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Entries in Jamal Benomar (5)


Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: US Criticises Israeli "Pattern of Provocation" Over Settlements

See also Bahrain Analysis: Does Al Wefaq Still Lead the Opposition to the Regime?
Syria Live Coverage: The Insurgents Close on Hama
Tuesday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and Arrests for "Martyrs Day" in Manama

2125 GMT: UAE. Authorities have arrested at least four people after a tightening of the Internet law.

The four men, including former diplomat Naji al-Nuaimi, had sympathised with more than 60 Islamists detained since March, had called for reforms, or had criticised the security forces on-line, activists said.

2025 GMT: Yemen. President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi has abolished two major military units, including one commanded by the son of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


"The army was restructured into four units, the land forces, the navy, the air force and the border forces," State television reported, as the Republican Guard and the First Armored Division were abolished.

Brigadier General Ahmed Saleh, the commander of the Republican Guard, had refused orders this to hand over long-range missiles to the Defense Ministry.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A "Pretty Devastated" Section of Homs

2009 GMT: The UN/Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has said that a political process, not a military one, is the only way to end the crisis in the country:

"I hope that no one is thinking very seriously of using force in this situation. I believe any further militarization will make this situation worse. We have to be careful that we don't introduce a medicine that's worse than the disease, and we don't have to go very far in the region to find an example of what I'm talking about," said Annan.

Compare these statements to those made by a high-ranking commander in the Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, made earlier today:

"The Syrian people will not accept any form of dialogue with this criminal regime. The Syrian people want to bring this regime down and will never give it another chance."

1916 GMT: The shelling today in Al Rastan, Homs, might have been more intense than the initial reports suggested. Activists post this video, showing heavy damage in a single neighborhood:

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Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Report of the Commission of Inquiry

Security forces use tear gas in Bahrain on protesters and residents after a man died in his car, allegedly following an incident with a police jeep

See also Bahrain Special: The Commission of Inquiry's Report...& 14 Key Points About It
Egypt Analysis: So What Happens Now?
Egypt LiveBlog: Déjà Vu All Over Again
Tuesday's Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion

2150 GMT: The week of Thanksgiving 2011 will be remembered for what happened in the Middle East. Once again, Egypt was so eventful that it merited its own liveblog. Two other major developments will make the history books. In Yemen, President Saleh signed the Gulf Cooperation Council deal, effectively agreeing to trade his rule for immunity. In Bahrain, the independent report on human rights, and the regime's reaction to it, will likely set the stage for the next phase of unrest there.

With these two stories, and Egypt's news, Syria was doomed to the bottom of the priority list today. And yet, we saw some massively important developments, an unseen amount of protest in Damascus and Aleppo, and signs that Europe may be contemplating an intervention in the crisis.

There are many parallels between Yemen and Egypt, as both may have removed a dictator but neither has seen lasting change. In Bahrain, the opposition continues to struggle to be heard. But the developments in Syria may be the most important in the long run. With the news of protests reaching the reaching the two largest cities, the opposition appears stronger than it has ever been, and the Assad regime appears weaker. As Yemen and Egypt struggle to chart their next chapter, and the Bahraini opposition struggles to establish itself against a powerful regime, it appears that Syria could be the next domino to fall, perhaps the largest and most important domino yet.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: "The Government Wants the People To Become More Violent"

2127 GMT: Though our sources suggest that the protesters are still in the streets, and the gunfire is still being reported in many places across Syria, and the total may rise, the LCCS reports that 20 more civilians have been killed today in Syria:

Syria: The number of martyrs today, thus far, is 20. Among them were two women and a child. 15 of the martyrs were in Homs, 3 in the Hama suburbs, and 1 martyr each from both Deir Ezzor and Raqqa

2124 GMT: A loud, enthusiastic, and defiant crowd protests tonight in Qalamoun, Damascus:

2112 GMT: Yemen's President may sign a Gulf-State plan to transfer power to his deputy tomorrow, according to the opposition:

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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: More Die as Embassies Are Stormed

Police clash with protesters after breaking up a march in Nabeeh Saleh in Bahrain on Friday night

1955 GMT: One protester was killed and 12 others injured on Sunday when Egyptian security forces clashed with protesters staging a sit-in for the sixth day against the expansion of the MAPCO-Agrium fertilizer plant in Damietta.

Confrontations began on Saturday night and continued into early Sunday morning, with security forces using tear gas bombs to disperse protesters.

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