Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Middle East in Focus

The Middle East in Focus

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

Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face.(Psalm 5:8)

1. Sirens sound as rescue forces heighten attack readiness - ICEJ News

Air raid sirens sounded across Israel Tuesday afternoon as security and rescue forces began an extensive nationwide civil defense excercise, testing the readiness of police, army and rescue workers for scenerios including a missile attack on Ben-Gurion airport and a suicide chemical weapons bombing at a school near Tel Aviv..

2. US, Europeans say aid embargo against PA remains - Ynet News

The United States said on Monday an international aid embargo would remain against the new Palestinian government, but Europe’s foreign policy chief said he hoped it would ultimately meet conditions laid down by world powers for lifting it.

3. Israel fears fight against Hamas - Washington Times

Israeli officials fear Hamas is busily fortifying the Gaza Strip with the help of Iranian expertise and funding for what may be the fiercest fighting that embattled enclave has ever seen.

4. US says it will not deal with PA gov't - Ynet News

The United States will refuse to deal with the new Palestinian government unless it forgoes violence and fully recognizes Israel , US national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Sunday.

5. Rice tells PA to explain stance on "resistance" - AP; ICEJ News

The US administration has challenged Palestinian leaders Monday to explain an ambiguous stance on violence against Israel in the new Palestinian Authority governing coalition's political platform, the AP reports. The platform refers to resistance "in all forms,'' which Israeli officials read as a coded endorsement of suicide bombings or other violence. "I'm not going to try to interpret what the right of resistance means,'' US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday. "But I'll tell you it doesn't sound very good to me when one talks about 'all forms' of resistance.''

6. Palestinian gunmen attack UN convoy - New York Times; ICEJ News

In what was apparently a kidnapping attempt, Palestinian gunmen on Friday fired 14 bullets into the armored car of the Gaza director of the UN refugee agency, John Ging.