Another Sign of Egyptian 'Betrayal?' Palestinians Respond to Fisherman's Killing

Published January 14th, 2018 - 05:15 GMT
Egyptian policy towards Palestine has come under scrutiny again after a Gazan fisherman was killed on Friday, allegedly by its navy (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Egyptian policy towards Palestine has come under scrutiny again after a Gazan fisherman was killed on Friday, allegedly by its navy (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Egypt's policy towards Palestine has come under scrutiny again after a Gazan fisherman was killed on Friday, allegedly by the Egyptian navy.

 

The incident comes after last week the New York Times alleged Egyptian leaders’ implicit support for U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial move on Jerusalem.

 

“The army of Abdel Fattah Sisi kills a Palestinian fisherman in cold blood,” tweeted @Fo5aar in response to the death of Abdullah Zeidan, who was shot on Friday and died of his injuries the following day. Gazan authorities reported that he been killed by Egyptian navy forces off the coast to the south of the enclave.

 

Egypt and its government were branded “traitors” by some on social media, with @emadabusaied suggesting that Palestinians are a people everyone has turned against.

 

“The Egyptian army protects Israel and kills a Gaza fisherman. The armies live by treachery and betrayal,” tweeted @hassan4000qwe.

 

The incident is not unprecedented. In Nov. 2015 an 18-year-old Gazan fisherman was shot and killed by an Egyptian war ship.

 

It comes, however, in a period which has seen Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet publicly with his Israeli counterpart and Israel’s Cairo embassy reopened after four years.

 

"Egyptian-Israeli relations are today at their highest level in history," Nathan Thrall, analyst for research NGO the International Crisis Group (ICG) told Al Jazeera in September last year.

 

Most recently, leaked recordings revealed Egyptian intelligence officers had told television hosts to urge public acceptance of Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Egypt had publicly criticized the decision, submitting a U.N. security council resolution calling for a reversal.

 

While Egyptian religious leaders - and Palestinian political leaders - have refused to meet with the U.S. vice president over the move, Sisi is due to receive him next month.

 

Although confusion remains over the reasons for Zeidan’s killing - Cairo has yet to make a statement on the death - for some Palestinians it seems to add to evidence of Egypt’s apparent “betrayal.”

 

“I would like Hamas to take note that those scum are no good, no matter how much they might seem friendly,” tweeted @A_N_A_N99.

 

Gaza’s interior ministry has “called on the Egyptian authorities to open an urgent investigation into this incident,” and local fishermen announced a strike in protest.

 


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