Middle-east

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Senior Hamas leader speaks out Trump moving US embassy to Jerusalem

In an interview with Al Jazeera English’s current affairs show UpFront, Osama Hamdan, a senior leader of Hamas, revealed that the group is working on a new charter which includes addressing widely criticised anti-Semitic statements in the [1988] original. “We will have a clear political document, which is supposed to be in the near future, clarifying all those points,” Hamadan told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan, referring to anti-Semitic conspiratorial claims in the Hamas charter accusing Jews of running the world, creating communism and starting World War One and Two. “You will find in this document clear words that we against the Zionists, against the occupation of our lands and we will resist the occupiers, whoever they were. And we are […]


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UN tiptoes around Trump stance on torture, refugees

The United Nations reaffirmed today that torture is illegal and that refugees deserve protection, while ducking any direct criticism of remarks made by new US President Donald Trump. Major human rights groups have denounced Trump’s stance on torture and warned against restoring a CIA secret detention programme for interrogating terror suspects. Trump is also reviewing spending, including at the UN, where the United States is the largest donor. “International human rights law is clear on the absolute prohibition on torture,” UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing. Pressed repeatedly to comment on Trump’s remarks this week that torture “works”, Colville noted that prominent US Senators including Republican John McCain, himself a torture victim, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein, […]


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UN: Yemen wheat reserves depleted in 3 months

Yemen has roughly three months supply of wheat left to draw from, leaving the country exposed to serious disruption as a central bank crisis cuts food imports and starvation deepens, the top UN aid official in the country has said. A decision by Yemen’s internationally-recognised government in August to move the central bank out of Sana’a, the capital city controlled by the armed Shia Houthi movement with which it is at war, to the southern port city of Aden has triggered bigger hardships for Yemenis and paralysed the bank. Reuters reported in December that Yemen’s biggest traders had stopped new wheat imports due to a shutdown in trade finance and no import guarantees from the central bank for some months. […]


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‘US aid to Israel cannot continue,’ says American writer

American writer Jeremy Hammond has told a seminar organised by the Council on International Relations that US aid to Israel “cannot continue.” He made his comment during the event entitled “America is an obstacle to peace”, at which the discussion looked at the prospects of the US-Palestine relationship under the Trump administration. The council’s head, Dr Bassem Naeem, welcomed the audience and emphasised the importance of highlighting the consequences of US attitudes and behaviour towards the Palestinians during Trump’s presidency. This is especially so in light of the controversial statements made by the new president before and after he won the election in November. Hammond pointed out that the US is supporting Israel financially and economically, and has increased its […]



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Differences between Russia and Iran over Syria bubble to the surface

Recent months have shown sharp differences that have begun to surface between apparently erstwhile allies Russia and Iran, who worked closely in their joint campaign to prop up the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. While it is undeniable that the strong cooperation and coordination between the former Kremlin superpower looking to make a comeback and its former Iranian colony has yielded excellent results for the Assad regime, there are still conflicting priorities for the two allies. Foreign bases on Iranian soil The problems first began to surface when Moscow made a public relations gaffe that turned into an Iranian political scandal by announcing that Russian warplanes were being launched from Hamadan Airbase in Iran’s western provinces. The Russian defence […]


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Haniyeh returns to Gaza after 5 month diplomatic mission

The deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, made a press statement immediately upon his return to Gaza after a five month diplomatic tour of the Arab and Islamic world to shore up support for Gaza. Haniyeh entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and said that his meetings with Egyptian officials were “fruitful”. The senior Hamas figure also emphasised the Arab and Muslim aspect of the Palestinian cause, as well as Hamas’ commitment to coordination with the Arab countries “concerned with the cause.” He said: “Our visit to Egypt was successful and it revealed the nature of Egypt’s critical role and relationship with the Palestinian cause in general, and specifically with Gaza. We will continue talks with […]


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Egypt officials betray Sisi, attempt to reconcile with Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian Sisi regime officials have recently been attempting to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood, going behind President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s back in the process, reports have indicated. Figures from the Egyptian government have been speaking to the banned group about working on a reconciliation deal, London-based Brotherhood leader Mohamed Sudan told The New Arab. “Second-level leaders in some agencies of the Sisi regime have visited Istanbul to express their desire to join the anti-coup camp and others have done the same during meetings in Cairo,” Sudan said. Sudan did not reveal the identities of the Egyptian officials speaking to the Brotherhood on a possible compromise deal between the two sides. This week marked six years since the 2011 uprising that ousted long-time […]


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Lebanon arrests 5 for collaborating with Israel

Lebanese authorities have arrested five people suspected of collaborating with Israel, according to a statement released Wednesday evening by Lebanon’s General Directorate for Public Security. According to the security directorate, the five suspects include two Lebanese nationals, two Nepalese women and a Palestinian. The directorate, however, refrained from saying when exactly the arrests had taken place and precisely what the suspects were doing to be accused of collaborating with Israel, apart from offering their services as informants. “Those detained admitted to having contacted Israeli embassies in several countries by telephone with a view to working for them and providing them with information,” the statement read. It continued to assert that investigations had revealed that the two Nepalese women had worked […]


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Black refugees protest Israel’s ‘cruel’ deportation policy

Israeli news agencies reported that some 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers gathered outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem to protest against Israel’s expulsion of refugees to other African countries. The protest organisers say that asylum seekers who are deported to third countries such as Rwanda are then systematically send to Uganda where they have no legal status, and are at risk of being repatriated back to Eritrea. More than 10,000 African asylum seekers, mainly Sudanese and Eritreans, have been held at the Holot detention facility in the Negev desert, with officials there allowed to keep them for a maximum of 12 months. International law prohibits asylum seekers from being sent back to their homeland if it is a war zone […]