Saturday, January 31, 2009


* Iraqi PM hails vote as 'victory' Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has hailed a largely peaceful vote for new provincial councils across the country as a victory for all Iraqis.

* Hamas must be brought into peace process, says Tony Blair Hamas must somehow be brought into the Middle East peace process because the policy of isolating Gaza in the quest for a settlement will not work.

* Obama's Unnecessary Apology Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew.

* Hamas: Blair's suggestion 'testifies to his stupidity' After Middle East Quartet envoy to the region Tony Blair said in in an interview to The Times that Hamas must be involved in the peace process, the movement and its leaders issues statements.

* Iranians mark Islamic revolution Iran has begun 10 days of celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that overthrew the US-backed former ruler, the Shah.

* Thousands protest across Russia Thousands of people have held rallies across Russia protesting against what they describe as the government's mismanagement of the economy.

* Turkish PM Erdogan says 'Palestine today is an open-air prison' Fresh off his public spat with President Shimon Peres in Davos, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to make waves in the murky waters of Middle East diplomacy.

* US 'actively seeks' Mid-East deal The US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has said Washington is committed to "actively and aggressively" seeking lasting peace.

* Hamas Plans Alternative Authority to PLO The Hamas leadership in exile has publicly declared its intention to form an alternative representative authority to replace the decades-old Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

* Pope's Silence Fuels Holocaust Controversy Ever since Pope Benedict XVI allowed schismatic bishops back into the Catholic fold a week ago, his decision has been met with abundant expressions of outrage.

Friday, January 30, 2009


* Tight security before Iraq polls A full-scale security clampdown is being rolled out in Iraq ahead of regional elections this weekend.

* 'Obama not ruling out striking Iran' US President Barack Obama is not ruling out military strikes against Iran to stop its nuclear program.

* Turkish PM given hero's welcome Turkey's PM has received a hero's welcome on his return to Istanbul after he stormed out of a debate about Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

* 'Iran and Syria trying to replace PLO' The Palestinian Authority on Thursday accused Iran and Syria of encouraging Hamas and other radical groups to establish a new leadership.

* EU and China to fight financial crisis European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao have pledged to co-operate on tackling online piracy.

* 'New settlement info implicates gov't' A newly leaked database detailing the complicity of the government in widespread illegal construction in West Bank settlements will be used to help Palestinians file lawsuits.

* World worries how U.S. will pay for stimulus Even as the U.S. Congress looks for ways to expand President Barack Obama's $819 billion stimulus package, the rest of the world is wondering how Washington will pay for it all.

* Knesset Christian Allies Caucus marks its fifth anniversary The Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus is marking five years of operation this month by redoubling its efforts to direct Christian faith-based support for Israel to legislatures around the world.

* Peres tells Putin Russia can prevent Gaza arms smuggling President Shimon Peres met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

* U.S. envoy Mitchell: Mideast peace process faces substantial hurdles United States Mideast envoy George Mitchell said on Friday the new U.S. administration's push for Israeli-Palestinian peace after the war in the Gaza Strip faced substantial hurdles, and he predicted further setbacks.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


* Netanyahu: J'lem division will lead to Iran base An Israeli withdrawal from east Jerusalem will lead to the creation of an Iranian terror base in the city.

* Turkey urges Obama to redefine Mideast terrorism Turkey's prime minister had a message Thursday for U.S. President Barack Obama: redefine terror and terrorism in the Middle East and use it as the basis for a new American policy.

* Bibi: Iran threat trumps economic crisis Keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons ranks above the economy in the challenges facing leaders in the 21st century.

* Yesha: Palestinian state will blow up in our face The Yesha Council prepared a special welcome for visiting US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday.

* 'Erdogan's remarks aid anti-Semitism' Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is encouraging expressions of anti-Semitism in his country by espousing biased views.

* Russia, China Blame Woes on Capitalism The premiers of Russia and China slammed the U.S. economic system in speeches Wednesday, holding it responsible for the global economic crisis.

* Hamas signals desire to talk to world Senior officials in Hamas are indicating a willingness to negotiate a deal for a long-term truce with Israel.

