commandos, reports Walla! on Thursday.
The four commandos were on their way from the Rafiah Crossing to the airport in Cairo, where they planned to set out for Iran to receive training according to the paper.
A Hamas source told Al-Jazeera on Thursday night that the Egyptian security forces were responsible for the abduction. The Rafiah Crossing was closed on Thursday, after having been opened in recent days.
Hamas naval commandos have received advanced equipment and training from Iran in the past.
That equipment is said to include "scooters," a device used to propel underwater divers quickly, allowing Hamas commandos to reach distant targets deep in Israel.
Iyad al-Bazam, spokesperson for Hamas's interior ministry, told the Palestinian Arab Safa that the bus the four commandos were abducted from was secured by Egyptian security forces. He called for Egypt to work for their release.
Armed assailants opened fire on the bus, and afterwards broke on board to kidnap the four who they beat repeatedly, according to one of the passengers on the bus cited in the report.
The witness said the attack occurred one or two kilometers past the Rafiah Crossing, and that afterwards Egyptian security forces arrived on the scene.