Archive | Egypt

Putin in Egypt: Who’s the big player in the Middle East?

This could be just a coincidence, but the next day after Russia announced victory over terrorists in Syria, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Both of these events dramatically strengthen the role of the Russian Federation in the Middle East. The Arab world is looking up to Russia, and President Putin has arrived in Egypt to strengthen the strategic alliance with Egypt.

During the Cold War, Egypt was a difficult partner for the USSR. In the middle of the 20th century, the Kremlin was supporting the young republic in its opposition to Israel and the West, and Egypt was reciprocating. In late September 1970, when Anwar Sadat came to power there, he distanced himself from Moscow and went on rapprochement with Washington.

Even though the Soviet-Egyptian Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation was signed in Cairo on May 27, 1971, the relations between the two countries had been chilly since the mid-1970s. Since 1975, Soviet and Russian leaders have never paid a visit to Egypt. Vladimir Putin broke the sad tradition only in 2005.

After the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Russia started establishing constructive relations with the new government. These days, President Putin is in Egypt again, where he received a very warm welcome. Egyptian president welcomed Putin personally at the airport and took him to the presidential palace. Cairo residents carried placards saying: “We are glad to welcome President of the Russian Federation and true friend of Egypt in the country of peace.”

Egyptian newspapers also took efforts to give Putin a hearty welcome. All major Egyptian publications predictably wondered when Russian tourists were going to return to Egypt. This issue has become one of the most difficult one on the agenda of the talks.

Since 2015, after the crash of the Russian passenger jetliner over the Sinai Peninsula, the air communication between the two countries has been suspended at the initiative of Moscow, and the tourist flow to Egypt has plummeted. Since then, the Egyptians have done a lot to meet various requirements of the Russian side to improve the security level of Egyptian airports. Russian security commissions have visited Egypt several times already, but they would always find various drawbacks.

Following the talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Vladimir Putin stated that the authorities of Egypt had succeeded in raising the level of security at their airports. The head of the Ministry for Transport of the Russian Federation, Maxim Sokolov, who arrived in Egypt as part of the Russian delegation too, said that one only needs to settle certain formalities before Egypt may expect Russian tourists to return in 2018.

In the long run, tourism was not the most important purpose for Putin to arrive in Cairo. The main topic of the talks was set by Donald Trump, who caused a wave of indignation in the entire Arab world having recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Putin’s goal is to secure the role of an arbitrator in the looming historical dispute.

Cairo has taken the side of Palestine. Egypt recognizes the right of Palestine to establish its own independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem. The decision of the US president has ruined those plans, and both Palestine and Egypt expect that Putin will be able to use his influence and give the Palestinians another chance.

Russia’s victory in Syria showed the Arab world that the United States will have to take Russia’s position into consideration in the Middle East. Egypt will not dare to confront Washington, no matter how hard they may try. Egypt will never stand up to confront Washington, no matter how the Egyptians may criticise Trump. In June 2017, Cairo was one of the seven closest allies of Washington in the Arab world that broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

As for Russia, Moscow has been gradually increasing its influence on Egypt to the detriment of the United States. For example, Russia helps Egypt build its first national nuclear power plant with a capacity of 4.8 thousand MW, and Moscow is expected to give an export credit for this seven-year project.

Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu paid a visit to Cairo, where he discussed issues of struggle against terrorism and military-technical cooperation. This year, Russia won a tender for the supplies of Ka-52A Katran deck-based helicopter for Egypt’s Mistral helicopter carriers Mistral and discusses a possibility to purchase a land version of the Ka-52.

On November 30, the Russian government approved a draft bilateral agreement, according to which Russian military aircraft can use Egyptian airfields when carrying out military missions. During the visit to Egypt, President Putin may reach an agreement to establish a Russian military base there that would strengthen Russia’s position in the Mediterranean even further.

Posted in Egypt, Russia0 Comments

Egypt journalists: ‘Sorry Palestine, we are governed by a Zionist’

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MEMO 

Egyptian journalists staged a protest on Thursday evening in front of the Journalists Syndicate in Cairo, objecting to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

A number of public figures took part in the protest, including former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, human rights activist Tariq Al-Awadhi as well as representatives of the Kefaya Movement, the April 6 Youth Movement and Al-Dustour.

The protesters demanded authorities sever ties with the Zionist entity, expel the Israeli ambassador in Cairo and close the Israeli embassy.

Condemning Arab governments, the protesters chanted: “Arab leaders are cowards… either resistance or treachery” and “down with every collaborator”.

