Archive for June, 2012

Haneyya: Erdogan’s visit to Gaza historic


GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has said that his government was preparing for the historic visit of Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Strip even it was not yet formally determined.

He said in an interview with the Turkish Anatolia news agency on Sunday that his cabinet has prepared a special committee to prepare for the visit.

Erdogan is to start a four-day tour of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya on Monday to re-launch cooperation with those countries. He personally expressed a desire to visit Gaza Strip during his Cairo visit.

Haneyya said the Turkish side has not yet formally said if Erdogan will visit Gaza. If he does, Haneyya said, it would be a historic event during which the people of Gaza would show their support for Turkey. “This visit would be a real step in the direction of breaking the cruel blockade. This visit would give the people of Gaza the chance to show their love for Turkey,” he said.

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and other senior diplomats and suspended military agreements after Israel refused to apologize for killing eight Turks and a Turkish-American on an aid ship that was trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza on May 31, 2010.

Source: Occupied Palestine WordPress News Blog.


Tunisian aid convoy to enter Gaza soon


TUNISIA, (PIC)– The Tunisian aid convoy Karama (dignity) left Carthage airport for Cairo on Saturday afternoon to deliver symbolic humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Tunisian official media said the convoy would enter Gaza through Rafah border crossing carrying medical supplies unavailable in the Strip.

Massive crowds waving Palestinian and Tunisian flags bid farewell to five Tunisian young people and two jurists, members of this aid convoy, on Saturday.

The crowds chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and its crimes against the Palestinian people especially the blockade on Gaza.

Source: Occupied Palestine WordPress News Blog.

Gulf states condemn Syria ‘killing machine’

11 Sep 2011

Gulf Co-operation Council calls for “serious reforms” and end to bloodshed as fresh violence and arrests are reported.

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) has called for “an immediate end to the killing machine” in Syria, and reiterated its demand for government reforms.

Ending a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the six foreign ministers of the Gulf Arab states issued a statement calling for an end to the crackdown on anti-government protesters and urging “the immediate implementation of serious reforms that meet the aspirations of the Syrian” people.

Last month, the GCC called on the Syrian leadership to “resort to wisdom” and stop the bloodshed.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recalled their envoys from Damascus to protest against President Bashar al-Assad’s use of force in the uprising against his family’s 41-year rule.

Qatar shut its embassy after it was attacked by Assad loyalists in July.

The United Nations estimated on August 22 that more than 2,200 people have been killed since protests began in March. Scores have been reported killed in the following weeks and Syrian activists now put the death toll closer to 3,000.

In the latest reports of bloodshed, activists said a woman was killed near the Iraqi border on Sunday.

“A 40-year-old woman was killed at noon on Sunday by a stray bullet as security forces were tracking wanted people in the town of Albu Kamal,” the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited an activist in Deir al-Zor province as saying.

The Observatory also said a 17-year-old boy died of wounds sustained a day earlier when security forces fired at a funeral for Ghayath Matar, an activist who reportedly died from torture in prison.

Raids ‘intensifying’

Protests were reported in several towns on Sunday and the Local Co-ordination Committees said security forces used gunfire to disperse demonstrations in Albu-Kamal and in Quseir and Talbiseh in the central Homs governorate.

Witnesses and activists also said Syrian forces had stepped up raids across the country to arrest activists.

In the town of Hirak in Deraa province, Ahmad al-Sayyed, a resident, told Reuters that troops had detained at least 250 people in the village of Jeeza, 40 in Museifra, 50 in Busra al-Harir and 30 in Naimeh in the last 48 hours.

“They shoot in the air before they begin raids. They then drag young men and use electric sticks to beat them up and haul them away to detention centers,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, France’s foreign minister said the UN’s failure to condemn the actions of Syrian security forces against protesters was a “scandal”.

Alain Juppe also stepped up pressure on Russia to support a Security Council resolution saying it was too late for political reforms in Syria, as Russia has called for.

“We think the regime has lost its legitimacy, that it’s too late to implement a program of reform,” Juppe told reporters.

