Egypt

Mubarak: Gaza is Israel's responsibility

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2010

The Egyptian president has accused Israel of trying to avoid its obligations to Gaza.

Addressing Egyptian MPs in Cairo, President Hosni Mubarak said: "Israel is trying to shirk its responsibility to Gaza and throw it at Egypt.”

President Mubarak said Israel was not working towards peace with the Palestinians but was trying to "perpetuate internal Palestinian divisions".

And despite Israel’s announcement that the blockade of Gaza would be largely eased, he said only Egypt was "investing all of [its] efforts” in stopping the restrictions.

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Israel and Egypt: the new allies

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2010

The fallout from the Gaza flotilla and the emergence of Turkey as a clear ally of Iran and Syria and all but an official enemy of Israel, is part of a radically changing balance of power in the region, one that is seeing unprecedented levels of cooperation between Israel and Egypt.

Senior Israeli officials have been saying in recent months that Egypt has been pursuing two seemingly opposite courses in its relationship with Israel.

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America is playing along because of Iran

By Meir Javedanfar, May 6, 2010

Israel should not be unduly concerned about the US–Egyptian plan to start talks about a nuclear-free Middle East.

The US has clearly stated that for now it is "prepared to support practical measures towards the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction". The term "practical measures" in this case means supporting peace in the Middle East, and achieving it first, before the disarmament drive begins.

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Egypt pushes for nuclear-free region

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 6, 2010

Israeli officials have played down reports that the Obama administration will support an Egyptian plan to force Israel to disclose details of its nuclear arsenal and commit to disarmament, as part of its global strategy to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

There has been no confirmation of this from official administration sources and a very senior Israeli official said that "we have received no signal at all from the Americans on this".

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Terror cells 'rife' in Sinai

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Bureau warned all Israeli tourists to leave Sinai in Egypt as soon as possible on Tuesday, due to a serious terror threat.

Defence officials said that the Egyptian security forces were making a “serious attempt” to clamp down on the terror cells in Sinai but that a number of terror groups were operating in the peninsular almost at will.

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Israeli citizens' urgent warning to leave Sinai

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

In an unprecedented move, Israel has urged its citizens to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately, warning of an imminent terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued the urgent warning, claiming that there is “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai".

Israeli civilians currently in Sinai may be at high risk of kidnap, although the kidnappers’ target is likely to be an Israeli soldier.

Palestinian militants have kidnapped three soldiers from Israel. One of them, Gilad Shalit, has been held hostage since 2006.

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Egypt bans official opening of synagogue

By Jessica Elgot, March 15, 2010

A fortnight before Pesach, Egypt has cancelled the official reopening of a restored synagogue, allegedly because of the celebrations and drinking during the synagogue’s reopening ceremony.

In Cairo’s ancient Jewish quarter, the ruined Ben Maimon synagogue has undergone a seven month restoration.

The synagogue held a dedication ceremony last week, amid a heavy security presence which cleared a 500 metre area around the shul.

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Israel to fence off Egyptian border

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 14, 2010

After years of deliberations, the Israeli government has decided to build a border fence along its border with Egypt. The fence is meant to keep out terrorists, but the more immediate reason is to stem the flood of African refugees into Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu authorised a plan presented to him by the Defence Ministry to spend NIS 1.5 billion on a fence between Israel and Egypt.

Besides a few short fences near the Gaza Strip to the north and Eilat in the south, most of the border, over 300km, is not fenced.

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Egypt bans aid convoys to Gaza

By Jessica Elgot, January 11, 2010

Egypt has announced it is to ban all foreign aid convoys to Gaza after activists from the Viva Palestina convoy led by MP George Galloway clashed with police on the Rafah border.

Mr Galloway was deported from Gaza after attempting to re-enter the territory after part of the convoy was allowed a limited amount of time to distribute aid in Gaza.

A statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said: "The deportation was to protect him from the Egyptian people's anger. George Galloway is considered persona non grata and will not be allowed to enter into Egypt again."

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Israel to build Egypt security wall

By Jessica Elgot, January 11, 2010

Israel is to start construction of a security barrier along the 266km border with Egypt to stop the flow of illegal migrants.

The $270m barrier will run along two parts of the border, one close to the beach resort of Eilat and one by the Gaza Strip. It will take several years to construct.

The Egyptian security service said they had not been informed of the plan but said they would not oppose it if it was built entirely on Israeli soil.

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