Egypt Mosque Attack: 230+ Martyred in Sinai Massacre

Local Editor

25-11-2017 | 11:01

Militants martyred more than 230 people at a mosque in North Sinai Friday, detonating a bomb and gunning down worshippers in the deadliest such attack of Egypt’s modern history, state media and witnesses said.

Egypt Mosque Attack

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but since 2013 Egyptian security forces have battled a stubborn Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] affiliate in the desert region, and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

State media showed images of bloodied victims and bodies covered in blankets inside the Al-Rawda mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of Al-Arish, the main city in North Sinai.

Worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded, witnesses said. Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps and opened fire from different directions as people tried to escape.

“Four groups of armed men attacked the worshippers inside the mosque after Friday noon prayers. Two groups were firing at ambulances to deter them,” said Mohammad, a witness. The public prosecutors’ office said 235 people had been killed and 109 more wounded.

Hours after the attack, Egypt’s military launched airstrikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources and witnesses said.

“The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised address.

“What is happening is an attempt to stop us from our efforts in the fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan that aims to destroy what is left of our region.”

Egypt later said it would delay the opening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza after the attack due to security concerns. The crossing had been due to open for three days beginning Saturday. Striking at a mosque would be a change in tactics for the Sinai militants, who have usually attacked troops, police and Christian churches.

The militants have also attacked local tribes and their militias for working with the army and police, branding them traitors.

Sisi, a former armed forces commander who presents himself as a bulwark against extremist militancy, convened an emergency meeting with his defense and interior ministers and intelligence chief soon after the attack.

Security has long been one of the key sources of public support for the former general, who is expected to run for re-election early next year for another four-year term.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri contacted Sisi to give his condolences for the attack.

“These attacks revealed the falsity of taking religious as a pretext to commit the most heinous crimes against innocents,” Hariri’s press office said in a statement, “These attacks call for the necessity to unite all efforts to deracinate terrorism from its roots and protect Islam and Muslims from those who violate their security, religion and safety of their homelands.”

US President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter Friday, called the assault a “horrible and cowardly terrorist attack.”

“The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence,” he added. A White House statement called on the international community to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to Sisi, calling the attack “striking for its cruelty and cynicism,” while condemnations poured in from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also condemned the attack and said Paris stood with its ally.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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استهداف مصر ومحاولات اغتيال في لبنان

استهداف مصر ومحاولات اغتيال في لبنان

نوفمبر 25, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– قد يظنّ البعض أن لا علاقة بين الاستهداف الأمني الكبير الذي تعرّضت له مصر، وبين الاستهداف الذي كان لبنان سيعيش تحت وطأته لولا اكتشاف جهاز أمن الدولة له وإحباطه في مهده، لكن الوقائع المتزامنة للعمليتين، في وقت كان لبنان يعرف أصعب أزماته الحكومية المفخّخة والمفتوحة على مشروع فتنة أهلية، تقول إنّ تفجير لبنان الذي لعبت مصر دوراً كبير في منع حدوثه، ليس بعيداً عن تفسير الرابط من جهة وتحديد الجهة التي تقف وراء العمليتين الخطيرتين معاً.

– في مصر مئات الشهداء والجرحى وضرب لهيبة الدولة وأجهزتها، ودفع الناس في سيناء خصوصاً لليأس من وعود الدولة بالقضاء على الإرهاب، لينصاع بعضها للتعاون مع رموز هذا الإرهاب، بقوة المثال الذي يقدّمه الإرهاب على قدرته على التحرّك، والتجذّر والمثابرة، ويدفع بأغلب السكان للنزوح عن سيناء طلباً لأمن مفقود، وشروط حياة الحدّ الأدنى، وهذا يعني الاقتراب من تحويل سيناء مركزاً بديلاً للإرهاب بعد خسارة العراق وسورية، وإعلاناً للاقتراب أكثر من ليبيا، حيث مصر معنية أيضاً، ومن أوروبا حيث الهدف الأهمّ للإرهاب، وأوروبا كانت في الأزمة اللبنانية الأخيرة شريكة مصر في احتواء عناصر التفجير، التي قالت عنها «إسرائيل» إنها فرصة ذهبية لا يجوز تفويتها لجعل حزب الله يدفع ثمن تهديده أمن «إسرائيل» في الداخل اللبناني وعلى أيدي اللبنانيين.

