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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Egypt Blows Up 3/4-Mile Smuggling Tunnel from Gaza

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Egyptian security forces blew up a 3/4-mile long smuggling tunnel reaching into the Northern Sinai from Gaza on Saturday, hours after terrorists bombed an Egyptian train.

The tunnel was similar to those that the IDF uncovered during the Protective Edge counter-terrorist campaign last summer, complete with electricity and telephone lines.

The tunnel opening in Gaza was underneath a smuggler’s house. The tunnels are used to smuggle weapons , food and money for terrorists.

Earlier on Saturday, terrorists derailed an Egyptian train with a bomb explosion. No one was injured.

 

 

Egypt’s Top Islamic Cleric Warns ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The office of one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the Middle East warned the remaining staff of the French satiric weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo to pull its intended cover cartoon for the January 14 edition.

The caricature, released earlier this week in previews to media, shows a depiction of the prophet Muhammed, founder of Islam, with a tear trickling down his face, holding a sign that reads, “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie) under the words, “Tout est pardonne” (All is forgiven.)

The work stands as a clear and obvious reference to last week’s murderous rampage by radical Islamist terrorists who targeted the magazine and its editorial staff, and the outcry by protesters that followed. The terrorists slaughtered only those on a list believed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be responsible for past depictions of the prophet, ignoring ancillary staff at the site. A maintenance worker and another person who became caught in the crossfire also were killed, as were two police officers, one of whom was assigned to protect the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephan Charbonnier. He was the first of the staff to be murdered.

“Je Suis Charlie” was the rallying cry taken up by some four million demonstrators in Paris and even more in a show of solidarity around the world who stood in silence with candles, pens, pencils and protest signs to signal their determination that freedom of expression continue despite the threat of Islamic extremism.

During the three-day killing spree by two terror cells from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that began with the Charlie Hebdo attack, 17 people lost their lives, including four Jews at a kosher grocery story on Friday just a few hours before the Sabbath. In addition, one of the magazine’s targeted top cartoonists was Jewish.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam warned in a statement that this week’s upcoming cover would be an “unwarranted provocation against the feelings of … Muslims around the world.”

The danger could in fact be magnified exponentially: the magazine’s usual run of 60,000 is allegedly to be expanded this week to as many as 3 million copies. Hoping to head off a worldwide radical Islamist wildfire, Allam called on the French government to reject the “racist act” by Charlie Hebdo, which he said was trying to provoke “religious strife” and “deepen hatred.”

Allam had previously called the attack on the magazine a “terrorist” act. Likewise, officials at the 1,000-year-old Egyptian Al Azhar Islamic Center, known to be the oldest center of Islamic studies in the world, referred to the attack as a criminal act.

Moreover, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on Muslim clerics in an address at Al Azhar to “revolutionize” the Islamic faith and strive to combat extremist ideology – just two weeks before the radical Islamists carried out their reign of terror.

In Egypt, at least, moderate Muslims are beginning to step up and speak out, but that does not necessarily make them pro-Israel, as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) pointed out. Jassser, a Syrian-American internist and nuclear cardiologist, has emerged as a major voice in countering Islamist extremism. He noted that in Egypt, there has been a change in attitude towards Islamist extremism — but not necessarily towards democracy or Israel.

One example, said Jasser, is that of Grand Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb, the leader of Al Azhar University and its mosque, appointed by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. El-Tayeb supported el-Sisi’s ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. He has also condemned Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Islamic cleric who now heads ISIS – but he has condemned Israel as a force for evil.

Egyptian Police Defusing Possible Bomb Outside Adly St. Synagogue

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Police sent in a robot to defuse what appears to be a bomb outside the Adly Street Synagoue in Cairo, according to a Twitter report.

The shul’s official name is the Sha’ar Hashamayim Synagogue.

There was an attempt to bomb the synagogue in 2010, but the attempt failed.

No further information is available at this time.

2 Beheaded Men Found in Sinai

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Egyptian police announced that the found the bodies of 2 beheaded men in their 30s in northern Sinai. No other information is available at this point.

‘Honorable Imam, You Bear Responsibility Before Allah’

Friday, January 9th, 2015

A bare two weeks before radical Islamist terrorists calmly emptied the clips of their AK-47 assault rifles into the bodies of 12 journalists at the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly magazine, Egypt’s president warned clerics at the Al Azhar Islamic Center of the urgent need to combat extremist ideology.

In his speech delivered at the centuries-old worldwide center for Islamic studies, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called on the imams to “revolutionize” Islam.

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Excerpts of the president’s address were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in Washington, DC.

“I would like to reiterate that we are not doing enough with regard to true religious discourse,” the president stated. “The problem has never been with our faith. Perhaps the problem lies in ideology, and this ideology is sanctified among us. I am talking about religious discourse that is in keeping with its times.

