Tens protest the Red Sea islands transfer at the Lawyers Syndicate on Apr. 14, 2016. ASWATMASRIYA/ Asmaa Gamal
CAIRO, Apr 14 (Aswat Masriya) – The Muslim Brotherhood will take part in the “protests of resistance” against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision to transfer the two Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia, the group announced in an official statement on Thursday.
The announcement comes a day ahead of planned protests by different domestic forces in opposition to the transfer of the two islands.
The April 6 Youth movement, one of the main actors in the January 2011 uprising, was among those who called for protest in a statement published on its Facebook page.
The two Red Sea Islands, Sanafir and Tiran, are strategically significant for maritime activity in the Gulf of al-Aqaba. Last Saturday, during a visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz to Cairo, the Egyptian cabinet announced that Egypt signed a maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia stipulating that the two disputed islands will be part of Saudi territorial waters.
“The crime of selling Egypt is an organized crime," by Sisi, made "to serve the Zionist entity,” the group wrote in their online statement.
The agreement between Saudi and Egypt has come under heavy scrutiny from Egyptian analysts, journalists, public figures, and social media users who argue the two islands are Egyptian and accuse Sisi of “selling Egypt” to Saudi Arabia.
The Revolutionary Socialists also announced their participation in Friday's planned protests.
A number of political parties including the Constitution Party and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) announced their rejection of the agreement, criticising the government's unilateral approach and the aura of secrecy surrounding the whole process.
In the past two days, tens of activists staged protests at both the press syndicate and the lawyers syndicate in opposition to what they saw as the "selling" of Egyptian land.
An Egyptian lawyer filed a lawsuit with the administrative judiciary on Sunday calling for the annulment of the prime minister's decision to sign the border agreement, which is yet to be ratified by the parliament.
A petition was also circulated among social media users in objection to the "concession" of the two islands. It reached 19,540 signatures since the start of the week out of a target of 30,000 signatures.
In a speech on Wednesday, Sisi said, "Egypt does not sell its land to anyone and it does not take anyone's land."
Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since July 2013.
The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.