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Why an Egyptian court is challenging Sisi on islands handover

Egypt’s decision to transfer ownership of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia sparked public outrage, now a Cairo court has taken a stance on the issue.
Lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali (2nd L) leaves a hearing for a lawsuit filed against the government to stop the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, at the State Court in Cairo, Egypt May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RTSENLX

The slogan “Bread, freedom, these islands are Egyptian” left hundreds of Egyptian young people behind bars as they protested the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia in April. This very slogan, however, sparked cries of joy in the State Council Court as a ruling to keep the two islands under Egyptian sovereignty was announced June 21.

In a courtroom full of despair and frustration, a judge read his ruling, “The islands should remain part of Egyptian territory and within Egyptian borders; Egyptian sovereignty over the islands holds, and it is forbidden to change their status in any form or through any procedure for the benefit of any other state.”

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