Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Egyptian security arrests 40 persons accused of gathering support for Hezbollah and Hamas

Wednesday April 08, 2009 11:06 by IMEMC & Agencies

Egyptian sources reported that the Egyptian police arrested 40 Lebanese, Egyptian and Palestinian nationals, including Arab residents of Israel, accused of aiding Hezbollah and of gathering financial support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The arrests were conducted in utmost secrecy nearly six months ago, and relatives of the detained nationals hired Egyptian attorney, Montaser Al Zayyat, to represent them.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Al Zayyat said that he was contacted by the family of a Lebanese national, identified as Hani Sami Shihab, who informed him that their son was detained and that they do not know the reason behind the arrest.

Al Zayyat added that seven Palestinians and a number of Egyptians were also arrested, and the Egyptian intelligence started interrogating them last Saturday.

The lawyer was unable to meet the detained nationals but was informed that the interrogation is currently focused on the role of Hezbollah in the issue at hand.

Seven of the detained nationals are Arab residents of Israel, the rest are Lebanese and Egyptians.

It is worth mentioning that several news agencies reported that Egyptian security forces chased a vehicle in the streets of Cairo and arrested its passengers. All of the arrestees are members of Hamas; nearly 7 million dollars were found with them.

The detained members said that the money was meant to be sent to Gaza to help the some of the residents who lost their homes during the latest Israeli war on Gaza.

The arrests came as Egypt boosted its security measures to stop arms smuggling into Gaza. Egyptian border police already located and demolished dozens of arms smuggling tunnels.