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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

Israeli, US Leaders Organize Top Brass to Fight Islamic State

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Israel’s top brass met Wednesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the growing threat in the region from the Islamic State terror organization.

Representatives from every security establishment were present, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the National Security Council, Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch, Foreign Ministry representatives, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

Netanyahu discussed with those present the issues surrounding the threat posed to Israel by the Islamic State. The prime minister warned world leaders about the terror organization during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer in Gaza.

Netanyahu repeatedly has drawn a parallel between Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and the Islamic State, which has spread its influence from Iraq and Syria to the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, Lebanon and recently as far as Europe. Israel has officially outlawed the group.

U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, planned to address the American people in a prime-time televised address to the nation Wednesday evening.

Obama was to outline his strategy for dealing with the global threat posed by the Islamic State, which is rapidly becoming a specific threat to the United States as well. There have been reports that up to 100 sleeper cells from the group may already exist in the U.S.

Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Baghdad just two days after Iraq’s newly-sworn Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi installed his top government ministers.

Two car bombs exploded simultaneously in the southeastern neighborhood of New Baghdad, killing 13 people, during the meeting of the two leaders.

“A new and inclusive Iraqi government has to be the engine of our global strategy against ISIL (a former acronym for Islamic State – Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant),” Kerry said.

The next question is, where are the Europeans and how are they planning to fend off this threat in their midst? (Yes, the Islamic State has indeed already arrived on Europe’s shores. It was an Islamic State terrorist who was behind the terrorist attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum this past May 24.)

Beheaded Body Found with Note in Sinai

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A beheaded body was found Wednesday in the Sinai Peninsua, bearing a note signed by the Ansar al-Maqdis terrorist organization. The note accused the victim of being an agent for Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency, according to residents of a nearby village who spoke to Reuters by phone.

This is the eighth beheading to occur in Egypt’s Sinai region in less than a month.

Ansar al-Maqdis is linked to the Islamic State terrorist organization, formerly known as ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The group has been internationally condemned for its brutality, and has been disowned even by its former parent organization, Al Qaeda, for the atrocities and mass killings it has carried out in countries throughout the region.

Egypt Denies Offering Land for ‘Sinai State of Palestine’

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi never offered the Palestinian Authority a chance to establish a new state in the Sinai Peninsula, according to i24 News.

On Monday morning, Israel Army Radio had reported the Egyptian president had made the suggestion to to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week in Cairo.

The alleged proposal would have provided a tract of land 1,600 square kilometers (618 square miles) adjacent to Gaza, to “end the refugee story,” as Abbas told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

The total area of the site – which would be controlled by the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas — is five times the area of Gaza. According to Israel Army Radio, the proposal has a green light from the United States, and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given a ‘heads up’ as well.

In exchange, the Palestinian Authority would end its demand for Israel to retreat to the 1949 Armistice Line – known internationally also as the “1967 border” after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War.

The broadcast report noted that el-Sisi reminded Abbas in their conversation that he is 80 years old. The Egyptian president allegedly warned the PA chairman that if he chose not to make history by accepting the proposal, “your successor will.”

Abbas, however, rejected the plan – much as his predecessor, former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat once rejected a plan that would have given his people 97 percent of the territory in Judea and Samaria for which they have fought for so long.  Arafat instead insisted on holding out for land from Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

The Egyptian proposal is not really a new idea. In 1956, the Egyptian government proposed a similar concept. Then, too, it was rejected by the PLO.

“Now this is being proposed once again,” Abbas told a gathering of his Fatah faction in Ramallah on Sunday. “A senior leader in Egypt has said, ‘A refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it is illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed in its denial on Monday that the proposal was actually offered in the past by Muslim Brotherhood-backed former President Mohammed Morsi, deposed a year ago by el-Sisi.

Under the plan, Palestinian Authority-controlled cities in Judea and Samaria would remain autonomous and their residents would remain in their homes.

So-called “refugees” from abroad – who are now into the third and fourth and in some cases even fifth generations – could move to new homes in the proposed State of Palestine, adjacent to Gaza. There would be a considerable amount of seafront property in the tract being offered, enough for both real estate development, and for a port.