* World facing lowest growth since WWII, says IMF report World growth is to slow to its lowest level in 60 years according to an International Monetary Fund.

* Revealed: the letter Obama team hope will heal Iran rift Officials of Barack Obama's administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks.

* Mideast Envoy Vows Push for Peace as Gaza Violence Flares President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Mideast said the U.S. will vigorously pursue peace in the region.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


* 'Uranium For Iran Nuke In 2009' Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a single nuclear weapon later this year.

* Mullen: Using force against Iran still an option American military force against Iran remains an option, though it would be a "last resort."

* Netanyahu: Obama Will Try to Internationalize Jerusalem Sites Likud party chairman and Knesset Opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu warned at the Jerusalem Conference Wednesday that the Obama administration and leftist Israeli politicians will try to internationalize holy sites in Jerusalem.

* Gates says US ready for any China "threat" Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday assured lawmakers that the United States is ready to handle any Chinese military threat.

* Russia shelves plans to point missiles at EU Russia is shelving plans to put short-range rockets inside its EU exclave.

* IAF attacks Hamas smuggling tunnels IAF aircraft struck three arms smuggling tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor overnight Tuesday.

* Iranian leader demands US apology Iran's president has responded to an overture by the new US president by demanding an apology for past US "crimes" committed against Iran.

* Settlement growth up 69% in 2008 The number of new structures in the West Bank settlements and outposts increased by 69 percent in 2008.

* Pope in bid to dampen bishop row Pope Benedict XVI has expressed "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews, distancing himself from a bishop who denies the Nazis used gas chambers.

* Mitchell: US committed to Mideast peace President Barack Obama's new Mideast envoy says his visit to the Mideast sends a clear signal that the US is committed to pursuing peace and stability.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Breaking News Israel launches attacks in Gaza Israel has carried out an air attack in the Gaza Strip and launched an incursion with tanks and bulldozers across the border.

* Bibi won't rule out Palestinian state Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and three quarters of the Likud's candidates declined to sign a loyalty oath ruling out a Palestinian state.

* Hamas Back in Business, Fatah Pushes Reunification Residents of Gaza reported Monday that Hamas had resumed its operations in the area.

* Chinese premier embarks on fence-mending tour of Europe Chinese premier Wen Jiabao will arrive in Europe on Tuesday (27 January) for a visit.

* New US Administration Floats 'Direct Diplomacy' With Iran The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, began her term Monday by dropping a not-unexpected bombshell in the UN chambers.

* Obama reaches out to Muslim world US President Barack Obama has used his first formal TV interview since taking office to reach out to the Muslim world - saying Americans are not its enemy.

* Obama: We want progress, not photo ops As George Mitchell was dispatched to the Middle East, US President Barack Obama said overnight Monday that his new envoy to the region would aim "to engage vigorously and consistently.

* Gold pushes above $900 in buying spree Strong investor buying on Monday pushed the price of gold above $900 a troy ounce, hitting a 3½-month high in dollar terms.

* Auschwitz survivors mark camp's liberation In the depths of the Polish winter, Auschwitz survivors and government officials marked the 64th anniversary of the Nazi death camp's liberation.

* Israel to face 'catastrophe' without Palestinian state, says Jimmy Carter Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Israel will face a "catastrophe" unless it revives the Mideast peace process.

* NATO chief admits failure in drawing EU closer Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has said he regrets not having been able to bring the military alliance and the EU closer together.

Monday, January 26, 2009


* Top EU official: Hamas fully responsible for Gaza war Hamas bears full responsibility for the war in Gaza, a top EU official in the Strip, calling the group "a terrorist movement."

* Lauder: Sanctions won't stop Iran The president of the New York-based World Jewish Congress that economic sanctions against Iran would not stop the Islamic Republic from seeking to attain nuclear weapons.

* Hamas proposes 1-year cease-fire Hamas is prepared to reach a one-year truce with Israel if the border crossings into the Gaza Strip are opened, Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri said.

* Islamists seize Somali MPs' base Islamist insurgents have captured most of Somalia's central city of Baidoa - one of the last strongholds of the fragile transitional government.

* Why Israelis worry Few Israelis today would countenance a total withdrawal to the boundaries Israel found itself in when the Six Day War erupted.

