Will Turkey ever be part of the European Union?

“I would like to hear a clear declaration,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to Poland last week. “If you want to accept Turkey, just do it. If you don’t want to, just say that.” Erdogan was of course, speaking of Turkey’s bid to join the EU, a partnership that has been in the works for over 50 years, the longest a country has waited in order to join the transnational bloc. The issue has been much debated, and European officials have demonstrated an increased reluctancy to admit Turkey since the attempted military coup of 2016 and concerns over human rights violations. Tension between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Erdogan has led to a seemingly never-ending war […]

Palestinians stand alone in defending their land

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has relished the spotlight so far this year. In February, the PA launched the five-year National Policy Agenda which prioritised national unity and economic independence, among other plans. Meanwhile, Hamdallah was pushing for PA control over Gaza as the enclave succumbed to unprecedented humanitarian deprivation as a result of collective punishment inflicted by Israel and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas’ relinquishing control over Gaza so far seems to be going according to Hamdallah’s plan. Last Wednesday at the annual olive picking festival in the district of Bethlehem, Hamdallah accused Israel of hindering Palestine’s economic growth. The rhetoric chosen by the Palestinian prime minister is weighed down by a multitude of facades – the most prominent […]

Ex-US envoy to UN slams Sisi’s ‘blatant lie’

Samantha Power, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, has slammed Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi’s claim that he has “imprisoned no political activists”. She responded on Twitter by calling it a “blatant lie”, stating that “at least 50,000 political prisoners” have been arrested since Sisi took power. Blatant lie. At least 50,000 political prisoners arrested since Sisi took power in 2014 https://t.co/ifx7Y1hWZO — Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) October 25, 2017 Al-Sisi made the wild remark during an interview with the French news channel France 24 while on a visit to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. He justified his claim by insisting that “everything has been done according to the law, within its jurisdiction. Our friends […]

Hamas discusses Palestinian developments with Jordan

Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh yesterday discussed the latest developments on the Palestinian arena with the Jordanian King Abdullah II, Quds Press reported. In a telephone call, Haniyeh outlined the political situation and the issue of Palestinian unity. He stressed on the strong ties between Palestinians and Jordanians, recalling historical incidents where Jordan had stood beside Palestine. “The image of the Jordanian King while donating blood during the Israeli offensive on Gaza and the role of the late King Hussein in the release of late Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin from Israeli jails are engraved in the Palestinian mind,” he said. He also said that Hamas rejects all the “conspiracies and the proposals of the alternative country” for Palestinians. […]

Netanyahu pledges $230m for settlement projects

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday pledged to pay 800 million shekels ($230 million) for infrastructure projects in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported. Quds Press reported Israeli TV Channel 7 saying that Netanyahu announced his pledge during a meeting with the leaders and heads of illegal settlements. The settler leaders asked Netanyahu to fund paving new roads to connect the settlements with each other, as well as to fund programmes to improve security measures in the settlements. Netanyahu and his Chief of Staff Yoav Horowitz told the chairman of the council of West Bank settlements Avi Roeh that the plan would go into effect at the start of the next fiscal year. Roe […]

My Name is Rachel Corrie

Fourteen years have passed since 23-year-old Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli bulldozers in Gaza. The American activists, along with other members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), were taking part in nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition when the activist from Washington was killed. Since her untimely death on the Rafah border crossing in 2003, Corrie’s free-spirited attitude to life has been the inspiration for international solidarity movements, non-violent resistance as well as plays and books celebrating her humanity and bravery. My Name is Rachel Corrie, being showed at the Young Vic in London, is based on the emails and diary entries of the pro-Palestinian activist, which first premiered at […]

Settlers throw stones at Palestinian farmers in Ramallah

Israeli Jewish settlers from the illegal settlement of Halamish threw stones at Palestinian farmers who were picking olives on their fields yesterday, the Shehab News Agency reported. The spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committee Mohamed Al-Tamimi said the settlers attacked the Palestinian farmers in the village of Deir Nidham in the north of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. He said that the settlers had escalated their attacks on the farmers in recent months after occupation forces took control of the street connecting a number of Palestinian villages and since work began on the expansion of the illegal settlement of Halamish. Al-Tamimi also said that the Israeli occupation and its settlers continuously harass the Palestinians in the villages of Nabi […]

Turkey trains 5,631 Syrian policemen

The Turkish Police Academy oversaw the training of 5,631 Syrians to work as police officers where the “Euphrates Shield Operation” is taking place in northern Syria. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported Turkish security sources as saying that the training took place at five schools belonging to the Turkish Police Academy. According to the sources, the training aims to achieve security and stability in the areas where Turkey’s military operation was taking place as well as the city of Azaz in northwestern Syrian. Twenty per cent of the participants were trained under the supervision of Turkey’s Police Special Operations Department. After the training, which began in December last year, the police officers will begin their duties in the cities of Al-Bab, Azaz, […]

Arab nations discuss countering spread of drugs

The heads of anti-narcotics agencies in the Middle East yesterday discussed setting up a project to counter the spread of drugs in the region. Speaking at the opening of the 31st Arab Conference of the Heads of Drug Control Agencies in the Tunisian capital Tunis, Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Mohammed Bin Ali Koman said: “This project will have a significant impact on reducing the spread of drugs and reducing the risks of this proliferation.” “The conference is also discussing a draft for an Arab mechanism for early warning, to monitor developments in the field of drugs, combat traditional and innovative psychological materials, and subject the Tramadol drug to international control.” Director of the Arab Office for […]

Khashoggi welcomes Saudi’s pledge to end extremism

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has welcomed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s calls to bring an end to extremism in the Kingdom. “The Kingdom has lost long decades being locked up in narrow Salafist ideology,” Khashoggi said on Twitter. Freedom from extremism promised by the Crown Prince should include ensuring public freedoms so that no citizen is arrested for his opinion so that we do not move from one extreme to another. Khashoggi added that he hoped the “Crown Prince does the right thing and carries a good vision for the Kingdom.” During an economic forum on Tuesday, Bin Salman vowed to fight extremist saying the Kingdom will restore moderate Islam. “We will not spend the next 30 years of our […]