Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense
Egyptian-Israeli border fence along Sinai completed in January 2017

The story, painfully old, sounds like a scene from “Anatevka.” Were it not for the geography, century and ethnicity of the protagonists, it might as well be.

“My father is the second name on their list…” said a man huddling with four members of his family at the Evangelical Church in Ismailia.

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He and his family are waiting for the kindness of others, hoping to find a place to stay, far from the threat of death that now hangs over his father.

The Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai) terrorist organization, the Sinai branch of Islamic State (ISIS / Da’esh) terrorist group, is driving Egypt’s Christians out of the northern section of the Sinai Peninsula.

Residents of the northern Sinai town of el-Arish told a Reuters reporter on Friday that members of the terrorist group have been circulating “death lists” online, and in the streets. The lists carry a warning to Christians to leave the region, or die.

Many local Christians are taking the hint. But some are just too old to flee, too old to face the hardship that comes with never knowing where your next stop will be. And so they’re staying, knowing they may die.

Church officials have said that of the 160 families in North Sinai, 100 were leaving. More than 200 students fled El-Arish as well.

Since January 30, seven Christians were murdered by members of Wilayat Sinai, including five who were shot and killed, one set afire, and one who was beheaded.

How more ironic can it get, with Passover approaching, that such a horrific tragedy is taking place at this time and in this place, and targeting this population?

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.