EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: Did Israel have a hand in Egypt’s Internet blackout?

Posted in Must Read on February 12, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Veterans Today; February 12, 2011

Just after midnight on Friday, January 28, following three days of popular demonstrations calling for the ouster of longstanding Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Internet access (along with mobile-phone communications) in Cairo, Alexandria and the northern canal city of Suez — where demonstrations were most intense — was abruptly cut. The Internet remained inaccessible for the next three days.
Now reports have emerged in the Hebrew- and Arabic-language press that the Mubarak regime had sought Israel’s help in imposing the Internet blackout. On February 9, Egyptian Arabic-language news website Youm al-Sabea, citing reports in Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth published the same day, asserted that the Egyptian regime had “requested the assistance of Israeli technicians to disrupt Egypt’s Internet network with the aim of quelling the revolution.”

The Youm al-Sabea report reads:

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth has revealed that the Egyptian [Mubarak] regime used cutting-edge Israeli techniques to disrupt Internet connectivity throughout Egypt, preventing Egyptians from accessing the Internet for the first week of the Tahrir Revolution, which began on January 25.

The newspaper, in its economy supplement, reported that Egypt’s ruling regime had been forced to request the assistance of Israeli technicians to disrupt Egypt’s Internet network with the aim of quelling the revolution by thousands of demonstrators who assembled in [Cairo's] Tahrir Square late last month to demand…Mubarak’s ouster.

Yedioth Ahronoth cited statements by a high-level communications source who said that the Israeli software company Narus had designed the advanced software used to paralyze the Internet in Egypt. The newspaper noted that the Israeli company has had a longstanding relationship with Egypt’s largest public-sector company for communications and Internet services [this presumably refers to government-owned TE Data, see below], with which it provides additional special systems.

The Israeli company also provides similar services to communications companies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and is specialized in the production of supercomputers used by intelligence agencies worldwide for numerous applications, such as phone-taps; tracking voice communications on the Internet [presumably Skype, see below]; recording email and browsing habits; and disrupting Internet connectivity in any country at any time if needed.
Israeli dailies Yedioth Ahronoth and Haaretz both pointed to the fact that Israeli President Shimon Peres indirectly admitted the veracity of these reports at Israel’s annual security conference in Hertzliya on Tuesday, where he noted that, despite the restrictions and surveillance that governments are able to impose on the Internet, the media and Internet nevertheless played major roles in the eruption of popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The following is the original Arabic-language text of the article:

يديعوت أحرنوت: مصر استعانت بتقنية “إسرائيلية” لتعطيل الإنترنت

كشفت صحيفة يديعوت أحرنوت الإسرائيلية أن النظام المصرى استخدم تقنيات إسرائيلية حديثة للغاية، مكنته من تعطيل شبكة الإنترنت فى جميع أنحاء جمهورية مصر العربية، وجعلت المصريين عاجزين على تصفح الإنترنت طوال الأسبوع الأول الذى اندلعت فيه ثورة التحرير الذى شهدها أشهر ميادين مصر فى 25 يناير.
وذكرت الصحيفة الإسرائيلية فى ملحقها الاقتصادى، أن النظام الحاكم فى مصر اضطر إلى الاستعانة بطاقم من خبراء إسرائيل التقنيين لحجب شبكة الإنترنت فى مصر، وذلك بهدف تهدئة ثورة آلاف المتظاهرين الذى خرجوا بميدان التحرير آواخر الشهر الماضى، مطالبين بالتغيير والحرية ومحاربة الفساد والبطالة، إلى أن امتدت مطالبهم بإسقاط النظام، ورحيل الرئيس مبارك.
ونقلت يديعوت أحرنوت تصريحات مصدر إسرائيلى كبير بمجال الاتصالات، قال إن شركة “نايروس” الإسرائيلية للبرمجيات، صممت برنامج متطور للغاية استخدم لشل الإنترنت فى مصر، وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن هذه الشركة الإسرائيلية تتعامل مع أكبر شركة حكومية مصرية لخدمات الاتصالات والإنترنت، منذ وقت طويل وتزودها بتقنيات خاصة.

هذا بجانب دور الشركة الإسرائيلية فى تقديم خدمات مماثلة لشركات الاتصالات فى السعودية وباكستان، لتخصصها فى إنتاج أجهزة كمبيوتر عملاقة تستخدمها أجهزة الاستخبارات فى العالم فى أغراض عديدة، مثل التنصت على المكالمات الهاتفية، ورصد الاتصالات الصوتية عبر الإنترنت، وتسجيل كل ما يدور فى الإنترنت، مثل استعادة المراسلات الإلكترونية، والكشف عن أى مواقع التصفح، وبالطبع تعطيل الشبكة العنكبوتية فى أى دولة وفى أى وقت عند الحاجة.

وأخيرا أشارت صحيفتا يديعوت أحرنوت وهاآرتس الإسرائيليتان، إلى أن شيمون بيريز الرئيس الإسرائيلى اعترف بشكل غير مباشر بصحة هذه المعلومات، وذلك خلال كلمة ألقاها أمس الثلاثاء فى مؤتمر هرتزليا للمناعة القومية، مؤكدا أنه رغم القيود والمراقبات التى يمكن أن تفرضها الحكومات على شبكة الإنترنت، إلا أن الإعلام والإنترنت عجلا باندلاع الثورة فى مصر وتونس.

http://www.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=348587

Notably, Israeli software company Narus (http://www.narus.com/) is also mentioned in the following article from the Huffington Post (which refers to it as a ‘US corporation’), published on the third day of the uprising:

One US corporation’s role in Egypt’s brutal crackdown The Huffington Post; January 28, 2011

The open Internet’s role in popular uprising is now undisputed. Look no further than Egypt, where the Mubarak regime today reportedly shut down Internet and cell phone communications — a troubling predictor of the fierce crackdown that has followed.

What’s even more troubling is news that one American company is aiding Egypt’s harsh response through sales of technology that makes this repression possible.

The Internet’s favorite offspring — Twitter, Facebook and YouTube — are now heralded on CNN, BBC and Fox News as flag-bearers for a new era of citizen journalism and activism. (More and more these same news organizations have abandoned their own, more traditional means of newsgathering to troll social media for breaking information.)

