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Cairo Festival Removes Controversial Yemini Film


Al Masry Al Youm, Cairo, Nov 19 2012

The head of the Yemeni Cultural Center in Cairo, Aysha Awalki, said that she asked the administration of the Cairo Cinema Festival to remove “Anonymous Land” from the Yemeni list of films, stating that the film has nothing to do with Yemen. Awalki said she discovered that the film makers have filmed their documentary in Yemen without the proper permits, adding that she found out that the film makers are Greek Jews. Awalki said that she agrees with the documentary’s call to preserve a Yemeni natural reserve but he objects to the Israeli flag shown flying from one of the sinking ships off the island of Sumatra where the film was shot. She added that Yemen is boycotting Israel which means that it’s not possible for an Israeli ship to be in the regional waters of Yemen. Awalki said the Cairo Film Festival reprinted the brochures to omit the film from Yemini participation.

Syrian Opposition Control Military Base Near Turkish Borders

Al Nahar daily, Beirut, Nov 19 2012

Syrian opposition forces said they have gained control of a large security base along the Syrian-Turkish border, adding that they detained at least 18 members of the Syrian army and acquired more than 15 tanks. A video showed the rebels inside the 18-kilometer facility on the outskirts of Aleppo. Sources said that the opposition has been planning to seize that facility for a month. Opposition member Mohammed Abdullah said that the facility was used to bomb Aleppo villages. The base is located in the middle of the border road, a few kilometers away from Aleppo, Syria’s commercial and industrial center.

Gaza Fighting Continues Despite International Efforts; Bombing Fails to Curtail Rocketry

Despite efforts to broker a ceasefire that extend from Cairo and Ankara to Washington, Hamas continues to fire its rockets and Israel’s war planes continue to pound targets in the Gaza Strip. Overnight Sunday, Israel targeted 80 sites including training bases, smuggling tunnels and underground rocket-launchers. Buildings it said were owned by senior Hamas officials were blown up and weapons storage facilities bombed. Rocket fire subsided during the night, but as the sun rose, sirens sounded in a number of Israeli cities and towns and a new round of Hamas missile-launching resumed albeit with less intensity than in previous days. The Israelis are stressing Hamas ties to Iran, asserting in a statement issued by the army spokesman’s unit that, “Hamas has turned the Gaza strip into a front line base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens, forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances.” Nevertheless, international pressure on Israel to forestall its plans for a ground invasion continues to mount as more civilian casualties in Gaza are reported. Medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported the deaths of 9 people overnight, including two young children. The deaths of 12 people in a bombing raid on Sunday, five of whom were from the same family, sent tempers flaring and sparked heated calls for revenge against Israel. The Media Line correspondent in Gaza reported the incident is being called the “Dalu massacre” after the family name of the five killed, and has become the rallying point for Gazans, many of whom had not previously supported the Hamas terror campaign. The senior member of that family, 50-year old Mohammed Dalu, was an engineer associated with Hamas rocketry. As international attempts to broker an end to the fighting continue, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that he will not negotiate until the rocket-fire comes to a halt. Reports from Cairo, where Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy is at the center of efforts to negotiate a halt to hostilities, indicate Israel wants Morsy and Egypt’s political echelon to be the guarantor of 15-years of quiet and has warned that if an agreement is not reached soon, a ground invasion will ensue. There has been no Israeli confirmation of the reports from Cairo. [Photo issued by Israeli army explaining "hit" on Hamas leader Jabari who was assassinated by Israel last week.]

Humanitarian Organization Warns of Winter Peril to 200,000 Syrian Refugee Children

More than 200,000 Syrian refugee children are at risk as winter comes to the Middle East according to the humanitarian organization Save the Children. An estimated 2 million Syrians who had to abandon their homes remain inside the country, while according to United Nations figures, some 700,000 will have fled to neighbors Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon by the end of the year. Save the Children is giving priority to providing winter clothing and securing adequate food supplies for young children, the elderly and the infirm as temperatures are expected to plunge in coming weeks. More than 30,000 Syrians have been killed in 20-months of fighting between the Al-Assad regime and opposition forces. The death toll is expected to rise sharply if European nations decide to provide arms to the rebels pursuant to talks already underway.


