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Last Daily Update :

Iraq in Talks to Buy Hawk Jets from UK
29/04/2010

The Iraqi government is in talks to buy Hawk trainer jets from the UK in a deal that could be worth up to £1bn and would be a boost for BAE Systems, the defence contractor that manufactures the aircraft. It would be Iraq's biggest arms purchase from Britain for more than two decades. It is understood that officials from the Iraqi Air Force will be visiting the UK next month to test the Hawk, which is used to train fast-jet pilots.

Zawya
http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20100429101430/Iraq%20In%20Talks%20To%20Buy%20Hawk%20Jets%20From%20UK

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Nasrallah: Egyptian Conviction - Source of Pride
29/04/2010

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah hailed as a "badge of honour" an Egyptian court's conviction of 26 men for plotting attacks in the Suez Canal and Sinai resorts on behalf of his Lebanese movement. "The verdicts are a badge of honour for these noble brothers of the resistance," Nasrallah said in an interview to be broadcast on Thursday by Kuwaiti television channel Al-Rai.

Al Bawaba
http://www.albawaba.com/en/news/315434

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Last Issue Of The Week :

A Nuclear Free Middle East?

A Nuclear Free Middle East?
11/05/2010
Siddharth Ramana  |  Nuclear Proliferation

As the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) progresses this month, an initiative which was raised in the 1995 RevCon is starting to receive increasing voices of support- A nuclear free Middle East. It is interesting to note that while the present RevCon is clouded by the blatant violations to the NPT by one of its signatories- Iran, the focus of attention has been shifted to a country which has not signed the treaty-Israel. Arab countries including Egypt and Algeria have raised the specter of the Israeli nuclear program as being detrimental to the prospects of peace, while relegating to the background the Iranian nuclear program. The United States, a major strategic ally of Israel too has joined the chorus calling for Israel to join the NPT, much to the chagrin of Israel supporters within the country. The Security Council has further compounded to the voices supporting the resolution of a nuclear free Middle East. Could Israel declaring its nuclear arsenal and signing the NPT really contribute to the peace in the region? The arguments towards this end are as tenuous as the belief that the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict would contribute to an immediate end to the purported legitimacy derived by Islamic groups engaging in terrorist activity against Israel’s allies. A better understanding of the nuclear posture in the Middle East would illustrate the differences of the suspected Israeli and Iranian nuclear programs.

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Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?

Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?
12/04/2010
David Schenker  |  Syria

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based on recent pronouncements from Syria, if the situation degenerates, fighting could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973. On February 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus. Afterward, Hizbullah's online magazine Al Intiqad suggested that war with Israel was on the horizon. Raising tensions further are reports that Syria has provided Hizbullah with the advanced, Russian-made, shoulder-fired, Igla-S anti-aircraft missile, which could inhibit Israeli air operations over Lebanon in a future conflict. The transfer of this equipment had previously been defined by Israeli officials as a "red line." Damascus' support for "resistance" was on full display at the Arab Summit in Libya in late March 2010, where Assad urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to abandon U.S.-supported negotiations and "take up arms against Israel." After years of diplomatic isolation, Damascus has finally broken the code to Europe, and appears to be on the verge of doing so with the Obama administration as well. Currently, Syria appears to be in a position where it can cultivate its ties with the West without sacrificing its support for terrorism.

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Last Key Articles :

How Will the IDF Confront Regional Threats? - A Strategic Overview
24/03/2008
Ido Nehushtan  |  Israel

The three primary generators of Middle East radicalism and extremism are Iran's "Shia Crescent," the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Global Jihad. Having a nuclear weapon promotes its owner to membership in a top-tier club in the world and allows the possessor to promote its interests more easily. Iran is Persian, ideologically and historically different from the Arab world. Yet if Iran gets its hands on nuclear weapons in the future, the threatened pro-Western regimes of the Arab world may decide to join it and not fight it. Professionally speaking, if Israel wants to prevent any high-trajectory rocket or mortar fire, it must establish good control on the ground. In the West Bank, Israel has control over the external perimeter and can control the entrance of weapons inside the area. Furthermore, if Israeli forces are present on the ground, then they can stop the manufacture of locally-produced rockets and other weapons in time.

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Is Israel Bound by International Law to Supply Utilities, Goods, and Services to Gaza?
24/03/2008
Dr. Abraham Bell  |  International Law

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Development Secretary Douglas Alexander recently alleged that Israel's decision to respond to ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks by limiting the supply of fuel to Gaza violated international law. The new UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert H. Serry, also asserted: "Israeli measures amounting to collective punishment are not acceptable. We call on Israel to meet its obligations toward the civilian population of Gaza under international law." Yet international law does not require Israel to supply Gaza with fuel or electricity, or, indeed, with any other materials, goods, or services. Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention permits states like Israel to cut off fuel supplies and electricity to territories like Gaza. It only requires Israel to permit passage of food, clothing, and medicines intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers, and maternity cases. Moreover, Israel would be under no obligation to provide anything itself, just not to interfere with such consignments sent by others. Article 70 of the First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 creates a slightly broader duty regarding the provision of essential supplies, but it does not list fuel and electricity as items for which passage must be permitted.

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Last Quotes :


Last Media Point-Counterpoint :

No more incitement of Palestinian Authority run television?
03/02/2010
"They [Israel] said there is a problem with incitement in speeches in mosques during Friday prayers. Today there is no more incitement at any mosque," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said." (Ha'aretz)
"Jews are the enemies of Allah and humanity. The Prophet says: 'Kill the Jews,'" said an Imam from Nablus on Palestinians Authority Television, which is partly funded by the European Union. (Palestinian Media Watch)
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What is to blame for the drought in parts of the Middle East?
13/10/2009
Water is also playing an increasing role in shaping relations between other states across the Middle East. Construction of upstream dams, without the consent of downstream states has long been a problem in the Middle East, but never before have the consequences of these dams have been so evident. (BBC News)
Blamed on a combination of climate change, man-made desertification and lack of irrigation, up to 60 percent of Syria's land and 1.3 million people (of a population of 22 million) are affected, according to the UN. (Arab Environment watch)
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