A high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood official called on Jews who immigrated to the Jewish state from Egypt to return to their native country and leave Israel to the Palestinians, Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Friday.

Senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian said in an interview to television station Dream TV that every Egyptian has the right to live in Egypt, and Egyptian Jews living in Israel were contributing to the occupation of Arab lands, according to the newspaper.

“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian said.

“Why did [former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel] Nasser expel them from Egypt?” Erian asked in the interview.

Several online newspapers reported in October that approximately 1.7 million documents that purportedly contained details about the assets of Egyptian Jews in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s – were seized by Egyptian security services just before they were exported to Israel.

A report in the Egyptian government-owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper said that the “Jewish documents,” packed in 13 cartons, were confiscated by Egyptian authorities ahead of them being “smuggled” out of Jordan.

The issue regarding Jews who lived in what are long-gone or moribund communities in the Arab world recently made headlines as Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon launched a campaign to have them recognized as refugees.

He said any property owned by Jews from Arab countries – some of whom left in 1948, while others immigrated to Israel throughout the 1950s and just after the Six Day War – must be included in discussions for compensation of refugees.

Ultimately, Ayalon argued, they should be considered refugees, just as Palestinians who fled during those years are – a controversial position that even some immigrants to Israel and their descendants dispute.

The deputy foreign minister said in October that he had no knowledge of the supposed documents that had been confiscated by Egyptian authorities, adding that Israel already has all the documentation it needs.

Ilene Prusher contributed to this report.

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