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Egypt's wall of shame against Gaza

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  • Egypt's wall of shame against Gaza


    December 9, 2009 -- Egypt has begun the construction of a massive iron wall along its border with the Gaza Strip, in a bid to shut down smuggling tunnels into the territory. The wall will be nine to 10 kilometers long, and will go 20 to 30 meters into the ground, Egyptian sources said. It will be impossible to cut or melt. The new plan is the latest move by Egypt to step up its counter-smuggling efforts. Although some progress had been made, the smuggling market in Gaza still flourishes. Egyptian forces demolish tunnels or fill them with gas almost every week, often with people still inside them, and Palestinian casualties in the tunnels have been steadily rising. Recently, Egypt examined several possibilities of blocking the tunnels, and joint American-Egyptian patrols have been seen in Rafah attempting to detect tunnels using underground sensors. Construction of the wall has already begun. It will be made of enormous slates of steel, reaching deep into the ground. However, it is not expected to stem smuggling completely. Several defense sources told Haaretz they believe that once captive soldier Gilad Shalit is released, Israel will have to re-examine the benefits of closing Gaza off. The closure has been undermined by the tunnel system, which provides not only munitions but food, cars, motorcycles, drugs, medicine and fuel, much more than what Israel allows into the Strip through the official border crossing. The tunnels also allow people to cross in and out of the Strip, including terrorists who linked up with pro-Al-Qaida groups in Gaza and tried to carry out attacks in Egypt, defense sources said. The smuggling industry is so institutionalized that tunnel operators purchase licenses from the Rafah municipality, allowing them to connect to electricity and water. Hamas has also been ensuring no children are employed in the tunnels, and is taxing all smuggled goods. The Egyptians often intercept munitions before they can enter the Strip and have stepped up checks at internal roadblocks and checkpoints in the Sinai. Observers say mounting American pressure is in part responsible for increasing Egyptian efforts to combat the smugglers.

  • #2

    December 9, 2009 -- To cut smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip, Egypt is installing an impenetrable U.S.-made metal wall that will stretch about seven miles and extend nearly 60 feet deep, the BBC is reporting. The wall was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is bomb proof and cannot be cut or melted, the BBC says, citing intelligence sources in Egypt. About two miles have been installed so far along an existing perimeter fence; the entire wall will be finished in 18 months. No comment from the Egyptian government, the BBC says. Scores of tunnels have been dug to circumvent an Israeli blockade of Gaza. Smugglers bring everyday goods, people, livestock and building materials, but also guns, explosives and missile components that are used against Israel. The new wall won't stop smuggling but will force Palestinians to dig much deeper.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post

      December 9, 2009 -- To cut smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip, Egypt is installing an impenetrable U.S.-made metal wall that will stretch about seven miles and extend nearly 60 feet deep, the BBC is reporting. The wall was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is bomb proof and cannot be cut or melted, the BBC says, citing intelligence sources in Egypt. About two miles have been installed so far along an existing perimeter fence; the entire wall will be finished in 18 months. No comment from the Egyptian government, the BBC says. Scores of tunnels have been dug to circumvent an Israeli blockade of Gaza. Smugglers bring everyday goods, people, livestock and building materials, but also guns, explosives and missile components that are used against Israel. The new wall won't stop smuggling but will force Palestinians to dig much deeper.
      yes amazing what some will do and what they will do when the price is right ,,,,,,,

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      • #4
        Les Egyptiens sont connus pour le soutien sans faille à la cause palstinienne, n'est-ce pas ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tipaza View Post
          Les Egyptiens sont connus pour le soutien sans faille à la cause palstinienne, n'est-ce pas ?
          as you like they normally go where the price is right ummah/ikwan dont factor into their priniciples normally. money does

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          • #6
            ya 7aramashoom on the Egyption govt instead of opening their doors to serve their brothers food/clothes/medicine after being obliterated by the israelis, they bar and shun them with American-made steel walls
            It seems as if one fails to conceive
            The meaning my name strives to achieve

            To a biological form you cannot relate-
            Because a reproductive cell is a gamete not gamate!

            It means to unite, -to become consolidated
            So without me in a.com, is there hope we'd be amalgamated?

