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      Hamas and Hizbullah Helped Egypt's Morsi Escape from Prison

      Egyptian court says that Hamas and Hizbullah helped prisoners, including current President Morsi, escape in 2011.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 6/24/2013, 5:42 AM

      Mohammed Morsi
      Mohammed Morsi
      AFP photo

      An Egyptian court said on Sunday that the Hamas rulers of Gaza and Lebanon’s Hizbullah terrorist group helped prisoners, including current President Mohammed Morsi, escape during the 2011 uprising.

      AFP reported that the head of the court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya asked the state prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of the January 2011 breakout from the Wadi Natrun prison, northwest of the capital.

      He said that the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which Morsi hails, had organized the escape with members of Hamas and Hizbullah, according to AFP.

      The court also called on the state prosecutor to ask Interpol to circulate an arrest warrant for Sami Shihab, a Hizbullah official who had been convicted of plotting attacks in Egypt and who was serving a prison sentence at Wadi Natrun before escaping, along with members of Hamas.

      Morsi said at the time that there had been no need for he and 33 other members of the Brotherhood to escape as the people "opened the doors" for them, noted the report.

      The Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas’s parent movement. According to some reports, the Brotherhood-led Egyptian government mediated secret talks between Israel and Hamas after the end of the counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense.

      There have been some recent tensions between Hamas the government in Cairo, as Egypt began a crackdown on Gaza's underground tunnel system, which is used to smuggle goods – but also weapons and terrorists – into Gaza.

      Hamas demanded that if Egypt was going to shut down the tunnels, it should open a commercial border crossing to Gaza on a permanent basis instead.

      As for Hizbullah, Morsi last week called on the group to leave Syria, where it has been fighting alongside troops loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.

      Morsi made the comments as he announced that Egypt has cut diplomatic ties with Damascus and has ordered the Syria's embassy in Cairo to be closed.