200 Ukrainian Jews immigrate to Israel

Some 200 Jews today arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv from Ukraine in order to move to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israeli Radio reported. The station claimed the Jews are refugees from eastern Ukraine who fled the battles there. The cost of their migration has been covered by the Israel Friendship Fund. Yesterday, a poll showed that 27 per cent of Jews in Israel wanted to immigrate and leave the country. Seven per cent of religious Jews also said they want to immigrate. Israel’s Walla news site has published a report by the Midgam Institute prepared for the Israeli Ministry of Education, indicating that the majority of those wishing to emigrate from Israel are young people between the ages of 23 […]

Strike in Syria hit militants, not civilians – US general

The top US general in Iraq told reporters on Tuesday that a strike near the Daesh-held Syrian city of Raqqa last week appears to have killed dozens of militants and not civilians. Last week the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an air strike that hit a school sheltering displaced people killed at least 33 people, adding it believed the strike was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting Daesh in the area. “I would tell you that we haven’t completed our assessment of that event yet, but my initial read is (it is) not credible,” Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told reporters at a Pentagon via teleconference. “I think that was a clean strike,” Townsend said. “We had multiple corroborating […]

Arab leaders seek common ground at summit on Palestinian state

Divided Arab leaders arriving in Jordan for a summit on Wednesday are seeking common ground to reaffirm their commitment to a Palestinian state, a longstanding goal that US President Donald Trump last month put into doubt. The Dead Sea meeting is expected to have a bigger turnout than recent Arab summits, Jordanian officials say, and security forces cast a high profile in the capital Amman with armoured vehicles standing at traffic junctions as leaders flew in. While they are highly unlikely to bridge rifts over the regional role of Iran or intractable wars in Syria and Yemen, Arab leaders remain united in supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We are concerned that there should be an Arab consensus […]

Prominent British politician and religious leader accused of supporting new Pro-Assad organisation

UK based Syrian organisations have raised concerns  over a new centre with close ties to the Syrian regime and a former head of the Labour Party as its Patron, carrying out activities in the UK. Prominent Syrian groups alleged that the newly founded European Centre for the Study of Extremism, Cambridge (EuroCSE), appears to exist primarily to spread propaganda for the Assad dictatorship. In their letter to the University of Cambridge requesting greater transparency, they state that the organisation’s founder, Makram Khoury-Machool, is a close friend of Assad’s former ambassador to the UK, Sami Khiyami Khoury-Machool, a former lecturer at the University of Cambridge. They allege that the group’s presence in Cambridge and its connections to members of the University […]

Egyptian man subjects wife to 3 days of torture after she opens Facebook account

graphic image below An Egyptian man tortured his wife and locked her up after discovering that she set up a Facebook page after he refused to create an account for her. According to Egyptian security forces, Asmaa Samir was tortured by her husband Mustafa Raafat who tied her with ropes and locked her up in their house for three days while depriving her of food and drink and torturing her using sharp tools. During the interrogation, Raafat said his wife opened three accounts using fake female names, as she wanted to see if he would cheat on her, adding that he punished her by beating her up. He denied reports that he had starved her. Many women rights organizations called […]

Gazans rally in solidarity with jailed charity employee

Gazan employees of an international charity organisation staged a demonstration on Tuesday to show solidarity with a colleague arrested last year by Israel for allegedly aiding Hamas. In June of last year, the Israeli authorities arrested Mohammad al-Halabi, the Gaza director of World Vision, an international charity organisation, for allegedly diverting funds to the Palestinian resistance group. Members of the organisation’s Gaza staff, along with dozens of children and beneficiaries of the charity’s services, took part in Tuesday’s protest, holding banners aloft bearing al-Halabi’s image. Tahani Zaqout, a Palestinian World Vision employee and protest organiser, said at the demonstration: Today, we stand in solidarity with al-Halabi, who was arrested 10 months ago on false pretenses Al-Halabi’s arrest, Zaqout asserted, was […]

Saudi Arabia refuses to include Syrian flag in Arab League summit

Saudi Arabia is said to have rejected the inclusion of the Syrian flag at the Arab League summit due to begin in Jordan tomorrow. Syrian sources pointed out that Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Algeria have called for the return of the Syrian regime to the Arab League, but their attempts were rejected by the Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari today called for the return of Syria to the Arab League, and to review the decision to suspend the Syrian delegation’s participation in the meetings. All the peoples of the Arab countries, including the people of Syria, must be represented in all their history and heroism in the Arab League, regardless of existing differences. Syria’s […]

Erdogan warns of attempts to divide the region through terrorism

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned of what he called “projects to divide the region through terrorist organisations”. This came in a speech during his participation at the 4th Youth Forum in Istanbul, organised by the Turkish Youth Waqf. Erdogan expressed his heartfelt greetings to the youth of Gaza, Aleppo, Bosnia, Jerusalem and Africa. Just as the borders of the region’s countries were drawn a hundred years ago with blood, tears and sedition, we are witnessing similar attempts today through the use of terrorist networks. Erdogan said. He pointed to the existence of “dirty bargains” behind closed doors similar to the Sykes and Picot agreement a century ago and stressed on the need to educate young people to prevent […]

British delegation in Sudan for talks

A senior delegation from the United Kingdom have arrived in Sudan to begin the second phase of strategic dialogue with government officials, a press release from the British Embassy in Khartoum confirmed. The embassy said the delegation will be headed by the Director for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Neil Wigan, who will co-chair the discussions with Sudan’s Undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Abdul-Ghani Al-Naeem. Previously, Al-Naeem called on the international community to back the Government of Sudan’s attempts to achieve peace in Darfur and the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile areas. He called on Britain to urge the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM/N) and the armed movements to join the political process and facilitate the […]

Moroccan politics and the king’s revenge

Despite high popularity and a large election win after a relatively successful governmental mandate, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) is facing its most intriguing situation post-2011. Abdelilah Benkirane’s five-month perseverance effort to protect the public has been dashed not only by the royal decision to task Saad Eddine El-Othmani, also a member of the PJD, with government-forming responsibility but also by the government parties’ incongruent formula. If formed, the cabinet from the onset carries indications of potential implosion. When street activism started in 2011, the party refused to join February 20 Movement both to express goodwill towards the regime and avoid undesired outcomes which may unfold. Activists warned the party that it was merely being utilised as a temporary […]