Egyptian nationality granted to Hamas leader may be revoked
Mahmoud al-Zahar - AFP

CAIRO: A request of the Passports, Emigration and Nationality Administration to strip Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar of the Egyptian nationality he obtained under former president Hosni Mubarak, along with 11 members of his family, was referred on Sunday to the Cabinet, an administration official told Al Arabiya News on Sunday.

Zahar is the co-founder of the Palestinian movement Hamas, which was outlawed by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters in March.

Interior Minister Assistant of Passports, Emigration and Nationality Administration Hussein el-Rede said the nationality should be stripped due to Zahar’s belonging to an organization that undermines the economic and social system of Egypt, Al Arabiya reported.

Rede said about 24,000 Palestinians have obtained Egyptian nationality since May 2011. A committee examines and, if necessary, revokes Egyptian citizenship from any Palestinians involved in “terrorist” actions or belonging to “terrorist” organizations, he said.

The Hamas movement is the extension of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, with the same ideology and principles of the group, according to an affiliate website, Hamas 25.

Last year, former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy’s government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist” organization, which the prime minister admitted on a MBC Masr television program in April was a political decision.

Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood, had a major role in stopping the Israeli shelling of Palestine in 2012, according to television pundits, by ordering the summoning of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel as an urgent response to what he branded as Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

According to Rede, 8,000 Palestinians gained Egyptian nationality under Morsi’s rule.

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