Home > News > News in Brief: 29 December 2008

News in Brief: 29 December 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Israel Mounts Third Day of Gaza Raids. Palestinian Deaths Hover Around 300. Israeli strikes Sunday and overnight in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip hit a security compound, a mosque, the Islamic University, a television station and a network of smugglers’ tunnels along the border with Egypt. The Palestinian death toll hovered around 300, making this the deadliest operation in Gaza since Israel seized control of the coastal territory from Egypt in 1967. (Washington Post)

Israeli killed as barrage of Palestinian rockets pound west Negev. One Israeli was killed and fourteen others were wounded by a Palestinian Grad missile which exploded near a construction site in the coastal town of Ashkelon. (Haaretz)

Analysis: ‘I don’t see how this ends well’ in Gaza. As Israel clamps down on the Gaza Strip and prepares for the possibility of sending thousands of soldiers into the Palestinian area controlled by the militant Islamic group Hamas, its leaders are facing a diplomatic conundrum: They have clear military goals but no political vision for how to end the confrontation. (McClatchy)

The way out of Gaza. In an interview with Haaretz during the first week of the Second Lebanon War, Maj. Gen. (res.) Uri Saguy cautioned against illusions of being able to determine the course of fighting from the air according to the combat school of former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Dan Halutz. Saguy predicted a fiasco like the 1996 Qana massacre in Lebanon during Operation Grapes of Wrath, which resulted in 106 dead civilians. (Haaretz)

Abbas blames Hamas for ruthless Israeli raids. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed the rival Hamas group on Sunday for triggering Israel’s deadly raids on Gaza by not extending a six-month truce with the Jewish state. (Today’s Zaman)

What next on Gaza/Israel and Why Americans Should Care. Here’s the bad news folks – America is involved, up to its eyeballs actually. Today, after Israeli air-strikes that killed over 200 Palestinians in Gaza, the Middle East is again seething with rage. Recruiters to the most radical of causes are again cashing in. (Daniel Levy, Prospects for Peace)

Gaza Killings Divide Arab Countries Further. The killing in Gaza has underlined how divided the Arab world is. America’s allies: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the PLO are ranged against Iran’s allies: Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas, and Qatar. The Gaza violence, meant to topple Hamas, will make the breach wider and general radicalization of the region more serious. (Syria Comment)

Top 5 reasons why Israel is attacking Gaza. (Syria Comment)

Where the carrot and stick policy leads. If you ask what could be the makeup or the cover story that would bring with it American official approval for the current butchery in Gaza, it might help us to recall the so-called Action Plan of around March 2007. In that document, leaked to a Jordanian newspaper, the outlines were set for a two-pronged policy: Degradation and harassment of the Hamas government of the Gaza Strip, and international cooperation for the economic and political flourishing of the West Bank. (Missing Links)

The war in Gaza – vicious folly of a bankrupt government. The escalation towards war could and should have been avoided. It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the ‘ticking tunnel’ raid on the night of the US elections two months ago. Since then the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased. (Gush Shalom)

Coalition Government Likely in Jammu and Kashmir. No clear winner emerged in elections in India’s troubled Jammu and Kashmir region, according to results released Sunday, but a new coalition led by the regional National Conference party was likely to assume power in the assembly. (Washington Post)

Tensions rise as India, Pakistan fail at diplomacy. A month after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India and Pakistan are turning to brinksmanship because they haven’t found a way to talk constructively. (McClatchy)

Somalia’s President Resigns. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Somalia’s combative ex-warlord of a president who has been widely blamed for his country’s deepening crisis, resigned on Monday, casting Somalia into a deeper political abyss, but at the same time possibly creating an opportunity. (New York Times)

EUROPE: Roma Pay the Price for Far-Right Rise. The alarm bell is ringing in Central Europe: as the region braces itself for an economic crisis, extremism grows and gains popular sympathy by targeting the Roma. (IPS)

Turkey: Ergenekon detainee elected party leader. Journalist Tuncay Özkan, currently in prison and suspected of being a member of a clandestine network, was elected yesterday as the chairman of a newly founded party, the New Party (YP). (Today’s Zaman)

20 killed in Pakistan blast. More than 20 people were killed and several injured in an apparent car-bomb attack near Swat in the North-West Frontier Province on Sunday during voting in a by-election for the National Assembly. The attack targeted a school… (The Hindu)

Blast near governor’s office north of Kabul. An explosion went off outside the office of the governor of Parwan province north of the Afghan capital on Monday and caused some casualties, a political source said. (Khaleej Times/Reuters)

Iran’s nuclear issue has no certain speaker. Last Friday, Ali Larijani, spokesperson of the Iranian parliament, warned the Arab countries not to meddle in Iran’s nuclear issue and not to risk jeopardize their dignity. The first point is U.S. success in ruining the relations between Iran and Arab countries of the region, and making the bad relations worse between Iran and some other countries. (Iranian Diplomacy)

Russia’s youth to embrace dawn of a new era. It’s among the youth that the similarities between Russia and the U.S. become eye-popping. (Globe and Mail)

Russian leaders urge united front during crisis. The global financial crisis has put Russia on the brink of its first recession in a decade, slashing gold and foreign exchange reserves by a quarter since the summer, pushing up unemployment and reducing real disposable income. (DAWN)

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