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Homepage > The Spokesperson > Egyptian Press

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*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

1.      Israel, Palestinians escalate settlement showdown

2.      Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to visit Gaza

3.      US officials: US, allies weighing military options if Syria uses chemical weapons

4.      Clinton: Missile decision is a message to Syria

5.      Angela Merkel re-elected as CDU party leader for seventh time

  

*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

 

1.      Israel, Palestinians escalate settlement showdown

Palestinians and Israelis hardened their positions Wednesday over a contentious new settlement push around Jerusalem, with Israel going full throttle on plans to develop the area and the Palestinians trying to block it through an appeal to the U.N. Security Council.

The settlement push — Israel's retaliation for the Palestinians' success in winning U.N. recognition of a de facto state — has touched off an escalating international showdown. Palestinians claim the construction would deal a death blow to Mideast peace hopes. Even Israel's staunchest allies have been outraged by the move, feeding speculation they might squeeze Israel more than usual to back down on its construction plans.

 

2.      Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to visit Gaza

The Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, is set to visit Gaza for the first time this week to join celebrations marking the Islamist organisation's 25th anniversary and to offer congratulations on what it regards as a victory against Israel in the recent conflict.

The visit of Meshaal, who has been in exile from the Palestinian territories for 45 years, may also signal a rapprochement between the internal and external leaderships of Hamas, and a new enthusiasm for reconciliation with rival West Bank-based faction Fatah.

 

3.      US officials: US, allies weighing military options if Syria uses chemical weapons

The White House and its allies are weighing military options to secure Syria’s chemical and biological weapons, after U.S. intelligence reports show the Syrian regime may be readying those weapons and may be desperate enough to use them, U.S. officials said Monday.

President Barack Obama, in a speech at the National Defense University on Monday, pointedly warned Syrian President Bashar Assad not to use the weapons.

“Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching,” Obama said. “The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.”

 

4.      Clinton: Missile decision is a message to Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton says NATO’s decision to send Patriot missiles to Turkey is a clear message to Syria: Turkey is backed by its allies.

Mrs. Clinton says the Patriots are solely for defensive purposes, but she says Damascus should take it as further evidence of the resolve of the United States and its allies.

Speaking at NATO headquarters on Wednesday, she also reiterated concerns that “an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons” or lose control of them to militant groups.

She said both scenarios cross a red line and those responsible would be held accountable.

 

5.      Angela Merkel re-elected as CDU party leader for seventh time

Germany's 'Mutti' appears emotional as Christian Democrat colleagues confirm her position with a 98% positive vote

She could have been doing an impression of a head girl speaking to her school on the first day of term: a slightly shy and inexperienced one, unsure of what to do with herself as she was heartily applauded.

Angela Merkel might be the most powerful woman in Europe, known invariably as the iron lady or Germany's "Mutti" (mum), but she fought back the tears on Tuesday, visibly struggling to swallow a lump in her throat as members of her Christian Democrats re-elected her as their leader for the seventh time, with a record vote approaching 98%.

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