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General News    H3'ed 1/17/09

Arab League Fractured over Israel-Gaza; Israel votes for Cease-Fire

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BREAKING UpdatePrime Minster Ehud Olmert on Saturday night announced that Israel's security cabinet has voted in favor of a unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Also see Text of U.S.-Israel anti Gaza arms-smuggling agreement.

The Israel cabinet voted to cease fire in Gaza, but Hamas will not abide a truce as long as Israel troops remain in Gaza, according to George Rishmawi, of Palestinian-based International Middle East Media Center.  For a truce to ensue, Israel demands a cessation of rocket fire from Gaza and international aid to block weapons from being smuggled into Gaza.  Arab blocs met separately on Friday to discuss actions against Israel.

Yesterday concluded a two-day emergency summit in Doha, Qatar of part of the Arab League to consider the financial outlays needed to reconstruct Palestine.  Unable to achieve a quorum of 15 member states (of 22), half the AL nonetheless issued a statement calling for all members to sever relations with Israel. This follows Venezuela and Bolivia which already severed ties with Israel as a result of the current offense in Gaza. 

Nations represented at the Doha, Qatar summit include Algeria, Comoros, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and Senegal. The presence of Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade is seen as key to forging consensus, given that Senegal presides over the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Noticeably absent from the Doha summit were Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  Instead, they met on Friday with Arab leaders in Kuwait to finalize the agenda for a long-planned first-ever summit on economic, social and development issues in the Arab world, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. 

Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, admitted on Friday that Arab nation reactions to the war on Gaza was "in a very big chaos,” according to the AFP.

Kuwaiti Information Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah said on Thursday "The Arab leaders are unanimous on the importance of putting an end to the tragedy unfolding in Gaza, but they differ on the means of achieving it," according to China’s XinhuaNet.

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Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been strongly critical of Hamas ever since it subverted a US-backed coup attempt by Fatah, seizing control of Gaza in June 2007.  Arab leaders acknowledged that the Gaza crisis takes precedence by modifying next week’s agenda.  Ministers also discussed "steps that should be taken after Israel rejected UN Security Council Resolution 1860," that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the AFP reported. One suggestion was to ask the United Nations to issue another resolution.  Prince Saud also offered to set up an Arab fund to pay for Gaza’s reconstruction. 

Bolivia plans to bring genocide charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court next week.  Neither Israel nor the US are signatories to the Rome Statute creating the Hague-based court in 2000 to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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