23rd Feb 2018

English

By Abdel Bari Atwan

We don’t need much imagination to conclude that Israel’s current aggression on the Gaza strip is in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three settlers which Tel Aviv are blaming on Hamas.

I have been amazed by how much coverage the deaths of the Israeli settlers have garnered on British television, much of it inaccurate, unsurprisingly. The fact that the young men were illegal settlers on occupied Palestinian lands is rarely mentioned.

Despite the much more historically important – and dangerous – continued advance of the Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, British television focused on the funerals of the three, and emotive speeches by Israeli leaders, threatening revenge.

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 Abdel Bari Atwan

 The whole of the Arab world is in a state of emergency due to the unprecedented advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) which today announced it has established an Islamic State across the whole area of Iraq and Syria under its control.

All the region’s existing regimes and borders are at risk from this transnational, devastating organization which seeks to usurp the divisions set in place almost a hundred years ago by Sykes-Picot.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah asserted that the Kingdom rejects terrorism in all its forms; the Jordanian monarch subsequently warned against an escalation of the situation in Syria and Iraq, calling for a political process involving all components of the Iraqi people, without exception.

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The First World War had established a new paradigm for western interventions in the Middle East, which continues to this day

By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

I grew up in a refugee camp in Gaza. I remember when I was very young, how we children were fascinated by a beautifully stocked and well-maintained garden, which stood in the middle of all the dirt and overcrowded chaos that we inhabited. An armed guard protected the entrance jealously, but over the walls and through the gates, we could glimpse the ornamental trees and shrubs … and white grave stones, marked with crosses, standing neatly in rows.

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Abdel Bari Atwan

We rarely agree with Kurdish Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani on his political opinions or indeed the position of his government, but when he remarked on the BBC that following the fall of Mosul it is impossible to return to a united Iraq, we concur. But for entirely different reasons.

Barzani sees the future Iraq as a Confederation of three distinct entities – a Sunni state in Anbar province and its vicinity, a Shi’a state to the south and in the north, a properly recognized and legitimate independent Kurdish state.

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By Abdel Bari Atwan

When we first started to comment on the strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) tsunami as towns and villages and border crossings in both countries fell to them, we were accused of exaggerating the strength of Isis and the likelihood of their gaining their goal, which is to establish an Islamic emirate across the Middle East. As the days go by and their advance becomes even more sure-footed, we now feel we were actually modest in our estimations.

All border crossing points between Iraq and Syria, and between Iraq and Jordan are now under the control of Isis and its allies.

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Abdel Bari Atwan

How toothless President Abbas’s Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has shown itself to be in the face of the current crisis. The third intifadah uprising is inevitably coming. The abduction of the three settlers has exposed everyone. This is how we see it.

We can no longer understand the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, not because he talks a language that is strange for us-he was a former teacher and his Arabic is excellent – but we are talking about the vocabulary and phrases he uses and their meanings which, in our opinion, have nothing to do from near or far with the concern of the Palestinians in the homeland under the occupation or in exile.

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Libyans need to find political consensus

The future of the country should not be guided by any western agenda, or even the interests of the West

By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News
June 22, 2014

Image Credit: Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

Justifying the Nato-led military intervention in Libya, which far exceeded the mandate provided by UN Security Council resolution 1973, the US promised that the new, liberated Libya would become a regional beacon of justice and democracy.

How paradoxical, then, that last Tuesday brought us the news that a squad of US commandos had kidnapped a second Libyan citizen, Ahmad Abu Khatallah (the first being Abu Anas Al Libi, last October) and removed him for trial in New York accused of terrorism.

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 Abdel Bari Atwan

US President Barack Obama’s speech, delivered late afternoon on Thursday focused largely on the current crisis in Iraq. One came away with the impression that his administration is “reluctant” to intervene militarily in Iraq, for fear of the consequences. That is why it will not send dozens of thousands of troops after it lost 4,000 of its troops there. However, it is ready to deliver air strikes “if the need arises for such a thing.” Nonetheless, these strikes would be conditional, not for free.

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By Abdel Bari Atwan

The government of Iraqi Kurdistan took two steps which are illegal and provocative at the same time, the first one, exporting shipments of Iraqi oil extracted from their areas without the permission of the Central Government in Baghdad, and the second, sale of these shipments to Israel via the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Selling oil without the approval of the Iraqi Government is a flagrant violation of the agreement to regulate the relationship between the Kurdish region and the Central Government, and reflect the intentions of the independence and the terrible exploitation of the current turbulent conditions of Iraq, especially in the North.

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The US sent a commando unit deep into Libyan territory where it kidnapped a Libyan citizen and removed him to the US where he will be tried on terrorism charges. This action is a stain on the reputation of Libya and all thos foreign countries which collaborated with Nato to transform the country into a failed State, violating its sovereignty and the inviolability of its borders and its citizens.

Last October, a ‘delta force’ unit grabbed another Libyan national outside his home, took him to a US warship stationed off the Llibyan coast and then transferred him to New York where he went on trial, accused of belonging to Al-Qaida and participating in the attack on the US Embassy in Kenya in August 1998.

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المُواجهة القادِمة مع الإسرائيليين قد تَكون شَرارَتْها “بَحريَّةً” أكثر مِنها “بَريَّةً” و”حزب الله” هو رأس الحِربة.. ضُغوط على نتنياهو داخِليًّا وخارِجيًّا للتوصُّل إلى تَسويةّ سَريعةٍ مع لبنان لتَجنّبها.. واحتفالاتِه بـ”صَفقة غاز القَرن” مع مِصر ربّما سابِقة لأوانِها
التحرُّش بالخادِمات الآسيَويّات وقَتْلهنَّ يُوَتِّر العلاقات.. ويُسيء للصُّورة العَربيّة السَّيّئة أصلاً.. الرئيس الفِلبيني يُقدِّم دَرسًا لنُظرائِه العَرب في الحِفاظ على كرامَة مُواطِنيه.. أوْقِفوا هذهِ الاعتداءات فَورًا
كيف أذلَّ اللُّبنانيون تيلرسون وأجْبَروه على الانتظار؟ ولماذا تَراجع وأعادَ اتّهام “حزب الله” بالإرهاب؟ وكيف خَرَجَ مَصدومًا بعد لقائِه المُغْلَق مع أردوغان؟ وهل يَنجَح مُخطّط بِلاده بِسَلخْ آبار النِّفط والغاز عن الدَّولة السوريّة؟ وهل وَصلت صواريخ “سام 5” إلى اليمن؟
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