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Egypt warns Hamas 'not to play with fire': report

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya -- shown here giving a speech in Gaza City on January 23, 2018 -- is now under US sanctions on Washington's terror blacklist
MAHMUD HAMS (AFP/File)
The reported warning comes after a rash of violent flare-ups along the Gaza-Israel border

A delegation of Egyptian spies warned the Hamas militant group this week that they would suffer grave consequences from pursuing an escalation with Israel, according to a TV report aired Saturday.

Palestinian sources cited by Hadashot said that a delegation of Egyptian intelligence officials told Hamas chiefs in Gaza that "if there is an escalation ... the blow that Israel is likely to inflict on Hamas in Gaza will be so severe that it is likely to topple [them]."

The Egyptians reportedly added that "no-one from the Hamas leadership will be immune."

The reported warning -- which may have had some input from Israel, which is on increasingly good terms with Cairo -- comes after a rash of violent flare-ups along the Gaza-Israel border.

Last month four IDF soldiers were wounded, two seriously, when an improvised explosive device blew up along the border. It had been planted by a "rogue group" in Gaza.

Israel responded with retaliatory air strikes and earlier this week said they had detected and diffused a similar explosive device planted along the border.

Earlier Saturday a Palestinian described by Gaza's health ministry as a farmer died after coming under Israeli fire. The Israeli military said it had only fired warning shots and was investigating the reports.

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Hamas keeps playing w fire.

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