Archive for Egypt

Thots ‘n’ Prayers

Pull up a Barcalounger while we sit shiva for these former folks:

A Hamas tunnel collapsed on Tuesday night in the al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, Palestinian Authority-based media reported.

Anywhere from six to 11 people were killed in the incident, according to the reports, and their bodies were taken to the local Shifa Hospital.

News of the tunnel collapse comes following reports that Hamas has been investing great efforts and funds into rebuilding its terror tunnel network that was destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

32 out of 49 terror tunnels were identified and destroyed by IDF forces during Operation Protective Edge. Roughly one-third of the tunnels were dug east of the security fence; on Israeli soil.

While it is unclear how many tunnels were rebuilt and how many were newly dug, the report said that the number of currently existing tunnels most likely is similar to their number before Protective Edge.

We’ll get to that shortly. More about this incident:

Hamas on Wednesday tried to keep under wraps the details of a reported Gaza Strip tunnel collapse, the day after the cave-in killed several members of the terror group.

In a bid to keep a lid on the disaster, the group, which is the de facto ruler in Gaza, prevented local media from reporting the incident, which occurred in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood in northeastern Gaza City.

Hamas accused Israel of causing the collapse by opening dams to flood Gaza with water — an annual claim made by Palestinians and flatly rejected by Israel.

Ha. Accusing Israel of providing too much water makes fow a switch:

The severe shortage of fresh water in Gaza pre-dates the Egyptian campaign, the 2014 Gaza war, and even Israel’s capture of Gaza in 1967.

“This severe shortage has steadily worsened over the past few years as a result of the increasing population [and not] seriously developing the water and sanitation sectors,” water expert Ahmed Hillis told Gaza reporter Mohammed Othman in May 2015.4 “[This] has caused another major problem: deterioration in the [water] quality, as seawater is entering the aquifers as a result of aquifers being overdrawn. The Gaza Strip has more than 6,000 wells, most of which are unlicensed…”

These unregistered wells have resulted in the decline of Gazan water quality and water tables.

The “Egyptian campaign” refers to Egypt’s flooding of Hamass’ tunnels with sea water. To create “fish farms”. Hence our slogans, Tilapia not Terrorists, and Halibut not Hamass.

The “besieged” and “blockaded” Gaza has replaced the entire tunnel network Israel “destroyed” a year and a half ago. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of human and financial capital expended. Where did the “impoverished” strip find the money?

More to the point, why should Israel have to do the same thing all over again? Many lives were lost for no permanent gain. Follow Egypt’s lead, Israel: no more fire, the water next time.


Try Not to Smile

Go on, I dare you:

Palestinian Authority news agency Ma’an reports that 14 Gazans are “missing,” following the flooding of a smuggling tunnel with seawater by Egyptian military forces.

Gazan rescue teams rescued seven tunnel workers, but were unable to locate 14 others. The incident occurred on Tuesday morning near Rafah, on the Egypt-Gaza border.

The tunnels also serve as a conduit for anti-Egyptian terrorists to Sinai. As a result, Egypt has flooded hundreds of tunnels in the area, and has cleared out thousands of residents to build a 500-meter-wide buffer zone. Just yesterday, four Egyptian policemen were killed and four others were wounded when a roadside bomb was detonated under their armored vehicle in Rafah.

Correction: Egypt widened the buffer zone to a thousand meters. And they claimed their goal was to convert the tunnels into “fish farms”. Hence my slogan, “Tilapia, not Terrorists”, or even “Mahi Mahi, not Hamass”. I don’t know how the fish farming is going, but the harvest of dead terrorists is boutiful.

PS: Made you smile!

PPS: Europe would doubtless boycott Egyptian exports if Egypt exported anything.

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An Alternative Model for the Migrant Crisis

We’ve always noted Egypt’s approach as, well, an approach:

The bodies of six Sudanese migrants who had been shot dead were found in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula near the Israeli border on Monday, security and health officials said.

Eleven Sudanese were also wounded by gunshots as the group attempted to reach Israel, officials said. The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear.

The Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian authorities are battling a jihadist insurgency, is a major route for African migrants trying to reach Israel.

On November 15, the bodies of 15 African migrants were found near the Israeli border after they were shot dead.

Egypt border police often shot migrants at the border as they tried to cross into Israel between 2009 and 2011.

Why Sudanese, Muslim presumably, would risk life and limb to reach the Jewish State is not clear. Though perhaps their treatment at the hands of Egyptian police, Muslim presumably, is a clue. As the article observes, this has been going on for years. Often the migrants are shot in the back.

