World View: Israel Agrees to Prisoner Release as Mideast Talks Begin

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Jordan's one year old Zaatari refugee camp: 150,000 Syrian refugees
  • Israel agrees to prisoner release, as new Mideast peace talk talks begin
  • U.S. drone strike kills 6 in Pakistan, despite opposition

Jordan's one year old Zaatari refugee camp: 150,000 Syrian refugees

Zaatari refugee camp - aerial view (AP)
Zaatari refugee camp - aerial view (AP)

All the worst case scenarios about Syrian refugees coming to Jordan have been passed -- over and over. The Zaatari refugee camp is now one year old, and was originally intended to hold 60,000 refuge for a short time. But of the estimated 650,000 Syrians who have crossed into Jordan, sometimes 3,000 per day, 350,000 have filtered through Zaatari and 150,000 live there permanently. Concern is growing that the "temporary" refugee camp will be there permanently, and that pollution damage to the main aquifer lying beneath the camp may reach the "saturation zone" within as little as one year. Ammon News and Time

Israel agrees to prisoner release, as new Mideast peace talk talks begin

No, that isn't a typo. Mideast peace talks aren't about to begin. Instead, talks about the terms for peace talks are to begin on Monday in Washington between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. The Palestinians have agreed to attend the peace talk talks after Israel's cabinet voted on Sunday to release 104 prisoners that are being held in Israeli jails as terrorists. The decision is extremely controversial in Israel, and drew hundreds of protesters outside of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, with protesters holding signs with images of victims killed by the prisoners being released. The prisoners to be released committed their acts prior to the 1994 Oslo peace talks, and they will be released in four groups over the next nine months, to make sure that the Palestinians won't walk out of the peace talk talks. Jerusalem Post and U.S. State Dept.

U.S. drone strike kills 6 in Pakistan, despite opposition

Women protest against U.S. drone strikes in Peshawar, Pakistan, in April, 2011 (AP)
Women protest against U.S. drone strikes in Peshawar, Pakistan, in April, 2011 (AP)

A large U.S. drone attack on Sunday killed at least six militants in Pakistan's tribal area. Four drones hovered above a village before one fired two missiles at a compound just before sunset, as the militants were just about to break their Ramadan fast. U.S. drone strikes have become increasingly rare, because of overwhelming levels of opposition from the Pakistan public, especially following the U.S. action that captured Osama bin Laden, considered Pakistan's greatest national humiliation since 1971. There were 122 drone strikes in 2010, but only 17 so far this year. The CIA has become far more cautious in its attacks, limiting them to high-value targets, and avoiding attacks on large groups of suspected militants based purely on their behavior. It's thought that Pakistani officials are publicly opposing the drone strikes, but privately supporting them, at least in limited numbers. The new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he's opposed to any drone strikes, but so far has not articulated a clear demand to end them. AFP and AP


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