What a Babylonian laundry list says about you
Having trouble reading this ancient Babylonian tablet? Now you can look it up. It may be a grocery list. Or not.
June 10th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

What a Babylonian laundry list says about you

Scholars have completed a dictionary after 90 years of work. Considering the language they were working on is 4,500 years old, they made pretty good time.

The University of Chicago's Oriental Institute this week announced completion of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a work begun by institute founder James Henry Breasted in 1921.

The 21-volume, 9,700-page opus identifies, explains and provides citations for the words written in cuneiform on clay tablets and carved in stone by Babylonians, Assyrians and others in Mesopotamia between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100. The first 20 volumes were published as they were completed, but now the work is complete.

"I feel proud and privileged to have brought this project home," said Martha Roth, editor-in-charge of the dictionary, which has about 30,000 entries. She's a late arrival to the project, having only worked on it for 32 years.

"It is a language that is no longer alive, this is absolutely true, but it is a language that records a society and culture that impacts the Western world in a way that is not always clear to us," said Roth, who is dean of humanities at the University of Chicago.

Other than glimpses provided by Hebrew and Greek writings, the modern world knew little about ancient Mesopotamian cultures until 19th-century scholars started to decipher cuneiform inscriptions, Roth said.

"We began to see entire civilizations that had been thriving, flourishing for 3,000 years and more," she said. "This was 3,000 years of history that we've discovered."

Compiling and defining every word of the ancient language allows us to glimpse everyday life in that place and that time and draw connections to our own place and time, Roth said.

The writings gave us "the histories that went into forming who we are," Roth said. They told a creation story older than the Hebrew creation story, told a flood story that preceded the Noah story, and described a code of laws that predated Moses, she said.

Robert Biggs, professor emeritus at the Oriental Institute, worked on the dictionary and also as an archaeologist on digs where he recovered tablets.

"You'd brush away the dirt, and then there would emerge a letter from someone who might be talking about a new child in the family, or another tablet that might be about a loan until harvest time," he said. "You'd realize that this was a culture not just of kings and queens, but also of real people, much like ourselves, with similar concerns for safety, food and shelter for themselves and their families.

"They wrote these tablets thousands of years ago, never meaning for them to be read so much later, but they speak to us in a way that makes their experiences come alive," Biggs said.

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Breaking down Middle East and North Africa unrest, country by country
Protests have erupted against regimes in Bahrain, top left, Libya, top right, Yemen, bottom right, and Syria, bottom left.
June 1st, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Breaking down Middle East and North Africa unrest, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abedine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

We take a look at what's next for the 'Arab Spring,' the roots of unrest from country to country, and look at the latest developments going on.

BAHRAIN

On Wednesday, Bahrain lifted state-of-emergency laws that had allowed for a crackdown on opposition leaders and journalists, while warning against anti-government activity.

The announcement by the country's Information Affairs Authority followed one from the justice ministry the day before, warning against "any type of activities that could affect the security or harm the national peace and safety."

The lifting of the emergency laws, imposed in mid-March, is thought to be an effort to signal an end to months of civil unrest.

On Tuesday, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa appealed for dialogue, saying that talks with opposition groups are scheduled to begin in July.

GPS: How radical are Bahrain's Shia?

Bahrain warns against state protests

Roots of Unrest:

Protesters initially took to the streets of Manama to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. But some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf state since the 18th century.

Young members of the country's Shiite Muslim majority have staged protests to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption, issues they say the country's Sunni rulers have done little to address.

FULL POST

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Thursday's live video events
May 19th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

President Obama will address the nation on U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, and CNN.com Live will carry his remarks when they happen.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Jury selection in Anthony's trial ended abruptly Wednesday, and speculation is growing as to why.  Court is scheduled to resume this morning.

FULL POST


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Official: George Mitchell, U.S. Middle East envoy, to resign
May 13th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Official: George Mitchell, U.S. Middle East envoy, to resign

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's Mideast envoy, a senior U.S. official told CNN Friday.

Mitchell, a former U.S. senator from Maine and prominent American diplomat, has served as President Barack Obama's point man in the region as the administration has tried to keep Arab-Israeli peace talks on track.

His resignation comes at a pivotal moment in the Arab world. Obama is scheduled to deliver an address next week on the "Arab Spring" - the uprisings that have shaken long-standing autocratic regimes across North Africa and the broader Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Obama and deliver an address to Congress next week.