– في لبنان محاولة طازجة لاغتيال وزير الداخلية نهاد المشنوق والوزير السابق عبد الرحيم مراد، كلّ منهما كان يلعب في جبهته عنصر التبريد والتواصل مع الضفة الأخرى، لتشكيل خط وسط يستطيع صناعة تسوية، ولكلّ منهما بالمناسبة علاقته العميقة والوطيدة بمصر، ولو نجحت المحاولة لا سمح الله لكانت أصابع الاتهام ستتجه فوراً، كما جرت العادة في حالات مشابهة لحزب الله،

والمحاولة أُجهضت باكتشاف المكلَّف بالتحضير للعملية من الموساد «الإسرائيلي»، وهو مخرج وممثل لبناني، يصعب توقّع قيامه بمهام أمنية على هذه الدرجة من الخطورة، والمحاولة على خلفية مواكبة مشروع تفجير لبنان التي أريد لها أن تبصر النور مع استقالة مفخّخة لرئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري، وقطع الطريق على مشاريع التهدئة، والخاسر الرئيسي من إجهاض التفجير بحلقاته كلها هي «إسرائيل»، وهذا لم يعُد استنتاجاً، بل حقيقة مع بيان الجهاز الأمني اللبناني الذي كشف العملية وأجهضها.

– نجح لفترة بعض المندسّين لحساب «إسرائيل» في الجسم الإعلامي العربي بتسخيف كلّ اتهام لـ «إسرائيل» بالتخريب، ولولا النجاح الأمني اللبناني بكشف المعلومات وتوثيقها لكان اتهامنا لـ «إسرائيل» موضع سخرية من الكثيرين لكن المهمّ الآن هو أن ينتبه المصريون إلى أنّ تنامي دور مصر في التفاهم الفلسطيني ومشروع المصالحة على قاعدة حفظ سلاح المقاومة، مصدر أرق وغضب لـ «إسرائيل»، وأن ينتبهوا إلى أنّ تقدّم موقفهم في سورية ونحوها لا يريح «إسرائيل»، وأنّ دور مصر في وأد التفجير في لبنان فجّر الغضب «الإسرائيلي» لأنه أجهض خطة «إسرائيلية» بالكامل.

– في زمن ينطق فيه ولي العهد السعودي بخطاب «إسرائيلي» في توصيف يشبّه إيران بألمانيا النازية، وهو وصف أطلقه مارتن أنديك، السفير الأميركي الأسبق لدى كيان الاحتلال، يصير تفجير لبنان بيد سعودية لحساب «إسرائيل»، وتدخّل مصر وأوروبا لمنع التفجير، بمثابة وقوف على خط الحرب. ومخطئ مَن يتوقع النظر للأمر بعين السعي لإزالة سوء تفاهم، ففي اللحظات الصعبة التي يعيشها «الإسرائيليون» ومثلهم الحكم السعودي الجديد، تدير «إسرائيل» كلّ شيء، بعين الحرب ولغتها، ولا تملك إلا الذراع الأمنية. وهي في حال إفلاس سياسي وعجز عسكري. والأمن هنا تفجير واغتيالات وإرهاب، والحليف الأقرب والأفعل لهذه المرحلة هو التنظيمات الإرهابية بالواسطة أو مباشرة، وسيناء محور صفقة بين «إسرائيل» والتنظيمات الإرهابية.

– إذا كان تعليق الرئيس المصري على ما استهدف مصر، الغالية على كلّ عربي، أنّ مصر تقاتل وحدها يقصد تجاهل قتال سورية والعراق وقوى المقاومة للإرهاب فهو مخطئ، خصوصاً أنه سبق وأعلن أنّ مصر ستكون وجهة الإرهابيين بعد هزيمتهم في سورية والعراق، لكن إنْ كان قصده أنّ سورية والعراق قاتلا ومعهما حلفاؤهما من المقاومة وإيران وصولاً لروسيا، بينما حلفاء مصر يتركونها وحدها، فهو محقّ، لكن ذلك يطرح السؤال عن السبب، أليس باختيار الحلفاء الخطأ، والسؤال الأهمّ عن: كيف يجب أن تتصرّف مصر؟

– التهديد الضمني للرئيس سعد الحريري في كلام ولي العهد السعودي إن عاد لرئاسة الحكومة، يحمل الكثير من المعاني.

