Fact Check: Egypt Did NOT Launch Sea Bridge For Israeli Imports

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Egypt Did NOT Launch Sea Bridge For Israeli Imports Fact Check: Egypt Did NOT Launch Sea Bridge For Israeli Imports No Evidence

Did Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi launch a sea bridge for Israeli imports in February 2024 after Yemeni rebels obstructed navigation to Israel? No, that's not true: There are no news reports that Egypt has set up a sea link with Israel. Politically, creating a sea bridge with Israel is highly unlikely considering the tension between the Mideast neighbors after Israel said it planned a ground offensive in Rafah on the border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on February 16, 2024. A text overlay (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

El-Sisi links Egypt and Israel with a sea bridge to feed his Jewish cousins because the Yemeni heroes have closed Bab el-Mandeb.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Feb 22 15:10:53 2024 UTC)

The video depicts an Arabic-speaking man who claims el-Sisi has initiated the link as a lifeline for Israeli imports after Yemeni rebels blocked ships sailing in the Red Sea from reaching Israel. "He wants to feed his cousins," the man says, praising the pro-Iranian, Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels for firing at ships in the Red Sea from Bab el-Mandeb.

Israelis and many Arabs call each other "cousins" because it is widely believed that they are "long-lost cousins - the descendants, of Isaac and Ishmael, perhaps, or of Jacob and Esau - who would one day end their estrangement in an embrace" as The Guardian reported (archived here).

Bab el-Mandeb, known as the Mandab Strait in English, means the Gate of Grief, or Tears. It is a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, according to Britannica (archived here). The Houthis have used the area as a launchpad for attacks on ships in the Red Sea, hampering navigation to Israel and blocking international trade, as The Times of Israel (archived here) reported.

A search of "السيسي جسر بحري لإسرائيل," Arabic for "el-Sisi sea bridge with Israel," conducted by Lead Stories on February 22, 2024, on the website of the State Information Service, the mouthpiece of the Egyptian presidential palace, yielded no recent or relevant results about the claim, which would have been widely reported had it been true.


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Feb 22 15:15:03 2024 UTC)

Another search (archived here) of "السيسي ينشئ جسر بحري لإيصال المساعدات لإسرائيل," Arabic for "el-Sisi launches a sea bridge for sending aid to Israel," conducted on Google News by Lead Stories on February 22, 2024, led to no relevant results. However, an article published on January 24, 2024, by the U.K.-based Saudi newspaper Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (archived here) said that a frustrated el-Sisi bitterly attacked Israel, accusing it of "obstructing" the flow of humanitarian assistance into the conflict-stricken Gaza Strip.

  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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