Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Egypt. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Egypt. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 23, 2015

Egypt Calls for Joint Arab Defense Force

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi told his countrymen, in a televised national address late Sunday, that Egypt is hoping to be part of a new Arab joint defense force, which is now under consideration by the Arab League.
Sissi insisted Egypt has always sought to defend itself “from inside its own borders,” without intentionally aggressing its neighbors. He defended his military action in neighboring Libya, saying 13 terrorist sites were attacked in retaliation for the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by Islamic State militants.

He insists Egypt's army does not attack any country or invade its land. Recently, and until now, he says Egypt has defended its territory without leaving its borders.

The Egyptian leader also brought up the topic of putting together a joint Arab defense force, a subject that was discussed at last week's meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.

He says the need for a unified Arab force is growing and becoming more pressing every day due to the challenges the region is facing. He added the region will be able to overcome such challenges when it unites.

Both the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have expressed support for Egypt during the recent conflict in Libya and the killings of its citizens. But Qatar criticized the Egyptian airstrikes in Libya and has been at loggerheads with Egypt's military-backed government since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Al Hayat newspaper recently noted a joint Arab defense pact already exists, dating back to 1950. A number of Arab states have fought alongside Egypt in its conflicts with Israel. Egypt also participated in the 1991 Gulf War to liberate Kuwait.

American University of Beirut political science Professor Hilal Khashan says all previous efforts of Arab states to form a joint military force since 1948, “on the eve of the Palestine War [which led to the creation of Israel] have failed.”

But Khashan points out Saudi Arabia's new King Salman has been pondering the formation of a “joint Sunni force,” including Egypt and its arch-rival Turkey.

“The new Saudi King Salman, in his bid to open up to the [Muslim] Brotherhood, has been applying pressure on [President] Sissi to resolve his conflicts with the Brotherhood so that relations between Turkey and Egypt can be improved. Salman wants to create a Sunni [Arab] force, consisting of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey,” said Khashan.

Given the current tensions between Egypt and Turkey, which is now home to a number of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, the probability of forming such a force is questionable.

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 16, 2015

Egypt: Hundreds mourn local men slaughtered in Libya

Hundreds of grieving mourners in Al-Our village in Minya on Monday bade farewell to the 21 Egyptian victims killed by Islamic State militants in Libya.
At a funeral prayer at Saint Mary's Church in the Upper Egyptian village where most of the 21 migrant workers were from, women dressed in black demanded revenge for their sons, husbands and relatives.

A video released on Sunday evening showed 21 Coptic Egyptians, kidnapped in Libya several weeks earlier, being beheaded by masked men who belong to the militant group.
Mourners held pictures of the victims and banners calling for action from authorities, Andrew Aziz, who attended the funeral procession with mourners from other neighbouring villages, told Ahram Online.

Father Estefanos Shehata of Samalut in Minya told Ahram Online that many of the relatives have collapsed from shock.

"All the families are in deep sorrow; some of them are not conscious and are in hospital as they cannot bear the situation," he said.

The priest called for a new church to be named after the 21 men who were killed.

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II sent a delegation consisting of four bishops to attend the funeral, according to an official statement issued by the spokesperson to the church.

Governor of Minya Salah El-Din Zeyada, along with many other officials, also attended the funeral.

A delegation from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) also travelled to Minya to extend condolences to the families of the victims.

The pope has also said that memorial services would be held in Egypt`s main Coptic cathedral on Tuesday.  

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi visited the cathedral on Monday to extend his condolences to the pope. The visit came after hours after the Egyptian army announced that it has carried out airstrikes against IS training camps and arms depots in Libya.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has condemned what he called an "awful crime" and said that each of the 21 men's families will receive monetary compensation of LE100,000.  

Later on Monday, Mahlab along with Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali, Sports Minister Khaled Abdel Aziz, and Religious Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, travelled to Minya to extend condolences to the victims' families. 
Mahalb told the relatives that "the martyrs are in paradise, and we will not forget you."

Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 13, 2015

Egypt 'doesn't mind' Israeli gas

A week after Reuters broke the news of talks between the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and the American Noble Energy Company, which operates Israeli gas fields, the Ministry of Petroleum appears to publicly support a new policy that would allow the importation of Israeli gas.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Despite full diplomatic relations, official niceties and, many years later, US-encouraged commercial and business agreements between the two former enemies, normalisation with Israel remained taboo and was rejected by the wider public.
So when former president Hosni Mubarak approved a 20-year agreement to export Egyptian gas to Israel in 2005 it caused a political uproar that continued until his ouster in February 2011.

Not only was Egypt pumping natural gas directly to Israel, it was doing so at below-market prices through East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), then co-owned by Mubarak 's friend Hussein Salem and former Israeli Mossad agent Yossi Maiman, who then sold the gas to Israel at higher rates, pocketing the difference.

In the aftermath of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in 2011, Egypt unilaterally terminated this agreement, citing failures by the Israeli side to meet payment deadlines in violation of the contract.

The decision was met with relief and a sense of revolutionary achievement, but things did not end there. When Mubarak was referred for trial in 2011, the gas deal was added to the corruption charges (a Cairo court dismissed the charges three months ago because the charges were too old to fall within its jurisdiction.)

More than four years later, Egyptian officials are negotiating a reversal of the gas deal through the very same pipeline that exported the gas to Israel, according to Reuters and official statements attributed to top-level officials in the ministry of petroleum......................http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/122969.aspx

Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 10, 2015

Egypt dust storm forces Cairo, Alexandria airports to suspend landings

Egypt's two main airports have suspended landings due to a dust storm which forced two planes to make emergency landings in Cairo, the head of the state civil aviation company said on Tuesday.

Cairo Airport and Borg al-Arab Airport in Egypt's second city of Alexandria are only allowing departing flights, the head of the National Air Navigation Services Company, Captain Ehab Mohieldin, said.

Egypt's other airports were not affected by the storm, which severely limited visibility at altitudes below 150 metres (yards), Mohieldin said.

Among other disruptions, one plane was turned back to Jordan and one redirected to Hurghada airport on the Red Sea, he said.
  [jpost.com by Reuters]

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 02, 2015

Egypt advances plans to import Israeli gas

CAIRO - A delegation from American oil firm Noble Energy is in Egypt for talks with the state gas company about importing Israeli gas to energy-starved Egypt, sources at the airport and the oil ministry said on Sunday.

Gas shipments could come from Israel's offshore Tamar gas field, which Noble operates, and whose partners have floated plans to connect the field with Egypt's Damietta LNG plant.

Israel's Delek Drilling, one of the partners in the field, said in November that if an agreement is signed, gas supplies to Egypt could start flowing in 2017.

Egypt has signed several deals in past months to import natural gas, which powers most of its homes and factories, but imports from Israel are potentially more sensitive because of the countries' rocky history.

The oil ministry source said Sunday's talks concerned the technical procedures for bringing natural gas from Israeli fields into Egypt.

"Negotiations are under way about the amount of gas that can be imported," the source said.

Another source at Cairo's airport earlier in the day said that a delegation came for several hours from Israel to discuss gas shipments.

Egypt's oil minister said two weeks ago that the country was open to Israeli imports.

Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, following three decades of intermittent conflict since Israel's creation in 1948.

While many Egyptians still view Israel with suspicion, relations have improved since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The two countries also have a shared interest in containing Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and maintaining stability in the Sinai Peninsula where security has deteriorated since Morsi's ouster.

  • Egypt, which once exported gas to Israel and elsewhere, is going through its worst energy crisis in decades, with rising consumption and declining production turning it into an energy importer.
  • The government has tried to improve the energy landscape by slashing subsidies, paying down its debt to foreign energy firms, and negotiating import agreements.

After finalizing a long-delayed deal for an LNG import terminal, it has reached agreements to receive gas from Algeria, and is in talks with Russia and Cyprus for gas shipments. 


Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2015

EU to work closer with Turkey,Egypt and Gulf countries to combat terrorism

EU leaders have agreed on sharing intelligence with not only member states, but also with other countries, including Turkey,Egypt and Gulf countries to combat terrorism, it was announced Monday.

The decision was made during EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels that discussed ways to combat terrorism in Europe and other parts of the world. The meeting comes in the aftermath of the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and anti-terrorism raids in Belgium.

After the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters about measures to curb terrorism. "We are looking at specific projects to launch in the coming weeks with some specific countries to increase the level of cooperation on counter-terrorism, and I would name Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and the Gulf countries.''

