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Tag Archives: egypt
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stands firm over opposition to Iran deal while on Rome visit
A car bomb has rocked Egypt's increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula killing at least 10 Egyptian soldiers and reportedly wounded 35 people. The soldiers had b…
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2nd November 2013
The collective punishment of Gaza arrives in the form of raw sewage that is flooding many neighborhoods across the impoverished and energy-chocked region.
The latest punishment of Gaza may seem like another familiar plot to humiliate the strip to the satisfaction of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, and the military-controlled Egyptian government. But something far more sinister is brewing.
This time, the collective punishment of Gaza arrives in the form of raw sewage that is flooding many neighborhoods across the impoverished and energy-starved region of 360 km2 (139 sq mi) and 1.8 million inhabitants.
Even before the latest crisis resulting from a severe shortage of electricity and diesel fuel that is usually smuggled through Egypt, Gaza was rendered gradually uninhabitable. A comprehensive UN report last year said that if no urgent action were taken, Gaza would be “unlivable” by 2020. Since the report was issued in August 2012, the situation has grown much worse.
Over the years, especially since the tightening by Israel of the Gaza siege in 2007, the world has become accustomed to two realities: the ongoing multiparty scheme to weaken and defeat Hamas in Gaza, and Gaza’s astonishing ability to withstand the inhumane punishment of an ongoing siege, blockade and war.
Two infamous wars illustrate this idea: The first is Israel’s 22-day war of 2008-9 (killing over 1,400 Palestinians and wounding over 5,500 more) and the second is its more recent war of Nov 2012 – eight days of fighting that killed 167 Palestinians and six Israelis.
In the second war, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi was still in power. For the first time in many years, Egypt sided with Palestinians. Because of this and stiff Palestinian resistance in Gaza, the strip miraculously prevailed. Gaza celebrated its victory, and Israel remained somewhat at bay – while of course, mostly failing to honor its side of the Cairo-brokered agreement of easing Gaza’s economic hardship.
In relative terms, things seemed to be looking up for Gaza. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was largely opened, and both Egypt and the Hamas governments were in constant discussions regarding finding a sustainable economic solution to Gaza’s many woes.
From New World Encyclopedia
The Gaza Strip (Arabic:Qita’ Ghazzah; Hebrew:Retzu’at ‘Azza) is a narrow coastal strip of land along the eastern Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel, just northeast of the Sinai Peninsula. It is considered to be part of the “Cradle of Humanity,” with a long and full history.
Following the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into refugee camps, with most of the refugees from the southern part of Israel ending up in Gaza. This small area harbors a large refugee community that is a hotbed of militarism as the community suffers from high unemployment and limited security and is riven with factions struggling for sovereignty.
As of 2008, Gaza is neither a state nor a nation. It is at best a community without a functioning economic base or credible political structure. Decades of instability and uncertain political status while being a welfare client of the United Nations set the stage for further collapse when Israel responded to the Intifada of 1990 by imposing constraints on Gazans exiting or entering Gaza, on Gazan supplies of medicine, fuel, and other basic goods, on Gazans transporting crops to export markets, and on their use of electric lights. The travel constraints alone have left many Gazans without a functioning economic base because they have lost access to employment opportunities in Israel.
Present day Gaza feels to many as a prison of sorts. Israel controls the Gaza strip’s airspace and offshore maritime access. Due to the continuing conflict with Israel, its 1.4 million inhabitants on 130 square miles are unable to enter neighboring Israel or Egypt, and there is little local economic activity in this potentially rich area to alleviate the widespread poverty.
The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city. The Gaza Strip has a 32-mile (51km) border with Israel, a seven-mile (11km) border with Egypt, and an area of 139 square miles (360km), slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC.
The terrain is flat or rolling, with dunes near the coast. The highest point is Abu ‘Awdah ([Joz Abu 'Auda]]), at 344 feet (105 meters) above sea level.
