Excerpts: Israeli purported espionage on Hezbollah. Saudi foreign assets
at'all-time high'. UN point man criticizes Israel July 03, 2012
+++SOURCE:Al Arabya News with Agence France Presse via Egypt Daily News 3
July '12:"Israeli warplane strikes espionage device in Lebanon:Hezbollah
SUBJECT: Israeli purported espionage on Hezbollah
QUOTE:"An Israeli aircraft ...destroyed a spy device it was using to monitor
EXCERPTS:An Israeli aircraft on Monday[2 July) destroyed a spy device it was
using to monitor a Hezbollah communications network in south Lebanon after
it was found by the group, a Lebanese security source and Hezbollah said.
“The enemy today destroyed an espionage apparatus latched onto a
communications network belonging to the resistance,” in the Zahrani region,
members of the militant group said.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network also reported that Israel detonated
an explosive device planted on one of the “resistance’s” communication
A security source told AFP the Israeli warplanes destroyed the listening
device “after it was detected by Hezbollah.” . . .
+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 3 July '12:"Kingdom's foreign assets soar to
all-time high in May", SG/Agencies
SUBJECT: Saudi foreign assets at'all-time high'
QUOTE:" the Kingdom is heading for another massive fiscal surplus"
Full Text:JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets soared in May after
recording one of their biggest increases in 2011 on account of high oil
prices, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA) said in its latest monthly
The said assets surged to an all time high of around SR2,239.9 billion at
the end of May compared with SR2,193.4 billion at the end of April, SAMA
said.The rise boosted the overall increase in the assets to SR182 billion in
the first five months of 2012, suggesting that the Kingdom is heading for
another massive fiscal surplus.Most of the increase in May was in SAMA’s
deposits with banks abroad as they surged by around SR37 billion to SR533
billion from SR496billion.
Investment in foreign securities grew by nearly SR8 billion to SR1,490
billion from SR1,482 billion in the same period.
After sharp falls in late 1990s, SAMA’s assets began their rapid rise in the
following years because of high oil prices and a surge in the Kingdom’s
crude output. The year 2009 was an exception as they dipped by nearly SR130
billion following a decline in oil prices and production coupled with high
spending as part of the government’s post-crisis fiscal stimulus measures.
In 2011, the assets leaped by about SR352 billion as a result of high oil
prices and a sharp rise in the Kingdom’s crude output to an average 9.3
million barrels per day from around 8.2 million bpd, an increase of
1.1million bpd.It was the biggest annual increase in the assets since 2008,
which jumped to SR513 billion mainly because of a 50 percent rise in crude
prices that allowed the country to record its highest fiscal surplus of
The increase last year was also more than double the assets growth of around
SR135 billion through 2010, when they ended the year at SR1,705 billion
compared with SR1,570 billion at the end of 2009.A surge in oil prices to a
record high average of more than $105 a barrel allied with higher crude
supplies to widen Saudi Arabia’s fiscal surplus to nearly SR307 billion in
2011 from SR87 billion in 2010.The current account of the also shot up to
$156 billion from $69 billion.
Buoyed by strong oil prices, Saudi Arabia announced a record high budget of
SR690 billion for 2012 and analysts expect actual spending to end the year
much higher as was the case in previous years. – SG/Agencies
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 3 July '12:" UN official says peace process a
'trick',Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: UN point man criticizes Israel
[IMRA: Falk has establish a well earned reputation of being virulently
QUOTE: UN point man for Palestinian rights . . . branding the peace process
FULL TEXT: GENEVA — The UN point man for Palestinian human rights launched a
blistering attack on the international community Monday[2 July), accusing it
of conspiring in Israeli settlement policies and branding the peace process
Richard Falk, the special UN rapporteur for human rights in the occupied
territories, also took aim at the so-called Middle East Quartet’s peace
envoy Tony Blair over his efforts in the region.
Falk, who spoke to reporters after addressing the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva, said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were offered no
protection in Israeli law and that their treatment was akin to apartheid.
“I think one has to begin to call the reality by a name,” he said, likening
the “discriminatory dualistic legal system” in the West Bank to the former
system in South Africa.
In his report to the council, Falk expressed his concern about Israel’s use
of administrative detention, the expansion of settlements and violence by
Israel in March severed contacts with the council after the 47-member body
said it would investigate settlements in the occupied territories, which are
considered illegal under international law.
Peace talks between the two sides have been on hold since September 2010,
with the Palestinians refusing to resume them without a moratorium on
“The peace process is a trick rather than a way to find a solution to the
problem,” Falk said.
He also criticised the work of the former British prime minister Tony Blair
in the region.
“Tony Blair has not much to show for his 86 visits to the Middle East... [it
is] an extension of the peace process which I regard as a failure because
while time passes, the settlement culture continues.”
“The international community is conspiring — maybe unwittingly — in a
process that has no way of bringing justice to the people involved in this
conflict,” he said of settlements.
At least 3,500 buildings were under construction in the West Bank in 2011,
Falk reported, not including Israeli settlements in annexed East (
IMRA:eastern ) Jerusalem.
Such building on Palestinian land “more or less closes the book on the
reality and feasibility” of a two-state solution to the conflict, Falk said.
“The credibility of the Human Rights Council is very much at stake if there
is nothing that is done about the non-cooperation or non-compliance” by
Israel with the council’s recommendations, he said.
“The language of censure doesn’t help the Palestinian people if there is no
Settler violence against Palestinians was a new feature of the drive to
occupy the Palestinian territories, especially around Hebron and Nablus, he
“Many people say the Israeli government is an extension of the settlers and
I think that is an accurate description,” he said.
Falk said Palestinians were disillusioned by the international peace efforts
and had resorted to extreme measures such as hunger strikes to raise
awareness of abuses including illegal detention by Israel.
But such action was ignored in Western media, Falk said, sending “the
unfortunate signal that only violent protests will be noticed
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA