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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘evacuation’

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.

1 Million Evacuated in Philippines Typhoon

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

One million people were evacuated Saturday as powerful typhoon Hagupit roared into the eastern Philippines.

Trees crashed in the pouring rain and whipping wind, bringing down power lines and ripping the tin roofs off small homes as the storm made landfall.

Most of the central island of Samar and nearby Leyte province, including Tacloban City, lost power.

But officials and coordinators of first responders were cheerful as they spoke to reporters, saying they had things “under control.”

So far, there has been no report of any casualties, in fact, despite winds of up to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) near the center and packing gusts of up to 130 mph (210 kph).

Hagupit, which means “lash” in Filipino, is being called “Ruby” by local forecasters and government officials.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas urged citizens over government radio to leave their homes in order to stay safe. “Ruby’s lashing will be severe,” he said. “Let’s be alert. Let’s evacuate to prevent any harm to your families.”

Approximately 100 domestic flights were canceled in the interest of safety.

But the typhoon was not expected to reach the capital, Manila, forecasters said.

Last year, typhoon Yolanda caused tremendous damage to the city of Ormoc, which has a large number of fishermen. The powerful typhoon destroyed their boats, and many were left without the means to support their families.

IsraAID in partnership with Philos provided the fishermen 11 motorized boats which enabled them to reach deep water, where better quality fish can be found, and then sold on the market.

Such fish also find their way to the kosher markets in Israel.

Egypt Evacuates Residents to Create Buffer Along Gaza Border

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Egypt is evacuating thousands of its residents from the Sinai side of the Gaza border in order to form a buffer zone.

The Egyptian government declared a state of emergency in the area after last week’s attack in which 31 soldiers were killed by the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terror group linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization.

Egyptians began moving from the area on Wednesday in accordance with military orders issued by the government.

The planned buffer zone is intended to block terrorists and smugglers, government officials told Egyptian media.

They keys to 62 homes were handed over to military officials by their owners on Wednesday (Oct. 29) in the town of Rafah, which straddles the border with Gaza.

According to international media, Egypt plans to expel families living in 880 homes along the northern Sinai border with Gaza.

That means that some 10,000 Egyptians will be left homeless, or at the least, displaced by the expulsion. The number is comparable to the number of Israelis expelled in the 2005 Disengagement from the Gush Katif region of Gaza and northern Samaria.

As was the case in Israel, the Egyptian government has promised financial compensation to those who were displaced – but residents have yet to see the money.

Unlike Israel, however, residents were given very short notice to pack up and leave their homes within the 13 kilometer area (8 miles).

Ya’alon Seeks Peaceful Means to Evacuate New Outposts

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

In Gush Etzion, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has suggested a swap in order to convince residents of a newly-established outpost to leave their homes in communities with fresh wounds attached to the sites.

Move out, Ya’alon told the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and he would approve legal status for 24 new homes and a new farm instead.

Three outposts were started in July in the memory of the three teens who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion as they were hitchhiking home for the Sabbath on June 12.

One was located near Bat Ayin and close to where the boys were kidnapped. Another was set up in Tekoa Hey, a hill near the town of Tekoa in eastern Gush Etzion. The new outposts, named Ramat HaShlosha (Heights of The Three) were expected to grow into a Jewish community established in their names in July as a response to the terror attack.

The third was Talmei Chaim, established on Hill 22 just north of Kiryat Aba but within the city limits, and intended to reach towards the area where they boys’ bodies were found.

Two more sites were also established on the night the boys’ bodies were found: one near the northeastern Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim and the other near the community of Karmei Tzur, very close to the burial site.

Their bodies were discovered in a field belonging to the Qawasme clan near the Palestinian Arab town of Halhul, north of Hevron and south of Gush Etzion, on June 30.

Turkey Brings Wounded Gazans to Ankara Hospitals

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Turkey is evacuating wounded Gazans to hospitals in Ankara, in cooperation with Israel and Egypt.

The first four patients, three women and a boy, arrived at Ankara airport Monday morning.

A Turkish air ambulance departed for Israel late Sunday night to pick up the four patients, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

President-elect, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement following his electoral victory acknowledgment.

Permission to use Israeli and Egyptian air space for the venture was requested last week by Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, according to numerous international media.

Ultimately, “in the first stage we plan to bring to Turkey, and treat, maybe 200 patients,” Davutoglu said Monday morning while greeting the first batch of wounded at Ankara airport, according to the International Business Times.

However, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev categorically denied any knowledge of the operation or Israel having given permission for use of its air space. “I’ve heard nothing about it,” he told TheJewishPress.com.

Ukraine Rebels Hold European Observers Hostage

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Separatist fighters in the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk confirmed Thursday they are holding four missing observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as hostages.

The pro-Russian rebels also shot down a Ukrainian government military helicopter Thursday during heavy clashes around the city of Sloviansk – located in the northern part of the Donetsk province — killing 14 people. Among the dead was General Volodymyr Kulchitsky, the BBC reported. The rebels allegedly used a Russian-made anti-aircraft system.

There has been heavy fighting over the past several weeks in the area, located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Ukraine’s border with Russia.

According to reports by the Associated Press, residents in Sloviansk – a hotbed of separatist forces — have been regularly shelled with mortar fire by government forces. Civilian casualties have been high, and some residents are fleeing, according to the reports.

The Jewish Agency for Israel evacuated a couple with two twin baby girls from the city of Donetsk (capital of the province) and another couple from the city of Mariupol, south of Donetsk city, out of Ukraine in a rescue operation earlier this week. The six were already set for aliyah, but the decision to rescue them was made due to the fierce battle that started over the Donetsk airport between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russian militants. They traveled overland to the Kiev airport and then flew from there on to Israel.

Gov’t Reaches Partial Deal on Givat Assaf

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Residents of the Jewish community of Givat Assaf in Samaria have reached a partial agreement with the Defense Ministry over the fate of their homes.

The talks came in an effort to avoid a traumatic demolition similar to the one that took place Wednesday in Gush Etzion.

The deal, which came Thursday morning, means the residents will begin to dismantle five of their own houses and buildings by themselves. Included among the structures are a mikvah and an electrical utility building. The fate of seven other buildings is still under discussion.

According to the Civil Administration, residents have already removed their personal belongings from the buildings.

Under the agreement the residents are expected to have left their homes by Sunday, when the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer, which marks the passing of the great Torah sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, will already have started the night before.

Bonfires will have been kindled after the Shabbat has ended, lighting up the hillsides, valleys and beaches of Israel, including the mountainous regions in Judea and Samaria.

During the daylight hours Jews generally celebrate the holiday in parks and nature reserves, or at the mountaintop Galilee tomb of the sage, near Meron — but for residents of Givat Assaf, the only “celebration” may come in the form moving trucks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/govt-reaches-partial-deal-on-givat-assaf/2014/05/15/

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