The Ministry of Interior has deported at least 250 Palestinians over the past few months, and will be deporting more alleging they entered Egypt’s illegally.
According to the ministry, some were involved in "criminal activities, while others have connections to militant groups." Some among the 250 sneaked into Sinai through underground tunnels below the border with Gaza, the interior ministry claimed.
Security sources are also alleging that among the detained Palestinians are those who had links to suspects in terror cell cases.
Sources added that the authorities arrested two brothers, Emad and Essam Abdallah el-Shaer, who entered Egypt through tunnels under the Gaza border.
The suspects were held in a cell in the Giza deportations department until security was sure that they came illegally, according to the sources.
Egypt has been active in diplomatic efforts to secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shallit, in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. However, Cairo has been facing the heat over the treatment of Palestinians in its prisons. Last October, 38-year-old Youssef Abu Zuhri, the brother of a Hamas’ spokesperson, died in Egypt’s Borg el-Arab prison. Hamas as well as Egyptian rights watchdogs said the man was tortured to death. The accusation was denied by the authorities.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.