World View: Proposals Grow for Israel to Annex West Bank

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:

  • Sudan blames Israel for explosion of military factory in Khartoum
  • Greece does chaotic about-face on rumors of bailout agreement
  • Gaza/West Bank split becomes more pronounced after Qatari emir's visit
  • Proposals grow for Israel to annex the West Bank

Sudan blames Israel for explosion of military factory in Khartoum

The Yarmouth military factory in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, exploded on Wednesday. Sudan blamed Israel for the explosions, referring to residents who reported seeing aircraft prior to the explosions. Israel refused to comment, but are known to believe that Sudan smuggles weapons to militants in Gaza. Sudan claims that the factory only made "traditional weapons," but there are unconfirmed reports that the factory produced Iranian Shehab missiles. There is a history here: In 1998 the US launched a missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, alleging that it was making materials for chemical weapons an accusation that Sudan denied. BBC and Debka

Greece does chaotic about-face on rumors of bailout agreement

The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday that European leaders had finally agreed to Greece's request for a two-year delay in imposing further austerity requirements, thus clearing the way for Greece to receive the next 31.5 billion euro bailout payment in time to avoid bankruptcy in November. The two year extension would be controversial, since it would increase by 20 billion euros the total amount of bailout money that would have to be provided to Greece. Greece's finance minister Yannis Stournaras announced the two-year extension in return for a set of tax increases and public sector job cuts, but later in the day was forced to reverse himself and admit that Germany and other European officials had vetoed the deal. One Greek official said that the "troika" of European leaders will be forced to provide the bailout payment, irrespective of Greece's commitments:

"Even if the troika give us a negative report, what are they going to do? Are they really going to not give us the installment [to keep Greece's economy afloat] two weeks before the US elections, with everything that entails – default, bankruptcy, global market turmoil?

These labour reforms will turn our country into Bangladesh. They have no fiscal benefit and will actually derail the adjustment programme. The political system will collapse if we impose them.

The troika is demanding that we commit suicide, which is why we believe this is a matter that should be solved on a political level by the prime minister and not with the troika."

I guess if the American election depends on it, then there's no choice, is there? Spiegel and Guardian (London)

Gaza/West Bank split becomes more pronounced after Qatari emir's visit

Major realignments are in progress after Tuesday's visit to Gaza by Qatar's emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani that we reported yesterday. During the visit, Sheik Hamad announced $400 million in aid to Hamas, and Egypt announced an effective end to the blockade of Gaza. However, the visit apparently angered some of the non-Hamas militant groups in Gaza, who launched a shower of missiles on Israeli cities. But now there are reports that Egypt has mediated a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Similar claims in the past turned out to be false or transitory. Ynet

Proposals grow for Israel to annex the West Bank

An even more significant outcome of Sheik Hamad's visit is the further separation of Gaza and the West Bank, as Hamad ostentatiously refused to visit the West Bank. Although Gaza and the West Bank are often thought of as similar "Palestinian territories" that will one day be joined into a Palestinian state, the two populations are far apart, with different tribal backgrounds, and with different allegiances -- the West Bank to Jordan, and Gaza to Egypt. Those differences have only grown and turned into animosities since the two regions became geographically separated after the 1967 war. Recently, it's been almost impossible for someone in Gaza to visit the West Bank, except by traveling to Egypt, taking a plane to Jordan, and then traveling from there to the West Bank.

It's now apparent to most people that there is little chance of reconciliation between Gaza and the West Bank, and one proposal being increasingly heard is that Israel annex the West Bank -- making it an actual part of Israel, leaving Gaza to become a separate nation on its own. However, this would have bitter political implications. According to a recent poll, most Israeli Jews would accept such a proposal only provided that Jews would have preference over Arabs for public sector jobs, and the West Bank Palestinians should not have the right to vote in Israel. CS Monitor and Al-Ahram (Cairo)

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