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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

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.

51 Dead in as Egyptians Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Yom Kippur War

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Deadly clashes erupted in Cairo on Sunday as pro-Morsi marches protesting the military junta rule headed to Tahrir Square, where thousands were cheering the same junta, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the army’s 1973 “victory” against Israel.

Confrontations there and outside Cairo resulted so far in the death toll rising to 51, according to Al Ahram, with 268 injured.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces arrested 423 people during clashes in Cairo and Giza.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a coalition of Islamist forces supporting deposed president Mohamed Morsi, said at least 11 had been killed in clashes with security forces in Ramses Street in central Cairo.

Official news agency MENA also reported that gunshots were heard amidst the clashes on Ramses Street.

Backers of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have staged thousand-strong marches in several parts of Cairo, Giza and other governorates, Al Ahram reported.

Rallies took a violent turn in central Cairo’s Garden City and Giza’s Dokki district, where police fired rounds of teargas after local residents clashed during pro-Morsi protests heading towards Tahrir, eyewitnesses and Ahram Online reporters said. The sound of heavy gunfire was later reported, as well as army jets and F-16 fighters hovering in formations over Cairo, Alexandria and other cities.

Each year, Egypt’s army traditionally celebrates the state holiday commemorating the October war against Israel—which eventually led to the recovery of the Sinai Peninsula through peace negotiations—with military performances and flyovers.

Egypt has been gripped by prolonged violence since the overthrow of Morsi on 3 July after mass demonstrations against his turbulent year in office.

The ouster of the former elected president, which was part of a roadmap agreed upon by many political groups and the armed forces, has enraged Islamists who have denounced the move as a violation of democratic “legitimacy.”

Hundreds were killed on 14 August when security forces moved to forcibly disperse two protest camps set up by Morsi loyalists in Cairo and Giza, unleashing days of violent turmoil and deepening polarization.

Militants elsewhere have taken up arms against the state. The army has been battling an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, adjoining Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, where Islamist terrorists have mounted almost daily attacks on security and army targets, killing dozens.

Gaza Jihadist: Israel Killed Arafat for not Signing Agreement

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Here is the latest jihadist history lesson: Israel killed Yasser Arafat because he refused to sign an agreement at Camp David in 2000.

Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi, speaking during a rally in Gaza City, claimed that Arafat was put under siege after returning from the summit, before being poisoned for his unyielding position, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Sunday.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered Arafat to create a Palestinian Authority state with approximately 97 percent of its territorial claims. Arafat refused and resume the Intifada, popularly known as the Second Intifada, and also called the Oslo War.

Arafat died in 2004. The Palestinian Authority still claims he was poisoned by Israel. If the Islamic Jihadist theory is correct, it took Israel four years to poison Arafat, who despite being under “siege” men aged to manage a terrorist campaign that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The need for the Islamic Jihad to try to invent history shows how desperate it is to survive. Egypt has carried out an aggressive offensive to wipe out Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist gangs operating in the Sinai and in Rafiah, which straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border.

As Egypt Nears Civil War, Israel on High Alert

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The dramatic escalation in Egypt’s domestic conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military is being accompanied by an upsurge in the activities of jihadi organizations in the Sinai Peninsula.

Since Morsi’s ouster, extremist Salafi and jihadi organizations have launched waves of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and provoked this week’s extensive counter-terrorism operation by the Egyptian army.

These Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces are also seeking to strike Israel — both to satisfy their ideological demand for jihad against Israelis, and to try and force Israel and Egypt into a confrontation, thereby undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

The Israel Defense Forces are therefore on high alert in the event of further attacks by terrorists in Egypt, while also facing the dilemma of how to safeguard its own national security without infringing on Egyptian sovereignty at this most sensitive time.

Two unprecedented incidents on the southern border in just the last few days, however, served as markers for the rapidly changing situation.

First, according to international media reports, an Israeli drone struck an Al-Qaeda-affiliated organization in Sinai, as it was making final preparations to fire rockets at Israel.

While Israeli defense officials have not confirmed or denied the reports, if true, they represent the first preemptive counter-terrorism strike on Egyptian soil.

If Israeli intelligence receives word of an imminent attack taking shape in Sinai, with little time to coordinate a response with Egyptian military forces, such action might be expected.

Islamists across Egypt were quick to seize on the incident to accuse the Egyptian military of being complicit in an Israeli breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

Although this incident was quickly forgotten by Egyptians as both Egypt proper and Sinai descended into turmoil, there is evidence that further attacks by Sinai terrorists against both Egyptian security forces and Israel are being planned.

An additional signal of the deteriorating security situation in Sinai was the rocket fired by a terrorist organization at the Red Sea tourist resort city of Eilat over the weekend.

Anticipating the attack, the IDF stationed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the city. The prior preparation paid off: the system fired an interceptor that successfully stopped the rocket from hitting the city.

The rocket failed to hurt anyone, but it did trigger an air-raid siren and frighten tourists, sending them scatting for cover. Unlike the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, which are used to Palestinian rocket terrorism, Eilat, a resort town, is not used to living under rocket fire.

Today, a shadow of uncertainty hangs over the future of the city’s tourist industry. For now, Israeli visitors to the city are displaying trademark resilience, and are continuing to pack the city’s hotels and beaches.

Nearby, however, the IDF continues on high alert, watching every suspicious movement in the desert sands near the Egyptian border for signs of the next attack.

Armed Terrorists Kill 24 Egyptian Police in Sinai

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A terrorists’ ambush in the northern Sinai killed 24 Egyptian police who drove by in two vehicles, Kol Israel reported. The attack took place in a village near Rafah. 3 police were injured.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/armed-terrorists-kill-24-egyptian-police-in-sinai/2013/08/19/

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