By JPOST Earlier this month, J’lem said a rocket fired at Eilat originated in Sinai; Egypt warns against inflaming border situation. Photo: Reuters Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has turned into a “kind of Wild West,” which terrorist organizations use to smuggle weapons with Iranian assistance and initiate attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Israel Radio on Tuesday.
The open desert border between Israel and Egypt has been relatively quiet since the 1979 peace treaty. But various Israeli officials have said that since the fall of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Cairo lost control of the desolate Sinai, exacerbating tensions.
Related: •Jerusalem and Cairo play down gas crisis•‘Israel accustomed to coping without Egypt gas’ Earlier this month, Jerusalem said a rocket that hit Eilat was fired from Sinai. Last August, cross-border infiltrators shot dead eight Israelis.
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Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt have given their blessing to a “million man march” against “Judaization” of Jerusalem. By David Lev
Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt – swept into power as a result of the “Arab Spring” rebellion – have given their blessing to a major demonstration to take place in Cairo next week. The “million man march” to be sponsored by Islamist groups a week from Friday will protest against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
Symbolically, the march will leave from the Al-Azhar mosque, Egypt’s most prominent, and proceed to Tahrir Square, which was the spiritual center of the protests that swept Hosni Mubarak from power last spring.
The march will be led by no less than Ahmed a-Taib, Egypt’s highest-ranking Islamic cleric and perhaps the most important in the entire Sunni Arab world. A-Taib, head of the Al-Azhar mosque, called the march “very important,” and worthy of the time of every Muslim who valued his religion. In recent weeks, a-Taib set up a special committee to prevent the progress of the “Zionist plan to Judaize Jerusalem.” The committee is expected to develop a platform that it will ask all individuals planning to run in Egypt’s upcoming elections to support, committing them to using whatever resources are at their disposal to “defend the Al-Aqsa mosque” on the Temple Mount. A-Taib expects all politicians in Egypt – including Coptic Christians – to endorse the platform.
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During 40-minute visit, Gantz reports to Shalit family on details of the swap, yet adds that some of them were still not finalized. By Jack Khoury
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz visited the Shalit family on Wednesday at their home in the Galilee community of Mitzpeh Hila. Present in the home was the immediate family, including GIlad’s grandfather, Tzvi Shalit. According to Channel 2, Gantz confirmed that Shalit will be returned next Tuesday.
Gantz was accompanied by the head of the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai and other senior officers. During the 40-minute visit, Gantz reported to the family on the details of the swap. He said that some details were still not finalized, particularly those involving the soldier’s transfer from Hamas to the Egyptians at the Rafah crossing.
Shalit will apparently be brought into Israel at the Kerem Shalom crossing, handed over to Israeli officials and then taken by helicopter to an Israel Air Force base central Israel, where he will meet his parents, Noam and Aviva, his brother Yoel and his brother’s partner, Ya’ara Winkler.
Gantz did not speak to media representatives, who have been near the house since the Shalits left their protest tent in Jerusalem for home Wednesday night.
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AFP Published: Egypt’s Air force chief dispatches warplanes to patrol border with Israel, despite peace treaty terms, MENA news agency reports; ‘We do not need permission to increase our forces on our land,’ General Reda Hafiz says
Egypt’s air force chief said on Thursday that Egyptian warplanes are patrolling Sinai without Israel’s consent, despite a 1979 peace treaty limiting Egypt’s military presence in the peninsula.
“Sinai is our land, and we do not need permission to increase our forces on our land,” General Reda Hafiz told the official MENA news agency.
“Egyptian planes conduct patrols to secure all Egypt’s borders, including the eastern border,” he said.
Parts of Sinai have been restricted to Egyptian troops under the terms of the 1979 treaty, by which Israel agreed to withdraw from the territory. In recent months, however, the Egyptian army has deployed reinforcements with Israeli consent to tackle suspected Islamist militants.
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A former Syrian prisoner said that he discovered the last message Eli Cohen left the world. By David Lev
Flash 90A Kurdish activist from Iraq, who was formerly a prisoner in a Syrian jail, told journalists that he had apparently been in the same prison cell that once held Israeli hero Eli Cohen – and that he had seen a sort of last will and testament by Cohen scrawled on the wall of the cell.
