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Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Excerpts: Syria inflation rate nears 50 percent. Hamas advises Abbas. UAE busts Egypt Muslim Brotherhood cell 1 January 2013

Excerpts: Syria inflation rate nears 50 percent. Hamas advises Abbas. UAE
busts Egypt Muslim Brotherhood cell 1 January 2013

+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 31 Dec.’12:”Port Management Company Withdraws
from Tartous”

SUBJECT: Port management departs violent Syria

TEXT:ICTSI, the operator of one of Syria’s two commercial maritime ports, is
pulling out of the country, citing the rising violence.

+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 31 Dec.’12:”Formal Inflation Rate Nears 50

SUBJECT: Syria inflation rate nears 50 percent.

TEXT:Syria's formal inflation rate increased by 48 percent on an annual
basis in September, according to the government's statistical agency.

+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 1 Jan.’13:””Hand over West Bank keys to Hamas,
Abbas advised” by Mohammed Mar’i

SUBJECT: Hamas advises Abbas

QUOTE:”Hamas. . .called on . . .Abbas . . .to hand over the Palestinian
control of the West Bank to Hamas instead of Israel”

FULL TEXT:RAMALLAH – The Hamas Deputy Politburo Chief Moussa Abu Marzouq
Monday[31 Dec.] called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of rival Fatah
party to hand over the Palestinian control of the West Bank to Hamas instead
of Israel.

Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page, “Why would he pass the keys to
(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu?”

He added that Abbas should have threatened to pass the Palestinian Authority
(PA) to Hamas, which, he argued, was qualified to “make another success in
the West Bank” as it claims to have done in Gaza.

The Hamas leader was commenting on Abbas threat to “return the PA keys to
Israel” if no progress is made in peace talks after the elections and
construction in the settlements doesn’t stop.

Abbas said in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz Friday[28 Dec.]
that “if there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone
and call (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. I’ll tell him, ‘My
dear friend, Mr. Netanyahu, I am inviting you to the Muqata’a, the
presidential headquarters in Ramallah. Sit in the chair here instead of me,
take the keys, and you will be responsible for the PA’.”

He added that “once the new government in Israel is in place, Netanyahu will
have to decide – yes or no.” Abu Marzouk also said that such a move would be
the best way to achieve reconciliation between the rival movements.

According to Arab media reports, Abu Marzouk is set to take over the
leadership from Khaled Mish’al. Mish’al, who has led Hamas-in-exile since
1996 and chaired the Hamas political bureau, has not sought reelection in
polling that has been under way for the past five months.

The split in Palestinian territories widened in 2007, when Hamas, which won
the parliamentary elections in 2006, routed forces loyal to Abbas and took
over the Gaza Strip. In May, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in
Cairo to end around five years of internal division.

Since then, representatives of the two movements held several meetings
abroad but failed to resolve the obstacles blocking its implementation,
particularly the formation of interim government, the obstacle of the new
prime minister, the issues of passports and the political detainees

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 1 Jan.’13:”Report:United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Busts Cell Linked to Egypt’s Brotherhood”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: UAE busts Egypt Muslim Brotherhood cell

QUOTE:”They also set up companies and collected ‘large amounts of money
which they sent illegally to the mother organization in Egypt’ ”

FULL TEXT:UAE security forces have arrested more than 10 people linked to
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood who recruited members in the Gulf state, a
newspaper reported on Tuesday[1 Jan.].

"United Arab Emirates security services have arrested a cell of more than 10
people belonging to the leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood,"
Al-Khaleej reported, quoting what it said was an informed source.

Members of the group held "secret meetings" across the country and
"recruited Egyptian expats in the UAE to join their ranks," it said.

They also set up companies and collected "large amounts of money which they
sent illegally to the mother organization in Egypt," the daily said, adding
they also gathered secret defense information on the UAE.

The source spoke of "continuous coordination" and "secret meetings" between
the UAE-based group and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim

"Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood had offered (the cell's members) courses... on
elections and the means of changing leadership in Arab countries."

No official confirmation to the report was immediately available and no date
given for the arrests.

During the past year, the United Arab Emirates announced it has broken up
several cells it said were plotting against its security.

On December 26, the UAE authorities dismantled a cell of Saudi and Emirati
members alleged to have been plotting "terror" attacks in the two countries
and other states.

The suspects were described as members of the "deviant group," a term
usually used in Saudi Arabia to refer to Al-Qaida-linked Islamists.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the UAE has never seen attacks by Al-Qaida, but
authorities have in past months arrested dozens of Islamists accused of
links to the Brotherhood.

In July, Abu Dhabi said it broke up a group that was plotting against state
security, without identifying their affiliation or the number of arrests.

The prosecutor general, Salem Said Kabish, had said an unspecified number of
people were being questioned for having formed "a group aimed at damaging
the security of the state".

State news agency WAM had said they were also suspected of "rejecting the
constitution and the founding principles of power in the Emirates" and of
having links with foreign organizations.

Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan has repeatedly lashed out
at Arab Spring uprisings, accusing leaders who came to power after the
ouster of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt of plotting against Gulf monarchies

Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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