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Israel Locust Alert: "Great Damage in Egypt

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Israel Locust Alert: "Great Damage in Egypt

Post  Panda on Mon 4 Mar - 15:20

Israel Locust Alert: 'Great Damage' In Egypt


Millions of locusts destroy crops in Egypt, as neighbouring
Israel tries to prevent an outbreak there.



3:11pm UK, Monday
04 March 2013

Locusts have already damaged farm land in Egypt (file
pic)












  • An enormous swarm of locusts has descended on Egypt, with
    authorities in Israel worried they could spread across the border.

    Millions of insects have already devastated agricultural land near the
    Egyptian capital Cairo by stripping crops.

    Fears of a similar wave of destruction in Israel prompted the country's
    Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to set up an emergency
    hotline.

    It asked people to be vigilant in reporting sightings in order to prevent an
    outbreak.

    The Times of Israel said an estimated 30 million locusts had
    descended on Giza, "causing great damage".

    It quoted Salah Abad Almoman, the Egyptian agricultural minister, as saying
    the armed forces had been drafted in to battle the bugs.

    Another newspaper, Egypt Independent, said up to 95% of the insects had been
    eradicated
    .

    The locust alert comes ahead of the Passover festival, which recounts the
    biblical story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.

    According to the Bible, a plague of locusts was one of 10 plagues God imposed
    on Egyptians for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews.

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Re: Israel Locust Alert: "Great Damage in Egypt

Post  Panda on Mon 4 Mar - 15:38

Israel launches Palestinian-only buses amid accusations of racial
segregation



Israel has been accused of encouraging racial segregation after a new
Palestinian-only bus service was launched following objections by Jewish
settlers who claimed Arab passengers were "a security risk".









Israel has been accused of
encouraging racial segregation after a new Palestinian-only bus service was
launched following objections by Jewish settlers who claimed Arab passengers
were "a security risk". Photo:
REUTERS






By Robert Tait,
Jerusalem

9:54PM GMT 03 Mar 2013




From Monday Palestinians travelling to day jobs into central Israel from the West Bank will be urged to board special buses at a
checkpoint instead of the regular services used by Israelis.


The scheme was drawn up by the Israeli transport ministry after residents in
two Jewish settlements complained that Palestinians travellers on the
Trans-Samaria road – also known as Highway 5 – between the West Bank and Tel
Aviv were a potential threat.


There were also reports of overcrowding and fights between Israeli and
Palestinian passengers.


The transport ministry insisted the move was “designed to improve the service
for Palestinians entering Israel”.


But some human rights groups called it “blatant racism” that resembled South
African-style apartheid.



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“They are institutionalising segregated services for Jews and non-Jews,” said
Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, an activist with Women For Civil Disobedience, an
Israeli-Palestinian campaign group. “Many people don’t class the Israeli
situation as apartheid because for a long time, Israel refrained from the
characteristics of petty apartheid, like separate roads, cafés and buses. This
bus situation is a step in the direction of petty apartheid because people are
being segregated in their daily activities.”

Avner Ovadia, a transport ministry spokesperson, said there was no official
ban on Palestinian workers travelling on public buses.

“Furthermore, the transport ministry is not authorised to stop any passenger
travelling on these bus routes,” he said.

But drivers with the Afikim bus company, which operates the Trans-Samaria
route, said Palestinians attempting to use the regular services would be pointed
towards a different bus.

“We are not allowed to refuse service and we will not order anyone to get off
the bus, but from what we were told … there will be checks at

the checkpoint, and Palestinians will be asked to board their own buses,” one
driver told Ynet, an Israeli news website.

Flyers in Arabic advertising the new service have been distributed at bus
stops near Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

Yirsael Maidad, a spokesman for the Jewish Settlers Council, said Israelis
felt justified in refusing to share buses with Palestinians because of Israel’s
experience with suicide bombers.

“Since we ride buses with Arabs every day in Israel, it’s not a racist thing
but for some strange reason, Arabs blow themselves up in buses and Israelis find
that very unnerving,” he said. “If you were to ask some bright young radical, he
would say forcing Arabs to ride Israeli uses would be a form of colonialism.
Having their own buses should be very much welcomed as part of a state-building
process.”

Campaigners say troops began ordering Palestinians with Israeli work permits
off buses after settlers made complaints last November.

After witnessing one such incident, Ms Yeshua-Lyth lodged a report with
Makhsom Watch, an Israeli group that monitors check point incidents. She
described how soldiers herded around 30 Palestinian workers from a bus
travelling from Tel Aviv to the West Bank.

“The soldier/officer roars: “Udrub!” (Move!) And then: “Sit on your butts! On
your butts!,” she wrote. “They are then marched to the terminal fence and made
to stand along it in a line, then to sit on the cold ground and wait.”

When the men asked why they had been taken from the bus, they were told
“You’re not allowed to be on Highway 5” and “You’re not allowed to use public
transportation at all”.

Palestinians say they have been forced to walk several miles to their homes
or use expensive taxi services since the policy of removing them from buses
began. An estimated 29,000 Palestinians travel to jobs in Israel every day,
according to official figures.

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