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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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).

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday in Gaza

19:40 Livni: "Ground invasion not excluded"

19:27 Rafah bombed again; residents gather in Saladin Square

19:24 Livni: "Israel rejects 48-hour truce"

19:19 Israeli warplanes, 500 combat missions to Gaza

19:08 Arab ministers to send delegation to the UN in New York

19:05 Amnesty International fears ground invasion

19:03 Italians pursue initiative in UN Security Council

18:40 Red Cross warns Israel on human rights violations.

18:32 Patriarch of Jerusalem condemns military action against Gaza

18:31 White House: Hamas must take the first step for any truce

18:28 Hamas "We will fight on" if invaded

17:43 Olmert tells Bush: "Only Hamas is targeted"

17:36 Abu Mazen threatens to suspend negotations with Israel [He ain't got nuthin' so far--Nur]

17:24 Iran, reformist newspaper Kargozaran criticizing Hamas shut down.

17:15 Bush phones Olmert

17:09 Egyptian border guard wounded in Rafah

17:01 Erdogan in Amman for talks with King Abdallah and Abu Mazen

16:48 Arab League: "Palestinians victims of a political jockeying within Israel"

16:08 Arab League asks the UN to stop Israel

15:59 Hamas: "No truce proposal received"

15:57 Egitto to open Al-Awja crossing to humanitarian aid

15:21 Hamas accuses Abu Mazen of complicity with Israel

15:19 EU delegation to arrive in Israel next week

15:18 Hamas: Willing to consider truce

15:17 Hamas willing to stop rocket attacks on Israel if Gaza military operation called off

14:35 Gheddafi: "Arab countries should stand together"

14:18 Olmert: Offensive to continue

13:28 UK to send humanitarian assistance to Gaza annuncia aiuti umanitari e chiede accesso

13:09 Abbas pressures UN for resolution imposing ceasefire [Abbas couldn't pressure a bicycle tire--Nur]

13:02 India asks Israel to end bombing runs Israele la fine dei raid

13:02 Israeli TV; No truce in site

13:01 Father Manuel Musallam: Gaza Catholic priest says young men are joining Hamas by the hundreds

12:59 Turkish Premier Erdogan in Syria for talks

12:56 Arab League criticizes Mahmud Abbas for failing to make to make any utterance in defense of Gaza's Palestinians

12:55 Hamas: Truce proposal one-sided

12:17 Merkel: Germany prepared to work toward peace in the Middle East

12:09 Doctors Without Borders enter Gaza Strip

12:04 Arab League urges reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah

11:48 Arab League meets in Cairo

11:47 Olmert: "Israel seeks long-term solution"

11:46 UN General Assembly Speaker Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann criticizes Israel for reckless aggression

11:44 Spain urges permanent truce

11:27 Shin Bet: Hamas militants hiding in hospitals [and there's plenty not hiding on every street corner-duh --Nur]

10:53 Lebanon orders flags flown at half-mast

10:48 Egypt: All New Years celebrations cancelled

10:46 Israeli artillery fires on Gaza

10:43 40 rockets fired at Israel

10:42 Palestinian civilians mass at Egyptian border

10:39 Teheran, Benetton store burned to ground by protesters demonstrating against Israel

10:37 UN: "Victims of Israeli bombs are 25% civilian"

10:13 Bombs continue to fall on Gaza

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday in Gaza

23:01 Abu Mazen to meet Turkish PM Recep Tayyp Erdogan on Wedensday in Aqaba, Jordan

22:43 EU to send a delegation of ministers to the Middle East

21:50 Sarkozy to visit Israel on 5 January

21:49 Iranian students penetrate British Embassy in Tehran and pull down Union Jack, raising the Palestinian flag

21:23 Barak in favor of a 48-hour truce.

21:20 Pro-PLO demonstration in front of Obama resident in Hawaii

21:12 40 members of the Muslim Brotherhood arrested in Cairo.

