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Egypt pop legend Mohamed Mounir announces then denies Jerusalem concert

Egypt pop legend Mohamed Mounir (L) [Alaa Helaly/Wikipedia]
Egypt pop legend Mohamed Mounir (L) [Alaa Helaly/Wikipedia]

It has been announced by Egypt's state-run press that Egyptian pop legend Mohamed Mounir will be playing at a concert in Jerusalem.

"I will be a peace delegate, like Sadat," the singer was quoted as saying in Egypt Independent in reference to the former Egyptian president who signed the peace treaty with Israel.

"I was chosen as a representative of Egypt to perform four concerts in Palestine as part of a singing tour with a number of international stars," Mounir added.

The concerts are allegedly scheduled for Jerusalem, Haifa, Ramallah and Gaza. If they go ahead, Mounir would be the first Egyptian Arab singer to perform in these cities.

Last month Mounir, who is known to his fans as the King, released a single, Abtal Regala, Champion Men, to mark National Police Day, which was actually the 10-year anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.

He dedicated his ballad not to the revolutionaries, but to the "martyrs of the police department our own security and safety."

READ: Egypt man arrested for attempting to sell infant son on Facebook

Mounir's upcoming concert comes against the backdrop of the normalisation of ties between the Gulf countries and Israel, which has provoked outrage across the Middle East.

In December, Morocco and Israel agreed to strengthen ties and mutual cooperation in return for US recognition over Western Sahara.

Calls to halt normalisation grew in 2019, after Egypt decided to send a delegation to the Manama workshop where the US unveiled its economic component of the so-called 'deal of the century'.

Despite this, last year a Jordanian singer received huge backlash after he performed in the Israeli town of Kafr Yasif following calls on him to withdraw from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Hours after the initial announcement there was confusion about whether Mounir's tour was going ahead after some publications ran the news that he had cancelled his concerts in Haifa and Jerusalem.

On Monday the singer told Lamis Al-Hadidi of On Channel, which is run by Egypt's general intelligence, that he will only tour the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Gaza.

A source close to the singer said that the tour was cancelled for reasons he has refused to clarify.

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