Israel Labour leader: ‘United’ Jerusalem is more important than peace

Israeli Labour party leader Avi Gabbay said yesterday that preserving a “united” Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is more important than achieving a peace deal with the Palestinians. Gabbay praised US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming that over 90 per cent of Israelis “yearn for a united Jerusalem”. Thus, he continued: “A united Jerusalem is even more important than peace.” The Times of Israel notes that, contrary to international law, “Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is embraced by parties on both sides of the political spectrum”. In October, Gabbay made headlines when he expressed opposition to the removal of illegal West Bank settlements in the context of a “peace deal” with Palestinians. He subsequently described the […]

Israel TV: Saudi Arabia, Egypt gave Trump green light regarding Jerusalem

Israel’s News 10 said Saudi Arabia and Egypt gave US President Donald Trump the go ahead to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city. The channel said the Arab parties’ reactions and condemnations are not genuine and are misleading. Israeli journalist and head of the Arab desk at the news channel, Zvi Yehezkeli stressed that the announcement could not have been made without coordination between Trump and his regional allies. “I am not sure about the Arab countries’ reactions to this resolution,” Yehezkeli said, adding that the responses issued so far were not serious. On Wednesday, the US President Donald Trump announced his decision to formally recognise Jerusalem […]

Sudan’s Al-Bashir to attend Ethiopia People’s Day celebrations

Sudan’s President will attend Ethiopia People’s Day celebrations and the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the state’s constitution today. Omar Al-Bashir is expected to fly to neighbouring Ethiopia for a one-day visit, the Sudanese News Agency reported on Thursday. Al-Bashir will be accompanied by the Minister of the Presidency, Fadel Abdullah Fadel; Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour; the Director General of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services, Mohammed Atta Al-Moula; and State Minister Hatem Hassan Bakhit. Relations between Sudan and Ethiopia have thawed recently, with a growing rapprochement, especially in respect of the latter’s Grand Renaissance Dam. The two countries agreed in August to coordinate their political, security and economic issues. Egypt continues to oppose the Dam, fearing that it […]

Jordanian TV host banned over Jerusalem tweets

MBC yesterday suspended a TV programme hosted by Jordanian presenter, Ola Al-Fares, following an “angry campaign” that was launched against her on Twitter by political activists, Saudi Arabia’s Okaz reported. The news agency noted that MBC’s move came after many Saudi Twitter activists demanded her programme be removed after she published tweets which they said “insulted Saudi Arabia”. “Trump did not choose the recognition timing coincidently,” Al-Fares said on Twitter, referring to American allies in the region who would have backed the decision before it was made public. “Tonight we condemn and tomorrow we sing.” On Wednesday, the US President Donald Trump announced his decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital adding that the American embassy would be moved from Tel […]

Tunisia holds Congress accountable for US decision on Jerusalem

The Tunisian parliament yesterday voted by an absolute majority to condemn US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and held the US Congress responsible. A majority of 121 lawmakers voted in favour of the decision, two MPs objected and two abstained. The voting took place during an emergency session held yesterday following Trump’s announcement. “The People’s Assembly expresses its rejection of this resolution which constitutes an attack on all human values, is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and international legitimacy, the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and to build their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and a direct threat to international peace and security,” the decision read. It described the […]

Nearly every ex-US ambassador to Israel denounces Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Nearly every former US ambassador to Tel Aviv said that they disagree with President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All but two of the 11 former United States ambassadors to Israel contacted by The New York Times said that the plan was wrongheaded, dangerous or deeply flawed. The overriding view amongst the former diplomats was echoed by Daniel C. Kurtzer, who was the ambassador from 2001 to 2005, under President George W. Bush. “There are many downsides, both diplomatically and in terms of the Middle East peace process, and no upside,” Kurtzer told the paper. We are isolated internationally once again — except for the Israeli government, which supports this — and we are […]

US warns PA against cancelling meetings with officials

The White House warned the PA against cancelling the meetings scheduled with the Vice President in the next few days as a form of protest against the US President’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Washington addressed the PA warning it of the repercussions of cancelling meetings with Mike Pence, who appeared alongside Trump during his speech from the White House to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to the Israeli media: “The White House informed the PA of the futility of cancelling the meeting between Abbas and Pence, who is scheduled to arrive in the region in the coming days to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials.” Officials in the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah […]

Google declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel

The global search engine Google and Google Maps have changed the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This came as the US President Donald Trump was due to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and announced that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The internet giant has come under immense criticism after making the change as it was completed before Trump’s decision was made public and also because US recognition does not change the status quo as per UN resolutions which have include that the status of Jerusalem will be decided during future negotiations. .@Google jumped the gun announcing #Jerusalem as the capital of #Israel ahead of #trump’s speech […]

Qatar buys fighter jets from France

Qatar is set to purchase Rafale fighter jets and armoured vehicles from France after the two countries signed commercial contracts worth €12 billion ($14.1 billion) yesterday. Under the deal, Doha agreed to purchase 12 more Rafale fighter jets – with the option of buying a further 36 – as well as committing to buying 490 armoured vehicles from the defence firm Nexter. Qatar has previously purchased €6 billion ($7 billion) in weapons from France. “In total, it amounts to nearly €12 billion which was signed today and which underlines the closeness of our economic cooperation,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. This deal comes almost six months after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar. […]

Morocco: We will do what needs to be done for Jerusalem

The Moroccan government will “not hesitate to do everything that has to be done” for Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump declared the occupied city to be the capital of Israel, the official spokesperson said yesterday. Speaking at a press conference in the capital Rabat, Mustapha El-Khalfi, said his country is “taking decisive actions and exhausting all possibilities” and refused “any premature announcement”. He added that Morocco’s position is clear, strong and direct about the refusal to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Earlier yesterday, Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani said that Jerusalem was “a red line, the crossing of which cannot be tolerated or reversed.” He denounced the US administration’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and […]