Several days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas a choice between seeking reconciliation with Hamas and achieving peace with Israel. Today, Abbas said the Palestinian Authority will stand by Hamas. He made this statement at the signing ceremony for the national reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, Egypt. Palestinians expressed cautious optimism over the agreement, hoping it will open a new chapter for Palestinians.
Dubai TV reports that Syria protests have spread to the country’s second largest city, Aleppo. Students from the University of Aleppo took to the streets to demand that authorities lift the siege on Daraa. Nearly 3,000 protestors demonstrated in the coastal city of Baniyas with the same demand. Over 1,000 people have been arrested over the past three days, raising the total number of Syrian detainees to 2,800.
In Bahrain, 23 doctors and 24 nurses will be put on trial for their involvement in the uprising. The Bahraini military court is accusing them of providing medical care to protestors, being involved in the attempts to topple the ruling family, participating in illegal gatherings, and damaging public opinion by spreading false news. Al-Alam reports that this comes days after the military court issued death sentences to four young men accused of killing two police officers during protests.
In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi’s forces have shelled the Misurata port again, this time killing five people. Al-Jazeera reports that the forces are preparing to launch a new attack on the Wazen border crossing with Tunisia. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that over 80,000 Libyans have been displaced from the western Jabal al-Gharbi district in the past few days. International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that NATO forces might be used to capture Gaddafi.
France 24 reports tonight from Morocco, where demonstrators are gathering under the slogan “the people want to topple corruption and despotism.” The Morocco protests began on February 20, and have been growing in size everyday, despite King Mohammed VI’s promises to release of political prisoners and enact reforms.
Hundreds of Iraqis poured into Tahrir Square in central Baghdad last week to participate in the “Friday of Resistance.” Protestors are demanding the end of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, the eradication of corruption, and the release of detainees. In Mosul, demonstrators rallied in Ahrar Square for the 20th consecutive day, despite the government’s attempts to scatter the crowd.