In a bold move, they criticised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s response to Trump’s decision saying: “Sorry Palestine, we are governed by a Zionist.”

Police forces cordoned off the protesters using iron barricades, while riot police were positioned nearby to ensure the demonstration did not spread.
Amr Badr, member of the Journalists Syndicate, described the American decision and said he doesn’t not expect it to be followed through.

In the first official call to boycott US products, the Journalists Syndicate issued a statement which condemned Trump’s decision and called on all Egyptians to boycott American goods.

While the international community has almost unanimously disagreed with Donald Trump’s announcement, reports suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Arabia going as far as, allegedly, stating to the Palestinian President to accept a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem as the alternative Palestinian capital.

Since the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s royal court has sent notices to the nation’s media outlets to limit the airtime given to protests against Trump’s announcement.

Emboldened by Trump’s annoucement, Israeli housing Minister Yoav Galant decided on Friday to promote a plan to build 14,000 new settlement units in the occupied Jerusalem.

Read alsoMakkah and Madinah imams silent on Jerusalem in Friday sermons

Posted in Palestine Affairs, EgyptComments Off on Egypt journalists: ‘Sorry Palestine, we are governed by a Zionist’

Putin goes to Cairo as Trump ties himself in knots

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By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline 

The United States’ self-goal on Jerusalem opens for Russia a window of opportunity to strengthen its standing as the most creative and positive player in the Middle East politics. Within four days of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, President Vladimir Putin is undertaking unscheduled ‘working visits’ to Egypt and Turkey.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry issued a lengthy statement criticizing the US decision on Jerusalem and affirming that

  • We believe a fair and lasting solution to the protracted Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be based on international law, including UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that provide for settling all aspects of the final status of the Palestinian territories, including the highly delicate issue of Jerusalem, through direct Palestinian-Israeli talks. The United States’ new position on Jerusalem can further complicate Palestinian-Israeli relations and the situation in the region… Russia sees East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state and West Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

Russia has positioned itself appropriately on the Arab Street. But the Jerusalem issue is not what is taking Putin to Cairo. The Kremlin readout flagged the need of “providing stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa.” Which means Libya, Sinai and Syria and to an extent Yemen – in that order, perhaps.

The point is, the ‘Libyan file’ has re-opened. The Islamic State is relocating in Libya after its crushing defeat in Iraq and Syria. Russia and Egypt sense the imperative need to mobilize quickly and confront the extremist groups in Libya. Both are supportive of the Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar who’s ensconced in Benghazi, whom they (rightly) see as a bulwark against violent extremism in Libya. The power vacuum in Libya and the growing insecurity in western Egypt threaten the stability of Egypt and President Sisi’s prestige is at stake. On the other hand, Egyptian involvement in Libya affects the balance of power in the Middle East. Interestingly, the Gulf monarchies are also involved in the Libyan crisis.

Enter Trump. The Libyan PM Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj visited the White House on December 1 and Trump discussed with him “opportunities for future partnerships” while emphasizing “America’s continued commitment to defeating ISIS and other jihadist terrorists in Libya” and “to work together to advance Libyan stability and unity.” On a parallel track, French President Emmanuel Macron had also hosted Sarraj in Paris. (Sarraj has an established reputation as the ‘Ashraf Ghani’ of the Maghreb – a politician imposed by western powers. Keeping Russia out of Libya is a key template of the western strategy (as is the case in Afghanistan.)

But Russia and Egypt have specific interests, too. Libya used to be a Soviet ally and it has a strategic Mediterranean location facing the NATO’s southern tier. As for Egypt, the instability in Libya spills over to Sinai Peninsula, which is already happening. Sisi’s ambition could be to create a sort of Egyptian protectorate in Cyrenaica against extremist groups. No doubt, with 1,200 kilometers of shared border with Libya, Egypt’s security concerns are legitimate.

Egypt is also a net importer of energy. Haftar controls the so-called oil crescent in Libya and the Russian oil giant Rosneft is back in Libya. Clearly, the energy platform provides a potentially lucrative 3-way cooperation between Russia, Haftar and Egypt – although secondary to the military and security dimension.

Prima facie, Moscow is deferring to the UN in key matters and is also engaging Sarraj’s government in Tripoli. Which suggests that Moscow may be positioning itself as a broker between Libya’s rival partners – Sarraj and Haftar, principally – and eventually to manoeuver itself to make up for the financial losses it suffered in 2011 following the regime change which is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion in railway contracts, construction projects, energy deals and arms sales.

