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PA Forces Arrest Hamas Member Over Morsi Perfume

Member of Hamas arrested in Tulkarem for selling a perfume named in honor of Egypt's ousted president.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/23/2013, 5:44 AM

Mohammed Morsi
Mohammed Morsi
AFP/File

A member of Hamas was arrested by the Palestinian Authority security services for selling a perfume named in honor of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi, family members told AFP on Thursday.

36-year-old Islambuli Badir was arrested during a raid on his perfume shop in the town of Tulkarem, his brother Abdel Fattah Badir told the news agency.

"Men from the security services on Tuesday raided my brother's shop and confiscated all the perfume bottles that were labelled 'Morsi,' then arrested Islambuli and also seized his laptop," said Abdel Fattah.

"The day after the arrest, my younger brother Qassam, 24, put a sign up on the shop door saying: An apology to customers -- our Mohammed Morsi perfume has been seized by the authorities," he told AFP.

Abdel Fattah said his family learned of the raid and arrest from neighbors and witnesses.

"No one... contacted us to inform us of the arrest, my brother's place of detention or the charges against him," he charged.

He added, however, that given the items confiscated, it was presumably because of the name of his Morsi perfume.

The Badirs are known Islamist sympathizers, noted AFP, but Abdel Fattah insisted that the Morsi perfume was simply a business venture that had attracted a lot of customers.

The Hamas government in Gaza enjoyed strong ties with Morsi, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent movement. Since Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian military, Hamas has been “feeling the heat”, as Cairo accused Hamas of interfering in Egyptian affairs and encouraging the terrorist activity in the lawless Sinai.

The ouster of Morsi, who appeared to shun PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction in favor of Hamas, has also brought the longstanding rivalry between Fatah and Hamas back to life.

A Fatah spokesman recently accused Hamas of being responsible for Egypt closing the Rafiah border crossing with Gaza. Egypt decided to close the crossing, he claimed, because Hamas had intervened in Egypt's internal affairs in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.