Israel needs our prayers
Brotherhood Justifies Assault on Israeli Embassy
by IPT News • Sep 11, 2011 at 10:32 am
Egyptian commandos helped rescue six guards inside the Israeli embassy in Cairo early Saturday morning, after dozens of people among thousands of protestors stormed the building
. The crowd had smashed through a newly-erected security wall and was separated from the Israelis by one metal door.
The Muslim Brotherhood
, Egypt's 80-year-old Islamist society which is poised to gain considerable power in upcoming elections, blamed Israel for the violence and breach of sovereign diplomatic ground.
"The slowness and negligence about the rights of our martyr soldiers killed by the Zionists at the border, the not adopting a decisive stand, wavering on the withdrawal of the Egyptian Ambassador, and the Zionist arrogance in refusing to even apologize, as well as the building of a big concrete wall to protect the Embassy were most important reasons that led to the explosion of national sentiment in the hearts of the Egyptians," a statement
on the Brotherhood's website said. "The remedy for that lies in the authority, whether the interim authority now or the coming civil authority, responding to the will of the people and respecting their dignity."
Israel did apologize
for the deaths of six Egyptian soldiers killed after being caught in the crossfire last month after terrorists fled from a coordinated attack near Eilat in southern Israel. Gaza-based terrorists were blamed for the attack
, which killed eight Israelis, but an investigation also found at least three Egyptians
were involved. Egyptian press outlets accused Israel
of being behind the attacks, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern over the attack on his country's embassy, but tried to strike a calmer tone. In a speech
, he thanked the United States for helping urge the Egyptian army to intervene, and he thanked the commandos for rescuing the Israeli citizens.
"The Middle East is now undergoing a political earthquake of historic proportions," he said. "…In the face of this historic turmoil we must act coolly and with responsibility." It is in Egypt and Israel's interests to preserve their peace treaty, he added, calling again for direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
"Regarding this negotiation, I believe that many people today in our nation and around the world who see what is happening in our area will understand our justified stance in defending our security interests in any future agreement."
A small group of protestors returned to the embassy
Saturday, the Brotherhood website reported.
"Down, down Israel" and "Down with the State of pigs" were among the crowd's chants.
G-8 Pledges Boost in Arab Spring Funds
By NATHALIE BOSCHAT And PAUL HANNON
MARSEILLES, France—The Group of Eight leading industrialized nations said Saturday that international financial institutions will provide $38 billion in financing to Arab Spring nations through 2013, an increase from the $20 billion announced at their last meeting in May.
In addition to meeting their counterparts from the governments of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan, G-8 finance ministers had their first meeting with representatives of Libya's new government, and said they are ready to help.
"We stand ready to support the Libyan authorities in their endeavor to rebuild the country and conduct a Libyan-led transition towards shared prosperity," the G-8 said in a statement.
The G-8 said it is "firmly committed" to releasing Libyan assets frozen under United Nations Security Council resolutions.
"We stress the importance of international support to help the National Transitional Council restore economic activities, especially the production of oil and gas," the G-8 said.
At a meeting in the French seaside resort of Deauville at the end of May, leaders of the G-8 pledged a $20 billion package for Egypt and Tunisia to be provided through funding from international financial institutions, and formed a partnership with North African states to help support democratic aspirations borne out of the upheaval of autocratic leaders who had been in place for decades.
Since the Deauville gathering, the partnership has been extended to Jordan and Morocco, with Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates joining the framework in support of those four countries.
The G-8 said that in addition to the $38 billion in funds from development banks such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund would provide additional financing.
Speaking at a news conference following the conclusion of the G-8 meeting, French Finance Minister François Baroin said the IMF could lend as much as $35 billion.
While welcoming recent political changes in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the G-8 said the transition has caused some economic dislocation.
"Some countries have been experiencing a drop in economic activity, including tourism, and investment flows, while also suffering from high and volatile commodity prices and increased domestic social pressures," the G-8 said.
The president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Thomas Mirow, warned of setbacks ahead as the Arab Spring countries transition to democracies.
The EBRD was established in 1991 to help countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union make a similar transformation. But some of the nations it was established to help have made little progress in becoming market economies or democracies, and because it is required to promote political as well as economic change, the EBRD has been unable to invest heavily.
"This is not a clear-cut road in only one direction," Mr. Mirow said in an interview. "You have progress, and you have setbacks. Post-revolutionary situations are difficult, complicated and normally not one-size-fits-all."
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde
, also speaking in Marseilles at the end of the G-8 gathering, said the IMF's financial assistance would primarily target oil-importing countries in the region. Ms. Lagarde said the IMF now officially recognizes Libya's National Transitional Council.
The Middle East and North African region "is also affected by downside risks to the global economic outlook," Ms. Lagarde said.
Mr. Baroin said he foresees bilateral help to the region increasing in the same proportions as aid from multilateral financial institutions, which has nearly doubled since the Deauville meeting.
At the G-8 leaders' summit in May, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said the total amount of financial support to Egypt and Tunisia could reach up to $40 billion, including bilateral and multilateral contributions.
—Gabriele Parussini contributed to this article.