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Arafat's widow: 'I can’t accuse anyone until proof is in hand’

November 27th, 2012
06:39 PM ET

(CNN) – Did Yasser Arafat die eight years ago of natural causes or was the 75-year-old Palestinian leader poisoned, as his widow believes?

That's the question forensic investigators from at least three nations are trying to answer by testing samples taken from Arafat's body, which was exhumed Tuesday and reburied a short time later.

Tests are being performed on those samples for the presence of polonium – a toxic, radioactive element found on some of his personal belongings earlier this year.

For five decades, Arafat was the most prominent face of Palestinian opposition to Israel, first as the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which carried out attacks against Israeli targets, and later as the head of the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, says it is convinced Israel is behind any poisoning of Arafat.  FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Gaza • Palestinian territories

What's next for Palestinian territories?

November 23rd, 2012
09:28 AM ET

History professor Rashid Khalidi discusses the  future of the Palestinian territories and how the latest conflict may shift political power.


Filed under:  Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode

The changing face of the Middle East

November 23rd, 2012
09:17 AM ET

A conversation about the bigger picture between Israel and Gaza, and the changing roles of Egypt and the United States in the region.


Filed under:  Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Qatari PM: ‘Ceasefire talks haven't yielded concrete solution yet’

November 19th, 2012
06:38 PM ET
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Qatari PM on ceasefire talks

PART 1: Qatar's Prime Minister tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour about his country's role in ceasefire talks.

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Qatari PM on ceasefire talks

PART 2: Qatar's Prime Minister tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour about his country's role in ceasefire talks.

By Mick Krever, CNN

Ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have yielded “no concrete solution,” Qatar’s prime minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Talks to end the nearly week-long conflict between Israel and Hamas have been spearheaded by Egypt, with strong support from Qatar and Turkey.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al Thani, speaking to Amanpour from Doha, said that he believed both Israel and Hamas want a ceasefire, but that Hamas would not accept the status quo.  FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Member of Israeli Parliament: ‘Americans urgently needed here’

November 16th, 2012
03:45 PM ET
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Israeli politician calls for U.S. to act

Israeli Knesset Member Daniel Ben-Simone says the the Americans are urgently needed to quell the escalating violence.

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Israel and Gaza in the bigger picture

Analyst Daniel Levy looks at the long term situation between Israel and the Palestinians.

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The United States must take action to quell the escalating violence in the Middle East, Israeli Knesset Member Daniel Ben-Simon said Friday.

“It’s time for the White House to call and to look at what’s happening here,” Ben-Simon of the Israeli Labor Party told CNN’s Hala Gorani.

Even though the United States has publicly given verbal support to Israel and blames the escalation of violence on Hamas firing of rockets into Israel, Ben-Simon senses an absence from the White House in that region. He fears a regional war beyond Gaza, if newly re-elected President Barack Obama does not step in.

“Benjamin Netanyahu has been prime minister for seven years. This is his first war. I cannot predict how far he will go. What I can tell you because is its becoming a serious crisis because Tel Aviv has been hit… I can’t tell you how serious it’s becoming.” He emphasized support from the U.N. and Europe is not enough, without, “the boss” as he referred to the U.S., stepping in.

Jerusalem shocked by rocket fire

Meanwhile, after returning to Egypt from his trip to Gaza Thursday, the Chief of the Egyptian Presidential Cabinet called for an end to the violence.

“I am calling for everybody to deescalate,” Mohamed Refa'a al-Tahtawi told Gorani. “This escalation is not going to lead anywhere.”

Al-Tahtawi accompanied Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to Gaza Friday, a trip critics saw as an opportunity for press exposure. Al-Tahtawi discounted that, saying that saying Egypt is willing to give Gaza tangible support; but said they are not prepared for any type of military action.

“Humanitarian supply will be sent. Political support will be extended – political support is not empty words. Political support means potential positions and I am telling you, the streets in Egypt are very angry.”

For CNN's complete coverage of the violence in Israel and Gaza click here.


Filed under:  Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Israel: ‘All options on the table in Gaza’

November 14th, 2012
06:53 PM ET

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Israel's Deputy P.M. on Gaza strikes

Israel's Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor, discusses the strikes on Gaza with CNN's Hola Gorani.

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Senior Hamas member on strikes in Gaza

Osama Hamdan, a senior member of Hamas, speaks to CNN's Hala Gorani about the strikes in Gaza.

For complete coverage and the latest updates on the airstrikes in Gaza click here.

Israel is leaving “all options on the table,” including a ground offensive into Gaza, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Wednesday.

“Hamas needs to accept the rules of behavior in the world and not launch any rockets or shoot any of our people in our territory,” Meridor told CNN’s Hala Gorani. “We don’t want to do this any further, but if we have to, we’ll do it.”

Osama Hamdan, a senior member of Hamas, also spoke with Gorani about the strikes and called for an end to the Israeli occupation. “[Dan Meridor] is ignoring the fact that the one who started the bombing in Gaza was the Israeli side… they occupy the Palestinian land and they are blaming the Palestinians for resisting.”

Meridor maintains Israeli strikes against Gaza are in response to rocket fire from Hamas.

Meridor also told Gorani that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, spoke with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday, regarding the attacks.

“We explained what we have been doing,” Meridor said. “I think people understand it. And we need to see calm restored and people need to obey the rules of the game and not attack us.”

MORE: The former of head of Mossad talks about military activity near the Israel-Syria border


Filed under:  Gaza • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Gaza – one year after war:

January 19th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

Looking back one year after the war in Gaza, do you still have the same opinion you held during the war? Tell us here:

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Filed under:  1 • Gaza