German claims Turkey is arresting tourists are ‘bullshit’, says FM

In an unprecedented abandonment of diplomatic language, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu branded a German reporter’s claims about Ankara allegedly detaining tourists coming to Turkey as “bullshit” at a tourism fair yesterday in Berlin. During a press conference at the International Berlin Tourism Fair, one of the reporters asked Cavusoglu about claims that tourists visiting Turkey are being detained. Seemingly simultaneously annoyed and amused by the question, the top diplomat said “Come on, you must be joking. This is just black propaganda by the media, including you.” Read: Erdogan accuses Germany of ‘fascist actions’ The Turkish Daily Sabah reported that Cavusoglu continued to praised his country’s tourism record, saying: “We welcome around 40 million tourists per year and as long […]

Switzerland votes to prevent government funding of BDS movement

The Swiss parliament passed a bill on Wednesday to prevent the state from “financing any organisation which supports racism, anti-Semitism, or the BDS”. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported yesterday that the decision was passed with 111 votes for and 78 against, while four lawmakers abstained. This is the first time a European parliament has voted on a resolution condemning the international boycott of Israel as “racism and anti-Semitism”. The paper said that Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Burkhalter, tried to convince the parliament to reject the proposal, saying, “it is Switzerland’s right to encourage public discussion in Israel” referring to the country’s support for body’s linked, directly or otherwise, to the BDS, presenting the organisation Breaking the Silence as an example. […]

Russia defends Iran as regime tests yet another missile

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has successfully test-fired a naval missile, the semi-official news agency Tasnim said yesterday, a move likely to heighten concern in Washington, whose warships operate in the waters near Iran and who recently slapped further sanctions on Tehran for testing ballistic missiles. Tasnim said the missile, developed and produced domestically in Iran and called the Hormuz 2, could destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 kilometres. “The naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 this week has successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, according to Tasnim. Russia shields Iran Iran’s missile tests have recently resulted in the rogue regime attracting […]

Iran’s presence in Syria blocks peace deal, Netanyahu tells Putin

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday there could never be peace in Syria as long as there was an Iranian presence there. “We discussed at length the matter of Iran, its objectives and intentions in Syria, and I clarified that there cannot be a peace deal in Syria when Iran is there and declares its intention to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said in footage supplied by his office after their meeting. Iran has backed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad providing fighters to help him in the country’s civil war. “[Iran] is arming itself and its forces against Israel including from Syria territory and is, in fact, gaining a foothold to continue the fight against Israel,” […]

Report: Israeli government funding illegal projects on private Palestinian land

Israeli government funds Zionist body that has seized private Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank in recent years and established settlements on them, in direct contravention of the law, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper revealed yesterday. The Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization is a non-governmental body vested with government functions and powers to act for the establishment and development of settlements. “Every year, the government allocates millions of dollars for the division which ends up in the end in favour of the settlements.” According to the paper, in addition to the huge budgets, the division has enjoyed considerable weight with respect to forming the settlement policy in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli government has imposed a state of […]

Amal Clooney to Iraq: Allow UN probe of Daesh Yazidi crimes

International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and a young Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Daesh fighters pushed Iraq on Thursday to allow a United Nations investigation into crimes by the militant group. Britain is drafting a United Nations Security Council resolution to establish a UN investigation, but Clooney said the Iraqi government needs to send a letter formally requesting the inquiry before the 15-member council can vote. Daesh is committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the minority religious community through killings, sexual slavery and other crimes, UN experts reported in June last year. Clooney, who represents Nadia Murad and other Yazidi victims of Daesh, said that despite public support by Iraq for […]

Basel’s story: the manner of his death reflected his life

From his will, that has been circulated since his death, one can get to know the martyr Basel Al-Araj. It epitomised his clarity, simplicity, and depth of his determination. However, there are some questions left behind by the death of Basel Al-Araj that are unresolved. In Basel’s case, questions focus on the occupation forces and their storming of Ramallah. There are also questions about the unfair unjustified contradiction of deploying hundreds of armed soldiers to oppress a peaceful march in protest of political arrests and the disappearance of these soldiers when it comes to an armed Israeli raid of a home that is mere metres away from their headquarters without any of their consciences kicking in to push them to […]

Saudi to deport 5m ‘illegal’ workers

Saudi Arabia today proposed a new immigration system whereby five million foreign workers of all nationalities would be deported, in a move it said would help rid the country of those living in it illegally. Sadaqa Fadil, a member of the Shura Council, said a considerable part of the immigration to the country has not been for religious or work purposes but for permanent settlement which is “illegal” under Saudi law. The official, who introduced the proposal, told Al-Hayat newspaper that the country has been facing “intensive and illegal immigration from some Asian and African states”. He called for continued tracking of illegal immigrants so that only those who the country needs can stay, and warned against a political dilemma […]

Israel arrested 15,000 Palestinian women since 1967

Israel has arrested some 15,000 Palestinian women since 1967, a Palestinian organisation revealed in a report today. The Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs added that there are currently 56 women and girls held by Israel, 16 of them minors, 18 married, 11 sick, and one held under administrative detention. 56 Palestinian women are currently held in Israeli jails The women are held in Sharon and Damon prisons, the report said ahead of International Women’s Day which is marked tomorrow. Read: Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians in February Shireen Al-Issawi, sister of former hunger striker and present prisoner Samer Issawi, suffers from dizziness. She has been banned from receiving books to continue a course she started before her arrest, the report […]