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Egypt Calls on Israel to Show 'Maximum Self-Restraint'

Egypt condemns search, not kidnapping, which targets Hamas, an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood that Egypt has brutally cracked down on.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/16/2014, 1:30 PM

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Reuters

The government of Egypt's newly elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday called on Israel to show "maximum self-restraint" in its crackdown on the Hamas terrorist group, as the search continues for the three students who were kidnapped last Thursday.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Badr Abdellaty said Israel must show "maximum self-restraint," in response to what he called reports of "Israel's intention to expand its security operations in the West Bank... in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli citizens."

Abdellaty pressed Israel to avoid "escalating the situation...between the Palestinian and Israeli sides...and prevent it from deteriorating in a way that would make it difficult to control later," reports AFP.

The Egyptian statement did not include a condemnation of the abduction by Hamas terrorists of three students - two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old.

Apparently the Egyptians were concerned about the arrest of roughly 150 terrorists since operations to rescue the students began late last Thursday night. Local Arabs have clashed with IDF forces, shooting at soldiers south of Jerusalem and injuring three lightly with rocks in Jelazoun, outside of Ramallah in Samaria.

One soldier was evacuated to a hospital in that clash, over fears he had suffered a concussion. An Arab terrorist, 19-year-old Ahmad Arafat, reportedly was shot dead in the same confrontation. He had been released from an Israeli prison just a week before.

Hevron has been the center of the search, given that the teens are thought to be being held there. Arab terrorists threw molotov cocktails at IDF forces at different areas in the Judean city on Monday. No injuries were reported in the clashes.

Arab terrorists also burned tires in Hevron, as the IDF conducted wide-spread searches in the region.

"Self-restraint" for the Muslim Brotherhood?

Egypt for its part has not shown "maximum self-restraint" in its brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas is an offshoot of.

683 Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death in Egypt in April. 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death the month before, with 37 death sentences upheld and the other 492 mostly commuted to life in prison. Most of the people sentenced were tried in absentia.

Over 1,400 Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been killed in the Egyptian crackdown on the group since the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi last July. Morsi was a member of the Brotherhood.

Sisi, who was elected two weeks ago, laid out his policy in interviews before the elections, stating that there was a chance for "true peace" if Israel adopts the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which demanded Israel withdraw from Judea and Samaria at which point the Arab states would supposedly recognize it.

In the same interview, Sisi said he would be willing to change the peace agreement with Israel.

A senior Egyptian official revealed earlier this month that Sisi's administration strongly supports the new Hamas-Fatah unity government, and is considering giving it supervision of the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Sinai.