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said ''everyone thinks it’s important to engage with Turkey.''

''Turkey is central in so many ways and can play a constructive role if they use their position and setting in the right way,'' Wallstrom added.

Passenger name records
EU leaders also decided to call on the European Parliament to work on implementation of the Passenger Name Record system, which would require EU member states to share information of airline passengers with other countries.

Currently, up to 16 EU countries use the record system without an EU framework.

The legislation was proposed by European regulators in 2011, but later rejected by EU Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee in April 2013. Critics argue that the record system interferes with the right to privacy and protection of personal data.

Improving communication with Arabs

Mogherini said another strategy on developing cooperation on security issues would be to improve communication with the Arab-speaking population in EU and other parts of the world.

''We need to improve our capacity to read Arabic, speak Arabic and listen to messages coming from the Arab world,'' Mogherini said. ''This is basic communication strategy we need to implement.''

Her comments came after calling for a stronger alliance with Arab countries amid deadly terror attacks and arrests across Europe. Mogherini also met Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby on Monday.

''The threat is not only the one we faced in Paris, but spreading in other parts of the world starting from Muslim countries,'' Mogherini said. ''We need to strengthen our way of cooperating, first of all, with Arab countries.''

"Good cooperation"

Mogherini said an alliance between Europe and Arab countries was needed because Muslims were mostly affected by terrorist attacks.

Mogherini said ''I've always said it is not an issue between Europe or the West and Islam."

"Terrorism and terrorist attacks are targeting most Muslims in the world, so we need an alliance, we need a dialogue there to face the issue together.''

''What we need to do is face terrorism while respecting Islam," she added.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters ahead of the meeting: ''We have very good cooperation with our partners across the Arab world in counter-terrorism."

"The Muslim countries of the world are the ones who have suffered the greatest burden of terrorism. They will continue to be in the front line and we have to work closely with them to protect both those countries and European Union countries," Hammond added.


Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 04, 2015

Egypte: découverte de la tombe d'une reine pharaonique

Des archéologues tchèques ont découvert en Egypte la tombe d'une reine jusqu'alors inconnue, "Khant Kaous III", épouse d'un pharaon de la Ve dynastie qui régna il y a quelque 4.500 ans, a annoncé dimanche le ministère égyptien des Antiquités.

"Pour la première fois, nous découvrons le nom de cette reine qui était jusqu'alors inconnue avant la découverte de sa tombe," a affirmé le ministre des Antiquités Mamdouh al-Damaty dans un communiqué, cité par l'AFP.

La tombe a été mise au jour au sud-ouest du Caire, sur le site d'Abou Sir, qui comprend plusieurs pyramides de pharaons de la Ve dynastie, qui régna sur la Haute Egypte quelque 2.500 ans avant Jésus-Christ.

La tombe daterait du milieu de la Ve dynastie (2494-2345 av.JC), selon un responsable du ministère.
La tombe a été découverte sur le site du complexe funéraire de Néferefrê, pharaon de la Ve dynastie, a indiqué le directeur de la mission archéologique tchèque, Miroslav Barta, précisant que "cela laisse à penser que la reine était la femme de Néferefrê."

Les archéologues y ont trouvé des ustensiles de la vie quotidienne, 24 en calcaires et quatre autres en cuivre, ainsi que des inscriptions murales faites par les ouvriers de la tombe, comprenant notamment le nom et les titres de la reine, selon le communiqué.

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Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 19, 2014

Ethiopia dam tripartite committee to choose impact study firm in early 2015

The tripartite committee looking into Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is expected to meet by mid-January to choose an international firm to conduct studies on the dam's impact, Egypt's irrigation minister said Friday.

Hossam Moghazi told state news agency MENA that Egypt is committed to completing the study by mid-2015.   
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia had selected seven international firms in October to prepare technical and financial offers to conduct studies on Ethiopia's $4.2 billion dam project, which Egyptian officials fear could affect the country's water share.

The tripartite committee was expected to have selected the firm by mid-December. However, the deadline to receive offers was extended after two firms withdrew.

After meeting to study the firms' offers, the tripartite committee is expected to meet in Addis Ababa to sign the final contract.

