Sinai lawmaker calls for calm after Beduin shot on border

"We cannot risk creating an international crisis on the borders."

Beduins Egypt 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Beduins Egypt 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
An Egyptian lawmaker called for calm Friday as at least a thousand angry Beduin attended the funeral of a man killed near the desert border with Israel. On Thursday, 40-year-old Hamdan Suleiman Attaya was shot dead outside his home in el-Dahniya village just 300 meters from the Israeli border. "We cannot risk creating an international crisis on the borders," said Hisham Shaheen, representative for north Sinai in Egypt's parliament. "We told them (the Beduins) not to go out in massive rallies," he told The Associated Press. Eyewitnesses said Attaya was shot by Israeli border guards at the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing, but Egyptian security officials investigating his death would only say that he was struck by a bullet from "the other side." Following funeral ceremonies Friday attended by family members and local tribal leaders and dignitaries, Attaya's body was escorted to its final resting place in el-Masoura cemetery. "We are working on controlling our angry sons and people," said Shaheen adding that he and several other local politicians had sent a letter to the foreign minister asking him to help in "containing the crisis and avoid any complications." The impoverished Beduin of the northern Sinai have been restive for years, often demonstrating over neglect by the central government and the draconian security sweeps taking place in the wake of terrorist incidents. The Beduin have also been implicated in the smuggling of drugs and people into Israel as well as weapons and explosives into the Gaza Strip.