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Egypt-Fatah tensions come to a head at Cairo airport

Egypt denied senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub entry into the country, raising concerns about Cairo's support of Mohammed Dahlan as successor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Al Rajoub speaks during a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 5, 2015. Palestine will host this month's home World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in Jordan, soccer's governing body FIFA said on Thursday. FIFA announced on Wednesday that Palestine could no longer stage the matches at their 12,000-capacity Faisal Al-Husseini stadium on the Israeli-occupied West Bank for security reasons. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RTX1U

Egypt made an unprecedented move on Feb. 27 and denied entry to Palestinian politician Jibril Rajoub. Egyptian authorities stopped Rajoub, a high-level member of Fatah’s Central Committee, just as he arrived at Cairo International Airport. Rajoub was set to join a Palestinian delegation that the Arab League had invited to attend a conference on extremism and terrorism. Consequently, the Palestinian delegation, headed by Palestinian Justice Minister Ali Abu Diak, withdrew from the conference.

Egyptian Dream TV interviewed Rajoub over the phone the same day he was denied entry. He angrily said that he was not Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, and there was no reason for him to be kicked out of Egypt. He said this was a strategic mistake and that Egypt should explain itself.

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