War in the Middle East ... the (complete) guide

[Updated 19th July 2006] 

I am actually very concerned about what is currently happening in the Middle East. In the end I don't have the knowledge or the need to be normative or biased here but I want to understand and follow the events because I feel we are a really on a knife's edge here to disaster if a solution or compromise are not found. So this entry presents references and commentary which should give you the complete overview over the conflict and thus the ability to read, understand, and finally think about this.

BBC -In Depth- about the Middle East crisis 

See particularly ...

Q&A about the crisis 

Who are Hizbollah?

The Crisis Day-by-Day  

'A day-by-day look at how the crisis in the Middle East is unfolding as the conflict involving Israel and Lebanon enters its second week.'

Haifa's troubles

The FT -In Depth- Arab-Israel conflict 

See particularly ...

Syria and Iran look for gains from fresh bloodshed

Olmert gambles on a tough line (walled for non-subscribers)

The blind fumbling of Europe and USA (walled for non-subscribers)

'In a crisis people fall back on familiar instincts. So, as the fighting in the Middle East escalated, the Americans defended Israel, the French condemned Israel, the British searched for the middle ground and the United Nations called for restraint. The Group of Eight in St Petersburg nonetheless managed to issue a joint statement. But this facade of unity could soon crack. The fighting has broken out at a time when Americans and Europeans were already facing an unusual number of serious and worsening security threats. The latest – and possibly gravest – crisis will severely test an unheralded new period of transatlantic co-operation, which had been quietly closing the divisions opened up over Iraq.'


Preconditions for hope in the Middle East 

'The most the world can now hope for out of current events in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the kind of pause  or ceasefire that comes from exhaustion or the temporary intimidation of one side. Hizbollah and Hamas may be forced to back down, but only for a while. Even if they do agree to some form of ceasefire, they can still go on attacking Israel using proxies or claiming “misunderstandings” or accidents.'

The Economist - Global Agenda; A Crisis Widens (walled for non-subscribers)

(From the Economist)

'A MONTH ago, a spokesman for Lebanon’s Islamist party, Hizbullah, on being asked how many Lebanese there were in Israel’s jails, was unable to name the figure. But now the Shia militants who control southern Lebanon are hugely exercised about the issue. “Fulfilling its pledge to liberate the prisoners and detainees” in Israel, Hizbullah on Wednesday July 12th attacked an Israeli army patrol by the border, killing three soldiers and taking two hostage. Five more died in a tank that hit a mine, after the Israeli army crossed the border in a vain rescue attempt.

In response, Israel bombed targets across Lebanon, including Beirut airport and Hizbullah’s radio station in the Lebanese capital itself, and blockaded Lebanon’s ports. Lebanese sources said that 48 Lebanese civilians had been killed. Meanwhile, Hizbullah rocketed Israel’s northern border region. It is the biggest clash since Israel ended its 18-year occupation of south Lebanon six years ago.

Hizbullah’s timing is no accident. Since Palestinian militants snatched an Israeli soldier near Gaza at the end of June, Israel has been gradually ratcheting up a military campaign in Gaza aimed at freeing him and stopping Palestinians from firing home-made rockets into Israel. It has not yet achieved either goal, but has killed at least 65 Palestinians, many of them civilians. This week it obliterated the Palestinian foreign ministry.'

Kiki from GlobalClashes - What does the current crisis in the Middle East mean?

'Most of today's [14.7.06] op-ed focus on the Middle East and it is interesting to read the different take that each columnist have on the situation and its significance.'

I will update this entry if I find other interesting and worth while references to put up ...