Report: Egypt bans entry of 3 top Hamas members
London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper says Cairo ordered Islamist group's politburo member Mohammed Nazzal, spokesmen Abu Zuhri and Mushir al-Masri to be stopped at border should they try to enter country, due to their 'incitement' against Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak
Egyptian authorities have recently barred three top Hamas members from entering the country, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman issued an order that Hamas' politburo member Mohammed Nazzal and two of the group's spokesmen, Sami Abu Zuhri and Mushir al-Masri, would be stopped at the border should they try to cross into Egypt.
The newspaper quoted Egyptian intelligence sources as saying that the move was prompted by the three's "negative statements" about Egypt and about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, perceived as "direct and indirect incitement" against Cairo.
Suleiman and his aides have also expressed their disapproval of Nazzal's hardline stands in the Egyptian-brokered talks meant to bridge the gaps between Hamas and its Palestinian rival faction, Fatah.
As for Cairo's disapproval of Abu Zuhri and al-Masri, Egyptian officials told al-Quds al-Arabi that the two had publicly criticized President Mubarak's regime, prompting Suleiman to deny Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal's request to allow al-Masri passage to Iran through Egypt.
Cairo is also said to be preventing Abu Zuhri, who is currently in Damascus, passage back to the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the newspaper also reported that the negotiations meant to facilitate a Hamas-Fatah unity government in the Palestinian Authority are accelerating. According to the report, the parties are expected to sign a coalition agreement by April 4.
Palestinian sources quoted in the report said that according to the draft agreement, the Palestinian government's prominent ministries, including the premiership, would be manned by "independent" individuals, free of any political affiliation, while "secondary" ministries would be allotted to Fatah and Hamas.
The signing ceremony, added the report, will led by Mubarak, Mashaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and will be witnessed by Syrian and Saudi delegates.