Middle-east

No Picture

Saudi jails two over 2011 protests

A court in Saudi Arabia has convicted two Saudi citizens of trying to organise mass protests in 2011 inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and sentenced them to three and four years in jail, local media reported today. A clampdown at the time prevented calls issued on social media for mass gatherings in the capital Riyadh, although some small protests by minority Shia Muslims were dispersed by security forces with gunshots fired in the air. The late King Abdullah also ordered an aid package worth billions of dollars for Saudis in an apparent bid to insulate the country from the protests. The Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper reported that the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh had found the two […]


No Picture

US initiative supports Palestinian olive farmers

A new initiative to offer organic, fair trade Palestinian olive oil to the US market and support farmers who face Israeli military aggression has been launched online. On its website, Harvest Peace says: “The farmers and agricultural workers endure poverty and daily injustice on account of military aggression and economic isolation. Our goal is to not only raise awareness of their unique situation, but to introduce their products into a broader market.” $1 From each bottle sold is dedicated to planting olive trees “This will help raise them out of poverty while ensuring their traditional way of life remains viable for generations to come.” Jenny Farhat, a first generation Palestinian-American who started the initiative, said: “To my family and to […]


No Picture

Israel to prosecute police officer who urinated on Palestinian man

The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday ruled that an Israeli police officer who urinated on a blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian during interrogations at the Ma’ale Adumim police station in 2007 should go on trial. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, a decade ago the Palestinian victim complained to the Justice Ministry’s investigation department. He spoke of the physical and sexual abuse he experienced while detained at the police station. However, the department dismissed his case, forcing the victim to petition the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court made the ruling despite being “convinced that the evidence was thoroughly investigated several times,” Haaretz reported. But the judge ruled in favour of the victim “in relation to the charge that the policeman had deliberately urinated […]


No Picture

Israel demolishes Arab-Israeli’s home without notice

Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house owned by an Arab-Israeli in the central Israeli town of Kafr Qasim this morning. Israeli police raided the home of Ramzi Bin Bari and demolished it. According to locals, the demolition was carried out because the building lacked difficult to obtain Israeli-issued building permits. Bin Bari had recently moved to the town, locals added. Despite attempts by residents to prevent the demolition, the bulldozers continued work until the house was completely destroyed. Bin Bari told Ma’an that his case was still being discussed in court in an attempt to gain a permit for the property. He added that he had not received a demolition order and was shocked when bulldozers arrived at the house. […]


No Picture

Reading Mahmoud Abbas’ mind

Given my position as director general of the Palestinian Media, Research and Studies Centre, Badael, for over 10 years, between 2005 and 2011, and my current position as Director General of Masarat, the Palestinian Centre for Policy Research and Strategic Studies since 2011, along with the experience I gained from decades of researching and analysing Palestinian policies and developments in their Arab, regional and international aspects, I am always asked, especially recently, the same question in various formats, by Palestinians, Arabs, and foreigners: What is Mahmoud Abbas thinking? What is behind his policies? Why doesn’t he change his path despite clearly reaching an impasse? The president is living through a hard time, and facing growing and dangerous challenges and risks […]


No Picture

Turkey summons German ambassador after minister blocked from speaking

The German ambassador was today summoned by the Turkish foreign ministry in Ankara after a talk by Ankara’s justice minister was cancelled in Germany, ministry sources said. The decision to call in the ambassador was made by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosoglu, the sources added. Read: Germany says unaware of Erdogan visit over referendum Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag earlier said he had called off a meeting with his counterpart in Germany and was returning home after his talk was cancelled. Shaky bilateral ties have been dragged to a new low amid growing public criticism in Germany of Turkey’s arrest of a Turkish-German journalist.


No Picture

Hungary builds border fence able to electrocute refugees

Hungary is building a large new barrier capable of delivering electric shocks to unwanted refugees and migrants and armed with heat sensors, cameras, and loudspeakers that blare in several languages, along its southern border. The country was a main crossing point for hundreds of thousands of people trekking into Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015. “Attention, attention. I’m warning you that you are at the Hungarian border,” the loudspeakers say in English, Arabic and Farsi. “If you damage the fence, cross illegally, or attempt to cross, it’s counted to be a crime in Hungary. I’m warning you to hold back from committing this crime. You can submit your asylum application at the transit zone.” The “transit […]


No Picture

Ethiopia thwarts attempted attack on Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia has foiled an attempt to attack the Renaissance Dam it is building on the Nile River, a senior official told the Anadolu Agency yesterday. Ethiopian State Minister Zadgi Abraha said a “terrorist” group sought to carry out an attack on the dam, which is under construction, but guards positioned to protect it killed 13 of the attackers, while a further seven escaped to Sudan. Khartoum has since handed them over to Ethiopia, Abraha explained. The minister revealed that the group had RPGs and other light weapons and that they had been trained to carry out “terrorist acts and kill project workers”. He did not say who was behind the attack but warned Eritrea of supporting terrorist groups that aim […]


No Picture

Netanyahu urged Trump to quit UN rights group

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that he was the one that urged US President Donald Trump to quit the UN Human Rights Council, the Jerusalem Post reported Israeli radio saying. Yesterday, a US envoy issue a veiled warning indicating that the US may consider pulling out of the UN body for what they perceive as its “continued obsession with Israel”. Netanyahu allegedly told members of his Likud party that he had recommended the US end its participation in the UN body that has been accused of being bias against Israel. “During the trip I raised the question of whether the United States should remain in the [UN] Human Rights Council,” the radio station quoted Netanyahu as saying of […]


No Picture

Battling to save schools in times of war

Over the past five years, thousands of schools have been attacked, damaged or totally destroyed by armed conflict in the Middle East. Across Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen and Libya, almost 9,000 schools have been rendered unsuitable for learning. With nearly 14 million children (40 per cent) from five war torn countries out of school, humanitarian workers fear that an entire generation has already been lost because of attacks on schools and the battle now is to save the next generation. An international coalition of institutions, advocacy groups and lawyers has been trying to push through an initiative to ensure that the educations of future generations are protected in areas of conflict. Last week in Doha, Qatar, the Education Above All […]