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article imageEgypt deports seven Palestinians to the Gaza Strip

By Paul Iddon     Mar 16, 2013 in World
In a sign of increasing tensions between Egypt and Hamas the Egyptian authorities have deported seven Palestinians to the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians in question were arrested at Cairo Airport and detained. They had been flying from Syria and were detained for not having exit stamps on their passports. Following a three- day detention, in which an investigation was undertaken by the Egyptian authorities, they were formally released when no evidence of any criminal or illegal actions taken on their part was uncovered.
This development comes in the same week that an official Egyptian state-owned magazine released a report which accused the Islamist Hamas group that runs the Gaza Strip (and is an offshoot of Egyptian Premier Mohammed Morsi's ruling Muslim Brotherhood party) of planning and executing an attack that killed sixteen Egyptian soldiers based in the Egyptian Sinia Peninsula in August of last year. That attack constituted the largest killing of Egyptian military personnel in decades. (Haaretz, March 16 2013)
The article claims that the attack was executed as a revenge attack on Egypt for that country's crackdown on the smuggling tunnels into Gaza. (Xinhua, March 16 2013)
The Egyptian defense minister was recently quoted as stating that the Egyptian Army is ready to confront "anyone who dares to harm Egypt's security or armed forces."
Hamas denies that they had any involvement or hand in that August attack and state that the seven Palestinians which Egypt deported were held under false pretenses. Hamas contends that it "and all other Palestinians respect Egypt's security and do not intervene in its internal affairs." Hamas have went on to speculate that the Palestinian Authority was spreading lies in order to undermine its diplomatic relationship with Cairo which has greatly improved following the rise of Morsi as compared to the conditions under the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who joined the Israelis in their efforts to blockade the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip following that militias violent takeover of that sliver of Palestinian territory in 2006.
More about Egypt, Gaza strip, Hamas, Muslim brotherhood, Sinai
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