Israel bombs Gaza and Palestinian
territories at will to, what it terms, eliminate Palestinian
Israel set to turn Aqsa museum into a synagogue:
The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel,
has claimed there are Israeli plans to empty the museum......
Israel withholding remains of hundreds of Palestinians
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said that US backing for
Israel gave the Jewish state the option of not making peace.
In an interview published in the
International Herald Tribune on Wednesday, Prince Saud said:
“Absolute US backing ... has made Israel see the option of living in
the area without the acceptance of the people of the area. This has
led to many years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
The prince also lamented the failure
of his efforts to establish a Palestinian state and regional peace
during his tenure of almost 35 years as foreign minister.
During this period, “We have seen only
moments of crisis, we have seen only moments of conflict,” Prince
“And how can you have any pleasure in
anything that happens when you have people like the Palestinians
living as they are?” he asked.
“Peace until now is like holding water
or sand in your hand. You see the amount of water, you think you can
hold something, but it falls away. Sand is the same thing. So unless
there is something to hold in your hand and to point to as a success
and as an achievement, you have done nothing.”
Separately, the prince said Lebanon
would be denied true sovereignty as long as Hezbollah “owns more
arms than the military forces of the country.” He said he was
“suspicious” of Iranian claims its nuclear program is peaceful.
Prince Saud said Israel should give up
its nuclear arsenal, the existence of which it neither confirms nor
Meanwhile, in Ramallah, the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday extended the mandates of
both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas-dominated Parliament
until new elections can be held.
“The PLO took the decision that
President Abbas and the Legislative Council will continue their
duties until the next election in accordance with the law,” PLO
representative Qaid Al-Ghul told AFP.
The decision by the powerful umbrella
group effectively extends the tense status quo between the bitter
Palestinian rivals, Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party in charge of the
The move also aims to prevent a
constitutional vacuum after Jan. 24, when the present mandates
expire, as Hamas has vowed to prevent a vote in their Gaza enclave.
Abbas had called elections for next month but Hamas has said it will
not allow the vote in its territory until there is a national