- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2008


13 injured in wall protest

Thirteen demonstrators, including a Frenchman, were injured by the occupation forces during a peaceful demonstration against the separation wall in Naalin village, west of Ramallah, which is being erected on Palestinian farmland.

Israeli soldiers attacked about 600 demonstrators, including Palestinians, Israelis and other nationalities, who marched unarmed toward the Israeli bulldozers to prevent them from digging up farmland in Naalin for the Israeli wall.


Cairo cuts presence at meeting in Tehran

Egypt has decided to reduce its representation at the foreign ministers preparatory meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran this week, by which Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit decided to delegate one of his deputies to attend instead.

Meanwhile, the head of al-Azhar Muslim authority, Sheik Muhammad Tantawi, said he would not visit Iran until it removes the pictures and name of President Anwar Sadat’s killer, Khaled Islambouli, from Tehran’s streets.


Darfur peace vowed by Bashir

Sudanese President Omar Bashir, during a visit to Darfur, renewed his defiance against the International Criminal Court prosecution’s request for an arrest warrant against him, insisting this would not obstruct peace efforts in the region.

Addressing thousands of people in north Darfur, Lt. Gen. Bashir said there were attempts to divide the region, stressing the Sudanese government will not allow that to succeed.


Obama promises to work for peace

U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama vowed to work toward a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians from his first day in power if elected to the White House, but added it will be a difficult task to achieve.

Mr. Obama told reporters in Amman that the “Israeli government is unsettled and the Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas,” adding it would be difficult for either side to take any steps that could bring about peace.


Iran links nukes to regional crises

Iran linked its nuclear crisis to resolving other problems in the world, including Lebanon, international oil prices, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iranian Vice President Reza Aghazadeh, also the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said in Vienna that if negotiations with the international community begin, “solutions could be found for many problems like Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan or fuel prices.”


Libya threatens Swiss interests

Libya threatened Switzerland with measures against its interests after Swiss police detained Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Hannibal, for two days in Geneva.

Tripoli asked the Swiss authorities for an official apology or face measures that could include a halt to oil supplies, while Bern announced that Libya has already taken retaliatory measures against it.


EU threatens U.S. with visas

The European Commission threatened to reinstate visas on American diplomats visiting European Union nations as of January if Washington does not remove restrictions imposed on citizens from 12 European member states.

The commission said the United States had promised during the Europe-U.S. summit in June to exempt all EU member citizens from entry visas to the United States, but that no progress has been made on that front.


Palestinian hits 19 with bulldozer

For the second time in 21 days, a Palestinian carried out an attack with his bulldozer in occupied Jerusalem, injuring 19 settlers before he fell a martyr by Israeli gunfire.

Eyewitnesses said the Palestinian drove the bulldozer over two Israeli cars, injuring 19 settlers, in a scenario similar to the heroic operation led by another resistance man that killed three settlers earlier this month.


U.N. denies contacts with Egypt on Bashir

The U.N. denied having contacts with Egypt over convening a meeting to resolve the Darfur problem, and denied contacts with the Arab League to open channels between the Arab organization and the International Criminal Court concerning the court prosecution’s decision to arrest Sudanese President Omar Bashir on war crime charges in Darfur.

In a related development, Arab League chief Amr Moussa announced the success of his consultations with Sudanese leaders over the league’s initiative to resolve Lt. Gen. Bashir’s crisis, saying there was a consensus between the government and the opposition to reject the international court’s interference in Sudan’s internal affairs.

Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times in Amman, Jordan

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