The firm's report — based on a study to be conducted over five months — will include the dam's impact on upstream Nile countries Egypt and Sudan, as well as its environmental, social and economic effects.
An Ethiopian "people's delegation" arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for a three day visit. Delegates met with diplomats, religious figures, university professors and journalists.


Τρίτη, Δεκεμβρίου 16, 2014

20% of Egypt's Nile water share lost through ‘misuse’

Egyptians waste 20 percent of the country’s share of water from the Nile, a water resources expert has said in comments reported by Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Diaaeddin El-Qousi, a professor at the National Institute for Water, said on Sunday that Egyptians “misuse” water by leaving taps running and while washing cars, among other reasons.
Political science professor, Mostafa Elwi, called on Egyptian institutions to cooperate in order to find solutions to the Ethiopian dam issue.

The comments were made at a seminar held by the Research and Strategic Studies Institute for Nile Basin Countries.

Ethiopia's construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam has concerned the Egyptian government since May 2013.

The Nile is Egypt's main source of water, with an allocated flow of 55.5 km3/yr, according to the Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan in 1959.

Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 20, 2014

Israel's Tamar gas field to sell gas to Egypt

The partners in Israel's Tamar gas field announced on Sunday they have signed a bid to sell at least five billion cubic meters of natural gas over three years to private consumers in Egypt.

The Tamar partners, led by Texas-based Noble Energy and the Israeli Delek Group, said in a statement that they have signed a letter of intent with Dolphinus Holdings, a consortium of industrial and commercial gas consumers and distributors in Egypt.

The partners said the gas will be sold based on Brent crude oil prices, with estimated revenue of about 700 million US dollars per year.

The gas would be transferred via an old pipeline in Sinai peninsula that was built nearly a decade ago to carry gas from Egypt to Israel. However, gas flow ceased in 2012 given the ousting of the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and repeated sabotages by Sinai militants.

  • Earlier on May 5, the Tamar partners planned to transfer one- fifth of their gas in 15 years to Egypt for liquefaction and then exporting abroad.

A few weeks later, the partners in the Leviathan gas field, a consortium also led by Noble Energy and Delek Group, signed a letter of intent to sell seven billion cubic meters to British Gas in Egypt.

Discovered in 2009 off Israel's northern city of Haifa, the Tamar field is believed to contain about 223 billion cubic meters of gas. Production there began in March 2013.

In February, Israel became a gas exporter for the first time when Tamar's partners signed a deal to supply 500 million US dollars worth of gas to two Jordanian companies.

Source:Xinhua -  globaltimes.cn

Κυριακή, Οκτωβρίου 19, 2014

Egypt inks deal with 6 firms to dredge New Suez Canal

Egypt has signed two contracts with a consortium of six international firms for the dredging work of the New Suez Canal alongside the original one, head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish said on Saturday.

Memish announced the signing at a press conference attended by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, saying that they refer to the consortium as "the Challenge Coalition" due to the challenging dredging work they have to accomplish under a tight deadline.

"It is a very challenging project if you look at the timeline. We are looking at moving about 180 million cubic meters of soil in a time span of less than nine month operational time and we have one month to bring the equipment here to do that job," Bas van Bemmelen, area director of Dutch Boskalis dredging company, one of the six partners, told Xinhua Saturday.

The project was designed to be finished within three years, but Egyptian newly-elected President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the New Suez Canal be done in one year sharp and be open for ship navigation in early August 2015.

"It is the hugest dredging work in the world and the new canal will be inaugurated on August 5, 2015," Memish said.

The new 72-km waterway project includes 35 km of dry digging and 37 km of expansion and deepening of the current canal, with a total cost of more than eight billion dollars. The national project also includes the digging of six new tunnels underneath the New Suez Canal that will be constructed simultaneously.

"We have finished 68 million cubic meters of dry digging so far and we will keep our promise to complete such a historical project on time," Memish added, noting that his authority will be in charge of dredging one of the six zones using six dredgers, while the international firms will do the other five using 30 dredgers. "The first batch of dredgers will arrive next week," he said.

Earlier in August, Sisi gave the go-ahead signal for digging the new 72-km canal. The new waterway is expected to help revive Egypt's ailing economy by increasing ship traffic revenues, luring huge foreign investments and creating thousands of job opportunities.

Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 26, 2014

US Aware of Egyptian, UAE Air Strikes in Libya

WASHINGTON. —The U.S. State Department on Tuesday acknowledged for the first time it was aware of air strikes in Libya by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in recent days.

Until now Washington would not talk about the involvement of Egypt and the UAE in the air strikes against militia in the capital Tripoli.

“We understand there were air strikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt” in Libya, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing with reporters.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, speaking to reporters, declined to give details of why the Obama administration believed those two countries conducted the mysterious strikes.

Three years after rebels toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is sinking deeper into chaos as armed factions battle in various cities and two rival legislatures compete for power.
Reuters, voanews.com

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 05, 2014

Egypt to dig new canal alongside Suez Canal (State TV)

Egypt announced on Tuesday it will launch a project to dig a new 72-km canal alongside the original Suez Canal, Head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish said during the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal Corridor project.

He said the new project aims to create "a new Suez Canal parallel to the current channel," Mohab Mamish told a televised conference attended by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Ismailia province.

The new project will be implemented in one year from now, and is expected to provide more than one million job opportunities, said Mamish.

He also noted that, instead entrusting the project to foreign investment, Egypt intends to allow the country's own companies to build the giant waterway.

Preliminary estimates show that the project is going to cost Egypt a total of 4 billion US dollars. The tunnels, once completed, will reduce passing ships' waiting time from 11 hours to as short as three, and will accordingly increase the number of current containers in the course up to 97 in 2023 from the current 23.

Mamish also said that Cairo has yet to consult any foreign country over the new canal, adding that the armed forces along with the other related departments have managed to clean all land mines in the future construction sites that were planted in the 1973 Egyptian-Israeli war.

Opened in 1869, the current 164 km-long Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt. It connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, with its northern terminus at Port Said and the southern terminus Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez.

  •  More than 100,000 Egyptians lost their lives to build the Suez Canal.
Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Δευτέρα, Αυγούστου 04, 2014

Egypt pushes for Gaza truce, presents Palestinian demands (the Rafah border crossing)

CAIRO - Egypt asked Israel on Monday to accept a ceasefire as a first step toward comprehensive negotiations with Palestinian factions to end more than three weeks of fighting, Egyptian and Palestinian sources said.
Palestinian groups, including envoys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met the head of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo earlier in the day to formulate a plan to end the violence that has displaced more than one quarter of Gaza's 1.8 million people.
Immediately after the meeting, Egypt presented Israel with the key Palestinian demands: a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the blockade of the impoverished enclave and the reconstruction of the area.
An Egyptian diplomatic source said Cairo expected Israel to accept a temporary halt to the fighting to allow for talks.

"We are working to reach a ceasefire agreement and we are expecting Israel to approve a ceasefire for a few days," he said. "Egypt will announce that as soon as we get Israel's approval."Israel has yet to give a formal response to the ceasefire plan, but an Israeli official who declined to be named said it could accept a ceasefire without preconditions.
"If we receive a proposal based on the Egyptian plan of a ceasefire without preconditions which will include rehabilitation of Gaza in exchange for disarmament, Israel will consider this favorably with a view to accepting it," he said.

Israel began aerial and naval bombardment of Gaza on July 8 after what it said was a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes by Hamas and others and it later sent in ground forces.
It has already begun to wind down its offensive, saying the army had completed the main objective of the ground assault, the destruction of cross-border infiltration tunnels from Gaza.
With its goals met, Israel is seen as more likely to come to accept an end to the fighting in which Gaza officials say 1,804 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.
Israel has confirmed that 64 of its soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian shelling has killed three civilians in Israel.
A Palestinian official affiliated with one of the militant factions said a temporary ceasefire would open the door to more comprehensive negotiations.
"Should Israel agree to the 72-hour ceasefire, Egypt would invite Israel to send a delegation to Cairo to conduct indirect negotiations with the Palestinian delegation over all issues," he said.

