- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

GAZA STRIP

Arms smuggling from Egypt on rise

JERUSALEM — The smuggling of weapons and explosives from Egypt into the Gaza Strip has risen since Israel withdrew from the Palestinian territory, Israel’s domestic security chief was quoted as saying yesterday.

Each month since the September pullout, 2,000 rifles have been smuggled into Gaza, four times the number moved across the border in the months preceding the withdrawal, Yuval Diskin was quoted as saying by public radio.

Dozens of rocket-propelled grenades and 2 tons of explosives also were smuggled into Gaza, the Shin Beth security agency chief told the Knesset’s defense and foreign affairs committee.

TURKEY

Animal sacrifices injure participants

ISTANBUL — The Muslim faithful are supposed to sacrifice sheep or other livestock during the Eid al-Adha festival, but in Turkey more than 1,600 people cut themselves and two died of heart attacks yesterday.

Turkey’s streets annually run with blood as sheep and cattle have their throats cut to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God. The scenes are criticized by the secular press, which annually demands an end to the public slaughter.

IRAQ

Kurdish factions to rule together

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s two main Kurdish factions will start forming a single administration for their autonomous region in the next few days under a deal they say finally will put behind them the civil war they fought in the 1990s.

The agreement reached Saturday and effective next week sets detailed terms for sharing executive power between the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), already formally united under a Kurdistan parliament.

Weekly notes …

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s acting prime minister, told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday that Israel will make a final decision Sunday on whether to allow East Jerusalem residents to vote in Jan. 25 Palestinian elections. Israel had announced it would ban Palestinians in East Jerusalem from voting because of the participation of the Islamist movement Hamas, but later softened its position. … Syria’s exiledformer vice president repeated yesterday his conviction that Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. “I am certain the international committee of inquiry will condemn Mr. Assad, because he is responsible for Hariri’s killing,” Abdel Halim Khaddam, who has lived in Paris since resigning in June, told radio Europe 1.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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