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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Cairo’

EgyptAir Flight MS804 Disappears Over Mediterranean

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Egypt Air Flight MS804 en route to Cairo from Paris disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning.

The plane was an Airbus 320 manufactured in 2003. It went off the radar 10 minutes out of Egyptian airspace at 02:45 local time (CLT), as it was cruising at an altitude of approximately 37,000 feet.

The aircraft departed Charles de Gaulle airport at 23:09 CEST. Civil aviation officials in Egypt were quoted by Vice News as saying the aircraft ‘probably crashed into the sea.’ A French airport official who requested anonymity told Reuters, “It did not land. That is all we can say for the moment.”

Government officials in Greece are investigating a report by a merchant ship’s captain who said he saw “a flame in the sky” over the area in the Mediterranean in which the plane disappeared.

The pilot, identified as Captain Mohamed Shokeir, was highly experienced with more than 6,000 flight hours, according to the Al Ahram daily. The copilot had more than 2,000 flight hours.

At the time, the aircraft was carrying 56 passengers with three security personnel and seven cabin crew, Gulf Business.com reported. The passengers included 15 French nationals, 30 Egyptians, two Iraqis, one from the UK and a Canadian, as well as a Belgian, a Saudi, a Sudani, a Czech national, one Portuguese and an individual from Algiers.

Egyptian Army fighter jets and Greek ships are searching together for the missing EgyptAir plane, according to Al Ahram.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu Reveals Threat That Moved Egypt to Rescue Staff at Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Tuesday that only the threat of Israel sending its own commandos to rescue its embassy staff in Cairo moved then-President Mohammed Morsi to send Egyptian forces to save them.

Speaking at a Foreign Ministry ceremony to commemorate Israeli diplomats killed abroad in the line of duty, Netanyahu recalled the night when a mob of Egyptians rampaged unchecked through Israel’s embassy offices.

The six remaining security guards at the time were holed up in a safe room behind a sturdy metal door, on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu that night in September 2011. “Yoni, the State of Israel will get you out of there,” the prime minister told the head of security on the phone at the time.

But Israel never publicly revealed its own intervention in the matter, instead giving the credit – and the subsequent kudos on television – to U.S. President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, the facade came to an end and for the first time, Netanyahu revealed that it was through the threat of sending Israeli commandos the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian president was persuaded to send in his own crack troops to resolve the problem.

“A mob came to slaughter our people, and we used all the tools at our disposal that night, including the threat of rescue operation by the IDF, which finally tipped the balance and led the Egyptian forces — then under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, together with careful coordination from here — that ultimately led to the successful conclusion of this event,” Netanyahu told Foreign Ministry staff.

He acknowledged that the service is no picnic for its staff, noting that 16 foreign service officers have been killed abroad since 1948.

“Our representatives are there to deflect political and propaganda attacks, and precisely because of this they are liable to turn into targets for physical attacks,” he said.

Netanyahu is currently serving both as prime minister and as foreign minister in Israel. He also served as foreign minister from 2002 to 2003 under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and from 2012 to 2013. He served as Israeli ambassador to the United Nations between 1984 and 1988, and as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC from 1982 to 1984.

Update: Defusing a potential international crisis, the Prime Minister’s office has issued a clarification stating that Israel’s intention at the time was to run a “coordinated” operation with the Egyptian army, and not to take unilateral action. The Prime Minister thanked the Egyptian army for handling the matter responsibly leading to a resolution to the problem.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Air Force Jets Scramble to Escort EgyptAir Plane

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Two Israeli fighter jets were scrambled Saturday morning when an Egyptian passenger plane entered Israeli airspace without identification and did not respond to communication attempts.

The EgyptAir flight originated in Cairo but apparently strayed from the flight plan for an unknown reason. The IAF fighter jets escorted the plane to Ben Gurion International Airport without difficulty and its passengers disembarked.

After a preliminary investigation both the plane and its passengers returned to Cairo.

Last month an Egyptian national hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight, forcing the pilot to fly to Lanarca International Airport in Cyprus. The hijacker demanded to see his estranged wife, who lived near the airport, and asked for political asylum in the country.

Israel Air Force fighter jets were briefly scrambled during that incident as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Saudi Arabia Pledges in Writing to Honor Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty on Islands

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Saudi Arabia has sent a letter to Jerusalem pledging in writing to honor the terms of Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel as part of its agreement to control two islands in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced Tuesday that he also has approved the signing of the transfer of control of the islands to the Saudis from Egypt.

Israel also had agreed to the arrangement between the two Arab nations, in which Egypt agreed to transfer control of the two islands, Sanafir and Tiran, to Saudi Arabia. Tiran historically was an island belonging to Saudi Arabia that was “leased” to Egypt in 1950.

The deal places both islands officially in the Straits of Tiran, which is in Saudi territory.

As for the Saudis, “The commitments that Egypt approved [in the peace treaty] we are also committed to, including the stationing of an international force on the islands. We looked into the matter and we know our legal position. We are committed to what Egypt committed to before the international community,” Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview.

The two islands are located at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba as it opens to the Red Sea, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Eilat.

Israel’s Eilat seaport is located at the top of the Gulf and operates as the sole point of entry for goods from the Red Sea to the country.

Because the two islands are mentioned in the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, Cairo is required to update Jerusalem on the matter.

The agreement effectively redraws the maritime boundaries of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, thereby creating new conditions for the relations of both countries with Israel.

In this case, Saudi Arabia has pledged – in writing – to honor the terms of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, albeit while stressing Riyadh will have no direct contact with Jerusalem.

Saudi Arabia is still formally at war with Israel but as with numerous other Arab nations in the region, there are formalities and then there are practicalities. And there is Iran, an overwhelming threat to everyone in the neighborhood.

