An exiled Egyptian television presenter who allegedly publicly backed the terrorist group Hamas has become the first foreign national to have his visa revoked by the Home Office.
Moataz Matar, who is said to have taken part in pro-Palestinian protests in London, has also been placed on a watch list, which means he cannot return to Britain.
It is the first “expulsion” by Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Robert Jenrick, immigration minister, since announcing plans to crackdown on foreign nationals for alleged anti-Semitic behaviour or comments in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on Israel.
It is understood at least another half dozen foreign nationals could have their visas revoked after the Home Office was alerted to their anti-Semitic behaviour.
“There can be zero tolerance for visitors to the UK who abuse the privilege of a visa and endorse evil terrorist acts,” said Mr Jenrick. “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, an Egyptian former TV sports presenter who has 4.22 million YouTube subscribers, conducted a live interview in October with Abdelhakim Hanini, a convicted terrorist who co-founded Hamas’s murderous Al Qassam brigade in the West Bank in the 1990s.
In the 15-minute interview, Hanini said those who support the “neo-Nazi Zionist enemy” should be made to feel there is “no safety for them”.
He added that all Muslims were obliged to “take to the streets” in support of the Oct 7 atrocities, which he described as “a heroic act that our Muslim and Arab world has never seen before, and the enemy has never seen before since the Holocaust of Hitler”.
Matar ‘celebrated’ Oct 7 attacks on Israel
Matar, who was exposed by the Jewish Chronicle, also celebrated the murders of the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee in the West Bank earlier this year as an “operation by the resistance”. In another video he described the Oct 7 attacks by Hamas as marking “the happiest day of my life”.
A regular visitor to the UK, he has since left the country but will be barred from returning by Border Force after being placed on the watch list.
The Home Office has powers to revoke foreign nationals’ student, visitor or work visas where their behaviour is “not conducive to the public good” or they are judged a threat to national security.
Mr Jenrick and Chris Philp, policing minister, have written to all 43 police forces in England and Wales to ask them to report any foreign individuals caught up in any potentially unlawful or extremist activities for their right to stay in the UK to be reviewed.
He has also asked the Community Security Trust, which provides security to Jewish communities, to pass on names of any foreign nationals they identify for anti-Semitism following the Israel-Hamas conflict.
It follows a similar move by Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, who has ordered that all foreigners who commit anti-Semitic acts be expelled immediately from the country. At least three have already been thrown out of France.
Mr Matar has been approached for comment.
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