Gaza

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

Events in the region have left Hamas more isolated than before and increased the pressure on , where some commentators predict an explosion. The humanitarian situation and living conditions generally in remain deplorable. A brief statement by the UN spokesman dated 24 December condemned recent violence causing deaths and injuries in both Israel and and called …

Yemen: National Dialogue concludes

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

A rare item of encouraging news from Yemen: the National Dialogue Conference has agreed a document on which the new constitution will be based. According to a BBC report President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi will reveal details of the rival political, tribal, religious and social groups' vision for a new political system at the …

Muslim Brotherhood: 30 convicted in the UAE

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis have been given jail sentences of up to 5 years in the Emirates for establishing a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The court ordered the closure of all branches of the Brotherhood in the country and all funds and properties to be seized. Details of the charges and those …

Egypt: the referendum

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

According to the official figures 98.1% of those who voted in the referendum backed the constitution; turnout was 38.6% of 53 million eligible voters. Figures in the high 90s inevitably arouse suspicion. The Muslim brotherhood boycotted the vote. It is likely that those who would have voted no simply did not take part. Egypt Independent

Price tag

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

Violent incidents in occupied Palestine committed by both occupiers and occupied are nothing new. For some years the expression "price tag" has been used for acts of random violence by Israeli settlers in retaliation for any action perceived as against the settlement enterprise. Some commentators consider that price tag incidents go back to the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza …

Syria: on track for Geneva II

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

The decision on 18 January in Istanbul by the Syrian opposition National Coalition to take part means that the Geneva II conference (actually to be in Montreux) is likely to take place on 22 January, although it is uncertain to what extent the National Coalition represents the various forces fighting in Syria, and the various …

Lebanon: the Rafiq Hariri tribunal

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

The former long-serving Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in 2005 by a huge bomb which killed 65 people. After long delays a trial in absentia of four Hizbullah suspects (and possibly a fifth) began on 16 January in a Special Tribunal in The Hague created for the purpose on the initiative of the former …

Kuwait: the new government

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

The Kuwait Times reports that the newly reshuffled cabinet still headed by the Prime Minister Shaikh Jabir Al Mubarak Al Sabah (posting of 8 January) has already been sharply attacked in Parliament, with calls from traditional supporters of the government for the prime minister's resignation. 13 MPs called for a special session to debate "the …

Egypt: referendum on the constitution

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

Voting on the Egyptian constitution conducted over two days has now ended. Clashes on the first day, 14 January, left at least nine dead. The second day saw massive security but little violence. Government sources estimated that 28% of the electorate voted on the first day and an interior ministry official told Al Arabiya that the …

Iraq: the Sunni west

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

Anbar province, the largest in Iraq, is predominantly Sunni and stretches west from Baghdad to the borders of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, containing the cities of Ramadi, Falluja and Haditha. It is in contention between the Shia-dominated government headed by Nuri al-Maliki, the tribes (mainly the various sub-tribes of Dulaim), and al-Qa’ida-type forces now rebranded as …