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Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Excerpts: Attack Americans in Iraq.Iran repeats threat. Daily Star (Lebanon) praises Israel's humanitarian gesture. Muslim autonomy in Philipines. Philippine Muslim rebels 5 August 2008

Excerpts: Attack Americans in Iraq.Iran repeats threat.Daily Star (Lebanon)
praises Israel's humanitarian gesture.Muslim autonomy in Philipines.
Philippine Muslim rebels 5 August 2008

+++JORDAN TIMES 5 Aug.'08:"Israel transfers Gaza fugitives", Reuters
QUOTE: Israel transported the Palestinians to Jericho at the request of the
Abbas government 'as a humanitarian gesture' "

JERICHO (Reuters) - Israel drove 88 Palestinians allied to President Mahmoud
Abbas to the West Bank on Monday (4 Aug.)two days after they fled clashes
with Hamas in Gaza that cemented the Islamist group's hold on the coastal
Their two-bus convoy was escorted by Israeli police and army vehicles across
Israel to the Palestinian-run town of Jericho and the men were taken to a
security compound controlled by Abbas' Fateh-dominated forces.
Israel said 181 members of the Hilles clan, one of the most powerful Gaza
families associated with Abbas' secular Fateh group, sought refuge in Israel
on Saturday(1 Aug) after a fierce assault by Hamas on their Gaza City
neighbourhood that killed 11 people and wounded more than 90.
. . .
.The head of Israeli army civil administration in the West Bank, Yoav
Mordechai, said Israel transported the Palestinians to Jericho at the
request of Abbas' government "as a humanitarian gesture"... .An Israeli
security official said 16 of the Palestinians remained in hospital in Israel
and that 13 were still undergoing Israeli questioning.. . .

+++JORDAN TIMES 5 Aug.'08:"Ten sentenced to prison for plotting to attack
Americans in Iraq", by Rana Husseini
QUOTE:"Court... sentenced 10 men ...plotting to recruit people to fight
Americans in Iraq"
EXCERPTS:AMMAN - The State Security Court on Monday(3 Aug.) sentenced 10 men
to prison terms ranging from two to five years after convicting them of
plotting to recruit people to fight Americans in Iraq.
The court also convicted the defendants, including two who were tried in
absentia and received five-year sentences, of plotting acts that would
undermine Jordan's relations with another country and subject the Kingdom to
hostile acts between December 2007 and February 2008.
The remaining eight defendants were each sentenced to five years, but all
verdicts were reduced by half because the court said the defendants were
"young and deserve a second chance in life".. . .

+++JORDAN TIMES 5 Aug.'08:"Iran says able to close key oil route 'easily'
EXCERPTS:TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran can easily close a key Gulf shipping route
if it were attacked over its nuclear programme, the head of the
Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Monday, a move that could choke
off world oil exports.
The statement by commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari was likely to fuel
tension over Tehran's disputed atomic ambitions, coming shortly after Iran
again said it would press on with nuclear work the West suspects is aimed at
making bombs.
Military analysts say the United States could unleash vastly superior
firepower against Iran, but say the Islamic republic could hit back against
Washington's forces in Iraq and by disrupting oil supplies vital to the
world economy.
Iran's armed forces have "the possibility of closing the Strait of Hormuz,
easily and on an unlimited basis," state radio quoted Jafari as telling a
news conference.
As well as threatening to shut the Strait of Hormuz, Jafari said the elite
Guards force had tested a naval weapon that could destroy any vessel in a
range of 300km, media said.
Iran's recent missile tests rattled oil markets.
About 40 per cent of world oil exports passes through the Strait of Hormuz,
a choke point at the southern end of the Gulf, flanked by the coastlines of
Iran and Oman. Much of it goes to Asia, the United States and western
Europe.. . .

+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) 5 Aug.'08:"EDITORIAL:Hamas and Fatah are a
threat to the Palestinians than Israel"
QUOTE: Israel has never looked so good"
EXCERPTS:It is a damning indication of just how bad things have become in
the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip when Fatah militants there must look to Israel
for protection from their Palestinian rivals. The Jewish state announced on
Monday(4 Aug.) that it would help a group of 150 Fatah fighters who had fled
weekend clashes in Gaza relocate to the West Bank, after determining that
they would face "imminent danger" if they were to return home. The scenes of
Israel coming to the rescue of Palestinians after a bout of Arab fratricide
were reminiscent of the events of Black September, during which scores of
Palestinians sought asylum in Israel to escape King Hussein's crackdown on
the Palestine Liberation Organization. The only difference this time around
is that instead of seeking refuge from a heavy-handed Arab crackdown,
Palestinians are fleeing from the murderous hands of their own Palestinian
. . . We have seen Palestinians denigrating the legitimacy of other
Palestinians, Palestinians making war on other Palestinians, and
Palestinians arresting other Palestinians, while the Jewish state has come
to the rescue of those Palestinians who fear for their lives. Israel has
never looked so good.

+++ARAB NEWS (Saudi) 5 Aug.'08:"Philippine court blocks Muslim autonomy deal
Jim Gomez , Associated Press
EXCERPTS:MANILA: The Philippine Supreme Court, acting on a petition by
Christian politicians, yesterday blocked the signing of a key accord
granting an expanded southern homeland to minority Muslims as part of a deal
to end decades of a rebellion.
The Philippine government and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front were
to sign the agreement today in Malaysia, which has been brokering the
negotiations. The accord, which aims to expand an existing autonomous region
to add 712 more villages, sparked protests from Christian residents.
. . ."The court would like to find out the real issues before some
irreversible acts can be done. So, we want to maintain the status quo,"
Marquez told a news conference.
The rebel group - with an estimated 11,000 armed fighters - has been
battling for self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation's volatile
south for decades. Christian politicians protesting the accord have warned
that an enlarged Muslim homeland could spark renewed sectarian violence.. .
+++ARAB NEWS (Saudi) 5 Aug.'08:"Malaysia to keep peacekeepers "
SUBJECT:Malaysia helps Philippines truce with Muslim rebels.
EXCERPT: Malaysia has reversed a decision to pull out cease-fire monitors
from the southern Philippines after Manila insisted the troops were still
needed to safeguard a truce with Muslim rebels,...
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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