But the West will be wary that Putin doesn’t do a Syria on them and checkmate them in Libya too. The Libyan situation has its specific features but big-power rivalry is accelerating. Washington may appear to be better placed in Libya, since the US’ NATO allies are stakeholders. But all bets are off when Putin enters the centre stage. For an effective Russian role in the military and security sphere to stabilize Libya, Moscow needs a regional partner. Putin enjoys excellent rapport with Sisi. Washington will be closely monitoring their talks in Cairo on Monday.

Posted in Egypt, RussiaComments Off on Putin goes to Cairo as Trump ties himself in knots

Egypt slams Nazi minister’s call to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

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Egyptian authorities have criticised the Nazi Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel over her recent statements, in which she called for an alternative Palestinian state to be established in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, denounced today Gamliel’s statements stressing that Egypt firmly rejects any kind of “talk or thoughts” that undermine Egypt’s territorial sovereignty.

“The Egyptian domestic affairs should not be included in any statements by foreign parties most importantly when these statements touch Egyptian sovereignty,” Shoukry said in a press conference.

Shoukry noted that the Egyptian authorities have conveyed Cairo’s rejection on Gamliel’s statements to the Nazi ambassador in Cairo, adding that her comments “were made a long time ago.” He also denied summoning the Nazi ambassador.

“The Egyptian land in Sinai, which was watered with the blood of our sons and martyrs, is not something that can be given away or allowed to be attacked,” the Egyptian minister added.

An official source at the Egyptian foreign ministry told Quds Press that officials believe that the recent mosque attack is an Nazi attempt to empty Sinai from its original residents to build a Palestinian state in as an alternative for the two-state solution in the West Bank.

The Egyptian official noted that the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv has asked the Nazi regime for clarifications on Gamliel’s comments, noting that the Nazi regime had stressed that the statements “were personal comments and did not represent government policy.”

On his part, the Egyptian MP, Mostafa Bakry, told Quds Press that the Nazi statements were linked to the recent terrorist attack in Sinai.

Last week, Gamliel said during her visit to Cairo that “it is impossible to create a Palestinian state except in Sinai.”

Rejecting a Palestinian state in the West Bank, she noted that “a Palestinian State is a dangerous idea for the State of Israel,” she explained, stressing: “Between the River Jordan and the [Mediterranean] sea there cannot, and must not, arise a Palestinian state.”

“This call could be unacceptable to the international community and the Arab countries, which are neighbours to Israel, but it is based on our primary and historic right to the land of Israel,” the Nazi minister reiterated.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, EgyptComments Off on Egypt slams Nazi minister’s call to resettle Palestinians in Sinai

Combating Terrorism and the Barbaric Egypt Rawda Mosque Attack

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The barbaric attack that killed 305 worshippers including 27 children during Friday prayers (24 November 2017) at the Rawda mosque in North Sinai, Egypt is a tragic reminder to the entire human family that the threat of terrorism is as deadly as ever.

Though no one has formally claimed responsibility, it is reported that some of the terrorists carried Daesh flags. It is estimated that some 25 to 30 persons were involved in the heinous act.

Terrorist attacks have a long history in Egypt. They have become worse since the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Dr. Mohammed Morsi, in 2013. Daesh or groups affiliated to it have been targeting local tribes and Christian churches.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has chosen to respond to the Rawda carnage, the worst in modern Egyptian history, by ordering air strikes on militant strongholds. While they serve a purpose, they are not the solution. More attention to, and emphasis upon, constant and comprehensive intelligence gathering may help to prevent acts of terror from occurring. In a number of terrorist episodes in different parts of the world, the absence or lack of prior intelligence appears to have been the real problem. In this regard, Malaysia has evolved an effective intelligence gathering system that has played a significant role in thwarting potential terrorist attacks.

Equally important in this battle against terrorism is education, especially in relation to certain key motivating concepts that seem to spur potential terrorists to act in an utterly irrational manner. Their notion of the justification for violence for instance is totally misconceived. They operate under the erroneous belief that it is perfectly legitimate to use violence to advance the Islamic cause as they and their religious teachers interpret it. It is forgotten that it is only if one is a victim of direct, overt aggression that one is permitted to defend oneself by whatever means possible including the use of force.  The pursuit of justice which is paramount in Islam has to be through peaceful means. This is why the avenues for articulating issues pertaining to justice — even if they are anathema to the powers-that-be — should be available in any society. The ruling elite in Egypt should address this obvious flaw in its political system as a matter of urgency.

