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198 Palestinians out of 11000 Saturday, 30 August, 2008

Posted by Farbod in Features, News.
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Press TV – 198 Palestinians out of 11000.

By Daryoush Bavar, Press TV, Tehran

Israel on August 25th released 198 Palestinian prisoners out of some 11000 it holds in its jails. Among them were women and children.

Their release came just hours ahead of a Mideast visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was her seventh visit to the region since the November 2007 launch of the Annapolis conference, which sought to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Since then, all of the attempts by Rice to broker a deal between the two have been to no avail.

A large number of the released prisoners were members of the Fatah movement led by Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported that nearly half of them would have finished their prison terms in 2009.

Their release also coincided with an ongoing Israeli detention and abduction campaign. Palestinian sources have revealed that Israeli soldiers kidnapped over 300 Palestinians in the West Bank in July 2008. Nearly the same number of Palestinians have reportedly been kidnapped since the beginning of August. (more…)

Solutions to Mideast crises, stuck in limbo Wednesday, 20 August, 2008

Posted by Farbod in Features.
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Press TV – Solutions to Mideast crises, stuck in limbo.

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 10:49:50 GMT
By Daryoush Bavar, Press TV, Tehran

The Middle East is one of the most conflict-prone regions on the face of the Earth. But efforts to find solutions to the crises in the Middle East are seemingly stuck in limbo and major players are on a wait-and-see gear to see who will the next occupant of the Oval Office.

Amongst its many crises, the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict stands out as the mother of all problems in the region. According to the former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not just one regional conflict amongst many. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge even for people far away.”

The much-touted Annapolis Conference, proposed by the US President George W. Bush to make peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority before he leaves the White House in January 2009 has failed to produce anything that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas can brag about.

Since the conference in November 2007, Israel has failed to live up to its pledges. It has relentlessly built and is planning to build more Jewish settlements. And it is clear that the White House is either unable or reluctant to put pressure on Israel to meet its obligations. (more…)