Egypt and Israel have reportedly been in contact over the plan to redraw the maritime boundaries of the two countries, according to a Hebrew-language Ynet report Monday that quoted the Egyptian daily Al Ahram.

The plan also calls construction of a bridge over the Red Sea between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The Saudis signed a string of agreements in Cairo over the weekend that will result in some $16 billion in cash flowing into the battered Egyptian economy. The Egyptian parliament must still vote on the agreement, however, and some in the country are accusing President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of “selling” the islands to the Saudis.

From the Israeli legal standpoint, since the Saudis are also committed to the terms of the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Israeli sources noted there may be no need to change the text, which would require a Knesset vote, Ynet reported.

Hana Levi Julian

Terrorists Attack Tourist Group at Cairo Hotel, Israelis Present

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Two masked terrorists opened fire Thursday morning at the Three Pyramids Hotel in Cairo, located near the Giza pyramids.

At least two Israeli tourists were among the group that was attacked as it was boarding a tour bus. Israel Foreign Ministry officials are still trying to reach the Israeli nationals, according to local reports, but no one was injured.

Some damage was caused to the facade of the hotel and at least one window of the bus was shattered, according to reports by Reuters, Associated Press and other international news agencies.

Security personnel have arrested the terrorists. One was captured by local police at the scene; the second was chased down and captured.

Thursday is a day of joy for Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christian community, who are celebrating Christmas today.

The Egyptian government has been battling terrorist elements based in the northern Sinai Peninsula for months, many of whom are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The attacks have escalated since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from office in 2013. Morsi was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some of the Sinai terror elements have pledged allegiance to Da’esh (ISIS), forming the “Sinai Province.” The group claimed responsibility for last year’s downing of a Russian airliner, killing all 224 people on board.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Sends Security Personnel to Review Egypt Airports

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Russian personnel have been sent to review security measures at the Egyptian airport in Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as in Cairo and elsewhere in the country in the wake of the recent MetroJet crash in the Sinai Peninsula.

As did Britain, Russia has followed with a suspension on travel to and from the Sinai Peninsula — a move that could easily constitute the death knell for the slowly rejuvenating Egyptian tourism industry. At least 20,000 UK citizens are stranded in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, but there are a whopping 50,000 Russian citizens also in the area, according to estimated foreign ministry and tourism figures.

In St. Petersburg on Sunday, the bells tolled 224 times, once for each of the victims who died in the crash of the MetroJet in Sinai a week ago this past Saturday.

The black boxes on the doomed plane — in particular, the damaged cockpit voice recorder — were both recovered from the 13-kilometer (nine mile) crash site. And although it will take time to completely extract all the information they contain, experts so far have been able to learn there was a loud bang just before all sound cut off in the aircraft.

Prior to that “bang” all function on the plane was proceeding normally, or at least seemed to be, with the navigation system on autopilot. The jet reached a cruising elevation of 32,000 feet at 23 minutes before it began to fall from the sky — another indication that whatever happened may not have been caused by human error or mechanical failure.

Russian officials as well as citizens are becoming increasingly concerned by the growing realization that it was indeed likely that a bomb brought down the passenger flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. The remains of only a fraction of the passengers — some 58 — have been identified thus far.

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization almost immediately claimed responsibility for the crash, saying it was carried out in response to Russia’s presence and attacks on Muslim fighters in Syria.

A local source with whom JewishPress.com spoke in London on Monday described a conversation with a business colleague from Moscow, saying he was “heartbroken — just completely heartbroken by it all. He can barely speak.” According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the conversation was typical of others that had been repeated over the past week. “Nearly everyone is still in shock,” said the source. “They are all moving through fog; no one can believe it. No one is used to thinking about terrorism this way.”

That, in fact is the crux of the matter, pointed out a journalist on the CNN network. The idea that Da’esh , a real wild card, has now become so powerful that it is capable of bringing down foreign aircraft as they fly over the Sinai Peninsula with hundreds of innocent passengers is “simply frightening,” the news network said.

Given the risk in the region posed by ISIS, Iran and the escalation in terrorism by Palestinian Authority attacks on civilians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears set to request an upgraded military aid package of at least $5 billion to help defend Israel against the threats it is being forced to contend with, now and in future years.



Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Floods Hamas Terror and Smuggling Tunnels with Seawater

Sunday, November 1st, 2015


If Israel were to flood Hamas terror and smuggling tunnels, the world would have condemned Israel the next day. When Egypt does it, no one outside Gaza says “boo,” and Israel can breathe a bit easier

The al-Sisi regime has flooded underground tunnels in six different areas in southern Gaza for the second time in two weeks, according to the Turkish-based Anadolu agency.

Smugglers use the tunnels to transport terrorists, ammunition, weapons and goods and merchandise that are heavily taxed by Hamas.

Wiping out the system severely hampers Hamas’ ability to rake in heavy taxes on smuggle goods and to maintain a hammerlock on supplies of goods and merchandise.

Terrorists have infiltrated into the Sinai Peninsula from Gaza and to carry out murderous attacks on Egypt police and soldiers carrying out al-Sisi’s orders to re-assert Egyptian authority in an area where anarchy has allowed Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist groups to carve out fiefdoms of power.

Flooding tunnel is not the only drastic action that Egypt has used to protect itself, as well as reducing the possibility of attacks on Israel for the Sinai.

Two years, Egypt began bulldozing homes of Gaza Arabs on the Egyptian side of Rafah, a city that straddles the border with Gaza. Last January, it extended the buffer zone to more than a mile and has displaced thousands of families, with only a few peeps from the international community.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-floods-hamas-terror-and-smuggling-tunnels-with-seawater/2015/11/01/

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