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Daesh Crimes against Christians in Sinai

Daesh Generations أجيال “داعش”

15 كانون الثاني ,2017  13:54 مساء

يعمل تنظيم “داعش” الذي ملأ الدنيا بالدماء وشغل الناس بالقتل والتفجير والتفخيخ والحرق والإبادة على توريث منهاجه من أجل إقامة الخلافة الإسلامية لأجيال جديدة من “داعش” والتي لا تتوفر عنها أي قاعدة بيانات ومعلومات كصورهم وأسمائهم الحقيقية وتاريخهم في العمل المسلح ومناطق وجودهم في العراق أو سورية والعالم العربي والإسلامي والغرب، ويمكن القول إن الجيل الأول من الجهاديين هو الجيل المتدين والذي تبنى العنف والتشدد وحمل على الدول الطاغوتية الكافرة بزعمه، ثم الجيل الثاني الذي تمثل في القاعدة حيث بدأت هذه الأخيرة تهتم بالتنظيم والسرية والعمل الاستخباري، وبرز بعد ذلك جيل ثالث من الجهاديين ممثلاً في “داعش” الذي استفاد من كل الذين قادوا العمل المسلح ضد دولهم ومجتمعاتهم وأضاف المزيد من الأساليب المبتكرة باجتهاد الدم.

ويذهب الخبراء الغربيون ومنهم جيل كيبل إلى القول أن الجيل الثالث من “داعش” موجود في معظم العواصم الغربية كخلايا نائمة بناء على تنظير لأبي مصعب السوري الذي طرح مشروع استهداف أوروبا التي تبقى في جميع الأحوال أقرب إلى ساحة العمليات وأضعف من أميركا، فضلاً عن أن أوروبا تمثل بيئة خصبة لتجنيد الملايين من المسلمين الأوروبيين أو المهاجرين أو حتى المعتنقين الجدد للإسلام، والجيل الثالث للسلفية الجهادية هو جيل شاب فغالبية عناصرها من جيل عشريني وثلاثيني ويتسم خطابهم بتشدد وعدوانية للمخالفين أكثر من الأجيال السابقة، فقد تميز كل من الجيل الأول والثاني من السلفية الجهادية بمحاربة العدو البعيد، بينما ركز الجيل الثالث على المخالف الطائفي والعقائدي فقط.

ويذهب بعض الخبراء إلى القول أن نهاية “داعش” لن تكون وشيكة لأنها مرتبطة بمصالح استراتيجية عملاقة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية والكيان العبري وبريطانيا ثالوث التخصص في تدمير العالم العربي والإسلامي، و قد بدأت “داعش” تتمدد في سيناء المصرية وليبيا وصولاً إلى إفريقيا وتعمل على التمدد في الدول الخليجية والساحة الأوروبية، ويسود لدى فئة من الشباب الأوروبي المسلم شعور بالإحباط والسخط تجاه المجتمع، هم شباب ثائرون يبحثون عن قضية يضحون من أجلها، ويجدون في الجهاد ضالتهم المثالية، لأنهم يعتقدون أن الجهاد عمل بطولي، وأن صورهم ستنتشر في ليلة وضحاها على أعمدة جميع الصحف وسيصبحون حديث الجميع.. كما يقول الخبير الفرنسي أوليفر روي الباحث في الحركات الإسلامية.

 

On the second anniversary of June 30 Brotherhood-Linked Attacks Kill More Than 70 in Egypt’s Sinai

مع الحدث | الذكرى الثانية للثلاثين من يونيو وجردة حساب | العالم


ISIL-Linked Attacks Kill More Than 70 in Egypt’s Sinai

Militants of Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) launched an unprecedented wave of attacks Wednesday on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 70 people.

F-16 warplanes bombarded the militants as they fought police and soldiers on the streets of the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid after striking military checkpoints in a surprise attack after dawn.

Sinai attacks on Wednesday July 1
The violence came two days after state prosecutor Hisham Barakat was assassinated in a Cairo car bombing. He was the most senior government official killed in the Takfiri insurgency.

In the capital on Wednesday, police killed senior Muslim Brotherhood member Nasser al-Houfi and eight others during a raid on an apartment, security officials and a member of the Islamist movement said.

The Sinai attacks, in which car bombs were used, were the most brazen in their scope since extremists launched an insurgency in 2013 following the army’s overthrow of Brotherhood’s president Mohammad Mursi.

The victims included several civilians, according to security and medical officials, who said 38 militants were also killed.

“It’s war. The battle is ongoing,” a senior military official told AFP.

“It’s unprecedented, in the number of terrorists involved and the type of weapons they are using.”

