Middle-east

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Prime Minister says black people suffer in Tunisia

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has said that black people are still suffering in his country. He made his comments during an event to mark the National Day against Racial Discrimination organised by the ministry of relations along with constitutional bodies, civil society and human rights groups, including the High Commission for Human Rights in Tunis. “Tunisia was among the first countries to abolish slavery and sign the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” explained Chahed, “but unfortunately it is still among those countries where black-skinned people suffer.” He insisted that this will not stop the government from developing political, cultural, societal and legal strategies to combat racism. “This is a priority of our government,” […]


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Netanyahu fears more international measures as he accuses world of ‘spitting at us’

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu fears more international measures against his country. “They are spitting at us,” he told his cabinet on Sunday. He also noted that the outgoing US President Barack Obama might try to get the UN Security Council to approve the principle of a Palestinian state. “We will respond forcefully,” insisted the Israeli prime minister in a report by the Times of Israel. According to Haaretz, a senior Israeli official said on Monday that the cabinet expects international resolutions regarding the peace process during a summit slated to be held in Paris on 15 January as part of the so-called French Initiative. US Secretary of State John Kerry will lay down the principle of the Palestinian state during a […]


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Russia, Iran interest conflict in Syria

Russia and Iran have been closely coordinating their support for the Syrian regime President, Bashar Al-Assad in order to achieve their interests in the war-torn country. However, rivalry between the two countries appears to surface every now and then, leaving Assad as the biggest loser after gradually depriving him of his influence. This rivalry is clearly reflected in the strategic province of Homs where both sides try to impose their authority, especially in the country’s notorious security branches. Suriya Net reported that recently senior officers and the head of the security branch in Homs have all been removed from their positions by Moscow. The reshuffle was carried out in order to sever the branch’s ties with the Iranian-backed national defence […]


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Israeli legal committee approves bill to censor internet

The legal committee of Israel’s ministerial council approved on Monday an “anti-incitement” bill which paves the way for censoring internet content, including Facebook and Twitter posts, Quds Press has reported. The bill is now ready to be proposed to the Knesset for its first reading. If it becomes law, the bill will allow Israeli courts to ask operators of internet networks, including news websites, blogs and social media, to delete without delay content that is deemed to be “incitement”. This is defined as anything that is illegal or a “tangible” threat to a person, the Israeli public or the state. Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked introduced the bill to the ministerial council. According to […]


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Netanyahu warns he will target UNRWA via Trump

Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to target the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) when US President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, Yedioth Ahranoth reported on Monday. He made his threat in the wake of Friday’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. “Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to target UNRWA, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people and the anti-Israel [sic] UN employees,” the newspaper reported. UNRWA is the UN agency established specifically to cater for the social, medical and educational needs of Palestinian refugees. Yedioth Ahranoth added that the Israeli leader will push the new US administration to cut its assistance to […]


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PA plans response to Israeli aggression with ICC action

The Palestinian Authority is planning to respond to Israel’s human rights violations, aggression and settlements by taking legal action at the International Criminal Court, Quds Net reported on Monday. The news was announced by the PA’s Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat. The Fatah Revolutionary Council member and Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee said that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council had said clearly that the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its consequences are illegitimate and constitute war crimes. This was a reference to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which the international body approved on Friday. The resolution noted that all Israeli settlement activities are illegal and that any Israeli officials who take any decision regarding more settlements […]


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Syrian army escalates campaign to capture Damascus water supply

The Syrian army escalated aerial bombing of a rebel-held valley northwest of Damascus in an offensive begun last week to recapture the strategic area where a major spring provides most of the capital’s water supplies, rebels and residents said on Tuesday. They said the army shelled and bombarded several towns in Wadi Barada valley about 18 km (11 miles) northwest of the capital in a major offensive launched since Friday. The roads leading to the towns in the valley and the mountain cliffs surrounding the area are under the control of elite Republic Guards and the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah group, they said. Residents said fighting on Monday focused on Baseimeh village at the edge of the valley where the army […]


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Netanyahu seeks to rally Israelis around him in anti-Obama assault

Benjamin Netanyahu has been unrelenting in his criticism of the Obama administration over what he condemned as its “shameful” decision not to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlement-building. But with the clock ticking down on Barack Obama’s presidency, a possibly more amenable Republican Donald Trump due to succeed him on Jan. 20 and a $38 billion US military aid package to Israel a done deal, it’s all a calculated risk for the four-term, right-wing Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu, after what critics are calling a stinging defeat on the international stage, is already maneuvering to mine deep-seated feelings among many Israelis that their country and its policies towards the Palestinians are overly criticised in […]


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Israel’s Lieberman urges Jews to leave France

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday called on French Jews to leave their country to protest a Paris-hosted conference planned for next month aimed at restarting Palestine-Israel peace talks, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth has reported. The Israeli government has repeatedly stated in recent months that it would not participate in the conference, which is scheduled to be held on Jan. 15 with the participation of representatives from 70 countries. Speaking at a meeting of his right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, Lieberman reportedly said: “Perhaps it’s time to tell the Jews of France, ‘This isn’t your country, this isn’t your land. Leave France and come to Israel’.” “That’s the only response to this plot,” Lieberman added, in reference to the planned conference. […]


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Egypt, US sign new military deal

The United States has signed a $11.5 million-military cooperation agreement with Egypt, the US Defence Department announced Monday in a statement on its official website. The contract stipulated that the Egyptian Air Force (EAF), the aviation branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces, will receive Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Advanced Block 52 F-16 multi-role fighters. The not-to-exceed $11.5 million predominately firm-fixed-price contract has been awarded to Goodrich Corporation. The contract came as part of Egypt Peace Vector DB-110 Reconnaissance program, which was initiated in November 2010. The US defence department’s statement added that Goodrich will also provide initial parts for two DB-110 reconnaissance pods and an initial study for one existing DB-110 reconnaissance pod. Work will be performed at Westford, Massachusetts, and is […]