In Israel, though their permission to stay is a long shot, they are treated somewhat better:

The visit was part of a weeklong tour for the pastors, members of the the Church of God in Christ, or COGIC, America’s largest African-American Pentecostal denomination. Christian tours come to Israel throughout the year, but most focus on seeing landmarks and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and Israel’s north, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Sea of Galilee.

The visit with African asylum seekers in Tel Aviv introduced the pastors to one of Israel’s most disadvantaged, and controversial, groups. The approximately 40,000 such migrants in Israel, mostly from Eritrea, say they came to Israel to escape a brutal dictatorship and an unlimited, punishing military draft. But the government has portrayed them as illegal economic migrants who came to Israel for jobs.

Since 2013, the government has detained thousands in Holot, a detention facility adjacent to a prison on the Egyptian border. Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that detainees must be released after a maximum stay of 12 months.

Forty-thousand homeless, skilless, illegals, with no common culture or language—indeed whom might be considered hostile, given the circumstances—would equate to over 1.5 million in America. For comparison’s sake. This while Israel is still trying to assimilate Jews from Ethiopia.

Speaking to the pastors about the migrants, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said, “You have your human responsibility as people, as Jews,” adding that the government “need[s] to do better.”

Spare me. If Israel still gets no credit for its humanity, I say send the Eritreans back across the border and shoot ’em in the back. When in Araby…


Obama’s Biggest Failed State Yet?

Will Egypt become a terrorist state?

Before you go all moonbatty on me, let me restate the Aggie Doctrine™: It is long past time for anyone over 25 years of age to grow up. In this case it means that Obama’s encouragement of the fall of Mubarak, the Arab Spring, the government of the Muslim Brotherhood, which, thank god, (because there are still adults in Egypt apparently) was overthrown by the military government of General Sisi, and which appears to be on shaky ground, is the fault of the United States under the leadership of Barak Obama. How can this be his fault? Because the Leader of the Free World has the responsibility not to ignore terrorism, not to be naive, and not to disrupt a largely peaceful country of 80 million people. Instead this dolt called ISIS the JV Team, and broke the government which had held Egypt together peacefully for 40 years. That’s why.

Israeli officials are reportedly growing concerned over the long-term viability of the current Egyptian regime in light of gains made by Islamists in their insurgency.

Bloomberg News quoted a former Republican lawmaker on Friday as saying that Israeli government figures are beginning to wonder whether Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, can successfully overcome the threats posed to his rule by Islamic State-inspired Salafist gunmen.

“We encountered a lot of people in Israel and elsewhere that don’t think that he is going to survive his term,” Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress, told Bloomberg.

Weber is currently the co-chairman of the Egypt policy task force of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The think tank released a report co-authored by Weber in which he states that his team met with a number of Israeli defense and security analysts in recent weeks.

According to the report, Weber’s interlocutors paint a bleak picture of Sisi’s current standing in Cairo.

“[Sisi] is under constant death threats,” Weber told Bloomberg. “Many people said we’re not sure where he sleeps every night. And I think there is that question mark in the minds of the Israelis about whether or not the government can succeed.”

An insurgency based in Sinai and mounted by Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate has killed hundreds of soldiers and police. In recent months, it has expanded to Western targets in Egypt.

The Islamist insurgency gained pace after Egypt’s military, under Sisi’s command, overthrew President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement in mid-2013 in the wake of mass protests against his rule.

Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria, has a presence in Libya and the support of militants in Egypt seeking to topple the Cairo government.

Sisi has described Islamist militancy as an existential threat to Egypt, the most populous Arab state and a close US ally.

Sisi has reportedly acknowledged that Islamists have tried to assassinate him on at least two occasions. Remarkably, though, there is now concern that the Egyptian president has enemies within the ranks of the military.

This past August, 26 Egyptian officers were sentenced to jail by a military court for allegedly plotting to overthrow Sisi.

Let’s hope Russia does a better job running the world than we have done.

– Aggie

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Sharm el-Sheikh Vacations CHEAP

Take my cabana—please!

A plane carrying British holidaymakers to Sharm el-Sheikh came within 300 metres (1,000ft) of a missile as it neared the Egyptian airport in August, the government has confirmed.

A Thomson Airways flight from London Stansted to the Red Sea resort, carrying 189 passengers, took evasive action after the missile was spotted in its trajectory by the pilot. The crew of flight TOM 476 landed the plane safely and passengers were not advised of the incident, which occurred on 23 August.

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that the incident took place but said it did not believe the missile was an attempt to target the British plane, instead ascribing the missile seen by the Thomson pilots to Egyptian military manoeuvres. Airlines are currently prohibited from flying below 26,000 feet over the Sinai peninsula due to fears that Islamic militants fighting the Egyptian government could have weapons capable of bringing down a plane.

