An Egyptian court on Monday banned a Jewish religious festival in Egypt and barred the transfer of what is claimed to be the remains of a rabbi – buried in the country's northern Behira province - to Israel, a judicial source has said.
The administrative court in the coastal city of Alexandria issued a final verdict banning the celebration of the birth of Rabbi Abu Hasira, the source told The Anadolu Agency.
The judge also ruled that the remains of Abu Hasira shall not be transferred to Israel and that the rabbi's shrine be removed from the list of antiquities, the source said.
Two years ago, Israel requested from Egypt – through the UNESCO – the transfer of Abu Hasria's remains to Jerusalem.
Security measures were heightened during Monday's court session, which saw a heavy presence from the media and the civil society.
In 2001, the court banned the religious celebration, a verdict that was upheld in 2004.
The government appealed the 2004 verdict and the court issued its final ruling on Monday.
According to Jewish folklore, Abu Hasira (1805- 1880) is Yakouv bin Masood, a rabbi of Moroccan origin who immigrated to Egypt. His shrine in located in the village of Damtu in Behira, and is often visited by hundreds of Jews from Morocco, France and Israel every year.
Since the 2011 uprising that led to the ouster of Egypt's longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, there has not been any festivals or visits to the shrine.
Egypt had informed the Israeli embassy that holding the annual Abu Hasira festival would be difficult, citing political instability in the country.
AALast Mod: 29 Aralık 2014, 12:46