2011-01-16 Protests in Egypt

 

Al Jazeera reports from Cairo, Egypt, where some are hoping to follow Tunisia’s example and have an uprising of their own. “Down with corruption, Down with autocracy, Down with dictators!” they chant.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit downplayed any risk of a Tunisian style uprising in Egypt.

“The talk about the spread of what happened in Tunisia to other countries is nonsense. Each society has its own circumstances,” Abul Gheit told reporters in Sharm el-Sheikh.

 

Egypt is not Tunisia, But … is the headline of an article from uruknet which debates the differences and the likelihood of sudden regime change in Egypt. Many agree that revolt is less likely in Eqypt. But,

They are alike in that nobody wants them and nobody likes them,” says Ibrahim Issa, editor of the online daily Al-Dostor and one of the main critics of the regime in Egypt.

 

2011-08-13 Protests around the world

Syria:

  • The Local Co-ordination Committees say 7-8 people have been killed across Syria so far today: 4 in Homs, 1 in Hama, 1 in Daraya and 1 or 2 in Latakia. Shooting continues.
  • This video reportedly shows Bashar al Assad’s picture taken down and destroyed at Syrian Airlines international sites.
  • Friday’s death toll is being reported as 23.
  • This video shows a funeral in Douma, where five people, including a young woman, were reported killed by government forces on Friday. The crowd is being estimated at “tens of thousands” by Al Jazeera.
  • Thousands are still being arrested.
  • Tanks entered Lataika and heavy artillery was being reported there.
  • Turkey isn’t ruling out international intervention in Syria if the Bashar al-Assad regime doesn’t stop using violence against its own people, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

 

Israel: 25,000 assemble in Haifa, 20,000 people fill Rager Boulevard in Be’er Sheva, in Afula, some 15,000 people gather, more than 1,500 people march down the city’s main street in Eilat. Haaretz reports. It was the first time in nearly a month that Tel Aviv did not hold a march. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in other cities throughout Israel, with 8,000 demonstrating in Modi’in, 7,000 in Netanya, 5,000 in Petah Tikva, 3,500 in Hod Hasharon, 2,500 in Ramat Hasharon, 2,000 in Rosh Pina, 1,500 in Rishon Letzion, 1,500 in Eilat, 1,500 in Dimona and 1,500 in Nahariya.

Yemen: Hundreds of thousands protested in Sana, and at least 17 other cities and towns,the largest turnout since President Ali Abdullah Saleh left a hospital in Saudi Arabia, where he was recovering from wounds suffered in a June attack on his palace compound, and signaled he intends to return home soon.

South Korea: Continuing the labour protests related to the mass layoffs at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction, the 4th Hope Riders, a festival in which people around the country ride down to the Youngdo shipyard to show solidarity and support to the crane protester Kim Jinsuk, launches in Seoul on the 27th August. The protest of Kim Jinsukenters its 219th day.

United States: Anonymous has a message for the people of San Francisco. “The Bay Area Rapid Transit has made the conscious decision of ordering various cell phone companies to terminate services for the downtown area inhibiting those in the area from using cell phones – even in the case of an emergency.” They are organizing a peaceful protest at Civic Center station on Monday, August 15th at 5pm. They are calling for non-violence and requesting that people bring and use cameras. They are requesting that people outside of San Francisco, show solidarity by using black fax, email bombs, and phone calls to the BART Board of Directors. Tomorrow, Sunday – August 14, 2011 at High Noon Pacific Time we, Anonymous – will remove from the internet the web site of BART located at www.bart.gov for exactly six hours. That’s twice as long as they shut off the cell phones for. BART decided to cut off your communications and now we will flood theirs. Follow #OpBart on Twitter.

US Day of Rage is posting video guidelines for non-violent civil disobedience in the leadup to their September 17 protests.

Chile: In response to the ongoing student led protests for free and equal education in Chile, Government spokesman Andres Chadwick says Chile “is not going to be governed from the street.” Students have been marching for over two months and are asking for a referendum.

