Hey Amnesty, thanks for reading us, but…where’s our Hat Tip?
Egypt has forcibly evicted an estimated 1,165 families in Rafah so that it can clear a buffer zone by the Gaza border, charged the human rights group Amnesty International, which is concerned that additional homes will be demolished in the coming weeks.
“The scale of the forced evictions has been astonishing; the Egyptian authorities have thrown more than 1,000 families out of their homes in just a matter of days, flouting international and national law,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Shocking scenes have emerged of homes in Rafah being bulldozed, bombed, with entire buildings reduced to piles of rubble and families forcibly evicted,” said Sahraoui on Thursday.
Give me a break with that “shocking” nonsense. Bulldozing and bombing buildings to rubble is always shocking, therefore never so. You sound like a bunch of sissies.
We’ve covered this story for a couple of weeks, though our coverage as been significantly more positive than AI’s.
Egypt has destroyed some 800 homes in November in response to an attack on one of its military checkpoints in north Sinai on October 24, in which 33 soldiers were killed. The armed group Ansar Bait al-Maqdishas claimed responsibility for this attack, Amnesty said.
Days after the attack, on October 29, Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a legal mandate to create of a buffer zone by Rafah and called for the area to be evacuated.
Clearing a buffer zone to stop Hamas from building infiltration and smuggling tunnels from Gaza into Egypt is one of the steps Egypt is taking to protect its armed forces from attacks by militant groups, Amnesty said.
At least 238 members of the security forces have been killed in northern Sinai since 3 July 2013, according state media reports.
Egypt has a right to take security measures, but it must do so within the bounds of international human rights law, Amnesty said.
The forced evictions have ignored these laws, said Amnesty, which explained that residents were not given adequate notice, proper compensation and alternative housing.
What rights? Gaza is run by Hamass, a criminal and terrorist organization. It must be isolated. When it isn’t, people—Egyptian, Israeli, Gazan—die.
In a November 20th interview on France i24, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi defended the home demolitions and explained that the local population had been notified.
“Meetings have been organized in order to compensate them and to rebuild a new city of Rafah,” Sisi said.
“In our struggle against terrorism, we always tried to do our utmost to spare the human lives of civilians. We always respected human rights,” Sisi said.
In a related story of displaced people:
History was made on Sunday, November 30, when for the first time in the annals of the state, official recognition was given to Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran.
The event, hosted by President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence, was the continuum of legislation that was passed by the Knesset in June of this year designating November 30 as the national day of commemoration of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran. The date was significant in that it commemorates the day after the anniversary of the November 29, 1947 United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine, which led to an immediate flare up of anti-Zionist action and policy among Arab states, resulting in the killing, persecution, humiliation, oppression and expulsion of Jews, the sequestration of Jewish property and a war against the nascent State of Israel.
In 1948 close to a million Jews lived in Arab lands. Some were massacred in pogroms. Most fled or were expelled between 1948 and 1967. In 1948 there were 260,000 Jews in Morocco. Today there are less than 3,000. In the same time frame, the Jewish population of Algeria declined from 135,000 to zero, in Tunisia from 90,000 to a thousand, in Libya from 40,000 to zero, in Egypt from 75,000 to less than one hundred, in Iraq from 125,000 to zero, in Yemen from 45,000 to approximately 200, in Syria from 27,000 to 100, and in Lebanon from 10,000 in the 1950s to less than 100.
Jewish population in Arab lands is now 4,500 out of 1948’s 1,000,000—a 99.55% eradication of their former number. And they have the chutzpah to accuse Israel of genocide.
We trust these two stories have been helpful in understanding the region. You’re welcome.