Bei Kämpfen im Dorf Khuza'a wird am Sonntag ein 41-jähriger Zivilist durch eine Panzergranate getötet. Weitere fünf Personen, darunter drei Bewaffnete werden verletzt. Palästinensische Gruppen schießen am Sonntag bis zu fünf und heute bslang sieben bis neun Projektile auf israelische zivile Ziele am Grenzstreifen. Es kommt zu Sachschäden, dabei erneut in einem Friedhof, und Shockopfern. Mehrere Attacken Mörsergranaten auf statische oder operierende Ziele runden das Bild ab. [...] Israel is expected to agree to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Hamas within days, a senior Egyptian official told the London-based newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat in a report published on Monday. According to the source, Israel will give an "unofficial" acceptance to the agreement only after "the Palestinian factions announce that they accept the deal." "After we announce the cease-fire in Cairo, the sides will be bound to it," the official told the paper. "In addition, Israel will open the border crossings to Gaza in order to allow the transfer of commercial shipments, medicine, fuel, and food." + Egypt will send intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to Israel soon for talks on a truce deal Cairo hopes to seal between Israel and Palestinian militants, President Hosni Mubarak said on Sunday. "I think the head of intelligence will travel there, but after the holiday celebrations in Israel. He will go to talk to the Israeli side," Mubarak told reporters in remarks aired live on state television. Mubarak did not give a specific date for the trip, but Israel marks Memorial Day on Wednesday and its 60th anniversary on Thursday. + Disappointed by the lack of progress on the matter of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit and Cairo's disinclination to put an end to the smuggling of arms across its border into Hamas-controlled Gaza, Israel is now looking to delay the announced visit of Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman. Suleiman was scheduled to travel to Israel in the coming days to present an Egyptian-backed truce agreement agreed on by Hamas and other Palestinian factions. But State officials in Jerusalem confirmed on Sunday evening that the triumvirate of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni are united in their lack of enthusiasm towards a visit by Suleiman prior to Independence. + The United Nations is set to halt delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday because its vehicles have run out of fuel, a U.N. official said. Gaza has been facing a fuel shortage because of Israeli restrictions on supplies and a strike by Palestinian fuel distributors. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Gazans, said the lack of fuel would force its food distribution programmes to be halted on Monday, affecting some 650,000 people. Das Transportwesen ist nahezu gesamt zusammengebrochen. Das Elektrizirätswerk mußte am Sonntag kurzfristig abschalten. Genehmigte Transporte bleiben Mangelware. Eine Aktion die offensichtlich geklappt hat: Tomorrow (Sun., May 4) a consignment of medicines and medical equipment will be passed to the Gaza Strip, bought through 60,000 Dollar donations collected worldwide by Gush Shalom and the Coalition Against the Siege. [...] Was ich mir erlaubt habe zu bemerken wird jetzt auch von den Soldaten vor Ort so empfunden: Senior IDF officers serving in Gaza are frustrated over what they describe as the army's lack of resolve and limited action against terror emanating from the Strip. "This week I returned from another standby shift at the combat helicopter base where I do my reserve duty," lit.-Col. N told Ynet. "Again we did nothing, despite a Qassam and mortar barrage fired by terrorists at the entire sector." Es sollte hier auch kein Zweifel aufkommen, das militärische Mittel gegen operierende Qassam-Einheiten und bewaffnete Infiltratoren, mit Abstrichen auch Aktionen hinter der Front durchaus vollkommen legal und berechtigt sind.
In den blühenden Landschaften der Westbank werden über das Wochenende 28 Palästinenser durch die IDF und über ein dutzend Hamasniks durch die Fatah aus gesundheitlichen Gründen gefängnisverschickt. Während die Musterung der 600 Sicherheitstruppen der PA in Jenin durch Superminister Salam Fayyad ereignislos verläuft wird der Brandanschlag auf das Auto des Gouverneurs von Nablus, Jamal al-Moushen aufgeklärt. Einem 18-jährigen wird dabei bei seiner Verhaftung in die Beine geschossen. Die Schüsse auf die Begleitung von al-Moushen sind nicht aufgeklärt. In Jericho wandelt ein Militärgericht diie vor Kurzem durch eine Erstinstanz verhängtes Todesurteil gegen einen "Kollaborateur" in eine siebenjährige Haftstrafe um. Die große Politik: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a series of talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace here on Sunday, saying she believed an accord was attainable by year’s end. But the process was overshadowed by an intensifying police investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. Ms. Rice, who arrived here from a conference in London that focused on international donations to the Palestinian Authority, has held meetings with Mr. Olmert; the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas; and other top officials from both sides. In brief statements so far, all have been tight-lipped. + U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday pressed Israel to ease travel restrictions on Palestinians and called Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank "particularly problematic" + Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday that Israel has "no hidden agenda" regarding West Bank settlements, after U.S. Secretary of State called Israel's policy in the area "problematic." [??? Die Damen obfuscatieren wieder mal.] The gag order on the investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be partially lifted in "the next 24 hours, following major progress expected in the investigation," according to officials in the police and the attorney general's office quoted by Army Radio radio Monday morning. The officials reportedly said that findings that have been accumulated so far are "reliable" and "will shock the country" when they are revealed. + Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Monday to try to accelerate peace talks that have shown little sign of progress ahead of a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush. [Die ersten Veröffentlichungen sind nicht sehr schockierend: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert used his bureau to promote the artistic career of his wife Aliza, a Haaretz report reveals. The report also says that when the couple were in New York for a private art exhibit by Olmert, their stay at a luxury hotel was paid for by an American association.]
