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Monday
Feb252013

Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Israel Looks for Calm after Death of Palestinian Detainee

See also Turkey Analysis: Erdogan's "One Leader, One Nation, One Market" --- Will It Succeed?
Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Capture Symbolic "Nuclear" Site
Sunday's Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Conflicting Claims Over Palestinian Who Died in Israeli Custody


2126 GMT: UAE. Two days after denying entry to a British academic scheduled to present a conference paper on Bahrain, two Bahrain-based journalists --- Associated Press reporter Reem Khalifa and her husband, Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for the independent Al Wasat newspaper, have been turned away.

Khalifa and al-Jamri were on a private trip to Dubai. No explanations were given for the refusal of entry.

2120 GMT: Egypt. The Morsi Government has revealed 24 new economic measures, to be presented to the International Monetary Fund to obtain approval of a $4.8 billion loan.

The proposals were drafted following an "economic initiative" conference in late December launched by the Egyptian Cabinet, in cooperation with private-sector representatives and economists.

The steps include tax reforms, an expansion of Social Security pensions, and emergency money for Egypt's railways, plagued by a series of deadly accidents.

1200 GMT: UAE. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement on the refusal to allow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a specialist in Gulf affairs, into the country.

Ulrichsen was scheduled to speak on the current political situation in Bahrain at a conference organised by the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); however, he was held up by Immigration at the airport. His passport was taken, and he was subsequently put on a flight back to London.

The LSE subsequently cancelled the conference, which was supposed to start on Sunday.

The Ministry said:

The UAE is a strong supporter of efforts by the Government of Bahrain and the opposition parties to resolve their situation through peaceful dialogue. Dr Coates Ulrichsen has consistently propagated views de-legitimizing the Bahraini monarchy. The UAE took the view that at this extremely sensitive juncture in Bahrain's national dialogue it would be unhelpful to allow non-constructive views on the situation in Bahrain to be expressed from within another GCC state.

This decision in no way reflects the strong ties with both the AUS and LSE and their academic excellence, however, in this very specific case, it was important to avoid disruption at a difficult point in Bahrain's national dialogue process which we fully support.

1013 GMT: Bahrain. Police fear tear gas as they move through a village on Sunday:

0959 GMT: Palestine. The body of Arafat Jarakat, the detainee died in an Israeli prison on Saturday, has arrived in his village for burial:

The BBC's Jon Donnison reports on security measures:

0916 GMT: Qatar. Qatari poet Muhammad al-Ajami, imprisoned for allegedly encouraging the overthrow of the government, has had his life sentence reduced to 15 years by an appeals court.

Ajami's lawyer said his client would now appeal against the verdict at the Court of Cassation, Qatar's highest court.

Ajami was deatined in November 2011 and charged with encouraging the overthrow of the government of Qatar, accusing the Emir of misusing the county's Constitution, and criticising the Qatari Crown Prince.

In a 2011 poem, Ajami lauded the "Arab Spring" uprisings, and denounced Arab governments, "We are all Tunisians in the face of repressive elites."

0841 GMT: Bahrain. Authorities have issued a decree banning the import of "Revolution Mask" or similar face coverings.

The "Guy Fawkes Mask" has been prominent in protests through the Middle East and North Africa, as well in other areas of the world, since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" more than two years ago.

0828 GMT: Israel and Palestine. Facing protests after the death of Palestinian detainee Arafat Jarakat in an Israeli prison on Saturday, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dispatched an envoy to demand that the Palestinian Authority restore calm, while ordering the release of $100 million in tax funds collected last month for the PA.

Palestinian officials claim that an autopsy has shown that Jarakat was severely beaten while in Megiddo Prison. Israeli authorities initially said he died of natural causes after falling ill on Saturday --- the Ministry of Health said yesterday that the autopsy's preliminary findings could not determine the cause of death, though they did not support initial Israeli assertions that Jarakat had died of cardiac arrest.

Following Sunday's protests and clashes in the West Bank, in which 26 Palestinians were injured --- two by gunfire from Israeli settlers --- Israeli security forces have bolstered their deployment near Hebron and in the area surrounding the villages of Beit Einun and Saeer, where Jaradat resided.

In Megiddo Prison this morning, 1100 prisoners continued a hunger strike, begun on Sunday.

Netanyahu's offer to send the $100 million to the Palestinian Authority, which is in serious financial difficulties, follows a "freeze" in November by Israel on the revenues after Palestine’s successful bid for recognition as an Observer State in the United Nations.

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