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Sinai group threatens to demolish Jewish monuments in Egypt

Dec. 18, 2012 6:11 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 7:03 P.M.)
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- A Sinai-based group threatened Tuesday to demolish a Jewish tomb if Israeli authorities destroy a Ramallah-area monument for Egyptian fighters killed in fighting with Israel.

The Ahrar of Sinai (Free People of Sinai) movement will destroy the Abu Yaakov Abuhatzeira tomb in Beheira and Dayan Rock if Israel demolishes the Egyptian monument, the head of the movement told Ma'an.

Muhamad al-Hindi said the movement would urge the population of the northern Sinai and Beheira to demolish the monuments Friday after reports surfaced that Israel planned to harm the Egyptian memorial.

But he said his movement would back down if Israel did the same.

On Sunday Israeli media said the monument in the West Bank was built without necessary permits and Egypt's Foreign Ministry was engaged in talks with Israeli officials to maintain the site.

Egypt's ambassador to Palestine, Yasser Othman, inaugurated the memorial with Fatah officials in July, Ynet news reported adding that he was involved with negotiations with Israel on the issue.

"According to the testimonies of nearby residents, the bodies of 10 Egyptian soldiers are buried where the monument is placed," Othman was quoted as saying.

The report quoted an Israeli security official confirming the talks and adding that no decision could be expected immediately.
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