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calendar   Wednesday - October 29, 2014

Controlling A Different Kind Of Disease

Egypt To Build 0.5 Km X 10 Km Buffer Zone With Gaza Strip

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hundreds of buildings in border town of Rafah to be destroyed

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to be replaced by armed fence and 500m wide open ground

Following last week’s terror attack that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai, Egyptian army starts clearing 500 meters wide buffer zone that extends 10-kilometer.

The Egyptian army on Wednesday began work to establish a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip following last week’s terror attack that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.

Egyptian media outlets and military officials have accused the terrorists, whose identity remains unknown, of being linked to radical elements inside the Gaza Strip. Some Egyptians have even suggested that the terrorists may have come to Sinai through smuggling tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The 10-kilometer long buffer zone is 500 meters wide, Egyptian security officials said. They said that the buffer zone is part of a massive crackdown ordered by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in the aftermath of the Sinai terror attack.

The buffer zone will require the Egyptian authorities to evict 1,100 families from their homes.

Sources in Sinai said that dozens of families began leaving their homes already on Tuesday night after being warned by the Egyptian army. They added that among those evicted are Palestinian and Bedouin families.

Also Wednesday, the Egyptian army demolished a number of houses close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

An Egyptian security official said that the authorities have offered to compensate the families who lost their homes with 1,200 Egyptian Pounds ($160) per meter. He said that altogether, some 680 houses will be demolished in pave the way for the creation of the security zone.

“One does not know how far this could reach,” said a farmer in Egypt’s Rafah region.

Abu Taleb who owns agriculture land planted with citrus and apple trees says he fears that the intention of the Egyptian military to establish a buffer zone will swallow his land.

Egyptian forces are slated to clear the area of vegetation and structures in the coming days, in addition to removing hundreds of Bedouin homes in the area.

“This is the worst period in my 48 years in Sinai. Of course we are against all terrorist attacks that hit our army,” Abu Taleb said, indicating that the current security measures taken by the Egyptian military means further suffering for the population of the Sinai Peninsula.

The Egyptian military have issued an emergency declaration across the northern Sinai Peninsula, which effectively seizes control over the region and restricts the movement of traffic and commercial activities.

The Sinai is that triangle of land between the two forks of water at the north end of the Red Sea, east of Cairo and the Nile Delta. The left, western, fork is the Gulf of Suez, where the Suez Canal is. Sinai is part of Egypt. Rafah is a small farming community in Sinai, Egypt, along the border with the Gaza Strip, north of the eastern fork, the Gulf of Aqaba. Most of the land up against the border is orchards and fields. The 10 kilometer length of this buffer zone means it will run the entire width of the Gaza Strip along the Egyptian Sinai border. South of that on the east side of the border the land belongs to Israel, what we call the Negev Desert. The whole area has been a hotbed of lawlessness and terrorists and smugglers for quite some time.

The Egyptian Army on Friday killed a leader of the country’s most active militant group, the Sinai-based Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM), according to a report on al-Arabiya, which cited a military spokesman on Facebook.

The action follows the killing of 16 members of the group last Tuesday, the same day that ABM executed four Egyptian Bedouins. Egypt said last week it had killed a field commander of ABM, Mohammad Abu Shatiya, in clashes south of Rafah, a city in north Sinai near the border with Gaza.

Shehata Farhan, the leader killed on Friday, was implicated in operations targeting police and security forces and was killed during a raid in Rafah, the army spokesman said.

ABM claimed that one of the four Bedouins executed was killed for “collaborating with the Egyptian army”, and the other three were slaughtered for “collaborating with Israeli Mossad”. The first was executed by a gun, the other three were beheaded. Collaboration is viewed locally as spying.

...

Since 2011, ABM, or “Supporters of the Holy House”, have become very active in the Sinai Desert and have a strong relationship with Islamic State groups in Iraq and Syria. Often, both sides praise each other and vow to continue fighting against any Arab army declared by these groups as an “apostasy army”. 



An Egyptian security official speaking to Middle East Eye on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic, stated that the group is active in Sinai and has been involved in several attacks, including a failed attempt to assassinate a former minister of interior last year.



The group stands behind 13 bombings of gas pipelines connecting Egypt and Israel, and has made it clear that those supplying Israel with natural gas are “infidels” and “treasonous” and has suggested that Egyptian gas will expire in five years.



In one of ABM’s videos, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is shown praising those who bombed the gas pipelines, stating “they are those who don’t accept injustice”.

A senior Egyptian security official in Sinai said that membership of ABM is estimated at no more than 200 members in north Sinai, with 95 percent of them from Bedouin clans who are affected by the Wahhabi way of thinking, while about 5 percent come from outside Egypt. In Egypt, the group is declared to be a “terrorist” group.

Oh yeah. Happy Town, for sure. But ya gotta love how the news reporter gets his news from the source - straight off of Facebook.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2014 at 12:08 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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