* Google plans to make PCs history Industry critics warn of danger in giving internet leader more power

* EU calls for Palestinian unity government The European Union called for the divided Palestinian leadership to unite to support the opening of border crossings to allow humanitarian aid and other goods into the Gaza Strip.

* NATO, Russian envoys meet after 5-month hiatus Ambassadors from NATO nations and Russia were meeting Monday to try to restart normal relations that have been suspended since Russia's bloody confrontation with Georgia five months ago.

* Obama aims for oil independence US President Barack Obama has called for US energy independence, saying reliance on foreign oil and global warming posed threats to the country.

* Hamas, Fatah hold reconciliation talks in Egypt Current talks come a week after Abbas urged feuding Palestinian factions to form unity government to prepare for elections

Saturday, January 24, 2009


* Assad congratulates Mashaal on Hamas's 'victory' over Israel Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal Saturday on his organization's "victory" in the Gaza Strip.

* UN reopens schools in Gaza Strip Children return to schools in Gaza, with many attending classes in tents beside the rubble of the building.

* Unbowed, Gazans rebuild tunnels It was Friday, the Muslim day of rest, but the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt was a hive of activity.

* Iraq asks Iran opposition group to move voluntary Iraq will not forcibly expel members of an Iranian opposition group living north of Baghdad.

* Diplomats: U.S. Middle East envoy expected next week U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East is expected to arrive in the region next week.

* China responds tartly to U.S. on currency Whether it was a shot across the bow or a simple restatement of his boss's views, Timothy Geithner's assertion that China "manipulates" its currency has complicated a crucial front.

* Lieberman's Party Tied as Number Three in Polls Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu), headed by Russian immigrant Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman, is tied with Labor as the third largest party in the next Knesset.

* French frigate to patrol Gaza waters French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday ordered a frigate deployed immediately to the waters off Gaza.

* Pope rehabilitates Holocaust denier Pope Benedict Saturday rehabilitated a traditionalist bishop who denies the Holocaust.

* UNRWA calls for probe into 'Gaza crimes' John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called on Friday for the establishment of an independent international investigation into the alleged war crimes.

Friday, January 23, 2009


* Obama to 'aggressively' seek ME peace Calling for border crossings into Gaza to be opened with "appropriate monitoring" to alleviate the humanitarian problems following Operation Cast Lead.

* George Mitchell named special envoy for the Middle East Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was named special envoy for the Middle East during an event at the State Department on Thursday afternoon.

* Hamas: Obama doesn't represent change Hamas said Thursday that US President Barack Obama's position toward the Palestinians does not represent change.

* Saudi prince says US ties at risk over Mideast A member of Saudi Arabia's royal family warned US President Barack Obama on Friday the Middle East peace process and US-Saudi ties were at risk.

* PA official: Israel made 'big mistake' Israel made a "big mistake" by ending Operation Cast Lead without overthrowing the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.

* Pope to launch Vatican on YouTube Pope Benedict XVI is set to have his own dedicated channel on the popular video sharing website, YouTube.

* World races to help Gaza before Iran The international community has to decide within a short time how to funnel reconstruction aid into the Gaza Strip without benefiting Hamas.

* Russia ready to cooperate with US on Afghanistan President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that Moscow is ready to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan by allowing the United States and others to allow cargo for coalition forces.

* China says Web crackdown to be "long-lasting" China sought on Friday to portray its Internet crackdown as a campaign to protect youth from filth and nothing to do with stifling political dissent.

* U.S. envoy warns against 'precipitous' withdrawal from Iraq The U.S. ambassador to Iraq on Thursday warned against an abrupt American military departure from Iraq.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


* Olmert: Despite calm, things could be different Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday morning that "despite the calm, we should take into account that things could turn out differently."

* 'Hamas knows we didn't use full force' The Palestinians in Gaza were surprised after Operation Cast Lead to discover that without their knowledge Hamas had booby-trapped their homes.

* Israeli warning on Gaza tunnels Israel has warned of renewed military strikes on Gaza if tunnels used for smuggling in goods from Egypt are reopened by Palestinians.

