Egyptian politician faces military trial for going to GazaFebruary 4th, 2009 - 2:58 am ICT by IANS
Cairo, Feb 4 (DPA) An Egyptian opposition politician will face military trial Thursday in the Suez Canal town of Ismailiya on charges of crossing into the Gaza Strip illegally, sources said Tuesday.Magdi Hussein, a fiery orator from Egypt’s suspended Labour Party, was detained last Saturday when he came back to Egypt after spending a week in the Strip.
The legal adviser of Egypt’s Press Syndicate Sayed Abu Zaid said he went to the north Sinai town of al-Arish, where Hussein was detained, in order to demand Hussein’s release, with the guarantee of his membership in the syndicate.
Hussein, an Islamist, was the editor of the Labour Party newspaper al-Shaab in the 1990s until the authorities closed it down and froze the Islamist party’s activities in 2000.
“The prosecution refused to release Hussein and insisted on detaining him in al-Arish’s central prison until he faces a military trial next Thursday,” Abu Zaid told DPA.
Hussein chronicled his trip in daily entries posted to the Labour Party’s website after he crossed into the Gaza Strip through a hole in the border fence Jan 23.
In articles posted on the Labour Party’s website, Hussein said he had met with politicians and militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and that he had preached the virtues of armed struggle in Gazan mosques.
Earlier, Hussein said that he three times failed to enter Rafah legally before “a friend” helped him to enter the territory through a hole in the border fence created, he said, when Israeli warplanes bombed the area.
The tunnels were dug by Palestinians to transfer goods, and people, from Egypt into the besieged Strip.
Israel, which imposed a blockade on the densely populated enclave ever since the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas seized it in June 2007, says people also transfer weapons through these tunnels.
Israel launched a 22-day offensive against Gaza, which ended with a cease-fire that took effect Jan 18, leaving about 1,400 killed and more than 5,000 injured.
Egyptian security forces last detained Hussein in October, when they intercepted a convoy carrying medical supplies into Gaza and found him and five other Egyptian Islamist opposition politicians travelling into the Strip to protest the Egyptian and Israeli blockade of the salient.
- Thousands of Palestinians, aid cross Egypt's border with Gaza - Jun 12, 2010
- Hamas hails decision to permanently open Rafah border crossing - May 27, 2011
- Egypt discovers 17 smuggling tunnels to Gaza - Aug 11, 2010
- Egyptian parliamentary delegation visits Gaza - Mar 29, 2012
- Gaza aid ship docks in el-Arish, awaits instructions - Jul 15, 2010
- Dozens of Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers - Mar 31, 2012
- Palestinians to apply for UN status despite pressure: Abbas - Sep 08, 2012
- Hamas foiling Gaza power crisis solution: Palestinian PM - Mar 26, 2012
- Hamas says political motives behind Gaza's mounting energy crisis - Mar 21, 2012
- Israel Navy intercepts Gaza-bound aid vessels - Nov 04, 2011
- Palestine: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on reconciliation - Apr 28, 2011
- Egypt frees 14 Palestinian prisoners - Apr 06, 2011
- Egypt foils attempt to smuggle cement into Gaza - Jul 25, 2010
- Israel allows new cars into Gaza for first time in four years - Sep 21, 2010
- Israeli defence minister, Mubarak meet in Egypt - Jan 27, 2010
Tags: abu zaid, al arish, al shaab, border fence, canal town, cease fire, egyptian politician, fiery orator, gaza strip, gazan, islamic jihad, islamist group, islamist party, ismailiya, labour party, legal adviser, military trial, north sinai, opposition politician, suez canal