Report: Egypt to Withdraw Citizenship From Hamas Leaders, Palestinians
After crushing the Muslim Brotherhood at home, Egypt’s military rulers plan to undermine the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the neighboring Gaza Strip, senior Egyptian security officials told Reuters.
The aim, which the officials say could take years to pull off, includes working with Hamas’s political rivals Fatah and supporting popular anti-Hamas activities in Gaza, four security and diplomatic officials said.
Intelligence operatives, with help from Hamas’s political rivals and activists, plan to undermine the credibility of Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007 after a brief civil war against the Fatah movement led by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to the Egyptian officials, Hamas will face growing resistance by activists who will launch protests similar to those in Egypt that have led to the downfall of two presidents since the Arab Spring in 2011. Cairo plans to support such protests in an effort to cripple Hamas.
“Gaza is next,” said one senior security official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “We cannot get liberated from the terrorism of the Brotherhood in Egypt without ending it in Gaza, which lies on our borders.”
Really? Countries that border Gaza can say that Hamas is a terror group without derision?
It is worth reading the whole thing. This is a surprisingly good piece of reporting by Reuters.
Anyway, there have been a steady stream of anti-Hamas articles in the Egyptian media for months. The latest report says that Hamas leaders who received Egyptian citizenship recently – because of Egypt enforcing a law that children of Egyptian mothers can become citizens – will have their citizenship revoked.
These leaders include Mahmoud Zahar and Abu Marzouk.
In general, with the exception of Jordan in 1950, Palestinians in the Arab world were denied citizenship because of an Arab League directive #1547 from 1959 discouraging its member states from granting citizenship to Palestinians “in order to preserve the Palestinian entity and Palestinian identity.” Egypt will reportedly review all the thousands of Gazans who flocked to become Egyptian citizens in the past two years and consider withdrawing citizenship from them as well.
For the good of “Palestine,” of course.
At the moment no major human rights groups demand that Arab countries allow Palestinians to become citizens if they choose. On the contrary – they insist that the Palestinians remain stateless. Which shows you to what extent they will ignore human rights when they want to.
Will they protest Egypt’s possible withdrawal of Gazans’ citizenship? Or will they agree with the Arab League that “preserving Palestinian identity” is a more important concept than human rights are?
It will be interesting to see if they say anything.