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Today’s Top Stories
1. Wired: Syria’s assembling it chemical arms.
Engineers working for the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas, an American official with knowledge of the situation tells Danger Room . . .
“Physically, they’ve gotten to the point where the can load it up on a plane and drop it,” the official adds.
2. The Wall St. Journal (via Google News) found something that Israelis, Egyptians, Palestinians and Sinai Bedouins all agree on. The idea that Mohammed Morsi is trying to secure the Sinai is a joke:
“It would be a great cost to the central government to use the same violent and abusive tactics of the Mubarak regime,” said Hossam Bahgat, the general director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which follows events in northern Sinai. But the Morsi government’s alternative, he said, amounts to “completely giving up on Sinai and basically acknowledging that it lost control.”
Meanwhile, Israelis monitoring Egypt’s response “are not impressed,” . . .
3. The UN General Assembly called on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and open its atomic facilities to international inspections. More at AP.
Israel and the Palestinians
• An Israeli government committee is advancing plans for 1,600 housing units in the northern Jerusalem suburb of Ramat Shlomo. The Jerusalem Post notes:
The project already became a major source of international controversy as part of the “Biden Fiasco,” when the project was approved for deposit during the US vice president’s visit to Israel in March 2010.
• Max Fisher looks at the growing divide between Israel and Europe.
• Hamas put a new spin on the “right of return.” In a goodwill gesture, Hamas allowed 10 Fatah members who fled Gaza during the 2007 coup to come back to the strip. Another seven are due to return at a later stage. Hamas hopes the PA will release its members in West Bank jails. Times of Israel coverage.
• Sappers neutralized live Grad warheads which an Israeli man collected as souvenirs. Israel HaYom says the man’s children had played with the warheads too. Don’t try it at home . . .
• Jordan’s King Abdullah to visit Ramallah “in the first visit by a top official to the Palestinian state after we received UN recognition.” AFP coverage.