The Egyptian Cabinet issued a decision Sunday to revoke Palestinian businessman Wael Mohamed Diab’s Egyptian citizenship. Diab currently resides permanently outside of Egypt, and is affiliated with a “foreign entity that works on undermining the economic and social order of the state”, according to a cabinet statement.
The cabinet decision was published in the Egyptian Gazette on Tuesday. It became effective Wednesday, according to Article 2 of the cabinet’s decision.
According to Article 16 of the Egyptian Nationality Law, there are 10 cases where the cabinet has the authority to revoke an individual’s Egyptian citizenship. Among the cases listed in the article, Case 7 states that an individual who resides abroad and has joined a foreign entity that works to undermine the economic and social order of the state using force or any other illegitimate method, can have his/her citizenship revoked.
Palestinian news agency, Fatah Voice, with its eponymous political group, reported that Diab works in Gaza’s media field, heading several local radio stations. Shehab News Agency, a Hamas-affiliated new agency, reported that Diab’s citizenship was revoked due to his affiliation with Hamas.
On 28 February, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters designated Hamas a “terrorist organisation”. The verdict sparked angry reactions from the Palestinian side. However, the State Litigation Authority appealed the verdict on 11 March.
A month later, the plaintiff behind the case to designate Hamas as a terrorist organisation decided to drop his case, resulting in the possible annulment of the verdict that convicted the Palestinian group.
The Urgent Matters Appeal Court announced it will issue a verdict on the appeal on 10 May.
At the same time, the European Union (EU) re-enlisted Hamas as a terrorist organisation after the group was temporarily removed from the terrorist organisations list in December.
In April 2014, a lawsuit was filed by lawyer Samir Sabry to revoke the Egyptian citizenship from Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh. However, the Hamas movement later denied that either Khaled Meshaal or Ismail Haniyeh hold Egyptian citizenship.
Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Hamas has been involved in several court cases that accuse the group of colluding with the Muslim Brotherhood, namely the espionage case.