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            • #7

              CAIRO, December 10, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Egypt denied building an anti-smuggling underground iron wall on its border with the Gaza Strip, local Al-Shorouk daily reported Thursday. "Egypt is dealing with smuggling seriously and capable of stopping it without this wall," the report quoted a security source as saying. Earlier, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Egyptian engineers were carrying out major excavation work at the Gaza border on Wednesday as an anti-smuggling barrier was under construction. According to Haaretz, the assumed wall will extend 20 to 30 meters underground in a bid to block the smuggling from Egypt to Gaza. Egypt beefed up security measures along its border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip to combat smuggling to the Israeli-blockaded enclave.

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              • #8

                CAIRO, December 10, 2009 — Egypt has been digging trenches and installing metal sheets underground along its border with Gaza in an apparent attempt to curb smuggling into the Palestinian territory through tunnels, Gaza border guards and area residents said Thursday. The project appears to be one of a series of measures Egypt has taken, some of them in cooperation with the U.S., to crack down on smuggling since the end of Israel's war on Hamas-ruled Gaza last winter. The tunnels are a key route for funneling weapons and explosives to the Palestinian militant group Hamas and were a main target of Israel's offensive.

                Residents along the border said they have seen Egyptian construction crews clearing a corridor along the frontier, then drilling holes about 20 meters (yards) deep for the past weeks. They said the workers then filled the trenches with sand. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. A Hamas border guard and a Gaza official said the Egyptians have been digging for the past 17 days in the area where the borders of Egypt, Israel and Gaza meet. They said they dig during the day, and put metal into the ground at night. Egyptian security officials confirmed a project was under way to curb smuggling.

                A senior Egyptian security official would not confirm nor deny the reports and government officials did not return calls seeking comment. Egypt has been harshly criticized by Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel in blockading the 1.4 million residents of the impoverished Gaza Strip for more than two years. "We in Hamas can't believe that Egypt would put barriers between us," Hamas lawmaker Yehiye Moussa told The Associated Press. "This is hard to believe," he added. "We know that Egypt is under American and international pressure, but we hope that this is not true. We demand that Egypt open its border."

                Egyptian security officials and Israeli officials said the project along the border was in cooperation with the U.S. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue. But an American embassy official in Cairo denied the U.S. involvement in any wall or barrier project on the border. "We are aware of and appreciate the efforts being made by the government of Egypt to combat smuggling efforts on the Gaza-Egypt border. Any questions on specific projects on that border should be directed to the government of Egypt which has sole responsibility for securing the Egyptian side of the border," the official said on condition of anonymity because of U.S. government restrictions.

                Israel's three-week Gaza offensive, aimed at halting rocket fire from the territory, ended in January. At the conclusion of the war, Israel and the U.S. administration signed an agreement that said the U.S. would provide military and intelligence assets, including detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. There were some signs that Egypt, Israel and the United States stepped up security cooperation to combat cross-border smuggling. In February, U.S. Army engineers have arrived at the frontier to set up ground-penetrating radar to detect smuggling tunnels.

                Israel has long criticized Egypt for not doing enough to halt smuggling of weapons, people and money into Gaza. But the tunnels are also a lifeline for the seaside territory to get around a crippling economic blockade by Israel and Egypt for the past two years. Egypt has been wary of closely cooperating to shut the tunnels, which are also used for smuggling everything from food to medicine and construction material. Without tunnel smuggling, Gaza's already shaky economy, facing a crippling blockade since Hamas seized control of the strip in 2007, would likely collapse. That would increase pressure on Egypt and Israel to ease the blockade.

                Gazans infuriated and frustrated by the blockade blasted holes in a concrete and metal border wall in 2008 and tens of thousands of Palestinians streamed across the border into Egypt unchecked for about a week. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Egyptian sources Wednesday as saying the construction of a massive iron underground wall has begun. It will be about 10 kilometers long (miles), and 20 to 30 meters (yards) deep.

                A resident of Rafah, the city divided in half by the Egypt-Gaza border, said Egyptian crews near his home were clearing a dirt corridor about 90 meters (yards) from the border over the past 20 days. The man who identified himself only by his first name, Ashraf, for fear of harassment, said they were drilling holes about 20 meters, and filling them with sand. The Gaza security official said he has seen drilling machines operating on the other side of the border, equipped with an attachment to hoist metal. He said the workers are installing metal into the trenches at night.