Mitchell was among the president's first appointments. He was named Mideast envoy on January 22, 2009, two days after Obama took office.

Among other things, Mitchell also played a key role in Clinton-era negotiations regarding the status of Northern Ireland that resulted in the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

Mitchell has repeatedly reaffirmed the importance of comprehensive peace in the Middle East, including Israeli-Palestinian agreement on a two-state solution and normalization of relations between Israel and both Syria and Lebanon.

WikiLeaks roundup: Gitmo only the latest target
Australian Julian Assange directs WikiLeaks, which has released many headline-grabbing classified documents this year.
April 25th, 2011
11:36 AM ET

WikiLeaks roundup: Gitmo only the latest target

WikiLeaks has released close to 800 secret military documents that reveal fascinating insights into al Qaeda and terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, including close-up photographs of detainees. One document reveals that a detainee threatened guards by saying he would fly airplanes into houses. Another said that Osama bin Laden was, at one point, in good health despite having only one kidney.

American soldier Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected to have leaked the documents to WikiLeaks. Manning, a 23-year-old from Oklahoma, is being held in Fort Leavenworth Prison in Kansas.

The Guantanamo document dump is only the latest in 2011 from WikiLeaks, which gained international prominence in 2010 when it leaked thousands of papers about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Late last year, WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States Embassy cables dating from 1966 to February 2011. The cables are still being slowly released. The content is so broad, and involves so many countries, there isn't room enough on this blog to adequately describe it. Need a WikiLeaks refresher? Watch this.

A few notable 2011 WikiLeaks revelations:

Tunisia - WikiLeaks released cables alleging the president of Tunisia's corruption and high spending. The documents painted a scathing portrait of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his relatives by describing them as a "quasi-mafia" that pushed businesses for a slice of any venture they were involved in.

How did the cables fuel the Tunisian revolution?

Syria - In the past few days, Syria has erupted in violence, and witnesses tell CNN that authorities are going door to door shooting people. On April 19, the U.S. State Department denied it was seeking to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite the revelation in diplomatic cables unveiled by WikiLeaks that the U.S. is financing groups seeking to overthrow him.

Libya - Cables related to Libya were credited by some for helping fuel the fighting in the country. A cable described the town of Derna, Libya, as a "wellspring" of Libyan foreign fighters for al Qaeda in Iraq. They also revealed much about Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi's odd personal life, his penchant for hiring celebrities and his love of a good party.

Mexico - The U.S. ambassador to Mexico resigned after a January 2010 WikiLeaks leaked cable described the Mexican army as "slow" and "risk averse" and concluded that only 2% of people arrested in Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, were charged with a crime.

Bahrain - A cable showed the "deep suspicion" that Bahrain has for its Persian Gulf neighbor, Iran.

Iran - WikiLeaks exposed an alleged secret plot to assassinate an Iranian-American dissident.

Egypt - A cable revealed details about Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's new deputy prime minister, as more details and images emerged from the country that experienced a historic revolution this year.

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Yemen's president agrees to resign, official says
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly has agreed to a deal brokered by neighboring Persian Gulf nations.
April 23rd, 2011
02:20 PM ET

Yemen's president agrees to resign, official says

Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted a deal brokered by neighboring Persian Gulf nations to step down, a senior Yemeni Foreign Ministry official said Saturday.

Both Saleh and the Yemeni opposition have agreed to the deal in principle. But Saleh has yet to sign the agreement, which mandates that he leave office within 30 days and provides complete immunity for him and those who served in his regime, said the official.

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On the Radar: Good Friday, Earth Day, Texas fires, Mideast protests
Christian pilgrims carry wood crosses on Jerusalem's Via Dolorosa in a Good Friday observance.
April 22nd, 2011
09:41 AM ET

On the Radar: Good Friday, Earth Day, Texas fires, Mideast protests

Good Friday - Non-Orthodox Christians are observing Good Friday, the solemn commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI will lead a "Way of the Cross" ceremony at 3:15 p.m. ET at the Colosseum in Rome, followed by Mass at the Vatican at 5 p.m. ET.

A prosecutor and a public defender in Richmond, Virginia, will put on a mock trial with Jesus facing capital punishment. The audience will be the jury in the sentencing phase and decide his fate.