But the open Internet’s power cuts both ways: The tools that connect, organize and empower protesters can also be used to hunt them down.

Telecom Egypt, the nation’s dominant phone and Internet service provider, is a state-run enterprise, which made it easy on Friday morning for authorities to pull the plug and plunge much of the nation into digital darkness.

Moreover, Egypt also has the ability to spy on Internet and cell phone users, by opening their communication packets and reading their contents. Iran used similar methods during the 2009 unrest to track, imprison and in some cases, “disappear” truckloads of cyber-dissidents.

The companies that profit from sales of this technology need to be held to a higher standard. One in particular is an American firm, Narus of Sunnyvale, California, which has sold Telecom Egypt “real-time traffic intelligence” equipment.

Narus, now owned by Boeing, was founded in 1997 by Israeli security experts (see below) to create and sell mass surveillance systems for governments and large corporate clients.

The company is best known for creating NarusInsight, a supercomputer system which is allegedly used by the National Security Agency and other entities to perform mass, real-time surveillance and monitoring of public and corporate Internet communications in real time.

Narus provides Egypt Telecom with Deep Packet Inspection equipment (DPI), a content-filtering technology that allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from users of the Internet and mobile phones, as it passes through routers on the information superhighway.

Other Narus global customers include the national telecommunications authorities in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — two countries that regularly register alongside Egypt near the bottom of Human Rights Watch’s world report.

“Anything that comes through (an Internet protocol network), we can record,” Steve Bannerman, Narus’ marketing vice president, once boasted to Wired about the service. “We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on; we can reconstruct their (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls.”

Other North American and European companies are selling DPI to enable their business customers “to see, manage and monetize individual flows to individual subscribers.” But this “Internet-enhancing” technology has been sought out by regimes in Iran, China and Burma for more brutal purposes.

In addition to Narus, there are a number of companies, including many others in the United States, that produce and traffic in similar spying and control technology. This list of DPI providers includes Procera Networks (USA), Allot (Israel), Ixia (USA), AdvancedIO (Canada) and Sandvine (Canada), among others.

These companies typically partner with Internet Service Providers to insert DPI along the main arteries of the Web. All Net traffic in and out of Iran, for example, travels through one portal — the Telecommunications Company of Iran — which facilitates the use of DPI.

When commercial network operators use DPI, the privacy of Internet users is compromised. But in government hands, the use of DPI can crush dissent and lead to human rights violations.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/one-us-corporations-role-_b_815281.html


While the Huffington Post refers to Narus as a “US corporation,” Israeli daily Haaretz notes in the following article from 2006 that the firm was founded by “Dr. Ori Cohen, Stas Khirman and four other guys in Israel.”

Ori Cohen, private eye
Haaretz (Israel); July 11, 2006

If you’ve been keeping track of American Internet and the battles over surfer privacy, then you have run into the name Narus, which specializes in tapping surfer traffic. It was founded in 1997 by Dr Ori Cohen, Stas Khirman and four other guys in Israel.

For years Narus sailed on untroubled. But today it’s become associated with the likes of Carnivore or Echelon, the notorious software programs that have become linked with spying on email and delivering data on surfers to government agencies.

The image change Narus has suffered and its frequent mentions in debates on privacy and the freedom of information, is mainly because of Mark Klein. That would be a technician retired from AT&T for 22 years, who reported to the American authorities a few months ago that he suspected AT&T of allowing the National Security Agency to bug its customers’ phone calls.

Customer Internet traffic via the WorldNet service provider was reportedly shunted to data-mining technology in a secret room at AT&T facilities. The data analysis technology was made by Narus.

The scandal doesn’t seem to have bothered Narus much: it takes pride in various forums in the quality of its offerings. Its products enable ISPs and phone companies to monitor and manage their networks, detect illegal intrusions — and tap calls. Nor is Narus shy of declaring AT&T to be one of its customers.

Even though the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is striving to protect surfer privacy, has decided to sue the NSA in order to find out the scope of Washington’s spying on the people, Narus still has nothing official to say about the affair.

If anything, Narus’ management happily notes reports on its products, which are involved in countless weird and wonderful projects, including monitoring and blocking of voice and data over Internet. It proudly notes that its products are well used in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, not really bastions of human rights.

It appears the Narus technology is used there to monitor surfing by the people, and blocking the use of Internet telephone technology such as Skype, which make monitoring communications very hard.

Narus says that its software can monitor and block Skype’s communications protocol, other VoIP programs, P2P (peer to peer) networks (such as Kazaa), instant messaging software, email traffic and many other protocols too. When installed on the infrastructure of an Internet provider, it can do all that too, monitoring unbelievably huge amounts of data up to ten gigas per second.

Big in Tripoli

Another factoid in which Narus takes pride is its giant agreement with Giza Systems of Cairo. That Egyptian integration and communications company paid Narus several million dollars to install its bugging and blocking software on networks in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, and even in the Palestinian Authority.

But how is it that in the Middle East of 2006, Saudi Arabia, Libya and the like are buying technology developed by Israelis, funded by Israeli venture capital?

Walden Israel was one of the first backers behind Narus, but it says it’s severed all contact. General Partner Roni Hefetz says it hasn’t been involved in the company for years. However, the Walden international fund has picked up the slack, continuing to invest in Narus throughout. Narus even has a Walden man on its board.

Narus has morphed from an Israeli company into an American one. But it hasn’t been sold or floated, despite earlier ambitions. Where are the Israelis? Their involvement is hard to pin down, including that of legendary founder Dr. Ori Cohen, who’d been so happy to grant interviews; or the chief technology officer Stas Khirman. Did they abandon Internet bugging?

Cright on!

Apparently not. It is very possible that Cohen and Khirman are working at a startup that nobody is willing to talk about. A stealthy startup they helped found called Cright that has lots of employees in Israel and California, and which is reportedly about to avail itself of Ukrainian development talent too. Almost nobody has heard of Cright and nobody at all, including its distinguished investors, is willing to discuss what it does.

