Prominent Sudanese feminist passes away

Prominent Sudanese feminist Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim died Saturday at the age of 84. She died at a hospital in London and her body will be flown to the capital Khartoum on Sunday for burial. Born in 1933, Ibrahim was the first female parliamentarian in Sudan when she was elected as a member of parliament in 1965. In 1991, she was elected as the chairperson of the International Women’s Democratic Union. Two years later, she was awarded by the UN Human Rights Council for her humanitarian efforts. In 2006, Ibrahim won the Ibn Rushd Prize in recognition of her struggle for promoting women’s rights and social justice in Sudan and the Arab region.

Roadside bomb kills 4 refugees in northern Iraq

Four Iraqi refugees were killed by a roadside bomb in northern Iraq on Saturday, according to a local police officer. The device exploded amid a group of fleeing civilians in al-Huwaija district in the northern Saladin province, lieutenant Noaman al-Jabouri told Anadolu Agency. Eight refugees were also injured in the blast. “Daesh has planted roadside devices in roads frequented by displaced civilians,” al-Jabouri said. Daesh still controls a large area in southwestern Kirkuk from which it launches attacks against security forces. Last month, Iraqi forces dislodged Daesh from Mosul, which the terrorist group overran in 2014 along vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq.

Arab countries half their aid to the PA

Arab countries have cut by half the funds they have sent to the Palestinian Authority (PA) budget over the last four years, Israeli TV Channel 2 reported yesterday. According to Felesteen.ps, financial support from Arab countries to the PA was approximately $1.1 billion over the last four years. This covers on a quarter of the PA’s budget. Some Palestinian officials speculate Arab states might be withholding the cash to try to persuade the Palestinian factions Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls Gaza, towards reconciliation. Aid is crucial in helping pay the wages of 148,000 PA employees.

Illegal Israeli settlers complain of reduced security in West Bank

Illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank have complained about increased lawlessness after a number of Palestinian resistance operations in the area, the Anadolu Agency reported Israeli media saying yesterday. On Thursday, settlers living in the illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Taqua in occupied Bethlehem highlighted the issue in a meeting with senior Israeli officials and members of the Settlement Council of Gush Etzion. According to the Israeli news website 0404, the settlers complained that resistance operations had taken place on their buses and said that such attacks could not be contained. As a result, they “no longer have a sense of security” and they are “afraid” to walk down the streets. “We are exhausted by what is happening,” they said. “We want to see something […]

Israel warns its troops of Hamas attempts to hack social media accounts

Israel has once again warned its troops of attempts by Hamas to hack their social media accounts to get “precise” security information, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday. Troops have be warned against accepting new friends online claiming they may be Hamas members who are trying to get information about the soldiers. Earlier this year, Israel revealed a massive espionage attempt carried out by Hamas that targeted scores of its troops using fake social media accounts with pictures of beautiful young ladies as their profile images. Sensitive security information was obtained as a result of Hamas’ efforts.

Israel media: PA secretly resumed security coordination 

The Palestinian Authority has restarted security coordination with Israel without announcing the measure, Al-Monitor reported. “Security coordination was resumed on 4 August, but the Palestinian Authority is being discrete about the news and refuses to officially announce the reconciliation,” according to the report of an Israeli security source to Al-Monitor. The source pointed added that the measure was taken without Israel meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ demands that occupation forces stop storming Area A of the West Bank which is under full PA control. The website added that security coordination is beneficial to Abbas as it  provides him with information about any Palestinian efforts to topple his rule. Two weeks ago, the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth denied that security coordination had been frozen: Coordination did not stop for a second and […]

US asks Iraq Kurds to postpone referendum

The United States has asked Iraq’s Kurds to postpone a referendum on the independence of their autonomous Kurdish region, planned for Sept. 25, the Kurdish presidency said. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the request on Friday, during a phone call with the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani. The U.S. State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will distract from “more urgent priorities” such as the defeat of Islamic State militants. “On the issue of the postponement of the referendum, the President (Barzani) stated that the people of the Kurdistan Region would expect guarantees and alternatives for their future,” said the statement issued by the Kurdish presidency after Tillerson’s call, giving no […]

Syrian army secures Daesh-held town in Homs

Syrian government forces seized full control of the last major town in Homs province held by Daesh, Syrian state media reported on Saturday, as the army and its allies press a multi-pronged advance into eastern areas held by the jihadist group. Syrian state media cited a military source saying Daesh militants had been killed and their weapons destroyed at the town of al-Sukhna, some 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the ancient city of Palmyra. The town is also located some 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial boundary of Deir al-Zor province, Daesh’s last major foothold in Syria and a major target for the Syrian government. The jihadists have lost swathes of Syrian territory to separate campaigns being waged […]

Saudi Arabia: 529,000 pilgrims arrived for Hajj

Saudi Arabia yesterday announced that some 529,000 pilgrims had arrived in its territory. According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the General Directorate of Passports announced that approximately 528,846 pilgrims had arrived by the end of Thursday. This is an increase of 65,550 pilgrims compared to the same period last year, a rise of 14 per cent. Read: Hajj pilgrims depart for Saudi Arabia  The Directorate pointed out that the number of pilgrims arriving by air amounted to 524,234, while the number of arrivals by land was 4,612. The Kingdom began been welcoming Muslims who are travelling to complete the Hajj on 24 July. The Hajj begins at the end of August.