Egyptians have expressed outrage at President Abdel Fattah el - Sisi ' s decision to hand over two of the country’s islands to Saudi Arabia. The deal on two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir was announced at the weekend during a visit by Saudi regime’s King Salman. The two islands have been controlled directly from Cairo for more than 60 years. A maritime border demarcation agreement which was signed between Egypt and Saudi Arabia Friday stipulated that that two Red Sea islands fall within Saudi territorial waters. The uninhabited islands, once the border between the Ottoman Empire and British-controlled Egypt, are strategically important because of their location on the sea route to the ports of Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in the occupied territories. Egypt’s blockade of the Strait of Tiran in 1967 was one of the main triggers for the Arab-Israeli war, also known as the Six-Day war. The Israeli regime briefly occupied the Islands during the Suez Crisis in late 1956, and once more following the Six Day War. Sanafir Island is located to the east of Tiran Island, and measures 33 square kilometers (13 square miles) in area. The ownership of the two islands was transferred to Egypt in 1982, when Tel Aviv and Cairo signed the so-called Camp David peace accords. Egypt's cabinet declared on Saturday that a decision has been reached to transfer the sovereignty of the islands after King Salman arrived in Cairo for a five-day visit. The surprise announcement generated angry protests from Egyptians who have considered the islands to be their land for decades. Reports indicate that Egypt has told the Israeli regime that Saudi Arabia has pledged to honor Tel Aviv, Cairo agreements as part of the deal to handover of two Gulf of Aqba islands to Riyadh. The Saudi regime has also pledged not to use these islands for military purposes, Egyptian Al Ahram daily reported. Egypt says the deal the deal on Tiran and Sanafir paves the way for the construction of a bridge linking Saudi Arabia to Sharm el-Sheikh, at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. In a move that further angered Egyptians, the bridge is to be named after Salman. The deal came as a part of a spate of economic agreements signed during Saudi King Salman’s first visit to Egypt. The accords also include the creation of a $16 billion Saudi Egyptian investment fund Twitter users circulated images of the former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser warning of any violations of the Tiran waters, which he said were Egyptian. One cartoon showed Sisi swapping the islands for a sack of rice. “Roll up, roll up, the island is for a billion, the pyramid for two and a couple of statues thrown in for free,” the satirist Bassem Youssef tweeted. The former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi called on Sisi and Salman to rescind the accord. Critics have branded Sisi as “Awaad”, referring to a character in an old Egyptian song who had sold his land-a shameful act in the eyes of rural Egyptians. On Sunday, along with #Egyptissold, the hashtag #Awadsoldhisland went viral. Five people were arrested on Sunday, while protesting against the transfer of the Islands. The Muslim Brotherhood said the islands had been handed over “for a fistful of dollars, or in exchange for support for government policies sanctioning murder, detentions, violations, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings”. Egyptian human rights lawyer Khaled Ali has filed a lawsuit with the administrative judiciary on Sunday challenging the agreement. The lawsuit called for the annulment of the prime minister's decision to sign the border agreement, which is yet to be ratified by the parliament. Others said the agreement violates the Egyptian constitution, arguing that Sisi has lost legitimacy by ceding the islands. Sisi came to power after ousting Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013. Former officials and politicians also condemned the decision. Former head of Egypt’s Military Operations Authority, Abdel Munem Said, said Tiran and Sanafir belong to Egypt. He urged the parliament, which must ratify the agreement, not to endorse it. Morsi also criticized the move saying he “refuses to hand over even one grain of sand of Egypt’s land.” Riyadh has given significant financial and diplomatic backing to Egypt since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - then head of the armed forces - toppled then president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Ali, who is a left-wing human rights lawyer and a former presidential candidate, called on those able to offer research assistance in the case to provide it. Egyptian political scientist and columnist Amr Hamzawy said on Twitter that though the Egyptian government "should have addressed the public opinion with transparency" regarding the demarcation of maritime borders, the cabinet's statement is "accurate" and the islands do fall within Saudi territorial waters. Legal researcher and political analyst Negad al-Borai, on the other hand, criticized the government's decision saying that any land in the government's possession "may not be relinquished" for any reason or at least without a referendum. Khaled Fahmy, a history professor at Harvard and the American University in Cairo, said that even though he believes that national security emanates from citizens’ rights, not from the idea of the "sacredness" of land, “this regime is giving up national territory and threatening national security, as per its own definition” of national security, having "based its legitimacy” on the notion of “defending national territory" and given that it "has accused its enemies internally of being spies and traitors." Outside Egypt, political analysts expressed surprise that Sisi had given consent to transfer the islands, given sensitivities in Egypt to surrendering land to foreigners. Ousted President Mohamed Morsi was accused in 2013 of plotting to give part of Sinai to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. After Sisi seized power that year in a military takeover, he introduced a clause in the Constitution that explicitly prohibited ceding Egyptian territory.