Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sparked the rage of Palestinians and Arab media when he refused to label the IDF’s killing of Palestinians as “terrorism.”
Speaking to high school students on Sunday, Shoukry was asked by a student if the killing of Palestinian children by Israel could be considered “terrorism.”
“No,” he answered, “as long as there is no international agreement on the definition of terrorism.”
“There are international definitions,” he explained, “like a terror state, terrorism activated by a country against nations beyond its borders, or the suppressing of dissidents within its borders. There is an established policy of defining terrorism.”
He expressed his willingness to maintain good relations with Israel when he said that “we take into consideration Israel’s history and its need for security. It has been retaining land since ’48 to safeguard its security.”
He expressed sympathy toward the Palestinians when he said that Egypt tries to help the Palestinians financially, and in contending with “external elements.”
“We help them at the UN, and the ties between us are good in all aspects to ensure that there will be a Palestinian state that will add to the regional Arab significance.”
“Palestine is always on our minds,” said Shoukry. “The Egyptian nation takes interest in the Palestinian problem and we are working to bring the Palestinian and Israeli positions closer to a solution.”
He said that reaching a resolution was complicated because of “the Israeli policy, because of the international community’s role and because of the Palestinian resistance [terrorism].”
Media in the Arab world attacked Shoukry for his words, and the Egyptian foreign ministry issued a statement saying his words were “intentionally distorted by official elements who want to cast doubt on Egypt’s position which supports the rights of the Palestinians in the past, present and future.”
The statement said the Shoukry discussed the general aspects of international law, and did not relate directly to the killing of Palestinians.
Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesperson, slammed the Egyptian foreign minister, saying “He who does not see the crimes of the Zionist occupation as terrorism is blind.”
Shoukry visited Jerusalem last month, the first official trip by an Egyptian foreign minister to Israel since 2007, and is perceived as a big step towards the warming of relations between Israel and Egypt.
By: World Israel News Staff