Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

An Israeli military armoured personnel carrier (APC), a tank and a bulldozer are seen next to the border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 14 July 2019

Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

  • Hamas said the discussions included talks on “understandings with the enemy”
  • Abbas met with the delegation in Ramallah on Saturday on the Gaza-Israel cease-fire and attempts to heal the long-existing division between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah

RAMALLAH: Egyptian security officials have held talks with Palestinian leaders in recent days in part to prevent a new flare-up of tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said Sunday.
The Egyptian delegation led by deputy intelligence chief Ayman Badie was in the Gaza Strip on Friday and Saturday and the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the officials said.
A statement on Saturday from Hamas said the discussions included talks on “understandings with the enemy” — a reference to a fragile cease-fire with Israel tested in recent days.
Contacted on Sunday, a Hamas official said the movement did not want to comment further beyond its official statements.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met with the delegation in Ramallah on Saturday on the Gaza-Israel cease-fire and attempts to heal the long-existing division between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.
Fresh tensions were feared after Israel shot dead a Hamas militant on Thursday along the border with the Gaza Strip, prompting the movement to vow revenge.
Israel later signalled it had fired in error, saying an initial inquiry showed soldiers misidentified a Hamas security agent as “an armed terrorist and fired as a result of this misunderstanding.”
On Friday night, Israel’s military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, but no damage or injuries were reported.
Earlier in the day, at least 33 Palestinians were shot and wounded during weekly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Under a fragile cease-fire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials following a severe flare-up in May, Israel is meant to ease aspects of its blockade on the strip in exchange for relative calm.
At least 295 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since major Hamas-backed protests began along the border fence in March 2018.
Most were killed during the protests and clashes but others died in air strikes or tank fire in response to violence from the strip.
Six Israelis have been killed.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.


Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

Updated 25 November 2020

Cairo International Book Fair postponed due to COVID-19

  • The committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs

CAIRO: The Supreme Administrative Committee of the Cairo International Book Fair announced that this year’s fair will be postponed to June 30, 2021, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The committee, headed by Enas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s minister of culture, also decided to add an additional four days to the delayed festival schedule, seeing it run until July 15.

Greece was set to participate in the festival, and arrangements are being made to ensure continuity for next year’s event to celebrate the depth of historical and cultural relations between the two countries. According to an official statement, the committee discussed developments in the world over the pandemic and its impact on other book fairs, which has led to multiple other cancellations and postponements.

The meeting discussed the participation of international institutions and Arab and foreign publishers, who are expected to face difficulty traveling between countries due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Saeed Abdo, president of the Egyptian Publishers Union, said that the decision was inevitable.

“We are linked to foreign publishers, not just Egyptians, and there is great difficulty in traveling between countries, so we decided to postpone it until June,” Abdo said.

“The postponement will not affect those involved in the fair, but will provide the opportunity for the participation of a larger number of people,” he added.