#AceWorldNews – EGYPT (Cairo) – September 07 – Egypt news reported that Ansar al-Bayt al-Maqdis, a group labelled as a terrorist organization by Egypt and the US, distributed a pamphlet to residents of Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid, North Sinai seeking their support against the military.
According to security sources and eyewitnesses, the group has lost a great deal of its balance after being pounded by military and police operations and the anger of Sinai tribes after nine youth were killed by the group over alleged cooperation with Israel and the security forces.
“We want to answer your concerns. You might be asking who we are. We are your sons of the Mujahideen of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, men of this country, grey-haired and young. We might be your neighbours or your relatives, but we are preoccupied with this nation. We want its goodness and we reject humiliation, slavery, or to be ruled by other than God’s law,” the statement read. “Be with us in order to implement God’s religion. We are not more courageous and bestowing than you are. But the nation needs more of you and if you are not with us, do not be with our enemies.”
Tribal sources in North Sinai confirmed that this statement is not the first of its kind in the region, but it is the first in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid and the first time elements of the group distribute a statement publicly to citizens.
Security sources said that the group is losing ground and is trying to come back through a popular cover, pointing out that a state of anger prevails in Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid because of the practices of the group.
The sources added that police receive daily tips by citizens about roadside bombs planted by the group.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
#AceWorldNews – GAZA – August 27 – For the first time since 2007, a humanitarian convoy of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) successfully crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip today, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days.
’ Rafah Border Crossing Was Closed Now Open For Aid and Feeding People ‘
After a seven-hour drive from Alexandria – where the food was procured – across the Sinai Peninsula, WFP’s trucks arrived at the Rafah crossing. The convoy of 18 trucks carried 15,600 food parcels – part of a total batch of 25,000 food parcels. The parcels include ready-to-eat food such as canned meat, canned beans, tea and dates.
A second convoy with the remaining parcels is expected to cross into Gaza in the next few days.
This is the first time that WFP has used the Rafah crossing point since the start of the Gaza blockade in 2007.
“It is extremely important that we have access to the Gaza Strip from different routes including the Rafah crossing to ensure a constant flow of humanitarian supplies to meet the growing needs of the people affected by the recent violence. We are grateful to the Government of Egypt for opening the Rafah crossing and allowing WFP to procure food in Egypt,” said Mohamed Diab, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.
To respond to the urgent need for humanitarian aid in Gaza, the UN in Palestine has activated the logistics cluster. Under the leadership of WFP, the cluster is in charge of coordinating the movement of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The Egyptian Red Crescent is coordinating all the crossing of humanitarian goods through Rafah.
“The opening of the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid provides a major opportunity to scale up aid delivery to Gaza and needs to be sustained,” says WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde. “WFP has provided emergency relief from the onset of the conflict and will continue its food deliveries to Gaza to reach people affected by the conflict”.
#AceWorldNews – GAZA CITY – July 16 – Four children were killed in Gaza City on Wednesday, medics said, in Israeli shelling witnessed by The Telegraph and other foreign journalists.
The four were among a group on the beach when the attack took place, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, with some of the surviving injured children taking refuge at a nearby hotel where journalists were staying.
A young boy lies on the floor of a restaurant in a hotel, where his wounds have been treated, following the attack (Robert Tait)
Journalists heard two loud explosions outside the Gaza City hotel, before children were pulled into the restaurant area for treatment.
A journalist who saw the incident said some of the children who survived were running away when another shell seemed to be aimed at them.
#AceNewsServices – RAFAH – GAZA STRIP – March 31 – (ALJazeera) – Rafah, Gaza Strip – Two men load boxes onto a solitary motorcycle-pulled trailer in an otherwise deserted pavilion.
The Gaza Strip’s customs and excise terminal on the southern border with Egypt, once a hive of activity, now sees barely a trickle of imports after the Egyptian military began destroying Gaza’s extensive network of smuggling tunnels, following the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Adjacent to the empty terminal and backing onto a collection of decrepit, bullet-ridden apartment buildings, a bank of metal-framed structures stretch across into the distance. Each white covering shelters the entrance to a privately owned smuggling tunnel, the closure of which has further crippled an already besieged Gazan economy.
In March, Egyptian authorities announced the destruction of 1,370 tunnels along the Gaza border.
“They’re working very hard to destroy all the tunnels now,” Hamas border guard Muhammad Abu Hossam told Al Jazeera from his guard post along the Gaza-Egyptian border. “You see the explosions on their side, it’s like a war. Yesterday it was 20 and today it was 10.”
Israel’s imposed land and sea blockade of Gaza, approaching its eighth year, lead to the construction of tunnels to import medicine, food, consumer goods and building materials. While some speculators made small fortunes on tunnel construction, the network sustained many livelihoods through labouring, distribution and the supply of materials to the construction industry.
“The tunnel was destroyed two months ago when the Egyptians filled it with water,” Ahmad, a labourer who worked in the tunnels, says, nodding towards the dark entrance. “Now, there’s nothing to do and there’s no chance for the people to work. If the tunnels are open, there is work in Gaza. I have a wife and two children to feed and I worry for them. I’m lucky to still have a job watching the entrance.”
While operating, the tunnel employed around 20 people to move goods underground, load them onto trucks and distribute them around Gaza.
“I used to get paid 80 shekels [$23] per day – carrying sand during construction and carrying the goods onto the waiting trucks,” Ahmad said.
Courtesy of Al Jazeera – Nigel O’Connor – Last updated: 31 Mar 2014 14:13
#AceWorldNews – EGYPT – March 29 – After being closed for the past seven weeks, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip will open on Saturday for special cases, Palestinian sources told the Ma’an news agency.
Egypt will permit medical patients, students, and foreign nationals to travel through the Rafah crossing in both directions starting Saturday and until Monday,
Palestinians working at the Egypt-Gaza border said.
#AceWorldNews An Israeli air strike on Tuesday killed three Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, according to Islamic Jihad.
The Israeli military had not immediately commented on the reports. Islamic Jihad said the attack targeted members of the group in Rafah, a town bordering Egypt, Reuters reported.