Egypt has positioned itself as a mediator in successive Gaza conflicts but, like Israel, it opposes Hamas and has struggled to seal a deal to end the latest fighting.
Media speculation that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns would fly to Egypt to participate in indirect truce talks had not been borne out by Monday.
A U.S. embassy spokesman declined to say if or when Burns might arrive. A U.S. official in Washington said acting special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Frank Lowenstein was on his way back from Cairo, suggesting the United States was following the talks closely.
A U.S.- and U.N.-brokered ceasefire broke down within two hours on Friday, with Israel and Hamas trading blame.
A Hamas source in Doha said the group would not lay down arms unless Palestinian conditions were met.
Qatar, a backer of Hamas, has stayed out of the Egypt talks, but has continued consultations with Turkey and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at finding an end to the crisis should Egypt fail, a Gulf source and the Hamas official in Doha said.
  • For its part, Cairo might contemplate easing the limited freedom of movement across its own border with Gaza, but was unlikely to accept Palestinian calls to allow a normal flow of trade, Egyptian diplomatic sources said.
Egypt insists that any discussion over the Rafah border crossing take place bilaterally with the Palestinian Authority rather than as part of any overall deal between the Palestinians and Israel to ease the blockade, the sources said. REUTERS

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 02, 2014

Netanyahu: Hamas will pay price for more attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Saturday to exact an “intolerable price” from the Gaza Strip’s dominant Hamas Islamists should there be continued attacks from the Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu also said that Israel will continue its military campaign in Gaza for as long as needed and with as much force as necessary.
“From the beginning, we promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved. We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed,” he said in a public address.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Cabinet minister said there was “no point” in trying to reach a Gaza truce with Hamas and that Israel won’t send a delegation to planned ceasefire talks in Cairo, the Associated Press reported.

The minister, Yuval Steinitz, spoke Saturday on Israel’s Channel 10 television station.

His comments suggests that Israel plans to end the current round of fighting with Hamas on its own terms, rather than getting entangled in indirect negotiations with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Steinitz alleged that Hamas has repeatedly violated previous cease-fire deals and that this “leads us to the conclusion that with this organization there is no point speaking” about a deal.
He says Israel won’t be sending a delegation to Cairo for the time being.
Meanwhile, Al Arabiya News Channel reported Saturday that six Palestinians were killed after an Israeli airstrike on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and four others will killed in Khan Younis.
Previously, the Israeli airstrike on Rafah killed at least 35 Palestinians, the Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra said, adding that the area's main hospital was evacuated because of the strikes.
At least 1,592 Gazans have been killed since the start of hostilities on July 8 when Israel launched its drive to halt militant rocket fire on its territory from the coastal enclave by unleashing air and naval bombardments. Tanks and infantry pushed into the territory of 1.8 million people on July 17.
Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed, and Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.
Earlier, Israeli troops and tanks pulled out of a central sector of the Gaza Strip and moved closer to the border Saturday, as its military invited Palestinians to return to one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the coastal strip.

  • Israeli media reports Saturday suggested that the military planned to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and declare victory in the weekslong war that Palestinian officials say has killed more than 1,650 people there.
But the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, which is in charge of the Gaza Strip, said Israel’s unilateral withdraw does not involve it.
Authorities in Israel, which has lost 63 soldiers and three civilians in the war, declined to immediately comment on the reports, but the move would mirror Israeli strategy in previous wars there.

Hamas on missing Israeli soldier

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said on Saturday it had no clear indication on the whereabouts of an Israeli soldier that Israel has accused it of abducting in the Gaza Strip, Reuters news agency reported.
Hamas added that the soldier may have been killed during an ambush and that it had no contact with militants who were operating in the southern Gaza Strip where Israel said its soldier went missing.
“We have lost contact with the group of fighters that took part in the ambush and we believe they were all killed in the [Israeli] bombardment. Assuming that they managed to seize the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident,” a statement by Hamas said.

  • Israel said, Sec. Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, who went missing on Friday, was abducted by Hamas gunmen.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his security cabinet into special session and warned Hamas and other militant groups that they would “bear the consequences of their actions”.
After the disappearance of the soldier, Israel declared a planned 72-hour Gaza ceasefire over, saying Hamas militants had breached the truce soon after it took effect.
The ceasefire lasted only about 90 minutes early on Friday.

Egypt’s proposal

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday a Gaza ceasefire plan his country had put forward represented a “real chance” to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
"The Egyptian initiative is a real chance to find a real solution to the crisis taking place in the Gaza Strip," he told reporters in Cairo during a joint news conference with Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

  • The Egyptian leader also warned that wasting time will complicate matters. “if Egypt’s initial proposal had been accepted, many civilian lives would have been spared,” he said.

