Israeli airstrikes kill Palestinian militant, wound Hamas police officers in Gaza City

Israel carried out a series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday, killing a Palestinian militant wounding others. Israel said it targeted militants before they could carry out an attack on the border between Israel and Egypt.

Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said the militant was killed and another two injured in the explosion when a rocket hit his motorcycle Tuesday evening.

The Islamic Jihad, a violent Palestinian group that frequently fires rockets and mortars at Israel, said the he was a former member. The Israeli military said in a statement it targeted a “terror squad,” without elaborating.

Another airstrike hit a Hamas police vehicle later Tuesday, injuring one Hamas officer and four others in the car, the Gaza health official said.

The Israeli military said it targeted “members of a global jihad terror group that were planning to attack the border.”

In a statement, the military gave a list of the militants’ names and said one of them used to be in Hamas before joining an even more radical jihadi group.

Such Israeli air attacks have been relatively rare since the end of a three-week Israeli war against Gaza militants three years ago.

It said the military will “not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against Israel.”

In August, Palestinian militants who apparently sneaked out of Gaza into the Egyptian Sinai desert attacked Israelis on a border road in Israel, killing eight. Israeli forces pursuing the militants killed six Egyptian soldiers by mistake, setting off a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Also Tuesday, a hard-line Israeli group said it was launching plans for a new tourist center at the site of a politically sensitive archaeological dig in a largely Arab neighborhood outside Jerusalem’s Old City, drawing fire from Palestinian officials.

The project’s sponsor, the Elad Foundation, said the new visitors center and parking garage will be built above a section of the excavation area known as the City of David, leaving the ruins below accessible. Construction, which must pass several zoning committees, was still several years away.

Israeli archaeologists at the City of David, named for the biblical monarch thought to have ruled from the spot 3,000 years ago, are investigating the oldest part of Jerusalem.

The site is just outside the Old City walls at the edge of the neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, the part of the city the Palestinian Authority says it wants as the capital of a hoped-for state.

Israeli construction in east Jerusalem is regularly subject to international criticism. Critics say the new plan will cement Israel’s hold on Silwan and could destabilize the volatile neighborhood, where Palestinian residents clash on occasion with Jewish residents and police.

(www.newser.com / 27.12.2011)

Demonstratie tegen de gewelddadige Syrische regering 30-12-2011

    • vrijdag
    • Tijd
      11:00 tot 14:00
  • Waar
    Ministerie van Buitenlandse zaken te Den Haag, Bezuidenhoutseweg 67
  • Beschrijving
    Toon vrijdag je solidariteit met het Syrische volk.

    Bashar moet weg! Het kan zo niet langer. Het volk wordt aangevallen: kinderen, vrouwen en ouderen worden opgepakt. Er is geen voeding, medicatie en/of elektriciteit. Alleen omdat ze roepen om vrijheid, moeten ze al deze ellende meemaken.

    Hier moet een einde aan komen! Er moet humanitaire hulp komen voor deze onschuldige mensen.

    Laat daarom vrijdag je stem horen voor dit volk die streeft naar zijn vrijheid.

F*CK ISRAËL

Stel je voor: op een goede dag stapt er ongevraagd een vreemde je huis binnen. Wat blijkt, je huisbaas heeft eenzijdig besloten dat je het huis voortaan moet delen. Nog voordat je iets hebt kunnen zeggen blijkt dat de verdeling van het huis buiten jou omgaat. De nieuwe bewoner claimt het volledige huis en jij mag het doen met een klein slaapkamertje. Niet alleen dat, de deur wordt achter je dichtgegooid en van buitenaf op slot gedraaid. Vervolgens wordt je kamer in de fik gestoken. Terwijl om je heen de muren in brand staan kijken de buren verontwaardigd toe, maar steken geen vinger uit. De rest van de wijk heeft het te druk met gras maaien en bloemetjes water geven.

Ik weet niet waarom ik er toch steeds weer van opkijk, dat totale gebrek aan interesse voor de terreurdaden die Israël pleegt in Palestina. Waarschijnlijk omdat ik er met m’n hoofd gewoon écht niet bij kan dat een groot deel van de wereld lak heeft aan wat er met de bevolking van Palestina gebeurt. Israël heeft in Gaza de grootste openluchtgevangenis ter wereld gecreëerd en de rest van de wereld komt niet verder dan een ‘foei’ en kijkt weer braaf de andere kant op terwijl Israël z’n reet afveegt met een van de vele VN-resoluties die tegen de schurkenstaat zijn uitgevaardigd.

