Several tribes based in North Sinai’s city of Al-Arish declared on Tuesday that they will launch a partial civil disobedience on 11 February, not paying electricity and water bills. They further called to hold a conference on 25 February to discuss escalation of the strike.
According to a statement from the Popular Committee inside Al-Arish, the civil-disobedience is in response to not revealing circumstances behind the security raid that targeted ten alleged militants in January. Their families claim that five of them were the sons of tribe members and had been detained a long time ago.
The security operation that targeted the aforementioned ten followed a deadly militant attack against the El Matafi security checkpoint inside the city of Al-Arish on 13 January that resulted in the death of eight policemen. Some families in Al-Arish opposed the Ministry of Interior’s narrative that claimed that the killed were the perpetrators of the attack.
Already on the second day of the operations, some families inside Al-Arish city held urgent meetings, where they asked authorities to carry out fair interrogations regarding the security operation and refused suggestions to meet with Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.
“Some families inside the city of Al-Arish declared on Tuesday that a partial disobedience will kick off on 11 February. We as parliament members tried to convince the families to suspend the action since a fair investigation regarding the recent police operation is currently being undertaken,” a member of parliament (MP) representing Al-Arish city, Hossam El Refaay, told Daily News Egypt.
“All MPs representing North Sinai have previously stated that there is a dire need of revision of the security measures that are being executed inside North Sinai; towards a way that will not harm civilians. All North Sinai residents are supporting the state in its war against terrorism, but there should be revision of all measures,” he added.
“We all are aware that the state is facing terrorism inside the cities of North Sinai; the families are also aware of that and I have asserted to them that authorities assured that impartial investigations are being carried out now,” El Refaay explained.
All the families that agreed to launch a partial civil disobedience were informed that there is an opportunity to meet Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar to discuss their demands; however, they refused that offer, he stressed.
“Currently, parliament members are doing their best to persuade them that to wait for the results of the investigation will be for the better. Also, we [MPs] asked the authorities to reveal the circumstances of the operation,” the MP noted
The assembled families alleged that of the ten killed, five were detained by police forces and imprisoned inside National Security headquarters in North Sinai, according to the families’ [Popular Committee] statement
“We chose the partial civil disobedience to start on 11 February, as the day will mark the remembrance of the day when Egypt’s revolution achieved victory and ousted 30 years of corruption when Mubarak stepped down,” the families’ statement read