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Iraq

Wave Of Bombings Kills At Least 14 In Iraq On Eve Of Muslim Festival

BBC NEWS (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), REUTERS, AP

Worldcrunch

BAGHDAD - A series of car bombs targeting security forces killed at least 14 people across Iraq, leaving dozens wounded.

Car bombs and roadside devices exploded almost simultaneously in Baghdad and several other Iraqi cities.

The wave of attacks took place on the eve of the Islamic festival of Muharram, an important date on the Shia Muslim religious calendar, BBC News reports.

Al Jazeera also notes the symbolic character of the simultaneous attacks, which occurred just a day before the month of Muharram which marks the Islamic new year on the lunar calendar.

The deadliest explosion happened in the disputed and ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, 250 kilometers north of Baghdad, where four bombs planted in parked cars went off simultaneously, killing nine people and wounding 30, Reuters reports.

About an hour later, another parked car bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol in the Sunni-dominated town of Hawija to the west of Kirkuk, killing five soldiers and wounding four others, AP reports.

In the southern city of Hilla, 100 kilometers south of the Iraqi capital, four people were killed in a car bomb blast, while another car bomb targeting an Interior Ministry official in central Baghdad killed one passer-by and wounded nine others.

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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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