Hamas official detained at Cairo airport

AFP , Tuesday 18 Aug 2015

An official of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has been detained at Cairo airport as he tried to enter Egypt, an airport source said Tuesday.

Hassan al-Saifi, whose name figures on an Egyptian watch list, was detained on arrival Monday, the source said, adding he was still at the airport and would likely be deported.

It was not immediately clear why he was detained.

But Egypt this week temporarily opened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza and Saifi might have been trying to reach the Israeli-blockaded enclave.

Egypt has had strained relations with the militant Islamist movement that controls the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

Hamas is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood movement of Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted amid mass public demonstrations against his rule on 3 July 2013.

An Egyptian court had blacklisted Hamas as a terrorist organisation, but the ruling was overturned on appeal earlier this year.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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