Archive for Egypt

Other Evictions You May Have Missed

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.

Besides:

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.

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Free Hosni!

Where does Hosni Mubarak go to get his reputation back?

In what many Egyptians called the trial of the century, a Cairo judge dismissed charges against former President Hosni Mubarak for the deaths of hundreds of protesters.

The court has also found Mubarak not guilty of corruption Saturday.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for almost 30 years, was accused of “inciting, arranging and assisting to kill peaceful protesters” during the country’s popular uprising in 2011. The 86-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Saturday’s rulings capped Mubarak’s second trial for the same charges. He was already convicted of helping kill protesters and was sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but was later granted a new trial.

Mubarak wasn’t the only defendant in the courtroom. His former Interior Minister Habib El-Adly and six aides were also trial for the deaths of 239 protesters in 2011. All seven of them were acquitted.

Get up, lazybones! You got a country to run. Well, maybe not:

Though Mubarak was not convicted on any charges Saturday, he still won’t go free anytime soon.

In May, a Cairo court sentenced Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement. His sons Gamal and Alaa were sentenced to four years each on the same charge.

All three were convicted of embezzling $18 million that was allocated for the renovation of presidential palaces. The Mubaraks have insisted they are not guilty.

Don’t bet against the Mubaraks. They have a history of beating the rap—and protestors, Muslim Brothers, African refugees, etc.

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Last Turkey Before Thanksgiving

We’ll post what we can while we prepare the fatted bird, but couldn’t resist this one.

Way to go, Egypt!

Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing Wednesday to allow thousands of stranded Palestinians to return to Gaza but the frontier will remain closed to traffic going the other way, Palestinian and Egyptian border officials said.

One of Gaza’s vital gateways to the outside world, the Rafah crossing was shut on Oct. 25 after Islamist militants in Egypt’s adjacent Sinai region killed 33 members of the security forces in some of the worst anti-state violence since Islamist president Mohamad Mursi was toppled in July 2013.

The month-long closure marooned around 6,000 Palestinians in Egypt or third countries, while around a thousand people in Gaza are desperate to get out for medical treatment in Egypt, officials in Islamist-ruled Gaza say.

Rafah is the only major border crossing into the impoverished Gaza Strip, a narrow, densely populated enclave on the Mediterranean coast, that does not go through Israel, which blockades the territory.

Oh really? Some blockade:

Twenty-eight trucks of cement entered the battered Gaza Strip Tuesday in only the second delivery of building materials for the private sector since a 50-day summer war, an official said.

Raed Fatouh, the Palestinian Authority official in charge of the entry of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing, said 28 trucks, each carrying 40 tons of cement, had crossed into the enclave.

It was the first delivery of building materials for the private sector since Oct. 14, when 75 trucks entered Gaza, carrying 1,300 tons of material – 15 trucks of cement, 10 of metal and 50 of gravel.

“This is the biggest delivery of cement since the war ended,” Fatouh told AFP, referring to the seven-week conflict between Israel and Hamas which ended with a truce on Aug. 26.

“But it is not enough, it is only a tiny amount for the reconstruction.”

You wouldn’t need any of it if you didn’t go around starting wars, dip[bleep]. You’re lucky not to starve.

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The UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International Could Not be Reached for Comment

But we’ll keep trying:

Ten civilians were killed overnight during fighting between the Egyptian army and Islamist militants in Sinai, near Egypt’s border with Gaza, where the military has launched a crackdown in recent weeks, security and medical sources said on Wednesday.

At least three of the casualties were children and three were women, the medical sources said. The victims were killed in their home by two mortar shells fired by militants during a night-time curfew, security sources said.

When will our State Department condemn these senseless killings? When will Jen Psycho take a # selfie? Why is it only news when Israel regrettably and regretfully takes civilian lives in its battles for self-defense?

These are all rhetorical questions.

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Lack of Restraint Watch

Sheesh, Egypt, show restraint!

This video-clip presents a compilation of responses on Egyptian TV channels by TV hosts and commentators to the recent terror attacks in the Sinai.

