Aletho News


The Egypt-Israel gas deal is scandalous and shameless

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | February 21, 2018

After Al-Sisi opened the very large Zohr gas field about two weeks ago the newspapers celebrated and announced the news that Egypt will achieve gas self-sufficiency this year by means of the Zohr, North Alexandria, Nawras, and Atoll gas fields. The Egyptian citizens lived this dream until they awoke to a nightmare where Netanyahu is announcing that Israel is celebrating after signing a historical agreement with Egypt that stipulates Egypt will import gas from Israel for 10 years. The imported gas agreement is worth $15 billion and these billions will be added to the Israeli treasury in order to be spent on education, health services, and welfare for Israeli citizens.

Of course it was no coincidence that Netanyahu announced this great news to the Israeli people on the anniversary of President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, as such an agreement poses a new victory for Israel, no less significant than its victory in 1967 and the signing of the peace treaty. In my opinion, they are crowning their victories with this latest victory, as a result of which they control energy in Egypt and the key to the energy tap is placed in their hands. They can turn it off whenever they please. Whoever controls the energy can suffocate the states that live under its mercy and can control the decisions of these states.

This is a major crime committed against Egypt as a state and against its people. This gas is actually Egyptian gas that was seized by Israel either without the ruling government’s knowledge or in collusion with it. Instead of admitting to this crime and being ashamed of it, the government’s mouthpieces and corrupt media came up with justifications and excuses more criminal and shameless than the act itself. Some examples include but are not limited to the claims that the government has nothing to do with the Israeli gas import deal, overlooking the fact that the government facilitated the deal and prepared a draft bill allowing the private sector to import gas from abroad and sell it in the local market. Of course, the corrupt parliament, which does as the government desires and was formed under its watchful eye, approved the bill. It is foolish to make such claims when everyone knows that no private company can import anything without first obtaining government approval. Moreover, where would an unnamed company that has never operated in this field before, come up with $15 billion from to pay the Israelis?

Another justification included claims that economic interests dictate relations between countries and that there is no problem importing gas, even from an enemy, as long as it serves Egypt’s interests. However, those making these claims forgot that a country’s interests cannot be served by their enemy, and that from a purely national security standpoint, it is a strategic mistake to link Egypt’s energy security to Israel, which can stop exporting gas to Egypt if any conflict between the two countries arises.

The most absurd justification is the claim that Egypt is seeking to turn into a regional centre for energy and that the gas market has become available and open to any private company. No one bothered to mention what happened to the natural gas self-sufficiency claims made two weeks ago and ask why Egypt is importing gas when it has one of the largest gas fields, the Zohr gas field, in addition to the fields discovered in Egyptian regional waters and in the western and eastern deserts.

These mouthpieces also failed to mention why Egypt is importing gas specifically from Israel, especially since there are several alternatives, such as Algerian, Iraqi or Russian gas.

However, what is most astounding is the strange silence of the Egyptian government regarding this suspicious agreement, compared to the historical celebrations in Tel Aviv. Of course these celebrations are completely understandable given the financial, strategic, and moral benefits the agreement will grant Israel. Israel never dreamt of such benefits, even during the rule of Hosni Mubarak, their strategic treasure. What we cannot understand or accept is the fact that the corrupt Egyptian media is celebrating this agreement, despite the fact that such an agreement is the most prominent manifestation of betrayal and treachery, and the secret to the link between Egypt’s energy security and Israel’s gas.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

Egypt begins major military operation in Sinai, Nile Delta

Press TV – February 9, 2018

Egypt has begun a sweeping military operation against the militants active in violence-torn North Sinai Province in the extreme northwest and the nearby Nile Delta.

The army announced the launch of ‘Operation Sinai 2018’ on Friday, putting the police and military forces on “maximum alert,” AFP reported.

The goal is to tighten control of border districts and “clean up areas where there are terrorist hotbeds,” it added.

The campaign involves the air force, navy and army as well as police, he said.

“The armed forces calls upon the Egyptian people in all parts of the country to closely cooperate with law enforcement forces to confront terrorism, uproot it and immediately report any elements threatening the security and stability of the country,” the military spokesman, Colonel Tamer al-Rifai, said in a televised address.

Last week, The New York Times reported that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had kept northern Sinai a closed military area, barring reporters from the region.

The Associated Press has reported that the Egyptian army was bulldozing homes and olive groves to build “a buffer zone” around North Sinai Province’s only airport in the city of el-Arish.

The report said the buffer zone will destroy dozens of hamlets around the airport, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes for an unknown future, sparking some protest by residents despite the government promises of compensation.

