Israel’s Bennett: Major settlement blocs to be annexed in January

The leader of the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, said yesterday that Israeli government policy will change with the arrival of the Trump administration. “This is what government will be. From January 20, there’ll be a different policy in the government,” Bennett said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2. He repeated a call that Israel annex most of the West Bank. Speaking to Israel’s Ynet News yesterday, the Israeli education minister said that on 20 January, when US President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House, “Palestine will be taken off the agenda,” advocating instead that Israeli “law be imposed on areas in Judea and Samaria”, in reference to the West Bank “Israeli government policy will be to annex Ma’ale Adumim,” he added. Ma’ale Adumim, one […]

Iranian attack on Hamas

Khamenei’s circles did not hide their outrage at Hamas because of the movement’s position on Aleppo’s battle. It was clearly expressed by Hezbollah’s newspapers and media outlets in Lebanon, as well as by some Iranian newspapers and media sites, in addition to statements by Iranian officials. The attack came after a statement that was issued by Hamas regarding the Battle for Aleppo and after events were held in the Gaza Strip in support of the Syrian people during the movement’s anniversary commemoration festival. This was in addition to the steps Hamas took against some new Shia groups in the Gaza Strip – the so called Al-Sabirin group – which went too far with their insolence when they expressed their joy […]

Algeria passes new law for greater telecoms monitoring

Algeria has passed a new telecoms law that will introduce widespread monitoring of international phone calls and allow private companies access to the country’s nationalised communications market. Headed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Council of Ministers voted in favour of the “local-loop unbundling” process which allows other operators to access the national telecommunications exchange. New internet providers will also be permitted, under the new law, to have access in a market traditionally lead by Algeria Telecom which will have further powers to transfer and monitor all international phone calls. “As part of the development of electronic communications, it has been proposed to implement the principle of local-loop unbundling,” the presidency stated in a statement released on Wednesday. A draft copy of […]

Report: Number of Jewish immigrants to Israel declines

The number of Jewish immigrants to Israel has decreased in 2016 compared to 2015; a new report has revealed. As many as 27,000 Jewish immigrants arrived in Israel this year compared to 31,000 in 2015; Israel’s Channel 2 reported citing a statistical report by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry. Russia and Brazil witnessed an increase in the number of Jewish immigrants to Israel while France and Ukraine witnessed a significant decline in the number of immigrants. Approximately 7,000 new immigrants arrived from Russia in 2016, some 400 more than in 2015. Meanwhile, as many as 760 new immigrants arrived from Brazil in 2016 compared to 500 in 2015. A total of 5,500 new immigrants arrived […]

Iran: Saudi should play no role in Syria talks

Iran’s defence minister has said Saudi Arabia should be excluded from the Syrian peace process, as a nationwide ceasefire came into effect today. Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said in an interview with Russian state media RT on Tuesday that Saudi’s desire to topple the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad meant that Tehran’s regional rival should not play any role in future peace talks. “They are seeking to topple the existing regime. No talks should be allowed with those who are eager [for regime change]. We must give them a decisive answer,” Dehghan said. The senior Iranian official also directed some of his ire at Turkey, one of the main brokers alongside Russia of the countrywide ceasefire, accusing them of supporting […]

Tunisian MP denies planning to ‘apologise’ to Syria’s Assad

A Tunisian politician has denied reports he plans to travel to Syria to apologise to President Bashar Al-Assad for Tunisia’s position on the war in his country and congratulate him for retaking Aleppo from “terrorists”. Leader of the Tounes Movement Project, Mohsen Marzouk, was reportedly planning to fly to Damascus along with a Tunisian delegation in a bid to improve relations between the two Arab nations, Tunisian news site Al-Sabah reported. However, the Tounes Movement Project released a statement on social media strongly denying the report. “We stress that all news should come through official statements. We are shocked that this report was published on several sites without us being allowed to respond,” the statement stated. Marzouk launched the Tounes Movement Project earlier this year […]

Israel allows cooking gas into Gaza

Israeli authorities today allowed limited amounts of cooking gas and diesel into the Gaza Strip in an exceptional, one day opening of the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing between Israel and Gaza. The General Director of the Petroleum Committee in Gaza, Khalil Shuqba, told Ma’an that some 100 tonnes of cooking gas and 300,000 litres of diesel entered the besieged coastal enclave, noting that the diesel would be sent to Gaza’s main power station. Director-General of the Public Administration of the Crossing Points and Borders in Gaza, Nazmi Muhanna, announced the opening of the crossing yesterday. Karm Abu Salem is one of two operating Israeli crossings out of the blockaded coastal enclave, dedicated primarily to the movement of goods […]

2,057 Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa in December

Some 2,057 Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in December, Quds Press reported. The month of December witnessed 1,331 settlers and 617 Jewish students entering the mosque’s compound, along with 91 military officers from the Israeli police and intelligence forces, the Shin Bet. They enter from the Mughrabi Gate and leave from the Silsila Gate. In addition to this, eight Israeli journalists and ten government employees entered the mosque under the protection of armed police officers and forces. A Quds Press correspondent noted that Israelis have been standing outside Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates and performing Talmudic rituals, singing and dancing in an effort to provoke Palestinian worshippers. Six settlers lit Hanukah candles near Al-Qatanin Gate. During this eight day Jewish holiday […]