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Entries in Khaled Meshaal (15)


Palestine, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Hamas Shows Its Strength in West Bank

Thursday's rally for Hamas in the West Bank city of Nablus

See also Saudi Arabia Analysis: Explaining the "Days of Rage" in the Kingdom
Syria Live Coverage: Protests, Bombs, and A Victory That "Cannot Be Ruled Out"
Thursday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Stumbling Towards a Referendum

1535 GMT: Bahrain On January 11, 23-year old Yousef Mowali, who suffers from schizophrenia, left his home for a walk. Two days later, his body was discovered floating in the sea by police. The cause of death was ruled as drowning, however, at the time, his family reported seeing torture marks on his body. In May, Al-Jazeera English revealed that a Turkish forensics expert had secretly entered Bahrain and performed a covert autopsy. She concluded that Yousef had been tortured. In an interview for Hurriyet Daily News, Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı speaks of the experience:

The lawyers in the IRCT [International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims] sent an email to our group and asked for a forensic expert who could take the risk to go to Bahrain and examine the body of a torture victim. I was the most suitable among all of us because I did not need a visa to go inside Bahrain and did not look European at all, so I would not attract any attention.

I bought the surgical equipment in Bahrain, and we also found the necessary chemical solutions to put tissue samples in. I wore a long dress and hijab in order to look like a relative of the family who was visiting to express condolences. There were several police outside the place of the funeral but they were not suspicious of me because they were probably expecting a man and a European

I took tissue samples from the body of the victim at the place of the funeral. The most important thing was the chest bone because the police insisted that he drowned. I took the chest bone and put it in the chemical solution I had brought with me. The most difficult part was making the stitches on my own because I did not have the proper equipment for it. I asked for a quilting needle, and they found it. I finished the work and left the house. However, I heard that police raided the [place] after I left.

We have proved that the scars on the hands and feet were the scars of electrical torture. The victim was most likely unconscious when he was thrown into the sea and this is why he drowned. We sent the report to the IRCT.

1529 GMT: Egypt. As hundreds of supporters and opponents of the Government rallied in Cairo today, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy accused the US, Israel, and Gulf States of trying to ruin Egypt's democratic process.

El-Beltagy, who is also Secretary-General of the group’s Freedom and Justice Party, said those who say the final draft of the Constitution was rushed are “liars" and assured, “The people are the best judges. A revolt against the legitimate authorities will produce thousands of martyrs.”

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Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protesters Maintain the Pressure on Morsi

Protesters in front of Egypt's Presidential Palace on Friday night

See also EA Caption Competition: Turkey PM Erdogan's Lovely Home-Made Cake
Middle East Feature: Gulf Regimes Crack Down on Dissent in Social Media
Friday's Syria Live Coverage: Is This the End for Assad?
Friday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Defies Protesters and Warns "Infiltrators"

1855 GMT: Bahrain. Leading human rights activist Zainab Alkhawaja tweets about a recent incident involving her and Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

An hour before, the two human rights activists had gone to Salmaniya hospital to visit Aqeel AbdulMohsen in Salmaniya hospital. Aqeel was severely injured in Bani Jamra on Wednesday night after security forces shot him in the face:

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Defies Protesters and Warns "Infiltrators"

The protest in front of the Presidential Palace tonight

See also Syria Live Coverage: Is This the End for Assad?
Thursday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and Fighting at the Presidential Palace

See also Syria Live Coverage: Is This the End for Assad?
Thursday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and Fighting at the Presidential Palace

2125 GMT: Egypt. Hundreds or anti-Morsi demonstrators in Alexandria reportedly ransacked the Governorate’s headquarters, protesting the killing of protesters by "armed militias affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood".

Minutes later, a group of men wielding firearms and bladed weapons chased the demonstrators out of the building.

The headquarters of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in Zagazig was raided by protesters amid clashes in the city, including in front of President Morsi's house.

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Palestine Analysis: A 6-Point Guide to the "Style and No Substance" of the UN Vote for Statehood

Mahmoud Abbas Addressing the UNThe upgrade in status at the UN will not be produce a two-state solution in weeks. Indeed, there is still no practical alternative to the reality before Palestine, with a political stalemate not only between Israel and the Palestinians but also between Gaza and the West Bank.

A 6-Point Guide....