Sisi, who is preparing to seek a second term in the upcoming March elections, has vowed that the army will employ “absolute force” in a bid to eliminate terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after a deadly terrorist attack left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.

Over the past few years, terrorists have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.

The Velayat Sinai group, which is affiliated with the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, has claimed responsibility for most of the assaults.

February 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Ex-Egypt envoy: Evacuation of Sinai serves ‘deal of the century’

MEMO | February 8, 2018

A former Egyptian ambassador said that the current displacement of residents of the Sinai Peninsula sets the stage for the implementation of “the deal of the century”, adding that the Egyptian authorities are spreading “lies” by saying that the displacement is being carried out in the context of the fight against  Daesh.

Abdallah Al-Ashaal told Al-Resalah that there is no explanation for the displacement operations except that there is a conspiracy taking place at the hands of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.

The conspiracy, according to Al-Ashaal, aims at establishing an entity and not a state for Palestinians under the pretext of expanding the Gaza Strip.

A Saudi-backed developmental plan seeks to establish infrastructure projects in Northern Sinai, such as the King Salman University and desalination and power plants, he added. These projects are “definitely not being worked on for those who are being displaced in the Sinai.”

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is part of the deal, Al-Ashaal said. “If this was not the case, there would be a search for another person who would accept it, and [dismissed Palestinian Liberation Organisation member] Dahlan is related to … this deal.”

In Al-Ashaal’s view, the plan also includes the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi handed over to Saudi Arabia in 2016.

The developmental plan that Sisi talks about includes expanding the Gaza Strip, Ashaal said. “Why the expansion and how can it be useful for Gaza that its borders stretch to the border of Arish [the Sinai city]?” Ashaal asked.

Using “security concerns”, Egypt has been emptying Sinai of its residents beginning with the border town of Rafah near the besieged Gaza Strip.

Local media reported yesterday that the Egyptian Ministry of Defence has asked the Ministry of Health to be ready for a state of emergency and for all hospitals in Ismailiyah to be prepared for a wide-scale military operation in northern Sinai.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The shameful intelligence leaks confirmed what we already knew

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | January 15, 2018

We did not need media leaks to reveal that an officer in Egypt’s intelligence agency, Captain Ashraf El-Kholi, was telling presenters on Egyptian TV channels what they should say about Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem Published by the New York Times and broadcast by Egypt’s Mekameleen television station, the leaks merely confirmed what we already knew about Egyptian media outlets being fully mobilised to push the US-Israeli viewpoint.

Egypt’s media has become just like all state institutions in the country; it is under the control of the army. Companies owned by the intelligence agency have bought most of the satellite TV stations, in addition to establishing a new satellite network, DMC. In doing so, it has taken complete control of the media and has not limited itself to instructing those working in the sector on specific policies of the government, as happened in the past. Now, the state has completely monopolised an important sector that shapes public opinion and forms the sentiments of an entire nation, which has been spoon-fed what the Israeli enemy wants.

Herein lies the danger and catastrophe, as the nation’s constants have changed. The enemy has become the friend and vice versa. This was exposed by the leaks. TV presenters were told to explain to the people that there is no difference between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an attempt to quell their anger and fill them with a sense of desperation and defeat. These journalists and presenters were told to say that they cannot fight Israel directly and that they must put poison in honey in order to achieve their goals.

The presenters must do this in such a way that it seems that they are trying to preserve the blood and lives of the Palestinians, because if there is another Palestinian uprising the victims — they didn’t say martyrs — will be Palestinians and not Israelis. They must also say that they want to resolve the Palestinian issue permanently and that a new uprising would be in favour of the Islamists and Hamas, who will rise once again after a decline.

This is what the intelligence officer was dictating to various presenters and this is what they want the people to believe. The purpose of this is to play with the people’s doctrinal and national constants in order to redirect the conflict compass from Israel, the nation’s traditional enemy, towards the Islamist trend, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of which they consider Hamas to be a part, and which the intelligence agency labels as a terrorist organisation.

Unfortunately, they were successful with this ploy, and not just with a small section of society who have been brainwashed by this false and corrupt media that is being managed by intelligence officers.

I am not concerned with who leaked the recording or who benefits from these leaks. I am not concerned with whether this is a result of a conflict amongst the various branches of the deep state. All of this will pull us into a cycle of questions until we doubt the leak itself, and this is what the government wants to happen, in order to divert us from the essence of what was said in the disgraceful recordings.

As such, I pay no attention to what is being said about the conflict between the military intelligence and general intelligence branches, as over 20 of their senior officers were retired in the past year alone. The general intelligence agency is currently controlled by Al-Sisi’s son, who also took it upon himself to form a parliament made up of individuals completely loyal to the government, as admitted by Hazem Abdel Azim, who was associated closely with the government and in charge of the youth in Al-Sisi’s election campaign in 2014.

