- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 15, 2009


Qatar calls for Arab summit

Cairo continued its diplomatic moves on the regional and international level for a cease-fire in Gaza, in line with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s initiative, but it tacitly accused Damascus of obstructing an agreement with Hamas to stop the fighting.

Arab positions seemed to be heading toward more division after Qatar on Monday called for convening an emergency Arab summit in Doha on Friday, hours after Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa announced that the Arab foreign ministers will meet in Kuwait to discuss the Israeli war on Gaza.


Fayyad seeks Hamas partnership

Palestinian Prime Minister in the West Bank Salam Fayyad said the Palestinian Authority was ready for a partnership with Hamas “in everything,” insisting the Egyptian initiative for a cease-fire is based on achieving a real partnership that ends the Palestinian division and halting the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

In a news conference after a Cabinet meeting in Ramallah, he indicated that sharing authority over the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt only would consolidate the Palestinian rift and harm national aspirations.


Kingdom condemns ‘genocide’ in Gaza

A Cabinet meeting chaired by Saudi King Abdullah on Monday condemned the “war of genocide” in Gaza, saying this strips the Israeli leaders of their humanity and puts their policies with those committing ethnic cleansing.

The Cabinet also welcomed President-elect Barack Obama’s plan to move immediately toward a resolution of the Palestinian issue, saying the kingdom hopes the next administration will be more serious, objective and independent in dealing with the Palestinian question.


War resumes campaign to boycott U.S. products

The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the level of death and destruction befalling the civilians has revived Jordanian campaigns to boycott U.S. and Israeli products.

Political parties and civil society groups are calling on citizens to boycott their products, explaining the boycott’s negative repercussions on Israel and the United States and how this is a form of resistance. Political activists say this is an easy campaign because the Israeli aggression and crimes in Gaza have already pushed citizens to boycott on their own.


Israel: Soldiers shot at from Syria

The Israeli army said its forces in the Golan Heights were shot at by light firearms on Sunday coming from across the Syrian border.

It added that although no one was hurt by the gunfire, the Israelis issued a complaint to the U.N. forces monitoring the frontier with Syria. Damascus denied involvement in the incident.


Assad: No hope for peace

Syrian President Bashar Assad, during a meeting with a visiting delegation from the U.S. Institute of Peace, said that in the wake of the Israeli massacres against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the Israeli government’s insistence on pursuing its aggression, there is no hope for peace in the region.

In a separate meeting with visiting Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim on Sunday, Mr. Assad praised Latin America’s support for the Palestinian people and stressed the need to mobilize international efforts to pressure Israel to stop its aggression, lift the blockade and open the crossing points in Gaza.


Qatar supports move to cut Israeli ties

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said his country was ready to cut commercial ties with Israel if the Arab world takes a collective position to sever links in response to the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV, he called for an emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers after Israel rejected the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire, saying that the Arabs should freeze the Arab peace initiative and the peace process.


Palestinians, Arabs hail Chavez move

Palestinian and other Arab political forces praised the “courageous” step taken by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in kicking out the Israeli ambassador from Caracas to protest against the Israeli war on Gaza.

Hamas and other Arab parties welcomed Mr. Chavez’s move and called on Arab leaders to follow his example, while a demonstration in Beirut chanted slogans supporting the Venezuelan leader and held up his pictures and banners reading: “That’s how men are like, you lesser men.”

• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times

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