Middle East News Thread

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IsraeliSettlersSettlers raid Nablus village, burn Hebron car

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Dozens of settlers raided the northern West Bank village Qusra overnight Monday, uprooting more than 190 olive trees, an official told Ma’an.

Several residents of the village, near Nablus, were assaulted, and homes and a tractor were also damaged in the raid, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas said.

Palestinian security guards chased the settlers, and detained four of them for a short period of time. The Israeli forces quickly intervened, entered the village, and released the settlers, Daghlas said.

Likud members call for Israeli annexation of West Bank territories

Prominent members of Israel‘s ruling Likud party have proposed the annexation of part of the West Bank as the battle for rightwing votes intensifies before the general election in less than three weeks.

Government minister Yuli Edelstein told a conference in Jerusalem that the lack of Israeli sovereignty over Area C – the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli military control in which all settlements are situated – “strengthens the international community’s demand for a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines”.

Ze’ev Elkin, the chairman of the governing coalition, said Israel should adopt a “salami” approach to annexation. “We will try to apply sovereignty over as much as we can at any given moment,” he said.

*Israel orders Bedouins to leave West Bank area

*Netanyahu list losing ground to right-wing ‘Jewish Home’ ahead of January 22 election

‘Israel will fall within 10 years, Jewish occupiers must leave’

Dr. Essam el-Erian, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official and adviser to the Egyptian president, has called on Jews who left Egypt to return, as “Israel will be destroyed within a decade” • A spokesman for President Mohammed Morsi says the presidency is not responsible for El-Erian’s statements, and that he does not speak on the president’s behalf.

*Activists say dozens of civilians killed in Syrian air strike

*Syria rebels step up attack on air base

*Syrian opposition claims it can produce, use chemical weapons

*U.S. journalist, AFP contributor, kidnapped in Syria

*U.N.: Analysis suggests 60,000-plus killed in Syria

*Any end in sight? Syrian conflict enters third calendar year

*Spiegel Analysis: Gaining a Clearer View of the Syrian Civil War

*Lifting US’ veil of ‘peace defender’

*Egypt investigating popular TV host over presidential satire

*Shura Councils new legislative powers are worrying for many

*Morsy aides meet with UAE officials over arrest of alleged Brotherhood cell

*Iranians should get more from oil money: president

(Image: Female settlers throwing stones – Ma’an News Agency)

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