Amnesty criticises Saudi, UAE and Bahrain for rights violations

The British human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that recent humanitarian measures by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain were “vague and insufficient and do not address the human rights situation,” Qatar News Agency (QNA) has reported. The comment was made during a meeting between Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri, head of the National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar, and Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty, in London. Both men raised the consequences of the siege imposed by the aforementioned Gulf States on Qatar, the serious violations of international human rights law and the violation of the basic rights of Gulf and Qatari citizens. Shetty condemned the violations, stressing that Amnesty International would continue to work […]

Lieberman rules out final peace deal with Palestinians

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liebermann has ruled out any final peace deal with the Palestinians that would end the Israel-Palestine conflict, Anadolu reported on Tuesday. “The best scenario for solving the Israel-Palestine conflict is a long-term interim agreement on a diplomatic vision for Gaza,” he told a parliamentary meeting in the Knesset. “We must not accept a situation in which normalisation with the Arab countries will be held hostage to the Palestinian issue.” Read: Regional settlement will not be hostage to resolving Palestinian issue says Lieberman Regarding the situation in Gaza, Lieberman said that he has no intention of launching any military operation. “Nor, however, do I intend to ignore any provocation,” he added.

The Gulf crisis and the settling of scores in Tunisia

Shortly after the crisis between Qatar and its neighbours took an unprecedented turn in the history of Gulf relations, some people in Tunisia rushed to voice positions characterised by vengeance and a lack of good judgment. Some went so far as to directly undermine Tunisia’s strategic interests. A number of intellectuals exchanged accusations of being mercenaries for this or that Gulf state. The same disease has also spread among politicians, seeing an opportunity to eliminate their opponents once and for all, in the hope that they can inherit their positions in a country that is still fragile. These moves are unfortunate, shameful and unworthy of an elite who (thanks to a set of unforeseen events) have been given the responsibility […]

Only in Trump’s time

The crisis broke out amongst the brothers in the Gulf while Trump tweeted accusations about Qatar supporting terrorism. Only hours later, the US secretary of defence made a statement about the partnership with Qatar to combat terrorism, without criticising the president’s words. Trump then changed his position and called the Emir of Qatar to invite him to visit Washington and a huge aircraft deal with the small Gulf State was announced. Two days later, the same president again accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, while the secretary of defence again sang a different tune, calling for the siege imposed on Qatar to be lifted. The major US newspapers and satellite television stations have mocked these contradictions and many have been creative […]

Rome’s mayor does not want more migrants in Italian capital

The Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, told the Italian interior ministry on Tuesday that it is “impossible” to have more migrants in the capital, Anadolu has reported. “I find it impossible, as well as risky, to think up further accommodation structures,” she told the ministry in a formal letter. The already “strong migratory presence” in Rome and “the continued influx of foreign citizens” are the reasons given by the mayor for not wanting more migrants. “The city’s administration hopes that the government considers the potential destructive consequences for receiving more refugees in Rome due to the social costs and security measures,” she added. Read: Italy rescues 484 migrants in Mediterranean, finds 7 bodies Mayor Raggi’s comments came just two days after […]

Israel in talks with Egypt, EU in bid to solve Gaza electricity crisis

Israeli authorities are in talks with Egypt and European countries in an attempt to solve the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip where 2 million residents have less than four hours of electricity every day, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday. On Sunday the Israeli ministerial council headed by Netanyahu decided to reduce Israel’s electricity supply to Gaza by 35 per cent. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially attempted to distance himself from the crisis by claiming that the issue is part of an internal dispute between the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas. Read: Another Gaza hospital reduces operations due to electricity crisis Israeli and Palestinian media reported that this decision was taken after the Palestinian Authority (PA) Financial Minister Shukri […]

Egypt cancels Fatah visit for duration of Hamas talk

Egypt has cancelled a planned visit by a delegation from the secular Fatah movement which would have coincided with an official visit by Hamas to Cairo for talks about mutual relations, local sources revealed to Quds Press on Tuesday. The Cairo-Hamas meeting will also look at issues related to easing the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to the anonymous Egyptian sources, the Fatah delegation led by Azzam Al-Ahmad planned to ensure that the talks between Hamas and the government in Cairo are restricted to the Palestinian reconciliation issue. They explained that reconciliation is not intended to be the main topic of the talks with Hamas during the nine-day visit. “Fatah wants to undermine any meeting between Hamas and […]

PSC to take UK to court over ‘anti-BDS’ measures

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) will be taking the British government to court for judicial review today over unlawful restrictions on divestment from Israel. The trial is due to begin at 09:30 in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The PSC will be going to court over the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) having “acted unlawfully” in September 2016 by attempting to restrict ethical divestment from companies, including those complicit in the occupation of Palestine. Sajid Javid’s department declared that “divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate, other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the Government.” This guidance came in despite a public consultation on the issue in which 98 per cent […]

Turkish president says Qatar isolation violates Islamic values

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday denounced the isolation of Qatar by neighbouring states as a violation of Islamic values and akin to a “death penalty” imposed in a crisis that has reverberated across the Middle East and beyond. Erdogan’s comments marked the strongest intervention yet by a powerful regional ally of Doha eight days after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and applied stringent economic sanctions on it. Later on Tuesday, the UAE ambassador to the United States, which has an air base in Qatar, said there was no military component to the steps taken against Doha. Qatar denies accusations that it supports Islamist militants and Shi’ite Iran, arch regional foe of […]

Cholera rages across Yemen, one child infected every minute

A cholera epidemic raging across Yemen is spiralling out of control, with around one child falling sick every minute, an aid agency warned on Wednesday. Thousands of people could die in the coming months with up to 300,000 cases predicted, Save the Children said, adding that the infection rate had tripled in a fortnight. Two years of civil war, near-famine conditions and a lack of access to clean water have exacerbated the spread of cholera – a diarrheal disease that can kill within hours. The country’s health system – already on its knees – is reeling with hospitals overwhelmed and quickly running out of medicines and intravenous fluids. The UN children’s agency UNICEF said more than 920 people had died […]