Egyptian TV personality threatens to attack Hamas leader
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Egyptian TV personality threatens to attack Hamas leader

Tawfiq Okasha vows to hang Moussa Abu Marzouk from an ancient Cairo gate over disparaging Facebook comments

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Tawfiq Okasha flashes the victory sign in an Egyptian court, where he was accused of inciting the death of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, September 1, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Assad)
Tawfiq Okasha flashes the victory sign in an Egyptian court, where he was accused of inciting the death of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, September 1, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Assad)

A firebrand Egyptian TV presenter has threatened to physically attack Cairo-based Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk, and has appealed to Egypt’s attorney general asking that Abu Marzouk be deported from the country.

Tawfiq Okasha’s antipathy toward Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood became personal this week, when Abu Marzouk criticized a public letter sent by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Okasha, praising him for endorsing Arab tourism to Jerusalem on his privately-owned TV station Al-Faraeen.

Abbas referred to Okasha in his November 9 letter as “my dear brother Dr. Okasha” and congratulated the Egyptian TV personality on his “excellent journalistic work,” angering Abu Marzouk.

“Mr. President, who advised you on this?” wondered Abu Marzouk in Facebook comments posted November 18. “A man who humiliates Palestinians, attacks the resistance, and raises his shoe against the people of Gaza, is not respected by the people of Egypt, so will our people respect him?!”

Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, September 18, 2014. (AP/Khalil Hamra)
Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, September 18, 2014. (AP/Khalil Hamra)

According to London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Okasha told Egypt’s prosecutor general that Abu Marzouk’s comments amounted to incitement against him. He then threatened to personally show up outside Abu Marzouk’s home along with his supporters and confront him.

“I swear here, on live television, I will break the law and go to his home in the fifth district [of Cairo] and hang him on Bab Zuweila,” Okasha threatened, referring to one of Cairo’s ancient city gates. “That Hamas dog lives in the fifth district and he’s left alone … Hey Moussa, if you’re a man, stay at home until Tuesday. I have your address.”

Okasha is apparently unaware that Abu Marzouk has been residing in the Gaza Strip for the past few months.

Hamas was categorized as an illegal organization by an Egyptian court earlier this year.

This week, Okasha was interviewed on official Palestinian TV, where he expressed his love and appreciation for Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas, he said, were “Israel’s guys,” and “brothers of the devil.”

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