- September 21, 2010
Egypt confirms the arrest of Gaza man on his way back from Umrah
A public security leader in Gaza Mohammed Khamis Debabeche is still in questioning in Cairo after he was arrested a few days back on charges of involvement in several operations affecting Egyptian security, a security official in Egypt said.
The Ahram newspaper in Egypt quoted Monday the security official as saying: “Debabeche was arrested last weekend following his arrival from the Syrian capital of Damascus for questioning after reports of his involvement in a failed attempt to smuggle advanced radio equipment into Gaza and cover up the killing of Egyptian soldier Ahmed Sha’ban last January.”
But media and political sources in Egypt uncovered contacts between Hamas and several Egyptian officials confirming that his arrest was in no way linked to Egyptian national security.
Debabache set out to perform the Muslim ritual of Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan, the sources confirmed, adding that he is an ordinary citizen of Palestine, who had no connection with Egyptian security, but it was likely that Debabeche’s arrest was based on information Egyptian security received from intelligence aimed at acquiring sensitive information Israel failed to obtain for several years about Gilad Shalit and Hamas weapons.
“There is no doubt that Debabeche’s arrest, which was coordinated by intelligence in Egypt, Palestine, the U.S., and Israel, is considered a valuable catch, in addition to the Qassam Brigades leader Ayman Nofal, who has been detained in Egypt jails for three years,” the sources explained.