Meanwhile, a pastor looks at the connections and possible conflicts between Earth Day and Good Friday.

Earth Day - Friday also is Earth Day, an observance meant to draw attention to environmental issues, including energy conservation. Here's a list of 10 simple things you can do to go easy on your world.

FULL POST

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Syrian protesters wounded by gunfire; disputes over who is responsible
Demonstrators defy security police earlier this week in Daraa, Syria. A witness says 37 were killed when police opened fire.
March 26th, 2011
07:18 PM ET

Syrian protesters wounded by gunfire; disputes over who is responsible

A day after violent protests erupted in the restive city of Daraa, security forces opened fire at protesters in the coastal city of Latakia, witnesses said.

Anti-government demonstrations in Latakia had started peacefully before several people were wounded in a hail of gunfire as security forces tightened their control on access to the city, witnesses said. However, presidential spokeswoman Bouthaina Shaaban told state media that an unidentified group of gunmen opened fire at citizens and security forces.

Although the group allegedly entered Latakia "breaking and burning shops," security forces did not return fire, Shaaban told SANA, the country's official news agency.

FULL STORY
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March 26th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

Libyan woman bursts into hotel to tell her story of rape

Breakfast at a Tripoli hotel housing international journalists took a decidedly grim turn Saturday when a desperate Libyan woman burst into the building frantic to let the world know she had been raped and beaten by Moammar Gadhafi's militia.

Her face was heavily bruised. So were her legs. She displayed blood on her right inner thigh.

She said her name was Eman al-Obeidy. She was well-dressed and appeared to be a well-to-do middle-aged woman. She spoke in English and said she was from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and had been picked up by Gadhafi's men at a checkpoint east of Tripoli.

FULL STORY
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March 22nd, 2011
04:29 PM ET

Syria arrests opposition leader as protests continue

Syrian authorities arrested a prominent rights leader Tuesday as hundreds of anti-government demonstrators marched in southern parts of the country.

Loay Hussein - a political prisoner from 1984 to 1991 - was taken from his home in the Sehnaya district near the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to the country's Observatory for Human Rights.

Hussein had been supporting protesters who marched for a sixth straight day, chanting, "The people want to bring down the regime," a spokesman for the organizers told CNN from the southern city of Daraa.

The organizers are planning a day of mass protests across the southern province on Friday, he added. The United Nations Human Rights office has reported that six people have been killed by security forces in the southern city of Daraa - where protesters have marched - since Friday.

FULL STORY
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March 22nd, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Yemen's army repelled al Qaeda attack, official says

Yemen's army repelled an attack on a military position Tuesday by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, killing 12 militants and wounding five, a Yemeni official told CNN, citing sources at the Interior Ministry in Sanaa.

The official, who spoke on condition of not being named because he is not authorized to talk to the media, said the attack occurred east of the city of Lawdar, in Abyan province in southwest Yemen.

The attack came on a day that Yemen's embattled president told the country's largest opposition bloc he would step down at the beginning of next year, a ruling party official told CNN.

The opposition rejected the offer, demanding that Ali Abdullah Saleh resign immediately. But Saleh pushed back against opponents - including some of his own top generals - defying calls for him to quit.

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N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia
A Libyan protester in Benghazi waves the country's old national flag, which was replaced in 1977, as demonstrations continued Saturday.
February 26th, 2011
09:13 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

SUNDAY

[OMAN, 9:00 a.m. ET, 6:10 a.m. local] At least two protesters were killed and about 10 injured during clashes between protesters and police in the Omani industrial town of Sohar, according to reports from state media and Oman TV editor Asma Rshid. "The police shot them because they burned shops and cars in Sohar," Rshid said. Another source said police fired rubber bullets. A number of police had also reportedly been injured, but CNN has not been able to confirm how many.

[LIBYA, 9 am ET, 4:15 p.m. local] Protests are picking up in Libya's western city of Zawiya with former security forces who said they have switched sides and joined the opposition.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution to impose sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country.

The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

SATURDAY

[TUNISIA, 9:12 p.m. ET, 3:12 a.m. local] Protests in Tunisia turned violent and deadly Saturday, just over six weeks after a popular uprising forced the president out of office, and lit a spark of desire for democratic reform in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Three people were killed Saturday and nine others injured during mayhem in the capital, Tunis, according to a Interior Ministry statement cited by the state-run news agency, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).

