Ex-military chief of staff to run in Egyptian presidential election

File photo: Egypt's former army chief of staff Sami Anan. (Reuters)
Updated 12 January 2018
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Ex-military chief of staff to run in Egyptian presidential election

CAIRO: Former military chief of staff General Sami Anan will run in Egypt’s upcoming presidential election, the party he leads said on Thursday, days after the most serious potential challenger to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi pulled out.
An election commission said on Monday Egypt would hold the vote on March 26-28, with a run-off on April 24-26. Candidates must register between Jan 20 and 29.
“The party leaders took a decision for General Sami Anan’s candidacy and informed him of the decision and there was no problem at all and no objection,” from him, said Sami Balah, the secretary general of the Arabism Egypt Party.
Balah said party members and officials across the country had been contacted about collecting the required votes of nomination, starting from Saturday.
Election regulations stipulate that would-be candidates must obtain the backing of at least 20 members of parliament for their candidacy or be supported by at least 25,000 eligible voters in at least 15 governorates.
The party will hold a news conference in the next few days for Anan to officially announce his candidacy, said Ragab Helal, a leading member in the party and member of parliament.
Anan’s candidacy news came days after former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, and Sissi’s most serious competition, said he was no longer considering running for president in this year’s elections.


Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

Updated 23 October 2018
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Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

  • Hamas took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack
  • Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true

JERUSALEM: A theory that a lightning strike triggered Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza last week gained traction in Israel on Tuesday and might explain the Israeli military’s limited response.
Two rockets were launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave on Oct. 17. But the group took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack. Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true.
One of the rockets wrecked a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, causing no casualties, the other landed in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel responded with air strikes that killed a militant in Gaza.
Soon afterwards, video appeared on social media showing lightning illuminating the night sky in Gaza and then two flaming rockets streaking into the air.
Israel’s best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet now believed the lighting set off a launch mechanism.
Asked about the report, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the security cabinet, told Israel Radio: “I won’t discuss security cabinet meetings and I don’t know which ministers are chatting with journalists, but I can say that as far as we know, Hamas did not intend to fire those rockets.”
Hamas officials had no immediate comment.
The rocket launchings coincided with Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars in the past 10 years.