Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2011
Israelis Concerned, Palestinians Rejoicing Overthrow of Pro-Israel Dictatorship
Palestinian detainee in Egyptian jail arrives in Gaza
[ 30/01/2011 - 10:04 AM ]
Hassan Yousef Wishah returned to his home in Breij refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip, at dawn Sunday after three years of imprisonment in Egyptian jails.
He said on arrival that all Palestinian detainees in Abu Za'bal jail had gone out of it.
The ex-detainee added that many Egyptian political prisoners were killed in the same jail when Egyptian security personnel fired at them.
Wishah, who was serving a ten-year sentence in Egyptian jails, said that he experienced harsh torture rounds and suffered a lot during his three years of incarceration.
[ 29/01/2011 - 05:01 PM ]
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)--
Israel is expressing deep concern as unprecedented protests demanding the removal of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak go on their fifth day.
Egypt, the most influential nation in the Mideast, shares significant strategic and economic ties with Israel. It was the first Arab state to sign a peace agreement with the Hebrew state.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has been escalating consultations with its embassy in Cairo for the latest developments.
Concerns over any "substantial" changes in the Egyptian regime have prompted the Prime Minister's office and war ministry to closely monitor developments there, Israeli news outlets say.
The Foreign Ministry is discussing round the clock estimation of the current situation. Official comments have not yet been issued because of instructions by Prime Minister Netanyahu hampering media statements regarding the situation.
The ministry advised nationals to refrain from stepping foot in Egypt for non-urgent matters and Israelis there to avoid hot spots and protests.
Analysts: Developing events in Egypt affect the Palestinian cause
[ 30/01/2011 - 10:30 AM ]
Political analysts agreed that any developments on the events in Egypt would directly affect the course of the Palestinian cause, expressing hope that everything would end up positively for the Palestinians and Egyptians.
Analyst Waleed Al-Mudallal said in a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the Egyptian situation is linked to the Palestinian situation and greatly influence each other.
"There is no doubt that Egypt moves in parallel with the Palestinian struggle movement and the reconciliation and will leave a big and direct impact on the nature of relationship, so the relations with Palestine is quite sensitive to those who rule Egypt as it represents a lever for the Palestinian cause," Mudallal said.
He expressed hope that Egypt would resume taking its role in supporting the Palestinian cause, and be an asset to and not a burden on the national movement in Palestine.
For his part, analyst and journalist Wisam Afifa opined that the repercussions of events in Egypt would be on the entire region and overturn balances and alliances upside down.
Afifa stressed that the Palestinian cause is always a core issue and any changes and new moves in the region will directly affect it.
In the same context, head of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt Mohamed Badi'a stated that what is happening in Egypt is a peaceful popular uprising rejecting injustice and demanding freedom and comprehensive reform.
"The Muslim brotherhood is part and parcel of the noble Egyptian people, and it sincerely salutes and appreciates the free young men and people of Egypt all over the country for their blessed peaceful uprising, and their national role and honorable performance in protecting the public and private institutions and property," Badi'a said in a press release on Saturday.
Head of the international union for Muslim scholars Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, for his part, slammed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for his irresponsible speech on Friday and called on him to leave Egypt on foot.
"There is no solution to this problem other than the departure of Mubarak who must leave the Egyptian people freedom of choice," Sheikh Qaradawi told Al-Jazeera channel on Saturday.
Palestinians: Fall of Egyptian regime will accelerate end to Abbas
[ 30/01/2011 - 10:54 AM ]
Palestinians crowd TV sets to tune in on the latest in nationwide protests demanding the ousting of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Many who our correspondents met with said outcomes in Egypt will have an impact on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, not only because of the geographical proximity, but also because of political ties.
A curse from Gaza
"What is happening to the Egyptian regime is a curse from inaction with the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza," said Abu Maheeb, a West Bank shop owner.
"The siege, hunger and death brought to the Gaza Strip by the regime is being recompensed at the hands of the Egyptians," he added.
"What is happening is an answer to the prayers of widows and orphans who have been left homeless by the regime's ban on construction materials and medicines."
"The removal of the regime will remove the tragedy and siege of Gaza, Allah willing."
An accomplice in abductions
Umm Khaldoon, whose son had been sentenced to years in PA security prisons, expressed joy over the Egyptian protests.
"The Egyptian regime played a major role in supporting the PA security militias, which have abducted and tortured our people," she said.
"The regime backed the resolve of the Abbas authority and militias when brokering reconciliation issues during disputes between Fatah and Hamas," she said.
"The end of the unjust regime in Egypt will accelerate the end of the Abbas authority and militias," she went on to say.
Abu Mohammed Ishtayeh, a taxi driver, said as he follows details of the Egyptian revolution he is reminded of the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 1987. He expressed admiration for the Egyptians and their discipline in maintaining their rights.
"The Palestinians taught the world to rise up against injustice. Their turn will come to rise against Abbas and his unjust militias."
Scenarios: U.S. walks tightrope between Mubarak, protesters
By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON | Sat Jan 29, 2011, 5:38pm EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The United States pressed Egyptian Hosni Mubarak on Saturday to make political reforms, walking a fine line between supporting the democratic ideals of protesters without outright abandoning an ally of 30 years.
Having dismissed his Cabinet, Mubarak sought to shore up his rule with two military men, tapping intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as Egypt's first vice president in three decades and former Air Force commander Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister.
Here are some of the U.S. policy options:
BALANCING ACT (MOST LIKELY)
The United States has stepped up calls for Mubarak's government to make political and economic reforms and to restrain security forces from attacking protesters.
But it has also made clear it is not abandoning Mubarak, at least for now, and that it is looking to work with the Egyptian government to undertake reforms.
The result is a balancing act that analysts suggest aims to position the United States to be able to work with whoever prevails -- the Mubarak government or its successor.
"The tightrope that the administration has to walk is that the regime probably is going to survive," said Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.
"The history of revolutions is that they only succeed when the government loses the will or the capability to use violence and so far there is nothing that is happening in Egypt that suggests that either one is going to happen."
U.S. President Barack Obama met for just over an hour on Saturday with his national security advisers, and the White House said he stressed "our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform."
It appeared unlikely the White House, or the protesters, would view Suleiman and Shafiq's appointments as steps in the right direction.
"I can't think of a worse appointment than Omar Suleiman as the vice president of Egypt. He is the symbol of the police state," said Council on Foreign Relations analyst Robert Danin. "His appointment is just going to antagonize the protesters,"
However, he said it might be a step to ensure the loyalty of the military and a precursor to Mubarak eventually leaving office.
BACKING MUBARAK TO THE HILT (UNLIKELY)
Mubarak, a former air force officer who replaced assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981, has been a vital U.S. partner because of his support for Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, his backing for a wider Arab-Israeli peace and his help on counterterrorism and other issues.
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