Sequoia Israel, the Rolls Royce of the technological venture capital world, is whispered to have invested $7 million in Cright together with Charles River. But the enigmatic startup is not mentioned on the Sequoia site, which otherwise describes the portfolio very thoroughly. Nor does the Charles River site mention it.

Nor could I glean any information about the company or about the Narus people manning it. Cright has a website (www.cright.com), a naked one that reveals nothing: and has taken a vow of utter silence.

Market sources surmise that Cright is tight-lipped because what it does would spark outrage among surfers jealous of their privacy, which could culminate in migraines for the startup and its backers. The last thing these financiers need is bad press, especially as other products in which they invested, such as Jajah, are striving to gain adulation among the online community.

In today’s online world, surfers can make the connection between investment in one company and in another. If Fund X invests in DevilIncarnate.com, and surfers find it out, they could hurt its investment in Angel.net.

The prying eye

But that is assuming that Ori Cohen and Stas Khirman are still working on products that analyze Internet traffic, and possibly, that this time their prying eye is looking at private surfers.

Industry sources in the know claim they’re harnessing Israeli developers to develop a DRM product designed for installation at Internet providers, which will among other things frustrate file sharing and peer-2-peer networks. These sources say Cright (could that be short for copyright?) is supposed to filter P2P networks, to monitor and analyze files being shared, and possibly to shut down errant P2P network, or at least to block certain content.

In other words, if may be a new twist on the old trick of monitoring the Internet’s main line, analyzing content, and interfering with it, just as Narus says it does in Saudi Arabia.

Cright’s ambitions may be disclosed by the appointment of Ed Kozel as its CEO. Kozel hails from Cisco and Yahoo. But isn’t Ori Cohen Cright’s CEO? I don’t know, or maybe they’re both co-CEOs, maybe the company has two CEOs because it’s going in two different directions at once.

If I had to guess, I’d guess that Cright means to launch some product related to online advertising. To guess on, I’d think it connects financed ads or links to personal content that Cright uncovers using its data mining capacities. Could that be? Selling ads based on breaking down data from traffic? I think it could.

But we can continue to merrily play detective for a few more weeks, until somebody tells us something.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/ori-cohen-private-eye-1.192771
Finally, it’s worth noting that an Egyptian national, arrested by Egyptian authorities last year on charges of spying for Israel, claimed that his Mossad handlers had told him that Israel was behind the days-long Internet outage that hit several countries of the Middle East (but not Israel) in 2008.
Israel sabotaged Egypt’s Internet, says alleged Mossad spy
Intelnews.com; December 29, 2010

Israeli sabotage was behind the nationwide crippling of Egypt’s Internet in 2008, according to an alleged Mossad agent. The accused agent, Abdel Razeq Hussein Hassan, is an Egyptian businessman who was arrested earlier this year by Egyptian counterintelligence and is accused of working for the Israeli spy agency. Two of his alleged Israeli handlers, Joseph Daymour and Idid Moushay, are reportedly on the run and are wanted by the Egyptian government.

Hassan is due to go on trial next month, but transcripts of his interrogation records have been leaked to Egyptian media. In one instance, Hassan appears to tell his police interrogators that a team of Mossad operatives deliberately cut two undersea cables about 5 miles off the north Egyptian port city of Alexandria, disrupting the country’s Internet service for several days.

An article in Britain’s The Daily Telegraph claims erroneously that the disruptions, occurred in December of 2008 and were “blamed at the time on damage [...] caused by a ship’s anchor”. In reality, the undersea cables were cut on January 30, 2008, and there was no connection to anchors or anything similar, which does raise suspicions.

Still, the possibility must be considered that Hassan’s revelation may have been extracted by his interrogators through torture, or that it may be part of a controlled leak — true, overstated, or downright false — by Egyptian counterintelligence.

Whatever the truth behind this is, what is missing is the strategic motive that would have caused the Mossad to sabotage Egypt’s nationwide Internet data delivery at a time when the governments of the two countries were entering a period of rapprochement.

http://intelligencenews.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/01-625/

For more information on the involvement of Israeli telecommunications firms in espionage activities in the US and Canada, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWpWc_suPWo

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/02/2741096/pa-homeland-security-boss-quits-over-israeli-firm

http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20090315095225343


The above article can be found here: Egyptian Intifada: Did Israel have a hand in Egypt’s Internet blackout?

EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: New VP Omar Suleiman would ‘welcome’ Israeli invasion of Sinai, leaks reveal

Posted in ZOGs on February 9, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

‘WikiLeaks: Israel’s secret hot-line to the man tipped to replace Mubarak’

The Telegraph (UK); February 7, 2011

[The WikiLeaks phenomenon is no doubt a psy-op. But the latest revelations concerning Egypt's new vice-president ring true, and could be instructive -- 800]

The new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a longstanding favorite of Israel’s who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret “hotline” to Cairo, leaked documents disclose.

Mr. Suleiman, who is widely tipped to take over from Hosni Mubarak as president, was named as Israel’s preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008.

As a key figure working for Middle East peace, he once suggested that Israeli troops would be “welcome” to invade Egypt to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas terrorists in neighboring Gaza.

 

The details, which emerged in secret files obtained by WikiLeaks and passed to The Daily Telegraph, come after Mr. Suleiman began talks with opposition groups on the future for Egypt’s government.

On Saturday, Mr Suleiman won the backing of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to lead the “transition” to democracy after two weeks of demonstrations calling for President Mubarak to resign.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, spoke to Mr. Suleiman yesterday and urged him to take “bold and credible steps” to show the world that Egypt is embarking on an “irreversible, urgent and real” transition.

Leaked cables from American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv disclose the close cooperation between Mr. Suleiman and the US and Israeli governments as well as diplomats’ intense interest in likely successors to the ageing President Mubarak, 83.

The documents highlight the delicate position which the Egyptian government seeks to maintain in Middle East politics, as a leading Arab nation with a strong relationship with the US and Israel. By 2008, Mr. Suleiman, who was head of the foreign intelligence service, had become Israel‘s main point of contact in the Egyptian government.

David Hacham, a senior adviser from the Israeli Ministry of Defense, told the American embassy in Tel Aviv that a delegation led by Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak had been impressed by Mr. Suleiman, whose name is spelled “Soliman” in some cables.

