Bedouin: Police treat us ‘like collaborators’

Bedouin fugitives in the Sinai Peninsula issued a press statement on Monday accusing state security apparatuses of treating them as if they were “collaborators with [Israeli intelligence service] Mossad.”

The statement said that security forces “did not know the language of dialogue” and “lacked credibility.”

In their statement, the fugitives called on President Hosni Mubarak “to intervene personally” to protect them from “this gang of security forces.”

“May he [Mubarak] use his wisdom to bring us justice, for fear that the situation might deteriorate more than it already has,” the statement warned.

In an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Bedouin fugitive Musa el-Dalah stated that the Bedouin were “reexamining the illusion peddled by the Interior Ministry that there could be calm… especially in the wake of the offensive comments made by the governor,” referring to recent remarks by North Sinai Governor Mohamed Murad Mawafi in which he reportedly accused the Bedouin of treason.

“Whoever wants a formal truce needs to at first withdraw their armored vehicles from the villages of Central Sinai,” said el-Dalah.

Bedouin fugitive Salem Abu Lafi, for his part, stressed that the solution to the Sinai crisis was to place those responsible for killing innocent Bedouin tribesmen on trial. He said that many Bedouin were furious with the behavior of security personnel, who, according to Lafi, had filed false reports against local residents for more than 25 years.

In related news, sources requesting anonymity said that Mawafi planned to attend a Tuesday meeting of Bedouin leaders and parliamentary deputies from North Sinai to discuss the governor’s “offensive” remarks.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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