Since Hamas' October 7 terror attack on Israel, in which some 1,400 people were murdered and over 220 were kidnapped, the dominant tone in the Egyptian press, both the state and the independent press, has been one of hostility towards Israel, namely, of blaming Israel for the escalation and expressing support for Hamas' actions. The expressions of hostility have in fact grown over time, and include harsh accusations against Israel and even antisemitism.
However, some Egyptian journalists have taken a different line, albeit a less conspicuous one, directing harsh criticism not at Israel but at Hamas and its terror attack. One article claimed that Hamas is a "terror organization par excellence" that aims to exterminate Israel and the Jews, and that it hides behind the slogan of liberating Palestine but is not really interested in a Palestinian nation-state but rather in establishing a caliphate, like its parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. Another article claimed that Hamas took the decision to attack Israel without considering the heavy cost to the Gazan civilians, and added that the movement's leaders, who live in luxury outside Gaza, do not care about the death and destruction there. A third writer stated that she felt ashamed seeing the hostages seized by Hamas, and accused this organization of war crimes and ISIS-like terrorism.
Image: mubasher360.com, October 7, 2023
The following are translated excerpts from some of these articles:
Egyptian Journalist Sahar Al-Ga'ara: Hamas Perpetrated War Crimes And ISIS-Like Terrorism; I Was Ashamed When I Saw The Hostages It Had Taken
Journalist Sahar Al-Ga'ara came out strongly against Hamas, accusing it of war crimes and comparing it to ISIS. She warned against Palestinian refugees immigrating to Sinai and hinted that some of the ISIS operatives who have appeared in Sinai and Egypt in the recent years are Gazan Palestinians. She wrote: "…Every time Hamas has entered into a conflict with Israel, or vice versa, Egypt has been involved in the diplomatic efforts [to reach] a ceasefire and [extend] humanitarian aid, and in rebuilding Gaza after it had once again been destroyed over the heads of our [Palestinian] brothers.
"Hamas did not consult with the PA, or with Egypt, before launching Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. Launching this attack under the slogan of legitimate resistance, it perpetrated every kind of war crime, thus exempting Israel from accountability for shedding Palestinian blood, and causing the U.S. and the West to greenlight all of Israel's criminal actions... such as cutting off Gaza's water and power supply and withholding humanitarian aid.
"The only thing we can do now is ask, what does Hamas seek to achieve with this regional war…? Is it trying to implement the Deal of the Century and
[establish] an alternative [Palestinian] state on Egyptian [soil, i.e., in Sinai] by having [the Gazans] collectively emigrate to our country? Or is this an act of collective suicide bereft of any benefit or definite goal?
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"Last year, President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, the commander-in-chief of the [Egyptian] armed forces, said that 'the number of martyrs who have fallen in the conflict, from 2013 until today, has reached 3,288…' This is not the number of people who were martyred in the October 6, 1973 war for the liberation of Sinai. It is the number of those who have been martyred liberating Sinai from terror and from the ISIS operatives who riddled Egypt's [border with Gaza] with tunnels for smuggling terrorists and weapons. These are the ISIS operatives who forced the people of Al-'Arish to immigrate from their homes, and we all know who they are and where they came from. They spread chaos and took part in raiding the prisons on the margins of the January 25,  revolution. The black banner of terror will never fly over Sinai and it will not become a 'terrorist emirate'…
"Like many other Egyptians, I was raised from infancy to deeply love Palestine, defend it and feel for it. [But] I have never felt such shame as I felt when I saw Hamas' 'hostages': women, men, children and that disabled old woman!! What began as legitimate resistance ended in ISIS-like terror and in a similarity between the murderer and victim, since both perpetrate war crimes."
Egyptian Writer Mouna Al-Hilmi: Hamas Is A Terror Organization That Seeks To Establish A Caliphate, Not Liberate Palestine
Sharp criticism of Hamas was also voiced by Egyptian author, poet and journalist Dr. Mouna Al-Hilmi, daughter of the renowned Egyptian feminist writer Nawal Al-Sa'dawi. She described Hamas as a terror organization par excellence that seeks to exterminate Israel and the Jews and whose leaders live in luxury hotels, caring nothing for the death and destruction in Gaza. She wrote: "Power is very seductive, a temptation that cannot be resisted, and causes people to do anything, possible or impossible… If all is fair in love and war, then the same goes for power, which does not recognize boundaries… Every kind and degree of immorality becomes 'moral' as long it shortens the path to power… That is why I hate the political game, which causes people to lose everything that is good and noble within them and their deepest human [instincts] in pursuit of power…
"These thoughts occurred to me [as I considered] the false political slogans that have been issued by the terrorist Hamas since its establishment in 1987, and which it still insists on today, after the events of October 7, 2023, as it increasingly tightens its grip on power using money and weapons provided by Iran and Qatar.
