Photo illustrated by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain Photo illustrated by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain

Turkish company to build U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem for $21.5m, Turkey becomes traffic hub between Israel, world

Sun, Jul. 22, 2018

CAIRO – 22 June 2018: Turkish pro-government Star daily called out Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan over their positions on Israel’s nation-state bill.


The newspaper claimed Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, and some other Arab states, “indirectly supporting Israel’s nation state bill.”


The Star daily is owned by a businessman close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; it also accused the countries of preventing Turkey from helping Palestinians, despite that the same countries included in the article are the countries that has been aiding, helping and supporting Palestinians.


Turkey building U.S. embassy in Jerusalem


The irony hereby that the article did not include as much clues as what Al-Monitor reported on July 12; “Documents uploaded this week to the official database of federal spending show that Maryland-based joint venture Desbuild Limak D&K has been awarded a $21.2 million award to design and build “addition and compound security upgrades” to the embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. That’s in addition to the $335,000 spent to get the facility, formerly a U.S. consulate, ready for its ritzy grand opening as an embassy back in May.”


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Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. treasury secretary, and Ivanka Trump at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May. Photograph: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Limak Holding is a Turkish contracting giant that is partnering a joint venture with Maryland based contractor Desbuild Incorporated.


“We’re going to have it built very quickly and inexpensively,” Trump told reporters at a March press event with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his December decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.



Trump later raised his estimate in a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in April, saying that a renovation would cost between $300,000 and $400,000.


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Source: usaspending.gov

“Limak’s boss, Nihat Ozdemir, is among a handful of contractors allegedly favored by Erdogan, and his company is globally known for building state-of-the-art airport terminals,” Al-Monitor reported.


Turkey, a hub for traffic between Israel and the world!


Moreover, Turkish airlines flew over a million passengers to Israel last year, making Istanbul the foremost hub for traffic between Israel and the rest of the world.


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Turkish airlines flew over a million passengers to Israel last year.

“Turkish contractors have built nearly half of the skyscrapers dotting Tel Aviv’s skyline, with Ankara-based Yilmazlar Holding leading the pack. “Moreover, Turkey wants to have direct access to Jerusalem to increase its influence in the city,” Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, a researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center in Tel Aviv, said in an interview with Al-Monitor.


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Limak D&K has been awarded a $21.2 million award to design and build “addition and compound security upgrades” to the embassy in Jerusalem.

Yilmazlar, an international Turkish construction group, has a full list of the projects it constructed in Israel on its website, [Here].


“Moreover, Turkey wants to have direct access to Jerusalem to increase its influence in the city. Therefore, in the shadow of constant verbal attacks, I assume that bilateral relations will survive,” Yanarocak noted.


“Turkey’s secular main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), alleges that Erdogan, who has likened Israeli actions against Palestinians to the work of the Nazis, has been profiting personally from lucrative business ties with Israel. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted CHP sources as claiming that cargo ships owned by Erdogan’s older son Burak carried goods to Israel’s Ashdod port.”


According to Al-Monitor, “Even Erdogan's brother Mustafa, who worked as a fitter for many years for the late Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, "visited Israel many times for shipping, mainly," a well-informed Israeli source told Al-Monitor on strict condition of anonymity. The source declined to elaborate.”


Egypt spares no effort to aid Palestinians!


On the other hand, Egypt has been exerting numerous efforts to support the Palestinians and bring peace to the Gaza strip, especially since the massacre that killed over 100 Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli soldiers on March.



Rafah Border Crossing opened throughout Ramadan:


On May 18, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi directed to keep the Rafah crossing with Gaza open for the entire month of Ramadan on May.


The Egyptian leader ordered the relevant authorities to keep the crossing open to ease some of the burdens of residents of the Gaza Strip.


Keeping the crossing open allows the passage of diesel fuel, construction materials, food and medicine.


“I issued directives to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah border crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to relieve some of the burdens suffered by our brothers in the Gaza strip,” Sisi posted on Facebook and Twitter.





Highly appreciated efforts:


Nikolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, commended Sisi’s move as he tweeted, “I commend President Sisi’s decision to maintain the opening of the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt during Ramadan. I hope the security situation will help deescalating the explosive atmosphere in Gaza.”




The Palestinian Embassy also expressed its gratitude for President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi “for opening the Rafah Border Crossing throughout Ramadan and for his continuous efforts to ease the burdens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” a statement said on May 18.


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FILE: The Palestinian embassy in Cairo

“This highly appreciated step is considered a good initiative by His Excellency President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the Egyptian leadership in the holy month of Ramadan,” the statement added.


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”A Palestinian girl looks through the gate of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on July 6.” - Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

In an interview with Egypt Today, Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said Egypt, represented in its political leadership, spared no effort in the Palestinian case. He added that there is no peace process without Egypt, which he described as the “older sister that always lends a hand to Palestinians”.