“… I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics. We must take a long, hard look at the current situation. I have talked about this several times in the past. We must take a long, hard look at the situation we are in. It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology…

“I am referring not to “religion,” but to “ideology” – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult. “It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of seven billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable.

“I say these things here, at Al-Azhar, before religious clerics and scholars. May Allah bear witness on Judgment Day to the truth of your intentions, regarding what I say to you today.

“You cannot see things clearly when you are locked [in this ideology]. You must emerge from it and look from outside, in order to get closer to a truly enlightened ideology. You must oppose it with resolve. Let me say it again: We need to revolutionize our religion. “Honorable Imam [the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar], you bear responsibility before Allah. The world in its entirety awaits your words, because the Islamic nation is being torn apart, destroyed, and is heading to perdition. We ourselves are bringing it to perdition.”

For the first time ever, Coptic Christians were honored with a visit from the nation’s leader at Christmas mass, as President el-Sisi visited Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral on the holy day. El-Sisi congratulated the small Coptic community on the occasion of the holiday earlier this week, and said in a brief address that all Egyptians are as “one hand.”

 

Cairo Razing Rafah to Create Gaza Buffer

Friday, January 9th, 2015

This is the Tale of Two Cities: Old Rafah, and New Rafah – that is, the Egyptian half of the Gaza city that currently straddles the border with Egypt, and the one soon to be on the drawing boards of /Egyptian engineers.

North Sinai District Governor Abd al-Fattah Harour told journalists at a news briefing Wednesday that Egypt has decided to raze Rafah to the ground – at least, the part that exists on Egypt’s side of the border.

“A new Rafah city is being established with residential zones appropriate to the nature and traditions of the residents of Rafah,” Harour said, according to the Ma’an news agency.

He confirmed that engineering units have already been authorized to begin work on the project.

Egypt is currently evacuating some 2,044 families from 1,220 homes located on a stretch of land along the border with Gaza. The families are to be compensated for the loss of their homes and also will receive additional funds with which to rent new accommodations until they can find new places to live.

The evacuation is being carried out in preparation for creation of a wider buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza. Original plans a year ago called for a buffer of 500 meters; the current buffer zone is to measure at least a kilometer wide.

However, this latest development has come about because the existence of the city of Rafah still constitutes a military weak point for Egypt vis a vis Gaza and Hamas, as it does for Israel.

Rafah is also the sole international crossing which is not under Israel’s control and which remains vulnerable to seizure by international terrorists. (In Jordan, the sole crossing with Iraq was shut down last year after the Iraq side was seized by terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). European monitors in Rafah who were supposed to remain at the site to “keep the peace” and maintain its neutrality abandoned their posts at the first sign of danger years ago.

On January 23, 2008 Hamas blew a hole in the security barrier built in 2003 near the Rafah crossing, destroying a significant part of the wall. The United Nations estimated that as many as 750,000 Gazans flooded through that hole into Egypt from that day forward until the breach was repaired, 11 days later. Many came to shop for food and supplies, but several thousand were also wanted terrorists; Israel Police raised the alert in the Jewish State knowing it was likely these “shoppers” were also purchasing “supplies.”

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization was spawned by Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization. The group has sparked endless anti-government attacks in Egypt, and developed alliances with other groups, leading to further problems.

During the recent brief reign of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s predecessor, Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist-majority parliament, Sinai became saturated with radical Islamist terrorists.

Terror groups such as the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently swore allegiance to ISIS, grew there exponentially. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda-linked Army of Islam Salafis also planted bases in Sinai as well.

In particular, Hamas honeycombed the area under the border in Rafah with tunnels which they used for smuggling military supplies and luxury items into Gaza – and terrorists out, in to Sinai and elsewhere.

It is this activity the Cairo government is determined to end. Egypt’s security personnel have destroyed hundreds of terrorist tunnels over the past 18 months, but they are often rebuilt when Hamas obtains new supplies.

As international aid organizations bring concrete and other building materials into the enclave to “help” the poverty stricken Palestinian Authority residents rebuild their homes, Hamas confiscates the items to reconstruct their terror tunnel network. It’s an expensive project: each tunnel costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to build.

Egyptian President El-Sisi Appears at Coptic Mass

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

For the first time ever, Coptic Christians in Egypt were able to greet the president of their country on the most important holiday of their faith.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the first Egyptian leader ever to attend Christmas mass at Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral, where he greeted Coptic Christians in a speech.

Sisi’s attendance at the religious service was preceded by a heavy security presence, especially due to prior attacks on Christian sites by radical Islamists.

The president congratulated Egypt’s Coptic community on the occasion of the holiday, and maintained that all Egyptians are as “one hand.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-president-el-sisi-appears-at-coptic-mass/2015/01/07/

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