April 25 to 29, 2011

– Egypt FM: Gaza border crossing to be permanently opened
28/04/2011 – Haaretz

Egypt FM informed Al-Jazeera that preparations are already underway to permanently open the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza, allowing goods and people to enter and exit Gaza without Israeli control. This announcement shows that there is a significant change in Egyptian policy towards the Gaza Strip, a policy that, before the insurgency in Egypt, was implemented in conjunction with Israel.

– Fatah and Hamas: Tectonic plates start to shift
29/04/2011 – Guardian

Hamas and Fatah, two rival movements of the Palestinian Territories, have agreed Wednesday to form a unity government whose responsibilities will include to organize the upcoming elections. This surprising reconciliation comes in the wake of the Arab spring but also in the context of a deadlocked peace process. Fatah has been greatly weakened by the publication of Palestine papers and has less confidence in the American administration to lead to a fair peace after they vetoed a UN resolution condemning colonization. The Israeli government has railed against the news which may well disrupt the status quo maintained by Israel.

– Attack in Marrakech: « Who benefits? » (Attentat à Marrakech : « A qui profite le crime ? »)
28/04/2011 – Rue 89

The bombing of one or more suicide bombers destroyed the pub Argana located on Jemaa el Fna Square in the heart of Marrakech, killing at least 16 people. The timing of the attack is obviously particular: Morocco, as the whole Arab world, faces a Democratic push from a part of the youth. No threat of use of terrorist violence had been uttered by the pro-democracy movements, and the bombing of Marrakech seems more likely to hinder the work of young civil society gathered in the « February 20 » instead than help.

– Berlusconi and Sarkozy want to restrict free movement (Berlusconi et Sarkozy veulent restreindre la libre circulation)
27/04/2011 – L’Humanité

During the 29th Franco-Italian summit in Rome yesterday, the two governments agreed to propose a modification of the agreements abolishing border controls within the EU. Berlusconi announces keystrokes in Libya.

– Special from Yemen: Regime forces open fire on protesters rejecting GCC-brokered plan
28/04/2011 – Al Masry al Youm

The opposition has accused Thursday the Yemeni government of a « savage massacre » after the death of 13 demonstrators in Sanaa claiming that the regime sought to derail the forthcoming signing of an agreement to end the crisis. Gulf Arab monarchies have developed a plan to end the crisis and challenged the government and opposition to its signing in Riyadh.