Archive for the ‘Jordan’ Category

France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy Seeks Peace in Gaza

January 5, 2009

France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy is no longer President of the European Union, a rotating appoinment that ended on December 31.

But that has not stopped sarkozy from going where he believes he is needed:  during the next few day Sarkozy will be in Egypt, the West Bank, Tel Aviv, Jordan, and Syria, where he will meet with President Bashar al-Assad.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, reacts, with Palestinian ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, reacts, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 as part of his two-day Middle East trip to seek ‘paths for peace’ in Gaza. Sarkozy left for Israel and the Palestinian territories where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in June 2007.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool)
According to the Christian Sciences Monitor: “Sarkozy hosted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Paris last week. Sarkozy works well with Washington, and French diplomacy has ties to Arabs, Palestinians, and the Islamist movement. He can talk with Syria. Moreover, Sarkozy’s criticism of Israel’s response to Hamas rockets puts him closer to core EU views than with Prague‘s,” (the Czech President is now in charge of the EU).
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See the Christian Science Monitor report:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090105/ts_csm/osarkozy_1
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 Related:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Can He Regain Gaza?
 

 

Arab Nations Enraged At U.S. On Gaza, Palestinian Deaths

January 4, 2009

“It’s clearly the Americans, it doesn’t require genius,” he said, adding that the US had blocked a resolution because “the Israelis still need some time to finish their operations.”

**

Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip was roundly condemned across the Middle East on Sunday, with Egypt also accusing the UN Security Council of failing to act quickly to resolve the crisis.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Israel’s incursion into the impoverished territory on Saturday night came in “brazen defiance” of international calls to end the fighting.

“The Security Council‘s silence and its failure to take a decision to stop Israel’s aggression since it began was interpreted by Israel as a green light,” he said in a statement as Israeli forces rumbled into Gaza.

By Samer al-Atrush, AFP

Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration ... 

Above: Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip was roundly condemned across the Middle East, with Egypt also accusing the UN Security Council of failing to act quickly to resolve the crisis.(AFP/Abbas Momani)

A Jordanian government spokesman said the invasion “will have dangerous repercussions and negative effects on the region’s security and stability” and called for an immediate ceasefire, state-news agency Petra reported.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/mideastconflictgazadiplomacy

Israel’s Gaza Attack Continues to Further Split Arab Rulers, People

January 4, 2009

“War on Gaza” was the description the satellite channel al-Jazeera gave for the Israeli ground invasion that began Saturday, a culmination of eight days of bombing that have killed hundreds of Palestinians in the crowded seaside strip. But across the Arab world, the struggle was as noteworthy for what was becoming a war at home.

From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, longtime leaders of the Arab world, the attacks illustrated a yawning divide between the policies of rulers and the sentiments of those they rule. Although the Palestinian cause is cherished on the street, the region’s leaders are viewed as paying only lip service to it.

The gulf between the two is not uncommon in a region that remains, with few exceptions, authoritarian.

But exacerbating the tension is an issue that, although half a century old, remains at the heart of Arab politics: Palestine and its symbolism here.

The intersection of the issue’s resonance with official Egyptian and Saudi criticism of Hamas has created a conflict in policy and sentiment as pronounced as perhaps at any time in modern Arab history.

From the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content
/article/2009/01/03/AR2009010302017.html
?hpid=topnews

Gaza Day 9 Sunday: Israeli Ground Troops, Tanks Join Air Assault on Hamas

January 4, 2009

Israel continued a two pronged attack into Gaza Sunday; a military effort it said would end Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.

CNN and the Associated Press are now reporting that Israeli troops gained control of the eastern section of northern Gaza Sunday, less than 24 hours after launching a ground incursion into the Palestinian territory, according to Palestinian security sources.

Related:
Monday in Gaza Day 10: “Allah will punish Israel”
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Israeli Forces Bisect Gaza, Surround Biggest City

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meas
t/01/04/israel.gaza/index.html

Thousands of ground troops supported by tanks and helicopter gunships were added to the mix Saturday while air attacks on Hamas positions continued.

Israel seemed to put some blame on its number one ally the United States for failing to achieve a cease fire.

But perhaps Israel really blames its long-time Arab neighbors.
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The Jerusalem Post reported that “Intensive diplomatic efforts led by US President George W. Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with the leaders” of Arab nations including  of Egypt, Jordan and Syria failed to create a satisfactory end state for Israel.

