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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

Israelis Ignore Warnings, Flock to Turkey for High Holiday Vacation

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Despite warnings by the counter-terrorism center against travel to dangerous Middle east destinations, Israelis this Rosh Hashanah are flocking to the clear blue waters of southern Turkey. Search indicators of the tourism website HotelsCombined show a 40% rise in searches from Israel for hotels in Turkey, again, despite specific warnings against going to Turkey this season. The demand is greatest for the coastal cities along Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore: Antalya, Belek and Alanya, but demand for Istanbul vacations has also gone up by 30% compared with last year.

Israelis are taking warnings regarding Egyptian vacations more seriously, and while Israeli demand for Cairo hotels is up, requests for the Sharm Al Sheikh hotels at the southernmost tip of the Sinai peninsula have dropped by 22% compared with a year ago.

HotelsCombined CEO Eyal Segal says the sharp rise in Israeli demand for Turkish vacations is the result of an increase in the number of flights between Israel and Turkey, the thawing in the relationship between the two countries, and the reduced hotel prices in Turkey, just in time for the Jewish holidays.

“Israeli tourists by now have figured that every place is dangerous, which is why eco

nomic considerations overcome security concerns, and the average Israeli is not quick to panic about a flight to a country about which there have been warnings,” Segal said, noting that “regarding the Sinai, there we see a greater adherence to the warnings because tourists stand out and can be easily marked in the desert, as opposed to the big cities where they feel that the disappear in the crowd.”


Netanyahu Representative in DC to Negotiate $38 Billion Aid Deal

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Brigadier General Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting National Security Council, arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday to meet with President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in preparations for signing a new US military aid package. The new US aid deal, which the two governments have been negotiating since November 2015, awards Israel $38 billion over 10 years.

Nagel met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to work out the final details before leaving for Washington — including the text of the official announcements. The new aid package is expected to average $3.8 billion a year, a considerable cut from Netanyahu’s initial request for $4.5 billion. The deal is also contingent on Israel agreeing not to approach Congress for additional funds, as in the case of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Congress has been paying for outside the annual aid package. Now an estimated $5 billion out of the package will be spent over 10 years on missile defense development.

In other words, the new aid package is only adding $300 million to the previous amount. To remind you, the sum of $3 billion annually was set during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt, as compensation to Israel for giving up the Sinai peninsula as a military asset. That amount has never been raised in close to 40 years, even though the current value of that annual package would have been $10.48 billion.

The critical disagreement between the two sides over the current deal has been whether or not Israel could continue to invest a percentage of the aid package in Israeli made military products. The Obama Administration wanted the entire amount to stay in US corporations, which would have been devastating to Israeli manufacturers and to the IDF. A short episode during the 2014 Gaza War, in which the Obama Administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, including Hellfire missiles, served as a memorable lesson to the Israeli security apparatus about the need to increase its self-reliance.

The new deal ended up adding six years in which Israel can continue to spend as much as 26% of the US aid money on Israeli made products, as well as another 13% for fuel purchases. By the seventh year, or halfway into Clinton’s or Trump’s second term, the Israeli military industrial complex would have to quit US aid cold turkey — Unless Netanyahu or his successor is able to renegotiate that part — depending on who is in the White House and who controls Congress at the time.

David Israel

Egyptian Soldier Shot Dead by Sniper in Rafah

Monday, September 5th, 2016

An Egyptian soldier was killed Sunday afternoon by snipers in an ambush attack near a military base at the entrance to the Egyptian part of the city of Rafah.

When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The middle of the city was razed to create a large buffer zone.

Egyptian security sources said Sunday the attack killed a soldier named Mustafa Badr Hashim, 19, years of Assiut, from a gunshot wound. His body was flown to the military hospital in El-Arish.

Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, the Egyptians have kept the Rafah border crossings open all day Sunday and will keep it open Monday, to allow passage from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and on to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage. So far a reported 1,243 have been allowed through, while 51 were rejected. Thousands more are expected to request passage should the Egyptian government decide to keep the crossing open.

David Israel

Iranian Arms Going to ISIS-Linked ‘Sinai Province’ Terror Group

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Iranian arms are appearing in the hands of the Sinai Province branch of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

An image seen on Twitter over the weekend showed Islamic State terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula holding the Iranian-made AM-50 Sayyad rifle.

The rifles were “probably just intercepted or repurchased from arms smugglers sent by the Palestinian factions in Gaza,” said the Russian-language “bmpd” website that exposed the arms.

The same weapons have been seen in Syria and Iraq, where they were seized from government forces, and in Gaza. They’ve also been seen elsewhere in the Middle East.

ISIS-linked groups in Sinai also have seized Kornet anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, specifically Egyptian M60A3 tanks, from the Egyptian army after clashes with its soldiers.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Kills Head of ISIS Affiliate in Northern Sinai

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Egypt has announced that its forces have taken out the commander of the Da’esh (ISIS) affiliate terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

The Egyptian Air Force reportedly killed Abu Doa’a Al-Ansari Thursday in air strikes on the group in northern Sinai, near El Arish, according to a statement in Arabic posted on the Egyptian Army’s Facebook page.

Hundreds of the terrorists were killed by the army in a recent operation called ‘Martyrs’ Right,’ according to the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram.

Thursday’s counter terror operation involved ground forces working in cooperation with the air force, and killed 45 members of the Sinai-based terror group in addition to Al-Ansari.

The group pledged allegiance last November to Da’esh and its leader, Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israeli Drones Attack Sinai Terrorists with Egypt’s Approval

Monday, July 11th, 2016

A former senior Israel official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that his country has conducted numerous drone attacks on Islamist terrorists in the Sinai in recent years, with Egypt’s blessing, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Terrorist activities in the Sinai have increased sharply since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The terrorist group Ansar Bayit al-Maqdes, which is active in the Sinia, has pledged allegiance to ISIS a year ago and has been targeting Egyptian security forces in the northern Sinai.

Israel has been claiming for some time that Hamas supports the Sinai ISIS terrorists, and that Gaza hospitals provide medical care for wounded terrorists smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels.

The IDF has said in the past that it’s “only a matter of time” before Sinai based terrorists strike at Israel, which is why it has become involved in denying them increased capabilities.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has acted with a vengeance against the Gazan’s ability to smuggle goods into the Sinai, destroying and flooding hundreds of tunnels, Bloomberg reported, adding that Israel has responded to El-Sisi with financial gestures and, according to the Israeli military’s deputy chief of staff Major-General Yair Golan, increased intelligence-sharing.

“The level of cooperation is something we’ve never experienced before,” Golan said. “It’s not about love, it’s not about common values. I wouldn’t describe it as the relationship we have with the United States of America, but I think it’s a good starting point.”

David Israel

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh’s Nephew Hospitalized in Israel

Monday, June 13th, 2016

The nephew of Hamas de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was hospitalized over the weekend at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The report, broadcast by Israel’s Channel 2 television news, did not include details of why the nephew was admitted. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Israel has confirmed that Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group has been “partnering” with the growing local Sinai Province branch of the now-international Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization, based primarily in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas has been providing medical aid, communications and technical support as well as assistance with funding resources to the group via its Gaza tunneling system, some of which snakes its way beneath the Egyptian border — and, at least until recently — under the Israeli border as well.

The Sinai Province group, once known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — as is Hamas — and is committed to toppling the Cairo government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-pm-ismail-haniyehs-nephew-hospitalized-in-israel/2016/06/13/

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