Direct Action, November 19, 2012
By Kim Bullimore — Since Wednesday Israel has carried out a massive bombing campaign against two million people trapped in the Gaza Strip. At the time of writing, 33 Palestinians, including six children, are reported killed. In addition, at least 250 civilians have been wounded. According to the Israeli military, at least 800 air strikes have now been carried out in the attack
By Nick Everett, in Barcelona — Five hundred participants, representing more than 50 solidarity organisations from across the Spanish state, attended the conference, “Yesterday South Africa, Today Palestine”, held here October 19-21.
By Andrew Martin — “You’ll notice in the last couple of months, the [Syrian] opposition has been strengthened. Now we’re ready to accelerate that.” These were the words of “a senior Obama administration official” quoted in the New York Times on July 22.
“Final results released Tuesday placed a liberal alliance ahead of other parties in Libya’s first free nationwide vote in half a century, leaving Islamists far behind, but each side is already trying to build a coalition with independents.
For a year, the Syrian government of President Bashir Assad has led a bloody crackdown on protests calling for democracy and freedom. Assad and his father Hefaz al-Assad have headed a repressive regime for four decades.
Palestine achieved a significant breakthrough in its bid for recognition as a state on October 31. In a landslide vote of 107 in favour and 14 against, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) admitted Palestine as its 195th member.
More than 100,000 Egyptians packed Tahrir (Liberation) Square on Friday, November 27 for the ninth consecutive day since new protests began on November 18, calling for democracy, social justice and an end to the military’s control of the country. Despite the death of at least 40 protesters and injuries to more than 2000 others at the hands of the security forces, hundreds of thousands have continued to flood onto the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other major centres.
In early August Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nominated four new ministers to the 290-member Majlis, the Iranian parliament. Among the four was a new oil minister, Rostam Ghasemi. Until his nomination Ghasemi was the head of the major engineering arm of the 125,000-strong Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which employs 25,000 staff on projects worth an estimated US$7 billion. These include government contracts to develop oil and gas fields.