I am more concerned about the deterioration and decline of Egyptian intelligence. The image in the minds of Egyptians about this sovereign agency is far from the truth. Many novels, shows and movies have been written about the agency’s heroic stories and exposure of espionage within Egypt, or the spies planted in Israel. The most famous of these shows are perhaps “Raafat Al-Haggan” by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and “Dumou fi Oyoun Waqiha” (Tears in Shameless Eyes) by Adel Imam, as well as the movies “El-Soud Ela Al-Hawia” (The Climb into the Abyss) by Mahmoud Yasin and “Mohema fi Tal Abib” (Mission in Tel Aviv) by Nadia Al-Jundi. All of these have planted in our minds the heroics of the Egyptian intelligence agents and how they were able to infiltrate the Israeli Mossad spy agency.

Regardless of the credibility of all of these stories, all intelligence agencies around the world are tasked with preserving the security of the state and the safety of its territories, not dictate to TV presenters what they should and should not say. However, this is the situation in Egypt after the 2013 coup and after the conflict compass stopped pointing at Israel, with which the country is currently enjoying — if that’s the right word — a lukewarm peace. Instead, it is pointed at the Muslim Brotherhood, which the deep state in Cairo wants to eliminate from its roots and present it as a sacrifice to Donald Trump, who remains the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims.

Video: Leaked tapes reveal Egypt’s support for Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Egypt: media blackout on Palestinian reconciliation talks

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daesh declares war on Palestine’s Hamas resistance movement

Press TV – January 5, 2018

The Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has released a new execution video, declaring war on the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement based in Gaza.

The video, released Wednesday, purports to show the execution of a man who Daesh claims cooperated with Hamas’ armed wing.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said one of the militants in the video.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh, known as the Sinai Province, is notorious for its brutal massacres, including the Sinai 2015 plane crash which killed 224 passengers and mass killing of over 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history.

The video comes as Hamas has been cooperating with Egyptian security forces to restore stability to Sinai, which borders Gaza.

In October, the Palestinian resistance movement arrested four senior Daesh terrorists in Sinai.

In July 2015, Daesh released a video saying that it would overthrow Hamas “tyrants” for their perceived lack of religious rulings in Gaza.

Takfiri groups such as Daesh have never attacked Israel despite operating close to Syria’s borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is widely believed to be supporting terrorists in Syria by launching airstrikes against various targets there from time to time.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies, which have been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria, have repeatedly been accused of providing logistic support and air cover for Daesh terrorists.

Daesh, however, lost all the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq late last year.

January 5, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Makkah and Madinah imams silent on Jerusalem in Friday sermons

MEMO | December 9, 2017

The Saudi imams of the Grand Mosques in Makkah and Madinah did not mention the situation in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque during their Friday sermons, has reported. Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is regarded as the holiest place in Islam after the two Grand Mosques.

Although he did point out that the Kingdom “reiterated the legal rights of the blessed Palestinian people” and hailed King Salman and other Muslim leaders for seeking the best for Islam and Muslims, well-known Shaikh Maher Mu’eqili did not mention the issue of Jerusalem in his Makkah sermon. Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bu’ejan, who delivered the Friday speech in The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, did not mention the issue at all. Instead, he discussed God’s miracles in the change of the seasons throughout the year.

In the wake of Trump’s decision about Jerusalem, the Saudi Royal Court ordered the local media not to give the issue wide coverage, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported. The Saudi and Bahraini Embassies in Amman also called on their citizens living in Jordan not to take part in the demonstrations organised to protest against the US move.

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 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.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

MEMO | December 10, 2017

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 also: Makkah and Madinah imams silent on Jerusalem in Friday sermons


December 10, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Putin goes to Cairo as Trump ties himself in knots

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | December 9, 2017

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.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Will those supporting Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ reconsider?

By Yassir Al Zaatara | The New Khalij | November 27, 2017

Leaked information about Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” varies in some details, but the one thing that is consistent is that there will be no more on offer than autonomy for parts of the West Bank, without Jerusalem. There will be no Palestinian sovereignty and no return of the refugees, not even compensation for them, although there will be talk about linking autonomous areas with Jordan in a federal arrangement. In the meantime, relations between Israel and Arab states will be formalised.

What will be discussed when marketing the “deal”, of course, is that this solution is not the end product, and that the so-called “final status” issues, especially Jerusalem, will be left for another time after the neighbours are more reassured about each other’s intentions. Meanwhile, everyone knows that the plan is based on making the status quo permanent in due course, because no one in Israel wants to give up Jerusalem, nor allow the return of any Palestinian refugees.

