FILE - View of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017- AFP FILE - View of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017- AFP

Egypt refutes New York Times 'fabricated' story on Jerusalem

Sun, Jan. 7, 2018
CAIRO - 7 January 2018: Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) has totally refuted a "fabricated' story published in The New York Times claiming it acquired recordings of an alleged intelligence officer instructing four Egyptian "influential TV hosts" to promote U.S. plan on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The SIS press release contained the following three points negating what came in the U.S. story authored by David D. Kirkpatrick. In the first place, the four persons mentioned are Mofid Fawzy who stopped working on TV for years, Parliamentarian Said Hassassein who stopped working on TV for months, Azmy Megahed, and actress Yousra who never presented any talk shows.

The SIS statement also noted that the New York Times story did not provide any evidence that the so-called Ashraf El Kholy is an intelligence officer. Third, the story made claims regarding Egypt's stance on the Jerusalem cause based on these alleged leaks which strikingly contradict the statements and moves on the international scale taken by the Egyptian state, the president, and the minister of foreign affairs.

The four persons mentioned in the story titled "Tapes Reveal Egyptian Leader's Tacit Acceptance of Jerusalem Move" negated being contacted by someone called Ashraf El Kholy. Actress Yousra told SIS that she would file a liable lawsuit against The New York Times.

On December 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing the city as the Israeli capital. Consequently, international objection and protests in the Palestinian territories erupted. Clashes between protestors and Israeli security forces resulted in 10 deaths and over 2,000 injuries.

The Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on the U.S. decision, called for by Turkey and Yemen, took place on December 20, three days after the United States vetoed the Egyptian-drafted resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) objecting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Palestinian officials vowed to take all possible measures internationally after the veto on December 17 as the decision breaches all former United Nations (UN) resolutions on Israel and Palestinian territories.

The UN draft resolution, approved by the remaining 14 UNSC Member States stated, “that any decisions and actions, which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem, have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.” The resolution, however, does not mention the U.S.

On December 8, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. On December 9, Grand Iman Sheikh Ahmed El Tayyeb, and Pope Tawadros II, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, cancelled their scheduled meetings with Pence during his visit. About 3,000 people in Bangladesh gathered in front of the main mosque in the capital, Dhaka, to protest against Trump's decision.

On December 10, Tear gas was used to disperse protesters outside the U.S. embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut. On December 19, Pence canceled his Middle East tour which was due to start on December 20 from Egypt.

On December 20, The U.S. permanent envoy to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted: "On Thursday there will be a vote criticizing our choice. The U.S. will be taking names," referring to the 193-nation assembly. Trump later threatened of cutting aid to countries voting in favor of the draft resolution condemning his decision in UNGA.
 
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