Gestern ver starb der PFLP-Gründer George Habash in Jordanien.
Die Lage an der ägyptisch-gazanischen Grenze verbleibt volatil: Egyptian forces moved to close their breached border with the Gaza Strip by stopping vehicle traffic Sunday and further tightening their security cordon around the small frontier town of Rafah in effort to contain Palestinians crossing freely into Egypt for the fifth day in a row. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Sunday Egypt would take steps to control its border with the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. A Foreign Ministry statement provided no further details. Egyptian forces blocked one of the gaps in the border wall with piles of sand, and border police officers carrying electric cattle prods at other openings stopped cars with Palestinian plates from entering Egypt as well as Egyptian cars from crossing into Gaza. Pedestrians, however, continued to move back and forth freely. ... Over the past two days, 38 Egyptian security forces have been wounded - some seriously - after Palestinians hurled stones and shot at them at the border, according to Aboul Gheit. ... Israel, meanwhile, has expressed growing concern about the possible influx of Palestinian militants into areas of Egypt that border Israel. The Israel Defense Forces announced Saturday that its troops were on heightened alert along the border with Egypt, and that an Israeli road and tourism sites in the area are temporarily closed. ... The Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit announced on Saturday that Egypt will invite a delegation from Hamas to visit Egypt to discuss the situation at the border between Egypt and Gaza Strip. A delegation from the Palestinian Authority will visit Egypt separately for talks on the same subject. Al-Gheit told reporters, "there is a desire to control the Egyptian border to regulate the entry and exit of the Palestinian people and there is also an Egyptian effort to restore the arrangements that existed (on the border) between Egypt and the Gaza Strip before the Hamas takeover of the sector in last June. [Eine Ankündigung des ramallahnischen Desinformationsministers Ryad al-Maliki, die Fatah habe bereits die Zusage Ägyptens für diue Kontrolle des Rafah-Grenzübergangs erhalten muß als extrem suspekt bezeichnet werden.] ... Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that Israel would not let a humanitarian crisis develop in Gaza, after its Islamist Hamas rulers blew up a border barrier with Egypt and shattered an Israeli blockade. ... The state told the High Court of Justice on Sunday that Israel would restore the supply of industrial-use diesel to the Gaza Strip to target levels set prior to the blockade imposed on Gaza earlier this month. The state prosecution said those levels were the minimum required in order to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the Strip's civilian population. The High Court of Justice held an urgent hearing Sunday to discuss a petition filed by several Palestinian organizations against the reduction in Israeli fuel and gas shipments to the Gaza Strip. The court decided to hold the hearing in the wake of an additional petition for an injunction against the reduction in the supply of industrial-use diesel. [Basierend auf einer Interview-Serie im Frühjahr 2006 bespricht Helena Cobban die strategischen Fragen hinter der derzeitigen Situation.] Das Haaretz-editorial sieht gar eine Gefahr für den kalten Frieden von Israel und Ägypten: For 34 years, since the separation of forces after the Yom Kippur War, the Israel-Egyptian front has been quiet. The peace agreement signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin has been stable and firm for more than a quarter of a century, despite fluctuations of governments and conflicts on other fronts. Peace with Egypt is one of Israel's greatest strategic assets, although it is a cool peace. The entire Arab world followed it in moving ahead toward coming to terms with Israel. Over the past week danger has hung over this peace.
The European Union plans to revamp its massive annual aid for Palestinians from next month to make it fit better with the economic reform program of Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. EU foreign ministers on Monday are expected to discuss the plan which aims to focus European aid on sustainable, long-term economic development and invite other donors, especially Arab states, to pitch in. EU aid in recent years has totaled some $1 billion annually. The plan stems from last month's Paris donors conference, where Fayad's government received pledges of $7.7 billion over three years. If adopted, the new three-year plan will, from March 31, replace a temporary scheme that paid cash directly to destitute Palestinians when regular foreign aid dried up after the stridently anti-Israel Hamas government came to power in 2006. Those payments will continue through the Fayad government.
Gideon Levy, "Why the migthy fell": Here they are again, the protesting officers. After their failure in the wake of the Second Lebanon War, they have returned to us on the eve of the release of the final Winograd Committee report. Now, as then, their protest is hollow. They are crying out together with the bereaved parents, but their cry is infuriating. While protest in this complacent country is a good thing, in this case its content is deceptive, it focuses on the trivial and disregards substance. Both then and now, they want the prime minister's head; their be-all and end-all is Ehud Olmert's resignation. They are not protesting the outbreak of the war as such, the absence of any justification for it, or for that matter its moral and ethical failure. They like to talk about "values," but their values are not moral. They wanted the war to have been managed differently, to go on and on, until victory. But there was no chance of that war ending in victory, and that is one reason - though not the only one - that it would have been better had it not been fought.
Die story aus Kfar Etzion muß schon wieder verändert werden: Elyakim Kovatch, a 10th-grade counselor at the Mekor Haim yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, says he does not remember the sound of shots from his gun, which killed the two terrorists who broke into the institution Thursday evening. "In my memory, the incident is like a silent movie," he said Friday. [Ich hoffe dabei bleibts jetzt.]
In Damaskus endete eine dreitägige Konferenz von Hamas, Islamic Jihad, The Popular Resistance Committees, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (General Command), As-Sa'iqa, Fatah of the Intifada, the Popular Struggle Front, the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestinian Communist Revolutionary Party, the Palestinian Liberation Army + etc... Ergebnisse der Gespräche und ein Schlußdokument werden bislang nur vage verbreitet.
Die Fronten dürfen als extrem ruhig bezeichnet werden. Kleinere Zwischenfälle, kaum Wassam und Mörsergranaten-Aufkommen, keine Toten. Aber ein besonderes Opfer: "Israeli forces detained the French Consul General in Jerusalem for three and a half hours at a military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the southern West Bank on Friday, sources in the French consulate told Agence France Press. The sources added that Consul General Alain Rémy and his escorts were en route to Jerusalem when they were detained at the Israeli checkpoint. Israeli soldiers attempted to inspected their bags, despite the consulate staff's efforts to prevent them from doing so. According to the sources, the French Consul General compromised and allowed the Israeli soldiers to check his cars from the outside only."