ISRAEL SILENTLY FOLLOWS EGYPT’S UNREST Maan Network, Bethlehem, August 19 According to officials and analysts, Israel is silently watching the turmoil in Egypt in an attempt not to hamper its strategic security cooperation with the Egyptian army. Israel appreciates the army’s vital role in stopping attacks by armed groups in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.An official, who asked not to be named, said aides to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave instructions to ministers not to issue public statements regarding the situation in Egypt and not to criticize the American position on the Egyptian unrest. A high official secretly revealed his annoyance with US President Barack Obama’s denunciation of the bloodshed in Egypt and the cancellation of joint military exercises with Cairo. Israel fears that any decline in American support for the Egyptian army will boost the Muslim Brotherhood’s sympathizers.Israel does not want anything to disrupt its security cooperation with Egypt, which stems from its peace agreement signed in 1979, especially because it is one of only two peace treaties Israel has signed with Arab countries.SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND FEAR OVER ISRAEL Al Quds Al Arabi, August 15 A United Nations team of experts headed by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom is investigating whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria. The experts will attempt to determine only if such weapons were used, and not who used them. London, Paris and Washington have accused the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons, while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has accused the rebels of using sarin gas.Western states believe Syria has large stocks of chemical weapons, and the Sellstrom team is expected to act as a deterrent to prevent their use.Although Assad has not even hinted at an intent to attack Israel with chemical weapons, even after the repeated Israeli attacks on Syrian territory, the US fears these weapons will fall into the hands of the rebels, who might use them against Israel.Amid the killing, destruction and lack of democracy in Syria, it seems the only issue that moves the US administration is the potential effect of these weapons on Israel.ISRAEL: NO ONE’S AFFAIRS Al Quds, Jerusalem, August 20 When the European Union decided to exclude the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories from any future agreements signed by the EU countries with Israel, observers linked US efforts to resume negotiations and the European move, explaining that this was another attempt to impose pressure on Israel.The Israeli responses to the EU’s decision were generally furious, closer to a direct confrontation, but Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni had a different view.She said the international community aims to fill the vacuum on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. However, what apparently seemed obvious to some Israelis didn’t remain so for more than a few days. In a press conference with the German foreign minister, Livni later said the EU should not interfere in the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.Obviously, the consequences of this decision on the Israeli economy, with the losses estimated to be in the millions of dollars, were the main reason for the angry Israeli response.The EU’s decision also recognized the 1967 borders as the borders of the Palestinian state.We are at a crucial moment. If the Europeans choose to prioritize their relationship with Israel, then they will be responsible for the catastrophes of the occupation, settlement and Israeli aggression.ISRAEL SINKS THE PALESTINIAN CITY OF EL-BIREH WITH WASTE! Al Safeer, Beirut, August 20 Residents of the town of El-Bireh, adjacent to Ramallah, drowned in waste after Israel closed a dump site, leaving the garbage to accumulate within the city. Israeli authorities claimed the closure was for environmental reasons, while the Palestinians accused Israel of wanting to confiscate the dump’s land to expand construction of the nearby settlement of Psagot, which is built on the territories of El-Bireh.Mayor Fawzi Abed said the municipality didn’t know where to dump the garbage now. “We left it between residential houses; the situation is very serious and catastrophic.”In a move that angered residents of the city, the mayor said that the municipality was forced to burn the garbage as a form of protest against the Israeli decision. Residents organized a sit-in in El-Bireh protesting the Israeli decision to close the dump site, rejecting the Israeli claims.“Israel allows factories to dump their garbage in the Palestinian territories. They also install military towers near the residential places and then they talk about environment,” a protester told Al Safeer.THE ARAB REGION RECORDS THE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN THE WORLD Al Qabas, Kuwait, August 20 A study conducted by the Gallup global research company shows that the Middle East and North Africa recorded the highest unemployment rates in the world last year, at 19 percent.The study added that 9% of workers are only part-timers seeking full-time jobs. Fifty-six percent of the unemployed are not effectively searching for jobs, the study showed. According to the study, sub-Saharan Africa at 15% unemployment comes after the Middle East and North Africa with regard to unemployment in 2012, followed by the Balkan countries.The lowest unemployment rates worldwide were in Europe, at 4%.The study also claimed the high unemployment rate was due to the decrease in the proportion of participants holding full-time jobs.The global unemployment rate reached 8% in 2012, the same as in the previous year.Senior Gallup analyst Muhammad Yunus said each country has a specific reason for unemployment, urging ministries of education to plan for the needs of their respective countries when they offer courses and university specializations.