The Manpads – portable anti-aircraft missile launchers, which intelligence agencies believe Isis-affiliated groups could possess – are capable of targeting planes only at low altitudes. A government spokesperson said: “We investigated the reported incident at the time and concluded that it was not a targeted attack and was likely to be connected to routine exercises being conducted by the Egyptian military in the area at the time.”

It wasn’t ISIS shooting at a passenger plane, it was the Egyptian military. Feel better? And who seriously doubts ISIS couldn’t get, or hasn’t already got, its hands on any weapon it chooses?

I am experiencing a strong sense of deja-vu over these stories. It was the targeting of tourists in the notorious Luxor Massacre in 1997 when the true intent of Islamic terrorism first penetrated my thick skull. And that intent, in case you need to be told, is to kill as widely and wantonly as possible.


Let’s Take A Bow, BTL!

US believes Russian jet was bombed by ISIS

A few days ago, right after the plane went down, I posted a perplexed thought about how I thought it was terrorism, ISIS, but how in the heck did ISIS get the ability to shoot down a plane, get the weapons into the Sinai?

Turns out that they probably just smuggled a bomb on board. Which means that Egypt doesn’t do a good enough job profiling. Go figure:

The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane,” the official said, stressing that no formal conclusion had been reached by the U.S. intelligence community.

A couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance explained to me that these young boys are just so frustrated by how we treat them that they have no real choice but to blow things up, stab, whatever. Obama’s lame policies have nothing to do with this, and it is radical thought that leads anyone to that conclusion. She forgot to add racism. You might assume that the speaker was 20 years old, but no, she’s retired, mid-60’s.

Because I’ve heard so much blame-the-victim stuff from friends and neighbors, I just have no pity for the victims of Islamic terrorism. Forget it, Jake. It’s radical Islam.

– Aggie

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Aw, Gee

Thoughts ‘n’ prayers:

For Bakeer, 61, the fact that Egypt, once a gateway to the world for Gaza’s 1.8 million Palestinians, was behind his family’s suffering, was particularly painful.

“We respect our neighbors, we love Egypt, but our neighbors are making our life harder,” he said in his one-story unfinished cinder block house, around which water seeps and cracks in the ground are growing wider.

Egypt’s pumping of salt water from the nearby Mediterranean into the tunnels is not only creating a mess as it rises to the surface. Palestinian officials say it is also contaminating water supplies as well as threatening to wreck farmland and spread disease.

Then this September, battling an insurgency in northern Sinai, Egypt decided to shut down the tunnels once and for all. Determined to halt what it said was an arms flow in the opposite direction, from Gaza to the militants, it cleared the area on its side of the border and began pumping water into the underground maze, collapsing the land.

Tunnel-builders said Egypt has pumped in water several times since September, and that over the course of a few weeks had done more damage to the network, which once accounted for an estimated 30 percent of Gaza’s imports, than Israeli bombing had caused over the past two decades.

What is left is an environmental mess, residents and local officials said, with the sea water polluting underground drinking reserves. The overflow has reached streets and homes within 100 meters (yards) of the border fence. Vast puddles and mud are everywhere.

“One cubic meter of sea water pollutes 40 cubic meters of underground water,” said Tamer al-Sleibi, water department director in the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority in Gaza, who is concerned about long-term environmental damage.

Egypt’s campaign, he said, could weaken the foundations of homes already on shaky ground due to tunnel-building and make land unfit for agriculture in areas near the frontier. There is also a health risk as the water turns stagnant, allowing mosquitoes and other disease carriers to breed.

Do business with Israel, and you’ll be treated firmly but fairly. Do business with the Arabs, and, well, you get what you deserve.

Call yourself the Venice of the Mediterranean! Tourists will flock. They’ll need nose plugs, though.

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Fish Farms Yes, Fatwas No!

Flay of soul:

Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings in the Sinai peninsula in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch says.

Troops began razing homes along the Gaza border in 2013 to create a “buffer zone” and eliminate smuggling tunnels, after a surge in attacks by militants.

But those evicted are given little or no warning, no temporary housing and inadequate compensation, HRW alleges.

The Egyptian government insisted that residents supported the demolitions.

Course they do, if they know what’s good for ’em. “Show restraint”? I’ll show you restraint, right here, you liberal weenie do-gooders.

So far, the military has destroyed nearly all buildings and farmland within about 1km (0.6 miles) of the Gaza border using uncontrolled explosives and earth-moving equipment, according to analysis of satellite imagery, videos and interviews with residents by HRW detailed in a report released on Tuesday.