Bij Eilat zijn er zeven Israëliërs om het leven gekomen na een aanslag op een bus. Hoewel niemand de aanslag heeft opgeëist en Hamas stellig ontkent, wijst Israël de Palestijnen als schuldigen aan en de media kakelt het na zonder verdere vragen te stellen. Het gevolg: Gaza is de lul. Israël trekt in de nacht van 18 op 19 augustus alles uit de kast en lanceert een grootscheepse aanval op Gaza. Zowel vanuit de lucht, via F16’s en onbemande drones, als vanaf marineschepen voor de kust wordt Gaza deze nacht onophoudelijk onder vuur genomen.

De zuidelijk gelegen plaats Rafah is als eerste aan de beurt. Met het bombardement vermoordt Israël zeven personen, waaronder een kind. Maar dit is pas het begin. Nadat in een groot deel van Gaza de stroomvoorziening te grazen is genomen, begint Israël aan een grootschalige aanval. Via Twitter is te volgen hoe angstige Palestijnen omringd zijn door onophoudelijke explosies. Israël zou het gemunt hebben op de tunnels bij de grens met Egypte, maar neemt ook vluchtelingenkampen onder vuur. In heel Gaza worden met laffe terreuraanvallen diverse doelwitten uitgeschakeld. Het dodental loopt op, geruchten gaan dat er ten tijde van dit schrijven ten minste 20 Palestijnen om het leven zijn gekomen.

Al het nieuws komt van ooggetuigen, de media zwijgen. Via de kabel zap ik ’s nachts van Al Jazeera naar de BBC, naar CNN, naar CNBC, CCTV, Sky News. Niks, geen woord. Op internet verschijnt helemaal niets, het is alsof Gaza niet bestaat. Israël heeft Gaza succesvol afgesloten van de buitenwereld en houdt de wereld in een wurggreep om maar vooral niets naar buiten te brengen. Als aan het begin van de ochtend enkele media, waaronder de BBC, het de moeite waard vinden om er een paar woorden aan te besteden, dan vermelden zij dat Israël een vergeldingsaanval heeft uitgevoerd wegens Eilat. Vergelding. Dat Israël een eigen holocaust uitvoert dient vooral verzwegen te worden. Ondanks een werkelijk onnavolgbare stroom tweets met de hashtag #gaza wordt dit toch geen trending topic. Blijkbaar heeft zelfs Twitter er een filter op gezet.

Nee, laten we vooral uitsluitend verontwaardigd doen over Ben Ali, Mubarak, Khadaffi en Assad. Dat zijn de échte schurken. Die moorden namelijk onder hun eigen bevolking, waar Israël, dat sprankelende stukje hoop in een pikzwarte en barbaarse woestijn slechts genocide pleegt onder de Palestijnen. Dat is geen terreur, dat is zelfverdediging. En oh ja, sssst, want als nazaten van die ándere holocaust mogen ze natuurlijk doen en laten wat ze willen. Ze zijn namelijk zielig. En als je het er niet mee eens bent ben je een gore antisemiet.

Fuck Israël. Fuck de illegale schurkenstaat die inmiddels 224 VN-resoluties naast zich heeft neergelegd zonder ook maar een enkele sanctie opgelegd te krijgen. Weten we nog hoeveel Irak er mocht negeren? Precies. Eentje. Waar blijft het militair ingrijpen in Israël? Waar blijft de belegering van Tel Aviv? Maar o, o, o wat zijn we met z’n allen verontwaardigd als Ahmadinejad Israël met recht van terrorisme beticht. De hypocrisie ten aanzien van Israël is misselijkmakend. Er is geen ander land op de wereld dat zich straffeloos zó kan misdragen. Het moordt en vernielt wanneer het maar zin heeft, degenen die het ‘geluk’ hebben om het te overleven worden dag in dag uit getreiterd en ontmenselijkt. En terwijl de media het aan de ene kant doodzwijgen, wordt het aan de andere kant goedgepraat door een leger imbecielen die een genocide een gepaste vergelding vinden voor verzetsacties van een levenslang onderdrukt volk.

