Greed, lack of humanity blamed for sale of infants in Egypt

In this Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 photo, children exercise in the courtyard of the Farah elementary school, in Khosoos, a poor town just outside of Cairo, Egypt.
Updated 21 July 2019

Greed, lack of humanity blamed for sale of infants in Egypt

  • “There are many pages on social networking sites that are full of illegal activities, including the sale of human beings, prostitution and the sale of children,” said Ashraf Al-Wardani, a security expert

CAIRO: When Egyptian security forces arrested three suspects caught selling a three-hour-old child at a hospital in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, the news shocked the country.
The story began when a page on Facebook, titled Children for Paid Family Adoption, offered the chance to adopt a newborn child in exchange for money.
Police officers posing as interested buyers agreed a fee of 65,000 Egyptian pounds ($4,000) for the girl, payment on delivery.
On July 17, 2019, the day of her birth, the officers went to the hospital to meet the mother, who was accompanied by a man. After the mother and child came out of the operating room, the girl was handed over to the buyer.
Once the mother had been given the money, she and the man were immediately arrested along with the man who had set up the Facebook page, who had been involved in many such sales.

Through Facebook
Security investigations revealed that the Facebook page was launched four months ago; the man responsible was charged with human trafficking, displaying a child for sale and using Facebook to commit the crime. The mother and her husband were charged on similar grounds. The child is being kept in a nursing home under the supervision of the Committee for the Protection of Egyptian Childhood.
“There are many pages on social networking sites that are full of illegal activities, including the sale of human beings, prostitution and the sale of children,” said Ashraf Al-Wardani, a security expert. “Egyptian security must be vigilant against these crimes, It is driven by the desire for quick gain.”

BACKGROUND

The owner of the Facebook page — who is under arrest — has justified his crime by writing on the page that many parents are deprived of children.

Al-Wardani told Arab News that Egyptian security forces have been busy over the past period of monitoring the activities of terrorists, and neglected the task of tracking illegal activities.
The owner of the Facebook page — who is under arrest — has justified his crime by writing on the page that many parents are deprived of children at a time when a large number of parents are throwing their children onto the street to become street children. He wrote that his role was to help deprived parents adopt children, so protecting them from the dangers of the streets.

Not the first incident
The crime in Alexandria was not the first to rock Egyptian society. The police were informed that there was a place in Al-Shorouq, a suburb of Cairo, where a large number of children were being kept, who were being taken away by families.
Some suspected that the apartment owners were trading those children. When the police arrested the owners the suspicions were proven to be correct.
Investigations revealed that the prices of the sale and purchase vary according to the child’s condition and specifications. Sales range from 200,000 Egyptian pounds down to 30,000 Egyptian pounds.

Punishment and reasons
Zineb Mahmoud, a lawyer and researcher at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, told Arab News that the law penalizes the sale and purchase of children, and can incur life imprisonment.
Dr. Magda Mustafa, professor of sociology at Ain Shams University, said that economic reasons are behind the parents’ drive to offer their children for sale, amid soaring prices, rising unemployment.
At the same time the main reason is greed and a lack of humanity.


Israeli jets hit targets in Syria ‘to prevent Iranian drone attack’

Updated 42 min 46 sec ago

Israeli jets hit targets in Syria ‘to prevent Iranian drone attack’

  • The airstrike pre-empted an Iranian plan to explosives-laden attack drones into Israel, says military
  • “Iran has no immunity anywhere. If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first," says Netanyahu.

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military attacked targets near Damascus late Saturday in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.
The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.
Conricus said the Israeli attack took place in Aqraba, southeast of Damascus, and targeted “a number of terror targets and military facilities belonging to the Quds force as well as Shiite militias.”
He said Israel had monitored the plot for several months and on Thursday prevented Iran from making an “advanced attempt” to execute the same plan. Then, Iran tried again late Saturday to carry out the same attack, he said.
“We were able to thwart this attack with fighter jets,” he said, saying the Iranian attack was believed to be “very imminent.”
He said Israel’s chief of staff was meeting with senior officers and forces were on high alert near the Syrian frontier.
On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack by Israeli warplanes a “major operational effort.”
“Iran has no immunity anywhere,” he said. “If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.”
Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, most of them aimed at arms shipments believed to be headed from Iran to its Shiite proxy Hezbollah. Direct clashes between Israel and Iranian forces have been rare.
“This was a significant plan with significant capabilities that had been planned for a few months,” Conricus said. “It was not something done on a low level, but rather top down from the Quds Force.”
Syrian state TV announced late Saturday that the country’s air defenses had responded to “hostile” targets over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.
“At 2330 (2030 GMT) anti-aircraft defenses detected enemy targets from Golan heading toward the area around Damascus,” the state news agency SANA quoted a military official.
“The aggression was immediately confronted and so far the majority of the enemy Israeli missiles have been destroyed before reaching their targets,” the SANA report added.
“The aggression is still going on and the air defense is able to counter the targets, dropping most of them” in the south of the country, it said.
Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy and has repeatedly vowed that it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria, where Iranian troops have been fighting in support of President Bashar Assad during the country’s eight-year civil war.
In recent days, US officials have said that Israeli strikes have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.