This reminds me of the paradox of former minister Tzipi Livni’s response to Saeb Erekat mentioned in the well-known negotiation leaks, when the Palestinian official told Livni that the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had agreed to the return of 10,000 refugees in what were called, rather euphemistically, “reunions”. She insisted that this was Olmert’s personal opinion and that the number of people who will return to Israel is nil.

The details of the deal are of no concern, but what is, is that those involved in marketing and supporting such a proposal — and pressing for its acceptance by Palestinians and Arabs — are in more need of advice than the others for two reasons. The first is that such an agreement will be practically impossible to pass, even though it might seem possible to get through some of its early stages; and second, their position will be harmful to them.

In the first context, keep in mind what Netanyahu said a few days ago about it being the Arab people who reject normalisation of relations with Israel, not the regimes; this is true to a large extent. The people generally do not approve of Israel’s existence in principle, even if they accept the Arab Initiative, which proposed giving the Israelis 78 per cent of historic Palestine. Things will get more difficult when discussing a much worse proposal which involves the effective abandonment of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The people’s position on normalisation means that the new game will not pass. The stance of the Egyptian people after nearly four decades of the Camp David Treaty is the best evidence of this; there is also the position of the Jordanians 25 years after signing the Wadi Araba peace deal with Israel.

That is not all. The Palestinian people will not be silent about eradicating their cause in such a miserable way, and they will rise again, and the Jordanians will not accept the federalism being spoken of. It all, in any case, assumes that the Palestinian resistance forces will agree to the new proposal, which they won’t, or at least the majority of them won’t. Those in the Arab world who try to market the Trump deal will clash with their people if they go ahead and back a proposal to wipe out the Palestinian cause.

As a backdrop to all of this, it is clear that America and Israel will continue to be keen on keeping the regional conflicts going so that only Israel will remain as a strong and cohesive state, which everyone then seeks to befriend. Will those involved in supporting the Trump plan reconsider their positions? I hope so.

Translation by MEMO

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

MEMO | November 28, 2017

Egyptian authorities have criticised the Israeli 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 Israeli ambassador in Cairo, adding that her comments “were made a long time ago.” He also denied summoning the Israeli 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 Israeli 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 Israel for clarifications on Gamliel’s comments, noting that the Israeli government 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 Israeli 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 Israeli minister reiterated.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Palestine: Saudi Arabia, Egypt using Rafah crossing to pressure us

MEMO | November 17, 2017

The Rafah crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt is being used a tool to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter into US-backed peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian Authority official has said.

“The Rafah crossing has become a tool that Egypt and Saudi Arabia use to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept the entry into a new round of US-backed negotiations with Israel,” the PA official said, warning that “the negotiations could reach results that may affect the rights of the Palestinians.”

According to the Cairo agreement which was signed on 12 October, Egypt agreed with Fatah and Hamas to reopen the Rafah border crossing last Tuesday, but the official said that “Saudi Arabia seemed to have pressured Egypt to retreat until the PA approves the two-state solution deal.”

The official described the exploiting of the only humanitarian crossing for Gaza’s residents as “suspicious”.

“They [Arab countries] are using the crossing to strengthen their ties with the US and Israel” he added.

Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza for a decade, with tight restrictions in place on the movement of people and goods at its crossings, citing the need to control Hamas and stop Islamic groups from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used against Tel Aviv. Egypt has supported the blockade by closing the Rafah crossing, leaving Palestinian in Gaza no access to the outside world.

Gaza’s two million residents suffer from worsening humanitarian conditions, with only a few hours of power a day and a lack of clean water. Control of the Rafah crossing at Gaza’s southern border has long been a sticking point between the two Palestinian factions, and between Egypt and the Palestinians in Gaza for whom the crossing represents a vital gateway to the outside world.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Agreement of the Century”

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | October 18, 2017

According to a report circulating unofficially in Arabic, the latest in a sixty-nine year history of proposals to resolve the western Zionist invasion of Palestine (AKA the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict”) is about to see the light of day. It claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu originated the proposal and that secret deliberations have been underway for more than five months.

Netanyahu has now presented the proposal to the US, which made some changes and agreed to promote it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will carry the plan, called “the Agreement of the Century” to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for review and discussion.

The provisions

The proposal has 21 points, but the main provisions are that the West Bank will be federated (or re-federated) with Jordan, and the Gaza Strip with Egypt. Together, they will be known as the Palestinian Confederation, ostensibly converting the Palestinian “Authority” into a national government, although it is already widely recognized as such and although it will not have any of the authority or sovereignty that nation states are deemed to have under international law.

