Egypt: the military hunker down

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

Fast-moving developments in Egypt continue to leave both media comment and international reaction trailing behind. Over 1,000 people have been killed in the last week. 36 Islamists arrested by the military were killed "attempting to escape", and 24 policemen were killed in Sinai, according to some reports execution-style. Muhammad Badi, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood …

Lebanon: Hizbullah versus al-Qa’ida?

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

A car bomb in the Shia southern suburb of Beirut Bir al-Abed on 9 July wounded over 50 people. On 15 August a second probable car bomb in Dahieh also a Shia area close to the Sayyid al-Shuhada complex where Hizbullah often holds mass rallies killed 22 people and injured at least 300 according to the Lebanese …

Security in the Sahara

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags , ,

Since the French intervention Operation Serval in Mali in January and the In Amenas raid in the Algerian Sahara in which 39 foreign hostages were killed also in January there have been no security incidents in the Sahara which have caught the world's headlines. But there are regular reports of minor clashes and Sahara security remains a …

Egypt: bloody confrontation

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

The determination of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the deposed President Muhammad Mursi to continue their protest in the streets, and the determination of the military to remove them, led to bloody clashes on 14 August and confrontation again on 16 August. Hundreds were killed, but the numbers quoted by the two sides differ wildly. The Muslim …

America: love and hate

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

America is both loved and hated in the Arab world and Iran. Loved for the progress it stands for including material development and non-material values from education to accountable government, hated for its political and military interventions nearly always ending in tears through the law of unintended consequences. In this it follows after the European imperialist powers …

Iraq: killing continues

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

Over 70 people were killed in separate car bomb and other incidents during the holiday to mark the end of Ramadan. According to an AFP summary more than 800 people were killed in attacks during Ramadan. Militants struck targets ranging from cafes where Iraqis gathered after breaking their daily fast, to mosques where extended evening prayers were …

Palestine: talks to begin

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

Following initial meetings in Washington last month what Reuters calls "the real discussions" start today 14 August "with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni facing Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem's King David Hotel. The negotiations will be moderated by U.S. envoy Martin Indyk, with the next encounter already pencilled in for later this month in the …

President Rouhani of Iran

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags

Since our posting of 4 August there has been much international debate about Iran under its new president. As a comment by Reuters put it, "Iran’s recent elections produced a striking result. In a six-man race, one candidate won an easy victory without the expected runoff. More to the point, Hassan Rohani campaigned for policies of negotiation …

The Arab Gulf States and the social media

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags , , ,

The social media were credited with an important role in the overthrow of the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in the Arab spring, and it is not surprising that other regimes view them with suspicion as a likely source of subversion. The first article below from the Al Monitor website considers a number of examples of oppressive action in the Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Omar and Qatar, accusing governments of a desperate rearguard action and failure to adapt to technological change; …

Lebanon and Israel

Posted on Categories Arab Digest EmailTags ,

On 7 August an explosion near al-Labouneh on the Israeli-Lebanese border injured several Israeli soldiers. UNIFIL has opened an investigation. The area has been mainly quiet since the 2006 war, but history shows that the combination of lack of trust, militarisation of the area, aggressive tactics and lack of agreement about the border can produce retaliation and counter-retaliation …