“This gives an assessment of opposition strength in Egypt and what it might become,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a scholar of Egypt at the Century Foundation. “The answer is, not much.”
Mr. Sisi’s drive to end the uproar over the islands comes at a time when he has appeared emboldened by the strong support he was shown in a White House visit with President Trump in April. The two leaders met again in Saudi Arabia last month, and Mr. Sisi has since introduced a raft of new restrictions aimed at his critics.
One such law, aimed at regulating the aid industry, will greatly limit organizations’ work and force many to shut down, human rights groups say. Mr. Sisi’s government has blocked at least 69 websites since May 24, including the independent news site Mada Masr, one of Egypt’s last sources of critical independent reporting, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression.
The websites may have been censored to pave the way for the parliamentary push on Tiran and Sanafir, one of the few issues where Mr. Sisi has appeared vulnerable in the past year.
In April 2016, during a visit to Cairo by the Saudi monarch, King Salman, Mr. Sisi announced that he had signed a maritime agreement ceding control of the islands, which sit at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
The decision provoked a storm of criticism from Egyptians who accused Mr. Sisi of trading land for money. Saudi Arabia has pumped at least $25 billion in aid and investment into Egypt since 2014.
The Sisi government argued that Egypt has been administering Tiran and Sanafir on behalf of Saudi Arabia since the two countries signed a treaty in 1950. But few Egyptians seem to believe that.
According to a recent poll by Baseera, an Egyptian polling group, only 11 percent of Egyptians say the islands rightfully belong to Saudi Arabia. (Forty-seven percent say the islands are Egyptian, and 42 percent say they are not sure.)
In January, there were jubilant celebrations outside a Cairo courthouse when a judge confirmed an order nullifying the transfer. But Mr. Sisi defied that order and put it to a vote in Parliament anyway.
During three days of fiery debate this week, members of Parliament yelled, cursed and shoved one another. The lawmaker Nadia Henry banged her fists in frustration; others chanted “Egyptian, Egyptian” in reference to the islands.
But in the end, the transfer was approved — even though some lawmakers claimed that no formal vote had taken place. “The speaker of Parliament suddenly ended the discussion and announced it had been approved,” Anissa Hassouna, a prominent lawmaker, said.
There was little sign, however, of those scenes on the privately owned television stations, which often take their cues from the security agencies. But a flurry of harshly critical comments circulated on social media, some with the hashtag #SisiIsATraitor.
“Nobody consented to this deal except you,” the opposition lawyer Khaled Ali said on Facebook.
The controversy over the islands may not yet be over. Mr. Sisi has clashed with senior judges in recent months, and a bruising confrontation in the courts over the islands remains a possibility.
Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister who lives in exile, told a private television channel that the issue should be put to a national referendum. That seems a remote possibility.
The more likely outcome, the lawmaker and writer Osama Sharshar said, is that Mr. Sisi will soon sign the transfer into law.
“We are extremely sad and shocked,” Mr. Sharshar said. “I think Sisi will formalize the transfer soon, and that is why it was rammed through the Parliament.”
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