The Egyptian authorities decided to prevent a number of Hamas leaders from entering its territory to perform Hajj.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said he was one of the people on the list. He said, disingenuously, that Hajj was a purely religious ritual that should not be affected by political considerations.
But as Palestine Press Agency points out, Hamas leaders have used Hajj as a way to meet with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, to publicly speak out against Egypt, and to smuggle money back into Gaza. Also, Hajj pilgrims have in the past traveled to Iran for advanced terrorism training.
Others on the list are reported to include Dr. Salah Bardawil and Fawzi Barhoum.
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