Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”

Egyptian move to ‘barricade’ Palestinians slammed
January 12, 2010
By Asim Hussain

LAHORE

NOTED Pakistani Islamic scholars have joined their counterparts elsewhere in the Muslim world to condemn Cairo for constructing a huge metal and concrete wall along its border with Gaza which will literally starve Palestinians to death.

Religious clerics from a wide spectrum of Muslim schools of thought have criticised Cairo which, they said, had been acting as a stooge in the hands of Washington and Tel Aviv. They called upon Muslim Ummah to rise to the occasion, calling for their urgent help in the name of Muslim brotherhood and Islamic principles of helping out the oppressed.

They also criticized Al Azhar University, Egypt’s largest Islamic institution, for issuing an edict justifying the construction of wall in the name of national security. Pakistani scholars praised those few Muslim scholars of the world who dared to raise voice against Cairo and Al-Azhar such as Qatar’s cleric Allama Yusuf Qardhawi, Yemen’s Sheikh Abdul Majid Zandani, Cairo University’s Dr Abdul Saboor Shaheen, Kuwait’s Sheikh Hamid bin Abdullah Al-Ali and Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s Syed Munawwar Hasan. They have condemned rest of the Muslim world, particularly the states who are keeping a criminal silence over the issue.

Many Pakistani clerics and religious groups will be holding protest meetings in coming days to condemn Cairo’s move, while some of the big institutions such as Jamia Ashrafia – the largest university affiliated with Deobandy school of thought in Lahore – has already held meetings, condemning Cairo for such a blatant violation of Islam and demanding immediate reversal of the decision.

Cairo has already completed initial phase of 10-kilometre long wall which will also go down 50 to 60 feet into the ground to cut off the tunnels which Tel Aviv accuses Palestinians of using to smuggle arms along with food supplies into Gaza. Cairo has also practically shut its border crossings with Gaza under Tel Aviv’s demands. This porous border was the only available link of Gaza with the outside world since Israel constructed a similar wall on Gaza boundary with the occupied lands, turning the area into a literal prison camp.

Renowned scholar and chairman Central Royat Hilal Committee, Mufti Munibur Rehman said Cairo’s move could provide Israel a fresh license for a renewed spate of Palestinians’ genocide which, God forbid, could result into complete wiping out of Palestinian Muslims from the face of the world besides turning entire Palestine into Israel.

Talking to The News, the head of Pakistan’s official moon sighting committee, said the Egyptian wall could prove more disastrous than those of Israel and Germany since it could change the geography of the world on a large scale. Terming the wall against Islamic principles of Muslim brotherhood and helping the oppressed, he said: “Why has Cairo cited a flimsy argument like national security for clamping prison like restrictions on 1.5 million Palestinian Muslims languishing under extreme Israeli-Egyptian blockade for the last many years that caused deaths to thousands of patients, infants and other Palestinians”.

Mufti Munib, who is also the head of the board governing seminaries belonging to Barelvi school of thought, noted that Cairo had always been acting as US-protÈgÈ since the signing of Camp David accord, carrying out Washington’s agenda in the region. He said besieged Gaza people never threatened Egyptian security though they managed to smuggle small amounts of food, milk and medicines etc. through Egyptian borders in their attempts to ward off serious scarcity of vital supplies.

“Cairo’s move to construct Israel-like wall against Palestinians is heart rending for entire Muslim Ummah, and we in Pakistan are so deeply grieved that we don’t have words to condemn Mobarak administration,” said Hafiz Fazl-e-Rahim, head of Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, while talking to The News. He said Cairo not only turned against fellow Muslims but also betrayed Allah Almighty for giving away the first Qibla (House of worship) of Muslims to the enemies literally in a platter, instead of waging jihad for its recovery.

Maulana Abdul Maalik, noted scholar and president Jamiat Ittehad-ul-Ulema, termed Cairo’s wall as anti-Islamic, anti-humanity, and in serious violation of rights given by Islam, besides the ‘much talked-about’ fundamental human rights. He said such a move that allowed enemies of Islam to commit mass murders of Muslims was highly condemnable and entire Ummah should raise voice against it.

Maulana Abdul Maalik equated Cairo’s move with Islamabad’s U-turn on Afghan policy providing vital support to US forces to overthrow Taliban’s Islamic regime in Afghanistan in the wake of 9-11. “Hosni Mobarak’s action is similar to the strategic and logistic support given by General Pervez Musharraf to the US forces invading Afghanistan resulting into massacre of over a million fellow Muslims,” he said.

Maulana Abdul Maalik also slammed the religious edict issued to Cairo by Egypt’s largest Islamic university justifying the construction of wall on the plea of national security. He said any edict allowing committing blatant violations of Quran, Sunnah and Islamic principles of brotherhood, besides the ‘world known’ human rights, had no value in the eyes of Muslim scholars, since anything like that is believed to have been issued under government pressure.

