Egyptian lawmaker jailed for Gaza trip

Politician convicted of using tunnel to cross into Strip; German-Egyptian pro-Gaza activist freed in Cairo.

February 11, 2009 15:26
1 minute read.
Egyptian lawmaker jailed for Gaza trip

smuggling tunnel 224.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A military tribunal on Wednesday convicted an opposition lawmaker of illegally crossing into Gaza and sentenced him to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine, an Egyptian court official said. The secretary general of the banned Labor party, Magdi Hussein, was arrested January 31 after trying to re-enter Egypt from Gaza without a passport. The judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said Hussein was convicted of using an underground tunnel to cross into Gaza. Defense lawyer Mohammed Moneib said Hussein was deprived of his right to defend himself as no lawyers were permitted into the trial. Egypt's military tribunals are known for their swift verdicts. In related news, Egyptian police released Egyptian-German activist Philip Rizk in the early hours of Wednesday morning after detaining him five days for participating in a pro-Gaza march, his family said. Rizk, 26, was now resting back in his family home, his sister Jeanette told The Associated Press, adding that the family would not be speaking further to the press. "I can confirm now at this time that he is free," she said. Police also confirmed his release. Rizk, together with 15 other Egyptian and foreign activists, carried out a six mile march through the Egyptian countryside outside Cairo on Friday to raise awareness over the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The march was stopped by police and Rizk was taken by State Security, Egypt's plainclothes national security service. State Security never stated why Rizk was held, but it comes at a time when five other Egyptians have been arrested for either visiting Gaza or speaking out about the situation there. Rizk also wrote a blog about the situation in Gaza, Tabula Gaza, in which he several times criticized the Egyptian government's refusal to open the Rafah crossing during the IDF's three week operation in the Strip to stop Hamas rocket fire. Cairo has been very sensitive to accusations that it contributed to suffering in Gaza by not opening the border to more aid shipments. Rizk, a graduate student at the American University in Cairo, spent two years in Gaza between 2005 and 2007 and produced a documentary about daily life in the Strip. The arrest prompted concern from the German Foreign Ministry which several times inquired about the case.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Pittsburgh
May 25, 2019
Bernie Sanders refuses to apologize for condemning armed conflict with Iran