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Jennie Matthew

Iraqis vote amid sporadic violence

Iraqis voted on Thursday in a landmark poll to choose a four-year government that many hope will restore security to a nation wracked by violence and sectarian feuding since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Despite blanket security, one man was killed in a grenade attack in the northern city of Mosul.

Palestinian suicide bomber kills five in Israeli market

Five Israelis were killed and dozens more wounded on Wednesday when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a busy marketplace, the first deadly attack inside the Jewish state since July. Responsibility for the attack in the town of Hadera was claimed by the Islamic Jihad movement.

Victims say Hamas lied over blast

Nine-year-old Salama died instantly, his head blown off and his body torn to shreds when a massive explosion ripped through a Hamas military parade, killing at least 15 people. The Islamist faction blamed Israel and fired off dozens of rockets, unleashing a catalogue of Israeli air strikes and three sleepless, frightening nights for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Troops storm defiant West Bank settlers

Troops hacked their way into a barricaded synagogue in the heart of biblical Israel on Tuesday as they evacuated defiant settlers from the northern West Bank after the historic pull-out of Jews from the Gaza Strip. Security forces also cleared several dozen religious students who had taken refuge inside a seminary.

Israel looks to EU, US for pull-out support

Israel looked on Monday to international support for its pull-out from the Gaza Strip, requesting a multibillion-dollar aid package from the United States and lobbying for European Union backing from visiting EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The pull-out operation is to begin in mid-August.

Gaza: Dynamite Israeli homes or leave them?

To suffer Palestinian flags strung up in victory from abandoned Jewish homes or incur global wrath for dynamiting the legacy of a 38-year occupation. That is what Israel must decide when uprooting settlers from nearly 2 000 homes in the Gaza Strip this summer.

Israel blames Syria for suicide attack

Israel insisted on Monday that Syria is to blame for a Tel Aviv suicide attack as a car packed with explosives was discovered in the West Bank, casting a shadow over efforts to forge peace in the Middle East. Israeli intelligence briefed European Union ambassadors on its alleged involvement in Friday's bombing.

Arafat orphans look back on blissful childhood

For the dozens of Palestinian orphans that Yasser Arafat adopted, brought up and indulged, his demise in a Paris hospital was a very personal torment, as they look back on a blissful childhood. Without ever signing official adoption papers, the veteran leader took personal charge of about 66 children, most of them left parentless after the massacres of the Palestinian camps of Tall Zaatar, and Sabra and Chatilla.

Scenes of horror at Iraqi hospital

In the children's ward at the Samawa hospital in Iraq, the stench of dried sweat and raw waste is almost unbearable. Mothers, dressed head to foot in black robes, sit cross-legged on the floor or beds, cradling children as many drift slowly into death. ''We have nothing. Most children die, especially in winter,'' said a junior doctor.

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