The families of the security personnel who were killed in Sinai this week received the bodies of their loved ones at the Almaza airport on Friday and draped their coffins with the Egyptian flag.
In Helwan, hundreds of residents gathered in front of the spartan two-room apartment rented by the family of Taha Mohamed Ibrahim, who was killed at the border with Israel.
His father says he has five daughters and three sons. His youngest son died last year. “I am 66 years old and I have no source of livelihood. My martyred son used to help me and his youngest sister cover living expenses.”
His mother said they have not yet come to terms with his death. “We find solace in the fact that he died in the holy month of Ramadan,” she said. “Taha used to take a 15-day vacation every now and then and fill our home with happiness.”
She called on authorities to extend a helping hand to the family, especially as their sole breadwinner died while on duty.
In a small village in Qalyubia, meanwhile, residents tried to comfort Osama Galal Imam’s parents by telling them their son died as a martyr in the holy month. He was the seventh son in a family that has eight children.
Residents lined up to receive the coffin. His eldest sibling and father had flown to Almaza to accompany it to the village. His father kept a photo of his son in his hand. “Thank God my son has died a martyr,” he repeated.
Osama’s mother fainted when she received the news about her son, who had been with his family only on Monday. The family said he spent a one-week vacation with them and bade his mother and sisters farewell as though he felt he would not see them again. “I love you a lot,” he told them.
Osama al-Sayyed, a friend, said, “He was more like a brother to me than a friend. We had the same name, too.”
Sayyed said Osama, his friend since primary school, used to say that he wanted to complete his military service in order to find a job, help his father, and help his sisters marry.
Finally, Ahmed Galal, the policeman who died at the border, leaves a wife and an infant. He was born in Suhag but resided in Assiut. There, he married and embarked on his career.
Israel fired on Egyptian security forces at the 79 border sign – 20 km north of Taba – on Thursday.
The Interior Ministry said the incident took place while security forces were combing the borders with Israel in search of people who attacked a police station in Arish.
The statement said Israel fired randomly at an Egyptian security patrol around sunset. Security sources said the unknown armed group which attacked Israeli soldiers in Eilat managed to sneak into Egypt and hide in a mountainous area. An Israeli air raid killed the three Egyptian security personnel. Israel said the killings happened “by mistake”.
Other sources said an Israeli Apache jet mistook them for the Eilat assailants.
Translated from the Arabic Edition