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Geopolitics

Death Toll Rising After Pakistan Election Rally Blast

AFP, ALJAZEERA (Qatar), PAK TRIBUNE (Pakistan), REUTERS, ZEE NEWS (India)

Worldcrunch

KURRUM - The death toll from a bombing at a political rally near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border has increased to at least 25 as of Tuesday morning, making it the deadliest attack to date on the current national election campaign, says the AFP.

The explosion occurred when a device detonated at a rally for two Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidates, who, according to Aljazeera, escaped unhurt. An estimated 70 people were injured in the blast, writes India’s Zee News.

Dr. Inayatullah Khan, the administrator of a nearby hospital, said 20 bodies and 65 injured were brought to the hospital, quotes the Pak Tribune. He said some tribesmen took bodies of their relatives to their villages instead of bringing them to the hospital.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombing, reports the Tribune, saying that the target was one of the candidates who supported operations against the militants. The group added that party activists were not targets.

Since April, reports Reuters, the group has killed more than 70 people in attacks targeting three major political parties, preventing many candidates from openly campaigning.

This has been the first deadly attack on a political party in this region since campaigning began for what will be the country’s first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has completed a full term of office. Elections are due to be held May 11.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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