According to the activist, Daoud Bagastani, Cohen wrote in Arabic “I do not regret what I did, and if I do regret anything, it is what I could not accomplish. Sometimes a person fails because of his friends and comrades,” the text continues. Bagastani contacted IDF Israel Radio with the information, which organized a conversation between him and Cohen’s widow Nadia.
Cohen, who was born in Egypt, valiantly worked as an Israeli spy in Syria for several years in the 1960s, providing invaluable information on the Syrian regime and army. Under the alias Kamel Amin Saabet, Cohen posed as a well-connected expatriate businessman who was returning home from Argentina, and built relationships with some of the top members of the Syrian political and military elite, and it was said that he was even friendly with Syria President Hafez al-Assad. He was finally captured and killed by the Syrians in 1965. His burial place has been kept a secret by Syria.
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1Flames lit up downtown Cairo, where massive clashes raged Sunday, drawing Christians angry over a recent church attack, Muslims and Egyptian security forces. At least 24 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the worst sectarian violence since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
The rioting lasted late into the night, bringing out a deployment of more than 1,000 security forces and armored vehicles to defend the state television building along the Nile, where the trouble began. The military clamped a curfew on the area until 7 a.m.
The clashes spread to nearby Tahrir Square, drawing thousands of people to the vast plaza that served as the epicenter of the protests that ousted Mubarak. On Sunday night, they battled each other with rocks and firebombs, some tearing up pavement for ammunition and others collecting stones in boxes.
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By REUTERS AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Erdoğan says in Tunisia that Israel could not do whatever it wanted in Mediterranean; says Islam and democracy can co-exist in government.
ANKARA – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday Israel could not do whatever it wanted in the Eastern Mediterranean and that Turkish warships could be there at any moment.
“Israel cannot do whatever it wants in the eastern Mediterranean. They will see what our decisions will be on this subject. Our navy attack ships can be there at any moment,” Erdoğan told a news conference on a visit to the Tunisian capital.
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Hundreds of demonstrators attended the ‘million man protest’ in Cairo demanding Israel’s ambassador to Egypt be expelled on Friday. by Gavriel Queenann
Flash 90Far short of a “million man protest,” hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday demanding that the ambassador be expelled from the country. It is unknown if more will arrive after Friday afternoon Muslim prayers.
The protests came amid tensions following the deaths of three Egyptian security officers apparently shot inadvertantly by IDF troops pursuing the terrorists who carried out last weeks lethal bus-atack near Eilat that left 8 Israelis dead.
Egyptian security forces were deployed in the area around the embassy amid fears the potentially large demonstrations could turn violent.
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“The Mosque of Jesus Christ” is the exact name given to a mosque in the city of Madaba, south of the Jordanian capital Amman, founded in 2008.
This mosque is presently being hailed by the international news media as the first an only mosque in the modern Arab world to ever be named after Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).
In fact, it is not the only — or even the first — mosque in the Arab world to be named in Christ’s honor. There is the Isa Bin Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) Mosque in Tripoli Lebanon, the famous Jesus Mosque in Giza Egypt, and countless other small mosques carrying the name without any claim to fame.
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Eldad Beck UPPER EGYPT – Maha, an Egyptian merchant in her 40s, doesn’t sleep well at night. Ever since the January 25 revolution, she is experiencing a difficult period. “In the first days of the mass demonstrations against Mubarak, my mother and me couldn’t even sleep because of fear,” said the Christian Copt. “We didn’t know what will happen to us. Ever since then, even though the general security situation in the country has stabilized, our fears were confirmed.”
In recent months we have seen significant escalation in violent clashes between radical Islamists and members of the Copt minority across Egypt. It started with the lethal suicide attack in one of Alexandria’s main churches in the first days of the year, even before the popular protest against Mubarak gained steam. Twenty three worshippers were murdered and some 100 were wounded. Egyptian opposition sources claimed at the time that the attack was organized by a secret unit established by the former interior minister in order to undermine domestic stability and reinforce the regime’s hold on the country. A few weeks ago, when angry Islamist masses attacked a Cairo church where two Christian women who converted to Islam were apparently held, some charged that loyalists of the outgoing regime were identified among the radical Muslim activists. Ten people were killed in the clash, while security forces stood at the sidelines and observed
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