Arab States Weekly Review Dec 1st – 7th 2012

Violent demonstrations occurred in Egypt as liberals and secularists rallied in Cairo and other cities against President Morsi’s decree that gives him wide-ranging extra powers. Morsi’s supporters held large counter-demonstrations. The president seemed determined to hold a referendum quickly on his proposed new constitution.

While the UN General Assembly recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state, Israel pushed ahead with its plans to build 3,000 settler homes on part of the West Bank.

On reports of the Syrian regime moving chemical weapons around the country, US president Barack Obama warned the Assad regime that any use of chemical weapons would be “totally unacceptable” and would result in “consequences”. Increasingly confident rebel forces were preparing for a battle for Damascus.

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