After Sinai massacre, questions remain
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Arabic media review

After Sinai massacre, questions remain

Egypt points finger at Gaza for terror attack and the Arab Spring disrupts the training regime of a Tunisian boxer

Egyptians stand outside a hospital in El-Arish, northern Sinai, following the terrorist attack on August 5, 2012  (photo credit: AP photo)
Egyptians stand outside a hospital in El-Arish, northern Sinai, following the terrorist attack on August 5, 2012 (photo credit: AP photo)

The terror attack in Sinai late Sunday night which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers took place too late to make the print edition of Monday’s Arabic language dailies. It does, however, feature high on news websites.

“They shall pay a dear price,” Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi warns the perpetrators of the Sinai attack in a televised statement on Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya, adding that Egyptian security forces have received orders to “impose full control over Sinai” and to “pursue and capture those criminals wherever they may be.”

In separate headlines, Al-Arabiya reports “condemnations from the Freedom and Justice Party [the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood political party], the Egyptian supreme cleric and Hamas, while noting that the Gamaa Islamiya, a fundamentalist Islamic group, “doesn’t discount the possibility of Israeli involvement in the Sinai incident.”

‘They shall pay a dear price,’ Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, warns the perpetrators of the Sinai attack in a televised statement on Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya

Qatar-based news channel Al-Jazeera quotes the official Egyptian news agency as saying that while the identity of the terrorists is yet unknown, they have likely entered Sinai from Gaza through smuggling tunnels. The station reports Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya has denied involvement in the attack, but notes that Hamas has immediately sealed the smuggling tunnels leading into Gaza.

Eyes fixed on Aleppo as a high-ranking officer defects and gunfights continue

“Another blow to Assad’s regime” reports Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat in reference to the defection of Syria’s Political Security Intelligence chief, Yaarab Shara, to Jordan.

“Cousin of Syrian Vice-President Farouq Al-Sharaa defects and flees to Jordan” reports Dubai-based news Channel Al-Arabiya, adding that Sharaa defected with several other officers.

Another A-Sharq Al-Awsat headline reads: “Clashes near Aleppo International Airport… the National Army awaits orders to attack, and the opposition calls it ‘psychological warfare.'” Alongside the headline appears a photo of opposition fighters armed with AK-47’s.

‘Where is the International Criminal Court in Damascus?’ asks Raed Jouhi in an op-ed for London-Based daily Al-Hayat

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera’s headline reads: “72 dead in Syria and a defection in the Political Security branch.” Al-Jazeera’s report is accompanied by an image of smoke pillars rising from the city of Homs, reminding readers that the city is still under attack by Syrian National Army airplanes and tanks. The report goes on to list battles still raging across Syrian cities.

“Where is the International Criminal Court in Damascus?” asks Raed Jouhi in an op-ed for London-Based daily Al-Hayat. Mr. Jouhi, an investigating judge in the Iraqi Criminal court tasked with bringing members of Saddam Hussein’s regime to justice, condemns the absence of any investigation on the part of the ICC, and laments the international double standard, saying “what constituted international crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Libya, and Darfur are still not considered international crimes in Syria.”

Iran seeks Turkish and Qatari help for its citizens captured by the Syrian opposition

Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya broadcasts a tape issued by the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian opposition’s armed force, showing the group of 48 Iranians captured by the Free Syrian Army. The video shows the Iranian prisoners, with downcast eyes and surrounded by armed guards. A uniformed spokesman of the Free Syrian Army explains that they were carrying out “field surveillance” in Damascus, and points out that among the captured Iranians were several officers of the Revolutionary Guard. To dispel any doubt of this, the camera zooms in to show the military identification cards of one of the captured Iranians.

“Iran seeks Turkish-Qatari mediation to free the abductees in Syria” reads the headline in Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, quoting statements made by the Iranian foreign minister on Iran’s state-run TV channel.

Israel disrupts meeting of non-aligned movement

“Meeting of Non-Aligned in Ramallah canceled because of Israel’s refusal to allow entry to four foreign ministers,” reports London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, quoting anonymous Palestinian sources that said that the cancellation of the meeting of the Palestine Committee of the movement came after Israel refused to allow entry into Ramallah of foreign minsters from Cuba, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Olympics coverage

Al-Jazeera highlights in its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics the participation of the first female Arab boxer, Tunisian Rim Jouini. Unfortunately for Tunisia, Jouini lost to her opponent in the octo-finals. Asked how the overthrow of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali affected her training for the Olympics, Jouini replied: “It was a very difficult time, I had to stop training for five months and only resumed training shortly before the world championship.”

Meanwhile, London-based daily Al-Hayat focuses the spotlight on the Saudi dressage team, pointing out that “the Saudi team yesterday reached the best result of any Arab or Asian team in these Olympic Games.”

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