Egyptian armed forces in Sudan for joint drills

Egyptian armed forces in Sudan for joint drills
The drill will involve planning and managing joint combat activities. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 15 November 2020

Egyptian armed forces in Sudan for joint drills

Egyptian armed forces in Sudan for joint drills
  • The drill is set to benefit both countries by sharing their expertise
  • Egypt has been conducting a series of joint military drills with armed forces of different countries

CAIRO: The Egyptian Army announced the launch of Egyptian-Sudanese joint air exercise, dubbed The Nile Eagles 1, in Sudan’s Marwa air base north of Khartoum.

The Egyptian armed forces spokesman, Col. Tamer El-Refaie, said units from the air force and commando forces have arrived in Sudan’s Marwa air base to take part in the joint exercise. It runs until Nov. 26 and is the first of its kind between the two countries.

El-Refaie said that the joint exercise comes within the framework of boosting joint military cooperation between the armed forces of both countries and aims to enhance capabilities to carry out joint air tasks.

The exercise includes planning and managing joint combat activities by the two air forces. Multi-tasking fighter aircraft from both sides will execute offensive and defensive sorties on targets, and there will be training for the special forces of both countries in combat search and rescue activities.

The joint exercise began with theoretical and practical lectures to unify the required concepts and exchange expertise between the two sides.

Earlier, Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Mohamed Farid visited the Sudanese capital Khartoum to discuss means of enhancing joint military and security cooperation. His visit also aimed at coordinating efforts between the two countries in various domains.

The army spokesman said Gen. Farid held meetings with his Sudanese counterpart, as well as with the Sudanese minister of defense to discuss joint cooperation. The talks covered the executive measures of the recent visit by Abdel-Fattah Al-Borhan, chair of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council to Cairo.

The talks also covered the agreement between the Egyptian and Sudanese leadership to accelerate the development of military and security cooperation to boost the capabilities of both sides in the face of regional security challenges.

During the meeting they agreed to carry out various training activities for all armed forces branches and to enhance cooperation in the fields of qualification, training and exchange of expertise, securing borders, combating terrorism, technical security and military industries. They further talked about enhancing the role of the armed forces in both countries in development and infrastructure projects.


Warning against dragging Lebanon into ‘total chaos’ amid hopes for economic recovery

Warning against dragging Lebanon into ‘total chaos’ amid hopes for economic recovery
Updated 19 min 24 sec ago

Warning against dragging Lebanon into ‘total chaos’ amid hopes for economic recovery

Warning against dragging Lebanon into ‘total chaos’ amid hopes for economic recovery
  • Lebanese Army guard Israel border after man killed by Israeli bullets
  • Post-Eid total lockdown lifted after two days

BEIRUT: Political and economic figures have expressed their opposition to dragging Lebanon into a regional conflict amid the Palestine-Israel crisis and violent clashes.

The Vice President of the General Labor Confederation Hassan Fakih warned against “taking the country into total chaos that will wipe out what is left of Lebanon.”

His comments come as people returned on Saturday to queueing at gas stations and searching for missing medicines in pharmacies.

Sales of meat have dipped after the price of a kilogram of unsubsidized beef exceeded LBP120,000 ($80).

Fakih said that “matters in Lebanon have reached an unbearable level, as the economic situation has become a real threat to all classes of people.”

He added that the people “have crossed the poverty threshold as a result of the policies adopted by the political system that has been running the country for many years.”

The Lebanese economy is trying to recover from the double losses that it has incurred as a result of measures brought in to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the devastating economic situation.

Hopes have been raised for economic improvements following a remarkable decline in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army on Saturday prevented non-Lebanese residents from crossing to the southern border area amid calls made by Palestinian factions to refugees to protest against the Israeli attacks in the occupied territories.

Hezbollah operatives in civilian clothes participated in the prevention measures in the border area, especially in points close to the Blue Line facing Israeli settlements, indicating that the party has no intention of escalating the situation in Lebanon.

These measures come the day after the killing of Lebanese citizen Mohammed Tahhan, 21, by an Israeli soldier.

One of the activists in the Tyre area who accompanied the protesters to the barbed fence told Arab News: “A group of protesters carrying Palestinian flags and Hezbollah banners tried to cross the barbed wire from the Lebanese side opposite the Mutla settlement on Friday.

“Tahhan stepped forward and broke an Israeli security camera. The Israelis fired at Tahhan, killing him with a bullet in the side.”

Hezbollah mourned Tahhan and participated in his funeral on Saturday in the southern town of Adloun and wrapped his body in the party’s banner.

However, the activist, who knows the Tahhan family, said: “The young man is a leftist and his family members are communists, and they face their plight with silence.”

There were unconfirmed reports that Hezbollah asked a Palestinian faction in Lebanon to claim responsibility for the launch of Grad rockets on Thursday night from southern Lebanon to occupied Palestine, but the faction refused.

