Friday, February 08, 2008

Egypt fears Gazans bought land in Sinai

From Feb 7, 2008 by KHALED ABU TOAMEH:

Egyptian authorities are investigating claims that many Gazans bought land in Sinai in the past few weeks.

...Egyptian law prohibits foreigners from purchasing land in Sinai.

The investigation comes amid growing tension between Egypt and Hamas over the tearing down of the security fence along the border with the Gaza Strip. ...authorities have decided to suspend contacts with the Hamas leadership in protest of the breaching of the border.

... Cairo had also declared Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal persona non grata. In addition, several Hamas leaders from the Gaza Strip have been told they would not be allowed to enter Egypt. They include Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud Zahar and Said Siam.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit issued a strong warning to Hamas on Thursday.
"Anyone who violates Egypt's borders will get his legs broken," Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying.....

...Mubarak dispatched the governor of northern Sinai, Ahmed Abdel Hamid, to warn the Beduin in Sinai against selling land to Palestinians. Palestinian sources claimed earlier that dozens of families from the Gaza Strip who crossed into Sinai have purchased thousands of dunams of land from Beduin tribes there.

....The semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper in Cairo reported on Thursday that Egyptian security forces have rounded up some 650 Palestinians who were staying in el-Arish. It said the Egyptians were planning to deport them to the Gaza Strip in the coming days...

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