Mauritania to cut ties with Israel

Posted: 10-01-2009 , 19:30 GMT
Mauritania's decision to recall its ambassador to Tel Aviv earlier this week marked the "first step" to cutting ties with the Jewish state, an adviser to the country's military junta said on Saturday. "Mauritania's decision to recall its ambassador in Israel is a first step towards severing ties with this aggressive entity," said Cheikh Ben Horma Ould Ben Babana, adviser to the president of Mauritania's ruling High Council of State.

"This relationship between Mauritania and the Israeli entity disturbs and embarrasses Mauritanians," Ben Babana told reporters in Cairo, according to Reuters. Mauritania said on Monday it had recalled its ambassador for consultations, days after protesters took to the streets of the capital Nouakchott to demand the country cut diplomatic ties with Israel over its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Ties between Israel and Mauritania were the legacy of a former regime and had been established for "personal reasons", Ben Babana said.

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Jordan Threatens to Reconsider Ties With Israel
January 06, 2009 09:00 AM ET Larry Derfner Permanent Link Print
With large, angry anti-Israeli demonstrations putting pressure on moderate Arab states, Jordan, one of two Arab countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel (Egypt being the other), now says it is "reconsidering" those ties. Al Jazeera reports:
Jordan's prime minister has said his country may review its diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of the offensive in Gaza.
"Jordan will look into all options, including reconsidering relations with Israel," Nader Dahabi told legislators on Sunday.
"There is no way we would remain silent when this threat affects the security of the entire region."
Turkey, a moderate Muslim country that Israel considers a vital regional ally and military partner, has likewise been compelled by popular opinion to takes sides against Israel. Ha'aretz reports:
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of committing "inhuman" acts in Gaza that would cause it to self-destruct. In an interview with Al Jazeera television network, the Turkish prime minister said Israel hurt its relations with Turkey by attacking Gaza, and will be punished. In the wake of his visit to the Middle East on Monday, Erdogan voiced his support of Hamas and said Turkey would act as a mediator between the Islamist organization and the United Nations Security Council.
West Bank leadership softening criticism of HamasHamas's rival, the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority that rules the West Bank, has begun to mute its public criticism of Gaza's radical leadership. Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister, writes in the joint Israeli/Palestinian news site that this could hasten steps toward a merger between the PA and Hamas:
The Israeli attack has increased public sympathy and support for Hamas because it is the target of these attacks and because it is trying to fight back. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, meanwhile, finds itself in an awkward and difficult position.
For one thing, it has been marginalized and has been the target of criticism while being compared unfavorably with the role and position of Hamas in Gaza. This has led Fateh spokespeople and leaders to change their tone from trying to hint at Hamas responsibility for the suffering of Gazans to a more reasonable and rational tone, exemplified by President Mahmoud Abbas, who, during a meeting of the PLO's Executive Committee, suggested that the time is right for coordination between the different factions and invited all factions, including Hamas, to address this issue.
This change in tone could result in some positive momentum in the dialogue among the Palestinian factions that are under growing pressure from the public to reconcile.

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