Noted Shia scholar, Allama Abdul Jalil Naqvi, said Cairo’s vital help in likely massacre of millions of Palestinian Muslims was a matter of great shame for the entire nation. Talking to The News, the leader of the largest religious party of Shia sect in Pakistan, said Egypt had always been a partner in Israeli and US genocide of Palestinians despite serious protests by Muslim ummah. Cairo’s latest move to construct an iron wall on the remaining boundaries of Gaza is nothing but pure enmity of Islam, he said.

Naqvi wondered under what Shariah Al-Azhar justified and aided Israeli plans of wiping out entire Palestinian population of Gaza. He said Al-Azhar appeared to be working under the slavery of Cairo rulers instead of Allah Almighty.

Source

Egyptian Activists File Suit To Stop Gaza Wall

By Mohamed Abdel Salam

January 7 2010

Cairo: A former Egyptian ambassador, Ibrahim Yousry, in addition to 250 Egyptian and foreign political activists, jurists and parliamentarians filed a lawsuit before an administrative court on Monday against both President Mubarak, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, and Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Habib Al- Adli. The suit urged them, first, to suspend the decision to build a steel separating wall along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and, second, to stop the Egyptian government’s decision to close the Rafah crossing.

Political forces said in their lawsuit that the Egyptian Government is violating tenets of international law and human rights charters, particularly the 1907 Hague Rules, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and customary rules of international law which are supported and reinforced by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The lawsuit was signed by representatives of both conservative and liberal political forces, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Yousry, who initiated a lawsuit to stop exporting Egyptian gas to Israel, as well as a number of other activists, including Dr. Abdel Halim Kandil, Dr. Abdel Jalil Mostafa, Dr. Karima El-Hefnawy, MP Mohamed Al Omda. The group also includes journalists, a activists from the 6th of April Movement, along with a number of French, American and European activists.

For his part, Ibrahim Yousry told local newspapers that all political movements have confirmed their opposition to the wall and the closure of the Rafah crossing and the participation of the Egyptian Government in support of the Israeli siege of a million Palestinians.

The activists, after finishing the proceedings before the administrative court of the State Council in Giza, went to the Egyptian Attorney General and organized a protest in front of his office, chanting slogans like “stop the wall… break the siege”, ” tunnels are legal as long as the convoys are banned” and “wall of shame… humiliation of the siege”.

Source

Jordon Activists protest Gaza wall at Egyptian embassy Jan 12 2010

Come the iron wall-Gaza Tunnels only used for Necessities

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Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip GFM

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 1:12 am  Comments Off on Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”  
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Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing

Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing those with permits to cross.

Authorities said that by early afternoon on Sunday around 133 people had crossed from Gaza into Egypt – mostly students with visas for foreign countries, and patients in need urgent of medical care.

Another 25 people crossed the other direction – largely those who live in Egypt with family in Gaza, or Palestinians who had been unable to return home due to the border closures.

Egypt had announced last week it would be opening Rafah – the only border crossing into Gaza not controlled by Israel – from January 3 to 6.

Although opened sporadically, the Rafah border crossing has largely remained shut – as have the Israeli-controlled crossings into Gaza – since Hamas gained full control of the territory through violent Palestinian infighting in June 2007.

The siege of Gaza has been the source of recent protests, planned to coincide with the anniversary of Israel’s 22-day offensive in the Strip.

Hundreds of people rallied in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night, chanting slogans and waving signs calling for “Freedom and Justice in Gaza”.

‘Freedom’ march

On the Egyptian side of the border, hundreds of international activists held repeated protests around Cairo this week demanding the authorities permanently reopen the crossing point.

Around 1,300 members of the Gaza Freedom March (GFM) had gathered in Egypt from more than 40 countries to march to Gaza with aid and supplies as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinians there.

However, Egyptian authorities barred the group from crossing the border, citing security reasons, and instead offering to allow 100 members to cross.

Up to 92 delegates did eventually cross into Gaza, meeting with non-governmental organisations and witnessing first-hand the devastation wrought by last year’s war and the continuing siege of the Strip, march organisers told Al Jazeera.

Many of the GFM activists were leaving Cairo on Sunday for their respective countries with a sense of accomplishment, Ann Wright, a co-ordinator for the march, said.

On Friday, the Gaza Freedom March approved the “Cairo Declaration” , a document calling for the end of Israeli occupation and Palestinian self-determination, as well as for “boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law”.

Backed by a delegation from South Africa, the document also made repeated reference to Israel as an apartheid state, and made comparison’s to the former South African government.

Wright, a retired US army colonel and diplomat who resigned from the US state department in protest against the Iraq war in 2003, said organisers “want to build on what has occurred by having this march, and expand it so that we can keep the attention on the plight of the people of Gaza”.

“These things are really unprecedented in Egypt I think,” she said. “I don’t think there’s ever been this type of international demonstrations here.”

However, Wright said that to Egypt’s credit, and despite heavy-handed use of force by police at times, the government did allow them to hold demonstrations outside the UN, Israeli, US and French embassies, contrary to what some expected.

UK convoy

Cairo has also come under increasing criticism for reportedly strengthening a wall along the Gaza border, with Palestinians concerned it might affect underground smuggling tunnels used to bring in basic supplies, such as food, but also weapons.

Meanwhile, a long-delayed aid convoy destined for the Gaza Strip is expected to arrive in the coastal territory on Monday.

