Langsam ergibt sich ein halbwegs glaubhaftes Szenario des weiterhin anhaltenden Ägypten-Ausfluges von wohl mittlerweile über einer halben Million Palästinenser. Mon sollte an oberster Stelle die Verantwortlichen für die derzeitig noch absolut konfliktfrei ablaufende Aktion loben. [Hamas operatives had been sawing away the foundations of the wall between Egyptian and Palestinian Rafah for a few months to make it easier to blow it up when the time came, a source close to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in Rafah told Haaretz Wednesday. A central Hamas operative partially confirmed the report, although he told Haaretz it was PRC operatives who had prepared to breach the wall, while Hamas policemen did not interfere. In any case, Hamas has for months been discussing the need to take the initiative in ending the siege of Gaza. Apparently, after four days of hermetic closure, following months of siege, the planners believed the political and social conditions were ripe to bring down the iron wall that Israel had put up. Wednesday around 3 A.M., the people of Rafah were awakened by a series of blasts between 15 and 20, people said. The hospital in Rafah was put on advance alert to prepare for those who might be injured by Egyptian bullets.] Andere Berichte bestätigen in etwa diese Version. Sehr gesichert gilt das Ägyptens Präsident Mubarak internem und arabischen Druck nachgegeben hat und diese Aktion ermöglichte. Andererseits erinnere ich sehr gerne an die kontraproduktiven Breitseiten von Tzipi Livni, der israelischen Aussenministerin, die durch ihre ägyptenfeindlichen aussagen den Steigbügelhalter spielen durfte. Weiterhin gilt als seit längerer Zeit gesichert das die Saudis gerade in Schwellenländern wie Ägypten dem ausgehenden Einfluß der US-Regierung über wirtschaftliche Wohltaten zu kompensieren suchen. Hinzu kommt bei Livni ihre neue Strategie das Nichts nicht zu erwähnen: "Livni told Ban Ky-Moon [UN Secretary General] that the content of the recently re-launched peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would not be made public. "We are working very hard in order to reach complete agreement between the sides," she said, adding that Hamas does not recognize Israel and is not prepared to accept any political settlement." [Mit null-Verlautbarungen kann ein Regime wie das ramallahnische unter Mahmoud Abbas sicher nciht gestützt werden.] Offiziell halten sich die Amerikaner raus ["Besorgnis"], inoffiziell setzt man auf ägyptische Zusagen den Strom von Hamas-Funktionären und Waffendealern einigermaßen unter erträglicher Kontrolle zu halten. Matan Vilnai hat derweil endlich mit seinem Chef telefoniert und darf nun unter seinem Klarnamen sprechen: Israel wants to sever connections with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and cease supplying it with basic necessities in the wake of the border breach, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said on Thursday. "We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it," Vilnai told Army Radio. Vilnai said Israel's effort to disengage from Gaza - which began with the 2005 evacuation of all settlers - "continues in that we want to stop supplying electricity to them, stop supplying them with water and medicine, so that it would come from another place." "We are responsible for it as long as there is no alternative," Vilnai said. A defense official said Egypt should take over responsibility. Diese Strategie ist zu befürworten, gibt aber keine Antworten auf die drängenden Fragen des a) Hafens für Gaza und b) der Ausbeutung der Gasvorkommen vor der Küste. Der Gazastreifen könnte ein nahezu selbstversorgendes Gebiet werden, jedoch steht dem die politische Blockade der Hamas entgegen, die wiederum ihre Positionen bei behält [Vernichtung Israels, etc.] und sich nun eines Popularitätsaufschwungs erfreuen dürfte. [Glaubhaft sind zB die vorzeitige Auszahlung von Gehältern, oder die Finanzierung von Kleinkrediten für Farmer, die sich mit Vieh versorgen. Man hat hier in der BRD auch gerne das Bild des zähnefletschenden wahnisinnigen Islamisten der gleich explodiert. Das Organisationstalent und das strukturelle Denken der Leute wird gängig ausgeblendet.] Der Absicht sich Abzukoppeln kann die folgende aktion mächtig in die Suppe spucken: "The High Court of Justice will hold 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, days after militants blasted open the territory's border with Egypt. 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." Israel ist an Versorgerverträge gebunden, sowohl EU als auch UN und Ngos sind auf die Abwicklung über Israel angewiesen. Der politischen Wunschwelt sich schnell abzukoppeln steht das implantierte System eben jener Versorgungskappung bei Bedarf entgegen die eben praktiziert wird. Nun ... während der Strom an Ausflüglern langsam abeebbt reisen zB ägyptische Ärzte [wohl mit Ausrüstung] ein, die Operationen durchführen werden. Damit wäre ein etwas langfristigeres Engagement der Ägypter wahrscheinlich, da man eigene Staatsbürger nicht gefährden wird. Über das Außmaß an Waffenschmuggel kann nur spekuliert werden. Und natürlich ... nach dem Friedensesel kommt der chickenhawk: U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns arrived in Israel on Thursday, telling reporters that a new United Nations draft resolution against Iran agreed on by major powers would be punitive. Burns' comments contradicted comments by Russia's foreign minister. "This resolution will be punitive. I saw some comments from Moscow yesterday saying it will not be punitive. That's not correct. It's a punitive resolution," Burns said, without elaborating on the wording of the draft resolution over Iran's nuclear program. Ahead of a meeting with Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai in Tel Aviv, Burns said that while Hamas itself was to blame for the shortages of basic goods in the Gaza Strip, it was up to Egypt to restore order at the border, after militants smashed the frontier fence a day earlier. Wie schon von mir befürchtet: In Berlin hat man sich also bezüglich der Iran-Sanktionen geeingigt sich zu contradiktieren.
