6 July 2006 Edition

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International News in Brief

Palestine

Analysts are pointing to a wider agenda in Israeli actions against the Palestinian population in response to the capture by Palestinian activist of army Corporal Gilad Shalit's.

Israel Radio reported that a senior official in Shin Bet, the internal Israel security service, warned the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the day of the capture: "If the soldier is not returned in 24 hours, Israel will not allow the Palestinian government to survive."

In a reference to the detention of eight Hamas cabinet ministers and about 20 other members of the Palestinian parliament, Labour leader Amir Peretz said: "The suits and ties will not serve as cover to the involvement and support of kidnappings and terror."

To reinforce the message, Israeli planes have bombed the Gaza office of the Hamas minister for security, the Prime Minister in Ramallah and have closed all borders. The situation within Palestinian territories is worsening very fast, as the population have been without power for over a week, and sewerage, water plans and hospitals do not have any electricity.

Bolivia

Bolivian President Evo Morales' leftist party has won a narrow majority in a new assembly picked to rewrite the constitution. Early results suggest he won 133 out of 255 seats - short of the two-thirds majority needed for full control - but Morales was upbeat. "This support ... gives us the strength to go on changing," he said.

Cyprus

The President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, is due to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for the first time in two years. Talks will focus on the fate of some 1,500 people officially classed as missing on the divided island. There has been no direct contact between the two leaders since Greek Cypriots rejected UN-backed proposals to re-unite Cyprus in 2004.


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