But Mr. Hacham was “shocked” by President Mubarak’s “aged appearance and slurred speech”.

The cable, from August 2008, said: “Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a ‘hot line’ set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use.

“Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated.” The Tel Aviv diplomats added: “We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.”

Elsewhere the documents disclose that Mr. Suleiman was stung by Israeli criticism of Egypt’s inability to stop arms smugglers transporting weapons to Palestinian militants in Gaza. At one point he suggested that Israel send troops into the Egyptian border region of Philadelphi to “stop the smuggling”.

“In their moments of greatest frustration, [Egyptian Defense Minister] Tantawi and Soliman each have claimed that the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] would be ‘welcome’ to re-invade Philadelphi, if the IDF thought that would stop the smuggling,” the cable said.

The files suggest that Mr. Suleiman wanted Hamas “isolated”, and thought Gaza should “go hungry but not starve”.

“We have a short time to reach peace,” he told US diplomats. “We need to wake up in the morning with no news of terrorism, no explosions, and no news of more deaths.”

Yesterday, Hosni Mubarak’s control of Egypt’s state media, a vital linchpin of his 30-year presidency, started to slip as the country’s largest-circulation newspaper declared its support for the uprising.

Hoping to sap the momentum from street protests demanding his overthrow, the president has instructed his deputy to launch potentially protracted negotiations with secular and Islamist opposition parties. The talks continued for a second day yesterday without yielding a significant breakthrough.

But Mr. Mubarak was dealt a significant setback as the state-controlled Al-Ahram, Egypt’s second oldest newspaper and one of the most famous publications in the Middle East, abandoned its long-standing slavish support for the regime.

In a front-page leading article, the newspaper hailed the “nobility” of the “revolution” and demanded the government embark on irreversible constitutional and legislative changes.

The above article can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8309792/WikiLeaks-Israels-secret-hotline-to-the-man-tipped-to-replace-Mubarak.html


 

 

Also see ‘Israel puts assets at Suleiman’s disposal to protect regime, approves deployment of Egypt troops in Sinai’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20110204085244747

Also see ‘Israeli planes carrying crowd dispersal weapons arrive in Egypt, says rights group’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20110204084827850

Also see ‘Leaked memos expose treachery of Palestinian Authority, futility of US-brokered peace process’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=201101251654412

Also see ‘Egypt uncovers Israeli spy network that eavesdropped on govt officials’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20101219211241699

Also see ‘Israel applauds Egyptian regime’s suppression of Muslim opposition in rigged parliamentary elections’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20101213015150152

Also see ‘Zionist state comes out of WikiLeaks debacle smelling like roses’ here: http://800pg.co.cc/geeklog//article.php?story=20101203223707519

EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: A Timeline (Week 1)

Posted in RACHEL CORRIE BRIGADES on February 8, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

 

Veterans Today; February 8, 2011

Whoever comes out on top after the dust settles in Egypt, one thing’s for certain: the political equation in the Middle East — characterized for decades by Israeli regional hegemony — will never be the same again.

Along with being the Arab world’s most populous country, with a majority-Muslim population of more than 80 million, Egypt represents a strategic bridge between Asia and Africa. What’s more, Egypt — Washington’s best friend in the region after Israel — also controls the Suez Canal, a vital means of transit both for international commerce and US naval forces in the Middle East.

And, perhaps most importantly for neoconservative policymakers in Washington, Egypt shares a 260-kilometer border with Israel and a 14-kilometer border with the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip. While Cairo has had official relations with Tel Aviv since 1979 under the terms of the Camp David peace agreement, the peace is a cold one, and the agreement deeply unpopular with broad swathes of the Egyptian public.

Under the 30-year-old rule of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has gradually become a de facto ally of the self-proclaimed Jewish state, despite deep-rooted pubic opposition — opposition driven largely by Israel’s litany of crimes committed at the expense of the Palestinian people. This alliance has culminated in the almost four-year-old siege of the Gaza Strip, initiated by Tel Aviv and abetted by Cairo, which has effectively made prisoners of the strip’s 1.5 million inhabitants.

If Egypt were allowed to hold democratic elections and produce a truly representative leadership, Cairo’s foreign policy orientations would no doubt be subject to dramatic change. The looming battle for control of Egypt, therefore, will largely determine the shape of the region’s future geopolitical landscape.

Tuesday, Jan. 25: ‘The Day of Anger’ A “day of anger,” originally organized by online activists to protest police abuses and official corruption, quickly snowballed beyond anyone’s expectations. Thousands of protesters — tens of thousands in some areas — turned out across the country to demand relief from skyrocketing inflation and rampant unemployment, twin features of the Mubarak regime’s “neo-liberal” economic policies. In addition to these economic grievances, demonstrators also demanded free elections and the termination of Egypt’s draconian Emergency Law.

In Cairo, protesters gathered in the centrally-located Tahrir Square, where demands for economic and political reform soon gave way to calls for Mubarak’s ouster. “The people — want — the fall of the regime!” they shouted, in what would become the uprising’s rallying cry.

The demonstrations in Egypt came quick on the heels of a popular uprising in Tunisia in mid-January. Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” ended with the fall of the regime of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled the country with an iron fist for 23 years.

Wednesday, Thursday; Jan. 26, 27

By Wednesday morning, police had managed — with the use of teargas, water cannons and rubber bullets — to flush protestors from Tahrir Square. Unbeknownst to most observers, however, the wave of demonstrations — destined to become a nationwide popular rebellion — had only just begun.

Despite warnings from the Egypt’s interior ministry that police would adopt a zero-tolerance policy against further protests, demonstrations continued in most Egyptian cities for the next two days, with the biggest taking place in Cairo, Alexandria and the northern canal city of Suez.

Police, meanwhile, used increasingly heavy-handed tactics to disperse the rapidly swelling crowds. By Thursday evening, at least six protesters had been killed and hundreds more injured in mounting violence. Thousands more were said to have been arrested by police.

Wednesday and Thursday also saw the arrest of hundreds of leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest — if unlicensed — opposition movement. The government justified the move by claiming falsely that the group stood behind the growing wave of demonstrations.

