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Home arrow Palestinian Elections arrow Barghouthi: Israel no longer only democracy in Middle East
Barghouthi: Israel no longer only democracy in Middle East PDF Print E-mail
Jan 27, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi press statement [Ramallah On Line, January 27, 2006]

“Ramallah, 27-01-06: The first press conference given by Independent Palestine head, Mustafa Barghouthi, in Ramallah today, focused on the results of Wednesday’s legislative elections and their implications for the future of Palestine, and for the region as a whole.

Dr. Barghouthi, who gained a seat in the new legislative council along with fellow candidate, Rawia Al-Shawa, began by thanking all those who had supported, and voted for the Coalition, and said that he was proud to form part of the new Palestinian parliament.

He hailed the elections as a great day in the history of Palestine, and praised the Palestinian people for their determination in ensuring that elections were free and fair, and that they passed off without incident despite the many obstacles facing them, including the ongoing Israeli occupation, manifested partly through movement restrictions and limitations on campaigning and voting in East Jerusalem, as well as acute poverty and unemployment, and the threat of internal disorder.

Dr. Barghouthi stated that legislative elections were the culmination of a democratic revolution that had begun with last year’s presidential and local council elections, and that Israel could not longer claim to be the only ‘democracy’ in the Middle East. He added that this revolution would have profound implications for the development of the democratic process in the rest of the Arab world...”

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Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says
  • Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 
  • Criticism from inquiry may force resignation

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted.

His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.

According to the Ha'aretz daily, which obtained details of Mr Olmert's testimony, the prime minister chose a plan featuring air attacks on Lebanon and a limited ground operation that would be implemented following a Hizbullah abduction. Hizbullah had made several attempts to capture Israeli soldiers on the border since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli commentators believed that Mr Olmert and Amir Peretz, the defence minister, took the opportunity of the kidnapping to show they could manage a war in spite of their limited military experience. But the outcome of the war seemed to highlight their lack of experience and also deficiencies in Israel's military planning.

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