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Entries in Palestinian Authority (49)


Middle East Today: US Protests Israel Legalisation of 4 West Bank Outposts

Givat Assaf Outpost in the West Bank(Photo: Haaretz)

Iraq: More Deaths in Bombings

At least 13 people have been killed in bomb attacks today in Iraq, a day after a wave of bombings across the country left at least 76 people dead.

In the latest attacks, three people were killed when two bombs went off simultaneously in Tuz Khurmato, a town populated mainly by ethnic Turkmen and claimed by the government in Baghdad and ethnic Kurds.

Gunmen and a suicide bomber killed three people in an attack on an army patrol in a Sunni area of Tarmiyah, 50 kilomatres (30 miles) north of Baghdad.

Further north, six people died and dozens were injured when three bombs exploded in the cattle market in al-Aruba district in Kirkuk.

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Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Minister of Finance Tries to Resign Amid Financial Crisis

See also Syria Live Coverage: Fighting on the Iraq Border
Saturday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 1 Killed in Continuing Protests in Mansoura

Minister of Finance Nabil Qassis2155 GMT: Egypt. One person has been killed and more than 400 injured in clashes between protesters and police in Port Said.

At least 260 of the wounded suffered from tear gas inhalation. A 21-year-old protester was slain and at least 39 people were injured by gunfire, including seven members of the security forces.

There was also confusion with reports of confrontations between the police and the army, as army colonel responsible for the unit at the Governorate building was shot in the leg and a Central Security Forces (CSF) conscript was killed by unknown assailants.

The official spokesperson of the Egyptian armed forces, Colonel Ahmed Ali, denied the reports: "It is completely untrue that armed forces units in Port Said exchanged fired with police forces during the clashes."

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Palestine Feature: Getting Rich From Gaza's Tunnels (Shaban)

Although it is illegal, tunnel trade has helped to ease the effects of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip by providing hundreds of basic goods, such as infant formula, school supplies, and construction materials. However, it has also produced negative effects and behaviors, which will take Palestinian society many years and tremendous efforts to address.

One direct result of tunnel trade is the formation of a new class of wealthy individuals who were able to accumulate massive fortunes in a short period of time. Numerous reports have claimed more than 1,000 new millionaires. The emergence of this class has caused fundamental changes in the forms of economic activity in the Gaza Strip, and changed the system of values ​​that govern society.

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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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Palestine Analysis: What Did Mahmoud Abbas Win for Palestinians --- and for Himself --- at the United Nations?

Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the United Nations General Assembly, 29 November 2012

Will the UN vote become more than symbol, setting in motion a chain of events for substantive political and economic change, just as the Declaration of Independence led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority? Or will this another Palestine Independence Day that looks embarrassing in its optimism in years to come?

The possibilities are still too close to call. But Mahmoud Abbas has won one victory, which defies all Israeli and Western criticism that he has engaged in unnecessary posturing --- he has insisted on his political relevance for another day.

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Palestine Film Special: "Live: From Bethlehem"

Live: From Bethlehem, a documentary about an independent Palestinian news agency, starts with a feeling every journalist knows well, as a small staff rushes to get breaking news on the air. Reporters, trying to get into the field, contend with bad traffic and police checkpoints. Ma'an News Agency, the only official independent news agency in Palestine, is clearly feeling the stress.

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Palestine Feature: Communications Minister Resigns Over Blocking of Websites (BBC)

Mahmoud AbbasThe communications minister of the Palestinian Authority has resigned, claiming it was trying to silence its critics and curb freedom of expression.

Mashour Abu Daqa said senior officials had ordered several opposition websites to be blocked over the past six months.

He said the moves were bad for the image of the PA in the modern world.

Security forces have also recently arrested four journalists and an activist who had criticised President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials.

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Palestine Feature: What Happens When A Journalist Criticises the Palestinian Authority? (Haas)

Protest for Yusuf Al-ShayebJournalists who stood outside the court building exchanged jokes about the "six million dollars." No problem, we'll obtain them, someone said. That's small change, another said. But these light remarks did not hide concerns about their colleague, Yusuf Al-Shayeb, who was at the time on his way to the Magistrate's Court in Ramallah, to have his remand extended.

The Palestinian Authority's foreign ministry, headed by Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, and the Palestinian diplomatic mission in France have submitted libel claims against Al-Shayeb --- who works for the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper (which is associated with the PA ) and AlGhad, a Jordanian newspaper --- demanding compensation of six million dollars.

Of the two papers that he writes for, it was the Jordanian one that on January 29 published his report on claims of corruption at the Palestinian diplomatic mission in France. The report alleged that the mission's deputy ambassador, Safwat Ibraghit, compels Palestinian students to spy on Muslim groups in France and relay information to Palestinian and foreign intelligence services. Al-Shayeb also claimed that Maliki, Palestinian National Fund director Dr. Ramzi Khouri, and Abu Nabil, who handles funds for Fatah, were responsible for Ibraghit's promotion, despite complaints that have been leveled against him.

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Palestine Opinion: Have Hunger Strikers "Reinvigorated Resistance"? (Silver)

Woman with Poster of Hana al-ShalabiKhader Adnan and Hana al Shalabi have reinvigorated resistance and raised the long-flagging morale of people on the streets. This is a dramatic testament to the adage that change can only come from below --- so maybe it's time we stop looking to the top.

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Palestine Video and Transcript: Mahmoud Abbas Makes Statehood Bid at UN General Assembly



Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough. It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.

The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in the homeland and the Diaspora, to end their displacement and to realize their rights, some of them forced to take refuge more than once in different places of the world.

At a time when the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy --- the Arab Spring --- the time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence.

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