Middle-east

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The more that civilians are killed by US bombs, the more that Trump seems not to care

A little less than two months ago, I predicted in MEMO that the botched Yemen raid that constituted Donald Trump’s first major military action was only a sign of things to come. The bloodthirsty Trump doctrine is even bloodier than I imagined. Last week, up to two hundred Iraqi civilians were killed in US air strikes in Mosul, following American targeting of a Syrian school, where dozens died, and another mosque the week before, which killed forty unarmed Syrians. The Pentagon has quietly approved rules of engagement that permit air strikes against Daesh even when US missiles have the potential to cause significant civilian casualties. Read: Syrian regime urges UN chief to avert ‘looming dam catastrophe’ What has happened here […]


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620,000 settlers live in occupied West Bank

The Palestinian government said as many as 620,000 settlers live in 423 settlements and outposts built on land allocated for a future Palestinian state. The settlers have engulfed 46 per cent of the total area of the West Bank, government documents said. “The essence of this Israeli policy is to deprive the Palestinian people of their right to access their land and to turn it into closed military zones, for settlement construction.” Read: Jewish settlers attack Palestinian school near Nablus It added that there has been an increase in the number of violations committed by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians and their land this year. With the approval of the “Regularisation Bill’ which gives the occupation authorities the right to […]


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Saudi Arabia denies writing off Iraq’s debt

The Saudi Foreign Ministry denied late last night claims that it would be writing off debts owed to it by Iraq. According to the Saudi Press Agency, an official source in the Foreign Ministry commented on the news story posted on the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s website that quoted Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, revealing Saudi Arabia’s intention to write off Iraq’s debts to Saudi Arabia. He denied the claims. Read more: Saudi Arabia plans to write off Iraq’s debts, resume direct flights between two countries The SPA noted that the source also stressed Saudi Arabia’s keenness to establish better relations with Iraq and intensify contact between the country’s high-level officials. This was reflected by the meeting between King Salman Bin […]


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Not content with wiping Palestine off the map, Israel has done the same to part of Syria too

For several years, throughout the height of Israel’s anti-Iran war-mongering and propaganda, we were told that a nuclear Iran threatened to wipe the Zionist state “off the map”. In fact, this claim was based on a mistranslated statement by the then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What he had actually called for was for Israel’s political regime to “vanish from the page of time” in a similar fashion to the Soviet Union or the South African apartheid regime. As with so much Israeli propaganda, this was yet another case of a psychological phenomenon known as projection. This is where an aggressor projects onto their victim the aggressor’s own crimes. Subconsciously, the aggressor knows that what they did to the victim was […]


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Official: Iran does not have an exit strategy from Syria

An Iranian official admitted that his country does not have an exit strategy from the war in Syria, and accused the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Al-Assad, of turning his back to his country. “Iran does not have an exit strategy from the Syrian war,” said Mostafa Zahrani, head of Policy Planning and Strategic Issues at Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read: US envoy to UN says ‘we need to get Iran’ out of Syria “We thought the war in Syria would be short-lived, we thought the enemy was weak and we could end it quickly,” he said in an article published on an Iranian diplomatic website. These are rare occasions when an Iranian official criticises his country’s foreign […]


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Israel to allow shipment of diesel, cooking gas into Gaza Strip

Israeli authorities will open the Karam Abu Salam (Kerem Shalom) crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip today to allow fuel into the besieged coastal enclave. Director General of the Public Administration of the Crossing Points and Borders Committee in Gaza, Nathmi Mahana, told Ma’an that Israel had agreed to open the crossing “exceptionally” to allow a regulated amount of diesel into the Strip, to be used by the Gaza Electricity Company. Mahana added that Israeli authorities had also agreed to allow cooking gas. Read: Severe shortage of cooking gas in Gaza It remained unclear how much diesel and cooking gas would be allowed in. The cooking gas crisis in Gaza has been caused by the lack of gas being […]


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Detention of Palestinian minor by Israeli forces ‘illegal’ and ‘unjustified’ – B’Tselem

Israeli rights group B’Tselem released a report on Wednesday, revealing that Israeli forces had detained a 13-year-old Palestinian from his home in the village of Azzun in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya in February, later releasing him more than a kilometer away.  B’Tselem called the act “illegal” and saying that the incident represented the “unchecked powers” of Israeli soldiers, Ma’an News reported. According to B’Tselem, 13-year-old Baraa Enayeh was detained by Israeli forces at his home on 25 February after he and his 12-year-old neighbour, Ihab Enayeh, ran into soldiers on their way home from work, transporting produce from a farm to a nearby store. Three soldiers asked the two boys to put up their hands and subsequently “sniffed the boys’ […]



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Trump’s Justice Deptartment appeals ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’

The US Justice Department on Thursday appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii extending a suspension of President Donald Trump’s revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries. The appeal will be considered by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which last month upheld a suspension of Trump’s first travel order. Trump signed the revised ban earlier this month in a bid to overcome legal problems with a January executive order that caused chaos at airports and sparked mass protests before a Washington judge stopped its enforcement in February. Trump has said the travel ban is needed for national security. US District Judge Derrick Watson on Wednesday turned an earlier temporary restraining order into […]