China: Thousands of people in Qianxi County, Guizhou province smashed ten vehicles and torched another five, said Xinhua, China’s state news agency. According to Reuters, “China saw almost 90,000 such “mass incidents” of riots, protests, mass petitions and other acts of unrest in 2009, according to a 2011 study by two scholars from Nankai University in north China. Some estimates go even higher.” “In fact, China has riots more serious than England’s every week,” said one Weibo comment.

Egypt: Brief clashes between protesters and security broke out in an otherwise peaceful demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square where a few hundred people gathered on Friday to protest the continuing military rule.

2011-04-12 Hosni Mubarak and Sons Detained for fifteen days #Egypt

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Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will bedetained for 15 days, according to the facebook page of Egypt’s prosecutor general, on accusations of corruption and abuse of authority. The facebook statement says the investigation will cover the orders to open fire on demonstrators (covered here on WL Central) as well as any abuse of the president’s authority for personal gain.

Earlier today Mubarak was reported by state TV to be taken into intensive care after suffering heart problems following questioning over the killing of protesters and embezzling of public funds. Mubarak’s sons sons Alaa and Gamal have also been detained for investigation regarding corruption and violence.

The announcement is a victory for protesters who early on Saturday filled Tahrir Squarewith hundreds of thousands for one of the biggest protests since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Protesters demanded a more thorough removal of the corrupt old regime and a transfer of power from the military council to civilian rule. Thirteen people are reported wounded and two dead from an attempt by the army to clear the protesters. “All of us, the people, the army and the government, feel regret for the events of last Saturday,” the Egyptian prime minister, Essam Sharaf said on state TV on Monday.

MENA, the state news media, also reported that Safwat Sherif, former head of the upper house of parliament, was to be detained in Torah Prison for 15 days as part of a probe into accusations of graft, and Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the lower house of parliament, was detained for questioning on Wednesday over accusations he had amassed large amounts of money illegally. The panel, chaired by senior justice ministry official Essam el-Gawahri, has been investigating businessmen and former officials suspected of corruption.

 

2011-02-08 Cable: Israel pressures Suleiman to close Gaza’s ‘feeding tube’ tunnels

Today, Wikileaks released two more cables detailing Israeli pressure on the residents of Gaza Strip. As reported by WL Central here, the closure of tunnels bringing basic supplies into the Gaza Strip from Egypt have caused an urgent humanitarian crises for the people of Gaza. But US state cables show Israel pressuring the US to link aid to Egypt with the complete closure of those tunnels and the prevention of any supplies reaching Gaza through Egypt. Egypt’s new vice president’s involvement is also discussed.

In November of 2007, Israel Security Agency (ISA) Director Yuval Diskin met with US officials to discuss the ‘problem’ of supplies moving from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. In 07TELAVIV3258Diskin outlines “a growing crisis in Israeli-Egyptian relations over smuggling across the Gaza border”. Diskin told the US representatives that the ISA had, on several occasions, provided Omar Suleiman, Chief of Egyptian Intelligence Services, with detailed intelligence on the names of smugglers. In 2005, Diskin said he met personally with Suleiman in Egypt, at which time Suleiman promised personally to take responsibility for “cleansing the Sinai.” Despite these promises, and Israeli offers to initiate joint operations, Diskin said Egypt has not acted to eliminate the smuggling networks. In Diskin’s view, there is a core policy problem, in that the Egyptians view themselves as the primary mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, and are careful not to alienate either side. “This is not possible with Hamas in Gaza,” insisted Diskin.

Diskin noted that the Egyptians do act promptly when they receive tangible information on imminent terrorist attacks and seek out tunnel openings in the Philedelphi corridor. In Diskin’s view, however, the tunnels are only a symptom of the more systemic smuggling problem. Goods are also transferred by sea and above ground by bribing Egyptian soldiers and officers, said Diskin. The tunnels themselves are designed with multiple openings, he continued, and remain operational even after the Egyptians seal up one or another.

