Bedouin attacks on desert monasteries have become quite common in recent years, but have not led to any official protection. Following a recent violent attack on this monastery, the local authorities told the monks to organise their own protection, which they did by the building the wall seen in the video. The authorities decided that they shouldn’t have done this. Their response is as you see — armored firepower and troops in battle gear are brought to bear on unarmed monks and local civilians, without warning
You hear ‘kyrie eleison’ chanted during the attack: a Greek expression, testifying to some of the ancient roots of the Coptic Church. The soldiers attacking the monastery wall have no idea of this of course. Half a millenun of pre-conquest Christian history of Egypt has been wiped from the school books They are schooled, like other Egyptians, to believe that the Copts are essentially foreign intrusions onto Muslim soil.
In the last minute or so, one soldier is to be seen actually attacking a tree. The background voice comments on the irrational hatred suggested by such an act.
You also see the monks collecting the bullet casings. They are here anticipating — correctly — that the Army would later deny that any such ammunition was used.
In other words, for the Copts at least it’s the same old same old in the ‘new’ Egypt, though this time with a protest in Tahrir Square.