The military aims to eventually clear an area of about 79 sq km (30 sq miles) along the Gaza border, including all of the town of Rafah, which has a population of about 78,000 people, HRW says.

As we’ve reported, they plan to turn the tunnels into fish farms. Grouper yes, Gaza no. Lox, not Glocks.

Quitcher bitchin, HRW. Egypt showed a lot more restraint than I would have shown. They’re using their own land to build their kilometer-wide buffer zone. I would have seized Gaza’s.

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Vox Palesti

Will Mahmoud Abbas make it through year 11 of his four-year term?

A public opinion poll published on Monday showed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s popularity has declined in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. By contrast, the poll found, the popularity of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has increased significantly in the West Bank and declined slightly in the Gaza Strip.

According to the results of the poll, 65% of respondents want Abbas to resign, while 31% want him to remain in office. Two-thirds believe Abbas’s recent resignation from the PLO Executive Committee is not real.

Why should they? Nothing is real over there. Not elections, not leaders, not “reconciliation”, not ceasefires—especially not their invented ethnicity.

Egypt has had enough of their nonsense.

Egypt started filling the trenches that it dug along its border with the Gaza Strip with seawater last week and Hamas is urging Cairo to suspend its actions because of the dangers it poses.

Egypt started digging the trenches last year after declaring the border area as a buffer zone, part of its fight against terrorism. It later on cleared border residential areas in Rafah to set up a military-operated fish farm project that will also help shutdown smuggling tunnels.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Sunday that they are “holding official contacts with Cairo to halt” the flooding of seawater into the trenches because it can affect Gaza’s underground water and render houses more fragile and prone to collapsing. He hoped that the Egyptian authorities will stop what he described as “rejected measures” that “represent a great danger” to Gaza.

Egypt considers the project as a security measure that will help it curb the smuggling of weapons through the tunnels as well as limit activities of militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

Fish farms! Ha! Tilapia yes, Palestinians no. General Sisi is my favorite tinpot dictator.

PS: Even Gazans have had enough of their nonsense—their own nonsense!

Prolonged disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have left Gazans without electricity for eight-hour stretches – and Gazans say that they prefer Israel over their Hamas rulers as the crisis continues.

“The Israelis are better,” Ibrahim, one Gazan, told Channel 2 Wednesday. “All talk on the street is about the electricity. All the public talks about is how hard it is in Gaza.”

Damning with faint praise.


Of All the Luck

You’re a Mexican (hypothetically, not insultingly), and you decide to get out of that den of iniquity, that national shallow grave, to go on vacation.

And you choose Sinai?

What, South Sudan was booked? Isn’t the point of travel to see lands different from your own?

Mexico has demanded a thorough investigation after Egyptian security forces mistakenly opened fire on a group of Mexican tourists in the Western Desert, killing 12.

At least 10 people were also injured in the incident, Egyptian officials said.

Egyptian police and armed forces were pursuing terrorist elements in the area and fired on four cars that turned out to be carrying tourists, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry. The ministry said the victims were Mexican and Egyptian.

Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu was in contact with Egypt’s ambassador to Mexico, a statement said. She also demanded the support of Egyptian authorities for Mexican nationals being transported to Cairo.

The tour company involved “did not have permits and did not inform authorities,” said Rasha Azazi, a spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, adding that any trips to the Farafra area are required to be cleared by officials.

“They were not supposed to be there,” she said, but could not provide further information on the circumstances of the shooting.

The Egyptian authorities did not indicate whether the tourists were killed by automatic fire or aerial bombardment.

Of course “they were not supposed to be there”. Who is? I wouldn’t send a Gila monster to Sinai. I suppose it doesn’t make much difference how you get smoked—automatic weapon fire, aerial bombardment; cartel or security forces; Egyptian or Mexican. Some things are just fated to happen.

Thoughts ‘n’ prayers.


What Can Possibly Come Between Two Arab Brothers? [UPDATED]

A moat!


After clearing away villages and farms within 3 to 5 kilometers of its border with Gaza, Egypt on Monday embarked on the second stage of its plan to protect itself from Hamas terrorists and tunnel smugglers – the construction of a medieval-style moat around Gaza.

Now, Egypt is increasing its defenses in Sinai – by building a 20 meter deep moat around Gaza. The moat, officials expect, will prevent tunnels from being built, as Gaza tunnel diggers will be unable to dig deep enough to go under the moat. The moat will be filled with seawater from the Mediterranean.

