Hamas dismayed as Egypt bans its cadres from offering Omra

Hamas dismayed as Egypt bans its cadres from offering Omra

Hamas expressed utter dismay at the Egyptian authorities’ step of banning its cadres from traveling via the Rafah border terminal to Saudi Arabia to offer Omra (minor pilgrimage).

The movement said in a statement on Monday that Cairo should desist from such practices, which deny Palestinian legitimacy and ignore the fact that Hamas constitutes the majority of the Palestinian people.

It expressed surprise at the Egyptian refusal to allow first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Ahmed Bahar from traveling for Omra, describing the ban as the first of its kind across history.

Hamas pointed out that Egypt’s act came to complement the role of the Fatah authority in Ramallah that obstructed passports of individuals “suspected” of being Hamas members or sympathizers from reaching the Saudi embassy to obtain visas.

The movement denounced the infringement on the freedom of movement and worship for Palestinians and their representatives, urging the Palestinian government in Gaza to act likewise with Fatah cadres and block their travel via any of the Gaza crossings.

The Egyptian authorities blocked the travel of Dr. Bahar and tens others of Hamas supporters in an unprecedented step related to freedom of worship.

The crossings and borders authority in Gaza said in a statement that the Egyptian authorities informed it that Bahar was not allowed to travel. It added that others affiliated with Hamas were also banned from travel to Saudi Arabia for Omra without any reason given by Cairo.