Friday, January 06, 2006

Meet the Press

Mahmoud Abbas is unable to confront them, and our government isn't interested in protecting our borders. At least someone is working to keep the terrorists in check.

A headline in page 6, "Arab Affairs" section of Friday's edition of Al Ahram reads:

"Official Source: The Egyptian Forces Practiced Self Restraint And Did Not Fire One Bullet"

The saddest thing about this is that the government thinks it will thanked by Al Jazeera and the Palestinians because of this...

Some highlights from the report of the government's official mouthpiece Al Ahram:

"An official source explained that about 3,000 Palestinians gathered on the other side after a large number of them infiltrated in an illegal way from the 5m wide, 3m high breach they created. When the Egyptian forces confronted them, they fired ammunition on them while the Egyptian security forces practiced self restraint, following orders from the Egyptian authorities not to fire one bullet in the direction of the Palestinian brothers, but also to offer all facilitations to ease their crossing from the main border point in a legal way. The official pointed that the Egyptian authorities made great efforts until a late hour of the night to contain the situation and to not escalate it with the Palestinian brothers, and to stop the crossing of thousands of them from the breach to the Egyptian territories....and he said that the Egyptian security apparatus was careful not to injure one Palestinian and resorted to tear gas to disperse the Palestinian gathering on the border. And he said that 17 injured soldiers were treated and left the hospital, 7 others are still under treatment, and four of them were transfered to El Arish hospital for the severity of their cases."

I kid you not. This is not some fictional parody of black comedy. This is our government and this is our press. All what's left is for them is to issue an official apology to the Palestinian brothers for standing in the way of their fraternal bullets.

Regardless of Al Ahram's whoring, it's the victims' stories which in the end really count:

"Inside Rafah's central hospital Al Ahram met the injured Egyptian recruits who are still undergoing treatment. On one of the white beds sat private Abdelatif Abdelrehim who has different injuries all over his body and who told us the details of the incident from the beginning, when an Egyptian police force was standing at the border and the Palestinians made their way through the breach in the wall. He said 'It was dark and we couldn't see them, while on the other hand the infiltrating Palestinians had flash lights and opened fire in the direction of the Egyptian police personnel, except the officers ordered us not to return fire in the direction of the infiltrators. In less than a moment I saw my colleague Arafa who fell victim to this incident become a martyr for doing his duty. He was standing behind me, a bullet pierced his chest and another the lower part of his body and he fell on the ground, drowned in his blood. At the same time I was injured by some shrapnel, and despite that I immediately carried my colleague before he breathed his last breaths to one of the police cars to transfer him to the hospital. I put my hand on the wound piercing his chest in my attempt to stop the bleeding, but he passed away before he reached the hospital and at this moment I fell unconscious and was transferred to the operating room while my friend Arafa's body was transferred to the morgue.'

In a nearby room sat private Abdelsamie' Fouad who is suffering from asphixiation from the tear gas that was fired. He insisted in a low voice that at about 9 o'clock in the evening he was taken by surprise by hundreds of Palestinians crossing from the breach, and his commanding officers ordered him and the rest of his colleagues to go to the separating border to try and prevent the infiltration of the Palestinians to Egyptian territory. Clashes occurred between both sides and the Palestinians opened fire, which led the police forces to use tear gas. He fell unconcsious and was transfered to the hospital. He said that he cannot forget that scene in which he saw his colleagues falling around him in the extreme violence and bloody events."

In case you hadn't noticed, our border police guards who risked their lives to protect our borders, were neither provided with flashlights to see in the dark nor given permission to use their weapons to defend themselves and the country's borders.

I don't know why this reminds me of the 1956 and 1967 wars when the Egyptian army was sent to Sinai barefoot and unequiped, on orders from Nasser's play-war over the airwaives...but when the wars turned real, the army was ordered to immediately withdraw in both cases without being allowed the chance to defend themselves. A brilliant Egyptian saying comes to mind: Assad 'alaya we fil heroub na'ama. It means: "You are a lion on me, but in wars an ostrich."

The names of the fallen soldiers:

Arafa Ibrahim El-Sayed, 21 years old.

El-Sayed Salim El-Sa'dawi, 21 years old.

Names of the injured:

Said Salama Sabet, Sidky Deif Inawy, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel Hafiz, Emad Abdel Mongy, Mohamed Abdallah Mustafa, Mohamed Radwan Abdel Aziz, Amr Fathy Abdel Min'im, Abdel Fattah Izzat Mohamed Mahmoud, Abdel Nasser Abdel Atti Mohamed, Mohamed Ibrahim Tammam, Isaac Adly Shinouda, Mina Zakaria Atta, Ahmed Said Ahmed Ibrahim, Mahmoud Gamal Mohamed Abdel Gawwad, Rida Mohamed Ismail, Ahmed Gamil Hassan, Talaat Badr El Dimirdashi, Abdel Latif Abdel Rahman, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, Ibrahim Fathy Mohamed, Mustafa Ramadan Abdel Nabi, Abdel Samie' Fouad Nasr, Sami Mohamed El Sayyed, Hossam Mohamed El Sayyed, Ibrahim Moussa Ahmed, Zein Mohamed El Sayyed, Ahmed Mohamed Badr, Khalifa Ali Khalifa, Atef Zaki Soleiman.


- Abu Mazen declares in the front page of Al Ahram that the two fallen soldiers will be considered martyrs among the martyrs of the Palestinian people. Lucky Arafa and Sayed.

- Not one columnist in the government press or opposition comments on the "incident".

As for the latest news from Saturday's edition of Al Ahram:

The Egyptian government declares that it will issue compensations of 100 Egyptian pounds to each of the injured soldiers, and 1000 pounds to each family of the deceased. This amount equals roughly 15 US dollars for the injured, and about 150$ for the families of the deceased.