- Mideast: PNA, Dozens Hamas Activists Arrested in West Bank
- Spain: Rabat Insists; Ceuta, Melilla Are Moroccan, Minister
- Immigrants: Maroni, No General Amnesty
- West African Immigrants Clashed With Police At the Duomo in Naples
- Middle East: Jewish Activists Shut Down Hamas’ Military Wing Website
- Cinema: Film on Islamic-Coptic Relations Divides Egypt
Thanks to Contadina, Insubria, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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Mideast: PNA, Dozens Hamas Activists Arrested in West Bank
(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, JULY 28 — The security forces of the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) arrested today over fifty Hamas activists in various places on the West Bank, the Islamic movement said. The arrests are apparently a direct consequence to the strong tension between Hamas and al Fatah, the organisation led by Abbas, after last Friday’s attack in Gaza where five Hamas militants and a Palestinian girl were killed. The Islamic movement blamed al Fatah for the attack and arrested some 200 of its activists in Gaza. Al Fatah denied any involvement in the attack. Academics and students of Al-Najah University of Nablus as well as members of the local municipal council appear to be among the people arrested by the Palestinian Authority police. (ANSAmed).
Spain: Rabat Insists; Ceuta, Melilla Are Moroccan, Minister
(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JULY 28 — Ceuta and Melilla ‘‘are Moroccan’’, although the Rabat government, which considers Spain ‘‘a friendly country’’, does not want to ‘‘enter in conflict’’ over the issue, Moroccan Economy Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said at the Europa Forum in Madrid today. ‘‘It is clear that for Morocco Ceuta and Melilla are Moroccan, it is enough to turn to history and geography in order to establish it,’’ Mezouar said, insisting on what he defined ‘‘evidence’’. At the same time the Economy minister said he was convinced that ‘‘the future between Morocco and Spain will be without cultural, geographic or any other type of border’’. ‘‘This is my belief and that of the political class of Morocco,’’ he added. The Maghreb country, Mezouar said, ‘‘is growing’’ and ‘‘within 10 or 20 years it will be on the same level as the European countries’’. It will be in the Euro-Mediterranean integration framework that Morocco will find it ‘‘easier to resolve this type of problems which we experience today’’, he said, referring to the territorial conflicts. Answering a question on the future of the Arab Maghreb Union, the Moroccan economy minister replied without saving criticism at Algeria, which he accused of aiming to ‘‘weaken Morocco’’ stirring an ‘‘unreal conflict’’ over Western Sahara, given that it ‘‘believes that with this and oil it will become a leading country’’ in the area. (ANSAmed).
WTO: Berlusconi, Concerns Continue EU to Ask Guarantees
(AGI) — Rome, July 28 — “In the light of the recent developments in trade negotiations in Geneva at the World Trade Organisation, Premier Silvio Berlusconi confirms the concerns of Italy for the absence of progress regarding the protection of Geographical Marks and access to industrial markets of developing countries”. This is stated in a note issued by the Prime Minister’s office. “The premier” the note continues “confirms the will of Italy to come to a deal which takes the expectations of developing countries into account. But Europe must work on a total result which also offers the Italian and European citizens adequate guarantees regarding the sacrifices they will have to make”.
Immigrants: Maroni, No General Amnesty
(AGI) — Brescia, 28 July — No general amnesty by the Government, is what Minister for the Interior Roberto Maroni has promised, in Brescia today to sign the first step for urban security with local authorities. “In the Pact for immigration and asylum presented by the French presidency which the Government agrees with one hundred per cent, it is stated that no State should grant general amnesties, but should consider them case by case.”
West African Immigrants Clashed With Police At the Duomo in Naples
After occupying the cathedral
They are demanding to be re-housed after the rundown building that they were living in burned down.
Here is a longer article, in Italian.
Middle East: Jewish Activists Shut Down Hamas’ Military Wing Website
Gaza City, 28 July (AKI) — The Islamist Hamas movement’s military wing claims its website was shut down on Sunday due to alleged pressure by the ‘Zionist Lobby’ on the Russian Internet company that hosts the site.
“The Zionist lobby worked around the clock to put pressure on the company which is hosting the site, instigating and accusing it of sponsoring and supporting terrorism,” said the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades in a statement posted to the disabled website.
“Recently, a Zionist parliamentary delegation including eleven Knesset members visited Russia…..and met with the Vice President of the Russian Federal Council Alexandre Rocha, who promised the Zionists to stop hosting [the] al-Qassam website service provided by the Russian company Data Force,” the statement said.
The al-Qassam Brigades said “the Zionists became angry” that the website — hosted by Moscow-based Internet service provider Dataforce — received so much attention and visits.
“After all these contacts and pressure, the company of Russian Data Force decided to stop providing services to the website, considering the website as a danger threat on the lives and the security of people in the world,” it said.
In the statement, the group vows to re-open the website and that “attacks and harrasment” will not deter them from continuing their “electronic resistance.”
“We are aware that the media battle is as important as the battlefield with the Zionist occupation,” the group said.
The al-Qassam brigades are considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union, The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Cinema: Film on Islamic-Coptic Relations Divides Egypt
(by Cristiana Missori) (ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JULY 28 — “Have you ever seen a Christian beggar?” One sheikh asks another, complaining a little after that of the fact that in Egypt the Christians control three-quarters of the wealth in the country. Almost at the same time, a Coptic priest asks a colleagues of him: “how many Christian ministers are there in the government?”. These are just some of the sweet and sour lines of “Hassan and Morkos”, the film by Rami Imam — just released in the Egyptian cinema theatres — which tackles with lightness the greatest taboo an Arab country can have: religion. Two mythical figures of Egyptian cinema, Omar Sharif and exhilarating comedian Adel Imam, father of the director, play Al Attar, a Muslim sheikh, and Boullos, a Coptic priest. Threatened by the religious fanaticism of their respective faiths, the two are imposed by the authorities to adopt new identities: thus Boullos becomes Hassan, a very devoted imam, while Al Attar (Omar Sherif) becomes Morkos, a Coptic businessman just returned from the United States. Soon the two, with their families, become neighbours and from then on a series of tragic-comical episodes would expose the ignorance and suspicion which often characterise the relations between Muslims and Christians in a country, Egypt, where the Copts are between 6% and 10% of a population that has already exceeded 80 million residents. And if publicly the most recurring words are “national unity” — because it is about citizens of a single nation — in private there is the wariness to regulate the relations between the two communities. With the arrival of the Islamic extremism in the mid-1970s and, mainly with the exile of Pope Shenouda III in September 1981 in the Monastery of Saint Pishoy (in Alexandriàs desert), which was ordered by President Sadat and lasted until 1985 when, three years after the assassination of the leader, when Hosni Mubarak freed the Patriarch, the relations between the Egyptians of the Muslim faith and the Copts strongly deteriorated, leading to a rise of Christian radicalism. The film has many defamers saying that “despite bringing to the public attention the religious question, it does not tackle in depth the reasons for the anger of the Christians and the hostility of the Muslims at each other”. According to critic Tarek Shennawi the role of the state is not shown. Shennawi actually says it is the state itself, guilty of tackling the social questions like a security problem, thus poisoning the relations between the two communities, that is behind the spreading of corruption of the security apparatuses which control the religious issues — moral degradation which pushes Christians and Muslims to a growing sectarian confrontation. Despite the attacks, “Hassan Wi Morkos” was leader in the box office with some 120,000 euro in the first two days of screening. (ANSAmed).