“Now we should adopt in New York the resolution condemning the violence and supporting the dialogue with the opposition,” he said.

“It’s a scandal not to have a clearer position of the UN on such a terrible crisis”.

The developments come after Nabil el-Araby, the head of the Arab League, said he had reached an agreement on reforms with Assad during talks in Damascus on Saturday.

Russia, a UN member with veto power, has resisted international attempts to condemn the violence and refused to back Western calls for Assad to quit.

The Syrian authorities blame what they describe as terrorists for the bloodshed and say hundreds of members of the security forces are among the dead. Opposition activists also acknowledge the deaths of of about 500 security personnel.

Source: al-Jazeera.

Jordan Islamists Seek to Emulate Morsi’s Victory

Written by Abdullah Omar
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood hopes for success despite political set back

AMMAN, Jordan — The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan celebrated the election of Islamist Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt as if he was one of their own, opening their offices across the kingdom to hand out sweets and gloat before shocked Jordanian authorities.

“What we saw in Egypt clearly shows that reform is coming. It is a matter of time,” said Ali Abul Sukkar, president of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The victory of Morsi in the elections is a great boost for the Islamist movement and a wake up call for the regime to implement reforms as promised,” said Abul Sukkar.

Minutes after it was confirmed that a fellow Islamist Morsi won, the leadership of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement calling on supporters to join their celebrations spilling out of its 24 branches across the kingdom.

King Abdullah II sent a cable of congratulations to Morsi, stressing Jordan’s commitment to continued efforts to boost its relations with Egypt in all domains and in a manner that helps activate Arab and Islamic cooperation, a Royal Court statement said.

Diplomacy aside, analysts say the Islamist movement will be emboldened by the victory of a major ally and could harden its stance with authorities over demanded reforms. At the moment, the Islamist movement is set to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections later this year.

While authorities are still assessing the impact of Morsi’s victory on the local scene, some Jordanian officials have already voiced concerns that the local Muslim Brotherhood movement could be seeking to emulate their Egyptian counterparts.

To the dismay of opposition parties including the Islamist movement, the parliament on Sunday endorsed a controversial election reform bill that has been described as backward and anti-reform legislation and an effort to kick start the long overdue reforms promised since the Arab Spring swept the region 16 months ago.

The bill kept the balance of power in the hands of conservative tribes loyal to the regime and made sure political parties have minor, if any, representation in the legislature.

Opposition parties say the amendments will continue to enable pro-regime candidates from tribal dominated areas and influential businessmen to win at the expense of party candidates.

Zaki Bani Rashid, senior leader from the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, said his group is planning to create a shadow government and a shadow parliament after having given up on reform promises.

But Islamist leaders say the government is delaying the inevitable.

In Jordan’s first free elections since 1989, the Islamist movement swept parliament seats and enjoyed a slight majority, before authorities amended the law in favor of Bedouin tribes and loyalists.

King Abdullah is expected to sign a royal decree in coming days to officially pass the bill as law, paving the way for elections by the end of the year.

Analyst Mohammad Abu Rumman believes that authorities are adamant to maintain their grip on the country without giving concessions.

“It is too late, we missed the train. We wished results of the Egyptian elections were announced before the elections law was endorsed,” said Abu Rumman, warning against what he believes are inevitable and dire consequences to the political current political stand off between the regime and the Islamists movement.

“Are we going to rectify the situation or wait to pay a heavy price?” Abu Rumman pondered.

Hamzah Mansour, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, sent a veiled message to authorities, saying his group was headed for victory in the style of its larger Egyptian sister.

“I think victory is a temptation for another victory and encourages success. Victory of the Egyptian people will have an impact on the governments of all of the Arab and Islamic countries. They must reconsider their policies and respect the will of their people,” Mansour said.

Morsi defeated former general Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off last weekend by a convincing 3.5 percentage points, or nearly 900,000 votes, taking 51.7 percent of the total, officials said, ending a week of disputes over the count which left nerves frayed over who was going to be named the leader of the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Shafiq has since reportedly fled Egypt for a Gulf state.

