‘Moderate’ Arab states pressuring Abbas to support Trump, says Israeli institute

Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are pressuring Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to pursue any further initiatives in the United Nations and its agencies, as pressure mounts on the Ramallah-based leadership to respond to the lacklustre efforts of the Trump administration. According to the right-leaning Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs (JCPA), the so-called “moderate Arab countries” are applying pressure on Abbas to “align with their pro-Trump policy”, and to abandon any ideas of “applying to UN agencies for membership”. JCPA sources say that “at this point the Palestinians will not pursue the policy of joining UN agencies and will not apply for full membership in the UN” since the Americans have told Abbas that such a move will be vetoed, […]

440,000 Saudis no longer receiving benefits

Saudi authorities have stopped social security payments to 440,000 people over the past year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development said. The ministry explained that the beneficiaries were removed from its recipient list for various reasons including finding employment, presence outside the Kingdom for more than 90 days, death, owning commercial properties, obtaining industrial loans and fraudulent attempts by some to obtain illegal security assistance. According to the ministry, a collaboration with various government agencies has led to the identities of the recipients being uncovered. The Kingdom is suffering from growing financial pressures due to its war in Yemen and the drop in oil prices. Read: Saudi Arabia cuts deficit by half in first quarter 

PA arrests 5 Palestinians without charge

Four Palestinian men have been arrested by the PA intelligence agency but no charges have been brought against them. The intelligence services arrested Safwan Jamal Amr from Jerusalem, as well as Qusay Ziyad Al-Fakhoury and Abdulrahman Fawzy Khatib from Hebron. They later arrested Musab Abu Ishkhaidim from Hebron and extended their detention for 48 hours, promising to release them without specifying when. According to Thaer Al-Fakhoury, one of the detainees’ brothers, on 6 September, “the first arrested individual, Safwan Jamal Amr, came from Jerusalem to Hebron to pick up a sign from the printing shop owned by Qusay Al-Fakhoury in Hebron. The sign was a welcome back sign for his family coming back from Saudi Arabia, but the young men […]

200,000 Chinese tourists expected to visit Turkey in 2017

Turkey expects to host 200,000 Chinese tourists during 2017, the country’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus said. Kurtulmus is currently in China as part of an official delegation which is meeting with his counterpart Luo Shugang in Beijing. The Turkish minister said that 200,000 tourists is a small number, “it does not reflect the potential of the two countries, this number should be up to a million tourists at least.” He noted that the two countries have strong will to strengthen relations and cooperation, adding: “We must strengthen our cooperation in the field of tourism and culture.” Read: Turkish economy grows 5% Turkey has embarked on a two-year plan to diversify its tourism industry with a view to […]

Iraqis living with trauma

Tadhamun, an Iraqi women’s solidarity organisation, invites experts and health practitioners to discuss the impact of the continuing cycle of war and occupation upon the Iraqi population. Psychological trauma runs deep within communities that have survived or continue to live under war and occupation. These invisible wounds are particularly prevalent amongst children whose childhoods and educational development are disrupted by relentless violence. MEMO will be live blogging this event which will take place on 12 September 2017 from 18:15 (GMT+1) at the Conway Hall in London.

Qatar announces 13 new shipping lines

Qatar Ports Management Company will announce 13 new shipping lines, including five lines in the coming days and eight on 15 October, the country’s minister of transport announced yesterday. In an interview on Qatar TV, Jassim Al Sulaiti said the Gulf state setup alternative shipping lines as soon as the blockade began against it in early June. This includes routes through Oman with direct links to India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran. On 5 June Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, claiming it supports terrorism. Doha denies the allegations and says it faces a campaign of “fabrications” and “lies”. Hamad Port currently caters for 27 per cent of regional trade, Al Sulaiti said, adding […]

PA warns Israel against permanent closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque gate

The Palestinian Authority warned Israel on Sunday against the permanent closure of Al-Rahma Gate, one of the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, Quds Press has reported. A statement from the PA Foreign Ministry said that the closure recommendation by Israeli Police Inspector Roni Al-Sheikh “aims to change the status quo on the ground.” The building at Bab Al-Rahma houses the office of the now defunct Heritage Committee, which used to organise cultural and social events before 2003, since when it has been closed by an Israeli order which is renewed periodically. According to the ministry, the measure is part of Israel’s attempts to change the historical and legal situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque and […]

Lebanon to complain to UN over Israel violating airspace

Lebanon will file a complaint to the United Nations against Israel for violating the country’s airspace and causing damage by breaking the sound barrier in the south of the country, its foreign minister said today. Israeli jets flew low over the southern city of Saida yesterday, causing sonic booms that broke windows and shook buildings for the first time in years, Lebanese security sources and residents said. “We have started preparing to file a complaint to the [UN] Security Council against Israel for flying its planes at low altitude… causing material, moral and sovereign damage,” Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in a tweet. Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri said Lebanon would issue its complaint “against Israel for planting spy devices on […]

Netanyahu begins four-day tour in Latin America

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins today a four-day tour in Latin America, the first carried out by an Israeli prime minister. “I will visit Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, and I will also meet with the President of Paraguay. In Argentina and Mexico I will be joined by delegations from Israeli companies to develop economic relations between us and these two countries,” Netanyahu said during his cabinet weekly session. Netanyahu explained that the visit will strengthen economic, security and technological relations between Latin America and Israel. Read more: The possibilities of challenging Netanyahu’s claims about Latin America In Argentina Netanyahu is scheduled to meet President Mauricio Macri of Argentina and attend ceremonies to commemorate two attacks in the early 1990s […]