Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Egypt’s New Government Seeks Parliament Confidence with Four-Pillar Plan

The Egyptian Prime Minister delivers the government statement before the Parliament in the new administrative capital (Cabinet)
The Egyptian Prime Minister delivers the government statement before the Parliament in the new administrative capital (Cabinet)
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Egypt’s New Government Seeks Parliament Confidence with Four-Pillar Plan

The Egyptian Prime Minister delivers the government statement before the Parliament in the new administrative capital (Cabinet)
The Egyptian Prime Minister delivers the government statement before the Parliament in the new administrative capital (Cabinet)

Egypt’s new government introduced its three-year plan titled “Together We Build a Sustainable Future” before parliament on Monday, aiming to secure legislative confidence.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly committed to resolving the country’s electricity crisis and safeguarding Egypt’s Nile water share.

Following a month of consultations, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s administration completed its ministerial formation, merging ministries, appointing new officials, and restructuring key portfolios in Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Justice.

Madbouly presented the government’s agenda for 2024/2025 amd 2026/2027, focusing on four priorities: ensuring national security, advancing foreign policy, enhancing human development, and fostering a competitive economy to attract investments. The plan also emphasizes achieving political stability and national unity.

The prime minister underscored Egypt’s comprehensive approach to national security, including border stability, military capabilities, and securing critical assets like the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

Egypt also aims to strengthen its international and regional influence while protecting essential areas like water and energy security.

Madbouly reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to preserving its Nile water rights through enhanced cooperation with Nile Basin and African nations.

The premier addressed long standing challenges, including a decade-long water conflict with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Cairo fears the dam could diminish its share of the Nile’s waters.

Madbouly emphasized the government’s focus on addressing citizens’ concerns and improving local governance to foster positive community engagement.

Regarding the electricity crisis, Madbouly pledged firm action to resolve it within the first half of his administration's program. He noted efforts to stabilize markets and reduce inflation in recent months.

Egypt faces electricity shortages, leading to scheduled power cuts lasting up to three hours, alongside successive waves of price hikes and currency depreciation.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Deif’s Assassination Attempt in Gaza Took Weeks of Close Surveillance

Palestinians search for bodies and survivors in a site hit by an Israeli bombardment on Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)
Palestinians search for bodies and survivors in a site hit by an Israeli bombardment on Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)
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Deif’s Assassination Attempt in Gaza Took Weeks of Close Surveillance

Palestinians search for bodies and survivors in a site hit by an Israeli bombardment on Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)
Palestinians search for bodies and survivors in a site hit by an Israeli bombardment on Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jehad Alshrafi)

For weeks, Israel kept watch on a palm-tree-dotted villa in southern Gaza where it believed a top Hamas lieutenant was staying with his family, but it held off on a strike, according to three senior Israeli defense officials.

The Israelis had a bigger target in mind: Muhammad Deif, the elusive leader of Hamas’s military wing, according to a report published by The New York Times on Monday.

The officials said that on Saturday, after learning that Deif appeared to be at the villa, the Israeli government sent in fighter jets that devastated the compound and killed dozens of Palestinians in the area around it.

The Israeli army and the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, said on Sunday that the strike had killed the lieutenant, Rafa Salameh.

But the fate of Deif, who is second in command of Hamas and considered an architect of its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, remained unclear.

The Israeli government also defended the decision to order the strike — which the officials said used at least five US-made precision-guided bombs — in an area Israel itself has designated a humanitarian zone for Palestinians driven from their homes by the war between Israel and Hamas.

The strike was authorized after prolonged observation of the villa, one of Salameh’s secret command posts, according to the three senior Israeli officials.

The villa is in an area known as Al-Mawasi, west of Khan Younis near the Mediterranean Sea.

It belonged to Salameh’s family, two of the officials said, and Salameh began spending more time there in recent months after Israeli forces overran many of his other strongholds in Khan Younis, both above and below ground, according to two of the officials.

Salameh still spent much of his time in Hamas’s underground tunnel network, but he also stayed regularly at the villa, along with his family and other militants, to escape the stifling conditions in the tunnels, the officials said.

Officers from an Israeli unit that oversees the identification of high-value targets, staffed by operatives from military intelligence and the Shin Bet, detected Salameh’s presence several weeks ago, the officials said.

But, they added, Israeli leaders decided to delay any attempts to kill him to see if he would be joined at some point by Deif.

Earlier assassination attempts against Deif are believed to have left him disabled, and he may be missing an eye and limbs. The Israeli military believes that he has developed health problems that force him to spend more time than other Hamas leaders do above ground, outside the tunnel network, the officials said.

On Friday, Israeli intelligence officers received information suggesting that Deif had appeared at the villa, the officials said. The news was sent up the chain of command to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who signed off on the strike, he said.

When the military received further indications of Deif’s presence after 10 a.m. on Saturday, it sent in the jets. It also launched an additional airstrike near emergency responders, videos and photographs reviewed by The New York Times show.

At least 90 people were killed, about half of them women and children, and 300 were wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Reports from the Gaza Strip described hospitals overwhelmed by injured Palestinians.

A Hamas official suggested on Sunday that Deif remained very much alive.

Netanyahu himself, in a televised news conference on Saturday night, said there was still no “absolute certainty” that Deif had been killed.