Egypt threatens to revoke citizenship of 13,000 Hamas members

Published Thursday, March 6, 2014

Egypt plans to revoke the citizenship of 13,757 Hamas members for being "affiliated to an offshoot of the terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood," Egyptian media reported on Thursday.

According to Youm7 news website, Egyptian security sources have started to collect information about thousands of Hamas members who were granted Egyptian citizenship under ousted president Mohammed Mursi.

The Egyptian government is investigating Hamas members for their alleged involvement in "terrorist attacks," Ma’an news agency reported.

The Palestinian news agency added that the Egyptian prime minister could revoke the citizenship of Hamas members without a court ruling if he deemed them to be a danger to public security.

An adviser to the former head of the Cairo criminal court told Youm7 that the court order would freeze Hamas assets and ban the group’s activities on Egyptian soil, in addition to shutting down their offices and implementing a travel ban.

On Tuesday, an Egyptian court banned the Hamas’ activities and ordered its assets seized, Ma’an wrote.

"The Egyptian judge who made the decision did not bring a single evidence incriminating Hamas,” a Hamas official said following the ruling.

“Thus, the movement considers the Egyptian decision a purely political decision rather than a judicial decision, and that decision serves the Israeli occupation."

The news came as dozens of women activists headed towards the Gaza Strip were barred from leaving the Cairo airport on Thursday, al-Ahram reported. Egyptian authorities have barred several activists from entering the Gaza Strip in recent days.

Ties between Cairo and Hamas have drastically deteriorated since the Egyptian army deposed Mursi in July.

Egypt’s new military-installed government launched a deadly crackdown on protests by supporters of Morsi, killing more than 1,000 people.

Egyptian soldiers have also destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels at the border with the Gaza Strip, effectively reinforcing the stringent Israeli blockade on the enclave.

Gaza used to depend heavily on the smuggling tunnels for its supplies of fuel and construction material.

Hamas has denied accusations by Egyptian officials that it is involved in fighting in the Sinai Peninsula, where militant attacks on security forces have surged since July.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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