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 theexplosions. Israel refused to comment, but are known to believe thatSudan smuggles weapons to militants in Gaza. Sudan claims that thefactory only made “traditional weapons,” but there are unconfirmedreports that the factory produced Iranian Shehab missiles. There is ahistory here: In 1998 the US launched a missile attack on apharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, alleging that it was makingmaterials for chemical weapons an accusation that Sudan denied.BBC andDebka
Greece does chaotic about-face on rumors of bailout agreement
The German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Wednesday thatEuropean leaders had finally agreed to Greece’s request for a two-yeardelay in imposing further austerity requirements, thus clearing theway for Greece to receive the next 31.5 billion euro bailout paymentin time to avoid bankruptcy in November. The two year extension wouldbe controversial, since it would increase by 20 billion euros thetotal amount of bailout money that would have to be provided toGreece. Greece’s finance minister Yannis Stournaras announced thetwo-year extension in return for a set of tax increases and publicsector job cuts, but later in the day was forced to reverse himselfand admit that Germany and other European officials had vetoed thedeal. One Greek official said that the “troika” of European leaderswill be forced to provide the bailout payment, irrespective ofGreece’s commitments:
“Even if the troika give us a negative report, whatare they going to do? Are they really going to not give us theinstallment [to keep Greece’s economy afloat] two weeks before theUS elections, with everything that entails – default, bankruptcy,global market turmoil?
These labour reforms will turn our country into Bangladesh. Theyhave no fiscal benefit and will actually derail the adjustmentprogramme. The political system will collapse if we impose them.
The troika is demanding that we commit suicide, which is why webelieve this is a matter that should be solved on a politicallevel by the prime minister and not with the troika.”
Gaza/West Bank split becomes more pronounced after Qatari emir’s visit
Major realignments are in progress after Tuesday’s visit to Gaza byQatar’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 Egyptannounced an effective end to the blockade of Gaza. However, thevisit apparently angered some of the non-Hamas militant groups inGaza, who launched a shower of missiles on Israeli cities. But nowthere are reports that Egypt has mediated a ceasefire between Hamasand Israel. Similar claims in the past turned out to be false ortransitory. Ynet
Proposals grow for Israel to annex the West Bank
An even more significant outcome of Sheik Hamad’s visit is the furtherseparation of Gaza and the West Bank, as Hamad ostentatiously refusedto visit the West Bank. Although Gaza and the West Bank are oftenthought of as similar “Palestinian territories” that will one day bejoined 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 haveonly grown and turned into animosities since the two regions becamegeographically separated after the 1967 war. Recently, it’s beenalmost impossible for someone in Gaza to visit the West Bank, exceptby traveling to Egypt, taking a plane to Jordan, and then travelingfrom 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 beingincreasingly heard is that Israel annex the West Bank — making it anactual part of Israel, leaving Gaza to become a separate nation on itsown. However, this would have bitter political implications.According to a recent poll, most Israeli Jews would accept such aproposal only provided that Jews would have preference over Arabs forpublic sector jobs, and the West Bank Palestinians should not have theright to vote in Israel. CS Monitor and Al-Ahram (Cairo)