As the Arab Spring reaches its two-year mark, Arab media reports growing dissatisfaction with the new government in Tunisia. The escalation in Syrian attacks against a Palestinian refugee camp also features high in the news Tuesday.
London-based daily Al-Hayat reports a significant flight of residents from the Yarmouk refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital Damascus, following an aerial attack on Sunday which killed “at least eight people.”
The daily reports a call by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Palestinians to “banish the terrorists” from the camp, referring to the Free Syrian Army whose soldiers clashed on Sunday with members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) based in Yarmouk.
Al-Hayat columnist Hazem Saghiyah sheds light on Ahmed Jibril, the Damascus-based founder of PFLP-GC.
“Jibril is the authentic symbol of the markedly Syrian policy of patronage over the Palestinian issue. [Jibril] exemplifies the solid faith in the usefulness of the patronage policy.
“He does this despite not being known for any Arab nationalist fervor, the type of which engulfed members of his generation who believe Palestine is southern Syria, or that both are parts of ‘one Arab nation.’ His political consciousness is limited to his experience as an explosives officer [in the Syrian army].”
‘Jibril is the authentic symbol of the markedly Syrian policy of patronage over the Palestinian issue. [Jibril] exemplifies the solid faith in the usefulness of the patronage policy’
Meanwhile, Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera reports that the Free Syrian Army has succeeded in taking full control of the Yarmouk refugee camp on Monday, as regime tanks encircled the camp. Opposition activists report the regime’s use of cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs in the rural area of Damascus.
A-Sharq Al-Awsat editor-in-chief dedicates his op-ed on Tuesday to a conciliatory interview by Syrian Vice President Farouq Shara in which he claimed that neither the regime nor its opposition can decide the civil war and called for a broad unity government.
“What he says now is nothing but old-new Assad deception. If Shara were to say all of this a year ago or even four months ago, it would be useful. But talking about historic compromises now, when the commander of the Syrian coalition says he does not need international intervention, because his forces are close to winning?”
Iran: Open criticism among regime leaders
Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, an avowed foe of the Iranian regime, leads its front page news on Tuesday with reports of conflict among Iran’s leadership.
Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani accused the Iranian regime of corruption and growing unemployment in statements published on his personal website. Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi was released from prison earlier this week after being held for over two months on counts of suspected espionage, the daily reports.
“If the Islamic regime cannot realize what it had promised people, that means the regime has failed and mistakes should be corrected,” Rafsanjani wrote.
Tunisia: Angry public stones president, parliament speaker
An angry crowd in the Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, where the Tunisian revolution began exactly two years ago, pelted President Moncef Marzouki and parliament speaker Mostafa bin Ja’afar with stones on Monday, reads the top story in London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
Marzouki, for his part, stated that the government does not have ‘a magic wand to change things… it takes time to overcome 50 years of dictatorship’
The mother of Mohammed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire in December 2010 sparking riots which toppled president Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, said she was saddened by the harsh economic condition of the peripheral city two years after her son’s death.
Bouazizi told a local radio station that her son and other martyrs of the revolution “gave their lives in return for nothing.”
Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya shows footage of some 5,000 angry Tunisians shouting insults at the president, including “Leave” and “The people demand to topple the government.”
Marzouki, for his part, stated that the government does not have “a magic wand to change things… it takes time to overcome 50 years of dictatorship.”