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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Netanyahu: Arab Nations Can Help Bring ‘Real Peace’

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday night that the Arab nations in the region can help facilitate a “real deal with the Palestinians,” adding that he has been discussing the issue with regional leaders “over the last few hours.”

“The initiatives I’m referring to are regional initiatives – meaning, aided by the Arab countries in the region to reach a real deal with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said in a press conference following a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. “We always thought it would be the opposite,” Netanyahu acknowledged, “but that is the direction today. I am constantly trying, including over the last few hours, to further contacts with various leaders in the region to help in this direction.”

Netanyahu’s comments come on the eve of his meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls ahead of an international peace conference planned to take place in Paris at the beginning of June. Netanyahu has so far forcefully rejected the French conference, arguing that only direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians could advance peace and suggesting that the forum was biased against Israel.

The latest remarks, however, suggest that Netanyahu places more confidence in the efforts of regional Arab governments than in European peacemaking conferences.

“We have many common interests with leading Arab countries in the region, and I think that one of those interests is to advance a process for real peace between us and the Palestinians, and perhaps with their help we can overcome those a few obstacles,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu’s comments seemed to allude to a striking speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last week in which he offered to act as a moderator between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu immediately welcomed al-Sisi’s remarks, issuing a statement that “Israel is ready to participate with Egypt and other Arab states in advancing both the diplomatic process and stability in the region. I appreciate President al-Sisi’s work and also draw encouragement from his leadership on this important issue.”

Israel and Czechia signed a series of bilateral agreements relating to science, technology, tourism, and cybersecurity – the Czech embassy even has a special “cyber attaché.” But Netanyahu also thanked Prime Minister Sobotka for “the fairness of the Czech position in international forums.”

“Israel is often portrayed as not wanting peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. We pursue peace; we’re going to continue to pursuing peace with an expanded government, including various initiatives and possibilities within our region,” Netanyahu said. “I want to assure you that we’ll be happy to take up any suggestions and any help that you can give us in this common pursuit for peace.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Returns Looted 3,000 Year-Old Egyptian Sarcophagi

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

After journeying from the Western Desert tombs of Egypt, through Dubai, Europe and Israel, two 3,000 year-old stolen artifacts are making their way home on Sunday.

The two wood and plaster sarcophagi lids, painted and carved with hieroglyphics, were given to Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat on Sunday by Dore Gold, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a ceremony of solidarity between the two nations. For four years the relics were kept in climate-controlled storage by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to the IAA, the sarcophagi covers were stolen from Egyptian tombs in the Western Desert. From there, they were smuggled to Dubai, Europe and, finally, Jerusalem. In March 2012, IAA theft-prevention agents confiscated the stolen sarcophagi lids from a storefront marken in Jerusalem Old City market.

Carbon-14 dating revealed that the sarcophagi originated from different eras. The first is estimated to be 3,400 to 3,600 years old, dating to the late Bronze Age, and the second is 3,000 years old, originating from the Iron Age.

According to the Foreign Ministry, while Israel sought to return the artifacts immediately, bilateral communication was stalled repeatedly by the lack of an Israeli ambassador in Egypt.

Gold said that “it is hoped that the handing over of these ancient items will be a precursor for further bilateral cooperation in the field of historical heritage, as well as other fields of mutual interest to the benefit of both countries.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Apparent Explosion Tore Apart EgyptAir MS804

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

It appears there may have been an explosion on board EgyptAir Flight MS804 that blew apart the aircraft, twisted it into pieces and then sent it crashing into the Mediterranean Sea last week.

Search and recovery personnel have found body parts, unused life vests, bits and pieces of other equipment, and luggage. The images have been released by the Egyptian military. At least one memorial has been held at an Egyptian Coptic Christian church for a flight attendant whose body has yet to be recovered. Her mother called her a “bride for heaven,” media reported.

Flight data filed through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was received from three independent channels, according to The Aviation Herald website.

ACARS is the system used to routinely download flight data to the airline operating the aircraft.

The flight data showed that at 02:26 local time on Thursday (00:26 GMT) smoke was detected in the toilet of the jet. Smoke was reported also in the avionics bay and in one of the lavatories.

One minute later, at 00:27 GMT, there was an avionics alert indicating smoke in the bay below the cockpit which contains aircraft electronics and computers.

The final ACARS message was received at 00:29 GMT, according to the TAH website, and four minutes later the plane lost contact with radar, at 02:33 local time.

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis confirmed the ACARS data but told AFP it was “far too soon to interpret and understand the cause of the accident as long as we have not found the wreckage or the flight data recorders”.

