Thursday, March 22, 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. US, Israel Take Different Approach to New 'Unity' Government -

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may meet with ministers of the new Hamas-led Palestinian "unity" government when she arrives here next week, according to policy guidelines set by the State Department - guidelines that differ from Israel's approach.

2. Aid to Palestinians Grew Last Year, Report Says - AP

International aid to the Palestinians reached more than $1.2 billion in 2006, up from $1 billion in 2005 despite an international financial embargo against the Hamas-led government.

3. UN probe into murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister makes ‘significant progress’ - UN News

The United Nations probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has made good progress over the past three months, the head of the commission told the Security Council today, highlighting an increasing number of interviews carried out and a growing body of evidence gathered regarding the February 2005 killing.

4. UN chairs ‘productive’ meeting with Israeli, Lebanese forces - UN News

The commander of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon today reached agreement with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officers on improved coordination, and also discussed the Blue Line that separates the two countries, while in New York a new United Nations report cautioned that much remains to be done to bring long-term stability to the area.

5. US Congress to relax visa laws for Israelis - ICEJ News

Israelis may no longer have to apply for visas to visit the US under bills before both houses of Congress designed to allow Israel to join key Western allies such as Britain, France and Australia in the US 'visa waiver' program. Under the proposals submitted as part of the Senate's September 11 counter-terrorism legislation, countries that cooperate with the US in the war on terror and whose nationals don't present a security threat would be eligible to enter America as tourists without first going through the costly visa application process at US Consulates and Embassies worldwide.

6. Syria to UN: You may not monitor us - Jerusalem Newswire

Syria has rejected a UN proposal to deploy civilian monitors on the Lebanese side of the Syria-Lebanon border in an effort to stop arms from reaching Hizb'allah.