Egypt condemns, aids:


On May 14, Egypt dispatched humanitarian aid, food, relief and medical supplies to Gaza while keeping the Rafah crossing open for individuals and those injured in the Israeli attacks on the strip.


Al-Azhar Institute also announced preparing medical aid and supplies to be sent to the Palestinian enclave.


“Coordination to send a convoy is being set up to help our brothers who are now being killed by Zionists in full view of the international community,” Al-Azhar Undersecretary Abbas Shouman told reporters.


In addition, in statements by Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit, he described the Israeli actions in Gaza as "war crimes". He strongly denounced the “Israeli massacres” against the defenseless Palestinians.


Egypt has been trying during the past period to achieve peace and stability for Palestinians through several ways, including signing a reconciliation agreement between the rival movements of Fatah and Hamas in October 2017 in Cairo.


Egypt’s government also has been opening Rafah crossing constantly to allow the passage of humanitarian cases. Rafah border crossing is one of the most important crossings between Egypt and Gaza which was formally under Gazan authorities’ control.


It was believed that this reconciliation will pave the way for further peace talks.


As a result of the escalating violence in Gaza on May 14, at least 60 people were killed, including six children, and more than 1,300 people were reportedly injured.


On Saturday, May 19, the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Cairo confirmed the continued transfer of wounded protesters, shot by Israeli occupation forces, from the Gaza Strip to hospitals in Cairo.


Transferred Palestinians has been receiving treatment over the past few days in Egyptian hospitals in Arish, Ismailia and Cairo governorates.


The embassy said in a statement that the wounded are being transferred through the Rafah land crossing, where a medical team receives all the coming cases before being transferred in ambulances to different hospitals.


Each injured is allowed to be accompanied by one person. The injured started receiving treatment since last week at Arish General Hospital and some were recently transferred to Nasser Institute Hospital in Cairo, the statement said.


It is pertinent to mention that on May 19, Egypt dispatched humanitarian aid, food, relief and medical supplies to Gaza under the slogan “Together against Terrorism.”


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Egyptian humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Gaza – Youm7 photo

The minister of health, Ahmed Emad Eddine, has been "instructed by the political leadership" to receive the Palestinians injured during the Israeli aggression and treat them in Egyptian hospitals.


Moreover, on May 19, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali directed the administration of the Egyptian Red Crescent to dispatch food, health services and supplies, and social and moral support to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and aiding its Palestinian counterpart.


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A vehicle carrying medical supplies and food to the Gaza Strip by the Egyptian Red Crescent - Press photo

During the past three days, the Egyptian Red Crescent dispatched more than seven tons of medical supplies and medicine to the Palestinian Red Crescent. It also sent its team to visit the injured Palestinians in Egyptian hospitals and deliver them meals for the iftar and suhoor.



Egyptian Parliament condemns Israeli violations:


Following the assault on Palestinians, the Egyptian Parliament, On May 15, condemned the violations committed by the Israeli forces against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza.


During a plenary session, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal delivered a speech on the repercussions of the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, warning of the dangerous implications of Israel’s continued breaches of international law and conventions.


"Our brothers in Palestine live a new tragedy. The Israeli occupation forces have claimed dozens of lives and wounded hundreds, in violation of all international conventions and all international resolutions that guarantee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital," he said.



Foreign Minister Shoukry in search for peace in Gaza:


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on May 16 “targeting the defenseless Palestinian civilians”, and opened its borders and hospitals to receive the injured.


For his part, Mladenov called on the international community to support Egypt's stance and aid Palestine not only to survive these escalations but to reach a political solution that guarantees peace and stability for the Palestinian people.


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FILE: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said that the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine is the root of the crisis and the reason for Palestinians’ tragedies and sufferings

“Time has come to turn this dark page of the region’s history, and meet the Palestinians hopes and wishes to live in peace,” Shoukry said during his speech at the opening session of the extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers that Palestine called for on May 18.


"Egypt rejects the use of force against peaceful marches demanding legitimate and just rights, and warns of the negative consequences of this dangerous escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories," the Foreign Ministry stated.


Shoukry said that the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine is the root of the crisis and the reason for Palestinians’ tragedies and sufferings.


Moreover, on May 19, Shoukry and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al-Safdy stressed the need to provide protection for the Palestinian people and fulfill their legitimate rights in having an independent state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


Safdy underlined his country's support to Egypt in its efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.



Amid violence, escalations, Egypt searches for peace in Gaza

CAIRO - 16 May 2018: Amid the Israeli escalations against Palestinians, Egypt has been exerting extreme efforts to support the Gazans in every possible way. In a statement issued On Monday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned "targeting the defenseless Palestinian civilians", and opened its borders and hospitals to receive the injured.





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