A commercial pilot who flies an A330 similar to the A320 spoke with Britain’s The Telegraph on condition of anonymity, and said, however, “It looks like the right front and side window were blown out, most probably from inside out.”

Until the main body of the plane and the two “black boxes” that reveal flight data and cockpit transmissions are located the rest of the story will remain a mystery; they are still missing, despite news to the contrary.

No group has yet taken responsibility for the downing of the aircraft.

 

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Among Top Five Countries on WHO 2015 Life Expectancy Chart

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Only 22 countries around the globe have reached an average life expectancy at birth greater than 80 years, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, which would suggest that if one is planning to retire abroad, one should consider those countries most seriously.

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Global life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), ranging from 60.0 years in the WHO African Region to 76.8 years in the WHO European Region, giving a ratio of 1.3 between the two regions. Women live longer than men all around the world. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.5 years in 1990 and had remained almost the same by 2015 (4.6).

Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic, and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 2000-2015 increase was greatest in the WHO African Region, where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV.

As to the friendly global race of whose citizens get to live longer, the top countries are, in descending order: Japan – 83.7, Switzerland – 83.4, Singapore – 83.1, Italy – 82.7, and Israel – 82.5. The US did not make the 80+ club in 2015, with only 79.3 years’ life expectancy. Neither did the Russian Federation – 70.5.

Israel’s neighbors are definitely not ideal locations for retirement: Egypt – 70.9, Jordan – 74.1, Lebanon – 74.9, and Syria – 64.5 (if you’re lucky). Nigeria stands out with 54.5 life expectancy, along with Angola – 52.4, Burkina Faso – 59.9, Burundi – 59.6, Cameroon – 57.3, Central African Republic – 52.5, Chad – 53.1, Guinea – 59, and Guinea-Bissau – 58.9.

So, here is the list of world countries where you’ll get to grow older than 80, barring unexpected circumstances:

Japan – 83.7
Switzerland – 83.4
Singapore – 83.1
Italy – 82.7
Israel – 82.5
France – 82.4
Sweden – 82.4
Canada – 82.2
Luxembourg – 82
Netherlands – 81.9
Norway – 81.8
Malta – 81.7
New Zealand – 81.6
Austria – 81.5
Belgium – 81.1
Finland – 81.1
Germany – 81
Denmark – 80.6
Chile – 80.5
Cyprus – 80.5

JNi.Media

Incoming Defense Minister Rattles Israeli Political Establishment

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

by Michael Bachner

The news that MK Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteynu party, will be Israel’s next defense minister has rocked the political establishment on the right and left.

Liberman, a tough-talking former ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has sought the Defense Ministry portfolio for years – and appears set to receive it after a deal struck with Netanyahu on Wednesday.

Liberman’s rise followed a tumultuous day of negotiations and backroom deals in which both Liberman and MK Isaac Herzog, chairman of the historically left-wing Labor party, vied for the job of defense minister and the chance to enter Netanyahu’s government.

“I regret the prime minister’s decision. I did not imagine that he would make such a paradoxical and dangerous move,” said MK Benny Begin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday morning. “The prime minister has been very proud of what he called ‘a reasonable, balanced and responsible’ defense policy, while Liberman’s statements give an opposite impression.”

Netanyahu received harsh criticism from opposition parties as well, including Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah, who blasted Netanyahu for “bartering the most sensitive and important positions as if nothing mattered” in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Liberman was an ally of Netanyahu – the two ran together in a united party during the 2013 election after which Liberman became foreign minister – until they had a public falling out two years ago. The Yisrael Beiteynu party remained in the opposition after last year’s election, and as recently as March Liberman castigated Netanyahu as a “liar, cheat, and con man.”

Liberman has been a frequent advocate for a harsher military response toward Palestinian Authority terrorism, notably against the Hamas terror group that runs Gaza.

“The elimination of Hamas is the primary mission of the Israeli government and as defense minister I will carry it out,” Liberman said before last year’s elections. “We will not reach agreements and understandings with them. The only agreement that can be reached with Hamas is when they are buried in the ground,” he said, adding that such an Israeli policy cannot be implemented when the government is comprised of “a coalition of nerds.”

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Tony Blair, the Quartet’s envoy to the Middle East and a former British prime minister, colluded with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to push Herzog into the government – a move reportedly designed to facilitate a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority. According to the report in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Blair even met with Herzog’s political partner, MK Tzipi Livni, in her Tel Aviv home this week, despite the fact that she is sitting shiva – the Jewish mourning ritual – for her brother.

Liberman is set to replace current Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, a senior Likud member who has recently clashed with Netanyahu over a series of issues related to the IDF’s independence from the political establishment.

