Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri sparked outrage this week – when he apparently argued that Israeli strikes in Gaza in which children were killed could not be defined as “terrorism”.
But the minister’s administration stated that his remarks had been taken out of context. It claimed that Shukri had never been asked for his thoughts on the killing of children, and that controversy had been stirred up by outlets seeking to damage Egypt’s relationship with the Palestinians.
The denial followed a day of fury on Twitter, as Egyptians slammed Shukri for what they viewed as support for Israel.
I wonder at the exaggeration of Sameh Bakri and his loyalty to the zionists! It really surpassed the level of Mustafa Bakri.
وزير الدفاع الإسرائيلي: نشكر سامح شكري على نزاهته وإخلاصه في أداء مهامه المقدسة!— ana BABA yala (@7okaha) 23 August 2016
عمار يا مصر
Israeli Defense Minister: We thank Sameh Bakri for his integrity and dedication in the performance of his duty.
سامح شكري: لا يمكن ان نوصف الممارسات الإسرائيلية بأنها إرهابية دون اتفاق دولي لكن عادي نوصف الإخوان إرهابيين من غير إتفاق دولي قشطة— نجاح الموجى (@Naga7_25jan) 22 August 2016
We can’t describe Israeli acts as terrorism without the approval of the international community, but it is very easy to do this for the Muslim brotherhood.
Shukri’s remarks were made to college students, and he spoke of strikes being potentially classed as function of Israel’s “regime of force”, arguing that the definition of terrorism was complex and defined by the international community.
But even in commenting on the subject, he was taking a potential risk. Earlier this year, he provoked further controversy by taking a trip to Israel – a journey that was opposed by many in Egypt who believe any interaction with the Jewish state “normalises” its existence.
Israel struck targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as recently as August and July of this year, saying they were trying to stop rocket attacks coming from the territory.
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