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Archive for January 7, 2010

Fatah official accuses Hamas of being pawn of Iran

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Authority (WJC)–Tayeb Abdel Rahim, director-general of the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority and a member of the Fatah Central Council, has claimed that Hamas had forged an alliance with Iran in a way that harmed Arab national security and Palestinian interests.

“Hamas has turned the Palestinian cause into a cheap card in the hands of Iran,” Abdel Rahim said in an interview with a local Palestinian radio station, according to the ‘Jerusalem Post’. He added: “They have done this at the expense of the Palestinian issue and the unity of the Palestinian people and homeland.”

The official said that the issue of Hamas’ alliance with Iran was at the core of this week’s talks between Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal in Riyadh. “Hamas must give a clear answer,” Abdel Rahim said. “Are you with the Palestinian cause or a pawn in the hands of others? Are you in favor of Arab national security or are you aligned with those who pose a threat to this security? Where do you stand?”

Meanwhile, an Egyptian soldier was reportedly killed and four Palestinians wounded in a gun battle during a protest against an anti-smuggling wall Cairo is currently building on the Egyptian border with Gaza.  The violence was the most serious between Egyptian and Hamas forces since building on the underground steel barrier began a month ago. The project could block the movement of goods and weapons through tunnels into the Gaza Strip. Witnesses on the Gaza side of the border said members of Hamas’s police force fired at the Egyptians.
 
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Holocaust Museum gunman dies in hospital

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON, D.C (WJC)–James von Brunn, the 89-year-old white supremacist accused of killing a security guard at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, has died. He was wounded in the attack he perpetrated on 10 June 2009, when guards returned fire after he had gone on a shooting rampage. However, the cause of death was not immediately available.

Von Brunn was being held at the medical wing of a jail in North Carolina and had died at a local hospital where he had been transferred, said a spokeswoman for the US Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was charged with murdering security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns as well as with related hate crime and gun charges for the attack. Police recovered anti-Semitic writings in his car after the shooting.

The museum is a memorial to the six million Jews killed by in the Holocaust.

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Iraqis weigh suing Israel for 1981 destruction of nuclear reactor

January 7, 2010 1 comment

BAGHDAD (WJC)–Iraq is planning to sue Israel for bombing its nuclear reactor at Osirak nearly three decades ago. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has instructed his Foreign Ministry to find out from the United Nations whether it can receive compensation from Israel. Israel’s Air Force bombed the reactor, which had not yet gone on line, in 1981.

A UN resolution passed at the time condemned Israel’s attack and determined that Iraq had a right to demand compensation, the ‘Jerusalem Post’ reported.

Baghdad has demanded that the United Nations set up a committee to assess the damage caused by Israel’s attack so it can calculate the appropriate amount of compensation. 

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Ayalon says Palestinian vilification of Israel hinders peace talks

January 7, 2010 1 comment

JERUSALEM (WJC)–Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon has said that peace talks with the Palestinians were not likely to resume in the coming weeks.

“Instead of moving toward negotiations, the Palestinians just attack Israel in the world,” Ayalon said at a gathering of the Israel Council for Foreign Relations in Jerusalem, which is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress, adding: “In view of the Palestinians’ latest declarations, I don’t think the talks will begin before February, if not later.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s “rhetoric after his recent visit to Cairo is not encouraging… I do not see any movement on the political track until at least February and maybe even beyond that. The Palestinians are looking for imposed solutions, this will not happen,” Ayalon said.

“We are also against artificial deadlines, history has shown us that they are doomed to failure. We need patience and a Palestinian leadership that is willing to make tough decisions of the sort that I do not see they are willing or able to make.”

Read the full speech and Minister Ayalon’s answers to questions from the floor here.

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