Israel closes embassy in Turkey

Israel today instructed its embassy in Turkey to close all diplomatic missions and headquarters in the country, Ma’an reported. The news site said Israeli media had broadcast that the Foreign Ministry had requested the closure of the Israeli Embassy and consulates throughout Turkey for fear of a backlash as a result of the protests in Jerusalem and Israel’s restrictive actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Read: UN warns of escalation if no Al-Aqsa solution by Friday The closure comes after two Jordanians were killed in the Israeli Embassy in Amman in clashes that led to the security guard being injured yesterday. A high-ranking source in the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the decision had been made with great care prior to the events […]

PRCS: 1,090 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces over course of 10 days

Seven Palestinians have been killed and 1,090 injured in the first ten days of unrest following the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque on 14 July, figures released by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) showed today. This evening, a Palestinian was shot in the head during clashes in the Jerusalem-area town of Hizma, with the Palestinian Ministry of Health reporting him to be in critical condition. According to the group, approximately 1,090 Palestinians had been injured since Israeli authorities installed metal detectors, turnstiles and additional security cameras in the Al-Aqsa compound. Read: UN warns of escalation if no Al-Aqsa solution by Friday Statistics from the group showed that 29 Palestinians were injured, some seriously, with live bullets, 374 were injured with rubber-coated […]

UN warns of escalation if no Al-Aqsa solution by Friday

United Nations Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned today that a solution was needed by Friday to the Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis, which he said threatens to have “potential catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City.” Israel installed metal detectors at entry points to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 16 July triggering the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years. Incensed at what they perceive as a violation of delicate decades-old access arrangements at Islam’s third-holiest site, Palestinians have refused to go through the metal detectors, holding street prayers and protests. Friday prayers have not been held in the mosque for two weeks. Israel has responded heavy-handedly, shooting stun grenades, rubber coated bullets and live munitions at […]

Will the UK ever sacrifice its relationship with Saudi Arabia?

On 5 July, right wing counter extremism think tank the Henry Jackson Society, released a report citing Saudi Arabia as the foremost promoter of Islamic extremism in the Muslim world and the West. British politicians and the media reacted with concern at the report, pressuring the government to release a much delayed study on the funding of extremist groups in the UK. One week later, a UK court ruled arms deals to Saudi Arabia legal. The almost simultaneous verdicts on two controversial issues, only served to further highlight the long standing inconsistency in the UK government’s attitude towards the Arab Kingdom. In recent years public opinion has turned strongly against Saudi Arabia, with its ever increasing record of human rights […]

Al-Aqsa Uprising: What Hamas must do

The Al-Aqsa Uprising posed a double dilemma for the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as for the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu became a target of harsh criticism by the Israeli media and political arena, which blamed him for the severe deterioration of the security situation after electronic gates were placed at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Netanyahu, who presents himself as “the master of security”, claiming to have made great achievements in this regard, was surprised by the Al-Aqsa Uprising, which shrunk his margin of manoeuvre and revealed to the Israeli public, especially the right-wing bases, that he is unable to obtain the desired results. Netanyahu is further pressured by the fact that the strategic assessment levels […]

Disbelief is growing as Scotland’s First Minister backs Israel’s dark arts

Scotland has a proud record of standing up with persecuted minorities, including those who are targeted purely for their faith, ethnicity or culture. It is the only European country where there is no history of Jews being persecuted or threatened by state institutions. From the Middle Ages to the present day, anti-Semitism across Europe has too readily and frequently resulted in pogroms and exile, but not in Scotland. In the mid-20th century, of course, such persecution culminated in the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust and the systematic murder of six million Jews and numerous others deemed to be “undesirable” by Adolf Hitler and his murderous minions. The Scots may be relatively small numerically, but they are well-known for punching above […]

China is largest foreign investor in Middle East

China became the largest investor in the Arab region in 2016 with investments worth $29.5 billion. Beijing surpassed the US and the UAE and now holds 31.9 per cent of the direct foreign investment in the region, according to figures published by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp, which is a pan-Arab organisation owned by the governments of Arab states and 4 Arab financial institutions. In total, the Middle East attracted over $92 billion worth of foreign investment according to the Investment Climate Report 2017. Nearly a third of foreign investment came from China followed by the UAE, which accounted for 16.4 per cent ($15.1 billion) of investments and then the US with only $6.9 billion worth of […]

4 soldiers killed in roadside bomb in Somalia

Four Somali soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb and two others were injured yesterday, according to reports in Al Jazeera. The improvised explosive device exploded in the town of Baidoa, south west of the Somalia capital Mogadishu. A unit of soldiers were travelling through Baidoa form the village of Daynunay. The injured soldiers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, a police officer told the Turkish Anadolu Agency. Read: Scores killed in US-Somali raid Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. The group carries out frequent attacks in Somalia, in an attempt to topple the Somalia government, push back African Union peacekeeping troops and implement a strict version of Islamic law across the country.

Yemen government ready for prisoner swap with Houthis

Yemeni Prime Minister, Ahmed Bin Daghr, said yesterday that his government is ready to exchange all prisoners with Houthi militias through the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Daghr made the remarks during a meeting with ICRC President, Peter Maurer, in the interim capital Aden. “The coup militias continue to reject the UN Security Council resolutions on the release of detainees including Defence Minister, Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi,” Daghr said, adding that “more than 3,000 people have been detained in Houthi prisons including children who were sent to the battlefields and were used as human shields.” Read: Houthis launch missile at Saudi oil refinery The Yemeni prime minister handed the president of the ICRC a list […]

Sarraj and Haftar to meet in Paris for talks

Head of the Libyan Presidency Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, will meet in Paris tomorrow at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. The French government has maintained connections with both sides by recognising the Presidency Council and maintaining that the Libyan Political Agreement is the solution for resolving the Libyan crisis, and by also providing intelligence support to the Libyan National Army in its fight against extremists in the east of the country. Macron appointed former French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, as foreign minister in May. Le Drian has favoured a stronger backing for Haftar. The Paris meeting this week is expected to be attended by Ghassan Salamé who […]