Diskin shared that sources among the smugglers have told the ISA that Egypt permits their activities as long as they do not result in terror attacks within Egyptian territory. This shows that they can crack down on the smugglers if they have the will, said Diskin.

Suleiman recently sent a delegation to Israel to ask the ISA for help in blocking Congressional efforts to link aid to Egypt with security measures on the Gaza border. … The ISA believes that cooperation would be greatly improved by direct links to Egypt’s “Administration for National Security Investigations,” the domestic security agency operated within the Ministry of Interior. According to Diskin, Suleiman is blocking such discussions out of a desire to remain the sole point of contact for foreign intelligence. Such a relationship could be established if Mubarak were to support it directly, said Diskin, who suggested that USG assistance in facilitating contact between the agencies might be helpful.

2011-02-08 Suleiman is Israel’s preferred successor in Egypt

Cable 08TELAVIV1984, released by Wikileaks today, is headlined at Uruknet “New Wikileaks cable shows 2008 war on Gaza was unprovoked: Israel knew Hamas was enforcing ceasefire” referring to the 2008 massacre that resulted in approximately 1,400 Palestinians killed in 22 days, an operation in which Israeli soldiers had orders to “cleanse” entire neighbourhoods, orders which they carried out. That is evident in the first part of the cable, where MOD Arab Affairs Adviser David Hacham, says Suleiman was keeping the pressure on Hamas, but the Israelis were frustrated at Hamas’ ‘stalling tactics’ – Hamas was demanding Egyptian guarantees that Israel would not attack Gaza once Shalit was released. Regarding the Tahdiya, Hacham said Barak stressed that while it was not permanent, for the time being it was holding. There have been a number of violations of the ceasefire on the Gaza side, but Palestinian factions other than Hamas were responsible. Hacham said the Israelis assess that Hamas is making a serious effort to convince the other factions not to launch rockets or mortars.

The cable also returns to Egypt’s anti-smuggling efforts, enforced by Israel and the US, and this time Israel has “decided to praise Egypt’s performance publicly both in genuine acknowledgement of some improvements in destroying tunnels and in order to show the Egyptians that Israel was capable of praising as well as criticizing them. In private, however, Barak also pushed the Egyptians to do more, particularly in terms of stopping the smuggling well before the arms reach the Gaza border.”

“Hacham also said the Israeli delegation was “shocked” by Mubarak’s aged appearance and slurred speech. Hacham was full of praise for Suleiman, however, and noted that a “hot line” set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use. Hacham said he sometimes speaks to Soliman’s deputy Mohammed Ibrahim several times a day. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: 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 Suleiman.)”

2011-02-07 Protests and humanitarian crises in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Hundreds of Hamas supporters in Gaza City protested in the streets on February 3 in support of the Eyptian revolutions and against Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak with the apparent tolerance or encouragement of the Hamas government. But later this week, a group of journalists and bloggers who organized their own protest had their protest broken up. Six women and eight men were arrested, and two of the women were beaten.

In Ramallah rallies were also broken up before they started. The Palestinian Authority police beat protesters with clubs and arrested two at a rally for Egypt in front of the Egyptian embassy on Sunday. “Our rally was simply in support of Egypt,” one protester told Ma’an by phone, “we said nothing against the PA, we were not even out in the street.” Earlier the same day, the Palestinian Authority had organized a rally in support of Mubarak which accused Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed El Baradei of being a CIA agent. The pro-Mubarak rally attracted a few dozen, the rally for the Egyptian people hundreds.

The rallies now appear to have changed from simply supporting Egypt to including calls for reform in Gaza. A Facebook page appeared on January 28 calling for a revolution in Gaza and naming February 11 a day of protest against the Hamas government. Four days later, another page was set up on Facebook, calling for a revolution in Ramallah and the ouster of President Mahmoud Abbas.

