Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Egyptian youth plan to vandalize IDF memorial in Sinai today

From YNet, April 8:
The Sinai Revolutionaries Movement is planning to paint the colors of the Egyptian flag over an IDF memorial, spokesman Mohammed Hendy told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency on Sunday. The act of protest is set to take place on April 25, the day Egypt marks the liberation of the Sinai Peninsula.

The monument was created in memory of 10 Israeli soldiers killed in a helicopter crash when the Sinai was still under Israeli sovereignty. Egypt pledged to guard the memorial as part of the 1979 peace treaty.

Hendy said that the Sinai Revolutionaries Movement had tried to destroy the monument several times, only to be stopped by Egyptian army forces guarding the site.

He noted that there is a cemetery of Egyptian soldiers in Beersheba which he claims the "Jews had destroyed."

The movement decided to cover the monument in the colors of the Egyptian flag in order to "render the site an Egyptian symbol and not an Israeli one, to honor the memory of the Egyptian troops and serve as a warning to anyone who wants to hurt Sinai."
Here is their mock-up of how they want it to look:

According to this 2009 article in Masrawy, there are three monuments in the Sinai that Egypt pledged to protect under Camp David that have come under regular attack by Egyptian youths, including painting swastikas and anti-Israel slogans on them. They say that their very existence "negatively affects Egyptians psychologically."

Israeli relatives of the victims of the crash say that they have been stymied from visiting the site by Egyptian authorities. As a result, they have been trying to physically move the monuments to Israel.

For years, Egyptians have considered the very existence of the monument to be a huge insult to them, and they have shown disgust for Israelis who want to visit.