Egyptian authorities announced the Rafah border crossing would be open for a couple hours to facilitate the thousands of Palestinians prevented from returning home after the border crossing was closed five days ago. (Photo: Ahram Online)

Egyptian authorities announced the Rafah border crossing would be open for a couple hours on Wednesday. Thousands of Palestinians have been prevented from returning home after the crossing was closed five days ago. (Photo: Ahram Online)

Amidst Egyptian military’s claims of militant Syrian and Palestinian Islamists entering the country to fight amongst pro-Morsi factions, Palestinians are paying a heavy price for instability in Egypt. Max Blumenthal’s latest article for Mondoweiss compiles recent incidents of Palestinians being punished on numerous fronts by various parties.

Incitement against Palestinians peaked after the election of the Freedom and Justice Party’s Mohamed Morsi as President, with liberal politicians and media figures from the opposition exploiting the Morsi-led government’s perceived alliance with Hamas to hold him responsible for acts of terror committed in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since being installed into power through a military coup, anti-Morsi elements have stepped up their campaign of scapegoating, baselessly accusing Palestinians of serving as armed mercenaries for the Muslim Brotherhood. The propaganda campaign has received a boost from the Palestinian Authority, eager to reverse its sagging fortunes against Hamas, and by the Israeli media, which appears to relish rifts in the Palestinian national movement.

Sameh Seif Elyazal, a former Egyptian general who recently appeared on CNN to cheer on the army’s ouster of those he described as practitioners of “Islamic fascism,” is among those propagating the anti-Palestinian campaign in the Egyptian media. On the Al-Tahrir channel, Elyazal reportedly claimed that “Egyptian law will punish with sentences that could reach 25 years in jail the Palestinians and Syrians and Iraqis who have made calls for incitement to violence at the demonstrations at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in return for money.”

Rabaa Al-Adawiya happens to be the site of the army’s recent massacre of as many as 51 pro-Morsi demonstrators. The army and its supporters, including prominent Egyptian liberals like the comedian Bassem Youssef, have sought to justify the killings as a defensive measure against “terrorists,” though little to no evidence has been produced to prove that the demonstrators initiated the violence, or that the victims were armed. Elzayal’s remarks appear calculated to tar the protesters as a Trojan Horse for elements sent over the border by the Brotherhood-allied government in Gaza and jihadists in Syria, casting the army as the defenders of Egypt from foreign subversion.

The general’s allegations echoed a government prosecutor’s assertion that “elements from the Muslim Brotherhood” were recruiting Palestinians and Syrians to attack pro-army demonstrators. The prosecutor accused a Palestinian communal leader of handing out shotguns and cash payments to Palestinians in Cairo, dispatching them to pro-Morsi demonstrations to attack opponents. The conspiratorial claim does not appear to be supported by any credible reporting or evidence, and is not independently verifiable.

Read the full article here.

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  • This article needs to be more accurate regarding the stated facts. First of all, the place of the massacre was not Rabaa Al Adwya but the Republican Guard. Although, the Egyptian army is justifying the massacre as a response for an attempt to attack the republican guard without concrete evidence for the army justification no one is sure about who started the attack the army or Muslim brotherhood supporters or the policemen. Second, please give us an evidence that Bassem Youssef was pro the massacre since many of his statements show that he is against any violence attempts regarding any peaceful civilians. Finally, the army is not against Palestinians or syrians in general but those who interfere in Egypt politics. We are against any kind of discrimination against Syrians or Palestinians but that does not give any one non Egyptian the right to interfere in the internal politics.