Ik heb niet eens zin om uit te leggen dat mijn woede niet gericht is op joden. Dat het niet gericht is op de gewone man in Israël. Het heeft geen nut, want al die zogenaamde vrienden van Israël staan met twee vingers in hun oren lalalalalaikhoorjeniet te zingen. Dan noem je me maar een antisemiet, je gaat je gang maar. Maar ik blijf het herhalen: fuck Israël en fuck iedereen die zich achter deze terreurorganisatie schaart, jullie zijn geen haar beter.

(Sa’id Vanenburg / http://www.ietsmetwoorden.nl/?p=616 / augustus 19, 2011 / 27.12.2011)

News from Palestine 27.12.2011 II

RT @moyilmaz123 Gaza was bombed for 22 days and the BBC refused to air an appeal for aid but still #GazaSurvives

Despite that #GazaSurvives RT @willouda Ambulances everywhere.. Power lines damaged..tot al blackout in the targted area.

Israel dropped white phosphorus bombs on an already blockaded and devastated population. Yet they’re still here. #GazaSurvives

RT @Tama_Hanich #GazaSurvives Israeli explosions. An israeli explosion heard in #Gaza #Now

#GazaSurvives illegal use of White phosphorus on civilians! #Gaza

RT @Omar_Gaza Breaking Update: Israeli warplanes once again targets a car in Jala’ street in #Gaza which is a very busy street #GazaSurvives

RT @GazaYBO #GazaSurvives blackouts. @WillOuda a complete blackout in northern Gaza now.

via @hopeingaza the explosion targeted a car in Al Jala’a Str #GazaSurvives

You can incarcerate #gaza , bomb it beyond repair, cull its supplies, steal their organs, deafen the unborn yet #GazaSurvives ! #FuckIsrael

400+ children murdered in Gaza in the Israeli attack in 2008 but #GazaSurvives

One Killed, 3 Injured in Israeli Air Strike North of Gaza

Huge explosion now in Gaza near @imNadZ and #Gazasurvives yet another attack

#GazaSurvives wars, siege, occupation, killing, kidnapping, lies, electricity and water cuts and Israeli occupation.

Israeli Authorities Close Mosque, Kindergarten and Shops in Silwan

ERUSALEM, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Tuesday closed Al-Ain Mosque, the oldest mosque in Silwan, a nearby kindergarten, and several shops located in the main street of Wadi Helwa, in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan until a further notice, according to WAFA correspondent.

He said that the closure order was issued under the pretext  of “ensuring public safety and fearing of further collapses, following the collapse that took place on Monday near the mosque.”

Head of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab expressed concern over this decision, especially as the reason behind the collapses, whether the Monday’s collapse or the previous ones, is the Israeli ongoing digging of tunnels under the neighborhood to connect it to the old city.

He warned of the Israeli authorities intentions to close several more shops and homes in the area in order to seize the area and displace its residents, aiming to judaize the neighborhood of Wadi Helwa, the closest neighborhood to al-Aqsa mosque from the south.

He called on the Palestinian residents of Silwan to exercise the highest level of vigilance and caution of the Israeli plans, which are targeting their presence in the area.

Abu Diab appealed to the local and international communities to promptly intervene to put a stop to the Israeli dangerous plans targeting al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian existence around it.

(english.wafa.ps / 27.12.2011)

News from Palestine 27.12.2011

Breaking Update: 3 injuries arrived Kamal Odwan hospital after #Gaza explosion! 1 in critical state! #GazaWar3

CORRECTION: News reports corrects previous information: Only 1 was murdered! #Gaza

#GazaWar3 Commoration Day | Israel assassinated Abdullah El Talbani and Hesham Abu Oda. Others wounded in #Gaza

the name of the martyr is Abdullah El Talbani he’s one of the Al-Quds Brigades Elements 🙁 RIP #Gaza

RT @palyouthvoice: BREAKING: toll raised to 2 murdered and 2 injured by #Israel‘s attack on #Gaza now!

Breaking Update: 1 of the martyrs is identified : Abdullah Al Telbani, in his twenties! May he R.I.P.! #Gaza #GazaWar3

Breaking Update: Ya Allah 🙁 1 of the martyrs reached the hospital completely burned! they cant identify him 🙁 #Gaza #GazaWar3

Breaking Update: 2 killed & several injured in #Gaza explosion a little while ago #GazaWar3

Hesham Abu Oda, 20, was just killed by israel. Truce or no truce. Israel wants to continue killing Us. PERIOD. #gaza

#Gazawar3 the Zionists have attacked Gaza again today. People were killed. Number not sure yet.