Kommentar, Issacharoff + Harel, "Gaza Border breach showes Israel that Hamas is in charge": A few Israel Defense Forces Engineering Corps officers surely shed a tear yesterday while viewing the television reports from Rafah: The barrier built by the IDF with blood and sweat along the Philadelphi Route, on the Gaza Strip border with Egypt, was coming down. It was, apparently, the final remnant of Israel's years of occupying the Strip. But Israel has better reasons to be worried by what happened yesterday. In destroying the wall separating the Palestinian and Egyptian sides of Rafah, Hamas chalked up a real coup. Not only did the organization demonstrate once again that it is a disciplined, determined entity, and an opponent that is exponentially more sophisticated than the Palestine Liberation Organization. It also took the sting out of the economic blockade plan devised by Israel's military establishment, an idea whose effectiveness was doubtful from the beginning but whose potential for international damage was not.
"IDF forces killed an armed Palestinian militant as he was attempting to launch an anti-tank rocket at the troops near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip late Wednesday night." In der Westbank geht es etwas zivilisierter als am Vortag zu: Acht verhaftete Palästinenser durch die IDF, zwei Hamas-Angehörige durch die Fatah. Im Gazastreifen wird im al-Maghazi-Camp erneut ein von der Weltbank finanziertes Büro für kommunale Entwicklung überfallen.
Andere Länder... Auf eine derzeit laufende Diskussion wird hiermit hingewiesen: The attack on a U.S. embassy vehicle that killed four people last week represents a dangerous widening of political violence that includes international targets, and shows how al Qaeda-inspired extremists are attempting to push the politically deadlocked country toward civil war, some analysts say. "Al Qaeda is now unleashed in Lebanon and they are here to stay," said Ahmad Moussali, professor of political science and Islamic studies at the American University of Beirut. "Al Qaeda thrives in civil war and chaos. International players should be very careful in Lebanon." +++ Speaker Nabih Berri for the first time has expressed pessimism over prospects for resolving the political logjam. Berri placed the ball squarely in the Arab court by insisting that only a Saudi-Syrian reconciliation could pave the way for inter-Lebanese accord and the election of a new president and formation of a new government. "When [Arab League Secretary General Amr] Moussa came to see me before going to Damascus and asked me if I have any message for [Syrian President] Bashar Assad, I told him just tell him to reconcile with Saudi Arabia," Berri told The Daily Star in an exclusive interview Saturday. He added that the rift was "Syria's mistake," the result of comments made by Syrian Vice President Farouk Sharaa, which soured relations. Hopes are high that the upcoming Arab summit in March in Damascus will serve as an ideal platform for a Saudi-Syrian reconciliation. +++ Russia's approach to a Syrian-Israeli peace process is very much a function of developments in Russo-Syrian relations. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Russo-Syrian ties have been making good headway in quite a number of fields. Certainly, the traditional character of historical ties between Moscow and Damascus is playing a role. But one should also not ignore the pragmatism inherent in President Vladimir Putin's foreign-policy course, and in particular the promotion of interests of Russian companies in world markets, the Middle East included. The Syrian market affords good opportunities to Russia. Whereas in the 1990s the volume of trade with Syria sharply dwindled and cooperation in a number of fields was curtailed, since 2000 the trade turnover has been constantly growing. For the first eight months of 2007 alone it amounted to $746.9 million, which more than doubled the corresponding indicators for 2006. The main lines of cooperation are power engineering, transport, oil and gas, irrigation and the peaceful use of atomic energy. +++ Prime Minister Fouad Siniora flew to Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the Lebanese political crisis with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The visit came four days before Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa is scheduled to brief Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital on the results of his efforts to mediate an end to the Lebanese impasse. Moussa's report may determine the future of the Arab initiative to resolve Lebanon's presidential crisis and whether the opposition launches street protests in the coming days. Before leaving for Egypt, Siniora held talks with a visiting Russian envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Sultanov. Earlier, Sultanov had met separately with Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Saad Hariri Saad-Hariri-Profile Sep-07 , leader of the majority in the House. Meanwhile, Change and Reform MP Michel Murr broke ranks with the bloc's leader, MP Michel Aoun, who had taken issue with Moussa's interpretation of the Arab plan.
Dina Kraft, "Martyred protector of children still remembered by his charges": They are in their 80s now, the last living links to Janusz Korczak, the visionary champion of children's rights who refused to part with his young charges even as they were herded to the gas chambers. When they speak of him, the old men are young again: transported to their days in his orphanage, a place they remember as a magical republic for children as the Nazi threat grew closer. "It was a utopia," said Shlomo Nadel, 85, one of the surviving orphans who managed to flee Poland before the Jewish orphanage was forced into the ghetto. Nadel and the others were witness to life on 92 Krochmalna Street in Warsaw, the orphanage that became a laboratory for Korczak's democratic educational theories, boasting a court and parliament run by the children. "A child is a person at every stage of his or her development and has rights, the same rights as an adult, and needs to be treated accordingly," said Yitzhak Belfer, 85, who can recite by heart the system of points and punishment meted out by the children's court. "That's how it was with us." Korczak's ideas for a declaration of children's rights were posthumously adopted by the United Nations, and dozens of Korczak associations exist worldwide. Last year, a compilation of his advice for parents was published under the title "Loving Every Child." Its message: Listen to children at their level, celebrate their quirks and dreams. His work at the orphanage was interrupted in 1940 when the Nazis forced him and his orphans into the Warsaw Ghetto.