At a crowded funeral midday Tuesday, hundreds of Egyptians honoured the soldiers killed in the attack on Sunday night near the Egyptian-Israeli border.
The deceased soldiers were given a military funeral in Al-Rashdan Mosque in Nasr City. Prayers were held for the dead, after which military police struggled to carry the bodies outside the mosque while scores of people and mourning families crowded around them. The caskets were then taken to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they were honoured in a military ceremony.
Newly appointed Prime Minister Hesham Qandil was at the funeral. According to state-run Ahram Gate, he left after the prayers close security protection while some in the crowd hurled shoes and yelled, “you killed them, you dogs.”
The funeral was also attended by former presidential candidates Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fottouh, Hamdin Sabahy, and Amr Moussa; former Prime Minister and current advisor to President Mohamed Morsy, Kamal El-Ganzoury; and former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.
Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi attended the ceremony, but not President Morsy, which left many wondering why the he would miss such an important event.
According to Shorouk newspaper, protesters at the funeral demanded justice for the blood of the martyrs. El-Badil newspaper reported that journalist and politician Mostafa Bakry led protesters with chants against the Muslim Brotherhood outside the funeral.
Signs carried by protesters read, “Our condolences to the Egyptian people only, not to the dogs of the Muslim Brotherhood and their President.”
Over the past two days protests were held across the country condemning the attack.
The first of the protests took place in North Sinai with young men from several political groups including 6 April-Ahmed Maher and 6 April-Democratic Front and members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. In addition, members from the Sinai Youth and the Sinai Revolutionary groups took to the streets as well.
Mohamed Al-Baek, from the 6 April (Ahmed Maher) youth movement, estimated numbers at “around 500 to 600.”
At protests near the Israeli Ambassador’s house in the Cairo suburb of Maadi last night, protesters demanded the severing of ties between Egypt and Israel, who some in Egypt are blaming for what happened, Egyptian state-run news site Ahram Online said.
The killings were not only condemned on the streets. On a political level, 29 political groups and parties met to condemn what they described as the “criminal and cowardly act” and offered their condolences to the families of the martyrs.
Among the parties that met Monday night inside the headquarters of (Ghad El Thawra) or the “Revolution’s Tomorrow” Party, is the Freedom and Justice Party, the Wafd Party, and the Wast or New Centre Party.
Following the meeting, the parties expressed their concern for the dangerous security situation in Sinai and the need to find serious and fast solutions to restore security. They even suggested the need to review the security clauses of the 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel which control the numbers and distribution of Egyptian security in the peninsula.
The parties’ statement concluded by stating they will observe three days of mourning.
Correction: Mohamed El-Beak previously referred to as a member of 6 April Democratic Front is not. He is a member of 6 April (Ahmed Maher).