Seven Israeli Arabs have been arrested in Egypt on suspicion of aiding Hamas and belonging to Hizbullah.
A prominent Islamist lawyer has told the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera that security forces have detained altogether 50 Egyptians, Palestinians and Lebanese for alleged ties to the terror groups.
Montasser el-Zayat, known for representing Islamist militants in court, said Tuesday that the detainees are suspected of supplying Hamas with money. He claims to have been appointed by the suspects' relatives to represent them in court.
El-Zayat said all of the suspects were arrested over the past six months, with most of the arrests occurring in December of 2008.
He added that among the detainees are two Lebanese, seven Palestinians, and the rest are Egyptians. He said he had filed an appeal with Egypt's state prosecution requesting details on the arrests and permission to be present during interrogations.
In addition to suspicions of financial aid to Hamas, one Lebanese detainee is also suspected of belonging to Hizbullah and seeking passage to Gaza through Egypt in order to meet with Hamas officials in the Strip.
The internet site 'Islam Online Net' reported that "a cell of Egyptian intelligence conducted a chase after Hamas operatives in the streets of Cairo".
The report went on to say that "the cell stopped the car in which the Hamas members were riding and confiscated the money found in their possession – money intended for aid to the needy following the recent Israeli war in Gaza".
The report said the amount confiscated was $7 million, meant for the reconstruction of homes lost during the fighting in Gaza.
Egypt's Interior Ministry would neither confirm nor deny the arrests.