On Friday, 30 October, activists in Madrid, capital of the Spanish state, gathered outside the Egyptian embassy to protest the murder of two Palestinian fishers, Hasan and Mahmoud Zaazu, and the injury of another, Yaser Zaazu, by Egyptian soldiers on 26 September. The three brothers are Palestinian fishers from Gaza who unintentionally strayed into Egyptian waters, and the Egyptian navy’s attack on the fishers comes as part and parcel of the vicious siege imposed upon Gaza by the Israeli occupation for the past 14 years.
As part of the framework of Camp David and security coordination, the Egyptian regime cooperates in the blockade of Gaza, not only by closing the Rafah border crossing, but with military force aimed at Palestinian fishermen working to sustain themselves and their families. The Israeli occupation forces have repeatedly narrowed the fishing window for Palestinian fishers in their own sea, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza who rely on small-scale fishing for their livelihood in desperate circumstances.
The Israeli siege on Gaza is fully enabled as well by the complicity and active cooperation of Arab reactionary regimes, specifically the Egyptian regime, as well as the support of the United States and the European Union, despite purported statements of concern for the well-being of Palestinians in Gaza. It is worth noting that Egyptian fishers who have accidentally crossed into Palestinian waters have not received the same treatment; indeed, Palestinian fishers have saved distressed Egyptian fishers, welcomed them and freely supported their routine return to Egypt in January 2019.
The protesters, including activists from Samidoun España, Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Mobilization and Unadikum, emphasized that this is not the only aspect of Egyptian official security coordination with Israel. In particular, they protested the abduction and ongoing detention of Ramy Shaath, the coordinator of BDS Egypt, for over one year, solely for his public political activities in support of fundamental Palestinian rights, and demanded his immediate release.