  • Sisi’s comments came as a Palestinian delegation headed to Cairo for talks on ending the conflict that has killed around 2,000 Palestinians in less than a month.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo on Saturday to discuss a ceasefire plan to end the raging war between Palestinian factions and Israel, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

Last Update: Saturday, 2 August 2014 KSA 22:12 - GMT 19:12 

Παρασκευή, Ιουλίου 25, 2014

Israel rejects US truce proposal for Gaza. (Security cabinet refuses US-initiated ceasefire in the Gaza Strip)

Israel TV reported on Friday that the cabinet had rejected the proposal in its current form, mainly because it would mean Israel would cut short an ongoing effort to destroy Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.
The proposal called for a week-long pause in fighting over the Muslim holiday of Eid. During that time, the two sides would begin indirect talks on easing the border closure of the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, says any truce must include a guaranteed end to Israel's eight-year siege of the enclave. Israel had previously said it would reject any deal that included a clause to ease the blockade.

At a news conference in Egypt, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, confirmed the rejection but said diplomats were still trying to agree a deal.

"We are working towards a brief seven-day peace in honour of Eid, to bring people together to create a more durable ceasefire," he said.
"We still have terminology and context to work through, but we are confident we have a framework that will work, and we will continue to work for that ... none of us here are stopping."
Kerry met UN chief Ban Ki-moon in Cairo on Friday, and spoke by telephone to his Qatari and Turkish counterparts, who have influence with Hamas.

More deaths as diplomacy stutters
The Israeli offensive on Gaza has continued on Friday on its 18th day.
Palestinian officials said on Friday that Israeli troops and Hamas fighters fought intense battles in the north and centre of the coastal strip, while the Israeli military announced it had hit 45 sites in Gaza.
One Israeli strike killed Salah Hassanein, a senior official from the Islamic Jihad group, and two of his sons, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army said that its missing soldier, Oron Shaul, had been killed in Gaza, in an attack on an APC on Sunday. Hamas claims to have taken him hostage, and his body has not been recovered.
The Israeli offensive in Gaza has so far killed at least 848 Palestinians, including scores of children, and left more than 5,200 people injured.
Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel have killed two Israeli civilians and a Thai migrant worker.
A total of 35 Israeli soldiers have died in Gaza. The Israeli army said that number included Oron Shaul, who Hamas claimed to have kidnapped after an attack on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group, promised to support Palestinian fighters. In a live television appearance on Friday, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it was "suicide'' to continue waging war in the Gaza Strip.
"We are true partners with this resistance ... their victory is all our victory, and their defeat is all our defeat," he said.

Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 10, 2014

Egypt set to receive wounded Palestinians via border crossing (Rafah crossing point)

Egypt opened its Rafah crossing point bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Thursday to receive wounded Palestinians by Israeli air strikes, a security official at the crossing told Xinhua.

More than 45 Egyptians who were stuck at the border after the Israeli air strike on Gaza along with the injured Palestinians were expected to arrive, but still no one showed up fearing the strike, added the official on condition of anonymity.

Arish hospitals in north Sinai have been placed on alert with all necessary equipment and blood donation to cure the Palestinians, Adel Adawi, Egyptian Health Minister said in a statement.

The minister added more than 30 ambulances are prepared at the border with emergency and intensive care teams to help the medical teams in north Sinai and providing the medical treatment in Arish and Sheikh Zuwid Hospitals.

Another four hospitals in Cairo were also ready to receive those in serious conditions, the minister added.

The crossing, the sole one for the Palestinian coastal enclave which has been under an Israeli blockade, is usually closed for security reasons as the restive Sinai Peninsula has been witnessing a surge of attacks by hard-line militants against the police and army institutions since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi one year ago............http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/869900.shtml

  • Putin urges Netanyahu to stop armed standoff in southern Israel...

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that armed confrontation in southern Israel and in the Gaza Strip leading to numerous victims among civilians should be stopped as soon as possible. The Kremlin press-service reported this on Thursday.

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 09, 2014

Egypt to raze illegal buildings along Nile to help farmers

Photo: nationalgeographic.com
CAIRO - Egypt will destroy all buildings along the Nile River and its tributaries that were erected illegally, the water and irrigation minister said on Monday, seeking to protect canals needed to help grow food.
The government will "not be complacent in the face of encroachment on the Nile River and its tributaries and streams", Minister Mohamed Abdel Motteleb was quoted as saying by the state news agency MENA.

