Arabs in Gaza protested at the Rafah crossing today, demanding that Egypt open the gates and let them out.Photo of the Day
Posts Tagged ‘Sinai’
Egypt has determined that a bomb did not cause the explosion on the Russian Metrojet that exploded on October 31 shortly after taking off from the airport at Sharm el-Sheikh.
The investigators’ conclusions totally contradict Russia’s and may be a handy way of escaping accusations that Egyptian security was lapse or, even worse, that security workers cooperated with terrorists to bring down the plane.
The announcement also may help the tourist industry, seriously damaged since the jet blew up.
Egypt’s announcement Monday that it “found no evidence so far of terrorism or other illegal action linked to the crash that killed all 224 people onboard on October 31” doesn’t make sense considering a statement by investigators last month.
They announced that after having recovering the black box from the plane, they were “90 per cent” sure they heard the sound of a bomb before the crash.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
(JNi.media) The Israel Electric Corp on Sunday announced that Egyptian natural gas companies will pay compensation of $1.76 billion for stopping gas supplies in 2012, after Mohammed Morsi had been elected president. The termination, which followed months of terrorist attacks on the pipeline in the Sinai, reneged on a 20-year deal between Egypt and Israel. The state-owned IEC initially sued Egypt Mediterranean Gas for $4 billion in damages, but an international arbitrator awarded it only $1.76 billion plus interest and legal expenses.
IEC said it had sustained heavy damages as a result of Egypt’s blocking of gas supplies, forcing it to purchase more expensive fuel to generate electricity.
The Middle east Monitor noted that Egypt’s natural gas reserves had been depleted over the first decade of the 21st century, so that by 2008 “Egypt became a pure importer of energy.” In fact, after Egypt had exported natural gas to Israel since the mid-1990s, it will start importing Israeli gas in 2019 and 2020, for a period of 10 to 15 years. Apparently, well before the “Arab Spring,” still under the Hosni Mubarak regime, “Egyptian energy experts had warned their government of the consequences of continuing the strategy of exporting oil and natural gas for reasons associated with the imminent depletion of Egypt’s fuel resources.”JNi.Media
(JNi.media) The Russian Airbus that crashed in the Sinai Saturday, killing all 224 people on board, broke apart “in the air,” according to a senior official of the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee. RIA-Novosti reported that committee chief Viktor Sorochenko believes “the disintegration happened in the air and the fragments are strewn over a large area.” However, Sorochenko cautioned it was “too early to draw conclusions.” Sorochenko is part of an international panel of experts from Russia, Egypt, France and Ireland investigating the crash.
According to The Telegraph, Egypt’s civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal reported there was been no evidence of problems during the flight: “Up until the crash happened, we were never informed of any faults in the plane, nor did we receive any SOS calls,” Kamal said. All contact with air traffic control was normal, and the routine, pre-flight checks showed no problems, he added.
Earlier, Ayman al-Muqadem, a member of the Egyptian Aviation Incidents Committee, said the pilot reported technical difficulties before losing contact with air traffic controllers, and asked to land at the nearest airport.
Experts have doubted ISIS’ boasting, accompanied by a video claiming to show that their affiliates in the Sinai shot the plane down, suggesting it was impossible for a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher to hit the plane at its cruising altitude of 31,000 ft. However, an advanced surface-to-air missile could do it. Should ISIS have been able to acquire such a system in Iraq or Syria and manage to transport it to the Sinai, under the watch of both the Egyptian and Israeli armies—then taking down an Airbus could have been carried out.
Le Parisien quoted former French intelligence agent Yves Trotignon, who pointed out that ISIS’ claim was vague on how the flight was actually destroyed. Normally, the ISIS videos showing the downing of enemy aircraft are accompanied by a live sound track, rife with astonished cries of “Allahu akbar” as the target is hit. The newest video is silent, accompanied by an Arabic song track. It also starts with a plane flying and getting hit, absent the usual “before” shots that lend the video context and authenticity.
“The [ISIS] statement does not say they shot it down, but that they destroyed it,” Trotignon said. “You could imagine explosives on board, or sabotage.”JNi.Media
(JNi.media) The Israeli government is still waiting, like the rest of us, for results from the Egyptian investigation of the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai on its way from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. Although it is not largely believed that this was done deliberately, as ISIS is claiming, Israeli state officials are still waiting to see proof that the Islamic State is not behind the crash.
Amos Gilad, head of the political and security office in the Defense Ministry, told Walla on Sunday: “We trust the Egyptian statements which have shown good judgment and a professional examination. ISIS do have anti-aircraft missiles, but not the type that can hit a plane at a cruising altitude (the Russian plane was at an altitude of 40 thousand feet and shoulder-fired missiles simply do not reach that far up). There will be an in-depth investigation to rule out any possibilities of terror. Right now, they’re leaning towards a technical malfunction.”
Regarding the suspension of Air France and Lufthansa flights that pass over the Sinai, Gilad said: “These private companies have decided to suspend flights until they see the test results. Israeli companies will continue flying to Eilat normally because their airplanes are protected in three envelopes. The Elbit defense system is most impressive technologically, and Israel has adopted it. In addition, the Israeli Intelligence and deterrence systems are operating to prevent this kind of situation. Israel is well aware of the range of threats emanating from ISIS. This is a murderous organization with extremist ideologies that tries to undermine the existing order in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s air safety regulator has ordered Metrojet, the airline whose charter plane crashed in the Sinai, to suspend flights pending the probe, Al Ahram reported. Rostransnadzor, Russia’s transport safety watchdog, on Sunday ordered the carrier to ground its fleet of Airbus A321s following Saturday’s crash.JNi.Media
7:46 AM Channel 2 Israel TV reports that minutes ago there was a rocket attack on Israel, launched from the Sinai towards Kerem Shalom in Israel.
No known injuries or damage.
The rocket alert/Tzeva Adom dis not sound, presumably because the rocket fell short, and landed in the Sinai.
Around 8 AM, a rocekt was launched from Gaza towards Israel, but that also fell short, according to Israel radio.Jewish Press News Briefs
The topography of Israel’s shared border with Hamas-occupied Gaza is far too complicated, different and longer than Egypt’s shared border with Gaza to replicate what Egypt just did, but it does make one think about other possible solutions.
Fed up with Hamas sending terrorists into the Sinai via the underground tunnels, as well as the smuggling tunnels, Egypt redirected water from the Mediterranean sea, flooding everything under the ground along their shared border.
If we’re already being creative, here’s another thought… the Mediterranean could be Israel’s solution too.
Perhaps Israel could find a way to get every Gazan $5000, a fake Syrian passport (there’s plenty of those floating around) and a seat on a boat sailing across the Mediterranean into to Europe.
Once the sane people leave, it’s clean up time, and we rebuild Gush Katif.Photo of the Day