Egypt several years ago began work on a similar moat, but the project was dropped because of budgetary and technical problems. Israel had considered building a moat as well in 2004, before the disengagement, but that plan was dropped as well.

It’s not known if Egypt plans to stock the moat with alligators or other similar natural deterrence methods.

Alligators, shmalligators! Say hello to my li’l frien’:

Enhydrina schistosa

aka the Beaded Sea Snake, or the hook-nosed sea snake—how perfect for Israel!

…is a highly venomous species of sea snake common throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. This species is implicated in more than 50% of all bites caused by sea snakes, as well as the majority of envenomings and fatalities.

They are venomous and notably aggressive, with some herpetologists describing them as “cantankerous and savage”.

How perfect for the Palestinians!

We’ve been keeping you abreast of the developments—how the no-man’s-land grew from half a k to one k—but we didn’t know about the moat, or had forgotten about it. Delightful!

We repeat that our only regret is that Egypt is sacrificing its own land to build these fortifications, rather than seizing Gaza’s.

Your move, Israel. We suggest boiling oil.

One person’s moat is another person’s fish farm:

The Egyptian military is continuing its crackdown on the underground smuggling tunnels connecting the Sinai and Gaza, and has launched a new project in this regard, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday.

According to the news agency, bulldozers have been digging through the sand along Egypt’s border with Gaza in recent days, as part of a project billed as an Egyptian military-operated fish farm.

Military officials told AP the project would effectively fill the border area with water and is designed to put an end to the last remaining cross-border underground smuggling tunnels.

Egypt’s army began digging last week what officials said will be 18 fisheries along the 9-mile (14-kilometer) border with Gaza, with the purpose of making digging underground tunnels impossible.

Catfsh welcome, Palestinians not. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

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Dumb Or Dumbfounded?

Can’t figure Trump

Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it.

The businessman’s dominance of the Republican presidential race is forcing experienced political hands to question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong.

The shocks have come in quick succession, with the businessman first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called “astounding.”

“That defies any rule in presidential politics that I’ve ever seen,” Murray, the director Monmouth’s Polling Institute, told The Hill.

Trump’s favorability rose from 20 percent to 52 percent among Republican voters between July and August, Monmouth found.
“Throw out the rulebook when it comes to Trump, that’s not even in the parameters of what we see as unusual,” Murray said.
But as the attacks on Trump have intensified, so has his level of support.

Polls released Tuesday show Trump lapping the field in New Hampshire, where he leads his nearest Republican rival by 24 percentage points. The story is the same in South Carolina, where the latest poll gave him a 15-point edge.

While political scientists and other experts continue to insist Trump will not win the Republican nomination, he’s converted at least one high-profile skeptic.

GOP pollster Frank Luntz had dismissed Trump from the start, and declared after the first presidential debate that his campaign was doomed.

But after convening a focus group Monday evening where Trump supporters showed an unflappable allegiance, Luntz changed his tune.

“This is real. I’m having trouble processing,” he said, according to Time.

“I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” he added.

Absolutely for free, I, Aggie, will attempt to explain this to pollsters, journalists, and other politicians. Here goes:

1. ObamaCare was shoved down our throats. Not a single Republican voted for it, but, when the public turned over both the House and Senate to the Repulicans, they sat on their thumbs. They didn’t get rid of it or alter it. Consequently, we have some “folks,” typically self-employed, tiny businesses who now pay nearly 1/3rd of their gross for health care coverage. Think about the one-man shop that does small carpentry or repair or removes tree stumps – or even the therapist with a very small private practice. Hardworking, independent individuals who have taken care of themselves their entire lives have been screwed. Completely screwed. And, Republicans just talk. Most of them end up taking jobs that they don’t want in order to get health care. The braver ones just pay the penalty ObamaCare tax. In other words, people have shut down businesses that they spent years, even decades, building due to this law.

2. The Unclenched Fist did not work with Mr. Putin.

3. The Arab Spring led to tens of thousands of deaths and frightening instability.

4. The Iran Deal will lead to terrorism and a nuclear arms race.

5. People who disagree with Obama’s policies are sick of being called racists.

6. People perceive some of their economic suffering to have been caused by people crossing the borders, and putting stress on our economy. They are also angry about welfare benefits going to non-citizens.

7. People are tired of the condescending, arrogant attitude they have endured by Obama, the democrats, and their proxies.

8. People are sick and tired of the lies.

9. Trump, blow-hard that he is, talks back forcefully, and has managed to convince many “folks” who have been victimized by Obama’s Leftist policies, that he will turn things around.

I am sure that the list could be lengthened. Feel free to write suggestions and I will add them.

– Aggie

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