Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Murdered by Masked Men in Series of
Follow a Declaration by ISIS to Eliminate Christians in
Washington, D.C. (International Christian
Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has
learned that this morning, February 22, 2017, the bodies of
two Coptic Christian men were found behind a school in
El-Arish, Egypt. Saad Hakim Hanna, 65 years old, was shot in
the head, while his son, Medhat, 45 years old, seems to have
been burned alive.
This brutal attack
comes only days after an Islamic State affiliate in the
Sinai Peninsula promised to eliminate the Christian
minority, claiming that Egyptian Christians were the
extremist group's "favorite prey."
According to Fr.
Youssef Sobhy, a priest at the Mar Girgis Coptic Orthodox
Church in El-Arish, three masked men attacked Saad and
Medhat at their home at 10:00 p.m. last night. "The men
knocked at the door of the home of the Christians and Medhat
opened the door," Fr. Sobhy told ICC. "The men shot his old
father, Saad Hanna, in the head and then they burnt the
is not the first attack of its kind in El-Arish.
On January 30, a
Coptic Christian trader named Wael Youssed Meland was shot
and killed by masked men in his grocery shop in El-Arish.
The assailants then helped themselves to soda and chips in
front of Meland's wife and son.
On February 12, a
Coptic veterinarian named Bahgat William Zkhar was shot in
his car just south of El-Arish, Egypt. One day later,
another Copt, Adel Shawky, was shot in the head by masked
men in the same district.
On February 16, a
Coptic teacher named Gamal Tawfiq Gares was also shot by
masked men in El-Arish.
"Two masked men
approached us and asked my husband if he was Gamal," Namea
Gamil, Gares' widow, told ICC. "My husband answered yes; one
of them got out a gun from his clothes and shot my husband
in the head."
It seems that all
of the victims were targeted by their assailants because of
their religious identity. There is now a growing sense of
panic among Christians in El-Arish that ISIS is following
through on their promise to kill Egyptian Christians.
"Many [have] left
and fled while those who find it difficult to leave have
sent their children away to relative[s] out[side] of Arish,"
one Christian resident of El-Arish told ICC. "My family and
I want to leave, but we cannot do that because our
livelihoods are here, our homes are here, and we have
nowhere else to go."
ICC's Regional Manager, said, "We are deeply concerned for
the developing situation in Egypt, especially in and around
El-Arish. Christians cannot continue to live under such
paralyzing conditions. The authorities must do more to
protect vulnerable populations, particularly Christians, as
they are being specifically targeted by militants. ICC calls
on the al-Sisi administration to follow through on their
promises to defend the Christian population of Egypt."
For interviews with William Stark, Regional
Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications
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