As shown in the US state cables, Egypt has been accused by both the Emir of Qatar and the president of Syria of having no desire for the ‘peace process’ between Palestine and Israel to come to a conclusion, as that would also conclude his important role as a mediator. “The Egyptians’ goal is to stay in the game and maintain their relationship with the U.S., which is built around brokering Middle East peace, for as long as possible.” Between January 23 and 26th Al Jazeera released 1,684 files of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These documents also inflamed Palestinian opinions against the Palestinian Authority who were shown as acquiescing to almost all Israeli demands. “Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials said after a meeting of several groups that all were agreed that deals made with Israel by president Mahmud Abbas’s western-backed Palestinian Authority and his Fatah movement were invalid.”

The current situation in Egypt is having a potentially disastrous impact on residents of the Gaza Strip. The border between Gaza and Egypt is sealed shut, fuel imports have been cut off, and hundreds of people cannot reach medical care or separated family members. Egyptian workers who normally smuggle in fuel have fled to their homes or to fight Egyptian forces. According toMahmoud al-Shawa, president of the board of directors of the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority in the Strip, “Gaza needs 800,000 litres of diesel (200,000 for the main power station) and 300,000 litres of petrol daily. Only half of that requirement was available even before the Egyptian uprising. Most of Gaza’s supply must be smuggled through the tunnels from Egypt, since fuel from Israel is not only limited in quantity but too expensive for most residents.”

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza closed on January 30, leaving stranded many people who needed to cross for medical treatment, school, supplies or to be with family and causing the prices of many consumer goods to skyrocket. Although there have been recent reports of the Gaza underground tunnels, or ‘feeding tubes’, which were used to bring basic goods from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, now working in the opposite direction, the most recent reports say the tunnels are now closed.

Around 60 Palestinians, attempting to return home via Cairo when Gaza’s southern border closed, are still being held at Cairo airport. Among them are six children and several critically ill patients who are running out of medication. “The children don’t know what’s happening. Sometimes they’re crying. It’s very, very cold here; it’s crowded and there is nowhere for us to wash,” said one of the being detainees.

The biggest hospital, Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, has less than a week’s fuel supply in reserve. Around 500 Gazan patients were referred to Egypt every month before the Rafah crossing closed. The UN is now looking into the possibility of transferring medical cases from Gaza through Israel, although the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs predicts at least 20 percent of patients will be refused on security grounds.

2011-02-02 A Revolution Calendar

 

 

 

 

Map via @Houeida Anouar

 

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WL Central Coverage

 

Tunisia December 15:

 

2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President’s Assets
2011-01-27 Tunisia protests continue as a warrant is issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-24 Tunisia today: “It’s not a unity government, it’s a fake unity government”
2011-01-21 Ben Ali has used Europe’s prejudices
2011-01-19 Unrest in Arab States [Update 1]
2011-01-18 Reaction to Tunisia’s new government
2011-01-18 Ahmed Hashem El-Sayed dies in Alexandria hospital from self-immolation wounds
2011-01-17: Comments on the new national government formed in Tunisia
2011-01-17 Tunisia’s new government
2011-01-17 Slim Amamou named Tunisia’s Secretary of Youth and Sports
2011-01-15 What the US state cables on Tunisia said
2011-01-14 Tunisia: Ben Ali Out, Mohamed Ghannouchi Out
2011-01-04: Nonoperational Site Update: Wrath of Anon in Tunisia

 

Egypt January 25:

 