20:51 EU demands access to Gaza for delivery of humanitarian assistance

20:36 The Quartet demands a ceasefire

20:23 EU calls for a lasting ceasefire

20:20 Israeli government call up another 6,700 reservists

20:15 Two Palestinian Rockets hit Beer Sheva

20:14 Italian FM and opposition in row over Hamas

20:02 Javier Solana: "The EU is working toward a 3-point solution"

19:53 Spain sends $15 million in assistance to Gaza

19:52 Miliband: "Truce with guarantees for Israel"

19:50 Brazil proposes international conference on Gaza

19:41 Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Saudi Arabia

19:20 German FM Steinmeier: "Humanitarian truce needed"

19:01 Sarkozy to receive Tzipi Livni at the Elysee Palace on Thursday
18:59 EU foreign ministers meet in Paris

18:56 Spanish FM Moratinos: "The EU will ask for a humanitarian truce in Gaza"

18:55 Bush phones Abu Mazeb and Mubarak

18:46 Italian MF Frattini confirms that there will be no Israeli ground incursion into Gaza

18:43 Beijing sends $1 million in aid to Gaza

18:42 Israeli TV: "One-third of Hamas' missiles destroyed"

18:26 Al Jazeera: 384 dead, more than 1750 wounded

18:08 Save the Children starts up campaign for funds for Gaza

18:04 USA to provide $85 million in assistance to Palestinians refugees

18:02 Hamas: "Truce contingent on opening border crossings"

18:00 Hamas threatens to fire additional missiles at Israel

17:47 Caritas Jerusalem: "Stop the bombing"

17:36 Israeli sources "Israel to consider EU truce proposal"

17:31 Lebanon sends $1 million in aid to Gaza

17:22 Quartet Summit with by phone with Ban Ki-Moon

17:21 UNICEF: "Spare the children"

17:15 Israele receives truce proposal from Kouchner

17:10 Israelis bomb Rafah

17:07 Arab League foreign ministers to meet tomorrow

16:48 Gulf States call for end to Israeli aggression

16:38 Italian FM Frattini demands Israelis accept ceasefire before Wednesday's meeting of the Arab League

16:34 UN rapporteur Richard Falk decries Israeli atrocities

16:26 Italian FM Frattini: "International observers needed for Gaza"

16:10 Franco-Italian resolution on Gaza ceasefire considered

15:52 Italian FM Frattini: "Livni and Peres exclude ground incursion"

15:50 WHO calls on Israel to admit humanitarian assistance to Gaza

15:42 Mubarak: "Egypt rejects Israeli plan to divide up the occupied territories"

15:32 Peres: "Hamas attacks senseless"

15:30 Rocket hits Kiryat Malachi

15:06 Hamas: "Israel incapable of destroying our government

14:42 EU demands immediate ceasefire

14:00 UN releases death toll: 360

13:48 Mubarak: Egypt will reopen Rafah crossing only if Palestinian authority takes over riaprirà valico Rafah solo se torna in

13:42 Bombs fall on Gaza once again

13:26 Italian President Napolitano telephones Arab leaders

13:20 Christians of Jerusalem make appeal: "Stop the violence"

13:06 WHO: Attacks must end immediately

13:02 Israeli patrol boat rams craft carrying humanitarian assistance to Gaza

13:00 Yemen arrests protesters who broke into Egyptian embassy

12:58 Palestinian rockets hit Sderot and Ashqelon.

12:06 Jordan: "Israel agrees to allow medical supplies and field hospitals in Gaza"

12:00 Queen Rania of Jordan asks Jordanians to send humanitarian assistance to Gaza

11:48 Aden (Yemen): Protesters break into Egyptian embassy, burn two vehicles

11:38 Jordan cancels New Years celebrations

11:31 Syria calls on Egypt to break diplomatic ties with Israel

11:23 China expresses concern

11:04 Israele authorizes humanitarian convoys to Gaza

10:59 Wounded ferried to Egypt via Rafah

10:58 Rockets his Sderot

10:44 Ahmadinejad: "Supporters of Israel will go to hell"

09:41 Olmert: "Airstrikes on Gaza only the first chapter"

09:19 Third night of Israeli air strikes on Gaza

08:58 Israel: "Ground operation ready to go"

08:08 Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit: "Air strikes could go on for weeks"

08:06 Israel: "A truce is ruled out"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday in Gaza

20:10 First UN humanitarian convoys arrive in Gaza: 3 UNRWA trucks, 15 World Food Program trucks and 5 trucks with medical supplies

20:09 Father Manuel Musallam, a parish priest in Gaza, says Gazas are at the limit of their strength.