Israel will govern Jewish settlements directly and Jerusalem is excluded from the proposal, for resolution at a later time. The primary function of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, therefore, will be to take over the security functions currently administered by the Israeli armed forces; i.e., to protect Israel and repress Palestinians. As they say in Israel, “When you have a dirty job, give it to an Arab.”

Other provisions concern development of infrastructure, international guarantees, and conversion of Hamas into a purely political party while integrating its military wing into the Palestinian security forces. The borders will be based on the armistice lines as of June 4th, 1967, with some territorial swaps. Refugees will be permitted to “return” to the West Bank and Gaza, even if it is not the home from which they were displaced. This is not going to be accepted by expatriate refugees in Lebanon, Syria and other countries, but they have always been disenfranchised in all proposals, and this one is no exception.

Unanswered questions

The biggest unanswered question is the status of Jerusalem. Will the Arab leaders accept an agreement that has no assurances at all with respect to Jerusalem? This is hard to imagine, and it was, in fact, the major stumbling block to an agreement at the Camp David Summit in 2000.

Another major unknown is what happens to the West Bank areas designated A, B and C in the Oslo agreement. Area A is the only one of the three where Oslo grants full administrative and security control to the Palestinian Authority, and it comprises less than 15% of the total area of the West Bank, itself only 18% of historic Palestine. Israel is unlikely to hand B and C over to Palestinian authority and limit the settlements to their current footprints, without prospect of outward expansion or new settlements. More likely, they will insist upon continuing the current arrangement, allowing Israel to continue expanding the settlements indefinitely. This is also unlikely to be acceptable to the Arabs and to the Palestinian people.


What do the parties to the agreement expect to gain from it?

Israel wants to rid itself of the Palestinians. It wants the land but not the people. It also wants to stop being considered an occupier of someone else’s land. In 1948 it achieved this by massive ethnic cleansing and genocide. In 1967 it used the same methods but was somewhat less successful except on the Golan Heights, where it expelled 94% of the population. Since then, expulsions have been gradual and slower, except for the 2006 expulsion of a million people in south Lebanon, which was subsequently reversed by the victory of the Hezbollah resistance.

If the above assumptions about areas A, B and C are correct, a signed agreement means that Israel concedes nothing at all and will be able to continue with its territorial ambitions. However, it will rid itself of the Palestinians by farming out the occupation to Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. The agreement also removes the teeth (such as they are) of Hamas, and makes Israel appear to be a “peacemaker” with a “generous proposal”.

Mahmoud Abbas’s interest is to become the president of a “real” (though not sovereign) country, recognized universally, even by Israel. He also gets Gaza in the bargain, as well as some handsome development funds that will improve the economy, at least in the short run. The recently announced “unity government” between Hamas and Fatah can be seen as a prelude to such an agreement, and a means of strengthening Abbas’s hand in the negotiations (which is why Israel is not very happy about it).

Hamas gains the least of any of the parties, but Israel’s decade-long siege on Gaza is now so debilitating that they are possibly loathe to dash the hopes of their people for relieving their isolation. They are under tremendous pressure to improve the intolerable living conditions, and may not wish to be seen as spoilers.

The Arab monarchies and Egypt want to be rid of the problem and to get on with other concerns, chiefly their rivalry and potential conflict with Iran. In this case they would like to be able to collaborate and ally themselves more openly with a powerful Israel, which the agreement will legitimate. Iraq and Syria, who are friendly to Iran, are not currently on Abbas’s itinerary, which underscores that their views are not likely to be given consideration.

The US also gets a Middle East peace agreement that has eluded eleven administrations since 1948, and which Trump desperately needs to bolster his flagging image on the domestic front. The agreement would also strengthen the hand of both the US and Israel to undertake aggressive action against Iran and destroy it as a regional power, which is an ambition of both countries and the conservative Arab regimes.

All of this assumes that the agreement will be approved. That is still a very big “if”. But Israel is also prepared for failure, which also works to their advantage. In that case Israel will do what it has always done: blame the Palestinians for refusing to be complicit in their own demise. They will then give their military a free hand to commit another pogrom, known in Israel as “mowing the grass”.

In fact, Israel may pull another plan off the shelf, one using a more direct means of ridding themselves of the Palestinians. They learned in Lebanon that they could create a million refugees in ten days, and thereby clear the land of its inhabitants. Instead of “mowing the grass”, this would be more akin to “scorching the earth”, which is also a definition of the term “holocaust”.

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.

October 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments