Excerpts: Continued Egypt-Israel cooperation. Syrian conflict increasingly
sectarian. 'Rising tensions between Lebanon's Sunni and Shiite communities'
June 27, 2012
+++SOURCE: Aswat Masriya via Egypt Daily News 27June '12:"Netanyahu sees
continued cooperation with Egypt",Reuters
SUBJECT: Continued Egypt-Israel cooperation
QUOTE:"Netanyahu: ' We expect to work together with the new administration
on the basis of our peace treaty' "
FULL TEXT:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday[25 June] Israel
expected future cooperation with the new administration of Egypt's Islamist
President-elect Mohamed Mursi.
"We expect to work together with the new administration on the basis of our
peace treaty," Netanyahu told reporters after a meeting with visiting
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I believe that peace is important to Israel. I believe that peace is
important to Egypt. I believe that peace is a vital interest for both
countries and I believe that peace is the foundation of stability in our
region," Netanyahu said, echoing a written statement issued by his office a
An Israeli official, speaking earlier on condition of anonymity, said the
Netanyahu government hoped Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentary
bloc would put the need to tend to Egypt's ailing economy ahead of any
revision of bilateral ties.
U.S. aid to Cairo hinges on keeping the peace with Israel.
"Looks like we were right when we said the Arab Spring would become an
'Islamic Winter', even though Western nations laughed us off at the time,"
the Israeli official said.
But he added that he hoped the Egyptian government would "try to be more
statesmanly, by working in the interests of the country".
(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Andrew Roche
+++SOURCE: Egyptian Gazette 27 June '12:"Deadly raid on Syria TV after Assad
speaks of 'war' ", Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Syrian conflict increasingly sectarian
QUOTE:"unprecedented attack on the government media"
EXCERPTS:DAMASCUS - An attack on a pro-government television channel's
offices near Damascus killed seven staff on Wednesday[27 June], state media
said, a day after President Bashar al-Assad said Syria was in a "state of
. . .
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is pressing for an international conference
on the 15-month conflict to go ahead on Saturday[30 June] despite wrangling
between Moscow and Washington over the terms of reference and guest list,
his deputy said.
The Syrian delegation stormed out of a UN Human Rights Council meeting after
it heard a report that abuses were taking place on a regular basis in a
conflict that was taking on an increasingly sectarian dimension.
Live footage broadcast by state television showed extensive damage to the
studios of the Al-Ikhbariya satellite channel, with several small fires
still burning, in what it described as an unprecedented attack on the
"The terrorist groups stormed the offices of Al-Ikhbariya, planted
explosives in the studios and blew them up along with the equipment,"
Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi told the television in a live interview.
"They carried out the worst massacre against the media, executing
journalists and security staff," Zohbi said.
State media said the dead comprised three journalists and four security
"This didn't come out of nowhere," he added, pointing to European Union
sanctions imposed on the pro-government media.
Al-Ikhbariya remained on the air despite Wednesday's assault.
With the uprising now in its 16th month, Assad told his cabinet on Tuesday
that Syria was in a "real situation of war" and ordered ministers to crush
the anti-regime revolt.
"When one is in a state of war, all our policies and capabilities must be
used to secure victory," he said, according to the official SANA news
More than 15,800 people have now been killed in the uprising, of whom 4,681
lost their lives since the UN-backed ceasefire brokered by Annan was
supposed to take effect on April 12, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said.
"The last week was the bloodiest week of the Syrian Revolution," Observatory
director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by telephone, adding that 916 people
were killed from June 20 through 26.
The latest report to the UN Human Rights Council from the Independent
Commission of Inquiry on Syria found that the violence in Syria was
increasingly taking on a sectarian basis amid mounting enmity between the
Sunni Muslim and Assad's minority Alawite community.
"Where previously victims were targeted on the basis of their being pro- or
anti-government, the CoI has recorded a growing number of incidents where
victims appear to have been targeted because of their religious
affiliation," it found.
The findings triggered a walkout by the Syrian delegation.
"We will not participate in this flagrantly political meeting," said Syrian
Ambassador Faisal Khabbaz Hamoui.
. . .
Annan's deputy, Jean-Marie Guehenno, told the UN Human Rights Council that
the peace envoy wanted a mooted international meeting on the conflict to go
ahead in Geneva on Saturday[30 June].
He said the meeting was planned at ministerial level and it was essential
for states with influence to agree among themselves "in order to effectively
support a Syrian-led transition process".
"The envoy is using his best efforts to facilitate a common position on the
proposed outcomes of the Action Group," he said.
"Those outcomes will have to be meaningful and concrete in order to help
alleviate the crisis."
His comments came after Washington rejected a Russian proposal for Iran to
take part in the planned meeting and demanded that a transition from Assad's
rule be put squarely on the agenda.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington
that the US did not think Iran could make a useful contribution given its
support for the Damascus regime.
State Department officials have also said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
will not attend the meeting unless all parties first agree on the need for
political change in Syria.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 27 June '12:"Leading Lebanese TV station attacked in
Beirut", Associated Press
SUBJECT: "Rising tensions between Lebanon's Sunni and Shiite communities"
QUOTE: "Many Shiites in Lebanon support the regime of (Syria's) President
EXCERPTS: BEIRUT — Masked men attacked the headquarters of a leading
Lebanese TV station with burning tyres after it hosted a hardline Sunni
Muslim cleric who harshly criticised the country's Shiite Muslim leaders,
police said Tuesday[26 June].
Video footage of the Monday[25 June] night attack taken by security cameras
and broadcast on local television showed five masked figures assaulting the
headquarters of Al Jadeed TV in Beirut.. . .
The incident comes at a time of rising tensions between Lebanon's Sunni and
Shiite communities, exacerbated by the uprising in Syria. Many Shiites in
Lebanon support the regime of President Bashar Assad, who is a member of the
Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam. Many Sunnis on the other hand
oppose Assad and support the predominantly Sunni Syrian opposition.
Guards at the television station detained the suspect, whose pants caught
fire during the attack, and handed him over to police, police said.
The man's detention sparked an angry protest in the central neighbourhood of
Zoqaq Blat, where dozens rallied in his support, blocking roads and burning
Soldiers later re-opened the roads and conducted raids in the quarter, where
the suspect lives, in search of accomplices.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the detainee was a known trouble maker
and was previously convicted.
In Al Jadeed's broadcast on Sunday [24 June], Aseer, one of Lebanon's most
outspoken Sunnis, levelled harsh criticism at the country's most powerful
Shiite figures — Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah of Islamic group Hizbollah, and
parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who heads the Amal movement.
Aseer accused Shiites of taking control of the country and being behind the
brief detention of a notable Sunni cleric along with his wife and child last
"I swear to God I will make you pay a high price," Aseer said in response to
the incident, in comments directed at Nasrallah. Aseer is also a harsh
critic of the Syrian president, having organised a large demonstration
earlier this year in support of the country's uprising.. . .
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA