Monday, October 20, 2014

Israel is going to supply Egypt with natural gas.

The pipeline that used to supply Egyptian gas to Israel and Jordan has been sabotaged at least 20 times. (Photo EPA)

An Israeli firm will supply Egypt with natural gas, more than two years after sabotage halted the flow of Egyptian gas to Israel. On Sunday the Israeli owners of the Tamar offshore gas field informed the Tel Aviv stock exchange they had struck a deal to export natural gas to the Egyptian firm Dolphinus Holdings.
A statement said Tamar was in "exclusive negotiations" with Dolphinus Holdings to provide it with up to 2.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) over a seven-year span.Experts estimate the deal to be worth over $4 billion (3.13 billion euros).
Dolphinus Holdings "represents a consortium of large non-governmental industrial and commercial Egyptian gas customers," according to Tamar. Tamar holds 250 bcm of natural gas, and lies 80 kilometers west of the port city of Haifa.

Egypt received Sudan's Al-Bashir, a wanted criminal

Posted Image
Al- Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Egypt on Saturday for a two-day visit at the invitation from President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Al Ahram Online reported. Bilateral relations, investment opportunities, agreements and regional affairs were part of the talks between the two leaders. Sisi visited Khartoum in June and the meeting was a continuation of what was then discussed. The visit follows a meeting between the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian irrigation and water ministers where they discussed the latter’s construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has been a subject of controversy between the three African Union members.
Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court. The ICC issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and 2010 for alleged war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur. On 15 October the ICC officially requested Egypt to arrest Al-Bashir should he enter Egyptian territory. Egypt is a signatory to the Statute of Rome whereby the ICC was established. However it never ratified the treaty.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Houthis continue advance in South Yemen and clash with Al-Qaeda

Shi'ite Houthi rebels ride a patrol truck in Sanaa in this October 9, 2014 file photo. REUTERS-Khaled Abdullah-Files
Houthi fighters (Photo Reuters)

Fierce battles between Al-Qaeda and Houthi militants erupted in Yemen's Baidha province on Thursday,  the Yemen Post reported. Local sources said that it was the second day of fighting since Houthi militants arrived in the town of Radda. The Houthis closed several roads leading to Radda in what appeared to be a plan to besiege the town and then raid it from all directions, one of the sources said.
Houthis arrived in Baidha as they continued to seize cities in other parts of the republic including the cultural capital of Taiz on Wednesday. Sources in Taiz said commander of the provincial Air Force Base Faisal Al-Subaihi has rendered his resignation after Houthis took control of Taiz Airport and some military camps.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yemen: Houthis seize port of Hodeida, southern rebels raise demands

Hodeida port

Houthi militants have seized the western port city of Hodeida where Yemen's key seaport and oil export terminal are based in a move that has raised fears about the fate of the transition process. Locals in Hodeida said on Tuesday Houthis have now seized almost all public facilities including the Hodeida port and the Ras Isa terminal for oil exports. There are also reports that the Houthis are seeking to control the Bab El-Mandab Strait between the Taiz and Hodeida governorates. "Houthi militants have spread in all areas and more of them are expected to arrive in the city in next days to form popular committees that will replace the provincial authorities," a citizen in Hodeida said by telephone.
Houthi militants seized on Monday a military base in the Bajil town, Hodeida, and have been looting ammunitions and weapons which were stored in it, according to military sources. "Today, Houthis continued to loot the base, taking around five trucks and ten pick-ups with many weapons and ammunitions onboard," a provincial military source said.

Death sentence for one of the leaders of the Shi´ite minority in Saudi Arabia

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr  (Photo Al-Akhbar)
A Saudi judge on Wednesday sentenced to death an outspoken Shi'ite Muslim cleric whose arrest two years ago prompted deadly protests, the cleric's brother said on his Twitter account. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was detained in July 2012 after backing mass protests that erupted in February 2011 in the Qatif district of eastern Saudi Arabia, which is home to many of the country's Shi'ite minority.
During these peaceful protests in Qatif and Awaymeh the Saudi regime between February 2011 and August 2012 killed more than 20 people, and wounded more than 58 people.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Turkey bombs positions of PKK

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 14, 2014. REUTERS-Umit Bektas
Smoke from bombardments rises above the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani. (Photo: Reuters) 

Turkish air force bombed Kurdish fighters of the PKK who were furious over Ankara's refusal to help protect their kin in Syria on Tuesday, Reuters reprioted. The PKK accused Ankara of violating a two-year-old cease-fire with the air strikes, on the eve of a deadline set by the group's jailed leader to salvage a peace process aimed at halting a three-decades-long insurgency.
The Hürriyet daily reported Tuesday that the PKK had been attacking a military outpost in the Dağlıca region. The air operation was the most comprehensive one since the government launched what it calls the settlement process aimed at solving the decades-old Kurdish issue, the daily said. It added that the air strikes caused "major damage" to the PKK.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Suicide bomber kills at least 43 Houthi supporters in Yemeni capital Sanaa

 Man carry a man injured in a suicide bomb attack in Yemen's capital, Sanaa (9 October 2014)
A powerful bomb in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Thursday killed at least 43 people in an attack on supporters of Shiite Houthi insurgents who have overrun the city. Witnesses said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt at a checkpoint at the entrance to the protest site, leaving steel balls strewn at the scene. Medics said dozens were also wounded in the blast. It was the largest bomb attack in the capital since a May 2012 Qaeda attack on an army parade killed around 100 people.
The explosion struck Sanaa's Al-Tahrir square as supporters of the Houthis were preparing to stage a protest, rebel sources said.  Supporters of the Houthis gathered after the explosion chanting slogans demanding the fall of President Abed Rabuh Mansur Hadi. The president infuriated the rebels earlier this week by naming his chief of staff, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, as prime minister following a UN-brokered peace deal under which the insurgents would withdraw from Sanaa.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ansar Bayt a-Maqdis kill 4 Egyptians in Sinai

Still from video of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released Sunday a video showing the confessions of three Egyptians it claims to have executed in North Sinai for "cooperating with the Egyptian Army and the Israeli Mossad".The video, uploaded on Youtube and a jihadist forum, also shows a fourth person who was shot and his house destroyed.
Islamic State (IS) spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani is featured in the video, where he speaks about jihad and fighting the "infidels". Also the Egyptian army was accused of "besieging Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and joining the Jews in their war against Jihadists" in a speech attribued to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leading member Abu Osama al-Masry.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A good Yom al-Adha or Eid Kippur

I wish my Muslim and Jewish friends a good Yom al-Adha and Eid Kippur.
It does not happen often that muslims bring in goats as remembrance of the sacrifice of Ibrahim on the same day that Jews fast and in the synagogue listen to the story of the scapegoat that was sent into the desert.
Eid said weKhatima tova.
(The picture was taken in 2008 in Rafah (Gaza) by Reuters).

Egyptian ''hanging'' judge judge who issued more than 1.200 death sentences removed from criminal court

The Egyptian judge who oversaw mass death sentence cases against Islamist supporters of the country's ousted president, drawing strong international criticism, has been removed from his criminal court, officials and the judge himself told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Judge Said Youssef Sabri
The removal of Judge Said Youssef, taken by a top appeals court, signals a possible shift in Egypt after an extensive crackdown on backers of toppled President Mohammed Morsi and an attempt by judges to begin to repair the damage done by judge's heavy handed rulings.
Youssef, who led the two high-profile death penalty cases in southern city of Minya, told the AP he was notified Sunday that he was removed from the "criminal judiciary" to the "civilian judiciary." His final day in criminal court was Tuesday.

Amnesty: More than 2.500 refugees drowned this year in the Mediterranean

 A rubber dinghy full of refugees
“More than 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean on their way from North Africa since the start of the year. Europe cannot ignore the tragedy unfolding on its doorstep. Amnesty International says in a new report. ''More search and rescue vessels in the central Mediterranean, with the clear mandate of saving lives in the high seas and resources adequate to the task – that’s what the EU and its members must urgently provide.”
The report Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean, details the findings of recent visits to Italy and Malta, including a research trip on an Italian Navy vessel. Interviews with survivors of shipwrecks, experts and authorities expose the reality of the dangers faced by those fleeing war, persecution and poverty, and the pitiful response of most European states.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

UN-report: ''IS committed staggering violations in Iraq''

Islamic State flags flutter on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in southern Kirkuk September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Ako RasheedIslamic State road bloc on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in Kirkuk. (Photo Reuters)

Islamic State insurgents in Iraq have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves, and used children as fighters in systematic violations that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said on Thursday.
In a report based on 500 interviews, it also said Iraqi government air strikes on the Sunni Muslim militants had caused "significant civilian deaths" by hitting villages, a school and hospitals in violation of international law.
At least 9,347 civilians had been killed and 17,386 wounded so far through September, well over half of them since the Islamic insurgents also known as ISIL and ISIS began seizing large parts of northern Iraq in early June, the report said.