Middle-east

No Picture

Israeli statistics do not give real number of Palestinians in Jerusalem

The Israeli Municipal Water Association, Gihon, has said that official Israeli statistics did not give the real number of Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported yesterday. According to Quds Press, the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote on Thursday that Gihon is to publish data about the numbers of Arab and Jewish residents in East Jerusalem which differs to the numbers published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. Israeli official statistics show that there are 542,000 Jews living in Jerusalem, to a total of 63 per cent of the population, as compared to 324,000 Palestinians. Gihon, which has conducted a survey recently, said that this number does not include tens of thousands of Palestinians living inside the borders […]


No Picture

Israel razes Palestinian factory in Jenin

Israeli bulldozers razed a Palestinian coal factory in the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday and seized tons of goods, Quds Press reported. Kayid Abu Bakr, who heads a coal factory owners syndicate, said that Israeli forces razed the facility, including two dormitories and 11 storehouses, adding that they seized tons of wood and coal. Abu Bakr said that Israeli settlers living in the illegal Jewish settlement near the coal factory asked the Israeli authorities to get rid of the coal factories, claiming “they cause pollution and disease in the area.” “The Israeli occupation forces raze Palestinian facilities and lands under fake pretexts in order to expand illegal settlements,” Abu Bakr said. To prove his assertions, Abu Bakr pointed […]


No Picture

164 Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces in West Bank, Gaza Strip

The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) reported yesterday that Israeli forces wounded 164 Palestinians as they cracked down on protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in solidarity with hunger strikers. In a statement, the PRC said that one of the Palestinians from Nablus suffered moderate injuries after he was shot with a live bullet in the leg, while two others suffered moderate wounds as they were shot in the upper parts of their bodies in eastern Gaza. The PRC also reported dozens suffered light wounds after they were shot with rubber bullets, while others suffered breathing problems due to tear gas inhalation. Earlier this week, protests were arranged in solidarity with the hunger strikers in a Friday “day of […]


No Picture

Egyptian debts increased by $24.5bn in one year

Egypt’s Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) revealed that Egyptian debt had increased by 441.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($24.5 billion), Rassd reported yesterday. According to Rassd, the CAO said that the total debts of the Cairo government until 30 June 2016 was approximately $138.5 billion, excluding government deposits, noting the increase of $24.5 billion, or 21.5 per cent increase, compared to the previous year. The CAO noted that domestic debts were estimated to be $126.6 billion while foreign debt tallied to a total of $11.9 billion. The report noted that this referred to the inflation of public debt and the expansion of issuing government bonds, treasury bills, bonds from the central bank and social insurance funds. It also said that the dependence […]


No Picture

Turkey to build ‘cyber army’ to defend against hack attacks

The Turkish government has decided to establish a “cyber army” to be ready for countering any possible cyber attack, noting that such attacks are extremely dangerous to Turkey’s security and economy, state-run Anadolu reported yesterday. Commenting on the recent global ransomware attack, Turkish Transportation and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said: We survived these recent attacks unharmed as a country. However, they may pose a bigger threat and danger in the following days. He added “That is why we are strengthening our infrastructure all the time,” noting that “some 13,000 white hat hackers came to work in the public sector.” In comments to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Arslan said: “We are building a cyber army with five groups…We formed centres and […]


No Picture

Rescued ‘slaves’ tell of detention, beatings in Libya

A day after reaching safety aboard a humanitarian ship, migrants, some of whom were enslaved, told of arbitrary detention, slavery and beatings in Libya as Europe seeks to build up the Tripoli-based coastguard. “Libya is crazy. They arrest us, the police…They put us in some place…two, three days no eat, no drink. They beat us,” said Alseer Issa Ibrahim, 28, from the Darfur region of Sudan. Ibrahim is one of almost 600 people on the Aquarius, a rescue ship operated by Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee, now heading toward an Italian port. Six years after the fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Libya appears to be sliding deeper into lawlessness. Smugglers are packing record numbers of people onto unsafe […]


No Picture

UN sees ‘incremental progress’ in Syria talks

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura ended four days of Syria talks yesterday, saying there had been “incremental progress” and he planned to reconvene negotiations in June. But the warring sides still showed no sign of wanting to be in the same room, let alone on the same page in terms of negotiating Syria’s political future. Syrian regime negotiator Bashar Al-Ja’afari told reporters the talks had not included any discussion of the four main agenda items – reformed governance, new elections, a new constitution and the fight against terrorism. He suggested the United States had tried to undermine his negotiating position by saying at the start of the round that a crematorium had been built at Sednaya prison north of Damascus […]


No Picture

US, Saudi Arabia blacklist Hezbollah commander

Saudi Arabia said yesterday that it had blacklisted Hashem Safieddine, a prominent leader of the Lebanese Shia jihadist group Hezbollah that is a close ally and proxy of Riyadh’s arch-regional adversary Iran. The United States Treasury Department also added Safieddine to its counter-terrorism blacklist on Friday, a day before US President Donald Trump travels to Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is the first stop on Trump’s maiden international trip since taking office in January, and he is expected to conclude important security and trade agreements there with Saudi officials. “The Saudi government today designated a leader of Hezbollah, whose name is Hashem Safieddine,” Saudi state news agency SPA said. Safieddine’s name was posted on the counter terrorism blacklist on the US Treasury […]


No Picture

Depopulation of last free Homs neighbourhood by Syria regime continues

Syrian civilians and opposition fighters began to leave the last opposition-held district of Homs city today under a deal that will see dictator President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime take back the area once they have depopulated it of anti-Assad elements, a Reuters witness, a monitor and state media said. At least one bus carrying families of civilians and some fighters left the Al-Waer district earlier, and dozens more were expected to follow, bringing some 2,500 people out of the neighbourhood long besieged by government forces and their allies. The evacuation and depopulation of Al-Waer district is one of the largest of its kind, after a series of similar deals in recent months brought many areas of western Syria long held by […]


No Picture

Macron vows France will increase interventionism in Africa

France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe yesterday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was “no more Islamist terrorism” there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. “It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up” efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim Boubacar […]