Egypt bans senior Palestinian official from entering country

Egyptian security officials have denied entry to a senior Palestinian official planning to attend a counter-terrorism conference in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, prompting his accompanying delegation to withdraw from the event in protest at the ban.

  • Date: 2017/02/28
  • Time: 23:17
  • News Code: 37620
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Egypt bans senior Palestinian official from entering country

Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub

VON PRESS Africa: Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, said on Tuesday that he was "surprised by the Egyptian security decision to ban me from entering Egypt."

Rajoub, who also chairs the Palestinian Football Association, said the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz had been waiting to receive him at the airport.

According to an Egyptian airport official, Rajoub was denied entry "on the instruction of one of the Egyptian security services," without providing further details.

Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Abu Diak, who was scheduled to accompany Rajoub in the conference, said he had withdrawn from the conference in protest.

Egypt, one of only two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, plays a key role as a major interlocutor in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians over the past decades.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel's continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

In late December 2016, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed an Egyptian-drafted resolution censuring Israel for its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Egypt's military, meanwhile, has destroyed hundreds of tunnels between the country's Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, preventing the Palestinians from bringing in most of their basic goods like construction materials, food, and fuel into the coastal enclave.

The tunnels are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege. 


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