20:07 Bethlehem, Christmas lights turned off in sign of solidarity with Gazans.

19:54 EU Foreign ministers to meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss Middle East sistuation

19:26 Italian President Giorgio Napolitano phones Peres and Abu Mazen

18:46 Save the Children: "Children are the main victims": 21 children killed and more than 130 wounded in Israeli air strikes.

18:45 Israel prepares for ground offensive.

18:38 The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, visits Israeli President Shimon Peres and accuses Israel of "disproportionate response"

18:36 Jordanian parliamentarians vote 110 to 88 to end diplomatic ties with Israel if attacks on Gaza continue.

18:19 Anti-Egypt demonstrations in Tripoli, Libya

17:42 Arab League: UN communique "insufficient"

17:40 Red Cross: "Chaos in Gaza hospitals"

17:39 Sarkozy phones Mubarak, will meet Livni in January

17:21 White House: Spokesman Gordon Johndroe says Israel does not intend to take back Gaza
17:03 Merkel phones Olmert and asks that civilian lives be spared.

16:51 Israel: "The purpose of attacks is to topple Hamas"

16:44 Medical sources: 345 deaths in Gaza. 1,500 wounded.

16:31 UK: FM David Miliband says the loss of innocent children's lives is unacceptable.

16:19 White House: "Hamas must stop firing rockets",

16:04 Military chief of Islamic Jihad and son dead in airstrike. Ziyad Abu Teir, 35, killed

15:40 Pope may cancel visit to Israel in 2009

15:36 Hamas: "250 wounded in serious condition"

15:17 Livni: "Israeli attempts to avoid civilian deaths but Hamas targets children"

15:09 Civilian death toll for Saturday, 57 dead

14:57 "EU ready to send aid to Gaza"

14:56 Thousands protest Israeli airstrikes in Amman, calling on their government to sever diplomatic relations with Jerusalem

14:55 Wounded Palestinians evacuated to Egypt through Rafah crossing

14:53 Tens of thousands attend Hezbollah rally supporting Palestinians

14:52 PLO requests international peacekeepers for Gaza

14:36 Egypt opens Rafah crossing to allow trucks carrying supplies into Gaza

14:33 Italian FM Frattini to report to Parliament on Gaza raidsParlamento

13:51 Amnesty International calls on Israel and Palestinians to end violence

13:50 Ambulances queued up at Rafah crossing

13:45 The Catholic organization, SIR, calls on Israel to stop the cycle of unprecedented violence.

13:24 Washington Post reports that Olmert has been a failure and that the Israeli elections in February will likely be won by
Benyamin Netanyau. The paper says George Bush contributed to Olmert's failure.

13:22 Washington Post reports that Olmert will be remembered for two bloody mini-conflicts

13:09 Oil rises above $42 a barrel

13:08 Power outage throughout Gaza

12:58 Livni: "Offensive will continue until a new balance of power is established"

12:47 Al Jazeera: Missile hits Qassam Brigades training camp

12:45 Germany, Merkel concerned by escalation in violence

12:12 Protest in Cairo. Thousands of Egyptians protest Israeli raids on Gaza.

12:11 Senegal, Hamas prepared to sign accord with Israel. Senegalese President Abdulaye Wade, current chairman of the OIC, hints that Israel and Hamas may sign agreement

12:02 Teheran: Protests. Volunteers sign up to fight in Gaza.
11:52 Ankara: "Negotiations between Syria and Israel now impossible"

11:50 Palestinian Authority ends peace talks with Israel

11:43 Gaza, 331 dead and 250 seriously wounded. Another 1,400 wounded in stable condition.

11:38 Israeli commandos enter Gaza.

11:22 Gaza, more than 20 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Ashqelon, Sderot and Netivot

11:08 Barak: "Israeli will give no quarter against Hamas"

11:06 Baghdad, thousands protest Israeli attacks on Gaza. US flag burned.

10:57 Barak tells Knesset: "Operations to continue indefinitely"

10:47 Caritas: "Excessive number of civilian dead"

10:01 Gaza, Israel creates restricted military area around Sderot

09:51 Israele opens Kerem Shalom crossing to all aid to enter Gaza

09:36 Ashkelon, missile hits construction site.