Egyptian TV host Ahmad Musa: I’d like to say something loud and clear, and I don’t want anyone to be upset with me. No one should be upset with me. If we do not take revenge for today’s [terror attack] – right now, or tomorrow morning – instead of the 50 casualties we had today, we will have a hundred. We will have 400 casualties, not 50. 10,000 casualties, not 50. Our country is at war now, and we should say this loud and clear.

[…]

A state of emergency should be declared everywhere. Starting tomorrow, not a single demonstration should be allowed at any university. As of tomorrow, not a single dog should be allowed to go on a demonstration. Not a single dog should be allowed to chant slogans against the army. Not a single dog should be allowed on the streets, unless he is on his way to work.

[…]

Tomorrow, I want to see blood. I want to see blood right now. I want to see the blood from executions in the dozens, in the hundreds. I’m serious. Any killer should be killed. I don’t want to see arrests. Enough with this arrest nonsense. I don’t want to see arrests. I don’t want to hear about arrests. I want to see corpses. Corpses of terrorists, of murderers.

[…]

Al-Youm TV, October 30, 2014 (via the Internet)

Egyptian TV host Amr Adeeb

[…]

We will not rest until we finish off those sons of bitches. We will not rest until we finish off those sons of bitches.

[…]

Mr. President, do not be deterred by any of those [NGO] homosexuals. Those homosexuals do not know Egypt. They would have been strung up by their feet by the Muslim Brotherhood, if not for the June 30 [revolution].

[…]

Nile News TV, October 22, 2014

Egyptian General (ret.) Hussam Sweilam: You can forget about reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. Don’t even talk to me about reconciliation. Reconciliation means giving up. It means we are weak. If you give them a little power, they will hit you harder.

[…]

We should strike them, even if innocent people are hurt. It is not important.

It doesn’t matter how many or how few innocent people are hurt. Our State Department will still blame Israel.

It troubles me that Egypt’s attitude toward terrorism is in line with mine—ruthlessly crushing armed groups; finishing off the “sons of bitches”; hanging the “homosexuals” by their heels; digging a moat around the entirety of Gaza. But I suppose I can live with it.

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Oh, Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

They said if Israel would just work with Arab states more, things would improve with the so-called Palestinians.

And they were right!

Israel has given the Egyptian army authorization to move two more battalions into the Sinai Peninsula Thursday.

In addition to the infantry battalions, the Egyptians will also move attack helicopters into positions in the Sinai, according to Army Radio, which reported that the decision was made in order to enable Egypt to fight radical elements in the peninsula.

Egypt has ramped up its operations in the Sinai since an attack last month on a military installation by local jihadist organization Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis left 31 soldiers dead. Following the attack, Egypt closed its border with the Gaza Strip and began construction on a buffer zone in the area.

The Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty limits the number of troops Cairo can deploy in the Sinai, but Israel has given its blessing to move in more forces as Egypt began making a concerted effort last year to rein in Islamist groups.

You don’t hear much talk about it these days, but there is also undoubtedly cooperation between Israel and the Sunni gulf states to stop Iran’s nuclear program—especially with Barack Hussein Obama and John Farouq Kerry ready to hand them the keys to the silo.

In other news:

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says she will not take action over Israel’s deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010.

Fatou Bensouda said this was despite a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes… were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara”.

But she said the ICC had to prioritise war crimes committed on a large scale.

Nine Turkish activists were killed on the ship as it attempted to breach a blockade of the Palestinian territory.

“Activists”, ha! That would make Tony Sopranos crew activists. The Manson gang were activists. But I’ll take my good news where I can find it. If the limit is nine terrorists killed, but ten will get you charged, Israel has its marching orders. “Nine is fine; ten is a sin.”

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It’s Another Nakba!

Not the Nakba you’re thinking of, but nakb-esque nevertheless:

The Egyptian army continues expelling Arab residents and detonating buildings in its destruction of the Gazan side of the Egyptian border as the world is notably silent, even as Egypt reveals it will not refrain from taking action against Muslim clerics as well.

The Egyptian Waqf (Islamic trust) announced it will dismiss and expel Muslim clerics if smuggling tunnels are found below the mosques in which they serve, reports the Egyptian news agency Aswat Masriya.