Militants took over rooftops and fired rockt-propelled grenades at a police station in Sheikh Zuweid after mining its exits to block reinforcements, a police colonel said.

F-16 jets struck the militants in several locations in the town, officials and a witness said.
“There are gunmen on the streets. They have planted mines everywhere,” said the witness in Sheikh Zuweid.

Explosions were heard and plumes of smoke were seen over Sheikh Zuweid from the neighboring Palestinian Gaza Strip, witnesses there said.

ISIL said its militants surrounded the police station after launching attacks on 15 checkpoints and security installations using suicide car bombers and rockets.

Security and medical officials said ambulances could not get to the scene of the attacks because of heavy fighting in which the military brought in Apache helicopters.

“Ambulances are waiting in front of the hospital. They can’t leave. People are bringing in the casualties,” a health official told AFP.

Troops regularly come under attack in the Sinai, where Takfiris have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since Mursi’s overthrow.

In a statement released online, ISIL said the assault had involved three suicide bombers.
“In a blessed raid enabled by God, the lions of the caliphate have simultaneously attacked more than 15 checkpoints belonging to the apostate army,” the group said.

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The “ISIS spring” in North Africa

An image made available by propaganda Islamist media outlet Welayat Tarablos on February 18, 2015, allegedly shows members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group parading in a street in Libya’s coastal city of Sirte, which lies 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli. AFP/Welayat Tarablos

Published Friday, February 20, 2015
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (aka the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]) is expanding beyond the Levant. Establishing Wilyat Sinai (the Province of Sinai) was just the start, and now the group is determined to expand into all of North Africa. What happened in Sirte yesterday is just one episode in a series geared toward launching an “ISIS Spring” on the African continent.
Wilayat Sinai was launched on November 2, 2014; today, it is Wilayat Sirte’s turn and tomorrow it will be Wilayat Algeria and Wilayat Rabat. Rather than a mere possibility, this is a reality that seems to be etching itself into the sprawling map of North Africa, where thousands of miles of borders cover a vast expanse of unruly desert terrain.
This area has been a breeding ground for takfiri thought, fostered by influential states like Saudi Arabia with money, preachers, literature and so on. In the 1980s, it was a major source of manpower for the jihadists in Afghanistan, known as the Arab Afghans. In the 1990s, it served as a stage for those who fought their national armies in an attempt to Islamize the countries of the region.
In the last decade, takfiri militants moved to Iraq to fight the US occupation of Muslim land, before moving to Syria to participate in the war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The name they go by and the banner under which they fight do not matter. In the past, al-Qaeda was the top takfiri group in the world. It became a model with its own framework, operational mechanisms and jihadist approach, until its strongholds in Afghanistan fell and it became a brand name used by every takfiri group that decided to take up arms and engage in terrorism anywhere in the world. Today, the model has changed and the new brand is ISIS, a group born in Iraq as the country became a magnet for takfiris from all over the world, including African jihadists.
One cannot talk about jihadist salafism and its history without focusing on Egypt. The phenomenon is not new to Egypt, and the activities in the Sinai do not constitute a unique case, isolated from the rest of the country. Cairo took up an approach of exporting the damage since the assassination of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who provided support for the so-called mujahideen before getting killed by one of them. Egypt, however, became a target of jihadist activities in the last two decades before the crisis of the “Arab Spring,” with operations that targeted mostly tourist sites before escalating to a gradual state of engagement with the Egyptian army in conjunction with scattered rocket attacks on Israel. Eventually, these groups left Israel alone and focused on Egyptian forces as the primary enemy. Other major Egyptian takfiri groups include Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem).

The significance of the Libyan case is that extremist groups went from operating in the shadows to operating openly, after seizing control of vast areas including cities and strategic roads that link the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert.

