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Egyptiske myndigheter avlyste for to uker siden gjenåpningen av den restaurerte Ben Maimon-synagogen i det gamle jødiske kvarteret i Kairo. Lederen for arkeologiske utgravinger, den berømte Zahi Hawass, sa det var for å gi den sionistiske fienden et slag i ansiktet.

Han viste til israelernes krenkelser av muslimske helligdommer og til jødiske «utskeielser» under en privat innvielsesseremoni. Med det mente han at det ble drukket vin. Hvilken rett en muslim har til å blande seg inn i jødiske ritualer, står det ingenting om.

Hawass har lenge vært kjent for ikke å ønske normalisering av forbindelsene, men derfra til å kalle Israel «fienden» er likevel et godt stykke.

The head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said that «he gave the Zionist enemy a slap in the face,» when he canceled the inauguration of a restored Cairo synagogue two weeks ago, Army Radio reported on Sunday.

«Israel is the Zionist enemy, and I gave this enemy a strong slap in the face,» said Doctor Zahi Hawass.

Hawass, dubbed the «Egyptian Indiana Jones,» is known worldwide as responsible for all the ancient sites in Egypt including the pyramids and the pharaohs’ treasures.

Throughout the years, Zahi Hawass has expressed his stance against normalization of ties with Israel, but has yet to refer to Israel as «the enemy.»

Two weeks ago, Egypt has canceled the inauguration of a restored synagogue citing the Israeli oppression of Muslims in the occupied territories as well as excesses by Jews during an earlier ceremony at the synagogue

Egypt’s SCA restored the ruined Ben Maimon synagogue in Cairo’s ancient Jewish quarter and was set to unveil it to the press following its rededication a week earlier in a private ceremony.

Hawass said in a statement that the cancellation of ceremony came following «provocative» activities by Jews at rededication, including drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as «aggression by Israeli authorities against Muslim sanctuaries.»

Egypt antiquities chief: I gave the Zionist enemy a slap in the face