09:22 Rockets hit Ashkelon and Sderot

09:15 United Nations, at least 51 civilians killed in airstrikes

08:59 Gaza, office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh bombed.

08:49 Ashkelon, one dead and 15 wounded in Palestinian rocket attack according to Israeli military radio

08:31 Barak: Operation has no connection to the inauguration of Obama or to February elections in Israel

08:29 Nasrallah puts Hezbollah on alert in Southern Lebanon.

08:28 Obama telephones Rice

08:27 Barak tells BBC: "We had no choice"

08:25 In press conference in Egypt, Abu Mazen declares that Hamas' failure to participate in dialog has led to the current situation in Gaza

08:24 Israele calls up reservists.

08:23 China: "Shocked and seriously concerned over Gaza military operation"

08:21 Pope saddened by dead and wounded.

08:20 Gaza, Hamas Interior Ministry bombed

08:18 UN, Ban Ki-moon in contact with Olmert and Arab leaders.

08:17 UN, Israel must permit humanitarian aid to enter Gaza

08:15 UN: 280 dead and 900 wounded

08:13 Gaza, Islamic university bombed
08:12 Gaza, Corporal Gilad Shalit, held by Palestinians, wounded by Israeli air strikes.

08:10 Gaza, dozens of air strikes during the night. Jabaliya mosque struck.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Today in Gaza

Operation Oferet Yezukà, named after a poem by Haim Nahman Bialik, launched by Israel against Gaza has so far killed 400 and wounded more that 620. The Rome newspaper, La Repubblica, is running an hour-by-hour account of the violence.

For a running account in English, go to the blog run by Free Gaza peace activists, "Tales to Tell"

23:27 Gaza's Islamic University hit by Israeli warplanes

21:39 Nasrallah implores Egypt to open Rafah crossing; its failure to do so would confirm its complicity with Israel.

21:19 Iranian Red Crescent dispatches assistance to Gaza

21:15 Hugo Chavez condemns Israel

20:46 Nasrallah, missiles discovered in southern Lebanon near Blue Line likely put there by Israelis

20:45 Egyptian police officer killed by gunfire from Gaza

20:21 Nasrallah to organize huge rally in Beirut on Monday

20:19 Livni, Israel wants to hit Hamas, not civilians

20:17 Livni promises ground offensive if rockets aimed at Israel do not cease.

20:10 Nasrallah, Hezbollah is preparing for an Israeli attack

20:08 Preliminary Gaza death toll: 290

20:02 Nasrallah puts Hezbollah on alert in southern Lebanon

19:56 82% of Israelis in favor of Operation Hardened Lead. 82 percent of Israelis in favor of the attack on Gaza according to Israel's Channel 10.

19:52 Hezbollah calls on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, addressing crowds in suburban Beirut via video link, urges Egypt to open the Rafah crossing to allow food, humanitarian assistance and even arms to enter.

19:49 Frattini to dispatch emergency aid. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is organizing assistance to be sent to the Gaza Strip.

19:45 Italian FM Frattini phones Lebanese PM Siniora

19:40 Protests in Europa against Israeli raids. Thousands protest "Operation Hardened Lead" in London, Paris, Madrid Copenhagen and Istanbul

19:33 Italian FM Frattini phones Tzipi Livni, asking that civilians be spared

19:30 Sarkozy phones Abu Mazen. French President Nicolas Sarkozy expresses concern over the violence in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip

19:15 Syria asks the UN to end the massacre of Palestinians as hundreds demonstrate in downtown Damascus

19:01 Al Jazeera, Israelis resume raids. Victims reported in the latest round of bombings.

19:00 Red Cross: Gaza hospitals in dire straits

18:43 Livni, Israel will not occupy Gaza. Israeli FM Livni says on US television that Israel will not reoccupy Gaza

18:38 Syria ends informal talks with Israel on Golan

17:56 Muammar Gheddafi calls Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, in exile in Damascus.

17:45 Palestinians massed at the Egyptian frontier. Some Palestinians manage to break through the barrier with Egypt but are surrounded by Egyptian troops. Gunfire reported.

17:11 Obama calls Rice to discuss Gaza. 8-minute conversation.