* Obama Phones Leaders in Israel, PA, Egypt, Jordan United States President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday.

* Hamas leader urges West to talk The political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, says that the time has come for the West to lift its boycott on his Palestinian Islamist movement.

* Gazan doctor says death toll inflated What really is behind the numbers reported on the number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip?

* Member states divided over condemning Israeli attacks on UN European Union member states are sharply divided over whether to condemn Israel for its bombing of UN schools and other buildings during its 23-day war on Gaza.

* Obama plan to negotiate buys Iran time to complete nuclear program He had already made clear his plan of pursuing a sharp turnaround from George Bush's policy on all matters related to Iran.

* German constitutional court to examine Lisbon treaty Germany's constitutional court is preparing for an unusually long hearing on the EU's Lisbon treaty in a process that will help determine the fate of the document across the European Union.

* China says Wen offers Europe "journey of confidence" Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Europe from next week will be a "journey of confidence".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


* Work begins for President Obama After a whirlwind of galas surrounding his inauguration, Barack Obama begins his first full day as U.S. president Wednesday with a full plate of reality staring him in the face.

* Arab World Suspicious that Obama is a 'Black Bush' Israel cheered along with tens of millions Americans Tuesday as the United States inaugurated its first-ever black president, Barack Obama.

* Last Israeli troops 'leave Gaza' The Israeli army says it has completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, following a three-week assault against militants from the Hamas group.

* More global job losses, market turmoil The scope of economic challenge facing newly-installed U.S. President Barack Obama widened Wednesday as global stock markets took further heavy hits and thousands more job losses were announced.

* US Mideast comments not likely soon Despite new US President Barack Obama's pledge to delve into the Israeli-Arab conflict "from day one," it is likely the new administration will step gingerly in its public comments.

* Islam film Dutch MP to be charged A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.

* Khatami joins Iranian election campaign Former Iranian president Sayyid Muhammad Khatami has announced his candidacy for the June presidential elections.

* Arab media: A new era has begun A new era for the US and the Muslim world has begun, read the majority of the Arab newspapers the morning after Barack Obama took office.

* Arab leaders fail to agree on Gaza The deeply divided Arab League failed on Tuesday to come up with a plan to reconstruct the devastated Gaza Strip.

* Obama tells Abbas he's committed to achieving Mideast peace An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama has called to express his commitment to achieving peace in the Middle East.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


* Obama acts on Guantanamo trials Millions of people are gathering in the US capital to see Barack Obama sworn in as America's 44th president - and its first African-American leader.

* Sarkozy to host global summit on Mideast peace French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to host in the coming months an international conference in Paris.

* Wide rifts on show at Arab summit Arab divisions over the Gaza crisis have re-emerged at a summit in Kuwait.

* Iran renews efforts to supply Hamas Iran has renewed efforts to supply advanced weaponry to Hamas.

* Olmert privately proposed division of Jerusalem to Arab leaders Were Ehud Olmert running in the upcoming election, his spokesmen would most likely hasten to deny the revelation of the Ir Amim organization.

* Gaza rebuild 'to cost billions' Rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel's three-week offensive will cost billions of dollars.

* European expectations peak as Obama takes office With millions of Europeans set to watch the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday evening (20 January), expectations for America's first black president and his message of "hope" and "change" could hardly be higher.

* Russia opens gas taps to Europe Russia has resumed gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe, raising hopes of an end to weeks of shortages.

* China Calls on Obama to Promote Stronger Military Ties As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take his post, the Chinese Ministry of Defense calls on him to improve military relations.

* Hamas holds victory rallies as UN chief tours Gaza The U.N. chief inspected the devastation wrought by Israel's onslaught in Gaza on Tuesday.

Monday, January 19, 2009


* 'Withdrawal to end before inauguration' Israel hopes to pull all its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States on Tuesday.

* Haniyeh: We have achieved victory On Sunday night, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinians had achieved a historical and strategic victory over Israel, and claimed that Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip had failed.

* Arab initiative won't last forever Saudi King Abdullah said that the Arab initiative offering peace with Israel will not remain on the table forever.

* Saudi Arabia to donate $1 billion to rebuild Gaza The Saudi king said Monday his country will donate $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after the devastating Israeli offensive.

