Canadian-Israeli man shot dead in Egypt; claim links killing to Gaza

CAIRO (Reuters) -A Canadian man "of Jewish Israeli descent" has been shot dead in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in a suspected criminal case, a security source said, while a previously unknown militant group said it carried out the attack in reaction to the war in Gaza.

The Egyptian security source told Reuters late on Tuesday the man had been killed "with the motive of robbery". The source made no link between the shooting and the victim's ethnic background.

The interior ministry confirmed the shooting and said the man had been a permanent resident of Egypt. Neither the ministry nor the source gave further details.

A message posted on Telegram by a previously unknown group called "Vanguards of Liberation" claimed responsibility for the attack as a reaction to Israel's military campaign in Gaza and its move to seize control of the Rafah crossing on Egypt's border with the enclave. It named the victim as Ziv Kipper, accusing him of working for Israeli intelligence.

The claim said the unit behind the killing was named after Mohamed Salah Ibrahim, a policeman who shot three Israeli soldiers dead before being killed himself near Egypt's border with Israel in June 2023, according to a statement from SITE Intelligence group.

The group posted a photo purporting to show Kipper being shot in his car.

Egyptian security sources said they had no information on the existence of the group or whether it had been involved in the incident.

Canada's embassy in Cairo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the man killed was a dual Canadian-Israeli national and that the Israeli embassy in Cairo was in contact with Egyptian authorities, who were investigating the case.

The shooting happened on Tuesday as Israeli forces seized the main border crossing between Gaza and Egypt in Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter during Israel's seven-month-old offensive.

One day after the war in Gaza began last October following an attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel, two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide were shot dead in Alexandria, in the first such attack on Israelis in Egypt in decades.

A policeman who said he had "lost control" was placed in custody regarding that incident.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Haithem Ahmed; Editing by Gareth Jones, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)