Egypt's President Sisi stays silent on Trump Jerusalem move as protests engulf the region

Egypt's President Sisi stays silent on Trump Jerusalem move as protests engulf the region
The Egyptian president's failure to condemn Trump's Jerusalem move raises questions over his international allegiances.
2 min read
08 December, 2017
President Sisi is yet to join the international community in denouncing Trump's controversial move [Getty]
Egypt's President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is still yet to comment on US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a silence that has not gone unnoticed.

The Egyptian president was called by his US counterpart on Tuesday to inform him of the controversial move, only hours after Trump informed the Palestinian president himself. It is reported that Sisi only asked President Trump to delay the move, rather than to repeal it.

Mass outrage has been sparked by Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which officially recognises the holy city as Israel's capital. 

The international community, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Pakistan, the EU, and the UK, have slammed the decision, with many voicing their support for Palestine to have equal status and to also be able to claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Saudi Arabia, a longtime ally of the US who in recent months has been forming closer ties with Israel, decried the move as "unjustified and irresponsible", and said it goes against the "historical and permanent rights of the Palestinian people."

Egyptian protesters assembled in Cairo to voice their outrage and
show their solidarity with the Palestinian people [Getty]

Protests and violence have been spreading across Palestine after the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, called for "three days of rage" to rail against the decision.

Haniya also called for ordinary people to join the nationwide uprising, threatening another intifada.

Anti-Trump protesters also took to the street in the Egyptian capital, where Israeli flags were burned outside the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo. Dozens of Egyptian journalists gathered to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people, chanting pro-Palestinian slogans.

Protests have also broken out in Tahrir Square, where participants have reportedly been arrested by Egyptian police.

Many believe that Sisi's silence over the deeply controversial move signals his complicity with Trump and the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

President Sisi is currently hosting the Africa 2017 Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh. He stated in a speech on Thursday that his top priority was supporting the aspirations of the African youth, as they are the country's "hope for a better tomorrow".