Abbas avoids clash with Israel over state symbols

Updated 08 January 2013
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Abbas avoids clash with Israel over state symbols

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian officials say they will not rush to issue new passports and ID cards with the emblem “State of Palestine” to avoid confrontation with Israel.
Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decreed that in official documents “State of Palestine” must replace “Palestinian Authority,” the name of his self-rule government. His decision came after the UN General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in late November, overriding Israeli objections.
Israel says such a state can only be the result of negotiations.
On Monday, Palestinian officials said documents that need to be presented to Israel, such as passports, will not be changed now.
Abbas aide Saeb Erekat says there’s fear of travel problems because Israel is unlikely to recognize passports with a new emblem.


Iran detains ex-prosecutor convicted in 2009 torture case

Updated 2 min 47 sec ago
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Iran detains ex-prosecutor convicted in 2009 torture case

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s official judicial news agency is reporting that police have arrested a former Tehran prosecutor who faces a two-year prison sentence over the death of prisoners following the country’s 2009 protests.
The website of the Mizan news agency said Sunday that Saeed Mortazavi had been arrested, without elaborating.
Mortazavi was sentenced to prison by an appeals court in December. That court found him indirectly responsible for the torture deaths of protesters following former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009.
Since that court decision, Mortazavi apparently couldn’t be found by authorities.
Last week, a judicial spokesman suggested publicly that Mortazavi was missing. The former prosecutor’s wife and lawyer, however, said he was only looking to appeal the ruling.
His lawyer could not be immediately reached Sunday.