Reports of an Egyptian soldier’s death in a Friday attack on a MFO compound near the Egyptian border with Gaza were refuted by the organisation on Sunday, saying, “No Egyptian soldier has ever been killed or injured protecting MFO peacekeepers.”
While protesters throughout the world took to the streets in response to a religiously offensive YouTube video, demonstrators marched into the MFO camp in El-Gorah, the force’s largest base. The crowd scaled the camp’s walls and set MFO vehicles on fire. The compound was secured by joint MFO and Egyptian security force action. No soldiers or demonstrators were killed.
The MFO also refuted reports that there may be an imminent “evacuation of MFO personnel and/or a plan to create a larger international coalition to address security problems in the Sinai Peninsula,” adding, “these stories are completely false.”
The MFO has been in the Sinai for decades, created under one of the mandates outlined in the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Their primary duties include operating checkpoints, guaranteeing safe travel through the Straits of Tiran, and responding to requests from either Israel or Egypt to make sure all sides are following the security protocol called for in the 1979 agreement.
The troops are made up of soldiers from four different continents, and include a contingent from the US.