Meanwhile, calls circulated online for countrywide protests, dubbed a “Friday of Rage,” to be staged the next day following Friday noon prayers.

Late Thursday night, in anticipation of the planned Friday protests, Internet access and mobile-phone communications in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez were abruptly cut. Land-line communications, however, remained intact.

Friday, January 28: ‘The Friday of Rage’

Demonstrations climaxed following noon prayers, when more than a million Egyptians poured out of the nation’s mosques to hold protests in city centers and public squares in cities throughout the country. In Cairo, more than one hundred thousand people, coming from all over the capital, gathered again in Tahrir Square, where they vowed to remain until Mubarak’s ouster.

Clashes of unprecedented violence soon erupted between protesters and police, who fought vainly to quell the escalating unrest. At 5:00 PM, Mubarak decreed that a curfew — from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM the next morning — be applied in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. Demonstrators, however, their numbers swelling by the hour, ignored the curfew and continued to roam the three cities’ streets.

In the early afternoon, it was reported that Israel’s embassy staff in Cairo had hastily departed the country due to the mounting unrest.

At about 6:00 PM, dozens of unidentified gunmen attempted to break into Egypt’s national museum in Tahrir Square, home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of archaeological artifacts. Following a violent confrontation between gunmen and protesters, in which several of the latter were killed, the armed men were found to be carrying police identification cards.

At about 7:00 PM, the Egyptian Army, in an effort to secure important symbols of governance, deployed on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. Protesters welcomed the appearance of the Egyptian armed forces, which — unlike the police — are widely respected by much of the public for the role they played in past wars with Israel.

To the cheers of demonstrators, who called on the army to save them from police aggression, tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled through the streets of the capital for the first time in decades. Meanwhile, the police — which, unlike the army, are broadly disliked due to their reputation for abuse and corruption — were completely withdrawn from the capital only hours earlier.

Offices of Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), along with numerous local police stations, were burnt down in several provinces. Twenty-six police stations were torched in Cairo alone immediately following the withdrawal of police. Evidence would later emerge strongly suggesting that elements of the police themselves were behind much of the arson.

By the end of the day, hundreds of protesters had been killed in clashes with police, while thousands more were injured. Satellite news channels began airing images of dead protesters sprawled in hospital morgues.

Saturday, January 29: ‘The Day of Terror’

In a televised address shortly after midnight, Mubarak — in his first appearance since the uprising began — announced the dismissal of his government, which had been dominated largely by wealthy busy tycoons.

At about 10:00 AM, mobile-phone services were restored in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.

In the early afternoon, state television reported that Mubarak had, for the first time since becoming president in 1981, appointed a vice-president — General intelligence chief Omar Suleiman — meeting a longstanding demand of the Egyptian opposition. About two hours later, Mubarak appointed a new prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, a former air-force commander and civil aviation minister.

The concessions, however, failed to satisfy protesters, who vowed to maintain nationwide demonstrations until Mubarak’s unconditional ouster. Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square also demanded the release of arrested protesters, the formulation of a new constitution, and democratically-held parliamentary and presidential elections.

Since the early morning, reports had circulated about rooftop snipers picking off protesters near the Interior Ministry building, not far from Tahrir Square. By the end of the day, 13 demonstrators were said to have been killed by the as-yet unidentified shooters.

In the late afternoon, Mubarak again imposed a curfew on the three most volatile cities, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 AM the next morning. For the second night in a row, however, the curfew was largely ignored, as protesters continued to spill out on the streets in force.

In the early evening, it was reported on several news channels that prominent regime figures, along with their families, had fled the country. These included Mubarak’s son, Gamal, an influential member of the ruling party who many had believed was being groomed to succeed his 82-year-old father.

Shortly after sunset, rumors spread that major commercial streets in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez were being looted and torched by roving gangs of armed criminals. Word had it that the looters were going house to house, robbing and killing local residents. There were even scattered reports of rape. Most if not all of these rumors later proved unfounded.

Unconfirmed reports also spread quickly that large numbers of convicted convicts had escaped from prisons in and around Cairo. While most of these reports originated from state television, the rumors spread like wildfire, fueling panic among the already-terrified population.

The chaos and confusion — which were largely orchestrated by elements of the police and government — had its desired effect, as large numbers of terrorized demonstrators ran back to their homes to protect their families and property.

Throughout the night, gunfire could be heard in most neighborhoods throughout the three cities. As fear mounted, local residents organized neighborhood patrols to deter would-be looters. Throughout the night, local residents could be seen on almost every street corner brandishing cleavers, crowbars and tire irons.

Sunday, January 30

“We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and in our region,” Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was quoted as saying at a morning meeting with his cabinet. “Peace between Israel and Egypt has endured for over three decades and our goal is to ensure these relations continue.”

It was also reported that Tel Aviv had allowed the Egyptian army to deploy two army battalions in the Sinai Peninsula. Under the terms of the Camp David peace agreement, Egypt is prohibited from making military deployments in Sinai without Tel Aviv’s consent.

At noon, Egyptian authorities abruptly closed the Cairo offices of Qatar-based satellite news channel Al Jazeera. Up until that point, Al Jazeera — both its Arabic- and Engish-language channels — had provided the closest coverage of the ongoing uprising.

Countrywide demonstrations, meanwhile, continued to gather momentum. At about 2:00 PM, hundreds of university professors and reformist judges — the latter of whom had long demanded an independent judiciary — joined the hundreds of thousands of protesters already arrayed in Tahrir Square.

Shortly afterward, thousands of demonstrators attempted to storm the now-evacuated Israeli embassy in central Cairo. But the army, whose presence on the streets was now pervasive, quickly intervened to stop them.

At about 3:00 PM, a neighborhood patrol in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura announced that it had detained 78 men caught looting shops in the area. According to reports, the men were later found to be members of the government’s secret police.

At about 4:00 PM, F-16 warplanes began making sorties over the skies over Cairo.

At about 4:30, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that Washington wanted “to see an orderly transition [of power in Egypt], so that no one fills a void.” She called for “a well thought out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government.”

Clinton’s statements were met with derision by Egyptian political figures and commentators, who opined that Clinton was “the last person who should be talking about democracy in Egypt.”