The Gush Katif bloc of Israeli localities used to exist on the sand dunes adjacent to Rafah and Khan Yunis, along the southwestern edge of the 25-mile (40km) Mediterranean coastline. A few months after Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan in December 2005, a controversial buffer zone was created on the northern border with Israel. Part of it reaches 1.5-mile (2.5km) into the Palestinian Authority controlled territory, on roughly the area of the former northern Israeli localities, an area used to launch Qassam rockets into Israel.
The Gaza Strip has a temperate climate, with mild winters, and dry, hot summers subject to drought. January is the coldest month with average temperatures ranging from 43F to 59F (6C to 15C) and July and August are the hottest months at 72F to 91F (22C to 33C) on average.
Natural resources include arable land (about a third of the strip is irrigated), and recently discovered natural gas.
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The Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas movement canceled its upcoming anniversary rally Sunday, saying it was inappropriate to celebrate at a time of deep economic woes in the crowded seaside territory.
It was the first time the Islamic militant group has canceled the festivities since seizing power six years ago. Hamas has used the elaborate annual commemoration of its December 1987 founding to demonstrate its control, with large military-style gatherings attended by hundreds of thousands of people.
The decision illustrated just how hard the Gaza economy has been hit since Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Hamas’ main patron, was ousted in a July military coup. Morsi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent movement, and moved to improve ties with the Islamic militant group.
The new military government has imposed tough border restrictions, including the destruction of smuggling tunnels that long sustained the Gaza economy and provided a key source of income for Hamas.
Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said funds allocated for the celebration, scheduled for next week, would be used “to alleviate the suffering” of the people.
“The decision to cancel the rally is a message of solidarity recognizing the difficult circumstances experienced by our people in Gaza,” Abu Zayed said.
Egypt’s border crackdown, accompanied by Israeli restrictions on Gaza, has caused power cuts, fuel shortages and the virtual collapse of the construction industry, a major employer in Gaza. Last month, the lack of power caused a major spill at Gaza’s main sewage treatment plant, flooding downtown streets in rancid waste.
According to the United Nations, unemployment has risen since the tunnels were closed and now stands at roughly 30 percent. Nearly one half of Gaza’s 1.7 million people receive food aid from UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.
Hamas seized power in 2007 after taking the territory from the forces of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. With Abbas now governing from the West Bank, the takeover has left the Palestinians divided between two governments. Repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed.
Despite its difficulties, Hamas maintains its rigid opposition against Israel and says it remains committed to destruction of the Jewish state.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip An official says Gaza’s ruling Hamas has canceled its upcoming anniversary rally because of the territory’s economic woes. The Islamic militant group had used the elaborate annual commemoration of its December 1987 founding to demonstrate its control over Gaza.
The cancellation indicates that Egypt’s border restrictions, including the destruction of smuggling tunnels, are increasingly hurting Hamas.
Egypt’s military clamped down after a July coup against a president who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.
The border crackdown, accompanied by Israeli restrictions on Gaza, has caused power cuts, fuel shortages and the virtual collapse of the construction industry.
Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said Sunday that the movement canceled the Dec. 7 rally and would spend the money on projects to “alleviate the suffering.”
EGYPT 544 – AMENHOTEP III's Mortuary Temple *West Bank Luxor*-(by Egyptahotep)
Images of The Excavation of the fantastic Temple of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III in Kom El Hetan, (west Bank Luxor),Unfortunately this Temple is very destroyed …
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Palestinian territories Largest cities Demonym Establishment – Israeli occupation established 1967 Area – Total 6,220km2 2,402sqmi – Water(%) 3.5 Population – 2012estimate 4,293,313 – 2007census 3,719,189 – Density 654/km2 1,694/sqmi HDI (2010) 0.645 medium 97th Currency (JOD, EGP, ILS) Time zone (UTC+2) – Summer(DST) (UTC+3) Calling code +970d Internet TLD a. Used in West Bank since 1950. b. Used in Gaza Strip since 1951. c. Used since 1985. d. +972 also used.
