Category Archives: Egypt

Officials: 2 Sons Of Egypt’s Mubarak Freed From Prison

AP Photo

AP Photo

(AP). The two sons of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were released from prison Monday, nearly four years after they were first arrested along with their father, authorities said.

Security officials said the two, wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal, walked free from Torah Prison in a southern Cairo suburb shortly after daybreak and headed to their respective homes in the capital’s upscale Heliopolis suburb. Read more »

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Egypt Court Orders Retrial In Al-Jazeera Case

(Al JazeeraAP). An Egyptian appeals court on Thursday ordered the retrial of three Al-Jazeera English journalists held for over a year on terror-related charges, a ruling that their lawyers hoped was a step toward resolving a case that brought a storm of international criticism on Egypt’s government.

The three will remain behind bars at least until the retrial begins. But their lawyers expressed cautious optimism that a quick retrial will lead to their eventual exoneration. Read more »

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Egyptian Jewish Leader Decries Court Ban Of Pilgrimage At Grave Of Harav Yaakov Abuhatzeira

Tomb_Rabbi_Yaakov_Abu_HatzeiraThe Head of the Jewish Community in Egypt, Magda Haroun described Tuesday the court’s  verdict banning the annual Abuhatzeira festival as “unconstitutional.”

On Monday, The Alexandria Administrative Court banned the celebration of the Abuhatzeira pilgrimage, saying it violates public orders. “The Jews have not had any particular impact on the Egyptian civilization,” said the verdict. The court also ordered the removal of the shrine from the Egyptian antiquities
list. Read more »

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Egypt Bans ‘Exodus’ Labeling It A ‘Zionist Film

exodus(JNS). Egypt has banned the Hollywood Biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” slamming the movies as a “Zionist film” and criticizing it for a number of historical inaccuracies.

The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale as Moses, retells the epic Biblical story from the “Book of Exodus” of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Read more »

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Egypt’s Ambassador to US Attacks NY Times for ‘Biased Reporting on Egypt’

Mohamed Tawfik Egypt ambassador to USIn a recent editorial the New York Times slammed Egypt for refusing to grant entry to an American Scholar and former diplomat, Michele Dunne. Egypt said it denied her entry since she was in violation of the visa requirements.

In the blistering editorial, the Times also takes note with the $1.3 billion in military aid sent to Egypt “regardless of whether Cairo continues to repress Egyptian citizens or harass foreigners like Ms. Dunne.” Read more »

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Egypt Opens Border With Gaza After 2-Month Closure

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). A Palestinian border official says Egypt has opened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip for the first time in two months, offering temporary relief to Palestinians seeking to leave the coastal enclave.

Maher Abu Sabha, the Gaza official in charge on the Gaza side, says the Rafah crossing is only to remain open for two days. Read more »

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Foreign Minister Lieberman Condemns Europeans For Supporting Unilateral Palestinian Moves

via Facebook/Ari Kagan

via Facebook/Ari Kagan

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman condemned European countries on Tuesday for supporting unilateral Palestinian steps toward independent statehood, while at the same time voicing somewhat subtle criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for stating that Israel needs to go on the diplomatic offensive.

Liberman – whom many believe is trying to position himself in the political center by leaving open the possibility of joining a coalition led by Labor’s Isaac Herzog and Hatnua’s Tzipi Livni for the upcoming national elections – stated that Israel would not accept diktats from the Palestinians.

Read more »

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Egyptian Court Debates Ban on Hamas Military Wing

Sissi Egypt presidentAn Egyptian court is deliberating whether to place a ban on the military wing of Hamas, known as the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, as well as whether to list it as a terrorist organization. The Cairo-based court is set to issue its ruling on the matter on January 17.

Egyptian authorities have accused Hamas of taking part in the country’s Islamist insurgency, which has included attacks against government security forces.

Read more »

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Egypt Court Drops Murder Charges Against Former President Hosni Mubarak

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). An Egyptian court on Saturday dismissed murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his nearly three-decade rule, citing the “inadmissibility” of the case due to a technicality.

The ruling marks another major setback for the young activists who spearheaded the Arab Spring-inspired uprising nearly four years ago — many of whom are now in prison or have withdrawn from politics. Read more »

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Al-Sisi: Egypt Ready To Send Peacemakers In Future Palestinian State

Sissi Egypt presidentEgypt is ready to send peacekeepers to a future Palestinian state to ensure Israel that no attacks are launched on Israeli citizens, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said in an interview to an Italian newspaper on Sunday.

“We are ready to send military troops inside a Palestinian state. They would help local police and reassure the Israelis through their [peace] guarantee role. Not forever, of course. For the time necessary to re-establish trust,” Sissi told the Corriere della Sera newspaper ahead of meetings on Monday with Italian leaders and Pope Francis. Read more »

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Egypt To Double Gaza Buffer Zone After Discovery Of Longer Smuggling Tunnels

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(JNS). The Egyptian army has announced plans to double its security buffer zone along the Gaza border to 1 kilometer (about six-tenths of a mile) in an effort to end weapons smuggling by terrorist groups in the region.

Egypt’s decision came after the discovery of longer tunnels—spanning between 800 and 1,000 meters (2,625 to 3,280 feet)—under the Gaza border, Al-Ahram reported. Read more »

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Sinai – Army Moves In As Egyptians Leave Homes Near Gaza

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Hundreds of Egyptians living along the border with the Gaza Strip evacuated their homes on Wednesday, after the army ordered them out to make way for a planned buffer zone meant to stop militants and smugglers, officials said.

