Hamas lawmakers say barred entry to Egypt
Acting parliament speaker Ahmed Bahar says he and six oher lawmakers were denied entry en route to other Arab countries.
A senior Palestinian parliamentarian said Sunday that he and five colleagues from the militant Islamic Hamas movement had been barred by Egypt from crossing its border with Gaza on their way to visit other Arab countries.
Acting parliament speaker Ahmed Bahar said in a statement Sunday that the Egyptians have rejected a request for the six lawmakers to travel through Egypt. The statement did not give the lawmakers' destination or the purpose of their trip.
An Egyptian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the men tried to cross the border without the necessary prior coordination and were therefore turned away.
The coastal strip's only other frontier is with Israel, where Hamas officials are subject to capture and imprisonment. Israel also prevents air and sea traffic from Gaza.
Bahar is standing in for speaker Abdel Aziz Dueik, who is in an Israeli jail along with scores of other Hamas lawmakers from the West Bank.