Egypt: Regime targets Hezbollah

Issue 

Egypt has arrested 49 Hezbollah members and is searching the Sanai Peninsula for a further 13 members, claiming that the Lebanese resistance group is plotting terrorist attacks in Egypt to undermine the government.

The Egyptian regime of President Hosni Mubarak repressed mass protests during Israel's December-January war on Gaza. The protests were an expression of the widespread anger over Mubarak's collaboration with Israel and his refusal to open the Gazan border to break Israel's siege on the Palestinian territory.

"Egypt's accusations are in revenge for our position on Gaza and our demand that the Rafah border crossing be opened", Hezbollah representative Sheikh Naim Qassem toldAFP on April 11.

An unnamed Egyptian official told the Egyptian state-run newspaper, Al-Ahram on April 15 that Hezbollah "will pay a heavy price for plotting terror attacks aimed at undermining Egypt's sovereignty."

But Hezbollah has hit back at the claims, with Qassem stating: "It has become clear to everyone that these accusations are fabricated ... and that they are worthless.

"The Egyptian regime wants revenge and is seeking to sully Hezbollah's image. This whole thing is politically motivated and will result in a backlash against the Egyptian regime."

He said: "We have one enemy called Israel and as far as we are concerned Egypt is not an enemy."