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The Latest from Iran (23 November): A Wobble Over Gaza

Gaza Prime Minister Haniyeh & President Ahmadinejad1835 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Jordanian Front). Jordanian officials have expressed reservations about remarks by Iran's Ambassador in Amman that Tehran is prepared for a barter deal for oil and energy products for 30 years.

Ambassador Mostafa Mosleh-Zadeh said Iran would provide the oil in return for Jordanian goods and for permission for Shia religious tourism.

Jordanian government spokesman Samih al-Maaytah said Friday that though the government is looking for alternative ways to solve its energy crisis, the Kingdom preferred "relations with the Gulf countries despite the delay in aid".

Officials said that the "political deal...[of] oil for religious tourism and certain political attitudes towards the Syria crisis serve the Iranian position".

Last week a Jordanian Government reduction in fuel subsidies, sparking price rises, fed protests that included calls for the downfall of King Abdullah II.

Jordan's economic situation has been weakened by the loss of financial support from Gulf States. Last year, Saudi Arabia gave Jordan a last-minute $1.4 billion cash handout but has withheld aid this year, officials said.

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Gaza Live Coverage: A Ceasefire is Declared --- Now What?

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Pressure Builds On Assad
Wednesday's Gaza Live Coverage: Israel Rejects Ceasefire and Maintains Assault

1605 GMT: The Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman summarises Benjamin Netanyahu's statement of victory/defiance/warning this afternoon:

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The Latest from Iran (22 November): Ahmadinejad Benefits from Tehran's Problems Abroad

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- A Health Crisis, A Hunger Strike, and Keeping Women at Home
The Latest from Iran (21 November): The Economy? "All Is Well"

1740 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabi has stopped all in-person visits in the women’s section of Evin Prison, according to opposition websites.

Kalemeh wrote that female inmates who had children were allowed to meet with them in person on Wednesday, but yesterday the prisoners were told that these visits are cancelled until further notice.

Prison authorities have informed detainees that the decision has been handed down from the prosecutor’s office and prison officials have no authority to alter it.

Up to nine women political prisoners recently went on hunger strike over their treatment, including denial of visits, and seven of them signed a statement of condolence to the family of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger killed earlier this month during interrogation in prison. The women have also expressed sympathy with detained lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is in the fifth week of her hunger strike.

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Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: 30 Killed in Gaza's Bloodiest Day

2152 GMT: The Guardian reports:

Two teenage brothers have been killed and an unknown number wounded in an Israeli strike on a home near the Rafah border crossing, according to local reports. The names of the dead were given as Ahmad al-Nasasra, 17, and Mohammed al-Nasasra, 15.

This matches other social media reports we've seen, including this picture which was posted on Facebook:

Ahmad and his brother Muhammed AL-Nasasra were murdered...An Israeli missile leveled a home in Rafah

2132 GMT: Amnesty International has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council "to impose an international arms embargo on Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza".

Speaking about the current crisis, Amnesty International’s MENA Deputy Director Ann Harrison also said that the NGO has "serious concerns" that Palestinians are being killed by "indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks by Israeli forces.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Propaganda and an American Journalist Held Hostage

2038 GMT: Syria. At the end of the day (it's nearly midnight in Syria) at least 150 people have been killed by Assad forces, according to the Local Coordination Committees:

50 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs (most of them in Eastern Ghota and 17 in the shelling of Harasta); 30 in Aleppo (most were field-executed in Jami'yat Al-Zahra neighborhood); 29 in Daraa; 21 in Deir Ezzor; 12 in Homs; 5 in Idlib; and 3 in Hama (one of them was martyred in Aleppo).

See our note on the casualty figures put forth by the LCC.

The LCC's death toll often rises overnight as they confirm more deaths.

The number is shockingly high to many, but sadly it is about average now. However, the intensity of the violence in and around Damascus was nothing like average. While violence sometimes spikes for a day, or maybe a few days, it also may be a sign that the battle for the eastern suburbs is intensifying.

There is another story to carefully watch over the next few days...

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Turkey Analysis: Facing The Complications of Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan

Prime Minister ErdoganAt the end of the day, whatever the fate of the Assad regime, Ankara has to face the Kurdistan reality and the importance of a solution of their own Kurdish problem. Given a stronger PKK and a more demanding opposition party BDP on the streets, the Erdogan Government will be pushed to the edge of its rule unless it recognizes this.

For now, apart from preparing his foreign minister to Iraqi Kurdistan, Erdogan is looking for every option to make the Turkish public forget the growing importance of the Kurdistan reality.

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