Abbas Urges “Peaceful” Demonstrations, but West Bank, Jerusalem Protests are Raucous

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for peaceful protests against the Israeli action in the Gaza Strip was only partially heeded as violence broke out in a number of locations on Sunday. Israeli police and soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets in Bethlehem at a demonstration outside Rachel’s Tomb where 33 injuries were reported; and at the Qalandiya crossing point between Jerusalem and Ramallah police fired tear gas in response to rocks and Molotov cocktails hurled in their direction. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported injuries outside the Ofer prison where Israel holds Palestinian security prisoners following exchanges with demonstrators. In Jerusalem, a small group of demonstrators assembled outside the Old City’s Damascus gate.

Massive Number of Hacking Attacks Reported Against Israeli Websites

Israeli government websites have suffered more than 44 million cyber attacks since the outbreak of hostilities in the Gaza Strip according to Israel’s Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz. He claimed that just a single hacking attempt succeeded, although the problem it caused was corrected within a few minutes. Without being too specific, Steinitz said the hacking attempts were divided among sites attached to the prime minister’s office, the defense ministry, the foreign ministry and the president’s office, with most being aimed at defense-related sites. Experts say the Gaza conflict appears to be the first major hostility that includes a cyber battlefield, believed by many to be a look at warfare of the future.





Arab News Bites

The Media Line presents Arab News Bites:

A daily summary of articles appearing throughout the Middle East

Compiled by Amir Khalil, The Media Line

Egypt Delivers Hamas’ Conditions to Israel

Al Hayat daily, London


Chief of Egyptian intelligence Ra’fat Shehata received from Hamas Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal and the Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Shallah the conditions of Palestinian resistance factions to conduct a truce with Israel. Shehata had in turn delivered the conditions to an Israeli official with whom he met in Egypt on Sunday and awaits a response from Israel. The news of the cease-fire comes as the Arab foreign ministers called for reconsideration of the Arab Peace Initative signed at the Beirut Summit in 2002. Hamas political bureau member Izzat Al-Resheq told Al-Hayat that Hamas doesn’t seek a war, but is not asking for a cease-fire, adding that the resistance’s performance is good and peoples’ spirits are high. As the fighting continues between Israel and Hamas, each side is asking the other to end hostilities in order to achieve a truce. Palestinian medical sources say that the total death toll among the Palestinians since the fighting began is 85, including 12 members of a single family who were killed Sunday evening.

Abbas Calls for Peaceful Demonstrations in Solidarity with Gaza


Al Quds Al Arabi, London, Nov 19 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on Palestinians to escalate their peaceful demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza who are under attack by Israeli military. During a meeting with the Palestinian leadership, Abbas saluted protesters who took to the streets of Ramallah, the West Bank and abroad to show their support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and asked them to continue demonstrating so the world would listen to them. Palestinians have organized protests in different cities in the West Bank, and injuries were reported in different cities as protesters clashed with the Israeli army at the checkpoints. Abbas asked the Arab countries to take practical measures to end the Israeli attack on Gaza, calling for an urgent Arab League summit. Abbas added that all Palestinians want to reach a cease-fire, and that he agreed with Hamas Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal in that matter.

Jordanian Opposition says They are Witnessing an Intifada


Al Sabeel Newspaper, Amman, Nov 19 2012

Opposition factions, which consider the latest protests in Jordan to be an Intifada against the government’s decision to lift the subsidies on petrol, are calling for the overthrow of the government. Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Jordan to protest the government’s decision while some called for ousting King Abdullah’s regime. In a statement released on Sunday, the Coordination Committee of the Opposition Factions said that the current political and economic approach needs to change, adding that the government is responsible for the recent tension in the country. The committee also called upon the Jordanian regime to assume its responsibilities relative to the Israeli air attack on Gaza, demanding that Jordan nullify all signed agreements; and condemned “normalization” with Israel.

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