Body of Nice attacker returned to Tunisia for burial

The body of the attacker that rammed a truck into civilians in the French city of Nice last year was reportedly repatriated last Friday to Tunisia, according to Nice daily, Nice-Matin. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Centre of the Charles-Nicolle Hospital in Tunis, according to the daily. Read: Tunisia urged to criminalise attacks on armed forces Thirty-one-year-old Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had been living in France since 2007 after marrying a Franco-Tunisian cousin. He was shot and killed by police after he attacked a crowd that came to see the 14 July fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, killing 86 people and injuring more than 450 people. Rumour’s circulated that the attacker was buried in Nice near the victims, but […]

Qatar joins Arab boycott of Wonder Woman

Following in the footsteps of Lebanon and Tunisia, Qatar moved to ban showings of the film Wonder Woman, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot. The film had been scheduled to premiere last Thursday and was being promoted by local theatre chains VOX Cinemas Qatar and Novo Cinemas, but any reference to the movie was later removed from the cinemas’ websites across the country. Both companies then confirmed on Twitter that the film had been banned, according to Doha News. This makes Qatar the third Arab country to boycott Wonder Woman. Jordan had also initially attempted to cancel showings of the film, but was forced to relent when the Communications Commission came to the conclusion that there was “no legal precedent”. Read: Jordan joins […]

When Abbas lauds Trump, he is trying to deflect his own accountability

In his address to the African Union’s 29th Summit in Addis Ababa, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave an example of how to engage in double standards that are mostly ignored. He was thus allowed to have a negative impact on Palestinian prospects for autonomy. Wafa news agency reported that, during the speech, Abbas stated, “We are waiting for Israel to respond to the initiative of [US President Donald] Trump for a historic peace deal based on a two-state solution.” Abbas also elaborated that Trump’s “early interest in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict gave [the PA leader] hope.” Never mind the gaps in the narrative that Abbas is fond of propagating, including the fact that Trump’s so-called initiative remains unexplained and that […]

Israel continues to stop family visits to Palestinian prisoners

Israeli occupation authorities prevented families of Palestinian prisoners held inside its jails from visiting them for the second day, Quds Press reported yesterday. Fayhaa Shalash, wife of imprisoned journalist Mohamed Al-Qeq, said that the Israeli occupation forces prevented her and about 30 other people from crossing Al-Zahiriyah checkpoint in Jerusalem, telling them that their imprisoned relatives are punished. #PalPrisoners Speaking to Quds Press, she said: “When we asked the Red Cross employee, who accompanied us, why the Israelis returned us back, he said: ‘Our relatives are being punished due to their involvement in the latest mass hunger strike inside the Israeli jails’.” On Sunday, the Israeli occupation forces prevented a number of families from visiting prisoners inside due to their […]

The Gulf media’s hostile anti-Qatar campaign

The current Gulf crisis and the blockade of Qatar led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain marks a turning point in regional diplomatic, economic and social relationships. The sudden flip toward a complete air, land and sea blockade of the small state, its leadership and its people is unprecedented in the history of the region. This is even incomparable to the so-called ambassadors’ crisis of 2014. What is worse is that this crisis has from the outset been accompanied by an extraordinary degree of hostile media coverage by a few TV channels, newspapers and magazines within the three main protagonists. Media outlets like Al-Arabiya, Sky News Arabia, Alriyadh, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Okaz, Albayan and Alkhaleej, which for years have boasted […]

In midst of Gulf crisis: Qatar ups gas output by 30%

Qatar Petroleum (QP), the world’s largest oil producer, today announced that it has increased gas production by 30 per cent. “The new increase in gas production will double the size of the North Field gas development project, which has not been used previously,” Qatar Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Saad Sharida Al-Kaabi told a news conference in Doha today.Al-Kaabi explained that the company “intends to increase the production of the North Field by one million barrels of oil per day, bringing the total production of Qatar from all fields to about six million barrels of oil per day.The new project will strengthen Qatar’s position as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, and will raise its leading position in the […]

US foreign policy has been hijacked by ideologically driven individuals

The Saudi-led blockade on Qatar has exposed deep divisions within the Trump administration over its response to the diplomatic crisis rocking the region. Repeated confessions by senior US officials denying any kind of feud have done little to check the suspicion that the American administration has locked horns over the best way to deal with the crisis. Some in the White House, revealed the New York Times, say that the quarrel over Qatar is the latest example of a larger struggle within the US administration over who is in charge of Middle East policy; is it Mr. Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, or Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser? A trend not seen since the invasion of […]

UN official arrives in Gaza for second time in 5 days

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolai Mladenov yesterday arrived in Gaza for the second time in five days and met senior Hamas officials to discuss the electricity crisis, Quds Press reported. Media reports said that Mladenov has been mediating between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas who has severely reduced government spending on the coastal enclave. #GazaElectricityCrisis Political analyst Ibrahim Al-Madhoun said that Mladenov, who arrived in Gaza along with four of his aides, discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza, mainly the electricity issue. Read: 327 Palestinians killed during Jerusalem Intifada “He is trying to reach a solution for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza with a political touch,” Al-Madhoun told Quds Press, […]

Qatar responds to Gulf demands

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani yesterday delivered his country’s official response to a list of demands by four Arab states which are imposing a siege on Doha, the Anadolu Agency reported. Al-Thani met with the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Kuwait and handed over the Qatari response to him. “The emir has received Qatar’s response to the demands by the four Arab states during the meeting,” Kuwaiti diplomatic sources told the Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media. Read: Qatar says Arab states’ demands ‘made to be rejected’, says open to talks Last month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of […]