Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dozen of Yemeni Jews stranded in Cairo

Mohammed al-Kibsi

Aug 26, 2011

A dozen of Yemeni Jews are stranded in Cairo of Egypt after failed to migrate to South America.

Yahya Yousof, Rabbi of the Al-Salem Jewish minority in Yemen said that the 12 Jews that left Yemen more than two months ago are stranded in Cairo and that they had left Yemen illegally.

He said that they are now in Egypt and are expected to be extradited to the Yemeni authorities soon due to false information they presented to the Yemeni immigration authorities prior to their leave to Egypt.

The 12 Jews are now being held in Egypt. He said that the twelve Yemeni Jews are suspected of forging official documents and could face legal actions due to not having proper documents.

A Yemeni Jew from Raidah town, 50 kilometers to the north of Sana’a, who asked to not mention his name said that many of the Yemeni Jews minority that live in Raida including the 12 stranded in Cairo have been planning to migrate to Europe in fears of being killed by Islamist radicals especially after one of them was killed by a radical Islamist militant.

Masha al-Nahari, 39 years old Yemeni Jew from Raidah was killed by an Islamist extremist in December 2008 after he and the Jewish minority in Raidah had received threats from Islamic extremists to convert to Islam or leave the country.

In a contradicted report the reported that as fighting and instability continue in Yemen, Satmar activists are taking advantage of the anarchy to step up efforts to smuggle Jews out of the country. According to a Kikar Shabbat report, a number of Yemenite Jews have recently been smuggled out of the country, taken to Argentina.

Of late, the situation for the remaining Jewish community has turned increasingly hostile, to the point of life-threatening in some cases, prompting Satmar to increase efforts to save the last remnants of the once thriving community in that country. Since the rebels began efforts to overthrow the current government, attacks against Jews have increased significantly, creating the volatile situation that exists today.

It appears that over recent days, 21 Jews, including three widows and an infant have been successfully taken out of the country, brought to safety.

The report adds that due to the political sensitivities surrounding such an operation, the United States would not agree to serve as a safe haven for these Jews, so Satmar decided to move them to S. America, to the local Satmar community in that country.

Satmar has been active in rescuing the last Yemenite Jews for a number of years, then absorbing them into their community. Satmar has come under criticism by many, who oppose turning the Yemenite Jews into Ashkenazi Satmar Chassidim.

Toppling Gaddafi influences Yemeni tension inevitably

by Fuad Rajeh, Wang Qiuyun

SANAA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Although the Yemeni government insists there should not be comparison between Libya and Yemen, observers here argue that any success of rebels in the region must have influence on others.

Abdul Janadi, deputy information minister, said on Thursday the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi was ousted under an international resolution while Yemen is experiencing a political crisis.

"The international community realizes that what is happening in Yemen is nothing but a political crisis and is now pushing the Yemeni parties to hold dialogue to solve this crisis. Absolutely, it makes the difference between our country and Libya clear," he added.

Likening the African country's status to that of the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein several years ago, he said Libya has been attacked from inside and outside its territory, noting that "without international support, the Libyan rebels would not be able to make any advance or carry out armed actions to overthrow the regime."

However, observers said the success of toppling Gaddafi has influenced the Yemeni people even if Yemen is not like Libya.

"The Arab regimes have many in common, which means that the downfall of anyone of them must influence the others through putting further pressure on them," said political analyst Abdul Ghani al-Mawer.

When the Libyan rebel fighters entered Tripoli days ago, the Yemeni people, especially the anti-government protesters who have been conducting seven-month street sit-ins to call for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, held demonstrations to show their support to their brothers in Libya and urged an immediate end of Saleh's rule in their country.

"Doubtless, any anti-government process in the region can influence other people, including those in kingdoms such as Jordan and Morocco where the regimes were forced to implement political reforms in the aftermath of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, " said Fuad al-Salahi, a political sociology professor at Sanaa University.

He said the victory of the Libyan fighters has boosted the morale of the Yemeni people and that the youth in the region have been exchanging thoughts since the Arab unrest started.

The Yemeni opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) announced on Aug. 17 the formation of a "National Council for Peaceful Revolution Forces," which drew on the experience of Libya 's National Transitional Council (NTC), in order to unite different forces across the country to oust President Saleh. However, the council faced split as 23 southern leaders who were elected as members of "National Council" declared withdrawal from it three days later.

Al-Salahi said the Yemeni people should learn from the Libyan transitional council, which has proved its success through its members accepted by all the Libyan people, and other countries to move from one step to another skillfully.

"The national council of the Yemeni opposition was a necessity to unite the anti-Saleh political forces, although the Libyan council is better," said al-Salahi.

Seven troops killed in al Qaeda attack in Yemen, official says

August 27, 2011

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Seven government troops were killed and six others injured on Friday in fierce clashes with suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern Abyan province.

A senior security official in Dofas, Abyan, said Saturday that the militants attacked troops unexpectedly near the military base in Dofas.

He said that more than 25 militants participated in the attack while one of them was killed as they were leaving the district.

He added that militants used five pick up vehicles in the attack.

"It was a short but fierce ten minutes after they attacked our forces. We deployed three military teams after them and the government will continue pursuing the terrorists," the official said, who is not named because he is not authorized to talk to media.

Friday night, the Interior Ministry announced that its forces killed three suspected al Qaeda militants in Abyan province.

Eyewitnesses in Dofas, Abyan, said that militants attacked on Friday a governmental military helicopter, causing serious damages to it. Majed al-Zayadi, the pilot of the helicopter, was injured in the attack.

Three suspected al Qaeda militants were also injured in Zinjibar after clashing with pro government tribal fighters Saturday morning, fighters confirmed.

The militants still control vast areas in the province.

The extremist militants took over areas of the province when government forces suddenly evacuated from towns and cities of Abyan, residents said.