Will Egypt Divorce the Palestinians?
After evicting the Muslim Brotherhood from power, Egypt may be headed toward “a divorce from all things Palestinian,” an expert says.
“A number of influential voices are now calling for an expulsion of Palestinians from Egypt’s military and police academies and its universities, a suspension of visas to all Palestinians, and an end of mediation between bickering Palestinian factions and in the Israeli-Palestinian 'peace process,'’’ columnist Youssef Ibrahim, an expert on Egypt, writes in the New York Sun.
The anger at the Palestinians is directly connected to an event that took place in Sinai one year ago, when between 16 and 20 army soldiers and officers were killed, allegedly by Hamas, in an attack carried out on the Israeli border during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (see video of the aftermath of the attack below). Hamas is also being blamed for killing a top counterterrorism senior commander and four army soldiers in Sinai, in the past week.
The official press alleged the Morsi government “averted its eyes for a whole year to protect its Muslim Brotherhood Hamas partners, failing to name or find the perpetrators,” Ibrahim explains, and says that it was that incident that caused the buildup of anger against Morsi, which culminated in his downfall.
Spokesmen of the rebel movement Tamaroud in Cairo and Alexandria also said that Hamas fighters joined deposed president Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in attacking and killing secular demonstrators in several places. These include Tahrir square and elsewhere in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Suez. “Regardless of evidence, these allegations have become facts to a majority of Egyptians,” explains Ibrahim.
As a result of the Egyptian anger against the Palestinians, he says, Egypt is no longer interested in the so-called “peace process” between them and Israel. The events have “removed any enthusiasm to help all Palestinians and has stirred instead talk of revenge.”
Last week, the Egyptian military announced a major operation in the Sinai Peninsula to root-out Islamist terrorists there, as dozens of Hamas fighters were allegedly killed in clashes with the army.