» 12/03/2008, 00.00
EGYPT - PALESTINE
Hamas: no pilgrimage to Mecca for faithful of Gaza Strip
Their offense is that they asked for permission to leave from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, controlled by Fatah. An internal power struggle is affecting the Muslims, and is judged as "an abominable crime" by the highest Sunni authority in Egypt. The news is raising ironic comments from Israeli newspapers.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - "An abominable crime." This is how Mohammed Sayyed Tantaoui, imam of the mosque of Al Azhar, judges the decision by Hamas to block the pilgrimage to Mecca by a group of Palestinian faithful from the Gaza Strip. "Anyone who prevents a Muslim from making the pilgrimage to Mecca commits an abominable crime," comments the Egyptian imam, the highest Sunni authority in the country, to the official news agency Mena.
In order to meet the needs of the 3,000 Palestinian faithful, Egypt had decided to open the border crossing in Rafa, by which they would have crossed into Saudi Arabia through Nuweiba, on the Red Sea. Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since June of 2007, has blocked the pilgrims from reaching the crossing point, keeping them inside the border.
The minister of religious affairs for the Hamas government has said that he does not consider the travel visas carried by the pilgrims as valid. They were issued by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, in agreement with the Fatah movement. So it's an interior power struggle, which is affecting the pilgrims who only want to go to Mecca.
The news has also been picked up by Israeli newspapers, which are commenting ironically on the blockade imposed by Hamas: "What a sensational headline, what a fascinating paradox," says Haaretz. "What Israel has never dared to do - certainly not to this extent - is being done by a Palestinian government for which Islam is the basis of its platform and provides personal guidance for each of its ministers."
Palestinians in favour of truce and negotiations with Israel
Survey shows that most people believe no one won in the recent Israel-Hamas war. A majority also believes that Hamas is taking the country in the “wrong direction.” Still, 43.5 per cent believes that the Islamist movement has come out stronger from the conflict.
Hamas-Fatat agree on eve of donors’ conference
Palestinian factions agree to process that should lead to a national unity government. Thus aid for Gaza reconstruction should start flowing in. Israeli daily Haaretz writes that recent war benefited Hamas.
27/06/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Palestinians and Israelis violate ceasefire, but do not break it
Two mortar rounds were fired today from the Gaza Strip, while Jerusalem is keeping the border crossings closed, but is permitting the passage of a little bit of fuel. Fayyad: the closing "is actually producing a situation where you have 1.5 million of our people who live there with a sense of not much to lose".
From Beirut, solidarity with Palestinians of Gaza, but without military support
The Israeli attack is disproportionate, and the result of domestic propaganda in view of the elections. Hezbollah, close to Hamas, rejects the hypothesis of a new war with Israel, and calls for the opening of humanitarian corridors. Divisions in the Arab world do not favor of the resolution of the crisis.
Hamas, the era of Islamic law in full control of Gaza
Fatah’s last bastion, the presidential palace, falls; the president of the PA dissolves the government and calls for early elections. Fighters cry victory and urge the advent of Islamic law, but premier Haniyeh excludes the creation of a sate in the Strip. The hand of Tehran and Damascus.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
20/01/2017 CHINA - UNITED STATES
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