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                • #9

                  Jeudi 10 Décembre 2009 -- Selon le journal israélien, Haaretz, l’Egypte a entamé la construction d’un imposant mur en acier tout au long de ses frontières avec la bande de Gaza (axe de Philadelphie), de 9 kilomètres de long et de 20 à 30 mètres de profondeur à partir du sol. Une source égyptienne a affirmé à Haaretz que "ce mur sera en acier". Il serait difficile de le franchir de quelque manière que ce soit, ou de creuser des tunnels pour le transfert des marchandises et munitions pour la bande de Gaza".

                  La construction de ce mur est un pas de plus de la part de l’Egypte qui a pu réduire le "trafic" en provenance de Sinaï vers Gaza, a relevé la même source qui estime que : "le souci grandissant de l’Egypte de déclarer la guerre aux tunnels s’explique par plusieurs raisons dont les pressions américaines sur le Caire". Il a encore souligné que "l’Egypte découvre chaque semaine un nombre de tunnels qu’elle détruit, ou remplit de gaz. Elle durcit également le contrôle au niveau des check points dispersés à Sinaï".

                  Le journal israélien rapporte que "l’Egypte a étudié dernièrement de nombreuses possibilités dans sa guerre contre les tunnels, alors qu’une délégation d’experts américains de sécurité ont effectué une tournée dans la région en vue d’aider l’Egypte à repérer les tunnels, à travers des appareils souterrains, d’où l’idée de construire ce mur". Les fondations, en cours de réalisation, reposeront sur de grands blocs d’acier, relève Haaretz, qui doute que la construction de ce mur puisse mettre un terme au transfert d’armes et marchandises.

                  Des responsables israéliens de sécurité, cités par Haaretz, parlent de revoir l’utilité du blocus imposé à la bande de Gaza, après l’opération d’échange des prisonniers, d’autant qu’il existe des centaines de tunnels à Rafah qui permettent de faire entrer les marchandises interdites par Israël. Selon ces sources israéliennes, les marchandises qui entrent clandestinement à Gaza sont constituées de carburant, d’appareils électriques, de denrées alimentaires, de vélos, de médicaments, de drogue et d’armes. Par ailleurs, le journal prétend que des activistes du mouvement mondial du "Jihad" sont entrés dans la bande de Gaza, et ont tenté de perpétrer une opération sur le sol égyptien.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by amalgamate View Post
                    ya 7aramashoom on the Egyption govt instead of opening their doors to serve their brothers food/clothes/medicine after being obliterated by the israelis, they bar and shun them with American-made steel walls
                    well they are very much like the gameshow " the price is right" to hell with being majority muslims just give them the money thats their God

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                    • #11

                      Cairo, December 18, 2009 -- A state-owned Cairo daily confirmed yesterday that Egypt is building an underground barrier with Gaza and said it was a “sovereign right” that would increase pressure on the enclave’s Hamas rulers. “The barrier... is the same barrier that currently exists but with the addition of underground foundations,” Al Gomhuria said in a front-page editorial. “Egypt, which protects its sovereignty, has the right to develop the barrier separating it and Gaza. It has a right to have a wall that is strong and not subject to collapse.” The editorial is the closest Egypt has so far come to officially confirming it is building the underground barrier to stem smuggling into Gaza through underground tunnels. Previously security sources had only confirmed witness reports anonymously. Egypt’s independent press has been highly critical of the government’s move to tighten the existing blockade of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents, who rely on the tunnels for everything from cars to cigarettes, as well as weapons. But Al Gomhuria was unapologetic. “Some people have tried to portray Egypt as playing a part in the blockade of Palestinians by tightening the openings used for smuggling weapons... but smuggling weapons through Sinai is a direct attack on the sovereignty of Egypt,” the paper said. It blamed the Islamist Hamas movement — which seized control of Gaza in 2007 — for the worsening living conditions in the territory, saying it should have signed an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal with the secular Fatah faction of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “It is up to Hamas to agree on signing a reconciliation agreement which would guarantee a permanent opening of the borders including the Rafah border,” between Egypt and Gaza, the paper said. “It is Hamas that stood against reconciliation. Now it must show more positive action if it wants to lighten the blockdade and suffering of its people.”

