Egyptian Discourse on Gaza

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Udi Dekel and Orit Perlov - On May 16, 2013, seven Egyptian soldiers were kidnapped in El Arish in northern Sinai by a Salafi jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaeda. Many activists in the Egyptian social media have begun to view Gaza as the source of Sinai's security problems, pointing the finger at Gaza for every terrorist attack or kidnapping. Immediately after the abductions, calls emerged for the immediate closure of the Rafah crossing and a large-scale operation against the smuggling tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt. The public resentment was such that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh felt obligated to condemn the kidnappings, proclaiming Hamas' respect for Egyptian sovereignty in Sinai and refuting Palestinian involvement. Soaring Gazan expectations that the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in Egypt would bring an improvement in their standard of living was soon followed by disillusionment, disappointment, and frustration. They now accuse Morsi of being worse for Gaza than Mubarak.

2013-07-01 00:00:00

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