Trump to reassure Saudi allies, promote business, talk tough on radicalism

When US President Donald Trump meets Saudi princes in Riyadh on Saturday, he can expect a warmer welcome than the one given a year ago to his predecessor Barack Obama, who Riyadh considered soft on arch foe Iran and cool toward a bilateral relationship that is a mainstay of the Middle East’s security balance. Beneath the pomp, Riyadh will be looking for assurances that the Trump administration will continue its notably harsher tone toward Iran and keep up pressure, through both rhetoric and action, to stop what Saudi Arabia sees as Tehran’s destabilizing activities in the region. The US-Saudi alliance has experienced turbulence since Riyadh faulted what it saw as Obama’s withdrawal from the region, a perceived tilt toward Iran […]

76 Palestinian hunger strikers sent to Israeli hospitals

Seventy-six hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held in the Ofer Israeli prison have been transferred to hospitals due to the deterioration of their health, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA) reported today. A further 36 hunger strikers had already been transferred to the Hadrim field hospital yesterday. Read: AU raises concerns for Palestinian prisoners Around 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been on a hunger strike for the past 30 days. The strike began on 17 April which marks Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The prisoners’ primary demands include more frequent and lengthy family visits, better detention conditions such as improved medical care, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention – detention without charge or trial. Many international human rights […]

US judges question ability to rule in Arab Bank-US terror case

A settlement between Arab Bank Plc and Americans who accused it of facilitating militant attacks in Israel is in jeopardy after US judges said they may not have jurisdiction over an appeal that would determine how much the bank should pay. Judges of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York raised the jurisdiction issue during an oral argument yesterday. Jordan-based Arab Bank is appealing a September 2014 jury verdict in a Brooklyn federal court finding it liable for facilitating two dozen attacks linked to Hamas by handling financial transactions. Following the verdict, Arab Bank reached a settlement covering 527 plaintiffs. Under the deal, the bank would appeal the verdict, and the amount it would pay was left […]

Israelis set up new illegal outpost in northern Jordan Valley

A group of Israeli settlers have reportedly begun setting up an illegal outpost in the northeastern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported today. Quoting Aref Daraghma, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Wafa said that settlers set up mobile homes and solar panels in the area where the village of Khirbet Al-Sweida once stood in the northern Jordan Valley. Daraghma added that the settlers had also brought construction equipment and material and begun digging a pool in the area. Read: US official to Israel: Western Wall is part of the West Bank The news site said that Palestinians living in Khirbet Al-Sweida had been evacuated by Israeli authorities to […]

Israel allows detention of bodies of Palestinians it killed

Israel’s Supreme Court has granted the general prosecution an additional month to decide on the case of the detained bodies of eight Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces, Ma’an reported today. Muhammad Mahmoud, attorney at the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, said that the Israeli court approved a request made by the general prosecution to allow an additional period to determine its stance on returning the bodies of the Palestinian martyrs which are being held in the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv. The prosecution’s request, he added, came after it claimed that the case was presented to a committee and therefore it needed more time “to discuss and respond to the court”. Read: Gazan fisherman shot […]

AU raises concerns for Palestinian prisoners

The African Union’s Pan African Parliament today issued a declaration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons and slammed Israel’s controversial detention policies. The pro-Palestinian motion was presented at the parliament’s headquarters in Midrand, Johannesburg, by Faysal Tebbini, a Tunisia representative to the Pan African Parliament, who urged legislators to pile pressure on Israel and force it to abide by international laws regarding treatment of prisoners. The motion received overwhelming support from legislators with a number of them condemning Israel’s settlements policy, arbitrary arrests and the treatment of prisoners. We express our unconditional support to all prisoners in the prisons of the occupying forces, including members of the Palestinian parliament, led by the freedom fighter, Marwan […]

Sudan, EU unite to overcome illegal immigration

The Sudanese government and the EU will tomorrow launch a strategy to combat terrorism, human trafficking and illegal immigration through the Sudanese Counter-Terrorism Authority. Sudan, Italy and the European Union’s mission will conduct a workshop in Khartoum to discuss possible mechanisms to implement the strategy, Assayha daily newspaper reported today. The workshop will discuss a set of working papers, as well as ways of training Sudanese institutions and cadres with the participation of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of civil society organisations the paper explained. The workshop is considered the first of its kind in terms of designing practical models that combine Sudan and the European Union countries in the fight against […]

ICRC warns of total collapse of Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned of a massive collapse of the infrastructure and economy in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of energy and the severe shortage of fuel which has reached a “critical level”. “The scarcity of energy and the severe shortage of fuel in Gaza have damaged all aspects of life in the Strip,” the ICRC said in a statement posted on its website. A new crisis is looming in the public health and environment sectors because of the lack of energy, if there is no immediate intervention. “The shortage of fuel and energy has reached a critical level, threatening the provision of basic services, including healthcare, wastewater treatment and clean water supplies,” […]

US signs new defence deal with UAE

The United States has signed a new, updated defence accord with the United Arab Emirates that could allow Washington to send more troops and equipment there, the Pentagon said today. The agreement replaces a 1994 accord to better “reflect the broad range of military-to-military cooperation that the UAE and US enjoy today,” spokesman Christopher Sherwood said. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, a champion of closer Gulf ties, discussed the agreement with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, at the White House yesterday. The accord was signed on 8 May, the Pentagon said, but was only disclosed over the past day. The agreement marks a new chapter in our partnership and reflects the breadth and depth of […]