Iran’s Rouhani to Khamenei: ‘People will choose between deception and honesty’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday attacked Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and his close associates include the Revolutionary Guard, Astan Quds Razavi Institute headed by rival candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Broadcasting and Television Authority and the judiciary. The country’s official news agency IRNA reported that Rouhani described Khamenei as someone who “believes that all the authorities are in his hands” during a speech in the northwestern city of Mashhad, a stronghold of rival candidate Ibrahim Abu-Rabi. He said that the people will today choose between “deception and honesty”, explaining that one decision taken by the president can lead to the outbreak of war while another can lead to peace, calling for awareness of internal, regional and global developments. Read: Khamenei […]

OIC confirms support for Palestinian hunger strikers

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has stressed on its support for the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have been on a hunger strike for more than a month. The OIC’s committee issued a statement yesterday following a meeting held in Riyadh to discuss the issue of the Palestinian prisoners at the request of the Palestinian representative. The final statement has called on Israel to respect prisoners’ rights in consistence with international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Read: Health of 90% of hunger strikers seriously deteriorating The statement has also affirmed all the resolutions issued by the Islamic summits and the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers related to the question of Palestine, Jerusalem and the Arab-Israeli conflict. #HungerStrike […]

Netanyahu slams university for not playing national anthem

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has slammed the Hebrew University’s decision not to play the national anthem, Hatikvah during a graduation ceremony held yesterday to avoid offending Palestinian students. Netanyahu described the decision as “a disgrace”. It is the height of servility, the opposite of national pride. We are proud of our country, our flag, our anthem, and it only strengthens my resolve to pass the Jewish State bill that we are leading, in order to anchor in law the national symbols that are so dear to us. The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, described the decision as “foolish and offensive to the Jewish heritage” and called on the university to “reverse its foolish decision and restore dignity to itself”. […]

Israeli settler kills Palestinian man

An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian youth and injured a journalist yesterday, south of Nablus. The Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that Moutaz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23 from Beita, was killed and AP photojournalist, Majdi Shtayyeh, was wounded after an Israeli settler fired several gunshots at a peaceful march to support Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails. Eyewitnesses and local sources said Bani Shamsa was transferred to Rafidya Governmental Hospital in Nablus where he later succumbed to his wounds. Read: Settler’s ‘sweet’ celebration following death of Palestinian man The sources confirmed that the town of Huwara “did not witness any confrontations before the shooting at the peaceful march, near the school […]

Sudan president pulls out of US-Islamic summit hosted by Saudi

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir has pulled out of the Arab-Islamic-American summit citing “personal reasons” for being unable to attend the talks due to be held in Saudi Arabia this weekend, the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported. In a short statement, Al-Bashir apologised to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his inability to attend but said that Minister of State Taha Al-Hussein would represent Sudan at the two-day summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, instead. Today’s announcement follows mounting Western diplomatic pressure over the past few days, including from US diplomats, objecting to Al-Bashir’s attendance in Riyadh where he was scheduled to listen to US President Donald Trump’s speech alongside other Muslim leaders. Read: Is Sudan’s foreign policy […]

Sudan-South Sudan relations: Tentative steps from war to peace

The United Nations Security Council’s decision to give Sudan and South Sudan another six months to put together a joint monitoring force in the disputed area of Abyei in the Blue Nile region, or see the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers was a demonstration of the “mild irritation” felt by the council. It now puts pressure on the two sides to sort out the problems that neither side has been able to address for six long years. Six years ago, South Sudan overwhelmingly voted by 99 per cent to separate from the North and form its own country. Since then, the relationship between the two countries has swung from one diplomatic crisis to another. There remained, for quite some time, underlying […]

Houthis assault UAE-backed forces in southwest Yemen

The Shia Houthi militant group launched an assault against United Arab Emirate-backed forces in Ta’iz governorate, Al-Masdar News reported. The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels reportedly killed ten UAE-backed Southern Resistance soldiers in the offensive near the city of Mocha. Overnight, the group claimed to have destroyed ten UAE supplied military vehicles in Ta’iz governorate. Al-Masdar News has been accused of being a propaganda outlet close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and lends media support to the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Read: Yemen’s Saleh turns against Houthis Following regional power Saudi Arabia’s lead, the UAE intervened in the Yemen civil war in 2015 in a bid to assist the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, but since […]

Saudi Arabia bars Israeli journalists accompanying Trump from entry

Several Israeli journalists planning to accompany US President Donald Trump during his Middle East tour were denied entry visas by Saudi Arabia. Orly Azoulay, a reporter for Yedioth Ahronot, and Gil Tamary of Israeli Channel 10 were scheduled to cover Trump’s first overseas visit to the Arabian Gulf kingdom. They were approved by the White House to join the press charter plane accompanying the president. However, on Wednesday, both were notified that the Saudi embassy had refused to grant them visas to the kingdom, which will be Trump’s first stop. The reason given was their affiliation with Israeli media outlets, although both reporters are said to be US citizens. Read: Conflict intensifies as Saudi crown prince depends on US for his […]

African Union official: Morocco’s return may lead to solution to Western Sahara conflict

The African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ismail Chergui, said the return of Morocco to the AU and sitting side by side with the separatist Polisario Front could establish for a quick solution to the conflict in the Western Sahara. “The African Union Peace and Security Council has taken positions on the Sahara issue and proposed the re-establishment of a presidential commission in an attempt to contribute to solving the Western Sahara issue,” Algeria’s Al-Fajr newspaper reported Chergui as saying yesterday. Remarking on the situation in Libya, Chergui said the country needs a strong African voice to help the Libyan people overcome their current crisis. Read: African Union council calls for direct dialogue between Morocco and Polisario He revealed that […]

McCain: Throw Turkish ambassador ‘the hell out’ of US

US Senator John McCain, one of the leading foreign policy voices in Congress, yesterday urged the expulsion of Turkey’s US ambassador after violence erupted between pro-Kurdish militant protesters and Turkish security personnel during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit. A brawl erupted outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C. on Tuesday as Erdogan was visiting the embassy. Protesters who support the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) turned up and started provoking Erdogan’s security detail as well as Turkish-American citizens who had come to see the Turkish leader. Footage from Voice of America appeared to show Erdogan getting out of his car as the violence started, watching on for a short time before turning to enter his nation’s embassy. Read: ‘You […]