Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Egypt Parl. Expels MP for Meeting with Israeli; Votes 465 to 16 to Remove Him,Violated Taboo

An Egyptian lawmaker was expelled from parliament today (March 2, 2016) because of a meeting he had with the Israeli ambassador to Egypt, the Fox News website reports.

Anti-Israel sentiment runs high among most Egyptians, who view any direct interactions with Israelis as taboo. The fact is that much friction prevails between a predominantly Islamic Egypt and a Judaic Israel.

The controversy over the meeting began when the ambassador, Haim Koren, posted a picture on the embassy's Facebook page last week of himself and Egyptian member of parliament Tawfiq Okasha during their meeting.

Okasha's expulsion from the 596-seat legislature was decided in a vote today by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers and came three days after another lawmaker hit him with his shoe inside the chamber to protest his meeting with Koren. A total of 490 lawmakers took part in the vote, with 465 supporting the motion to remove him. Sixteen voted against and nine abstained.

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