Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah made an unprecedented speech on Sunday calling on Arabs, particularly Egyptians, to protest government policy and force their governments to stand with Gaza. On Monday Egypt responded, accusing Nasrallah of inciting chaos in Egypt.
In his Sunday speech, Nasrallah accused Egypt and Jordan of putting down popular support for Gaza Arabs. “There is true and full collaboration between certain Arab regimes, especially those who have already signed peace deals with Israel, to crush any form of resistance,” he said in a speech televised and broadcast to supporters in Beirut.
Nasrallah criticized Egypt in particular, and called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafiah crossing between Gaza and northern Sinai. Egypt does not need to fight Israel, but must help those who are fighting, he ruled. “If you do not open the crossing, then you are partners in the crime,” he warned.
Egypt has kept the crossings on its border with Gaza closed despite many attempts by Gaza Arabs to break through. Egyptian soldiers fired on those who tried to force their way through the border, wounding several.
If Egypt and other Arab countries do not assist Gaza terrorists in their fight against Israel, Nasrallah said, residents of those countries must create a popular uprising and force their governments to help Gaza. “Governments that don't lift a finger—their people must force them to act... During the Lebanon War I did not request this of the Arab world, but now in the Gaza war I say everyone must help. I call for hundreds of thousands to go out and demand that their governments act and take responsibility,” he told his listeners.
"We turn to the Egyptian people. The people must take to the streets by the millions. Can the Egyptian police kill millions of Egyptians? Of course not. You, the Egyptian people, go and open the border... I'm calling for a revolution in Egypt,” Nasrallah continued. He advised Egyptian soldiers and commanders to refuse to guard the Gaza border.
Aboul-Gheit: Our army protects us against your kind
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit responded on Monday and said the Egyptian people would not take Nasrallah's side. Nasrallah “declared war on Egypt via a few satellite stations. The Egyptian people rejects and opposes his speech,” Aboul-Gheit said at a news conference in Ankara.
Hizbullah is hoping to create chaos in Egypt “like they created in their own country,” Aboul-Gheit said. Nasrallah spoke of the Egyptian armed forces and asked them to turn against the government, he told his listeners, adding, “I tell him, 'No! No! The armed forces are capable of protecting this land from people like you. You want to create chaos in this region in order to serve interests that are not good for the region.'”
Egypt has condemned and continues to condemn the Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, Aboul-Gheit continued. Egypt was responsible for the six-month ceasefire that temporarily ended Israeli counterterrorism operations in Gaza, he added.