The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (Areas A and B). In 2007, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip violently split from the Palestinian Authority, governing the area of Gaza independently since. Israel still exercises full military control and Israeli civil control over 61% of the West Bank (Area C). In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of reconciliation, but its implementation has stalled since. Subsequent reconciliation efforts in 2012 did not succeed either.
The areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were part of the territory west of the Jordan River of Mandatory Palestine under British governance, formed in 1922. From the 1948 ArabIsraeli War until the 1967 Six-Day War, the West Bank was occupied and annexed by Jordan (annexation recognized only by UK and Pakistan) and the Gaza Strip occupied by Egypt, though limited authority had been exercised in Gaza by the All-Palestine Government from September 1948 until 1959. The legal borders of the Palestinian territories are currently recognised by pro-Palestine factions the international community to be as established by the 1949 Armistice Agreements, and by Israel to fall within Israeli borders.
Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt in 1967, the international community, including the UN and international legal bodies, has often referred to those areas as the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem. The annexation was condemned internationally and declared “null and void” by the United Nations Security Council, whereas Israel, as a nation, considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, approximately 130 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States. Shortly, however, the Palestinian Authority was formed in the outcome of the 1993 Oslo Accords, exercising limited control over parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories, while Israel regards it as part of Israel as a result of its annexation in 1980. According to the Israeli Supreme Court, the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits unilateral annexation of occupied territory, does not[dubious discuss] apply to East Jerusalem, as there was no[dubious discuss] “legitimate sovereign” recognised by Israel and its allies previously excercising control over the territory. The Palestinian National Authority (which recently officially changed its name to the State of Palestine, as a result of the UN recognising its sovereignty), which maintains a territorial claim to East Jerusalem, never exercised sovereignty over the area. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Oslo Accords (1995) established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore. The Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12miles (19km). In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, beyond which a no-go zone exists. As a result, over 3,000 fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, and Palestinians are denied access to its coast line.
The Hamas takeover of Gaza divided the Palestinian territories politically, with Abbass Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority. Both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are often still considered to be occupied by Israel, according to the international community. The Gaza Strip within the borders is governed by Hamas, while much of the West Bank is governed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Authority.
There are disagreements over what the Palestinian territories should be called. The United Nations, the European Union, International Committee of the Red Cross and the government of the United Kingdom all refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. The International Court of Justice refers to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and this term is used as the legal definition of the International Court of Justice in the ruling in July 2004.
Journalists also use the description to indicate lands outside the Green Line. The term is often used interchangeably with the term occupied territories, although this term is also applied to the Golan Heights, which is internationally recognized as part of Syria and not claimed by the Palestinians. The confusion stems from the fact that all these territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and are treated by the UN as territory occupied by Israel.
Other terms used to describe these areas collectively include “the disputed territories”, and “Israeli-occupied territories”. Further terms include “Palestine”, “State of Palestine”, “Yesha” (Judea-Samaria-Gaza), “Yosh” (Judea and Samaria), the “Katif Strip” (Gaza Strip), “Palestinian Autonomous Areas” (although this term is also used to specifically refer to Area’s A and B), “Palestinian Administered Territories”, “administered territories”, “territories of undetermined permanent status”, “1967 territories”, and simply “the territories”.
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Egypt Battles Sinai Islamist Insurgency: At least 10 Egyptian soldiers dead in Sinai car bombing – Video
Egypt Battles Sinai Islamist Insurgency: At least 10 Egyptian soldiers dead in Sinai car bombing
A car bomb has rocked Egypt's increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula killing at least 10 Egyptian soldiers and reportedly wounded 35 people. The soldiers had b…
Introduction Occupy Wall Street burst spectacularly onto the scene last fall with the take-over of New York City’s Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011, followed by the rapid spread of occupations to cities throughout the US and the world. The movement combined mass occupations of urban public spaces with horizontal forms of organization and large-scale, directly democratic assemblies
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