Thursday, December 18, 2008


* Gaza groups will not renew truce Palestinian militant groups in Gaza say they are not expecting a six-month ceasefire with Israel which expires on Friday to be renewed.

* Unclear Motives Behind Iraq Arrests in Green Zone In a sign of dissent or power struggle in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, scores of officials from the Interior Ministry have been arrested this week.

* Abbas: Elections in Ramallah—and in Gaza Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced this week that the PA will hold elections in the near future.

* Syria Offers Israel Peace for Return of Land Syria has stated that it is ready for direct talks and for a full peace with Israel if Israel returns Syrian land it captured during the Six-day War in 1967.

* Britain steps up fight against West Bank settlements The British government is stepping up measures against settlements in the West Bank in an effort to stop their further expansion.

* Olmert: Peace treaty between Israel and Syria is feasible Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday evening said "a peace treaty between Israel and Syria is feasible" and would result in "significant advantages" for Israel.

* Chinese ships will fight pirates China has announced it is to send naval ships to fight rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.

* Bethlehem mayor: Pope to visit in May The mayor of Bethlehem said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI will pay a visit to the Holy Land in May.

* Truce Ends Friday, Islamic Jihad Fires Qassams Four Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Tuesday morning by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

* Russian treason bill could target Kremlin critics Under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, people who fraternized with foreigners or criticized the Kremlin were "enemies of the people" and sent to the gulag.

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