2011-02-03 Marietje Schaake on the situation in Tunisia and Egypt
2011-02-03 Act Now to Stop Mubarak’s Thugs From Killing More!
2011-02-02 Pro-Mubarak Forces and Police Thugs Attack Journalists 
2011-02-02 Food Crisis in Egypt
2011-02-01 WikiLeaks Cables Show Mubarak Not Very Open to Reforms or Freedoms for Egyptians [UPDATE: 4]
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-31 Egypt’s Military jockeys to maintain Longstanding Grip on Power
2011-01-31 Cable: Egyptian April 6 activist’s democracy goals “highly unrealistic”
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-30 Egyptian government orders Al Jazeera shutdown
2011-01-30 Al Jazeera no longer welcome in Egypt
2011-01-30 Arab Totalitarians want Tech for National Security Emergencies
2011-01-29 Who is Egypt’s new Vice President?
2011-01-29 Mubarak swears in new PM and VP as unrest persists
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 Cable: Egypt displeased with number and tone of U.S. human rights recommendations
2011-01-28 Cable: The Amir of Qatar discusses Syria, Egypt, and Iran
2011-01-28 Cable: Political arrests of Muslim Brotherhood
2011-01-28 Cable: Egypt’s Emergency Law
2011-01-28 Mubarak refuses to step down
2011-01-28 Cable: Police torture in Egypt
2011-01-28 Cable: Police brutality and poor prison conditions in Egypt
2011-01-28 Cable: Assessing support for Mohammed El Baradei
2011-01-28 Cable: Mubarak discusses Iran and a “split” within Arab ranks
2011-02-28 Cable: Torture and police brutality in Egypt are endemic and widespread
2011-01-28 Cable: President Mubarak in Washington
2011-01-28 Egypt is on fire
2011-01-28 Cable: Qatar on the Israeli-Palestine talks, Egypt and Iran
2011-01-28 Egypt Cables – New Releases [UPDATE 12]
2011-01-27 Mubarak blinks as Egyptian protests continue for third day
2011-01-26 Week of “rage” in Egypt sees casualties, global support [UPDATE 1]
2011-01-25 Revolution Day in Egypt
2011-01-19 Unrest in Arab States [Update 1]
2011-01-18 Ahmed Hashem El-Sayed dies in Alexandria hospital from self-immolation wounds
2011-01-17 Egyptian man sets himself on fire [UPDATE: 1]
2011-01-16 Protests in Egypt

 

Sudan January 30:

 

2011-02-01 Sudan Struggles to Protest
2011-01-31 Protests in Sudan
2011-01-31 Student in Sudan protests killed by police

 

Yemen February 3:

 

2011-02-01 Yemen’s Day of Rage and Abdul Ilah Shayi
2011-01-29 Yemen: Day of Rage on February 3
2011-01-27 Tens of thousands rally in Yemen, demand change
2011-01-23 Middle East protest round-up: Yemen, Jordan, Algeria
2011-01-19 Self-immolation protest spreads to Yemen

 

Syria February 5:

 

2011-01-31 US state cables on Syria
2011-01-31 Syria: Day of Rage on February 5
2011-01-28 Cable: The Amir of Qatar discusses Syria, Egypt, and Iran
2011-01-28 Cable: Mubarak discusses Iran and a “split” within Arab ranks
2011-01-28 Cable: Qatar on the Israeli-Palestine talks, Egypt and Iran
2011-01-24 Self-immolation “infection” spreads to Syria 
2011-01-16 Syria, Jordan and Algeria Respond to Protest Threat

 

Algeria February 12:

 

2011-01-27 Algerians plan big protest rally for February 9
2011-01-23 Middle East protest round-up: Yemen, Jordan, Algeria
2011-01-19 Unrest in Arab States [Update 1]
2011-01-16 Syria, Jordan and Algeria Respond to Protest Threat
2011-01-16 Protests in Algeria

 

Bahrain February 14:

 

Libya February 17:

 

2011-01-31 Cables: Libya threatened to seize assets of Petro-Canada
2011-01-27 Libya is in revolt as Gaddafi worries 
2011-01-19 Unrest in Arab States [Update 1]
2011-01-16 Early reports of unrest in Libya [UPDATE 1]

 

Jordan
2011-02-01 Jordan’s King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-23 Middle East protest round-up: Yemen, Jordan, Algeria
2011-01-16 Syria, Jordan and Algeria Respond to Protest Threat
2011-01-01 Wikileaks in the Jordan Media – Arabic Cable Translations

 

Saudi Arabia
2011-02-02 Will Saudi Arabia protest?
2011-01-28 Cable: Mubarak discusses Iran and a “split” within Arab ranks
2011-01-19 Unrest in Arab States [Update 1]
2011-01-02 Saudi Arabia Regulates internet publishing