In the recent Operation Protective Edge, the IDF was faced with lethal attack tunnels from under mosques, but nevertheless was hit by massive international criticism for its defensive operation – a criticism that has been completely absent regarding Egypt’s “buffer zone” plan.

According to Yedioth Aharonoth, one of the lone sources of criticism of the plan has been the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news outlet, which identifies with the Muslim Brotherhood that has been at odds with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime, and which has several reporters still being held under arrest by Egypt.

The Qatari paper quoted residents calling the buffer zone plan “the Egyptian parallel to the Nakba (Catastrophe) of ’48,” a reference to the Arab residents who fled the nascent modern state of Israel as it survived attacks on all fronts in the War of Independence.

I had a post on this story over the weekend. I still haven’t stopped smiling.

Today, for the first time in my adult time, I am proud of Egypt. Actually, not for the first time. With some minor exceptions, General Sisi has been the model of a modern Arab dictator. Sisi by name, badass by nature.

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Peace in Our Time

I noted that Egypt had so soured on Hamass’s [bleep] that they were going to impose a buffer zone. I just thought they’d do so with their own territory. I was wrong.

Way to go, Egypt:

Arab residents of Gaza were rounded up by armed soldiers and forced to flee their homes, which were promptly exploded in impressive plumes of dust and sand – but the soldiers were Egyptian, and there has been no international criticism of the buffer zone Egypt is establishing by force on the Gaza side of the Sinai border.

In the buffer zone plan, Egypt is seizing and evacuating all homes and farmland up to 500 meters (over 1,640 feet) into Gaza, all along the 13 kilometer (over eight mile) border. Additionally, a channel with a depth and width of 20 meters (over 65 feet) will be dug along the Gaza border.

The expulsion is in fact being sped up, after the Egyptian army said Saturday night it discovered hundreds more smuggling tunnels into Sinai from satellite imagery, reports the Arabic-language Sky News as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth.

The Egyptian move follows two lethal terror attacks two weeks ago on Friday, in which at least 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed in El-Arish in the Sinai by a suicide bombing and a shooting attack.

Egyptian sources revealed last week that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the attack through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai; the attacks were conducted by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis jihadists, members of a group sympathetic to Islamic State (ISIS).

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi justified the expulsion by citing the attacks, which led him to declare Sinai in a state of emergency, and insisting “Egypt is fighting a war of existence.”

And the world’s outrage over Egypt’s “disproportionate” response? The UN Security Council emergency meeting?

crickets

Such hypocrisy should make me mad, but I’m enjoying the (misplaced, delayed) justice too much. That’s 6.5 square kilometers that Hamass won’t have to launch terror attacks at Israel or Egypt. If Israel did the same thing, and no more, that would mean an additional 26 square kilometers. The two “safety zones” would comprise nearly ten percent of Gaza’s territory. Let’s call it the “Egyptian Peace Plan”, and let’s get it done. For peace.

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Egypt Considering Response To Gaza Terror Attack

Hmm. Egypt not to impressed with terrorism, it seems. Had you heard about this?

Egypt is considering expanding the jurisdiction of military courts and displacing thousands of residents to enlarge a military buffer zone near the border with the Gaza Strip following an attack on security forces in the area.

Two attacks on Friday in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip killed at least 33 security personnel in some of the worst anti-state violence since former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year.

Sisi, who became president in June, said the military would respond by taking “many measures” in the border area where a buffer zone is likely to be expanded in order to pursue militants and destroy tunnels used to smuggle weapons and fighters.

Watch out Egypt. The US and the UN and Europe will come after you if you are mean to the poor, helpless terrorists. Show restraint.

– Aggie

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Good News, Bad News

It’s all the same news, and I’m not sure which is the good and which is the bad:

A judge in Egypt on Monday sentenced to death 683 alleged supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president in the latest mass trial that included the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, defense lawyers said.

But in a surprise reversal, the same judge also reduced most of the death sentences handed to 529 defendants in a similar case in March, commuting the majority of them on Monday to life imprisonment.

Among the condemned was a real Badie:

Among those convicted and sentenced to death on Monday was Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s spiritual guide. If his sentence is confirmed, it would make him the most senior Brotherhood figure sentenced to death since one of the group’s leading ideologues, Sayed Qutb, was executed in 1966.