BREAKING: The raid targeted a vehicle near Abu Sharkh circle in Saftawi Street North of #Gaza city: 1 murdered 3 injured

Palestinians mark Gaza War Anniversary AS israel bombs and murders again today #GazaWar3

Top 5 Lies About Israel’s Assault on Gaza

January 4th, 2009

Jeremy R. Hammond


Lie #1) Israel is only targeting legitimate military sites and is seeking to protect innocent lives. Israel never targets civilians.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated pieces of property in the world. The presence of militants within a civilian population does not, under international law, deprive that population of their protected status, and hence any assault upon that population under the guise of targeting militants is, in fact, a war crime.

Moreover, the people Israel claims are legitimate targets are members of Hamas, which Israel says is a terrorist organization. Hamas has been responsible for firing rockets into Israel. These rockets are extremely inaccurate and thus, even if Hamas intended to hit military targets within Israel, are indiscriminate by nature. When rockets from Gaza kill Israeli civilians, it is a war crime.

Hamas has a military wing. However, it is not entirely a military organization, but a political one. Members of Hamas are the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people. Dozens of these elected leaders have been kidnapped and held in Israeli prisons without charge. Others have been targeted for assassination, such as Nizar Rayan, a top Hamas official. To kill Rayan, Israel targeted a residential apartment building. The strike not only killed Rayan but two of his wives and four of his children, along with six others. There is no justification for such an attack under international law. This was a war crime.

Other of Israel’s bombardment with protected status under international law have included a mosque, a prison, police stations, and a university, in addition to residential buildings.

Moreover, Israel has long held Gaza under siege, allowing only the most minimal amounts of humanitarian supplies to enter. Israel is bombing and killing Palestinian civilians. Countless more have been wounded, and cannot receive medical attention. Hospitals running on generators have little or no fuel. Doctors have no proper equipment or medical supplies to treat the injured. These people, too, are the victims of Israeli policies targeted not at Hamas or legitimate military targets, but directly designed to punish the civilian population.

Lie #2) Hamas violated the cease-fire. The Israeli bombardment is a response to Palestinian rocket fire and is designed to end such rocket attacks.

Israel never observed the cease-fire to begin with. From the beginning, it announced a “special security zone” within the Gaza Strip and announced that Palestinians who enter this zone will be fired upon. In other words, Israel announced its intention that Israeli soldiers would shoot at farmers and other individuals attempting to reach their own land in direct violation of not only the cease-fire but international law.

Despite shooting incidents, including ones resulting in Palestinians getting injured, Hamas still held to the cease-fire from the time it went into effect on June 19 until Israel effectively ended the truce on November 4 by launching an airstrike into Gaza that killed five and injured several others.

Israel’s violation of the cease-fire predictably resulted in retaliation from militants in Gaza who fired rockets into Israel in response. The increased barrage of rocket fire at the end of December is being used as justification for the continued Israeli bombardment, but is a direct response by militants to the Israeli attacks.

Israel’s actions, including its violation of the cease-fire, predictably resulted in an escalation of rocket attacks against its own population.

Lie #3) Hamas is using human shields, a war crime.

There has been no evidence that Hamas has used human shields. The fact is, as previously noted, Gaza is a small piece of property that is densely populated. Israel engages in indiscriminate warfare such as the assassination of Nizar Rayan, in which members of his family were also murdered. It is victims like his dead children that Israel defines as “human shields” in its propaganda. There is no legitimacy for this interpretation under international law. In circumstances such as these, Hamas is not using human shields, Israel is committing war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions and other applicable international law.

Lie #4) Arab nations have not condemned Israel’s actions because they understand Israel’s justification for its assault.

The populations of those Arab countries are outraged at Israel’s actions and at their own governments for not condemning Israel’s assault and acting to end the violence. Simply stated, the Arab governments do not represent their respective Arab populations. The populations of the Arab nations have staged mass protests in opposition to not only Israel’s actions but also the inaction of their own governments and what they view as either complacency or complicity in Israel’s crimes.