Ya’alon, apparently alluding to the news of his ouster, said on Thursday that Israel is facing a crisis of leadership. “There is a loss of our moral compass on basic issues,” Ya’alon said. “If I had to give a golden tip, it would be to navigate with a compass rather than a weather vane. Navigation with a compass is tried and true, and it’s also a question of leadership.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

BREAKING: Egypt Air Officials Confirm Missing Plane Crashed in Mediterranean

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Egyptian aviation officials have confirmed that Flight MS804 en route from Paris to Cairo crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday, ten miles after entering Egyptian air space.

Greek airport sources said the crash site is off the Greek island of Karpathos. A terror attack is the most likely cause of the crash, aviation experts told international media. Search and rescue personnel are out in force, looking for the plane.

French President Francois Hollande also confirmed the news in a separate news conference. But he stressed there was “no hypothesis” as to why the plane, an Airbus A320, crashed.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail also told reporters at Cairo airport it is still too early to speculate on what caused the crash. “We cannot rule anything out,” he told journalists,” and could not say whether a technical issue or terror attack was the cause.

The flight departed from Paris late Wednesday night en route to Cairo, but disappeared from the radar over the Mediterranean Sea just 10 minutes away from Egyptian air space.

Greek government officials were investigating an earlier report by the captain of a merchant ship who said he saw “a flame in the sky” over the area where the aircraft disappeared. He reported seeing the “flame” about 130 nautical miles south of the Greek island of Carpatos, according to the British Daily Star.

The twin-engine jet was registered with the Egyptian tail number SU-GCC. The last contact with the pilot was about 10 minutes before the aircraft disappeared from the radar. Ehab Mohy el-Deen, head of the Egyptian air navigation authority, said, “They did not radio for help or lose altitude. They just vanished.”

Greek air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot over the island of Kea in what is believed to have been the last broadcast from the aircraft. “The pilot did not mention any problems,” Kostas Litzerakis, head of Greek civil aviation told Reuters.

Rescue services from the Egyptian armed forces reported receiving a signal at 04:26 am local time (0226 GMT) from the aircraft that turned out to be an automated signal, according to a statement by Egypt Air. The flight had been due to land at 03:15 am local time.

A Russian MetroJet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh en route to St. Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October due to a mid-air explosion.  The crash was due to a bomb planted by the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization, which claimed responsibility for the attack. All 224 people on board were killed in the disaster.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu, Herzog Welcome Egyptian Leader’s Overture for Peace

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered to act as a mediator in the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict on Tuesday, an overture that immediately drew favorable responses from both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog.

“If we can all join forces in order to solve the Palestinian issue by creating hope for Palestinians and assuring security for Israelis, we will be able to write a new chapter that may prove to be more important than the peace accords between Israel and Egypt,” al-Sisi said on Tuesday during an inauguration ceremony for a new power plant in the Egyptian city of Asyut.

“I welcome Egyptian President El-Sisi’s remarks and his willingness to make every effort to advance a future of peace and security between us and the Palestinians,” responded Netanyahu in an official statement.

“Israel is ready to participate with Egypt and other Arab states in advancing both the diplomatic process and stability in the region. I appreciate President El-Sisi’s work and also draw encouragement from his leadership on this important issue,” Netanyahu added.

In his spontaneous remarks, President al-Sisi proposed to act both as a mediator between rival factions within “Palestinian” society and as mediator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the road to possible future peace talks.

Furthermore, the Egyptian president implied that resolving the conflict with the “Palestinians” will also incur a warmer relationship between his own country and Israel.

“If we are able to solve the issue of our Palestinian brothers it will achieve warmer peace [with Israel]. This is a genuine opportunity,” al-Sisi said.

Netanyahu wasn’t alone in expressing support of al-Sisi’s speech, leader of the Opposition and Zionist Union party Chairman Isaac Herzog posted his own response shortly after al-Sisi’s speech was made public in Israel.

“I congratulate the Egyptian President’s announcement. It’s a dramatic message, reflecting the historical process wherein the moderate Arab world expects a brave, strong, and sober hand extended from Israel,” Herzog posted on his Facebook page.

“It is our duty to seriously consider this, or else we’ll find ourselves doing so after the next parade of funerals,” Herzog warned.

The Egyptian offer comes on the same day as a postponement was announced for a planned French international peace conference later this month due to a scheduling conflict for US Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel had forcefully rejected the French conference, arguing that only direct talks between Israel and the Arabs could advance peace and suggesting that the forum was biased against Israel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-herzog-welcome-egyptian-leaders-overture-for-peace/2016/05/17/

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