National Front for Justice and Democracy calls for Sinai march

Ahram Online, Sunday 12 Aug 2012

Activists refuse conditions on Egypt's control of Sinai, also demanding that Rafah Crossing be open on a permanent basis; will march following last week's attacks

The National Front for Justice and Democracy called for a march Sunday starting 9:30pm in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding the cancelation of the security addendums to the Camp David Peace Treaty.

The Front explained that the march is to refuse the conditions restricting Egypt's control of Sinai, and also to request the opening of the Rafah border on a permanent basis.

Attacks by unknown assailants on Egyptian border guards in Sinai left at least 16 dead and seven injured last week. The attack was believed to be the doing of an Islamist militant group that entered Egypt from Gaza.  

The protest call asserted that Palestinians should not be made scapegoats following the Sinai attacks. Egypt should instead seek to end all armed presence in Sinai except that used to protect Egypt against Israel.

The march will also stop at the State Television building protesting Nile TV channel for hosting an Israeli military expert to comment on the Sinai attack, a move already condemned by many activists against normalisation with Israel.

The march, which will move to Tahrir Square, will demand a serious investigation into the Sinai killings that the call blamed on "gross negligence."

The call also demanded that those responsible for the attacks be held accountable, refusing any infringement on the rights of Sinai's residents. It further underlined the importance of developing Sinai to the benefit of its residents.

The march is expected to end at the Cabinet headquarters, objecting to the government's reaction to the recent attacks, which it deemed ineffective.  

Egypt's security forces have been conducting a sweeping counter-offensive on suspected targets in Sinai throughout the week.

The Egyptian military has been bolstering its presence in the Sinai with tanks and helicopters since the attack. Egyptian officials declared 20 terrorists were killed during the security crackdown and six were arrested, although no specific group has yet been blamed for the attack. 

The attackers, believed to have entered from Gaza, commandeered a military vehicle, which they hijacked from the slain Egyptian border guards, and drove into Israel but were killed in an Israeli helicopter strike.

Since the incident, the Rafah border was closed and illegal tunnels used to transport food and other goods to the besieged Gaza Strip were destroyed.

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