Moreover, the refusal of Arab nations to take action to come to the aid of the Palestinians is not because they agree with Israel’s actions, but because they are submissive to the will of the US, which fully supports Israel. Egypt, for instance, which refused to open the border to allow Palestinians wounded in the attacks to get medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals, is heavily dependent upon US aid, and is being widely criticized within the population of the Arab countries for what is viewed as an absolute betrayal of the Gaza Palestinians.

Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been regarded as a traitor to his own people for blaming Hamas for the suffering of the people of Gaza. Palestinians are also well aware of Abbas’ past perceived betrayals in conniving with Israel and the US to sideline the democratically elected Hamas government, culminating in a counter-coup by Hamas in which it expelled Fatah (the military wing of Abbas’ Palestine Authority) from the Gaza Strip. While his apparent goal was to weaken Hamas and strengthen his own position, the Palestinians and other Arabs in the Middle East are so outraged at Abbas that it is unlikely he will be able to govern effectively.

Lie #5) Israel is not responsible for civilian deaths because it warned the Palestinians of Gaza to flee areas that might be targeted.

Israel claims it sent radio and telephone text messages to residents of Gaza warning them to flee from the coming bombardment. But the people of Gaza have nowhere to flee to. They are trapped within the Gaza Strip. It is by Israeli design that they cannot escape across the border. It is by Israeli design that they have no food, water, or fuel by which to survive. It is by Israeli design that hospitals in Gaza have no electricity and few medical supplies with which to treat the injured and save lives. And Israel has bombed vast areas of Gaza, targeting civilian infrastructure and other sites with protected status under international law. No place is safe within the Gaza Strip.

-###-

Posted on: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/articles/2009/01/03/hammond_top-5-lies-about-israels-assault-on-gaza.html Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy from outside of the standard framework offered by government officials and the mainstream corporate media, particularly with regard to the “war on terrorism” and events in the Middle East. He has also written for numerous other online publications. You can contact him at jeremy@foreignpolicyjournal.com.

(nevercastleadagain.wordpress.com / 27.12.2011)

Arab League Reiterated Calls to Prosecute Israeli War Criminals

CAIRO, December 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Arab League reiterated calls to prosecute Israeli war criminals, who committed heinous massacres against Palestinians during the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, Tuesday said a press release by Arab League.

It said, “Today [Tuesday] marks the third anniversary of the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza, in which Israeli forces killed over 1,400 Palestinians, injured around 5,300 and destroyed the city’s infrastructure, institutions and farms.”

The Gaza strip and its people are still suffering from the consequences of the Israeli assault till this very day, it said.

It added that Gaza, which is still under illegal blockade that violates all international laws, is also suffering from a deterioration in health sector condition due to the sever lack of medicine and medical supplies.

“Thousands of Palestinian families lost their income source due to the vast deterioration in economic sectors, including controlling the fishing industry,” it said.

The release said that the league affirmed Israel is still preventing humanitarian aid convoys from entering the Strip, as well as assaulting these convoys, such as the ‘Marmara’ Turkish flotilla attack.

Only three years have passed since the inhuman attack on Gaza, yet another aggression is looming in the horizon, it said.

The Arab League called on the international community, especially the United Nations, to stop the unlawful Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and prosecute Israel for its crimes against Palestinians.

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 27.12.2011)

Liste des ministres proposés par Benkirane au Roi

Liste des ministres proposés par Benkirane au Roi

Le chef du gouvernement Abdelilah Benkirane et ses 27 ministres seraient appelés au palais Royal aujourd’hui ou demain, où ils devraient recevoir leurs dahirs de nomination et prêter serment devant le Roi Mohammed VI. Le quotidien Akhbar Al Yaoum a publié une liste des ministres qui aurait été présentée au Souverain.

 

Le premier gouvernement issu de la nouvelle constitution verrait enfin le jour cette semaine. Le dernier mot des nominations en rapport avec plusieurs ministères, dont celui de l’Intérieur reviendrait au Roi qui nommerait probablement le prochain gouvernement avant son départ pour les Etats Unis, où il passera ses vacances de fin d’année.