"Whoever reads Hamas' charter will become convinced that it is a terror organization par excellence, which is why many countries have agreed to designate it as such. As stated in its charter, from 1988, Hamas explicitly seeks to destroy or dismantle Israel, while hiding behind [the slogan] of freeing Palestine, which it regards as 'Muslim' land. Ever since it won the elections to the legislature [in 2006], the power of the terrorist Hamas has grown, and since it is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, it takes part in the [Brotherhood's] jihad to establish a global Islamic caliphate.
"Egypt did the right thing when it refused to open its Rafah crossing and allow the Gazans to enter Sinai. Settling the Gazans in Sinia, or expelling them there, means destabilizing Egypt, strengthening the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and increasing terror… Even if Hamas has deceived some people it cannot deceive everyone. Hamas' leaders and their families live in ease and plenty in their palaces in Qatar, Britian and elsewhere, like kings. [Yet] they call on people to make donations and to [wage] jihad and war. The blood of the martyrs does not interest them, and the devastation, the destruction and the threat [posed by Israel] do not interests them as long as they are safe. They go to the gym, do sports, eat the best food and dress expensively.
"Hamas is not interested in liberating the Palestinian homeland, because, ultimately, it does not recognize the idea of the homeland [i.e., of the nation state] and regards Islam as the homeland. What really interests it is what it regards as the 'sacred religious duty' of every Muslim everywhere, namely, getting rid of the Jews and expelling them from every place, because [according to Hamas] the Jews hate Allah, killed their prophets and denied Allah's signs. Let us beware [this organization], since it is a cruel arm of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Egyptian Journalist Abd Al-Latif Al-Menawy: Hamas Did Not Consider The Implications Of Its Attack
Senior Egyptian journalist Abd Al-Latif Al-Menawy, until recently the editor of the independent Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm, directed his criticism at Hamas' leader abroad, Khaled Mash'al, who said in an interview on Al-Arabiya that the October 7 attack was "a calculated risk."
Al-Menawy wrote: "He looked cheerful and kind, a confident man with the makings of a leader, a senior politician who knows what to say and can maneuver a discussion or a debate. That has been my personal impression of Khaled Mash'al, aka Abu Walid. I met him several times, including when he was interviewed on Egyptian television, and the disagreements between us had no effect on our personal relationship…
"Mash'al made some statements, and it is worth examining them and [my] profound disagreement with some of them. One of the most important of them, perhaps, is his claim… that the [October 7] attack on Israel was a calculated risk. After saying this he added that 'we are well aware of the outcome of our operation on October 7,' and that the decision to launch this operation against Israel had been taken by Hamas [alone]. In this case I am bewildered by his statements and cannot accept them.
"My dear Abu Walid, do you really think that what Hamas did was a [take] a 'risk'? Who did it risk? And was it a calculated [risk]? The Palestinians are entitled to know what your calculations were. Did the number of martyrs, now nearing 4,000, come into it? Did 15,000 wounded come into it? I don’t know exactly how many buildings have been toppled, the scope of the damage to infrastructures, the number of people who have been displaced or will become refugees. I do not know, and I don't think the people of Palestine, the simple folk or [even] the commanders, know [either]. So could Hamas perhaps tell us its calculations and assessments regarding this 'calculated risk'?...
"I have already said that Hamas could have caused Israel pain [even] without carrying out this show of strength, and now I say that I agree with Abu Walid that this operation was indeed a risk. But I completely disagree with his claim that it was a 'calculated' one."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10864 - Egyptian Media Blame Israel For Escalation, Express Support For Hamas Attack: 'This Is The Second October Victory' – October 13, 2023.
 In January 2011, during Egypt's Arab Spring revolution, prisons in the country were raided and incarcerated Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operatives were smuggled out of them, including Muhammad Morsi, who would be elected and later deposed as Egypt's president. In 2013 an Egyptian court determined that Hamas and Hizbullah had been involved in the break-in, along with the Muslim Brotherhood.
 Al-Watan (Egypt), October 12, 2023.
 Al-Dustour (Egypt), October 21, 2023.
 Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 21, 2023.