Trump criticises Israeli settlements

US President Donald Trump criticised the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories for the first time since becoming president on 20 January. Trump told Israel Today newspaper: “There is limited remaining territory. Every time you take land for a settlement, less territory remains. I’m not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace. But we are examining a number of options.” Trump’s statements come a few days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for Washington to meet with the US president on Wednesday. Read: Israeli minister: The era of the two-state solution is over Responding to the question of whether his administration would criticise Israel, he said: “Israel has a long history of condemnations and difficulties. […]

Tunisia adopts system for voluntary redundancies in public sector

Tunisia’s minister of public service and governance revealed on Thursday that the government has formally approved a programme for the voluntary redundancy of public sector employees. Abid Briki made the announcement to journalists on the sidelines of the national conference for strategic modernisation of management and civil service held in Tunis. The government has set the end of May as the deadline to receive applications from employees who wish to quit their jobs voluntarily. Read: Tunisia’s Essebsi has only honoured one third of his election promises His government colleague, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation Mohamed Fadel Abdul-Kafi, told Anadolu news agency earlier that the public sector wages bill has increased in Tunisia from $2.8 billion to $5.9 billion […]

Rouhani: We will not accept the US’ threats

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned today that his country would not accept the US’ threatening language, saying Washington would regret its words. Speaking during a march marking the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the Shah and established the Islamic Republic, Rouhani said the turnout was a sign of “people telling the world through their presence that the Iranian people must be spoken to with respect.” Read: US should expand missile defense due to Iran “Iranians will make those using threatening language against this nation regret it,” he said. “Our country’s history witnessed oppression and colonialism, but the 1979 revolution liberated Iran… and put the fate of the people in their hands.” Read: Iranian MP threatens reprisals […]

Iraqi president stresses need for national army

Iraqi President Fuad Masum has stressed the need to build a national and powerful Iraqi army which protects all Iraqis without discrimination. The president made his remarks during a meeting held yesterday with new Defence Minister Irfan Al-Hayali and a delegation of high-level military officials to discuss the ongoing preparations to liberate the area west of the city of Mosul in the Nineveh province. Read: Iraq Hezbollah leader assassinated in Basra Al-Hayali said that the Iraqi soldiers in the area were determined to defeat Daesh, eliminate terrorist groups and restore security in all parts of the country. Since the fall of former leader Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has witnessed sectarian violence with reports of Shia and Christian groups torturing […]

Hamas rejects prisoner swap

Hamas has turned down an offer from Israel for a prisoner exchange deal meant to secure the return of two civilians and the remains of two soldiers being held by the group in the Gaza Strip. According to Al-Jazeera, the movement’s Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that the Israeli offer, which is said to be a “humanitarian exchange”, failed to meet its minimum demands. The senior official explained that Hamas has been receiving offers to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip and the exchange of Israeli soldiers in return for a Palestinian prisoner. The Israeli captives are said to be suffering from mental illness. Read: Al-Qassam: We received new Israeli offer for a prisoner exchange deal Zahar pointed out that the […]

Hamas rejects prisoner swap

Hamas has turned down an offer from Israel for a prisoner exchange deal meant to secure the return of two civilians and the remains of two soldiers being held by the group in the Gaza Strip. According to Al-Jazeera, the movement’s Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that the Israeli offer, which is said to be a “humanitarian exchange”, failed to meet its minimum demands. The senior official explained that Hamas has been receiving offers to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip and the exchange of Israeli soldiers in return for a Palestinian prisoner. The Israeli captives are said to be suffering from mental illness. Read: Al-Qassam: We received new Israeli offer for a prisoner exchange deal Zahar pointed out that the […]

Jerusalem mayor declares Umayyad palaces part of Israel’s ‘Holy Basin’

The mayor of Jerusalem’s Israeli-controlled municipality Nir Barkat has stormed into the historic Umayyad-era palaces next to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in the occupied city and announced that they are part of what Israelis call the “Holy Basin” of religious sites. Barkat was joined by illegal settlers and Member of the Knesset Yehuda Glick of the extreme right-wing Likud party. Read: Israel approves construction of 1,162 settlement units in West Bank The palaces to the south and west of Al-Aqsa Mosque were built during the Umayyad era to serve as the administrative headquarters for the management of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque affairs. Jewish organisations allege that they were built on top of specifically Jewish sites, but excavations over the past […]

Jerusalem mayor declares Umayyad palaces part of Israel’s ‘Holy Basin’

The mayor of Jerusalem’s Israeli-controlled municipality Nir Barkat has stormed into the historic Umayyad-era palaces next to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in the occupied city and announced that they are part of what Israelis call the “Holy Basin” of religious sites. Barkat was joined by illegal settlers and Member of the Knesset Yehuda Glick of the extreme right-wing Likud party. Read: Israel approves construction of 1,162 settlement units in West Bank The palaces to the south and west of Al-Aqsa Mosque were built during the Umayyad era to serve as the administrative headquarters for the management of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque affairs. Jewish organisations allege that they were built on top of specifically Jewish sites, but excavations over the past […]

UN fears for civilians as Saudi leads strike on Yemen port

The Saudi-led coalition has intensified airstrikes on the Yemen port of Al-Hudaydah, potentially trapping civilians and endangering a humanitarian operation to import vital supplies, the United Nations human rights office said today. Read: UN seeks $2.1bn to save Yemen from famine Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops have secured the Red Sea coast city of Al-Mokha, held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters for two years, the United Arab Emirates news agency WAM reported on Tuesday, in a push that paves the way for an advance on the country’s main port city of Al-Hudaydah. “Civilians were trapped during the fighting [in Al-Mokha], there are real fears the situation will repeat itself in the port of Al-Hudaydah where airstrikes are apparently […]

UN fears for civilians as Saudi leads strike on Yemen port

The Saudi-led coalition has intensified airstrikes on the Yemen port of Al-Hudaydah, potentially trapping civilians and endangering a humanitarian operation to import vital supplies, the United Nations human rights office said today. Read: UN seeks $2.1bn to save Yemen from famine Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops have secured the Red Sea coast city of Al-Mokha, held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters for two years, the United Arab Emirates news agency WAM reported on Tuesday, in a push that paves the way for an advance on the country’s main port city of Al-Hudaydah. “Civilians were trapped during the fighting [in Al-Mokha], there are real fears the situation will repeat itself in the port of Al-Hudaydah where airstrikes are apparently […]