Last update - 18:27 03/12/2008     
      Egypt MP: We won't let Hamas form an Islamic emirate in Gaza  
      By News Agencies  
      Tags: Hamas, Israel News, Egypt   

      A ranking Egyptian official on Wednesday lashed out at Hamas, saying the 
militant Palestinian group won't be allowed to set up an Islamic emirate in the 
Gaza Strip, the coastal territory which it controls. 

      Mustafa el-Fiqi, who heads the Egyptian Parliament's foreign relations 
committee, said Egypt wouldn't tolerate an Islamic state on its eastern border. 

      Egypt is increasingly displeased with Hamas - especially after it 
boycotted Egypt-mediated Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo last month. 
      El-Fiqi's comments Wednesday indicate that Egypt plans to continue 
efforts to isolate the Gaza Strip. 

      Hamas security frees three reporters in Gaza 
      Hamas security forces freed three Palestinian journalists on Wednesday 
whom they had arrested last month under accusations that they had fabricated 
news critical of the Islamist group, officials said. 

      The journalists worked in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for the 
Palestine Press, a local news agency with ties to the group's main rival, 
President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction. 

      A Hamas internal security official said the three men were released after 
they confessed that they had "fabricated reports" critical of the Hamas cabinet 
and its security forces. 

      One of the journalists, speaking to reporters and human rights officials 
-- as Hamas security men stood nearby -- said after their release: "We made a 
mistake and it won't be repeated." 

      The Hamas security official said the release followed "intense 
intervention by fellow journalists" who appealed to the group's leader in Gaza, 
Ismail Haniyeh. 

      Since Hamas routed Fatah forces in Gaza last year, activists had traded 
accusations of persecution. The Islamist group says several Hamas-affiliated 
journalists have been imprisoned by security forces loyal to Abbas in the 
Israeli-occupied West Bank  



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