Just two main conditions were attached to the proposal: (1) the state be demilitarized, and (2) that cities in Judea and Samaria be autonomous, not the entire regions.

4 Beheaded Victims Found in Sinai

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Signs that Islamic State (ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists have arrived in Egypt seem to have appeared just a few kilometers from Israel and Gaza: four beheaded bodies were found Wednesday in the Sinai Peninsula.

Security personnel in Sinai and Cairo said residents in Sheikh Zuweid discovered the disfigured bodies two days after the victims were kidnapped by armed terrorists while traveling through town in a car.

All four victims were civilians but it is believed they may have been targeted due to possible loyalty to local police or the military, the sources said. Their identity was not revealed, and their murderers were suspected terrorists battling against the Cairo government.

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

El-Sisi Becomes President of Egypt

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Exit polls show that former Field Marshal and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has swept the polls to become Egypt’s new president.

With nearly all the votes counted, el-Sisi has won 95.3 percent, with leftist opponent Hamdeen Sabahi taking 4.7 percent. The data comes from the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research and the Egyptian TV channel MBC Masr.

Some 25 million Egyptians managed to make it to the polls by the end of the three-day extended voting period, according to the state-run Al-Ahram Online news service. Both candidates filed complaints against the decision to extend the voting by an extra day.

The Human Rights Watch agency also complained, issuing a statement saying, “The mass arrests of thousands of political dissidents, whether Islamist or secular, has all but shut down the political arena and stripped these elections of real meaning.”

El-Sisi removed his predecessor, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi, last June after he had spent one year in office. That year resulted in an Islamist parliament and a tourism industry torn apart by fears over limits on alcohol, music, dress codes and more.

The economy, already limping after the January 25 Revolution in 2011 toppled the government of former President Hosni Mubarak, crashed. And thousands took to the streets to protest when there was no improvement in any sector month after month from the new regime.

When the figure hit the million mark, el-Sisi stepped in, removing Morsi and installing a provisional governing council with representation from across the political spectrum and an interim president. The Muslim Brotherhood was also invited to send delegates – but refused and instead sent its people into the streets, where clashes escalated to more violence.

Eventually more than 600 were killed in the clashes between police and protesters, and thousands were injured. Ultimately the Muslim Brotherhood was banned as a political organization, as it was in earlier years by the Mubarak government, and its leaders jailed.

El-Sisi also poured police and other security personnel into the Sinai Peninsula to put a stop to the flood of terrorists ‘immigrating’ to the region to establish new bases there. He also ordered the Egyptian army to seal the smuggler tunnels with which Gaza terrorists were ‘importing’ weapons and other contraband under the border from Iran and elsewhere.

The issue now is whether the new administration under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will have the tools and the legitimacy it needs to restore order and peace to a nation wracked by rage, violence and poverty for so long.

Egyptians Choose a President (Again)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Egyptians are going to the polls today (Monday) and tomorrow to elect a president in what many see as a foregone conclusion. But the issue is not whether former Field Marshal and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be elected president – the issue is how many of Egypt’s 80 million citizens will actually turn out to vote.

El-Sisi, whose opponent was socialist activist Hamdeen Sabahi, was responsible for the June 30, 2013 removal of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.

Former President Mohammed Morsi was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and elected by a popular vote that many Egyptians said was rigged. The election followed the “January 25 Revolution” that toppled the decades-old regime of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

The “intervention” – as the subsequent military government called it – came in response to months of protests against the increasingly restrictive Islamist regime.

By June, millions of Egyptians had signed a petition asking the president to resign, and were flooding the streets in major cities around the country. But the streets ran with blood as the protesters clashed with their Muslim Brotherhood counterparts, who supported Morsi and claimed the entire scene was a setup by the military.

Now new elections have arrived and the question is whether the country will turn out to support el-Sisi — the military chief who seized the initiative to remove Morsi from office, attempted to restore order to Egypt and has since cooperated with Israel in trying to eliminate terrorist camps in Sinai.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptians-choose-a-president-again/2014/05/26/

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