The significance of the Libyan case is that extremist groups went from operating in the shadows to operating openly, after seizing control of vast areas including cities and strategic roads that link the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert. This was made possible mainly by the state of lawlessness in Libya after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, and the absence of forces capable of asserting authority over Libyan territories.
 Just as the presence of takfiri groups in North African countries is not new, Algerian, Tunisian and Libyan groups have been pledging allegiance to ISIS for some time now. On September 12, a group of extremist militants calling themselves Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria, led by Khaled Abu Suleiman, announced joining ISIS and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after splitting from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is led by the Algerian national Abdelmalek Droukdel. There is another group called Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria, previously called al-Furqan Brigades, which operated under the banner of AQIM. In Tunisia, the Uqba bin Nafe Battalion led by the Algerian national Luqman Abu Sakhr, known for its close ties to the Tunisian group Ansar al-Sharia, led by Abu Ayyad, and its Libyan branch, led by Mohammed al-Zahawi, pledged allegiance to ISIS.
This means that the battalion pledging allegiance to ISIS has links to extremist groups active in Libya. However, Libya is unique as it remains the largest haven for terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS, after being the main reservoir and source for all kinds of groups fighting in Syria. There are also groups operating publicly in Chad to the south, in addition to Niger and Mali all the way to Mauritania. These countries have the Sahara Desert in common, but there are other countries as well, so it is more accurate to say it is where the Sahara Desert and the Sahel intersect.
In light of the absence of accurate information, we can only construct a time frame that enables us to draw a rough picture indicating that the actual emergence of these groups coincided with the changes in the Arab world, as well as the French Operation Serval in northern Mali.
North Africa is once again at the heart of the international conflicts that comprise the war on terror. These wars are fueled by other factors such as disputes over borders and the natural resources they contain, further complicating the scene, and turning North Africa into an important area witnessing conflicts at the international level. In addition, Western countries have used the weak central authorities in beforementioned countries to justify establishing military bases, thus procuring the military tools they need for the future.
The crisis does not end there. To the south, Boko Haram has taken this phenomenon to a whole new level, amid international silence and Arab nonchalance. A new Agence France Presse report about Boko Haram says that the number of its members, its structure and its sources of funding are unknown according to military experts. Further, it became clear last week that this group is capable of launching several attacks in different areas using different methods at the same time, such as suicide attacks in Nigeria, attacks by boat in Chad, as well as ground attacks in Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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Reshaping the city of Rafah in Sinai: Expulsion threatens war with the tribes

 

Smoke rises after a house was blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah near the border with southern Gaza Strip on November 2, 2014, as Egypt began setting up a buffer zone along the border with the Hamas-run territory to prevent militant infiltration and arms smuggling following a wave of deadly attacks. AFP/Said Khatib
Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Along the border with the Gaza Strip, the Engineer Corps of the Egyptian Armed Forces is carrying out ground clearing operations following the demolition of hastily evacuated citizens’ homes, in preparation for creating a buffer zone with the Strip.
Sinai – A multitude of machines, including excavators, bulldozers, and transport vehicles, have been active on the border area from 5 am to 5 pm every day. After the homes are blown up, the bulldozers fill the trucks with the debris. Other machines level the ground, erasing all sign of human life, under the supervision of senior officials from the armed forces in the North Sinai governorate.
The head of the army command in Rafah, Major General Mohammed al-Saadani, told Al-Akhbar that the committee formed to catalogue the houses and evaluate their actual worth is still receiving requests from citizens and is finalizing procedures for receiving compensation. He added that some of the payments had been cashed, in addition to 900 Egyptian pounds ($128) urgently provided to each family. He explained that most families had left their homes.
According to a security source in Rafah, military committees are sweeping and leveling the area and work on the creation of the buffer zone has already begun.
In the meantime, dozens of families are still waiting in a big courtyard inside Rafah after evacuating their homes and being unable to find alternative residences. They remain in the open, living in difficult conditions. This led several local associations to collect blankets and some tents to send to them, but the army has banned tents in the Rafah region.

“But today, after two revolutions, we have been displaced from the homes we built with our own sweat and blood.” – Riad Saleh al-Qunbuz, displaced resident

Riad Saleh al-Qunbuz, who was displaced from the border part of the town, saw his house being demolished as part of the army’s plan to confront terrorism in northern Sinai. “Since 1986, we had been dreaming of the development of North Sinai and particularly Rafah,” he told Al-Akhbar. “But today, after two revolutions, we have been displaced from the homes we built with our own sweat and blood.”

“We endured what no human on this earth could handle. We endured the mistakes of all the regimes and presidents. We patiently waited for the promises made by all the governments. But none of them came to fruition. Yet we pay the highest price [for the war on] terrorism. We pay with the land of our forefathers. We leave the homes we dreamt of owning for years, in return for LE300 ($43) in compensation to rent an apartment.”

Qunbuz points to a pile of furniture.

 “This is the furniture of my two-storey home, strewn on its rubble. I don’t know how or where to take it or my family. I want to stress that we still haven’t received any compensation, although we were promised that the compensation will be paid on the same night of evacuating the homes and leveling them to the ground,” he said.

Ahmed Suleiman stood next to the rubble of his own home in Rafah.