On Saturday, the Lebanese Army ramped up security measures on the coastline leading to the south. The soldiers set up checkpoints and checked the identities of those traveling to the border area.

Only Lebanese citizens were allowed to cross, while non-Lebanese needed special permits.

The army closed all roads leading to the Marjayoun area, opposite the settlement of Mutla, in occupied Palestine.

Soldiers prevented four Palestinians who tried to infiltrate the barbed wire fence on Saturday.

Activist Ali al-Amin, who opposes Hezbollah, told Arab News: “The party does not tolerate any Israeli escalation toward Lebanon due to internal and regional conditions, and thus its options are limited.

“If it is true that the Palestinians rejected Hezbollah’s request to take responsibility for the rocket fire, this means that the party’s ability and influence to move the street in Lebanon has diminished. Hezbollah cannot make any mistakes because its cost in light of internal and regional developments is not yet clear.”

Israeli military spokesman Avichai Adraee justified the shooting at the Lebanese and Palestinian protesters and the killing of Tahhan.

The spokesman said: “The suspects acted in an orderly manner and left behind them suspected explosive devices and acted in a manner that revealed their intention to infiltrate into Israel and commit a sabotage operation in Israel.”

Adraee held Lebanon “responsible for what is happening inside Lebanon and anything that starts from it, and it will bear responsibility for any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel.”

Hussein Ezz El-Din, an activist from Tire, said hundreds of Palestinian youths “tried on Saturday to cross the main road to the border area, and some of them came from camps in the far north to protest in front of the border. But a security cordon formed by the army and other security elements affiliated with Hezbollah prevented crossing the street to the Blue Line.”

Ezz El-Din added: “The people in the southern border region are divided into two parts. A section is affiliated with the axis of resistance and is trying, through the events that are taking place, to look for a new victory.

“There is also an axis that is not affiliated with either Hezbollah or any other party, which is apprehensive and adheres to the national interest.”

He added: “Those who are not affiliated with any party have not answered the call to go to the borders to protest despite their full sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

“Some of them even believe that going to the Syrian borders to protest there against smuggling operations is more beneficial to Lebanon and its interests than going to the southern borders because it is nothing more than propaganda.”

While a cautious atmosphere prevailed on the southern border, Lebanon regained its near-normal life Saturday, in light of the lifting of the state of complete lockdown that lasted for two days due to the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.


Biden speaks to Netanyahu, Abbas after Israel flattens AP news office in Gaza

Biden speaks to Netanyahu, Abbas after Israel flattens AP news office in Gaza
Updated 15 May 2021

Biden speaks to Netanyahu, Abbas after Israel flattens AP news office in Gaza

Biden speaks to Netanyahu, Abbas after Israel flattens AP news office in Gaza
  • Abbas received an "important" phone call on Saturday from Biden
  • Netanyahu thanked Biden for the “unreserved support of the US for our right to defend ourselves”

DUBAI: President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken about the situation with Gaza.
According to a statement from Netanyahu’s office, the Israeli leader updated Biden on the developments and actions that Israel has taken and intends to take. It says Netanyahu also thanked Biden for the “unreserved support of the United States for our right to defend ourselves.”
It says Netanyahu emphasized in the conversation that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming the uninvolved. The statement added “the proof of this is that in the towers where there are terrorist targets attacked by the IDF, they are evacuated from the uninvolved.”
The Biden-Netanyahu call came just hours after an Israeli airstrike on Saturday targeted and destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received an “important” phone call on Saturday from Biden, Abbas's spokesman said, the first call between the two leaders since Biden took office in January.

Biden told Abbas the United States "is making efforts with the concerned parties to reach the goal" of reducing violence in the region, a summary of the call published by WAFA said.
He also said the United States opposes the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah, the summary said, a case that helped ignite tension in the holy city and spark fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.


Morocco to send 40 tons of aid to Palestinians

Morocco to send 40 tons of aid to Palestinians
Updated 15 May 2021

Morocco to send 40 tons of aid to Palestinians

Morocco to send 40 tons of aid to Palestinians
  • Morocco denounced “the violent acts perpetrated in occupied Palestinian territories”
  • The country reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

RABAT: Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Friday ordered 40 tons of aid for Palestinians to be shipped to the West Bank and Gaza following recent violence.
The aid includes food, medicine and blankets and will be carried by military aircrafts, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Morocco also denounced “the violent acts perpetrated in occupied Palestinian territories,” and reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Morocco resumed ties with Israel in December as part of a deal brokered by the United States that also includes Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.