The Viva Palestina convoy, with 210 lorries full of medicine and other supplies, set out from the UK nearly a month ago.

A ferry carrying the supplies reportedly arrived in the Egyptian port El Arish on the Mediterranean on Sunday after sailing from Latakia in Syria.

Source

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Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 4:03 am  Comments Off on Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip  
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Coping with global financial crisis

By Patrick Kagenda

October 31 2008

As the American economy struggles to recover from the credit crunch and European economies jostle with rescuing their financial institutions, subsidiary of American companies operating in Uganda are maintaining an upbeat facade, claiming they are not affected by the American economic woes.

Mr. Erick Rakama, Business development manager at DHL an American courier service provider, told The Independent that despite DHL cutting operations in USA, the action will have no effect on DHL Uganda operations. “Each country operates autonomously,” said Rakama.

Ms Poonam, the operations manager at UPS Uganda, another American courier company said the effects are strictly on the American market and not on the local markets like the Ugandan market. “We are not affected at all”, she said.

At AIG Uganda, Alex Wanjohi, AIG Uganda Managing Director said AIG Inc has decided to refocus the company on its core property and casualty insurance businesses which includes AIG Uganda Limited. This means it is business as usual for AIG South African operations where AIG Uganda falls.

“We operate autonomously and throughout the challenges faced by AIG Inc, AIG Uganda’s financial position has not been affected at all,” he said, “We have retained a very strong financial position and we continue to pay claims and write new business as usual”.

The Chief Executive of the Uganda Securities exchange, Mr Simon Rutega, said the lack of confidence in financial markets poses a potential for turmoil.

“In the short run the global credit crunch may not affect Uganda because our securities, our companies and our economies have no direct correlation,” he said, “We are not entangled with those markets despite the remittances coming from those economies, however the effect would be in the long run if this problem progresses.”

Uganda exports mainly primary commodities.

He said there could be a reduction in donor aid and support to social services.

“We have also learned that we have to be careful with these derivatives so, we have to verify whether those instruments are effective or not,” he said.

Experts continue to echo Rutega’s claim that African stock exchanges are insulated from the financial turmoil because of their limited links to the global economy.

“All of Africa represents only one percent of global trade,” Willy Ontsia, head of the Central Africa Stock and Shares Market (BVMAC) in Libreville said;

“If the crisis is short, its impact on Africa and emerging market economies will be relatively weak.”

“But if the crisis is prolonged, that will have an impact on several indicators that affect growth in developing countries,” he said, noting that a global slowdown would affect trade in raw materials — the backbone of many of the continent’s economies.

“Africa is less exposed because of its limited links to the international financial community… but I have reason to worry about the economic effects of the financial crisis on the continent,” said Donald Kaberuka, head of the African Development Bank (ADB).

“It’s the long-term effects that cause us great worry,” he told a press conference in Tunis.

But World Bank President Robert Zoellick last week said that developing nations may be at “a tipping point”.

“We have seen the dark side of global connectedness,” he said as the turmoil battered markets from Cairo to Johannesburg, posing risks to foreign investment and trade that could threaten Africa’s recent economic gains.

Some economists insist that the financial crisis will hit poor and rich countries the same “because there is no decoupling between their performances”.

Due to differences in their starting situations, the outcome will be different and growth in developing economies will slow but not so much as in advanced countries as their trade and capital accounts suffer.

Egypt’s main index plunged more than 16 percent at one point last week, mirroring spectacular losses around the world amid worries about European banks and doubts about the 700 billion dollar US bailout package.

The main index in South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, fell by seven percent but stabilised with trading in marginally positive territory.

Other key markets, including oil-exporter Nigeria and Morocco, suffered far less dramatic declines, while some bourses in countries like Ivory Coast have actually posted small gains.

Economies like South Africa, which are more connected to international finance, are more easily affected by the global turmoil, seen in the volatility on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, said Razia Khan of Standard Charter Bank in London.

“For the rest of Africa, the global financial market rout is likely to mean a rise in risk aversion,” she said, warning that international investors were likely to seek stability rather than the risks posed by emerging markets.

Daniel Makina, a risk management expert at the University of South Africa, said those indirect effects could prove just as damaging for African economies, especially if exports to the rest of the world slow down.

“South Africa does a lot of trade with US and Europe especially,” Makina told AFP. “A recession in the US and Europe will impact on South Africa exports.”

Crude oil accounts for more than 50 percent of Africa’s exports, with Angola and Nigeria the biggest producers, according to the World Bank.

Worries that weak global growth will reduce demand for fuel have already sent oil prices tumbling to eight-month lows.

“All these things have ripple effects that could hurt growth,” Ontsia said. “Our fear is that this crisis will continue.”

  • Due to a general shortage of credit, poor countries will increasingly find it difficult to access finance.
  • Inflation, which is the main problem for the poor, could be reduced.
  • General re-pricing of risk due to the crisis will increase the cost of borrowing
  • Economies that depend on exports will be most impacted, especially due to a softening in commodity prices

Source

Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 5:51 am  Comments Off on Coping with global financial crisis  
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