More than 100 people were arrested, the ministry said, in the area around Habib Bourguiba Avenue, in the city's center, accused of "acts of destruction and burning."

[LIBYA, 4:58 p.m. ET, 11:58 p.m. local] City councils in areas no longer loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have chosen former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil to head an interim government which will represent all of Libya, according to Amal Bogagies, a member of the February 17 Uprising coalition, and a separate Libyan opposition source.

[LIBYA, 4:40 p.m. ET, 11:40 p.m. local] President Barack Obama, in a statement issued Saturday after reports that forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had fired on civilians, said "that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now."

The White House statement was  issued after Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

[BAHRAIN, 9:37 a.m. ET, 5:37 p.m. local] Exiled opposition leader Hassan Mushaima has arrived back in Manama, Bahrain. Mushaima, leader of the Haq Movement, had told followers earlier in the week that he had been detained in Beirut, Lebanon.

[YEMEN, 2 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. local] Four people were killed and 26 wounded in clashes Friday night between anti-government protesters and security forces in southern Yemen, medical officials in Aden said Saturday.

[LIBYA, 2 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. local] A U.N. security panel is scheduled to meet Saturday to discuss new sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country. The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

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N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here
Anti-government demonstrators in Sanaa, Yemen, on Monday.
February 21st, 2011
11:44 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

LIBYA 11:45 p.m. ET, 6:45 a.m. local: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Libya to immediately stop the "unacceptable" attacks on anti-government demonstrators.

"Like you and many others around the world, I have seen very disturbing and shocking scenes, where Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters," Ban said from Los Angeles. "This is
unacceptable. This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law."

LIBYA, 11:22 p.m. ET, 6:22 a.m. local: At the request of Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations - who earlier today called the crackdown in Libya a "genocide" - the U.N. Security Council scheduled a Tuesday morning meeting on Libya. This will be the first time the council has held consultations over any of the revolts that have swept Arab nations since January.

LIBYA, 11:09 p.m. ET, 6:09 a.m. local: A Libyan woman, speaking on condition of anonymity to CNN's Anderson Cooper, recounts a massacre near her home in Tripoli:

BAHRAIN, 8:51 p.m. ET, 4:51 a.m. local: CNN's Tim Lister reports from Bahrain, where he walked among protesters in the capital's Pearl Roundabout. Thousands of demonstrators were in the roundabout on Monday, preparing for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. Lister says the demonstrators' encampment has taken on an air of permanence, with tents, makeshift kitchens, even a rudimentary field hospital.

More on the Bahrain protests:

LIBYA, 7:40 p.m. ET, 2:40 a.m. local: About 15,000 of Libya's 2 million to 3 million Egyptians returned Monday across the border, border officials said.

The Egyptian military has set up refugee camps near its border with Libya and set up two mobile hospitals at the Salloum border crossing to assist Egyptians fleeing the protests in Libya, Egypt's state-run news website EgyNews
reported late Monday.

LIBYA, 7:33 p.m. ET, 2:33 a.m. local: Here is more on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's 40-second appearance - in which he said he still was in Libya - on state-run TV Tuesday morning:

"I want to have some rest," the embattled Libyan leader told a reporter in front of what Libyan television said was his house as he pulled out an umbrella in the rain. "Because I was talking to the young man at Green Square,
and I want to stay the night with them but then it started raining. I want to show them that I am in Tripoli, not in Venezuela. Don't believe those dogs in the media."

Green Square is where pro-government demonstrators in Tripoli have been located.

LIBYA, 6:49 p.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. local: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said Tuesday morning on state-run television that he is not in Venezuela as rumored, but in Tripoli.

Earlier today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Gadhafi may have been on his way to Venezuela.

Here is video of Gadhafi's comments to Libyan state-run TV:

LIBYA, 6:46 p.m. ET, 1:46 a.m. local: CNN's Cairo bureau chief Ben Wedeman has entered eastern Libya and is the first western television reporter to enter and report from inside Libya during the current crisis. He says much of eastern Libya appears to be in opposition control.

"What we saw as we were driving in is that this part of eastern Libya is clearly under the controls of the rebels - the forces that are opposed to Col. Gadhafi," Wedeman by phone on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"We saw along the road a lot of groups of men with shotguns - with machine guns - in civilian clothing. They call themselves basically the popular committees that are trying to maintain some sort of order along the way.

