Montag, 25. Februar 2008

IDF kills Two - Mass Rally on Monday

Bei einem Luftangriff der IAF [wohl] in der Rafah-Zone werden vor einer Stunde zwei Hamasniks getötet und zwei weitere verletzt. Im Tagesverlauf war es dort zu einer mittleren Operation gegen Schmuggel-Tunnel gekommen. Etwa vierzig Palästinenser werden verhaftet. Nach IDF-Angaben fünf Tunnel gefunden und gesprengt. Mit Spannung erwartet wird für heute eine Aktion der Hamas am Erez Crossing: Israel warned Hamas on Sunday evening that the organization would be responsible for any consequences of a planned march along the Gaza Strip's border Monday, saying any harm to civilians would be Hamas' fault. Some 40,000 Palestinians are expected to march along the Gaza Strip's border in protest of Israel's economic embargo on the coastal territory. "Israel will defend its territory and will stop any infiltration attempt into its sovereign borders," Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said in a joint statement sent to all Israeli embassies and missions. "Hamas is behind activities that place the civilian population on the front lines," the statement added. Derweil wird erneut durch ägyptische Grenzer eine Frau bei dem Versuch nach Israel illegal einzureisen erschossen. [Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday ordered the deportation of thousands of African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally via Sinai and whose lives would not be endangered if sent home. + Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday spoke out against the prime minister's instructions to relax Israel's policy on attempted infiltrators to make it easier for border troops to open fire on people trying to cross into Israel illegally. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday had ordered the defense establishment to step up efforts to prevent the illegal infiltration of job-seeking Africans into Israel through the border with Egypt. ] Am Nachmittag kommt es zu drei Qassam-Raketenabschüssen. Zwei landen noch auf palästinensischem Territorium.

Aus der Westbank wird die kurzzeitige Verhaftung nebst Verhör von Khaled Amayreh durch Ramallahner gemeldet. Der fatah-kritische und teils antisemitisch operierende Veteran war zuletzt durch eine "Waffenstillstandsvereinbarung" mit einem Siedler-Rabbi auffällig geworden. [...] Thousands of angry Hamas loyalists on Sunday marched at the funeral of a Muslim preacher who died in the custody of government interrogators, accusing the Palestinian Authority of killing the man and turning the ceremony into a rare show of defiance against President Mahmoud Abbas. Some 3,000 Hamas loyalists crowded the village of Kobar, carrying the body of 44-year-old Majed Barghouti, who died in a lockup run by intelligence officials on Friday, a week after he was arrested. [...] Fourteen Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Sunday to investigate Israel's increasingly oppressive closure policies in the city, Munjid Jadu, a spokesperson for the Bethlehem governor's office said. The delegation was headed by Azzam Al-Ahmad, speaker of the Fatah bloc in the PLC. After visiting the Fatah headquarters in Bethlehem, the delegation met with the governor of Bethlehem, Salah Ta'mary, and the directors of the security services municipal councils in Bethlehem district. + After months of delay, Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Sunday set up teams of government experts to try to jumpstart U.S.-backed peace talks that critics say have yet to yield any progress. "The teams will focus on a range of specific issues, from security to trade and water use, that would form part of any agreement on a Palestinian state," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel.

Der Libanon kommt mal wieder hier zu kurz [war aber eh wenig los]: Arab League chief Amr Moussa held talks with rival political leaders in Lebanon on Sunday in a bid to break a deadlock that has left the country without a president for three months. Moussa hosted a meeting bringing together two leading members of the Western-backed ruling coalition, parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri Saad-Hariri-Profile Sep-07 and former President Amin Gemayel, and Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun. As The Daily Star went to press the meeting was still not adjourned. [...] Verweisen darf man auf die teilweise großartige Diskussion in diesem thread hier. Ergänzend: Saudis pull out $4.8 billion from Lebanon.

Raghida Dergham, "Arab attempts to lure Damaskus hit the walls of Syrian demands in Lebanon": There is increasing talk of intelligence information about an alleged dispute within the regime in Damascus; some intelligence information even refers to indicators implying that the Syrian regime is willing to accept proposals. A few take this information seriously and encourage responsiveness to any indicators heralding a potential positive change, especially if such change weakens certain figures associated with intelligence activities. Those embracing this view believe that responsiveness can save Syria from collective punishment. On the other hand, there is another camp with a completely different opinion, arguing that the regime is coherent and cohesive and that those messages and indicators claimed to be intelligence are in fact information propagated by the regime itself to distract others, buy time, target Lebanese institutions, and play on Arab fears. Regardless of what lies behind all this talk, the intelligence quasi-wars that accompany it in the region are carrying fears to a completely new level. Some even warn against an "intelligence free hand" among countries and within particular states. The assassination of Imad Mughniyyeh, Hezbollah's military official in Damascus, has raised a series of assumptions and expectations about retaliatory attacks by Hezbollah and Iran. Being the battlefield for wars-by-proxy, Lebanon is likely to pay the price.

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