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                      • #12

                        December 30, 2009 -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on Wednesday defended Egypt's right to secure its border in the government daily al-Akhbar, while the government gave the green light for a limited protest of the reinforcement. "What Egypt is doing is placing structures on its territory related to Egyptian defense," the foreign minister said. Egypt's upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, likewise issued a document endorsing the government's security measures in northern Sinai and along the border, the government-owned daily al-Gomhuriya reported Wednesday.

                        In recent weeks photos purportedly showing a reinforced steel wall being built underground along the Egyptian-Gazan border have revived domestic and regional criticism of Egypt's role in maintaining the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Activists from around the world this week gathered in Cairo in the hopes of marching to the Gaza border to protest its closure. The Egyptian government initially banned the protest march. But faced with the rising criticism, the government on Tuesday told organizers of the Gaza Freedom March that 100 of the activists could march to the border.

                        Egypt has repeatedly defended increased security at the border as necessary for maintaining its sovereignty and national security. In January 2008, during Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, thousands of Gazans breached the border, pouring into the Egyptian side of the divided town of Rafah to buy food and other goods. Egypt has long been under international pressure, particularly from Israel and the United States, to stop the smuggling of basic commodities, contraband, and weapons through tunnels under the border. Israel and Egypt closed the Gaza Strip's borders after Hamas took control of the territory in 2006

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                        • #13

                          CAIRO, January 1, 2010 — A council of leading Muslim clerics has supported the Egyptian government's construction of an underground barrier along the border with Gaza to impede tunnelling by smugglers, a report said on Friday. The Islamic Research Council of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, said that the tunnels were used to smuggle drugs and threatened Egypt's security, the Al-Masri Al-Yawm newspaper reported. "It is one of Egypt's legitimate rights to place a barrier that prevents the harm from the tunnels under Rafah, which are used to smuggle drugs and other (contraband) that threaten Egypt's stability," the paper quoted the clerics as saying. "Those who oppose building this wall are violating the commands of Islamic law," they added, after a meeting attended by Egypt's top cleric Sheikh Mohammed Said Tantawi, who is a government appointee. Construction of the underground barrier has drawn angry condemnation from the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip, which relies on the tunnels for food and fuel, as well as the weapons and other contraband the barrier is designed to stop. Israel has sealed the territory off to all but very limited supplies of basic goods ever since the Islamist group seized control in 2007, ousting forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Hamdi Hassan, an Islamist member of the Egyptian parliament, has filed a lawsuit against President Hosni Mubarak demanding a halt to construction of the barrier, the newspaper reported.

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                          • #14

                            January 1, 2010 -- Al-Azhar - an Islamic university in Cairo - used to be a genuine institution of religious inquiry for Muslims whose rulings were greatly heeded by Sunni Muslims. Al-Azhar is still recognized as the most authoritative voice in Sunni Islam, but its previous status as a honest institution has declined in the age of Mubarak. Today, Al-Azhar is nothing more than a stooge for the Egyptian dictatorship. Whenever the Mubarak regime wants Islamic sanction for their awful deeds, Al-Azhar is always ready to pronounce an obnoxious fatwa. This is a two-ways street. Al-Azhar gives the regime what it wants, and the regime gives Al-Azhar what it wants by allowing the institution to, say, ban certain books. This is why the institution no longer has much respect among Muslims because it is known as being an apologist and providing cover for a detested regime. An opportunistic university run by buffoons to boot. The grand (but not really) mufti of Al-Azhar is known for his outrageous public scenes and senility: throwing an ash tray at an Egyptian journalist who dared ask him a question he did not like, shaking hands with Israeli president Peres and then pretending not to know it has him, and, recently, demanding a young school girl with a face covering to remove it and upon her doing it he implied that she only wore it because she’s ugly.

                            And now Al-Azhar is ruling on the Egyptian plan to build a wall on the Gaza-Egypt border - a wall that will go several meters into the ground intending to prohibit Palestinians from digging tunnels to circumvent the cruel and illegal Israeli-Egyptian blockade. This is the decadence of Arab regimes - their constituency is now just the anti-Arab faction in Washington. They no longer pretend to care about Palestinians - and now have actually resorted to blatantly mimicking Israel in building walls to entrap Palestinians. Al-Azhar approves: “those who oppose the construction of this wall are opposing what has been ordered by Islamic Shari`ah.” So according to the corrupt officials at that has-been institution, the wall is not only justified but to oppose building a wall entrapping fellow Muslims is to stand against Islamic law itself! And where is wall building in Sharia law ? Al-Azhar is now fabricating in its quest to support the awful Mubarak. This is how vile Al-Azhar has become - and from now on all Muslims supporting the Palestinians should no longer heed anything from Al-Azhar and shun that institution.

