Monday, 8 July 2013

Israel relying on Egyptian army to counter Islamists

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel is relying on the Egyptian army to suppress Islamist militants in the Sinai and to ensure the country's stability after the dismissal of Mohamed Mursi as president, media and politicians said.

The Egyptian military overthrew Mursi on Wednesday after millions of protesters rallied to demand the Islamist leader quit for failing the 2011 revolution and bolstering his Islamist base at the expense of the rest of the country.

Ministers in the Israeli cabinet have so far stuck to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's order for silence on the subject.

But MP Tzahi Hanegbi, who is close to Netanyahu, welcomed the ouster of Mursi, Egypt's first democratically elected president who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Israel's clear interest is for Egypt to remain stable, favorable to the West and the US, and that it does not let itself get carried away by a wave of religious extremism," said Hanegbi, former head of the Knesset (parliament) commission on defense and foreign affairs. more

Egypt deporting Palestinians trying to return to Gaza

Palestinians trying to return home to the Gaza Strip via Cairo airport are being deported by Egyptian authorities to the countries they flew in from, at their own expense.

From the Electronic Intifada
The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected President Muhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.

In recent days, militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have repeatedly attacked Egyptian army posts and checkpoints.

Yousef M. Aljamal, a writer and occasional Electronic Intifada contributor, was among those deported. Aljamal was returning home to Gaza from New Zealand, where he participated in the recent Conference on Palestine in Auckland.

Aljamal tweeted about his deportation from Cairo, back to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where he had stopped in order to obtain an Egyptian visa.

He reported seeing other Palestinians sent back to Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Canada, among other countries. more

Israeli troops attack non-violent protests on Friday and Saturday

Weekly non-violent protests were organized on Friday in the villages of al Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Nil’in in central West Bank, in addition to Al Ma’ssara in southern West Bank, all of which were attacked by Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. On Saturday, two women were injured during a non-violent protest in Um al-Kheir village, east of Yatta, in the southern West Bank.

The protest at Um al-Kheir focused on the recent expansion of an Israeli settlement onto village land. The two women, identified as Amina and Halima, were wounded when Israeli forces attacked the crowd, beating them with rifle butts and kicking them.

During the Saturday protest at Um al-Kheir, local sources reported that three Palestinian youth and an international solidarity activist were abducted by Israeli forces and taken to a nearby military camp for interrogation.

During the Friday protests, which are weekly occurrences at a number of Palestinian villages that have lost land for the construction of the Israeli Annexation Wall, Israeli troops attacked protesters in four villages.

In the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, residents and their international and Israeli supporters, managed to reach the wall.

Soldiers stationed there fired tear gas and chemical water on protesters. Many civilians were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile at the nearby village of al Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers attacked the villagers and their supporters before leaving the village. more