Middle East and Surrounds

Israel legalizes West Bank settler outposts

JERUSALEM (AP) —Israel legalized three unsanctioned West Bank settler outposts and was trying to save another on Tuesday, infuriating the Palestinians as the chief American Mideast envoy was in the region laboring to revive peace efforts.

The decision fueled suspicions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline coalition would try to legalize as many rogue settlement sites as possible to cement Israel’s hold on occupied land the Palestinians claim for a state.

Recolonization of Syria 20 Years in the Making

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

Western corporate-financiers have plotted since at least 1991 to overturn not only Syria’s government, but to topple and co-opt the governments of every nation previously in the Soviet sphere of influence. US Army General Wesley Clark made it known during a 2007 speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California, that in 1991, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz said the US had 5-10 years to clean up the old Soviet “client regimes” before the next super power rose up and challenged western hegemony.

Post-revolution Egypt cuts gas to Israel: Ralph Schoenman

Egypt has repealed a 2005 gas export accord with Israel, which used to rely heavily on Egyptian natural gas to generate electricity.

The country used to be Tel Aviv’s strongest Arab ally during the roughly-30-year-long rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in a popular revolution in February 2011.

Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty Gassed-Out

The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation announced on April 23, 2012, that they are “terminating the Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement” with Israel since the East Mediterranean Gas Company failed its payments. The East Mediterranean Gas Company is an Israeli-Egyptian joint company that operates the El Arish–Ashkelon submarine pipeline, which transfers gas from Egypt to Israel. The Israelis deny the claim. Though the event has clear political repercussions, it matters little since at the time of the announcement Egypt can’t supply gas even if it wanted. Since Mubarak’s regime was ousted in early 2011, the Arab Gas Pipeline—see map below—has been attacked roughly once a month.

Two Israelis admit thousands of drug shipments to U.S.

Israeli citizens pleaded guilty Monday and were sentenced for sending more than 9,000 shipments of unapproved prescription drugs worth more than $1.4 million to the U.S., the U.S. Attorney’s office said Tuesday morning.

Benny Carmi, 58, was sentenced Monday afternoon to 10 months in prison, fined $30,000 and agreed to forfeit $50,000 for introducing misbranded prescription drugs into interstate commerce, smuggling prescription drugs into the United States, and selling counterfeit prescription drugs, prosecutors said..

Moshe Dahan, 37, was sentenced to a year of probation, fined $15,000 and agreed to forfeit $15,000 for smuggling prescription drugs.

And ten months in jail is it? These guys made millions off of this scam and they get fined a few thousand?

Syrian rebels launch Damascus attacks as violence escalates

A bomb hidden in an army truck also exploded in the capital, wounding several people.

The persistent bloodshed has tarnished efforts by a U.N. team of observers to bolster a truce that the international community sees as the last-chance to prevent the country from falling into civil war.

U.N. monitors visited the restive Damascus suburb of Douma on Tuesday, their second visit in two days. Activists reported shelling and gunfire in the area on Tuesday. Amateur videos posted online also showed smoke rising into the sky after an explosion as well as men and young boys dashing for cover as gunfire is heard nearby.

Obama’s new EO targets surveillance, censorship in Iran and Syria while nothing is done for Americans

Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

Oh the irony! As our right to a fair trial, our right to live without possibly being assassinated by an out of control government, and our last shreds of privacy (if we indeed have any privacy in America today, which is highly debatable when one does the research) could be thrown out the window if over 3,000,000 corporations have their way, the glorious Obama administration is worried about the rights of those abroad.

Now, I don’t mean to be overly nationalistic, but shouldn’t we be a bit more concerned about the massive surveillance state being created in the United States? …

Western Journalist: Visa Denied

This is about stopping the western journalism “machine” that has been reduced to propagating their government’s line on the Middle East. What happened to checks and balances expounds Ms. Narwani.

Item number five on UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s 6-point plan for Syria is the following:

“(5) Ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them.”

At a delicate moment in the hard-fought Syrian conflict that could potentially destabilize the entire Middle East, the United Nations believes getting more journalists into Syria is one of the six most urgent actions to consider?

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