At about 5:30 PM, Internet services were fully restored countrywide.

At this point, reports began to emerge that elements of the police had in fact been behind much of the reported looting and vandalism — an apparent attempt to promote the false impression that the withdrawal of police would inevitably lead to security breakdowns. It was also to emerge later that elements of the police had intentionally released thousands of convicted criminals from police stations in and around Cairo.

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/leave-and-dont-look-back-masked-gunmen-tell-freed-prison-inmates

Meanwhile, anti-regime demonstrations continued to rage across the country, despite the extension of the curfew from 3:00 PM to 8:00 AM. Along with Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, massive protests were also staged in Mansoura, Mahalla, Ismailia, Fayoum, Port Said and Aswan, along with numerous other Egyptian cities and towns. In the city of Menoufiya, Mubarak’s home town, thousands turned out to demand Mubarak’s ouster.

As the death toll continued to climb, calls at Tahrir Square for Mubarak’s resignation turned into calls for putting regime leaders on trial for murder.

At about 10:00 PM, a White House spokesman announced that US President Barack Obama had told the leaders of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UK that the US supported “an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”

Monday, January 31

At about 10:30 AM, as demonstrations continued nationwide, Mubarak announced on state television that he had instructed the new government to begin talks with protest leaders.

At noon, Al Jazeera reported that Suez Canal traffic was functioning normally, if behind schedule. One hour later, Arabic-language news channel Al-Arabiya reported that the Alexandria seaport had been indefinitely closed.

Shortly after 1:00 PM, it was reported that Mubarak had appointed a new interior minister, Mahmoud Wagdi, to replace the highly unpopular Habib al-Adli. State television broadcast images of other new government ministers being sworn in by the president.

At about the same time, Israeli President Shimon Peres was quoted by the press as saying: “We always have had and still have a great respect for Mubarak. I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing for which all of us are thankful to him: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

Roughly one hour later, Mubarak appointed former North Sinai governor Murad Muwafi to replace Omar Suleiman, now the vice-president, as Egypt’s chief of general intelligence.

The hundreds of thousands of protesters still in Tahrir Square, along with hundreds of thousands more in Alexandria, rejected the new appointments, reiterating their demand for Mubarak’s ouster. Activists began issuing calls for a million-man protest in the square the following day.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, warned that the ongoing uprising could lead to an Iran-style Islamic revolution in Egypt. “Our real fear is of a situation that could develop… and which has already developed in several countries including Iran itself — repressive regimes of radical Islam,” he was quoted as saying.

At about 8:30 PM, Reuters reported that international oil prices had jumped to $101 on the back of ongoing political turmoil in Egypt.

Shortly afterward, an army spokesman announced on state television that the Egyptian Armed Forces “recognized the legitimate demands of the people.” He went on to vow that that the army “had not and would not use force against the people.”

At about 10:30, as roads into Cairo were closed in an effort to stop the would-be protesters now pouring into the capital, newly-appointed VP Suleiman announced his readiness to hold talks with the opposition and carry out “political and economic reforms.” Protesters, however, simply reiterated their demand for Mubarak’s removal.

Shortly before midnight, it was reported that Washington had dispatched former US ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to Cairo to consult with the embattled Egyptian president. “As someone with deep experience in the region, [Wisner] is meeting with Egyptian officials and providing his assessment,” said a White House spokesman.

EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: Tahrir Square protesters dig in for trench warfare

Posted in RACHEL CORRIE BRIGADES on February 8, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Inter Press Service (IPS); February 7, 2011

CAIRO — Tens of thousands of protesters continue to occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand the ouster of longstanding President Hosni Mubarak. The regime is waging a war of attrition aimed at exhausting demonstrators – and the population at large. But the protest is holding firm.

Since early Sunday morning, army tanks deployed along the fringes of the ongoing demonstration have attempted to make gradual inroads into the square. Protesters – whose numbers continue to swell as more people stream in from all over Egypt – are adamantly refusing to give ground.

“They are literally sleeping under the tanks,” Ahmed al-Assy, a 32-year-old demonstrator who spent Sunday night in the square told IPS. “If the army tries to take any more ground, they’ll have to run over us.”

“The government is using economic siege to tire out protesters and turn the public against the revolution,” Ahmed Maher, general coordinator of the 6 April protest movement, which has played a leading role in the uprising, told IPS. “They are depriving the Tahrir protesters of badly needed provisions while blaming the ongoing demonstrations for price hikes and supply shortages.”

Since Jan. 25, Egyptians have hit the streets countrywide in unprecedented numbers to demand the departure of Mubarak – who has ruled the country for three decades – and his unpopular regime. Demonstrations have been marked by almost daily clashes between police and protesters, in which hundreds have been killed and thousands injured.

Since the beginning of the uprising, demonstrators have converged on Cairo’s centrally located Tahrir Square, which they continue to occupy in vast numbers. On Friday, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered at the square on a “Day of Departure” – for Mubarak.

They are now calling for a “Week of Steadfastness” during which they plan to remain in the square until Mubarak’s unconditional resignation. Police violence and intimidation have so far failed to dislodge them.

“They’re terrorizing the demonstrators,” said a 26-year-old activist who took part in Friday’s “Departure” protest. “Pro-government thugs on the square’s outskirts throw stones at the protesters, while freedom of movement is completely curtailed.”

Over the course of the last two weeks, the regime has employed a variety of techniques aimed at wearing down protesters’ resolve and dampening public support for the uprising.

On the fourth day of protests on Jan. 29, following the withdrawal of police from the streets of Cairo, state media disseminated rumours about roving gangs of looters and criminals going house to house terrorizing residents – there were even scattered reports of rape. Although the rumours later proved unfounded, they succeeded in driving a significant portion of the Tahrir protesters – fearing for their families and property – back to their homes.

Authorities appeared unable to prevent Friday’s “Departure” protest due to the sheer numbers involved. But they did what they could to make life as difficult as possible for participants by depriving them of access to food, water and basic facilities.

One day earlier, security forces raided the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, a Cairo-based human rights organization with offices located not far from Tahrir Square. Along with mobilizing activists via Internet and mobile phone, the centre had planned to help re-supply protesters with needed medical supplies.