Ah yes, Sayed Qutb, the perv who famously got skeeved out at sock hop in Greeley, CO:

What was so awful about Sayyid Qutb’s experience in America that led him to regard modernity as an abomination? Well, he went to a dance in Greeley, Colorado: “The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips…”

In 1949, Greeley, Colorado was dry. The dance was a church social. The feverish music was Frank Loesser’s charm song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. But it was enough to start a chain that led from Qutb to Zawahiri in Egypt to bin Laden in Saudi Arabia to the mullahs in Iran… And it’s a useful reminder of how much we could give up and still be found decadent and disgusting by the Islamists. A world without “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” will be very cold indeed.

Courtesy of Mark Steyn.

Look, I hope the MoBros don’t get lined up and shot, most of them anyway. Life in prison is punishment enough for me. But Egypt (and the rest of us) have had quite enough of their nonsense.

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Snap Quiz

Quick question: who’s the US Ambassador to Egypt?

Wait, wait, don’t tell me…oh, I know this! Dude with the glasses and the gray suit. Gave heap big wampum (as Elizabeth Warren would say) to the Obama campaign.

Sigh. Okay, I give up. Tell me.

NOT FAIR!

This absence of a US ambassador in Cairo for the last eight months could be for several reasons. First, it could be strong evidence of tension between the two countries and hesitation by the US administration on what it should do about developments in Egypt. Second, it could confirm the reliance on defence relations as the basis of bilateral relations; there have been more than 30 phone calls between US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his former counterpart Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, or one call every six days.

Third, it could be Washington’s desire not to be directly present inside Egypt, especially after the bad experience of Ambassador Anne Patterson that ended with her returning home in August to become US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

Oh yeah. Seems we read about it at the time:

Patterson was heavily criticised last summer before and after protests following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Some Egyptian newspapers printed headlines describing her as “Ambassador from Hell” and “The US High Commissioner to Egypt” along with “Shameless Patterson” and “White Beetle Patterson” and dozens of other inappropriate headlines. Thus, some people believe that senior US diplomats are hesitant to serve in Cairo right now.

That pitch!

Buncha sexist bastards, the Egyptians.

But why the hostility?

I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’s advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I’m grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I’m also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)

They’re not applauding anymore.

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When No Means Yes

Have you ever heard a less convincing denial?

Hamas denied on Sunday news over the arrest of three of its members by Egyptian authorities on charges of planning to assassinate the presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Abu Zuhri added that publishing such news is an offense to Egypt, as it shows that its army and security services are fragile and unable to preserve its security nor protect its borders.

He also added that such news “offends” the Palestinian resistance.

Awww…

The Kuwaiti newspaper posted news on Sunday claiming that Egyptian security services have arrested three Hamas elements allegedly planning to assassinate Sisi.

The elements, according to Al-Rai, sneaked through tunnels from Gaza to Sinai. Egyptian security claimed that they were caught with a message to assassinate Sisi.

I have to admit the last part sounds suspicious. Aren’t elite assassins trained to swallow such incriminating evidence? Or it’s supposed to self-destruct in five seconds? The rest of it, however—the tunnels, the conspiracy to commit murder, the lies—that’s Hamass all over.

And this is their supporters all over:

British MP George Galloway, who is known for his hatred towards Israel and his backing of the Hamas terrorist group, has come up with an interesting theory regarding the unrest in Ukraine.

According to Galloway, “the Zionists” engineered the situation in Ukraine in order to bring “the Nazis” to power and have the Ukrainian Jews “settle in Palestine”.

“The bizarre alliance in the Maidan between former Israeli army officers [is] the most ugly alliance you can possibly imagine. [This] is part of the thinking of this… Well, if these Nazis come to power in Kiev, and they hate Jews so much, the remaining Ukrainian Jews will feel that they have to go and settle in Palestine,” he continued.

In August last year he accused Israel of giving Al-Qaeda chemical weapons to use against civilians in Syria.

Later, when confronted by another British parliamentarian about his remarks which were made on the same Press TV show, Galloway blatantly lied and claimed, “I said no such thing.”

Britain lives in fear of Mad Cow Disease. Now you know why.

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