World View: Israel Infuriates Palestinians by Claiming West Bank Land for Settlements

 This morning's key headlines from

  • Ukrainian naval vessel attack from shore by anti-government militias
  • Pakistan's army issues a veiled threat to politicians
  • Israel infuriates Palestinians by claiming West Bank land for settlements

Ukrainian naval vessel attack from shore by anti-government militias

Anti-government militias in eastern Ukraine, supported by thousands of Russian soldiers (supposedly "on vacation"), along with Russian weapons and armor, fired from the shore on a Ukrainian ship off the coast of Mariupol, in the Sea of Azov, damaging it.

The Russian militia leader, Igor Strelkov, bragged, "The militia have dealt the enemy their first naval defeat." Strelkov is the same Russian leader who bragged about shooting down the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane with a Russian-supplied Buk missile system before he realized it wasn't a warplane.

Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol continue to brace themselves for an expected full-scale attack by Russian forces on the city. It's feared that Russian troops will join with troops already in Crimea, continue all the way to Odessa, and connect with separatist Moldovans in Transnistria in eastern Moldova.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin continued his pattern of threatening statements by demanding on Sunday that "Novorossia" be granted statehood. Novorossia is the anti-Ukraine word for eastern and southern Ukraine. On Friday, Putin said, "[I]t's best not to mess with us. ... I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers."

The Russian invasion and threats come as European leaders are in Brussels commemorating the 75th anniversary of Hitler's invasion of Poland. According to Britain's prime minister David Cameron, "We know from European history the danger of the territorial integrity of a nation state being threatened and undermined in this way."

VOA and Moscow Times and Reuters

Pakistan's army issues a veiled threat to politicians

Pakistan's opposition party politician Imran Khan, the former cricket superstar turned anti-American politician, called for continued riots and demonstrations, as did Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, another opposition party politician. But after a violent Saturday evening, when hundreds were injured, Sunday's protests were relatively quiet and non-violent, although many Islooites (residents of Islamabad) stayed indoor for fear of their safety. The objective of the riots is to force the resignation of prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who won a landslide election last year in May.

There is increasing fear that the army is planning to take control of the government through a coup. There was an emergency meeting of army commanders on Sunday afternoon. The army issued a statement after the meeting affirming their support for democracy, but indicating that they wouldn't tolerate anything that risks the security of the state:

While reaffirming support to democracy, the conference reviewed with serious concern, the existing political crisis and the violent turn it has taken, resulting in large scale injuries and loss of lives. Further use of force will only aggravate the problem.

It was once again reiterated that the situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means.

Army remains committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations.

Imran Khan and Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri are widely believed to have overreached themselves, but many feel that the government and the army have also acted poorly. The News (Pakistan) and Guardian (London) and BBC and Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations

Israel infuriates Palestinians by claiming West Bank land for settlements

Israel is changing the status of 400 hectares of West Bank land so that it will be eligible for building Jewish settler homes. The land had previously been listed as survey land, a designation that prevented settlement building. The action infuriated officials in the Palestinian Authority. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said:

The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land. The international community should hold Israel accountable as soon as possible for its crimes and raids against our people in Gaza and the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Post and Deutsche Welle

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Mariupol, Sea of Azov, Igor Strelkov, Vladimir Putin, Novorossia, David Cameron, Pakistan, Imran Khan, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Nawaz Sharif, Israel, West Bank, Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat

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