According to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, and independently confirmed by the Israeli paper Maariv (Hebrew link only), Egypt has banned three leading Hamas figures, a member of the Damascus-based political leadership, and two Gaza-based spokesmen from entering its territory. This follows their own public attacks on the Egyptian regime for tacitly supporting Israel’s assault on Gaza in December.
The greatest threat to the Egyptian regime comes from its Islamic fundamentalists, who share ideological ties with Hamas. There are good reasons for Egypt having kept cool during Operation Cast Lead; its leadership would not have shed a tear if Israel had successfully ended the Hamas regime in Gaza. This did not happen, and Western leaders would be wise to keep in mind that any policies strengthening Hamas would hurt not only Israel, but the whole region.