Total deaths: 896 (as of July 25)
Israeli soldiers killed: 36
Israeli soldiers killed: 35
Palestinian militants killed: 122 (of which 2 were children)
Palestinian civilians killed: 649 (of which 104 were women, and 190 were children)
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died. Sharon had been in a coma for the past 8 years. Nicknamed the “bulldozer”, Sharon was regarded as the “father” of the Israeli settler movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He was the darling of Israeli right win settlers who would often chant “Arik – King of Israel”.
Yet when be became Prime Minister he authorised the controversial evacuation of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.
Sharon’s famous quotes:
“As one who fought in all of Israel’s wars, and learned from personal experience that without proper force, we do not have a chance of surviving in this region, which does not show mercy towards the weak, I have also learned from experience that the sword alone cannot decide this bitter dispute in this land.”
“Israel will fight anyone who tries, through suicide terrorism, to sow fear. Israel will fight, Israel will triumph and when victory prevails, Israel will make peace.”
A video chronicling a 9 month investigation by Al-Jazeera in to the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat – expanding on recent revelations that his personal effects were contaminated with high levels of the radioactive material polonium.
Q and A with Arafat’s widow Suha:
What is polonium?
Polonium has previously been used to assassinate, most famously in the case of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy turned dissident. Litvinenko was killed by Polonium in London in 2006.
Interview with Mohammed Rashid on the last time he saw Arafat:
Yasser Arafat’s widow wants his body to be exhumed after recent tests revealed an unusually high amount of radioactive material (polonium) on his personal belongings (raising the possibility that he was poisoned/murdered).
Eight years after he died, no one knows what killed former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Tests have revealed that Arafat’s personal belongings(his clothes, toothbrush, and trademark kaffiyeh) contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.
Polonium is the same element that killed Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 (and was found to have been poisoned after polonium slipped into his tea at a sushi restaurant).
New revelations about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Newspapers have unearthed thousands of documents cataloging the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians between 1999 and 2010. Apparently the Palestinians offered far reaching concessions such as agreeing to Israel’s annexation of all but one settlements in East Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israelis “we are offering you the biggest Yerushalayim [the Hebrew word for Jerusalem] in history”.
Palestinians willing to let settlers live under Palestinian rule/in future Palestinian state:
Palestinian Authority helped Israel kill Hamas members
Concessions offered by Palestinians:
Ehud Olmert’s Offer to Abu Mazen:
*Israel would annex approx 6.5% of the West Bank including the settlements of Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim.
*5000 Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to Israel.
*East Jerusalem to be divided along the “Clinton parameters”.
Remember Tariq Aziz? He was Saddam Hussein’s former foreign minister. After the Americans invaded Iraq, he gave himself up to U.S. forces thinking it would save him and his family. However, he has been in prison since. He was arrested, convicted of complicity in executions that took place in 1992, and jailed for 15 years. He was lucky – given what happened to Saddam. He could have been executed too.
He is still loyal to Saddam and says that the world is WORSE off without him!
He is a great interview with Tariq Aziz in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/05/iraq-us-tariq-aziz-iran