In the latest round of an ongoing verbal slugfest, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman on Monday accused Arab MKs of representing Israel's enemies and of being a "fifth column" in the Knesset. In response, MKs Ahmed Tibi and Muhammad Barakei responded that Israel Beiteinu was a "fascist party" that should not be allowed representation in the Knesset. "The Arab Mks are the representatives of terror organizations in the Knesset," Lieberman accused. "Today in the Knesset there is a coalition of defeatists and fifth columnists. Those sitting here (the Arab MKs) are representatives of terror organizations." [...] Asher Maoz, "We have it up to here with the Ultra-Orthodox": These are painful statements, but they must be said loud and clear: Two peoples live in this land, both Jewish - they and we. They are the ultra-Orthodox, who see themselves as emissaries of God on earth. We are all the rest - secular, traditional and religious. It is not that we have suddenly separated; we never were one people. We tried to delude ourselves that we were. They knew all along that we were not.
Kommentare: Akiva Eldar, "Time for Livni": As expected, Ehud Olmert stated yesterday at the start of the cabinet meeting that, "I have an agenda as prime minister of Israel, I intend to carry out this agenda, and continue conducting the meetings and performing the tasks I have to do." In other words, he intends to continue the agenda according to which part of his time is spent with investigators and lawyers, and the rest with Mahmoud Abbas and Condoleezza Rice. The State of Israel is confronted with questions of war and peace, the relationship between business and government, issues of society and welfare, and all the while it is led by a person who spends a great deal more time with police officers than in meetings with a number of his ministers, and who, had he not been a VIP, would be spending all his time in the interview rooms of the National Fraud Squad. [...] Giedeon Levy, "You have to be sad, then happy": In a short period of seven days the State of Israel dictates three times what its citizens should feel: They should grieve twice - on Holocaust Remembrance Day and on Memorial Day, and to be happy once - on Independence Day. These three days are commemorated in Israel with near zealous totality, a sort of missionary sanctity that appears to be intensifying over the years, including the issuing of fines to anyone violating the holiday's laws. Harel + Issacharoff, "Rumblings of dissatisfaction": The new police investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to have serious implications on the developments in the political-security arena, and mainly on the Egyptian effort to achieve a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. If aspects of the criminal investigation come to dominate Israeli political life - as they seem to be at this stage - it will be difficult for Israel to advance on the Palestinian track, especially in matters that may require tough concessions.
Arab countries are mulling an emergency fund to help counter a global surge in food prices, Jordan's Agriculture Minister was quoted as saying on Monday. Protests, strikes and riots have erupted in developing countries around the world after prices of wheat, rice, corn, oils and other essential foods rose more than 40 percent in the past year. [...] Joshua Landis: "As Commodity Prices Soar, the Income Gap Rips at Society’s Middle": The Middle East is being hit with high rates of inflation caused by sky rocketing prices for primary commodities and basic food stuffs, high unemployment, and the dismantling of age old subsidies. Many Arab countries have been pulling the plug on food and energy subsidies for decades. Syrians are facing a double whammy - radical hikes in food and petrol prices combined with slashes in state subsidies. In Lebanon, prices have risen by 43 percent over the past 21 months while the official unemployment rate stands at 10 percent, although independent estimates put it at 20 percent. In Egypt, "food prices rose by up to 50 percent, a hard blow to the poor, who spend a higher proportion of their incomes on foodstuffs." writes Reuters. Consumer prices rose 14.4 percent in the year to March, the highest inflation rate in more than three years. Mubarak responded on Wednesday by proposing a 30 percent increase in basic public-sector salaries, which start at about 300 pounds ($56) a month. He told his government to find the extra revenue to cover the extra cost. Police are stationed heavily about the city to prevent the sort of protests that rocked the city in April. In Jordan, security forces recently arrested three activists for distributing leaflets calling for a general strike to protest food prices and government policies that fail to help the poor, activists said on Sunday. Jordan's government has enforced steep fuel price rises and the cost of everything from bread to apartments has soared, hitting many people hard. Activists say the authorities have in recent weeks refused permission to allow any public protests against the price hikes.
Kommentar von Salim Nazzal zum Naqba-Day.