“Security forces seized most of our equipment and arrested the activists working there,” Mohamed Adel, 6 April press director told IPS. “And in the two days before the protest, the army, along with government thugs, prevented the entry of any food or medicine into the square. We watched as the army seized and destroyed all the medicine that people tried to bring in to the protesters.”

Demonstrators who ventured out from Tahrir into adjacent neighbourhoods seeking food and supplies were no more fortunate.

“We tried to buy some food from a nearby shop, but we were threatened by a pro-Mubarak thug who pulled a knife on us,” said one 34-year-old demonstrator who camped out at Tahrir Square on Friday night. “He accused us of trying to steal food before ordering us to go home.”

Life for Cairo’s general populace, meanwhile, has been made much more difficult by evening curfews (imposed every day since Jan. 28), general supply shortages and bank closures. Many have complained about abrupt price hikes and the inability to find basic commodities.

“For at least one week now, lines for subsidized bread have stretched around the block,” Rasha Mahmoud, a 31-year-old housewife from Cairo’s low- income Sayyeda Zeinab district told IPS. “To get a canister of gas for my oven, I practically have to sleep outside the outlet where they’re sold.”

State media has deftly used the situation as a propaganda weapon, placing all blame for the turbulent state of affairs on the ongoing demonstrations.

“When will these demonstrators return to their homes and stop causing these problems?” asked one agitated caller on state television’s Channel 1. “With all the banks closed, I can’t get the money I need to buy food.”

The strategy has not been without effect.

“I stopped participating in the Tahrir Square demonstrations on Jan. 1,” Moatez Mohamed Gamil, 29-year-old sales director at a private Cairo-based company told IPS. “Prices are going up and now it’s difficult to find gasoline and certain other products. It’s paralyzing the country; it’s affecting everyone.

“Mubarak has said that he wouldn’t run for a sixth term as president. The uprising has accomplished one of its main objectives,” Gamil added.”It’s time to go home.”

Amr Mohamed, a 31-year-old coffee shop employee who likewise participated in the first few days of protests, voiced similar concerns.

“I only found a job three months ago after being unemployed for almost one year,” he said. “Now I’m afraid that, if the demonstrations continue, I won’t find work again for a long, long time.”

Yet despite these fears of economic uncertainty, protesters at Tahrir remain steadfast, calling for million-strong protests every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday until their demands for the president’s ouster are met.

“We will remain in possession of Tahrir Square until Mubarak goes,” Maher asserted.

“For these people it’s do or die,” said the 26-year-old activist, preferring anonymity. “They believe that if they abandon Tahrir now, they’ll be arrested or tortured. The fear in the square is palpable – but their spirits are high.” (END)

The above article can be found here: Political Energy Powers Exhausted Protesters

Egypt’s blood is on Obama’s hands

Posted in ZioBama on February 8, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Information Clearing House; February 3, 2011

The United States and Israel were caught off-guard by the size and ferocity of the demonstrations in Egypt, but they have since regained their balance and caught up to events. The two allies have settled on a strategy to preserve the Mubarak dictatorship (in some form) and assure that US-Israel regional hegemony will not be challenged.

Thus, the Obama administration will continue to offer lip-service to democracy and human rights, while coordinating efforts with Mubarak to maintain Washington’s stranglehold on power in Cairo.

The first step in this process, is to quash the rebellion with force.

Yesterday, after promising he would not use violence against the protesters, Mubarak deployed his goons to Tahrir Square where they attacked the assembly with batons, rocks, and clubs. Men on horseback and camels charged into the crowd sending droves of protesters fleeing in panic.

Al Jazeera reported that hundreds of people were injured in the melee. It’s clear that the so-called “Mubarak supporters” were not civilians at all, but members of the feared Egyptian security forces in disguise. The Obama administration is aware of the clashes but has refused to condemn the perpetrators. Obama is now sticking to a script that was written by powerbrokers in Washington and Tel Aviv.

Obama’s speech on Tuesday was aptly summarized by As’ad Abukhalil, blogging on The Angry Arab website. Here’s what he said:

“I just read the speech by Obama: it confirmed my suspicion, that basically Mubarak was permitted by the US to do with the Egyptian people as he would like…Every drop of blood that is spilled in Egypt from this day onwards should be blamed on Obama because he has embraced this new strategy of letting Mubarak defy the popular will of the Egyptian people.

I don’t trust the Egyptian army: the top brass is handpicked by the US/Israel and can be easily bought off by a combination of bribes, gadgets and perks. They could care less about the Egyptian people.  This is part of the ruling group of this tyrant. 

The speech by Obama was a not-so-coded language that let Mubarak do what he wished: the talk about transition means that he was basically told to stay in power, because Israel really freaked out at the prospect of Egypt without Mubarak… Make no mistake about it: this could be like the 1953 Operation Ajax in Iran.  The US is now arranging for a coup against the will of the Egyptian people… It requires utmost vigilance and steadfastness and thus far those qualities have been abundant among the Egyptian people. This move by Obama towards Egypt can be described as criminal because it will lead to blood on the streets…..

I say this without any hyperbole: the US is willing to have millions of Arab oppressed, killed, and tortured to preserve the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. I strongly believe that.” (Angry Arab website)

Israel’s leaders and surrogates in the media are “freaking out” as Abukhalil notes. Commentators across the ideological spectrum — from Thomas Friedman to Alan Dershowitz – have weighed in on how the world will come to an end if democracy breaks out in Egypt. Case in point, here’s a clip from Friedman’s latest essay:

“I’m meeting a retired Israeli general at a Tel Aviv hotel. As I take my seat, he begins the conversation with: “Well, everything we thought for the last 30 years is no longer relevant.”

That pretty much sums up the disorienting sense of shock and awe that the popular uprising in Egypt has inflicted on the psyche of Israel’s establishment. The peace treaty with a stable Egypt was the unspoken foundation for every geopolitical and economic policy in Israel for the last 35 years, and now it’s gone.” (“B.E., Before Egypt. A.E.., After Egypt”, Thomas Friedman, New York Times)

Friedman’s article is a shocking admission that “only Israel counts”. But what about other people’s struggles for freedom and human rights; don’t they matter or are the aspirations of millions of people living under tyranny supposed to be dismissed because  they could pose a challenge to Israel’s prized national security? This is cultural narcissism at its worst. The Egyptian people should not have to sacrifice their rights to satisfy the Zionist dream.

