Injuries and arrests in clashes between aid convoy and Egyptian Police

At least 55 people have been injured and one person killed in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists from the ‘Viva Palestina’ Humanitarian Aid Convoy who were trying to deliver aid into the Gaza Strip. Medical workers and protesters report that approximately 520 activists broke down the gate at the al-Arish port late on Tuesday in protest against an Egyptian decision to ship some of the goods through Israel.

Al-Qaida: the Yemen factor

The closing weeks of 2009 have seen an intensive focus among western policy-makers and media on the war in Afghanistan. The long-awaited surge in American troop deployments ordered by President Barack Obama, whose effects will be seen as 2010 unfolds, sets the scene for increased combat. The new United States strategy is mainly a response to the increased activity of Taliban and other militias; there are even claims by Mulla Sangeen that 80 per cent of Afghanistan is under Taliban influence (see “Taliban claim control of over 80 per cent of Afghanistan”, PakTribune, 22 December 2009).

Barack Obama, the fallen messiah

During a time of economic decline, persistent cultural strife, deepening American involvement in far-off military conflicts, and rapid environmental deterioration, is there any wonder that some have turned to apocalyptic “salvation narratives” promising both a transcendent, everlasting future and violent retribution against perceived evildoers? A CNN poll in 2002 found that 59 per cent of Americans believe that the prophecies in the Book of Revelations will come true.

Israeli Embassy's reply to De Rossa and Martin

Reply to Foreign Minister Martin's statement 21 December 2009 :

Contrary to the Minister's statement, Israel has no policy of 'punishment' of the people of Gaza.

Israel has facilitated the entry of, and increased the quantities of, food, medicine and humanitarian supplies to Gaza since the end of its military operation in January last.

De Rossa calls for an end to “apartheid” in the West Bank and Gaza

Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa last night criticised Israeli policy and the system of “apartheid” in operation in much of the West-Bank and Gaza. Mr. De Rossa made the comments during a briefing following last week’s visit to the Palestinian Territory, where he led an official European Parliament Delegation.

De Rossa, in his capacity as President of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), led a cross-party delegation of eight MEPs on a four-day fact finding mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Balochistan rejects Pakistan's deal and fights on for freedom

Baloch nationalist leaders have rejected the latest settlement package proposed by the Pakistani government, on the grounds that it is inadequate and coincides with increased military repression

The 'Rahe-i-Haqooq Balochistan' deal offers a cessation in military activities, a ban on the construction of new military camps (although existing ones would remain), the release of most (not all) political detainees and a payment of $1.4 billion (approx €1 billion) in gas royalties over 12 years.

A vision of a just world where women are equal

18 December marked quite an occasion for gender equality advocates: the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has just turned 30. With near-universal ratification and countless stories testifying to the ways in which this Global Bill of Rights for Women has been used to challenge gender injustices, there is much to inspire us. Already momentum is building for the next milestone: the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2010.

After war, security

The days since Barack Obama’s speech at the West Point military academy on 1 December 2009 have allowed the immediate response to the new United States strategy in Afghanistan to settle.