Thursday, January 25, 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. Abbas says won't obligate Hamas to recognize Israel - Ynet News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday he would not demand that Hamas recognize Israel as a precondition for the establishment of a unity government in the Authority.

2. NSC seeks to place Israel in NATO - Jerusalem Post

In an effort to establish more effective deterrence in the face of Iran's race to obtain nuclear weapons, government ministries are, for the first time, working on drafting a position paper that will include guidelines and a strategy for turning Israel into a full- fledged member of NATO, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The paper is being drafted by an interministerial committee made up of representatives from the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry and headed by Israel's National Security Council. The committee plans to complete the paper by the end of February and present it to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for approval.

3. Switzerland admits mediating Syria-Israel talks - Ynet News

Switzerland mediated the secret peace talks between Israel and Syria which were exposed in the media last week, Swiss President Micheline Calmy- Rey admitted Monday.

4. Gaza tourist resort attacked in al-Qaeda’s name - Ynet News

Dozens of masked gunmen claiming to be members of al-Qaeda stormed an empty beach resort and blew up a reception hall on Tuesday, saying they were sending a message to a close ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

5. Palestinians' 'Saddam Street' funded by US - Ynet News

Palestinians in the northern West Bank have named a major street after late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein that was funded – along with the surrounding municipality – by the United States Agency for International Development.

6. Palestinians: Crime up 60% in W. Bank - Jerusalem Post

Crime in the West Bank was up 60 percent in 2006, the Palestinian police chief said Monday, blaming growing poverty and increasingly brazen militants.