- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2009


Clashes continue despite mediation

Intensive international mediation efforts have failed to persuade Israel to stop its war on the Gaza Strip, where battles have moved inside the highly populated towns, raising the number of civilians killed to reportedly 50 in one day, including 20 children.

The rising numbers of Palestinian civilian victims and the international efforts, however, have not affected the Israeli decision to continue fighting until “changing the equation in the region.”


Reports say banned weapons are in use

Israeli reports accused Israel of using internationally banned weapons in its war against Gaza, in which the corpses of some of the victims of the Israeli attacks showed effects of depleted uranium.

A Norwegian medical team treating the injured in the Israeli air and ground attacks revealed that they found traces of depleted uranium in some of the casualties’ bodies.


Hamas in Cairo for cease-fire talks

An Egyptian official source announced that a delegation of Hamas leaders arrived in Cairo on Monday night to discuss ways to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and ways to contain its repercussions.

The source added the Egyptians will brief Hamas on the new plan for a cease-fire, which he said was different than the previous truce agreement, which expired Dec. 19.


Kingdom eager for common action

Saudi Arabia said it will be at the forefront of any common Arab or Muslim action to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and to help support the Palestinians in every way.

In a Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the government denounced the unprecedented silence and collusion of the international community in dealing with this aggression.


‘Moderate’ brothers incite against Syria

A special report received by prominent Arab parties said that Saudi Arabia’s chief of national security, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has warned officials in the future U.S. administration of Barack Obama against opening up toward Syria.

In a meeting with Obama administration officials in Washington last month, Prince Bandar reportedly called for intensifying efforts to isolate Syria and prevent it from returning to the international fold.


Jordan may sever ties to Israel

Jordan has escalated its tone against Israel due its continued aggression on Gaza, which reached a threat to sever political ties with Israel.

In a move reflecting the harmony between the official and popular positions, Prime Minister Nader Dahabi told parliament that “Jordan reserves its right to reconsider its relations with any country, especially Israel, in line with Jordan’s higher national interests.” King Abdullah II also called on the U.N. Security Council to “immediately adopt a resolution that binds Israel to stop the aggression, to open the crossings and end the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.”


Capital cities see large-scale protests

In the largest demonstrations of their kind in the Arab and Muslim worlds, millions of people took to the streets of Istanbul and the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Sunday to protest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Israeli consulate on the European side of Istanbul, burning the Israeli flag and demanding the Turkish government sever ties with Israel. More than 1.5 million people also demonstrated in Rabat, denouncing the Israeli war on Gaza and “Arab silence.”

Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times

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