Israel’s Netanyahu tells Macron of doubts about US peace push

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has doubts about US Middle East peace efforts, according to a transcript of a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. Israeli newspaper Haaretz obtained a transcript of part of the talks Netanyahu held with Macron when they met for the first time in Paris on Sunday. Netanyahu To Macron:The Palestinian issue is complicated,Macron to BiBi:You’re the one making it complicated read: — Baz4peace (@Baz4peace) July 18, 2017 Told by Macron that France supports US President Donald Trump’s efforts to bring the Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations, Netanyahu replied: It will be difficult to push forward quickly with the American initiative. I’m not sure that Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) can deliver on […]

Suspect in Israeli submarine probe may become state witness

A leading suspect in an Israeli investigation into a $2 billion deal to buy German submarines is considering giving evidence in the case to state prosecutors, local media reported on Tuesday. The 2016 deal has been under public scrutiny since it emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer also represented the local agent of the German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems set to build the vessels. A German government official said on Tuesday a signing ceremony for the deal had been put off, but gave no further details. The German Defence Ministry and Israeli Foreign Ministry declined comment. Read More: Germany may cancel Israel submarine deal Israel’s Channel 2 and the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper both reported that Michael Ganor, an Israeli […]

Saudi police arrest woman for skirt video

A Saudi woman has been arrested for a video that was widely shared online which showed her strolling along an empty street wearing a skirt and crop top, Saudi state TV channel Ekhbariya reported on Tuesday. The clip had incensed some social media users in the conservative kingdom who vented their anger using the hashtag “Model Khulood must be tried” — a reference to what they said was the woman’s Snapchat name. Many of those critics shared images of the video with her bare legs and midriff blurred out or painted over. In the video, the unidentified woman walks alone through a street flanked by mudbrick walls, in what users identified as Ushaiqir, a heritage village and day-trip destination outside […]

Egyptian security forces kill prominent Daesh militant in North Sinai

Egyptian security forces killed a prominent Daesh militant on Tuesday suspected of being involved in recent attacks in North Sinai, an Interior Ministry statement said. Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency led by the Daesh group in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013. The statement said security forces conducted a raid on a building under construction in Arish, a city in North Sinai, where militants had set up a base of operations. An ensuing firefight led to the death of one of the group’s leaders, Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Al-Nashu, who is known as Ghandur Al-Masri, and the escape of another, the statement said. It said Masri was responsible for carrying out several operations […]

Suicide bomb attack kills four in Kurdish-held Syrian northeast

A suicide car bomb attack claimed by Daesh killed four people at a checkpoint in a Kurdish-controlled area of northeastern Syria on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. A Kurdish official confirmed an attack targeting a checkpoint operated by the Asayish Kurdish internal security force, but had no further details. The Asayish could not immediately be reached for comment. Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said the attack took place near the village of Tel Tamr, some 30 km (19 miles) from the Syrian-Turkish border. Syrian state TV also reported the deaths of four people in a car bomb attack in the area, but said it had taken place in the nearby town of Ras al-Ayn. Daesh later claimed the […]

Israel to demolish European-funded homes in occupied Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation authorities have ordered the demolition of six Palestinian residential buildings funded by European parties in Jabal Al-Baba bedouin community in the east of the occupied Jerusalem. The spokesman of the Bedouin community, Atallah Muzar’a, told Quds Press today that the Israeli civil administration crews, accompanied by military troops, stormed the area yesterday and handed six administrative demolition orders to a number of Palestinian families in the neighbourhood. The orders, he added, are part of an Israeli ethnic cleansing scheme – E1 project – that has been carried out in favour of the Ma’aleh Adumim illegal settlement outpost. The E1 project targets some 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It is one of […]

Palestinian worshippers hurt in clash with Israeli police in Jerusalem

Several Palestinians were injured, at least one seriously, when they clashed with police near Jerusalem’s Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound after Muslim evening prayers on Tuesday, according to Palestinian medical officials. A hospital official said one man had suffered a serious head wound from a rubber bullet fired from close range but an Israeli police spokesman denied that rubber bullets had been used. A senior Muslim cleric was also hurt, witnesses said. Tensions have increased around the compound, which is holy to Muslims and Jews, since three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen outside the complex on Friday in one of the most serious attacks in the area in years. The assailants were killed by security forces and Israeli authorities […]

Egypt receives final $1.25bn of IMF loan

Egypt received today the final installment of the first $4 billion tranche of the $12 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported. An official source at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), said that the second batch “will boost the bank’s foreign currency reserves.” Egypt’s net foreign reserves slightly rose by five per cent late June, reaching $31.305 billion, compared to $31.125 billion in May. On Friday, the IMF’s executive board approved the first review of Egypt’s loan and has accordingly proceeded the disbursal of the final installment of the first loan tranche, according to an IMF said statement. So far, Egypt has received a total of $4 billion of funds from the IMF […]