Education or awareness building should also aim to nurture a willingness to accept diversity within the Muslim family. Differences within the ummah should be seen as legitimate and integral to the faith as long as it does not subvert the fundamental principle of the Oneness of God (Tawhid). Since the Rawda mosque is viewed as a Sufi mosque and Sufis in Egypt and other countries are regarded as heretics by Daesh and other Wahabi oriented extremist groups, it is crucial to re-assert that the Sufis have made a monumental contribution to Islamic civilisation. Their emphasis upon the quintessence of Islam and their gentle character and conduct played a major role in the spread of the religion in Southeast Asia, South India, Central Asia and East and West Africa. Sufi movements were also critical in the resistance to Western colonial rule in North Africa. Some questionable practices among some Sufi orders should not diminish their overall worth and value.

Their acceptance by mainstream Muslims just as the acceptance of the Shia minority — another significant sect that Daesh types and Wahabis reject — underscores the inclusive spirit of Islam which today is threatened by the bigotry and fanaticism of fringe elements.  It is that inclusive spirit that the Amman Message of 2005 seeks to capture, a Message endorsed by Muslim leaders and religious scholars from all over the world that should be brought to the fore at a crucial time like this. And indeed, the Amman Message embodies that precious Quranic truth, “Unto every one of you have We appointed a (different) law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but (He willed it otherwise) in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works!  Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.” (Chapter 5, Verse 48)

However, education and awareness, on the one hand, and effective intelligence, on the other, will not be able to root out terrorism if we do not take into account the vital role of global geopolitical forces. Since I have discussed these forces in other articles in the last 10 years, I will merely pose a number of questions on this occasion. Is it a coincidence that the US elite and its allies began to focus upon ‘Islamic terrorism’ after the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991? Was it motivated by the need for a new enemy that would justify the pursuit of global hegemony and the sale of weapons in tandem with the tightening of the state security apparatus? Was conflating Islam with terrorism which incidentally has historical antecedents in the interface between Islam and the West an attempt to denigrate the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination?  Is this an indication of how Israeli interests have shaped the US agenda on ‘Islamic terrorism’? Was the 9-11 tragedy part of that hegemonic agenda? Has the manipulation of terrorism as part of that agenda become even more obvious now with the recent revelations of who actually finances certain terrorist outfits, trains the militants and provides them with intelligence?

These are questions that need to be asked because even in the case of Rawda, analysts are wondering why the attack took place when it did. Is it because the Egyptian government has played a pivotal role in trying to bring the two adversarial factions in Palestine — Fatah and Hamas — together in order to solidify the Palestinian struggle?  Perhaps some people are not comfortable with this development?

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Zio-Wahhabi terror Attack on Egyptian Mosque

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At least 305 worshippers were killed Friday in an attack by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist militants on a Sufi mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Another 109 people were injured in what the Egyptian government has declared to be the deadliest Saudi Zio-Wahhabi terrorist attack in the country’s modern history.

The attack began when a possible suicide bomb was detonated inside the mosque just as afternoon Friday Prayers were finishing. As people fled the mosque they were fired on by masked men in pickup trucks. Vehicles had been set on fire to keep anyone from escaping. When ambulances arrived on the scene to tend to the dead and wounded, the gunmen opened fire on the paramedics, dramatically increasing the number of casualties.

In a televised address shortly after an emergency meeting with his cabinet ministers, Egyptian Zionist puppet Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi promised a swift response against those responsible for the attack. “The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” Sisi declared.

Several hours later, Egyptian jetfighters descended on the mountains surrounding Bir al-Abed purportedly killing an unspecified number of fighters and destroying the vehicles used the attack.

The government also announced that in response to the attack it would be delaying the opening of the Rafah border crossing between the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. The crossing would have been open Saturday through Monday to allow crucial supplies into what is effectively an open-air Nazi camp for Palestinians maintained by Nazi regime in conjunction with the Egyptian Zionist puppet dictatorship.

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While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is likely to have been carried out by Sunni militants loyal to the Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who view Sufi Muslims as apostates.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist insurgency has been underway in the Sinai since 2013 when Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi was ousted in the military coup that brought Sisi to power. Until recently attacks had been mostly limited to military targets, check points and troop convoys.

The Sinai, a largely desert area that has a limited military presence, was used as a transit point for Islamist militants and weapons being funneled from Libya and Tunisia into Syria as part of the US effort to overthrow President Assad government.

