10/08/2012

6th – 10th August

The Egyptian army has promised “revenge” after armed Islamists have killed 16 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula and then have launched an attack on Israel that failed. The gunmen, who were wearing bulletproof vests, were intercepted and killed by Israeli forces near the town of Yavul. Hamas, the radical Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, condemned the incident and denied any responsibility.

Riad Farid Hijab, Syrian Prime Minister, announced that he joined the opposition, after State television has reported that he was dismissed. Former Prime Minister arrived in Jordan after crossing the border illegally and encouraged other Syrian officials to defect.

The Russian-Chinese blockage prevents any political progress and the militarization of the conflict is moving the debate out of the United Nations. It is more important, according to the government of Paris, to try everything not to let the situation escapes totally at the Security Council: France, which chairs the organ since the beginning of this month, prepares therefore a meeting of Foreign Affairs ministers on 30th August, in New York, about the humanitarian situation which becomes increasingly precarious.

The United States and its Arab allies are knitting together a regional missile defense system across the Persian Gulf to protect cities, oil refineries, pipelines and military bases from an Iranian attack, according to government officials and public documents. This is an enterprise that is meant to send a message to Tehran, and that becomes more urgent in view of the escalating tensions with Iran.

The National Transitional Council in Libya on Wednesday night passed powers to the assembly elected on 7th July, during a historic ceremony marking the first peaceful transition after more than forty years of dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. In his speech, Mr. Abdel Jalil said that this first transition of power in the history of Libya represents a historic moment.