Morsi succeeds Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown 16 months ago after a popular uprising. The military council which has ruled the biggest Arab nation since then has this month curbed the powers of the presidency, meaning the head of state will have to work closely with the army on a planned democratic constitution.

Source: The Media Line.

Jordan IAF wants Israel embassy closed

Sun Sep 11, 2011

Jordan’s largest opposition party, Islamic Action Front (IAF), has called on the government to close the Israeli embassy in the kingdom.

“The government should take a fast step in removing the Israeli embassy from Amman in light of continued Zionist violations against the sovereignty and interests of Jordan,” the IAF said in a statement published on its website.

The IAF emphasized that the Arab world rejects any relations with Israel and urged Arab leaders to take heed of their nations’ demand in this regard, Xinhua reported.

The Jordanian opposition group also praised the protests by the Egyptians against the Israeli embassy in the capital Cairo.

Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli embassy premises in Cairo after the Friday prayers to call for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador.

Angry Egyptians also destroyed parts of the protective cement wall around the embassy and broke into the building, despite the presence of heavily armed Egyptian security forces.

According to medical sources, three people were killed and more than 1,000 people were injured in what has been described as the worst anti-Israeli outburst in Egypt in many years.

Many observers compare the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo with the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran following Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Source: PressTV.

Syrian expatriates form Europe-wide opposition movement

Sep 10, 2011

Vienna – Syrian expatriate organizations from 15 European countries declared themselves in opposition to President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday and formed a joint movement in Vienna.

The new Union of Syrians Abroad called for the ‘toppling of the Syrian regime and for the creation of a democratic multi-party state’ while stressing the principle of non-violence and its opposition to foreign military intervention.

It also called on Syrian embassies to distance themselves from the current government, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.

The Union plans to support opposition members in Syria and those who flee abroad.

It represents expatriates in Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Late last month, some opposition activists founded a National Transitional Council in Turkey, modeled on the one formed by Libyan rebels.

Protests calling for political reforms began in mid-March and developed into calls for the ouster of al-Assad.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 2,200 civilians have been killed in the government’s violent crackdown.

Source: Monsters and Critics.

Turkey to take legal battle for Gaza flotilla dead to The Hague

Sep 10, 2011

Istanbul – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Saturday vowed to carry his country’s spat with Israel over last year’s killing of Turkish nationals aboard Gaza flotilla ship the Mavi Marmara to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Speaking a convention of businessmen in the central Turkish city of Kayseri broadcast live on Turkey’s state news channel TRT Erdogan vowed to continue the legal struggle for justice for the nine people killed on the ship.

‘We will carry this struggle to the Hague and the world will again see who is standing alongside the victims,’ he said, criticizing Turkish opposition leaders for what he described as ‘acting as advocates for Israel’.

Erdogan was also deeply critical of the United States position on the Mavi Marmara incident, relating how he had to point out to US President Barack Obama how the attack had left nine Turks dead from wounds inflicted by 35 bullets mostly fired from close range, one of them an American passport holder.

‘I asked President Obama whether the reason he showed no interest in one of his nationals being killed was because (the victim) was (ethnically) Turkish – he didn’t reply,’ said Erdogan.

However, despite that rhetoric, Erdogan made no repeat mention of his remarks from an interview Thursday with Al Jazeera in which he warned that Turkey could send warships to protect future aid convoys sent to break the Israeli blockade against Gaza.

Turkey’s state Anatolian News Agency quoted Erdogan as telling Al Jazeera that ‘Turkish vessels are obliged to protect their own ships. We are going to send humanitarian aid to the region. And Turkish vessels carrying humanitarian aid will never be subject to any attack again.’

‘Turkey does not make the same mistakes with Israel in the international waters. Turkey’s state and military decency do not allow such mistakes.’

Those remarks, the first time that a Turkish official has warned of possible military intervention in the year long spat with Israel, caused international concern when aired late Thursday prompting warnings from both Israel and the US of the possible consequences of escalating tensions between the two former allies.

Source: Monsters and Critics.