mohamed morsi

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Is this the dark side of the Arab Spring? It seems that there is an increasing crackdown on social networking across the Arab world. Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef was arrested last week for allegedly insulting the President, Mohamed Morsi, and now two Palestinian men have been given prison terms for their online activities, including something no more serious than a ‘like’ on Facebook!

Certainly this trend is not going to endear the Palestinian government to ‘the West’, and this at a time when Palestinian statehood is receiving increasing European support. Even so, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas may consider it far more politically opportune to go with the flow of their Arab neighbours than please the US and Europe.

Father Dave

source: rt.com…

In the last week, two Palestinians have been sentenced to prison terms for online libel and slander of politicians. Meanwhile, an arrest order has been issued for a popular Egyptian satirist, raising fears of a crackdown on freedom in the region.

The Magistrate’s Court in Salfit, West Bank, sentenced a 29-year-old Anas Ismail to 6 months in jail, on charges of “libel and slander against former communications minister” as he was found guilty of “Liking”hostile messages towards the politician on Facebook.

One of the posts demanded the dismissal of the politician and another phrase demanded accountability from the minister.

According to Ismail, “Preventive Security locked me up for 17 days, on charges of libel and slander, and last Thursday I was sentenced in absentia by the Court of Salfit to six months in prison,” quotes Alresalah publication.

Ismail, who works in computer programming and is active in social media said  “I was summoned 10 times in the past six months over my activity on social networking pages.”

Also on Thursday, a court in Bethlehem sentenced a journalist to a one-year term for publishing a photo on Facebook comparing President Mahmoud Abbas to a traitor.

Mamdouh Hamamreh, a reporter for the Hamas-linked Al-Quds TV, was accused of photoshopping  a picture in 2010 showing Abbas next to a villain in a popular TV drama about French colonial rule in the Levant, with a photo caption reading: “They’re alike.”

Hamamreh was found guilty of insulting the president and, “spreading seeds of hatred” and “publishing false information.”

The next day, Abbas pardoned the journalist saying his office never filed a complaint against Hamamreh.

read the rest of this article here: rt.com…

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This looks like Israel’s worst nightmare! A coming together of the two Palestinian factions would be bad enough, but having it happen courtesy of Mohamed Morsi – President of Egypt and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood – adds insult to injury!

Israel’s strategy has been to control the compliant Fatah government and to exclude and wage war against the defiant Hamas faction. What will they do though against a Fatah-Hamas coalition? Moreover, if the coalition has Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood behind it, it can count on extensive support from across the Muslim world!

Netanyahu doesn’t seem to be in any mood for conciliatory dialogue, so what happens next? The stage seems to be being set for a violent showdown! We must pray that sanity prevails.

Father Dave

Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi

source: www.asianews.it/news-en/Cairo,-reconciliation-efforts-re-launched-between-Fatah-and-Hamas-26821.html…

Cairo, reconciliation efforts re-launched between Fatah and Hamas

Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) and Khaled Meshaal (Hamas) will meet tomorrow in Cairo for a series of talks led by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The meeting follows the recent protests in the West Bank Hamas and Fatah in Gaza.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, and Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, will meet tomorrow in Cairo to discuss reconciliation between the two Palestinian factions. The announcement was made by Yasser Ali, presidential spokesman for Mohamed Morsi. Before the historic face to face talks, the two leaders will have a series of separate talks with Egyptian President.

The meeting tomorrow comes after the major protests of Hamas in the West Bank and Fatah in Gaza between December and January. They were the first since the violent division between the two movements began in 2007 and culminated in the expulsion of their representatives from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

According to Azzam Al-Ahmed, head of the reconciliation program of al-Fatah, Abbas intends to break the current stalemate in the negotiations to end the political division between the two factions.

The mandate of Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority expired in 2009. Currently he holds the position of interim president. The presidential elections for the renewal of the Palestinian Authority were to be held January 24, 2010, but fell through because of the split with Hamas.

The talks between Fatah and Hamas resumed in 2011 with a conference in Cairo that was meant to lead the territories in presidential and legislative elections in 2012. However, due to political differences the agreement was never implemented. At the beginning of 2012, Meshaal and Abbas met in Doha to resume negotiations and sign a new reconciliation program for the election of an interim president who would have authority over the government pending elections. On this occasion, Hamas accused its own leader Meshaal of taking unilateral decisions and rejected the deal.