Egypt is the world's biggest wheat importer, a drain on its precarious finances.

 Officials say illegal building along the Nile has increased in the turbulent years since a 2011 uprising which also scared away investors and tourists, major sources of foreign exchange.

Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 25, 2014

Ethiopia calls Egypt to resume talks over dam

Ethiopia has urged Egypt for another round of tripartite talks with Sudan to implement international recommendations over the construction of its hydroelectric dam on the Nile, an Egyptian news agency reported Thursday.

“We seek to persuade the Egyptian authorities to avoid unnecessary complaints against the dam and to resume the tripartite talks with Ethiopia and Sudan,” the state-run news agency MENA quoted Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as saying during a parliament meeting.

Desalegn said his country is ready to respond if Egypt decided to take its dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam to the United Nations.

Thirty-one percent of the dam’s construction was already complete, Desalegn said, adding that the dam would begin generating electricity next year.
Ethiopia building the damn could transform one of the world’s poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.

Addis Ababa has already rejected an offer from Cairo to help finance building the dam and opted to fully pay for the project.

Power-hungry region

The electricity it will generate - enough to power a giant rich-world city like New York - can be exported across a power-hungry region.
So far, Ethiopia has paid 27 billion birr ($1.5 billion) out of a total projected cost of 77 billion birr for the dam, which will create a lake 246 km long, according to Reuters.
Economists warn that squeezing the private sector to pay for the public infrastructure could hurt future prospects. Growth is already showing signs of slowing.
Egypt, which has claimed exclusive right to control the Nile’s waters for generations, is infuriated. Cairo worries the dam will reduce the flow on which it has depended for drinking water and irrigation for thousands of years.
Talks between Ethiopia and Egypt deteriorated in recent months but officials from the two countries still insist they will continue to meet in order to solve the dispute.
Egypt has demanded building be halted pending negotiations between the countries.
Cairo no longer wields the same leverage it once did when upriver sub-Saharan countries were too poor to build such huge projects themselves.
(With Reuters)
Last Update: Friday, 25 April 2014 KSA 09:16 - GMT 06:16 

  • Ethiopia insists that it must build a series of dams. Dialogue only way to bridge Ethiopia-Egypt gap. -PM  ...
Citing its own development needs, however, Ethiopia insists that it must build a series of dams to generate electricity – both for local consumption and export.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said Monday that dialogue was the only way to bridge outstanding differences between Ethiopia and Egypt about a multi-billion dollar hydroelectric dam on the Nile River. "I know dialogue will continue. I don't see there will be a military solution and [talk of] war is absurd. It doesn't work," Dessalegn told a press conference in Addis Ababa.
"This kind of problem is solved through dialogue," he said. "From the Ethiopian side, we are ready to see a cooperative way to find solution through dialogue." Plans by Ethiopia to build a massive hydroelectric dam, dubbed the "Grand Renaissance Dam Project," on the Blue Nile – the primary source of Egypt's water supply –sent shockwaves down Egypt's Nile Valley.
Water distribution among the states of the Nile basin have long depended on a colonial-era treaty giving Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of Nile water.
  • Citing its own development needs, however, Ethiopi
  • a insists that it must build a series of dams to generate electricity – both for local consumption and export.
Addis Ababa maintains that the new dam will benefit Egypt and Sudan, both of which will be invited to purchase electricity thus generated. The Ethiopian premier said that his country wants to see a stable and democratic Egypt. "If General [Abdel-Fattah] al-Sisi is elected, I am ready to work with him," he said. Calls have grown for al-Sisi, who led the army move to unseat elected president Mohamed Morsi, to run in Egypt's upcoming presidential election, expected within three months. Turning to the conflict in South Sudan, the Ethiopian premier said that the Inter-government Authority for Development (IGAD) has authorized the Ugandan army to protect the government in Juba. "We denounce unconstitutional power seizure and this is the position of all IGAD states," he said. "IGAD has a clear position in this regard. Uganda has to protect the government." He, however, said that forces from Uganda and other countries must leave South Sudan phase by phase.............................http://www.ellanodikis.net/2014/02/ethiopia-insists-that-it-must-build.html

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