* The North Korea problem awaiting Obama North Korea may be on the back burner when U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes office next week but analysts said Pyongyang would be a major problem spot for him in his years in office.

* Russia and Ukraine sign gas deal Russia and Ukraine have signed a 10-year gas deal, bringing to an end their long-running dispute.

* Hamas: We'll keep smuggling weapons A day after Hamas announced a truce with Israel, a spokesman stressed that Hamas would continue to rearm.

* Obama prayer leader linked to Hamas A Muslim scholar chosen to speak at President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service Wednesday is the leader of a group that federal prosecutors say has ties to terrorists.

* Scale of Gaza destruction emerges The full scale of devastation in Gaza following Israel's three-week offensive is becoming clear, after both Israel and Hamas declared ceasefires.

* Most people unaware of upcoming EU elections The vast majority of EU citizens remain unaware that European elections will take place later this year despite a concerted effort by politicians in Brussels to raise the profile of the European Parliament.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


* Israel 'to announce ceasefire' he Israeli cabinet is set to back an end to offensive military activities in the Gaza Strip, three weeks after attacks began.

* Mubarak calls for end to IDF Gaza op Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday demanded that Israel immediately end its military operations in the Gaza Strip.

* US intel chief: Iran threat biggest worry Iran producing a nuclear weapon and a cyber attack on critical government or private computer networks top the list of concerns nagging at National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell.

* Hamas insists it will continue battle Hamas reiterated its determination to continue its attacks against Israel despite the possibility of an Israeli cabinet decision on Saturday night to accept a unilateral cease-fire.

* Obama to Appoint Middle East Crisis Team on 'Day One' United States President-elect Barack Obama said he will appoint a team immediately after his inauguration.

* 'Last chance' gas talks in Moscow The prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine are meeting in Moscow in an effort to end the dispute disrupting supplies of Russian gas to Europe.

* Arabs lost 2.5 trillion dollars from credit crunch: Kuwait Arab investors have lost 2.5 trillion dollars from the credit crunch.

* North Korea says it has 'weaponized' its plutonium The North Korean military declared an "all-out confrontational posture" against South Korea.

* Officials: 2 million to show up to see Obama being sworn in Based on their latest estimates, congressional officials organizing next week's presidential inaugural expect 2 million people to brave extra-long security lines in the bitter cold.

* Iranian cleric calls for shooting Livni A high-level Iranian cleric has called for the shooting of the Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in a speech before worshippers.

Friday, January 16, 2009


* Mashaal: We won't accept Israeli conditions for cease-fire Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal rejected Israel's conditions for a Gaza cease-fire.

* Urgent drive for Gaza ceasefire Diplomatic activity is intensifying over a possible ceasefire to end Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.

* Erdogan: Bar Israel from the UN Turkey's prime minister on Friday said Israel should be barred from the United Nations .

* Hayden: Iran near nuke decision The CIA has hampered al-Qaeda's free rein in the tribal region of western Pakistan.

* Turkish PM to visit Brussels to resuscitate membership bid Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is heading to Brussels this weekend.

* Russia seeks Syrian, Iranian help on Gaza truce Russia has asked Iran and Syria to help persuade the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to accept an Egyptian proposal on ending the fighting in Gaza.

* Somali executed for 'apostasy' A Somali politician has been executed after being accused of changing his religion by working with non-Muslim Ethiopian forces.

* Europe makes new threat to Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies After days of fruitless diplomacy, the European Commission threatened to review its entire relationship with Russia and Ukraine.

* Obama to Appoint Middle East Crisis Team on 'Day One' United States President-elect Barack Obama said he will appoint a team immediately after his inauguration on Tuesday.

* Israel hopeful of entering end game in Gaza offensive Israel said Friday it hoped it was close to winding up the offensive it launched three weeks ago in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


* 'Shelling of UNRWA building was response to anti-tank fire' Gunshots and an anti-tank missile were fired at IDF troops near the UN compound that was attacked by the IDF on Thursday.

* Rift apparent in Hamas as fighting intensifies Signs of sharp division are appearing within the top ranks of Hamas as fighting with Israel in Gaza intensifies.

* Ban: Death toll in Gaza 'unbearable' UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

* Iran signs oil deal with China Iran's official news agency says the country has signed a $1.76 billion deal with China to develop the North Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran near the Iraq border.

* Hamas accepts cease-fire 'in principle' Hamas announced on Wednesday that it has accepted the Egyptian cease-fire initiative "in principle" and that it was now awaiting Israel's response.

* Eastern Europeans Appeal For an End to Gas Standoff Russia and Ukraine continued bickering Wednesday over which pipelines should be used to deliver natural gas to Europe.

* China becomes third largest economy China overtook Germany to become the world’s third-largest economy in 2007.

* Iran says U.S. administration must change approach Iran's president said on Thursday the new U.S. administration must change Washington's approach to the Islamic Republic.

* Urgent Arab summit in Qatar still not decided Arab League officials announced Wednesday night that they still did not have the necessary legal quorum to convene an emergency Arab League summit in Doha.

* Islamists take bases in Mogadishu The last Ethiopian troops in Somalia's capital have left Mogadishu, two years after they captured it from Islamists who again control much of it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


* 'Bin Laden' recording calls for holy war over Gaza conflict A new audio message purportedly from the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, has called for all Muslims to launch a holy war to stop the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

* PM, Barak at odds over ending op Senior officials close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed veiled criticism at Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday.

* Hamas agrees to ceasefire in Gaza Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza based on Egypt's proposal.

* U.N. chief: 'No time to lose' in Mideast U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has once again called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Gaza.

* Rockets from Lebanon threaten 2nd front for Israel Guerrillas in Lebanon rocketed northern Israel on Wednesday for the second time in a week.

* Navy stops Iranian Gaza aid ship again The Navy intercepted an Iranian ship loaded with medicine, food and clothing destined for Gaza.

* Europe baffled by broken gas promises The bitter gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine descended into near-chaos.

* Arabs Squabble as Gaza Burns Nineteen days into a devastating Israeli onslaught of the Gaza Strip, which has killed almost 1,000 Palestinians and sparked angry protests across the region, Arab regimes continued to squabble.

* Report cites need for eurozone central regulator An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report published Wednesday (14 January) cites the need for centralisation of financial regulation in the euro area.

* Erdogan publicly slams Israel - again Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday reiterated his harsh criticism against Israeli Operation Cast Lead.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


* Barak: We respect the UN, but we're continuing with Gaza op Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday reiterated that the IDF was continuing its offensive in Gaza.

* Israelis strike 60 Gaza targets Israeli planes have attacked more than 60 targets in Gaza as its offensive against Hamas entered its 18th day.

* Israeli leader warns Hamas of 'iron fist' Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stood within Hamas rocket range Monday and warned Islamic militants that they face an "iron fist".

* Haniyeh: We'll weigh truce initiatives For the first time since the beginning of the IDF military operation in the Gaza Strip, Hamas on Monday openly signaled its willingness to accept a cease-fire with Israel.

* Gaza war shines spotlight on EU foreign policy The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has served to underline weaknesses in EU foreign policy.

* Bush sticks with Israel until the end In his final press conference before he leaves office next Tuesday, US President George W. Bush on Monday strongly backed Israel in its fight against Hamas.

* Reformists to run in Iranian election Iran's former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, on Monday said that either he or former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi would run for president.

* 'Do to Hamas what the US did to Japan' Operation Cast Lead must continue until Hamas "loses the will to fight."

* Russian gas to Europe 'blocked' Russian gas giant Gazprom says Ukraine has blocked gas deliveries to Europe, dashing hopes of ending a row which has hit several countries' supplies.

* 'N.K. has nuclear weapons, missile systems' North Korea has developed both nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems.

Monday, January 12, 2009


* Israelis edge into urban Gaza Israeli forces are moving slowly into Gaza's most densely populated areas, reports say, as they continue air and ground attacks on Hamas militants.

* Bush: Hamas must stop rocket fire if it wants Gaza truce President Bush gave his last press conference at the White House, calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, but emphasizing Israel's right to defend itself.

* IDF has killed 400 Hamas operatives According to an army estimate, slightly over 900 Palestinians have been killed since Operation Cast Lead began.