They said residents of the border town of Rafah have already handed over 62 homes to the army, a first step for a target of 880 houses — where some 10,000 people live. Read more »

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Missile, Fire From Egypt Wounds Two Israeli Soldiers

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Attackers from the Egyptian side of the border fired an anti-tank missile and gunshots at an Israeli military vehicle on Wednesday, wounding two soldiers in a rare cross-border incident, the military said.

The military said the attack occurred in southern Negev Desert, and that the soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in Israel. Read more »

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Jewish Comedian Tours Israel, Middle East To Find The World’s Funniest Person

laugh factory(AP). It was last summer and Israeli-Palestinian tensions were at the highest they’d been in some time when Jamie Masada hit on a formula for world peace: Forget about guns and bombs, and just tell jokes to each other.

The onetime stand-up comic is, after all, the owner of the venerable Hollywood nightclub The Laugh Factory, so the idea wasn’t unfamiliar. Still, it’s one thing to get a liquored-up audience laughing at lines like, “Take my mother-in-law — please.” Read more »

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Egypt Warplanes Strike Islamic Militias In Libya

photo/AP

photo/AP

(AP). Egypt deepened its involvement in the fight against Islamist militias who have taken over key parts of Libya on Wednesday, with officials saying Egyptian warplanes have bombed their positions in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The two officials, who have firsthand knowledge of the operation, said the use of the aircraft was part of an Egyptian-led campaign against the militiamen that will eventually involve Libyan ground troops recently trained by Egyptian forces. Read more »

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Israel/Hamas Talks Over Permanent Cease-Fire deal To Kick Off On Tuesday

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). A Palestinian negotiator says Egypt will host indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians on a sustained Gaza cease-fire deal, and negotiations between Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah on who should run the territory.

Azzam al-Ahmed, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Palestinian radio Sunday that talks will be held Tuesday in Cairo. Read more »

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Turkey Refuses To Join Neighboring Arab States’ Coalition With The US vs. ISIS

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Key Arab allies of the United States pledged Thursday to help in the battle against Islamic State militants, promising to stop the flow of fighters and funding to the insurgents and possibly to join military action.

NATO member Turkey refused to join its Arab neighbors in the public expression of support, signaling the struggle the West faces in trying to get nations on the front lines to put aside their regional animosities and work together against a common enemy. Read more »

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Arab Countries Give Abbas Backing On New UN Appeal

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Arab foreign ministers have backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s appeal to the United Nations to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinian ambassador to Egypt, Jamal al-Shobaki, said Monday that the Arab resolution issued a day earlier calls for the Arab League chief to push the idea in the U.N. Security Council and other regional and international groups. Read more »

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Report: Abbas Declines al-Sisi’s Generous Offer For Creation Of Palestinian State In Sinai

abbas turkeyAn exclusive report on Israeli Army Radio Monday morning revealed that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi offered Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas 160 square kilometers of the Sinai Peninsula adjoining Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, thus creating a Palestinian state five times the present size of Gaza.

 

In his proposal Sisi suggested to add 1,600 square kilometers from Sinai’s territory to Gaza (5 times the area of the Strip) and establish there a demilitarized Palestinian state under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. Read more »

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Lapid Calls On Regional Powers To Rebuild, Disarm Gaza

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Israel’s finance minister says his country and other regional powers should work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip and disarm Hamas militants that rule the territory.

Yair Lapid made the remarks Sunday, about a week after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after almost two months of fighting that devastated parts of Gaza. Read more »

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Egypt Hands Life Sentence to Israeli Spy

Egypt courtAn Israeli, tried in absentia in an Egyptian court for spying on Egyptian officials and security deployments for Israel, has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Jordanian who has also been charged for spying on behalf of Israel has been sentenced to 10 years. The maximum sentence in Egypt, including those sentenced to life, is 25 years. Read more »

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Mubarak Defends Record of Egyptian Leadership in Court

According to a news report in Israel Hayom, Egypt’s overthrown President Hosni Mubarak, in his first public comments since being put on trial, denied Wednesday that he ordered the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that deposed him, maintaining that he would be vindicated by history. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for bearing responsibility for the deaths of demonstrators and the breakdown of law and order during the 18-day revolt that terminated his 30-year presidency, but an appeals court subsequently ordered a retrial. The new proceedings resulted in the clearing of those charges, but Mubarak is currently serving a separate three-year sentence at a military hospital for embezzlement.

Read more »

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Egypt Presents Proposal to End War in Gaza

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP) - Egypt presented a proposed cease-fire to Israel and Hamas aimed at ending the monthlong war, Palestinian officials said early Wednesday after negotiators huddled for a second day of Egyptian-mediated talks meant to resolve the crisis and bring relief to the embattled Gaza Strip.

Palestinian officials told The Associated Press early Wednesday morning that Egypt’s proposal calls for easing parts of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, bringing some relief to the territory. But it leaves the key areas of disagreement, including the Islamic militant group Hamas’ demand for a full lifting of the blockade and Israeli calls for Hamas to disarm, to later negotiations. Read more »

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Egypt’s President Expected to Discuss Ceasefire Efforts on First Visit to Saudi Arabia

Abdul-Fattah-al-Sisi(AP) - Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met late Sunday in Saudi Arabia with one of his strongest international supporters, King Abdullah, to talk about key security issues impacting the region.

Saudi Arabia’s monarch has given Egypt at least $12 billion in aid to buoy its economy after the military, led by el-Sissi, ousted the country’s President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers from power amid massive protests. Read more »

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Israel Agrees To Extend Humanitarian Cease-Fire

Israel has conditionally agreed to extend a ceasefire in Gaza beyond a Friday deadline, an Israeli official said.

The official, however, did not say for how much longer Israel had agreed to extend the truce, only that “Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms.”

Read more »

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