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Judith Miller of FOX News, who played a critical roll in propagating the lies which led to the Iraq War. Miller dispels any illusion that one might have about Israel’s commitment to liberty and democracy.

Judith Miller: “As long-standing allies and admirers distance themselves from Egypt’s autocratic regime, President Hosni Mubarak has found himself with only one serious ally left in the Middle East — Israel.

While Washington has publicly chided its stalwart ally of 30 years, urging him to stop repressing his people and speed the transition to democracy, only Israel and two conservative Arab monarchies — the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Saudi Arabia — have publicly embraced Mubarak…Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Mubarak by phone early in the crisis, the Israeli press reported, assuring him of Israel’s continuing support…..

It is Egypt, for instance, that has helped Israel and the United States maintain the embargo around the Gaza Strip… Cairo, like Israel, has also been critical of Iran’s efforts to flex political muscle in the region and its nuclear policies.” (“Mubarak Finds a Strong Ally in Israel”, Judith Miller, Fox News)

Is there any doubt where Miller stands on the issue of human rights vs. Israeli security?

Predictably, Obama has cast his lot with Miller, Netanyahu, and old friend, Hosni Mubarak. In fact, Imad Ad-Din Ad-Dib, the chief spokesman for the Mubarak regime, said today on Al-Arabiyah TV that the Egyptian Army was preparing a statement that would ban all future demonstrations. That means that Obama has given Mubarak the green light to crush the revolt while he works on his public relations strategyWe should expect that every act of brutality against unarmed Egyptian civilians will now be accompanied by a stern rebuke from Obama invoking his unwavering commitment to “universal values and human rights.”

Was there ever a bigger champion of the Bush Doctrine than Barack Obama?

The above article can be found here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27408.htm

EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: Israel puts assets at Suleiman’s disposal ‘to protect regime,’ approves deployment of Egypt troops in Sinai

Posted in RACHEL CORRIE BRIGADES on February 4, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Middle East Monitor; February 1, 2011

Well-placed Israeli sources have disclosed that the Zionist state has offered to place “all its capabilities” at the disposal of General Omar Suleiman, the recently appointed Vice President of Egypt, for the “protection of the regime in Egypt”. This offer includes the implementation of “various operations to end the popular revolution”. Israel has also asked Suleiman to work on preventing arms being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

An official in Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called Suleiman, who is also the director of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, and expressed his concern about the situation in Egypt. Netanyahu apparently suggested the possibility of Israeli intelligence personnel undertaking various specialist operations to bring an end to the demonstrations. The source added that Netanyahu and Suleiman also discussed ways of securing the border between Israel and Egypt.

The Hebrew newspaper Ma’ariv revealed that in recent days highly placed individuals in Netanyahu’s office have conducted a series of telephone conversations with Suleiman to impress on the Vice President the necessity of coordinating on security with Israel. The telephone conversations were described as “urgent” and were designed to alert the Egyptians about the consequences of losing control of the tunnels described by many as Gaza’s “lifeline” during the Israeli blockade. Israel is, claims Ma’ariv, concerned about increased activity in the tunnels “given the developments in progress inside Egypt” which have seen the Egyptian army “softening its anti-smuggling activities”. In addition, it is claimed that there has been an increase in the number of illegal immigrants entering Israel from Egyptian territory.

Sources inside the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Israel does not rule out General Suleiman “sacrificing his ties to Israel in order to satisfy the Egyptian street and bestow a measure of legitimacy on his appointment in the general opinion of the public”. Suleiman maintains strong ties with Israeli officials and was responsible for several files linked to the Zionist state, including those relating to the ceasefire and a possible prisoner exchange deal with Hamas.

The above article can be found here: http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2009-israel-places-resources-at-suleimans-disposal-qto-protect-the-egyptian-regimeq

 


 

‘Israel consents to deployment of Egyptian troops in Sinai’ Middle East Monitor; February 1, 2011

Egypt has sent around 800 soldiers to the Sinai Peninsula in response to the popular demonstrations demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Israel gave its consent for the deployment following an official request from the Egyptian government. The troops are concentrated around the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in southern Sinai. The whole peninsula has been an almost totally demilitarized zone since the 1979 peace treaty was signed between Egypt and Israel.

The above article can be found here: http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2008-israel-consents-to-deployment-of-egyptian-troops-in-sinai

EGYPTIAN INTIFADA: Israeli planes carrying crowd dispersal weapons arrive in Egypt, says rights group

Posted in RACHEL CORRIE BRIGADES on February 4, 2011 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Middle East Monitor; January 31, 2011

The International Network for Rights and Development has claimed that Israeli logistical support has been sent to Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to help his regime confront demonstrations demanding that he steps down as head of state. According to reports by the non-governmental organization, three Israeli planes landed at Cairo’s Mina International Airport on Saturday carrying hazardous equipment for use in dispersing and suppressing large crowds.

In the statement circulated by the International Network, it was disclosed that Egyptian security forces received the complete cargoes on three Israeli planes which were, it is claimed, carrying an abundant supply of internationally proscribed gas to disperse unwanted crowds. If the reports are accurate, this suggests that the Egyptian regime is preparing for the worst in defense of its position, despite the country sinking into chaos.

On Sunday 30 January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israeli government ministers in a public statement saying: “Our efforts aim at the continued maintenance of stability and security in the region… and I remind you that peace between the Israeli establishment and Egypt has endured for over three decades… we currently strive to guarantee the continuity of these relations.” Netanyahu added, “We are following the events unfolding in Egypt and the region with vigilance… and it is incumbent at this time that we show responsibility, self-restraint and maximum consideration for the situation… in the hope that the peaceful relations between the Israeli establishment and Egypt continue…”

The Israeli prime minister urged Israeli government ministers to refrain from making any additional statements to the media.

The above article can be found here: http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2001-rights-ngo-claims-that-israeli-planes-carrying-crowd-dispersal-weapons-have-arrived-in-egypt

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