Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13)

1. Rice: Olmert, Abbas agree to informal talks on Palestinian state - Ha'aretz

At the end of her Middle East tour, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) agreed to "informal talks" about the nature of a future Palestinian state.

2. Merkel and Rice Take Steps to Revive Middle East Peace Talks - Deutsche Welle

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the two sides announced a revival of the international quartet for Middle East peace.

3. Palestinian unity talks fall through again - ICEJ News

All media outlets reported today that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshal failed on Sunday to resolve the increasingly bitter factional tension and form a joint Palestinian government. According to a joint statement, continued negotiations will continue within the next two weeks. The main dispute remains Hamas' unwillingness to accept the three tenets set by the US, UN, EU and Russia for international recognition: Acceptance of past agreements with Israel, renouncement of violence, and recognition of Israel.

4. Peres says 'Israel will not fall, Ahmadinejad will fall' - Jerusalem Post

Vice Premier Shimon Peres declared on Monday that Israel would pull through its current crises with Iran and the Palestinians, just as it had in past conflicts. "I have been through 60 years of Israeli history, and I'm telling you - there have been harder days," Peres told an audience at the Herzliya Conference. "Israel will not fall - Ahmadinejad will fall."

5. US: Increase pressure on Iranian nuke program - AP

A top US official called Sunday on Iran to resume negotiations on curbing its nuclear program, and urged the international community to step up pressure on the Islamic republic if diplomacy fails. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the limited sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council last month are just the beginning of the global effort to punish the Islamic Republic.

6. U.S. Said to Plan Major Strike on Iran - MENL

A former U.S. intelligence analyst has asserted that the Bush administration has prepared options for a major strike against the Teheran regime. The analyst said the plans included a full-fledged war against Iran.

7. Yemen's Jews flee al-Qaida death threats - Jerusalem Post

A Saudi newspaper reported that 45 Jews in a village in Yemen were forced to leave their homes due to threats from the Muslim terror group, al-Qaida. One resident confirmed the reports in an interview with Israel Radio, saying that the Jews in her village had received letters from the government warning them to flee.