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Israel to host music festival in Egypt’s Sinai

Egyptian armed forces in Siani [Pool/Egyptian Armed Forces/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian armed forces in Sinai [Pool/Egyptian Armed Forces/Apaimages]

Israel is to host Hashmaliko, a music festival in Sinai with the participation of musicians of the Arab world, during the upcoming Easter holiday.

The festival will be held in the peninsula amid the government’s protracted war on terror, which has been criticised by rights groups as being a disproportionate war on civilians.

Children have been forcibly disappeared and imprisoned, citizens extrajudicially killed and thousands of homes demolished, particularly along the border with Gaza.

Arie Shalfi, one of the festival organisers, said: “We went to the Egyptian police to obtain permits. There will be policemen and private security guards at the festival, as well as medical assistance.”

Musicians from Egypt and Iran will also be performing.

READ: Israel starts gas exports through Egypt 

Though Egyptian public opinion generally supports the Palestinian cause, under General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi the pro-regime press has ramped up the animosity against Palestinians, including accusing prisoners of financing terror groups there and linking Hamas to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

This has been described as the golden age of Egypt-Israel relations, marked by a $15 billion gas deal between the two countries and security cooperation, including a joint air campaign carried out by the Egyptian and Israeli army in the peninsula.

When Egypt announced it would send a delegation to the Bahrain conference last year, held to outline the economic foundations of the deal of the century, protesters across the region openly criticised the decision on the grounds that it amounted to normalisation.

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