Top Palestinian Fatah official denied entry to Egypt

Top Palestinian Fatah official denied entry to Egypt
Fatah official Jibril Rajoub was barred from entering Egypt on Tuesday, prompting an angry response from his Palestinian delegation.
2 min read
28 February, 2017
Rajoub was going to attend a counter-terrorism conference [AFP]

A senior Palestinian official has been denied entry to Egypt, prompting his delegation to withdraw in protest from a counter-terrorism conference he was due to attend, officials said on Tuesday.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party, told AFP he was "surprised by the Egyptian security decision to ban me from entering Egypt".

Rajoub, who also heads the Palestinian Football Association, said the Egyptian minister of youth and sports had been waiting at the airport to meet him.

An Egyptian airport official said Rajoub was rejected "on the instruction of one of the Egyptian security services", without giving further details.

Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Abu Diak, who was scheduled to participate with Rajoub in the conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, announced that he was withdrawing in protest, a Palestinian official said.

Egyptian authorities have not yet issued a statement on Rajoub's deportation.

Tensions reportedly erupted between Egypt and Fatah after Cairo hosted a conference organised by sacked Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan.

Dahlan was dismissed in 2011 from Fatah over corruption allegations.

Egypt, one of only two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, plays a key role in the Arab League, which is based in Cairo.

It has been a major interlocutor in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in recent decades.