With the official defeat of the Sausi Zio-Wahhabi ISIS in Iraq and Syria, many of the foreign fighters are now returning to the Sinai and the wider region across North Africa.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Islamist militia which has been waging an insurgency against the Egyptian military in the Sinai, pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014. The group claimed responsibility for the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet which was flying out of the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, killing all 224 onboard.

A commander of the group declared in January that they would eradicate Sufis living in the Sinai in including in the area where Friday’s attack took place. An elderly Sufi cleric was executed by the ISIS affiliate in late 2016 and Sufi shires have been targeted for destruction.

Other Islamist militias active in the Sinai include Ansar al-Islam a group which has purported ties to Al-Qaeda.

The attack brought perfunctory condemnations and words of support for the military dictatorship in Cairo from leaders around the world.

While sending his condolences US Zionist puppet Donald Trump used the opportunity to push for an expansion of the imperialist wars already being waged by the US in the Middle East and across Africa under the threadbare pretext of the so-called war on terror.

“The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!” the president tweeted.

He followed up with a tweet which exploited the attack to push his reactionary anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda.

“We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt.”

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Egypt to bear cost of Alexandria Synagogue renovation

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Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry on Thursday announced plans to carry out extensive renovations of a synagogue in Alexandria — despite the fact that, under Egyptian law, the local Jewish community should bear the cost of such restorations.

“The renovation of Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue will take about eight months and cost some 100 million Egyptian pounds [roughly $5.5 million], which will be provided by the Egyptian government,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the same statement, the government had already allocated 1.27 billion Egyptian pounds (roughly $70.5 million) towards eight major historical renovation projects.

In July, Al-Said Helmy Ezzat, head of the ministry’s Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department, announced that proposals to renovate the historical synagogue had been approved and the appropriate financial allocations made.

Under Egyptian law, however, Egypt’s small Jewish community should bear the cost of the project and the reason for the apparent exception remains unclear.

Cash-strapped Egypt continues to face difficult economic circumstances, with the government implementing an IMF-approved reform program, which includes the reduction of government subsidies and which has led to skyrocketing commodity prices.

Built in 1848, Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is one of the largest Jewish synagogues in the Middle East region, capable of accommodating up to 700 people.

It also houses an impressive library containing dozens of ancient Torah scrolls, some of which date back to the 15th century.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Egypt to bear cost of Alexandria Synagogue renovation

Egypt hikes electricity prices by more than 40% as demanded by IMF

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Egypt has decided to raise electricity prices by more than 40 percent as demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to receive a $12 billion bailout loan.

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said on Thursday the new charges would apply as of July, which are likely to further deepen the economic woes of most Egyptians.

He said households would now be paying between 18 and 42 percent more on their bills depending on the category and level of their consumption but some of the subsidies would remain in place.

Under the IMF-devised austerity plan, Cairo is obliged to cut subsidies as a condition to receive installments of the three-year loan.

“We were supposed to have been completely done with the (electricity) subsidy in the current and next fiscal years,” Shaker said.

“But considering the special situation related to the large increase in the exchange rate, we extended this period to an additional three years,” he added.

Since November, Egyptian authorities have floated the country’s currency, slashed fuel subsidies twice, and adopted a value added tax as part of the program, which has led to soaring consumer prices.

The value of the Egyptian pound has since plummeted. One US dollar which was worth 8.8 pounds at the official exchange rate in November sells for more than 17 pounds now. Annual inflation reached 30.9 percent in May.

Egypt’s economy has hugely suffered since long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in 2011, and the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was toppled in 2013.

The current president and former head of the armed forces, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, came to power following a military coup.

The country has seen a rise in violence under Sisi and the once-booming tourism sector of Egypt has suffered greatly due to a hike in terrorism.

People also blame Sisi for wasting billions of dollars on mega-projects such as the controversial expansion of the Suez Canal.

The cash-strapped Sisi administration has tried to persuade the public that painful austerity measures would be to the benefit of the country.

However, frustration is high among Egypt’s 90 million population, especially in the wake of a controversial agreement to transfer the sovereignty of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Egypt hikes electricity prices by more than 40% as demanded by IMF

Nazi regime plans to install Zionist Dahlan instead of Ab-A$$

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A leading Zionist writer revealed yesterday an ‘Israel’-Egypt-UAE plan to install Mohamed Dahlan as the leader of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip instead of Mahmoud Ab-A$$.

In an opinion piece in Haaretz, Zvi Bar’el said that while Hamas would remain in control of security and not be demilitarised, at least “Israel would have a partner in Gaza who supports reconciliation” with the Zionist state.