Benkirane avait déposé tard dans la soirée de samedi au cabinet Royal à Rabat, la liste des ministresproposés pour participer au prochain gouvernement. Akhbar Al Yaoum dévoile les noms de ces ministres :

La liste des ministres :

  •  Abdellah Baha : ministre d’Etat sans portefeuille
  •  Mustapha Ramid : ministre de la justice
  •  Abdelghani Lakhdar : ministre de l’équipement et des transports
  •  Saâd Eddine El Othmani : ministre des affaires étrangères
  •  Abdelaziz Rebbah ou Idriss Azami : ministre des affaires générales
  •  Lahbib Choubani : ministre chargé des relations avec le parlement
  •  Mustapha El Khalfi : ministre de la culture et de la communication
  •  Lahcen Daoudi : ministre de l’enseignement supérieur
  •  Bassima El Hakkaoui : ministre des affaires sociales et de la famille
  •  Najib Boulif : ministre des finances
  •  Nizar Baraka : ministre du commerce et de l’industrie
  •  Abdessamad Kayouh : ministre de l’artisanat
  •  Abdelkader El Kihel : ministre de la jeunesse et des sports
  •  Hicham Nahmoucha ou Najib Mikou : ministre de l’agriculture et de la pêche maritime
  •  Kenza El Ghali ; ministre de l’éducation
  •  Moulay Hamdi Oueld Rachid : secrétaire d’état aux affaires étrangères
  •  Mohand Laenser : ministre de l’intérieur
  •  Mohamed Ouzine : ministre de l’énergie et des mines
  •  Lahcen Haddad : ministre du tourisme
  •  Driss Meroun : ministre de la modernisation des secteurs publics
  •  Nabil Benabdellah : ministre de l’habitat et de l’urbanisation
  •  Houcine El Ouardi : ministre de la santé
  •  Abdelouahed Souhail, ministre de l’emploi et de la formation professionnelle
  •  Gajmoula Bent Abi : ministre délégué chargé de la communauté marocaine à l’étranger.

(www.bladi.net / 27.12.2011)

Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy

If Libya manages to forge a political system where majority views are taken into account it’s clear that political Islam is set to play a major political role.

A new poll of eastern Libyan public opinion released last week indicates that political Islam is set to play a major role in the country’s future if institutions emerge that take into accout the will of the general public.

The poll sponsored by the International Republican Institute (a US-government funded non-profit) found a high degree of optimism about the future, concerns about the security situation in the country, and conservative (and somewhat contradictory) attitudes when it comes to faith and politics.

In Eastern Libya, 83 percent said freedom of the press was “important,” and 71 percent said it was important to have laws giving equal rights to “religious and tribal groups,” which would seem to indicate concern for protecting minority rights. But 94 percent agreed with the proposition that “people should be prohibited from offending” religions and 85 percent agreed that “religion should be part of government” (68 percent of those “strongly agreed.”) Asked about whether a “secular” state was a good idea, 69 percent of Libyans dissaproved against 14 percent that approved.

None of this means that a Saudi Arabian style regime is in the offing. Many Arab’s take the word “secular” to mean something like “Godless,” so the notion of secularism is offensive. But there’s a long continuum from there to religious rule. But over time, it would be natural for groups like the Libyan version of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as the dominant power in Egypt‘s ongoing parliamentary elections, to develop a major voice in politics (Qaddafi suppressed Islamist political activism as ruthlessly as he did all other challenges to his rule).

The poll was carried out in mid-October, as Muammar Qaddafi‘s hometown and last bastion, Sirte, was falling to the rebellion, which probably pushed results in a positive direction. Not only did optimism surge at the time of Qaddafi’s death, which effectively ended the civil war, but eastern Libya was less touched by the ravages of war than Western towns like Tripoli, Sirte, and Misrata.

But the numbers are still striking. In Eastern Libya, 84 percent of respondents said they were positive about the future and that the National Transitional Council (NTC), the unelected group that’s promised to guide Libya to democracy, were doing a good job. Meeting these high expectations may be a challenge though.

Asked what government priorities should be, 97 percent said it was “very important” for the  government to provide food and housing for the poor and 72 percent said it was “very important” for the government to “play a central role in the economy and business sector.” The context for that second answer is that Libya’s oil wealth has made the government the country’s largest employer, by far. Though they may have hated Qaddafi, Libyans agreed with him that it’s the state’s responsibilty to deliver jobs and economic growth,. You can expect whatever government emerges to play a dominate role in the economy, at least in the medium term.

(www.csmonitor.com / 27.12.2011)