17:05 Operation "Hardened Lead", inspired by a poem written by poet Haim Nahman Bialik for Hanukkah.

16:30 Palestinians break down barrier with Egypt

16:26 London denies break-in at Israeli Embassy

16:20 12 truckloads of medical supplies arrive in Gaza from Egypt

16:19 Beirut: "Lebanese Airspace violated". Israeli airplanes fly over Shebaa farms.

16:13 Palestinians flee to Egypt despite being challenged by Egyptian border guards

16:06 Jordan, Israeli flag burned during session of Parliament

16:05 Protests in London. Protesters besiege Israeli embassy

15:37 Israeli jets bomb Gaza tunnels said to lead to Egypt

15:31 Israelis bomb Palestinian side of Rafah crossing, bombs fall on Egyptian territory.

15:24 Palestinian Authority: "Hamas could have avoided massacre" by joining Fatah

15:23 Beirut, Egyptian embassy under siege

15:21 Israeli claims to have hit "30 Hamas targets"

15:11 Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "Crime against humanity"

15:02 West Bank, 20 year-old Palestinian protester shot dead by Israelis in Nìlin [Ramallah]; another seriously wounded

14:58 Moscow asks Israel to urgently end operations.

14:44 Syria ends indirect talks with Israel mediated by Ankara

14:39 Hamas vows to resume "suicide operations" within Israel

14:29 Israeli Culture Minister Ghaleb Majadla to boycott the government

13:45 Walter Veltroni: "The international community must act"

13:30 Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner: "Only 3% of Gaza killed and wounded are civilians"

13:28 Al Fatah blames Hamas for death of detainees in Gaza under Israeli bombs

13:13 Businesses close on West Bank in sign of mourning

12:27 Israel calls up 6,500 reservists

12:19 Israeli press (Haaretz): "Barak has been preparing Gaza operation for six months"

12:11 Pope calls for end violence in the Gaza Strip.

12:03 Ramallah, pro-Hamas protests in Al Fatah stronghold

11:56 Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei calls on Muslims to defend the Palestinians

11:49 Israeli forces: "230 targets struck"

11:22 Palestinian Authority prepared to substitute Hamas in Gaza.

11:05 Hamas: "400 dead, more than 1,000 wounded"

11:03 Israeli tanks enter Gaza Strip

10:45 Italian FM Frattini calls for ceasefire.

10:30 Egypt claims Hamas is preventing transfer of wounded to Egypt

10:29 Israeli missiles hit Hamas security headquarters

10:10 Abu Mazen calls for unity

09:59 Israeli Defense Minister Barak says operations "will not be brief"

09:54 Al Jazeera: "Life in Gaza half paralyzed"

09:50 Abu Mazen: "Massacre could have been avoided"

09:13 Rockets said to be launched at Israeli settlements of Ashkelon, Sderot, Gan Yavne and Ashdod

09:11 Ehud Barak says ground operations in Gaza are possible.

09:09 UN Security Council demands end of military operations in Gaza; request is non-binding

09:07 271 Palestinians dead

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Were you unlucky enough to find this unsolicited $12.95 DVD in your mailbox just before the November presidential elections? As I live in a swing state, Florida, I was such an unlucky person. Adam Shatz, an Israeli writer for the London Review of Books, has the goods in the review's 9 October edition:

In the last two weeks of September, 28 million copies of [Obsession] were enclosed as an advertising supplement in 74 newspapers, including the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education...

The Clarion Fund, the supplement’s sponsor, doesn’t explicitly endorse McCain, so as not to jeopardise its tax-exempt status, but the message is clear enough, and its circulation just happened to coincide with Obama’s leap in the polls....

Yes, it was a failed attempt to scare voters from casting their ballots for Barak Hussein Obama, sponsored by Rabbi Raphael Shore, the Endowment for Middle East Truth and Aish HaTorah, the Israeli settler movement.

Praise goes to the Council on American-Islamic relations for lodging a complaint against Clarion with the Federal Election Commission and of course, for Florida voters to refusing to be swayed by extremist NeoCon and Israeli propaganda.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Farewell to the Chief

Via Corriere della Sera.

Bush flies to Baghdad on 14 December the hush-hush and gets pelted with a shoe. What an unappreciative audience!