Zionist Dahlan, he pointed out, is the Palestinian president’s “political rival” and if the plan succeeds it is expected that Ab-A$$ would be “pushed into a dark corner”, leaving the former Fatah official free to move against him. The endgame could see Zionist Dahlan installed as Ab-A$$ successor at the top of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and the PLO.

According to Bar’el, Egypt will ease the siege of Gaza by opening the Rafah Border Crossing for people and goods. The UAE, meanwhile, will fund a power station on the Egyptian side of the border near Rafah; a port is also a possibility. Dahlan is very close to the governments in Cairo and Abu Dhabi.

“It’s still too early to assess whether this plan will be fully implemented,” he wrote, “and if Hamas will agree to place Dahlan at the head of the Gaza government, a step that could all but sever Gaza from the West Bank, especially given the long feud between Abbas and Dahlan.” On the other hand, the writer pointed out, if the plan does come to fruition, it could make an Israeli-Egyptian dream come true. A “state of Gaza” could become a reality with Dahlan at its head, something that, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, is “the plan’s key”.

If the plan succeeds, said Bar’el, it would “neutralise” the role of Qatar and Turkey in Gaza. He described Israel’s policy of “what’s good for Hamas is bad for Israel, and what helps Gazans strengthens Hamas” as a “failed concept”. Instead, he clearly believes that this “new strategy” which places the people of Gaza first should be given serious consideration.

Observers point out that it is significant that Bar’el refers to “Gazans” and “people of Gaza” rather than Palestinians in Gaza. “This,” said one, “tries to convince the world that ‘Gazans’ are somehow not Palestinians and all actually belong in the Gaza Strip. The reality is that most of the residents of Gaza do not originate there; they come from places inside what is now Israel and are refugees by design, not choice.”

“The Gaza Strip” is a relatively recent term, he added. “It’s only been used since the Nakba of 1948, prior to which the land was simply part of historic Palestine.”

Read also:

Hamas delegation reaches ‘understandings’ with Egypt and meets Dahlan reps

Dahlan behind differences between Egypt and Fatah

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Nazi regime planned atomic explosion in 1967 war

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Jewish Nazi regime developed a secret contingency plan to move an atomic device atop a mountain in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and detonate it in a display of force during the Six-Day War in 1967, says a key organizer of the project.

Retired Nazi Brigadier General Itzhak Yaakov detailed the initiative to Nazi nuclear scholar Avner Cohen in interviews back in 1999 and 2000, whose extracts were published in The New York Times newspaper on Saturday and a full text will be released on Monday.

Yaakov said he had initiated, drafted and promoted the plan, code-named Shimshon or Samson, and it would have been activated if Tel Aviv feared it was going to lose the war.

It would have been the first nuclear explosion used for military purposes since the 1945 US attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“Look, it was so natural. You’ve got an enemy … How can you stop him? You scare him. If you’ve got something you can scare him with, you scare him,” Yaakov said.

He further called the Nazi project a “doomsday operation,” saying it was aimed at intimidating Egypt as well as Syria, Iraq and Jordan into backing off.

“The goal was to create a new situation on the ground, a situation which would force the great powers to intervene, or a situation which would force the Egyptians to stop and say, ‘Wait a minute, we didn’t prepare for that.’ The objective was to change the picture,” he added.

The site chosen for the atomic blast was a mountaintop about 17 kilometers from an Egyptian military complex at Abu Ageila, a strategic road junction in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.

The project included sending a small Nazi paratrooper force to divert the Egyptian army in Sinai so that another Nazi team could make preparations for the explosion.

Two large helicopters were supposed to deliver the nuclear device and then create a command post in a mountain creek.

The blinding flash and mushroom cloud caused by the planned detonation was estimated to be visible throughout the Sinai, the Negev Desert and perhaps as far away as the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Yaakov recalled a helicopter reconnaissance flight he made with Nazi official, during which pilots learned that Egyptian jets were taking off, perhaps to intercept them.

“We got very close. We saw the mountain, and we saw that there is a place to hide there, in some canyon,” he added.

“I still think to this day that we should have done it (nuclear explosion),” Yaakov said.

Cohen described Nazi atomic blast bid as “the last secret of the 1967 war.”

Nazi regime, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Six-Day War was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967 by Israel on the one side and of Egypt, Jordan and Syria on the other. Nazi regime illegally occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Gaza Strip and part of the Golan Heights during the offensive.

In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 242, under which Nazi regime is required to withdraw from all territories seized in the war.

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