Israeli soldiers advance near the border with northern Gaza ... 
Israeli soldiers advance near the border with northern Gaza during a ground operation by the Israeli army late January 3, 2009. Israeli troops clashed with Hamas fighters as they advanced into Gaza on Saturday in the first ground action of an eight-day offensive on the Palestinian enclave, a witness and the Israeli army said.(Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Army ambulances were seen bringing Israeli wounded to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The military said a total of 30 soldiers were injured in the opening hours of the offensive along with “dozens” of militants.

The Jerusalem Post said: “Prior to the ground incursion, senior diplomatic officials were reacting positively to the idea of reincorporating the Gaza Strip into the Palestinian Authority, with Fatah, along with some kind of international mechanism, in charge of the border crossings.”

The Prime Minister’s Office, meanwhile, issued a statement Saturday night saying the objective of the ground operation was to take control of the areas inside the Gaza Strip from where rockets are being launched on Israel.

But Mark Regez, the Israeli government spokesman told CNN, “We haven’t articulated regime change as the goal of this operation. Our goal is to protect our people.”

“In many ways, they are victims like us. Both the civilian population of southern Israel and the civilian population of the Gaza Strip have been victims of this terrible, extremist Hamas regime,” Regev said.

Despite that Israel’s Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Friday night in an interview on Israeli television that Israel must not end this operation with Hamas in charge of Gaza.

“What I think we need to do is to reach a situation in which we do not allow Hamas to govern,” Mr. Ramon said on Channel One. “That is the most important thing.”

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Regime Change?  From The New York Times:
 Israel in Gaza: Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?

Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellit
e?cid=1230733155661&pagename=JP
ost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Related:
Gaza, Israel Could Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009010
4/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Below from Haaretz:

The army believes the incursion into Gaza will do significant damage to Hamas’ standing army and at the same time give Hamas leaders a palpable sense that their rule is in danger. The ground invasion will also accelerate the diplomatic stopwatch. A delegation from the European Union “troika” (Germany, France, Great Britain) will reach Gaza on Sunday, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected on Monday. Translated into military terminology that means the IDF has less than a week to make genuine progress in Gaza.

In the past two days the army chief of staff and the head of Southern Command visited troops massing along the Gaza border and approved the final plans. The message from the IDF commanders is: “We will meet our goals. There will be casualties as a result of the thrust into Gaza but they will not stop any part of the operation.” This attitude is different from that evinced during the Second Lebanon War, when the army withdrew on more than one occasion in response to casualties. One battalion commander told his company commander on Saturday that it’s possible that not everyone will return to meet again in a few days’ time.

This knowledge has not affected the army’s motivation and readiness, however. Hamas is not Hezbollah and the IDF circa January 2009 is not the IDF of 2006. It is sharper, more determined and better trained. The intelligence is infinitely better this time. The offensive was prepared over a long period of time. It is very aggressive, with massive air and artillery fire preceding the ground and artillery forces.

Read the rest:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spag
es/1052336.html

The BBC:
Clashes were reported in Gaza City, the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Jabaliya refugee camp. Both sides have reported casualties in the fighting.

The UN secretary general has called for an immediate halt to operations.

But an emergency Security Council meeting failed to agree a united approach to the Gaza conflict.

Read the rest from The BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7810270.stm

World leaders clash on Iran sanctions

December 17, 2008

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday briefed a half-dozen key Arab states on U.S.-led efforts to stem Iran‘s nuclear program but achieved no new consensus on how to prevent Iran from developing the technology for a nuclear weapon.

“All there expressed their concern about Iran’s nuclear policies and its regional ambitions,” Miss Rice said after the morning meeting with diplomats from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Representatives from Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – which have been trying without success to persuade Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program for several years – also took part in the session conducted on the sidelines of a Security Council debate on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

By Betsy Pisik
The Washington Times 

British Foreign Minister David Miliband, far left, listen as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from right, address the United Nations Security Council at the United Nations in New York, Tuesday Dec. 16, 2008. Council members debated before voting on a draft resolution calling for an intensification of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Associated Press.

Above: British Foreign Minister David Miliband, far left, listen as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from right, addresses the issue of Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Miss Rice said there was no discussion of new sanctions against Iran, which has defied several U.N. resolutions demanding that it curb its nuclear program.

Those attending are “concerned that there will need to be a way to finally incent Iran to make a different choice concerning its nuclear ambitions,” Miss Rice said. “But this was not an effort to develop a common strategy.”

Divisions among Iran’s Arab neighbors across the Persian Gulf have made it more difficult to contain Iran.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/dec/16/world-leaders-clash-on-iran-sanctions/