An exiled Egyptian television presenter has reportedly had his visa revoked by the United Kingdom for allegedly supporting Hamas amid government efforts to crack down on support for the Palestinian armed organisation it considers a “terrorist” group.
The Home Office cancelled Moataz Matar’s visa for, among other things, taking part in pro-Palestinian protests in London and supporting Hamas, according to the London-based Telegraph news website.
The 49-year-old has also been put on a watch list, which means he will be unable to return to the UK.
This is reportedly the first “expulsion” by Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick since the October 7 Hamas attack inside Israel that killed some 1,200 people.
Since then, Israel has been launching air raids and a ground assault on Gaza, where the group is based, which has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, creating a humanitarian crisis. Israel has refused an immediate ceasefire despite growing international calls.
British officials have announced plans for a crackdown on alleged “anti-Semitic” behaviour in the wake of the Hamas attack, and the Telegraph reported at least another half dozen foreign nationals could have their visas revoked.
“There can be zero tolerance for visitors to the UK who abuse the privilege of a visa and endorse evil terrorist acts,” Jenrick was quoted as saying. “To any individuals considering following suit in the coming days and weeks, be in no doubt that we will continue to revoke visas wherever required. We will not tolerate extremism on our streets.”
Matar has reportedly left the UK, but he will be barred from returning by border officials due to the watch list.