Iran’s foreign minister cancels Austrian visit over Israeli flag

Iran’s foreign minister cancels Austrian visit over Israeli flag
Updated 15 May 2021

Iran’s foreign minister cancels Austrian visit over Israeli flag

Iran’s foreign minister cancels Austrian visit over Israeli flag
  • Mohammad Javad Zarif was supposed to meet Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg but had called off the trip

ZURICH: Iran’s foreign minister canceled a visit with his Austrian counterpart to show displeasure that Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government had flown the Israeli flag in Vienna in a show of solidarity, the Austrian foreign ministry said on Saturday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was supposed to meet Alexander Schallenberg but had called off the trip, a spokeswoman for Schallenberg said, confirming a report in newspaper Die Presse.
“We regret this and take note of it, but for us it is as clear as day that when Hamas fires more than 2,000 rockets at civilian targets in Israel then we will not remain silent,” the spokeswoman said.
Hamas is the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Israel has pummeled Gaza with air strikes and Palestinian militants have launched rocket barrages at Israel in the worst escalation of violence in years.
In Tehran, foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told the semi-official news agency ISNA: “Mr Zarif did not consider the trip beneficial in these circumstances, and therefore the travel arrangements were not finalized.”
The dispute comes during talks in Vienna to try to revive a 2015 accord with western powers in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its terms.
Kurz, who is firmly pro-Israel, had called flying the Israeli flag over the federal chancellery on Friday a mark of solidarity amid the violent clashes. But Abbas Araqchi, who heads the Iranian delegation at the Vienna talks, criticized the move.
“Vienna is the seat of (nuclear watchdog) IAEA & UN, and (Austria) so far been a great host for negotiations,” Araqchi wrote on Twitter. “Shocking & painful to see flag of the occupying regime, that brutally killed tens of innocent civilians, inc many children in just few days, over govt offices in Vienna. We stand with Palestine.”


10 members of family killed as Israel bombs Gaza house

10 members of family killed as Israel bombs Gaza house
Updated 15 May 2021

10 members of family killed as Israel bombs Gaza house

10 members of family killed as Israel bombs Gaza house
  • The eight children and two women were killed when a house in Shati refugee camp collapsed following an Israeli attack
  • Several Israeli missiles targeted the house of Alaa Abu Hatab

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Ten members of an extended family were killed in an Israeli airstrike early on Saturday on the western Gaza Strip, medics and witnesses said.

The eight children and two women were killed when a three-storey house in Shati refugee camp collapsed following an Israeli attack.

Several Israeli missiles targeted the house of Alaa Abu Hatab, 35, in the densely populated beach camp and adjacent buildings, killing four of his five children and his wife, in addition to his sister and four of her children.

A five-month-old infant survived the bombing, while Abu Hatab’s daughter was severely injured and is in intensive care.

Muhammad Al-Hadidi, brother-in-law of Abu Hatab, said that his wife was visiting her brother’s house with his five children. The children insisted they spend the night at their uncle’s house to play with their cousins.

“At night, I heard the sound of the bombing, and I did not know that it was for the building that my wife and children were in. I received a call that told me that the Abu Hatab’s house was targeted,” Al-Hadidi told Arab News 

“I went quickly to the place to find all my children with my wife, under the rubble,” he said while crying.

Speaking outside Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Al-Hadidi said that he wanted “the unjust world to see these crimes.

“They were safe in their homes, they did not carry weapons, they did not fire rockets,” he said of his children, who were killed “wearing their clothes for Eid.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that the death toll had reached 139, including 39 children and 22 women. More than 1,000 have been wounded.

Muhammad Al-Sayed, 30, the owner of a barber store beneath the bombed building, said: “The scene was terrible during the night.”

“I have been working in the same place for 14 years. The scene was too painful for me. When I came to see it at night, I could not prepare myself to see the bodies being pulled out from the debris. Our lives have become cheap,” he told Arab News.

The Israeli shelling continued in several areas of the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Heba Al-Attar, 45, a resident, told Arab News: “All I think these days is when I am killed and our house is destroyed, how my three children will live without me if they survive this onslaught.”

She added: “I feel scared every day, I can’t sleep at night, I steal some sleep in the morning, life is tough here in Gaza.”

However, Hiba hopes that international attempts to achieve peace will succeed. 

“Now it is necessary to return to the cease-fire again. We want to preserve what is left of us, and what remains of our homes and our children,” she said.

The Israeli army continued to bomb high-rise buildings in the Gaza Strip. It flattened Al-Jala’a Tower in the center of the city with several missiles.

The tower housed several offices of local, Arab and international media, including The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera TV.

An Israeli officer gave the owner of the tower an hour to evacuate it. The owner pleaded with the officer to give them 10 more minutes so that some journalists could go and retrieve their equipment from the building, but the Israeli officer refused.

With the destruction of the tower in Gaza City, the number of towers that have been destroyed by Israel reached four, three of which contained offices of various media institutions.