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Egypt investigating killing of Israeli businessman in Alexandria

Egyptian police are currently investigating the killing of an Israeli businessman in Alexandria on Tuesday.
An Egyptian policeman stands guard on Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on Jan. 25, 2017.

An Jewish Israeli businessman was killed Tuesday in the port city Alexandria by unknown gunmen, Egyptian media reported.

According to Al-Arabiya TV, the man was killed in one of Alexandria’s affluent neighborhoods. It also said that the victim was the owner of a frozen fruit and vegetables company based in the city and that he had been traveling to Egypt frequently over the last nine years, reportedly using a Canadian passport. The report said he also held Russian citizenship.

Israeli media identified the victim as Ziv Kiefer. Arabic-language media outlets reported that a group known as Vanguards of the Liberation took credit for the attack. The group claimed in a statement on Telegram that Kiefer worked with Israel's spy agency the Mossad, according to the outlets. 

Al-Monitor was unable to verify the statement.

Who killed the man and whether their motivation was political remain unclear. Egyptian police are now investigating the incident. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said they were familiar with the case and that the embassy in Cairo is in contact with local authorities. 

The incident comes against a backdrop of growing tension between Israel and Egypt after the Israeli military entered east of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Cairo has reiterated on several occasions its objection to such an operation. 

Tuesday’s incident is not the first time an Israeli civilian has been killed in Alexandria. Two Israeli tourists and their tour guide were killed in the port city on Oct. 8, one day after the Hamas assault on Israel. Another Israeli tourist was injured in that shooting incident. The offender was a local police officer who shot at the group of Israeli tourists with his personal weapon.