Dienstag, 11. Dezember 2007

IDF kills One

Bei einem Luftangriff vor Beit Hanoun wird ein Mitglied des Islamic Jihad getötet und zwei weitere verletzt. [wieder sehr auffällig, Haaretz schreibt: "late Tuesday night". Momentan sehr schlampig die Herrschaften.]

Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri issued a statement stating that the presidential election has been delayed to December 17 - This is the eighth delay in the presidential elections. The first date was Sept 25, 2007. Unterdesse, Kouchner gets dirty on Syria/Iran: The French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said there are difficulties that could prevent the election of General Michel Suleiman tomorrow. Kouchner said "many major obstacles were overcome , but there is significant external intervention in Lebanon which is causing the delays in the presidential vote".

French President Nicholas Sarkozy assured opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday that he would continue to do everything possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In an hour-long meeting at the Elysee Palace, Netanyahu said despite the American national intelligence assessment, he did not see any change in Iran's effort to obtain nuclear capability. "Iranian missile and fissile activity continues with great momentum, so pressure must be intensified," Netanyahu told Sarkozy. [Visit Haaretz-TV to see: A Palestinian man threatens to jump of a Paris roof if a former IDF chief is allowed to make a speech.] + Elias Harfouche, "Reassurance in the Gulf following the US report": The US Minister of Defense Robert Gates tried to reassure his colleagues among the Ministers of Defense and security officials of the Gulf region during the convention organized by the "the International Institute of Strategic Studies" in Bahrain that the policy of his government vis-à-vis Iran "did not change" following the issuance of the latest report of the US secret service bodies. The report created waves of criticism and concern among these allies and equal waves of acclaim among the allies of Iran and the advocates of its projects in the region. + The United States, Europe and Israel do not know nearly enough about Iran's attempts to develop nuclear weapons, said Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who is in charge of Israel's strategic dialogue with the United States on Iran. Speaking at a rally of supporters at Kadima's Petah Tikva headquarters, Mofaz said the American national intelligence assessment of Iran proved that the same intelligence could be interpreted in many different ways. [It is not enough to say that Iran is "still dangerous," as Bush and his team have been doing. Rather, the NIE's bizarre attempt to distinguish between Iran's "military" and "civilian" nuclear program must be effectively reversed.] Fazit des Mullen-Besuchs? Tiger - Bettvorleger.

John Vinocur, "On Iran, US policy implosion causes grief for Europe": Every debacle has its core of black comedy. For a hoot, here's Condoleezza Rice's version of the Bush administration's strategy on Iran, now that U.S. intelligence agencies say the mullahs halted the weapons-development segment of their nuclear program in 2003: It's "recommitment to our two-track approach," she said. According to The Associated Press, the two tracks referred to were sanctions and diplomacy. You may laugh now. The administration's real two-track approach was sanctions and the threat of bombing Iran's nuclear sites. With the publication of a new National Intelligence Estimate last week, that threat, tacitly approved by France and Britain, and kind of wishfully understood by Germany as targeted woofin', has vanished as a politically credible lever.

Mustafa Domanic, "Nuclear Capacity Needed to Deter America": The American intelligence reports’ recent assertion that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 does not change anything about the current situation as long as it does not fundamentally change the minds of American policymakers. Judging from President Bush's dismissive response, this doesn't seem to be the case. The truth is, Americans do not need a pretext to continue their bullying of Iran, which is precisely why Iranians want to and in fact should build nuclear capacity.

United Nations officials called for swift action on Monday to end a fuel and electricity shortage, partly caused by Israeli sanctions, that has aggravated a health crisis in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said fuel shortages in Gaza had made it harder for health services to function. "WHO and UNRWA are appealing to all parties involved to ensure that in future all health facilities in Gaza are supplied with the appropriate amount of electricity and fuel to provide fully functional services," the groups said in a statement. Ambrogio Manenti, the head of the WHO in the West Bank and Gaza, said the Israeli restrictions, a strike by Gaza fuel station owners and delays in payments from the Palestinian Authority to Israeli fuel companies had led to severe energy shortages in Gaza hospitals.

The Palestinian government in the West Bank on Monday discussed a bill that would require political parties to obtain licenses, two Cabinet ministers said. Such a law could target Hamas, which seized control of Gaza by force in June. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denounced the idea. "We don't need a license from anyone," he said. Noch unter construction: "Moscow pushing for follow-up Mideast peace summit in April" + Eine ganz ordentliche Besprechung des Meshal-Besuchs von Helena Cobban. Das im comment-Bereich erwähnte joint-Interviev Levy/Barghouti finder sich hier.

Former newspaper mogul Conrad Black was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison, far less than sought by prosecutors, for swindling shareholders in his Hollinger media empire out of $6 million.

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