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Jewish Journal

Bulgaria expels visiting Hamas lawmakers

JTA

Posted on Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Bulgaria reportedly expelled a group of Hamas lawmakers who were visiting from the Gaza Strip.

Bulgarian officials removed the three officials from their hotel room on Feb. 15.

The lawmakers blamed their expulsion on Israel.

"We entered the country with an official visa, so we should have left willingly rather than being expelled," Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil told a news conference on Saturday, according to the Maan Palestinian news service. "The delegates represent the Palestinian people, not Hamas, though they are affiliated to Hamas."

Bulgaria's National Security Service said they expelled the Hamas delegates because "we obtained information that their presence was creating a serious threat to national security," the security service said in a statement.

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