* Blair reappears on shortlist to head EU Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, is re-emerging as a possible choice to be the European Union’s first full-time president.

* Jordan under Pressure as Israel Presses on in Gaza Jordan has been equally strident in its condemnation of Israel's attack on Gaza on the popular and official levels.

* Arab parties disqualified from elections Central Elections Committee determines Balad, United Arab List-Ta'al parties ineligible to run in February 2009, on grounds that they don't recognize the state and call for armed conflict against it.

* Peres says IDF achieving 'remarkable' results in Gaza 'Israel has never had an army that was better trained, organized and sophisticated,' president tells reservists in Zeelim.

* European cities fill with protests against Gaza war Hundreds of thousands marched in cities across Europe to protest Israel's war on Gaza in the biggest pan-European demonstrations since those against the Iraq war in 2003.

* EU still waiting for Russian gas Russia has not yet resumed gas exports via Ukraine despite a weekend of frantic diplomacy by the Czech EU presidency.

* Irish poll shows majority support for Lisbon Treaty A new poll suggests that a majority of Irish voters may back the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum set to be held this year.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


* Gaza conflict enters third week Israel has continued to pound Gaza a week after sending in ground troops, despite the UN voicing disappointment ceasefire calls had not been heeded.

* Israel resumes Gaza offensive after lull Heavy black smoke rose in Gaza City, apparently from explosions, during a three-hour lull Saturday afternoon during which Israel was to halt its attacks on Gaza militants.

* Hezbollah warns Israel against sparking conflict Hezbollah warned Israel on Saturday not to use an incident in which rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into the Jewish state.

* Abbas: Israel must accept truce initiative Diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip were underway in Cairo Saturday.

* EU: Russia gas supply should restart immediately The European Union has finalized a deal on sending monitors to supervise supplies of Russian gas through Ukraine.

* Ordinary Arabs fume over Israeli invasion Inside Al Azhar Mosque, a 1,000-year-old center of religious learning, the preacher was railing on Friday against Jews.

* 'UN drafting Gaza plan to reinstate PA' A day after a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire was dismissed by both Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip, a new plan was being hatched.

* Incoming secretary of state Clinton to name Dennis Ross as top adviser on Mideast, Iran Dennis Ross, a former Middle East peace envoy who served under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will in all likelihood be appointed a special adviser for the Middle East.

* Rice: Civilian casualties hard to avoid The United States on Friday expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

* China sends envoy to Middle East to ease tensions China's Middle East envoy will return to the region to push for an end to fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Friday, January 09, 2009


* Olmert: Gaza op to continue, UNSC resolution not practical Despite the UN Security Council resolution calling for a Gaza cease-fire, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Friday afternoon that the IDF operation in the Strip would continue.

* Czechs face EU trial by fire over gas, Gaza Dual crises over the Gaza conflict and gas supplies to Europe are proving to be a trial by fire for the European Union presidency of the Czech Republic.

* UN ceasefire call goes unheeded Israel is to keep up its offensive in the Gaza Strip despite a UN call for an immediate end to nearly two weeks of conflict involving Hamas militants.

* Hamas: Abbas no longer heads PA The IDF's anti-Hamas operation in the Gaza Strip has diverted attention from the row over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's term in office.

* Merkel and Sarkozy call for global 'economic security' council German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy have warned the US not to block attempts to build an international financial regulator.

* UN passes Gaza cease-fire resolution With a surprise US abstention, the UN Security Council overcame intense divisions and overwhelmingly approved a resolution Thursday night.

* Obama camp 'prepared to talk to Hamas' The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation.

* EU commission considers major relocation in Brussels The area surrounding the Atomium, an atom-shaped structure seen on every Brussels postcard, might become a location for some of the European Commission's buildings.

* Israeli War on Gaza 'Killing Peace Prospects' Despite a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, the Israeli war on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip continued for the 14th day on Friday.

* EU diplomats: Egypt's refusal to station foreign troops on Gaza border holding up truce Egyptian efforts to broker a Gaza ceasefire appeared on Friday to have to run into trouble because of disagreements with Israel.