Egyptian churches announced on Thursday their rejection of a protest scheduled for next Friday to demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Cairo.

A number of activists who have been staging a sit-in in front of the Israeli Embassy called Tuesday for a million-strong demonstration to take place this Friday to demand the removal of the Israeli ambassador, a move that would likely further strain relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

On 18 August, six Egyptian military and security personnel were killed by Israeli gunfire at the border between Egypt and Israel.

The Coptic Church called for political groups and coalitions to leave the issue to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the government. It urged youths to cooperate with the military junta so that they do not become separated from their political leaders, as was the case under the former regime.

The Catholic Church spokesman Rafiq Greish said that youth should not interfere in what should be done with the Israeli ambassador and should leave the SCAF to deal with the matter.

The Salafi Front and 18 Sufi orders have announced their planned participation in Friday’s demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy to demand the expulsion of the ambassador.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood, the revolutionary coalitions and the various political parties have not so far confirmed their participation in the event.

“We will hold demonstrations in all governorates,” said Salafi Front spokesman Khaled Saeed. “And we call on the secular and liberal forces to take part.”

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