Egypt: opposition seeks to bar Israeli pilgrims from Jewish shrine

In reaction to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, a coalition of Egyptian opposition parties are seeking to ban an Israeli delegation of up to 300 pilgrims from visiting a Jewish shrine. The shrine—believed to be the tomb of a Moroccan rabbi, Abu Hatezira, in Dmitoh village west of Alexandria—is visited yearly by Israeli delegations that arrive in tightly secured convoys. A movement called “You Will Not Move Over My Land” was established by members of groups including the leftist al-Tagamu party and the banned Muslim Brotherhood to stop the delegations.

Gamal Mounib, head of the movement, said he would hold the Egyptian government responsible if the pilgrims visited the shrine this year. Locals have been demonstrating in front of the village’s mosque against the Gaza air-strikes, burning Israeli flags and calling for a ban against Israelis visiting the shrine.

Egypt was home to thousands of Jews before the establishment of Israel in 1948. President Jamal Abdel Nasser expelled most Egyptian Jews in the early years of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Only about 60 Jews currently live in Egypt. (DPA, Jan. 1; Palestine Today, Dec. 9 via Jewish Blogging)

The Gaza offensive has also occasioned attacks on Jews in Yemen, and France.

See our last posts on Egypt and indigenous Middle Eastern Jews.