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                            • #15
                              Salima Tlemçani :


                              Samedi 2 Janvier 2010 -- Dans un communiqué publié hier par la presse égyptienne, le Conseil de recherche islamique d’Al Azhar, à l’issue d’une réunion présidée par l’imam Mohamed Sayed Tantaoui, nommé par le président Hosni Moubarak, a qualifié de « légitime le droit de l’Egypte de construire une barrière qui empêche les nuisances venant des tunnels construits sous Rafah », la ville frontalière entre l’Egypte et la bande de Ghaza. Selon l’imam, « ces tunnels sont utilisés pour la contrebande, la drogue et autres marchandises qui menacent la stabilité de l’Egypte ». L’Egypte avait annoncé la construction d’une barrière allant jusqu’à 30 m de profondeur pour couper les vivres à près d’un million et demi de Palestiniens vivant dans la bande de Ghaza, soumis à un blocus imposé par Israël, depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir de Hamas et qui utilisent les tunnels de Rafah comme seul moyen de survie et de communication avec le monde. Dans sa guerre criminelle contre Ghaza, l’Etat hébreu avait accusé « les contrebandiers » d’utiliser aussi ces galeries pour acheminer des armes et s’est entendu avec le régime de Moubarak pour y faire face. Al Azhar va dans le même sens qu’Israël, déclarant que « ceux qui s’opposent à la construction de cette barrière violent les commandements de la loi islamique ».

                              Une telle déclaration est très grave parce qu’elle va donner raison aux extrémistes religieux qui justifient le recours au terrorisme par une interprétation éhontée des préceptes de l’Islam. En fait, la réaction d’Al Azhar reflète celle du régime de Moubarak, qui porte une grande responsabilité dans les souffrances qu’endurent le peuple palestinien et particulièrement la population de Ghaza, en décidant de fermer la frontière, au moment où l’aviation israélienne larguait ses bombes sur les civils. Jeudi dernier, quelque 200 militants d’ONG internationales, venus participer à « une marche de liberté pour Ghaza », ont été violemment dispersés par la police égyptienne au Caire. Des échauffourées ont éclaté entre les militants et les policiers au moment où ces derniers tentaient d’évacuer la rue.

                              Les images transmises par les chaînes de télévision, notamment Al Jazeera, montrent des scènes violentes : des policiers s’acharnaient sur les militants, surtout des femmes qui recevaient des coups de pied avant d’être traînées par terre et poussées dans des enclos. Selon le communiqué des organisateurs, « des membres de "la marche de liberté pour Ghaza", ont été retenus de force dans des hôtels autour du Caire ou contraints par la violence à pénétrer dans des sortes d’enclos érigés à l’aide de barricades place Tahrir, dans le centre de la capitale, par la police égyptienne et d’autres forces de sécurité ». Le même communiqué fait état de blessés ensanglantés et aux côtes cassées alors que des témoins repris par l’AFP ont déclaré que des policiers avaient frappé plusieurs manifestants à coups de poing.

                              Ce rassemblement pacifique a été organisé pour protester contre le refus du régime égyptien de laisser passer les 1300 participants à «la marche de liberté» dans la bande de Ghaza à l’occasion du premier anniversaire de la guerre israélienne contre Ghaza. « Nous sommes enfermés dans notre hôtel. Il y a un cordon de police et six cars de policiers antiémeute dehors et on nous a dit qu’on ne pouvait pas partir », a révélé à l’AFP un des organisateurs venu du Portugal, Ziyaad Lunat. Mercredi dernier, seuls 86, sur les 1300 militants, ont pu être autorisés à se rendre à Ghaza, après que l’épouse de Moubarak ait intervenu pour eux. Même les cérémonies de recueillement à la mémoire des victimes du sionisme sont interdites par le régime égyptien. Israël ne peut pas trouver meilleur que Hosni Moubarak pour terminer le sale boulot qu’il a commencé il y a une année.

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