“They demolished my home. Everybody is selling their furniture for cheap. The areas of the demolished homes were vast, since our tribal character and culture requires it. And God awarded many of us a large number of children,” he explained. “But we do not know where to go or what is the real reason for evicting us from our land. None of us were implicated in acts of sabotage.”

“Our children are suffering here. Although we live without schools, education, or minimum care, we are satisfied with this and holding on to our ancestors’ lands. Actually, we have suffered the most from the operations carried out by the takfiri groups here. And now we are paying the price of their actions,” he added.

The decision to evacuate a 500-meter wide strip adjacent to Egypt’s border with Gaza towards the center of the city was implemented without taking any measures to protect the residents or transfer them to a safe location after being forced to evacuate their homes. Egyptian authorities are using this plan to gauge the feasibility of the decision, in preparation for similar measures to empty Rafah in North Sinai from its residents.
A few days following the implementation of the 500-meter evacuation decision, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb issued decree 1957/2014. It called for isolating Rafah, based on the defense minister’s recommendations for the strategic direction in the northeastern sector of the North Sinai governorate.
The area cordoned off by the decree was: “Abu Shanar – al-Rasm north of Sadat Square for a distance of 880 meters, southeast of Sadat Square for 500 meters, southeast of Sadat Square for 1.5 kilometers, north of Goz Abou Raad for 400 meters, Goz Abou Raad, East of Goz Abou Raad for 2 kilometers, west of al-Madfouna for 1 kilometer, and northeast Atlet al-Tayyara for 2 kilometers at the intersection of the political border line.”
The second article of the decree called for the evacuation of the area mentioned above and the provision of alternative residences for the evacuees. In the event of refusal to evacuate amicably, the decree called for the seizure of property.
Article 3 of the decision stated that compensation would be estimated based on the Public Mobilization Law and the two Presidential decisions, 2152 of the year 1960 and 540 of 1987, related to the creation of committees to estimate and compensate seized property.
The decree puts into force the sixth item of Article 3 of the Emergency Law, allowing the president or a delegated authority to evacuate areas where a state of emergency is declared. This is in addition to item four of the same article that allows the confiscation of real estate and movable property.
The people of North Sinai reacted with fury and resentment towards the prime minister’s decision. They considered this to be an extension of the cleansing Rafah region, from the center to the peripheries, following the expulsion of its residents to different areas. This would lead to the dispersion and breakup of families and the elimination of community and family bonds.
According to activist Mona al-Zamlout, the media “brainwashed the Egyptians into believing the evacuation in the Egyptian-side of Rafah serves the war on terror. However, Rafah does not have terrorists and did not partake in any violence against the army. Citizens of North Sinai are not going to believe that displacing the people of Rafah is intended to fight terrorism.”

”Citizens of North Sinai are not going to believe that displacing the people of Rafah is intended to fight terrorism.” – Mona al-Zamlout, activist

“The problem with Rafah is the tunnels [with Gaza]. If the state’s aim was national security, it would have created a free zone and commercial port after destroying the tunnels, which would have employed all of Sinai’s young people. But Egypt took the easy road, expulsion under the pretext of eradicating terrorism coming through the tunnels with the Gaza Strip, which kept functioning until the moment of evacuation and with the knowledge of officials in the armed forces.”

Political activist Said Aatiq, from the town of Sheikh Zuweid, indicated that “the people of Sinai are not happy with the situation in Rafah, since the citizens of Sinai will be the first to be harmed. For many years, they suffered from marginalization and exclusion, feeling as if they were third class citizens. Some of them feel the state treats them as foreigners and not as one of its own.”
He added that several Sinai residents who collaborated with the army had been targeted by “terrorist organizations” in the peninsula. But the military command did not recognize them. “The state treats the people of Sinai as security informers and not as real partners for the stability of the Sinai territories. Everyone in Sinai is under suspicion. Officials did not involve the people of Sinai in a real partnership to confront terrorism.”
Masad Abu Fajr, an expert on tribal affairs from Sinai and a former member of the Committee of Fifty to Amend the Constitution, considered the expulsion of the residents to be a declaration of war by the Egyptian state against the tribes of Sinai. It declared war against the three biggest and most brutal tribes in Sinai, which are, “from the south to the north: al-Tarabin, al-Sawarka, and al-Armilat.”
“It is a real shame to even propose the idea of expulsion for discussion,” he continued. “Expulsion is a crime the moment it is discussed.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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