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Egypt declines to renew Hamas leader's residency

Abu Marzouq's residency visa was due to expire next month

18.03.2014
Egypt declines to renew Hamas leader's residency

CAIRO

Egypt's army-backed authorities have refused to renew the residency visa of senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq, a source close to Abu Marzouq said Tuesday amid mounting tension between Cairo and the Gaza-based resistance group.

"We tried to renew Abu Marzouq's residency visa in Cairo, but the authorities refused," the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Anadolu Agency.

He asserted that Abu Marzouq's residency visa was due to expire next month.

"Similar measures were taken against members of Abu Marzouq's entourage," said the source.

Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment. 

Abu Marzouq, deputy head of Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, moved to Cairo from Damascus after the onset of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He lives in a four-level villa on the outskirts of Cairo, not far from where ousted president Mohamed Morsi used to live before his election.

Hamas obtained a license to build the villa from Egypt's Supreme Military Council, which had ruled the country following the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, according to the source.

Last week, sources revealed that Egyptian authorities had refused to renew residency visas for members of Abu Marzouq's entourage. 

Last month, Egypt denied Abu Marzouq's son, who had been flying from Doha, entry into the country and deported him on the same plane.

An Egyptian court recently banned the activities of Hamas in Egypt and ordered its offices closed.

Hamas is an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails.

Last December, Egypt's army-backed interim authorities listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist group."

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