Salafi group in Sinai forms armed committees to solve tribal conflicts

The Salafi Group in North Sinai, an umbrella organization bringing together Salafis across the governorate, has announced the formation of committees to resolve disputes among the tribes of Rafah, Sheikh Zewayed and Arish through customary tribunals to convene within a week.

The group says that, in the absence of an effective police force in the area, it has authorized the committees to implement its rulings by force if necessary.

“We will deploy some 6000 of our youths to implement verdicts by armed force in the absence of the government,” said group co-founder Suleiman Abu Ayoub. “They will be called off as soon as the police are able to resume their role.”

Abu Ayoub explained that committees comprised of five people would first start the process of resolving individual disputes, referring the disputes to a higher committee of ten tribal elders if they fail in their mission.

He also said the group would help combat drug dealers and human traffickers by force if necessary. “But we will not fight the smuggling of basic commodities into Gaza as this is a religious duty,” he noted.

Abu Ayoub pointed out that his group does not indulge in politics. “We did not destroy the gas pipeline or any of the religious mausoleums, as was falsely claimed,” he said.

He ruled out the idea of establishing an Islamic emirate in Sinai. “But it is possible that Sinai may become part of another state should the borders be changed,” he said without explaining further.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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