Egyptian Bedouin shot in Sinai near Israeli border

Eye witnesses say the government employee was shot by Israeli border police near the Kerem Shalom crossing.

beduin 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
beduin 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
An Egyptian Bedouin was fatally shot early Thursday near the country's border with Israel, an Egyptian security official and witnesses said. According to one eyewitness, the man was shot by an Israeli border guard. However, security officials wouldn't confirm where the shooting came from, saying only that a random bullet from the "other side" may have killed the man unintentionally. The Bedouin was identified as Hamdan Sulieman Attaya, 45, a government employee. Attaya was shot while standing in front of his house at el-Dahniya village, just 300 meters from the Israel controlled border point of Kerem Shalom, the Egyptian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Attaya's neighbor, Emad Sulieman, 27, said he heard women screaming and saw gunfire coming from an Israeli observation tower on the border. "I myself was hiding from the bullets," he said. "We rushed him to the hospital but he died in the middle of the road," Sulieman said, adding bitterly, "He was a breakfast (shot) for the Israeli guards." Attaya's cousin, Moussa Abu Fereh said the family was preparing for his funeral and that Attaya was "a martyr like those killed in Gaza by Israeli gunfire." Shortly after the shooting, Attaya's body was taken to the hospital in the Egyptian town of Rafah on the nearby Egypt-Gaza border, the security official, adding that intelligence and security services are investigating the shooting. Located on the Israeli-Egyptian border, the Kerem Shalom crossing is different - but only a few kilometers away - from the Rafah crossing that is Gaza's only gateway to the world, straddling the boundary between the Palestinian strip and Egypt.