"Clearly the situation is very unstable. What we saw was that there are a lot of people – mostly Egyptians – who are leaving Libya at the moment. At the Egyptian border we were told by Egyptian officials that 15,000 Egyptian s left Libya, returning to Egypt."

"There are some signs of normal life. Gas stations are open. Stores are open. We saw … what looked like kebab shops that are functioning. There is a fair amount of traffic on the road, although I was told that was mostly Egyptians leaving the country."

FULL POST

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February 12th, 2011
10:04 AM ET

Palestinians to hold elections, authority official says

The Palestinian Authority will hold legislative and presidential elections no later than September, a senior Palestinian Authority official said on Saturday.

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Chief Palestinian negotiator resigns
Longtime chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has submitted his resignation, another negotiator says.
February 12th, 2011
09:40 AM ET

Chief Palestinian negotiator resigns

Saeb Erakat has submitted his resignation as the chief Palestinian negotiator, according to Mohammed Shtayeh, Palestinian negotiator and a Fatah Central Committee member.

Erakat had previously said that he would resign his post if an investigation into the leak of Palestinian negotiating documents aired by the Al-Jazeera television network proved that the source of papers came from his office.

The so-called Palestine Papers suggested that Palestinian negotiators offered to give up large swaths of East Jerusalem to Israel during talks dating back to 2008 and that they had been willing to offer much larger concessions in private than they were publicly acknowledging.

FULL STORY
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November 11th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Abbas muses petitioning U.N. for state recognition

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday asserted his government's right to petition the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel refuses to halt settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

His comments were made to thousands gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat.

But he noted that the United States had cautioned that such an action would constitute a "unilateral move."

FULL STORY


Filed under: Middle East
November 11th, 2010
10:02 AM ET

On the Radar: Veterans Day, ruined cruise, Latin Grammys

Veterans of all U.S. wars are honored Thursday.

Veterans Day - America honors its veterans Thursday. Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m. ET.

Be sure to visit CNN.com's Veterans in Focus section for stories, images, video and interactive graphics on:

- a World War II vet's memories of D-Day and how he's training a new generation of warriors;
- how military veterans, the Pentagon and mental health professionals are coming to grips with post-traumatic stress disorder;
- how special courts seek to keep veterans out of prison;
- what might happen next with "don't ask, don't tell"; and
- why a Medal of Honor recipient from the Afghanistan conflict feels angry about the award.

FULL POST

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October 3rd, 2010
07:39 PM ET

Egypt sour on prospects for Mideast peace talks

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks aren't likely to resume unless Israel reinstates its moratorium on building new settlements in the West Bank, Egypt's foreign minister said Sunday after meetings with U.S. mediator George Mitchell.

"The Egyptian position is that we understand the Palestinian position, which demands suitable conditions in order to go on to direct talks," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said. "The conditions are not suitable at the moment."

Israel's freeze on new construction expired September 26, with work on new projects beginning hours later. Palestinian officials have said they won't return to the recently resumed peace talks while new Israeli settlements are being built on land the Palestinians consider part of a future state.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Egypt • Middle East • Uncategorized
September 29th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Netanyahu pledges commitment to peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. special Mideast envoy Wednesday that he is committed to reaching a peace agreement with Palestinians, according to a statement released by Netanyahu's office.

"There are many doubts and obstacles on the road to peace. Everyone understands that, but there is only one way to assure that we don't reach peace, and that is if we don't try and achieve peace," Netanyahu said. "I am committed and the government is committed to reaching a peace deal."

The statement from Netanyahu's office did not specify whether the end of Israel's 10-month settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank had come up in his conversation with George Mitchell, special Mideast envoy for the United States.

FULL STORY

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September 26th, 2010
10:41 AM ET

Israel's moratorium on settlement building in West Bank set to expire

A contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians that some say could derail Mideast peace talks is set to reach a milestone on Sunday.

Israel's moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank is scheduled to end Sunday. Israelis and Palestinians are in the initial rounds of face-to-face peace talks, and Palestinians have said a restart by the Israelis could be reason enough to end talks.

A massive rally of settlers is expected on Sunday to show support for continued building.

Settlers and members of parliament are expected to "break ground" in the area. Bulldozers are also expected at the scene - a gesture to show that settlers are ready to begin building again.

FULL STORY

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