Palestinian Resistance Rejects International Gaza Force

CAIRO – Since the outset of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, calls have been renewed for an "international force" to protect the civilian population. But Palestinian resistance factions, chief among them Hamas, reject the idea outright. "The resistance will not accept international forces (in the Gaza Strip)," Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas’s Damascus-based political … Continue reading “Palestinian Resistance Rejects International Gaza Force”

Cease-Fire Hopes Fading Away

CAIRO – A week after the unveiling of a Franco-Egyptian cease-fire proposal aimed at stopping the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian resistance faction Hamas and, on the face of it, Israel are still discussing the fine print of an agreement. "Details of the proposal remain unclear," Abdelaziz Shadi, coordinator of Cairo University’s Israeli studies … Continue reading “Cease-Fire Hopes Fading Away”

Egypt Pulls Down the Shutters on Gaza Aid

CAIRO – Egyptian authorities have almost fully sealed the border with Gaza, preventing delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid. "The government has expressly forbidden the entry of aid convoys laden with food into the Gaza Strip," Emmad al-Din Moustafa, member of the Popular Committee for Aiding Gaza told IPS. "The continued border closure – like … Continue reading “Egypt Pulls Down the Shutters on Gaza Aid”

Peace Process Blown to Bits

CAIRO – Formally, the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" appears set to continue, in line with the last UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution. But the chances of finding a resolution are virtually nil in light of Israel’s new campaign against the Gaza Strip. "Even before Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza, the so-called peace process was dead," Magdi … Continue reading “Peace Process Blown to Bits”

Egypt Seen as Complicit in Gaza Assault

CAIRO – As the Palestinian death toll approaches 400, much of popular anger throughout the Arab world has been directed at Egypt – seen by many as complicit in the Israeli campaign. "Israel would not have hit Gaza like this without a green light from Egypt," Hamdi Hassan, MP for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest … Continue reading “Egypt Seen as Complicit in Gaza Assault”

It Could Be More Than Three Years to US Departure From Iraq

CAIRO – Washington and Baghdad signed a security agreement earlier this month allowing the U.S. to maintain a military presence in Iraq for another three years. But while Baghdad officials hailed the pact as the “beginning of the end” of the U.S.-led occupation, Egyptian commentators – like much of the Iraqi opposition – say the … Continue reading “It Could Be More Than Three Years to US Departure From Iraq”

New Egyptian Law Tightens Noose Around Freedom

CAIRO – Egypt’s parliament ratified legislation earlier this month outlawing public demonstrations in or near religious establishments. While government officials say the move is meant to preserve the inviolability of Egypt’s mosques and churches, critics say the new law aims to further stifle freedom of expression. “The goal of the new law is obvious: to … Continue reading “New Egyptian Law Tightens Noose Around Freedom”

US Seen in Middle East Policy Retreat

CAIRO – Recent months have witnessed several notable political reorientations in the Middle East, involving Iran, the Gulf states, Egypt and Lebanon. Several experts say the changes reflect a shift in Washington’s regional strategy following recent US policy setbacks. “US policies in the region are either in retreat or undergoing reexamination,” Ayman Abelaziz Salaama, international … Continue reading “US Seen in Middle East Policy Retreat”

US Arms Create New Divisions in Mideast

CAIRO – Last month, Washington approved massive military-aid packages and arms sales to its Arab allies, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and a number of smaller Gulf States. But while U.S. officials say the deals aim to bolster the "forces of moderation" in the region, some local commentators see the move as an unnecessary – and … Continue reading “US Arms Create New Divisions in Mideast”

Mubarak Party Faces
Fraud Allegations

CAIRO – Doubts are being raised now over the landslide victory of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Hosni Mubarak in midterm elections for the Shura Council last month. NDP spokesmen attributed the results to “good electoral planning,” but opposition figures and rights groups say election to the consultative chamber of parliament was … Continue reading “Mubarak Party Faces
Fraud Allegations”