Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Monday, July 11, 2005

July 11 Events in Iraq and in the Region

Ramallah. Following his visit to Lebanon and Syria, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dropped a bomb by calling on Arab nations to naturalize their Palestinian refugee populations, saying that the measure would not compromise the right of return. Abbas pointed to the example of Jordan where 1.7 million Palestinian refugees have been granted citizenship. Abbas also termed, "pretext" the decision of the Arab League to forbit naturalizaton of Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, Lebanese MP Ali Hassan Khalil has categorically rejected the idea of naturalizing the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Washington. Israel is asking Washington for $2.2bn in additional aid to help fund its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four small West Bank settlements. Israeli officials say most of the money will be used to pay for developing the Negev and Galilee regions - where the bulk of the settlers will be moved. One third of the sum, officials say, will go towards the relocation of Israeli military bases. Washington has already agreed to provide the aid in principle but reports say that the amount is much bigger than previous estimates of about $500m. An Israeli delegation led by the head of the Israeli prime minister's office, Ilan Cohen, is in Washington for meetings with US officials. The US team is expected to be led by Elliot Abrams, the deputy National Security Adviser.

Baghdad. Police sources said that at least 12 bricklayers had been arrested on Sunday after they had taken a colleague to hospital in Ameriya with gunshot wounds.
A local resident, thinking they were insurgents, called the police, who sent commandos to arrest the men. At about midday, they were put into a metal container and by nightfall eight prisoners were dead and three were in a critical condition. A doctor told BBC that one of the survivors had said he had been given repeated electric shocks by the commandos.

Baghdad. Two US Marines were killed on Sunday during security operations in the town of Hit, 150 km west of Baghdad.

Baghdad. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari accused supporters of Saddam Hussein of the kidnapping and murder of the Egyptian chargé d’affaires. Following a meeting with concerned diplomats, Zebari also asserted that Iraq, given the proper resources, was able to protect ambassadors and thier embassies. Zebari renewed his call to Iraq's neighbors to keep their embassies open in Baghdad.

Tal Afar. 14 insurgents were killed by the US military. In addition, five civilians, including a child, were killed and 18 wounded in mortar fire directed at the town.

Yusufiyah. Two members of SCIRI were shot dead.

Amman. A donor conference will take place next week in Jordan for the reconstruction of Iraq. Representatives of 60 countries and international organizations, including the World Bank and the UN, will attend.

Baghdad. Two other soldiers were killed as they pursued a suspect south of Baghdad.

Baghdad. In an audio file uploaded to the Internet, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi said the Iraqi military would continue to be targeted.

23:54 Baghdad. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi issued a reproach to his former spiritual mentor for criticizing suicide bombings in Iraq. In an interview on al-Jazeera last week, Issam Baraki, aka Sheikh Abu Mohamed Makdissi, had said that blind suicide bombings were inadmissible and that al-Zarqawi's proclamation that Shi'ites were infidels was an error.

23:53 Ramallah. General legislative elections are now scheduled to take place in January 2006 and will be followed by a Fatah General Assembly.

23:39 London. The Times reports that the bombs used in last week's terror attacks were manufactured by a single bomb maker using military-grade explosive. The Times writes the explosive may have come from the Balkans.

23:34 Bogota. Colombia extradites Lebanese national Rady Zaiter, 39, to France for drug trafficking. Zaiter is accused of financing Lebanese Hezbollah with illicit funds. Last month Operation "Damascus" initiated in 2004 in Brazil, Ecuador and the United States, led to the arrest of 25 in Brazil and Ecuador.Colombian and Ecuadoran investigators say that Rady Zaiter gave 70% of his gains to Hezbollah".

23:34 Ottawa. Terrorist attacks in Canada are inevitable and Canadians should be prepared, said Vice Premier nne McLellan.

23:10 Brussels. EU Commission President Manuel Durao Barroso says a new set of anti-terrorism measurese will be presented at the EU summit.

23:10 Baghdad. 39,000 have been killed in combat or violence since the US invasion of March 2003

23:05 Ramallah. Palestinian President Ahmad Qoreï said Israel's construction of the Security Wall is a slap in the face to the world. Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser Al-Qidwa urges the international community to force Israel to respect international legal rulings on the route of the wall.

22:31 Jerusalem. Israel prepares to wilcome 160 Jews from Canada as citizens. It is the largest emigration of Canandian Jews to date. The contingent will receive Israeli citizenship as soon as their plane leaves Canadian airspace.

15:05 Rome. Opposition Leader Romano Prodi says "No" to refinancing the EU mission to Iraq ahead of EU summit.

15:01 Rome. Prodi says "No" to extraordinary laws. We must not change our way of life, which is liberty, democracy and an open society. This does not mean that we should not fine more efficient means to fight terrorism.

14:37 Damascus. Lebanese trucks blocked at frontier. Hundreds of Lebanese trucks filled with produce have been blocked at the Syrian border. Relations between Damascus and Lebanon are deteriorating. Shippers say they are losing 250,000 euros a day. Syria has stepped up border security.

13:16 Kabul. Four Afghani prisoners escape from Bagram Airbase.

11:06 Baghdad. 13 bomb makers arrested by US forces in north-central Baghdad.

09:26 London. No investigation into possible British intelligence shortcomings will be conducted, says PM Tony Blair. Tory Leader Michael Howard had called for a full-scale investigation similar to the US 9-11 Commission.

8:45 Khalis. Rebels attacked a checkpoint at dawn with assault rifles, mortars and machine guns, killing nine soldiers. Three civilians and two Iraqi soldiers attempting to evacuate the dead were wounded when produce truck filled with cucumbers exploded as they approached.

08:31 Kabul. Body of missing US commando recovered near border with Pakistan.


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