Al-Quds, the East Jerusalem daily newspaper, reports Sunday on a series of meetings between Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas’s political branch, and Mohammed Badie, the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egyptian chapter. In these meetings, Badie called on Hamas to show temperance and moderation in its dealings with Fatah and Israel.
Badie, the paper reports, stressed the importance of “acting temperately, in coordination with Fatah and Israel, in hopes of arriving at a solution that will accommodate the founding a Palestinian state.”
Badie also made a point of saying that this approach does not come in such drastic conflict with Hamas’s present positions, since not only is the organization in a present state of truce with Israel, but it has also expressed a willingness to co-exist with Israel within the confines of the ’67 borders, were the Palestinian Authority to receive full aerial, naval, and terrestrial sovereignty of its territories, the paper says.
When pressed by the Al-Quds reporter for the reason behind the movement’s change in approach towards Israel and towards Hamas, a representative on behalf of the Brotherhood commented that the organization believes that the only way to resolve the conflict is through full acknowledgment of all the parties involved in it.
To that, the paper adds its own analysis – indicating that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s interests will be very well served by acting as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both in the region and in the international community, which is presently not exactly sold on the Brotherhood’s legitimacy as Egypt’s governing entity.
Continuing its analysis of possible Hamas-Israel cooperation, Al-Quds offers readers its take on the Israeli approach towards Hamas – one that is somewhat ambiguous. It notes Israel’s reticence to return to its pre-’67 lines, given Hamas’s “bloody history in the region.” However, Al-Quds suggests a possible silver lining for the future Israel-Hamas relationship. It quotes various Israeli military officials who claim that Hamas’s decision to maintain the Gaza truce – even throughout the recent rising tensions in the region – indicates “a willingness on behalf of Hamas to assume more political responsibility in the region.”
Kofi Annan woos Russia
Al-Jazeera Sunday highlights Kofi Annan’s diplomatic expedition to Russia and China, in an effort to gather support for his roadmap for a political solution in Syria.
The Qatar-based site stresses the imperative to gain backing from these two nations – which did recently support the Security Council’s resolution calling for negotiation between Bashar Assad’s ruling party and members of the opposition, but previously vetoed the Council’s call for military intervention in the region.
The paper’s analysis of Annan’s chances is nuanced: On the one hand, it highlights the fact that both Russia and China are insistent on a diplomatic solution, which Annan’s report very much supports. On the other hand, both nations have shown their concerns about “international support of the opposition.”
This concern over foreign support for the Syrian opposition, says Al-Jazeera, is most pronounced in Russia. President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – with whom Annan will have meetings during his present expedition – have suggested, it writes, that “the international community’s support, both financial and political, of the Syrian opposition is counter-productive towards the efforts of negotiating a diplomatic solution in the region.”
The Russians have also expressed a great deal of criticism of the UN’s Human Rights Council in its denunciation of Assad’s actions. Such proclamations, say the Russians, are “starkly one-sided” and will make it all the harder to broker a peaceful, diplomatic solution in Syria.
Al-Jazeera does not let the Russian criticism go unanswered, however, and sets out the Human Rights Council’s rationale, citing details of the civilian deaths at the hand of Assad’s security forces in Homs, and mentioning the Human Rights Council’s legal brief against Syria that was filed in the Hague International Criminal Court.
Amr Moussa throws his hat into the ring
The London-based daily Al-Hayat opens its Sunday edition with reports of the first person to announce his nomination for the Egyptian presidential race – former head of the Arab League Amr Moussa.
The paper says Amr Moussa “has already managed to win over the support of many young Egyptians due to his liberal voice in the Egyptian political scene.”
In its analysis of the upcoming presidential election, it argues that the election “will probably come down to a choice between a more liberal stream, represented by candidates like Moussa, and a more conservative and religious stream, represented by candidates from such parties like the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Severe migraines lead to an increase in suicides
The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports on a new study which showcases a direct link between intense migraines and suicidal tendencies. In the research, patients were divided into three groups – those who suffer from intense migraines, sufferers from mild migraines, and people who are not inflicted by migraines at all. “The intense migraine group was more inclined to suicide than both other groups,” it found.
This, the study reports, is attributed to “chemical deficiencies in the brains of those who suffer from chronic migraines – such as decreased serotonin levels – a mood-elevating chemical.” In turn, the study concludes, this may even indicate a possible inborn cerebral make-up, that renders a person more likely to commit suicide.