Australian navy intercepts Iranian arms ‘en route to Houthis’

Photographs of weapons alleged to have been seized while being moved from the Horn of Africa to Yemen have been released by the Australian Department of Defence, the New York Times has reported. The evidence suggests that the weapons originated in Iran. The cargo contained at least nine rocket-propelled grenade launchers among thousands of weapons seized by an Australian warship last February when it intercepted an Iranian sailing vessel en route, it is believed, to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Initially, Canberra decided not to release the photographs, but after a lengthy dispute with Geneva-based research centre Small Arms Survey, the Australian government decided to release a sample of the pictures of the weapons that were seized. This is not […]

Iraqi judiciary prosecutes over 500 fugitives

The Higher Judicial Council in Iraq revealed on Wednesday that it is prosecuting over 500 fugitives accused of various crimes. Some are still at large while others have been arrested. It added that more than 100 groups specialising in the smuggling of important artefacts and currency counterfeiters were arrested during 2016. In a joint press conference held yesterday for the judges of the council in Baghdad, Judge Mohammad Salman of the Integrity Court said that his court alone dealt with 505 cases related to the return of suspects accused of various crimes from outside of Iraq over the past year.” He did not reveal the nature of the accusations made against the fugitives, their identity or the total number of […]

BREAKING: Israel diplomat behind UK lobbying scandal fired

An Israeli embassy official in London who was caught on camera by Al Jazeera talking about “taking down” British government ministers has been fired from his post by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera confirmed today. Shai Masot, who worked at Israel’s embassy in London as a “senior political officer”, also boasted of setting up political youth organisations in the UK to promote Israeli interests and talked about a “hit list” of MPs, also featuring Conservative Crispin Blunt, the chair of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee. The embassy has sought to distance itself from Masot’s activities, with Ambassador Mark Regev describing him as a junior member of staff whose comments were unacceptable. However, the Al Jazeera investigative report that […]

Israeli intelligence admits Hamas ‘hacks’ into IDF personnel phones

Israeli intelligence and security sources have admitted that Hamas has been successful in listening in on the telephone calls made by military personnel after hacking into their Facebook pages. “This hacking is a very dangerous development,” said an intelligence officer, although it was noted that minimal damage has been done. In a press statement, the officer said that Hamas opened fake Facebook accounts, using pictures of attractive women, and thus gained access to phone numbers of dozens of Israeli soldiers and officers. “The hackers would strike-up a friendship with their targets and then ask them to download a calling app so that they could video chat.” This allowed Hamas to gain control of the mobile phone cameras and operate them […]

‘Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem will be a bullet in the heart of the two-state solution’

The head of Palestinian affairs in the Islamic Action Front — the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood — in Jordan, has said that moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem would be “a bullet to the heart of the two-state solution.” Naieem Khasawneh also told Anadolu that this step would “lead to a popular feeling reaching boiling point inside the occupied Palestinian territories and ignite a widespread intifada focused on Jerusalem” against the Israeli occupation. He noted that in the event that such a decision is made by the new US administration under Donald Trump, the incoming president will have exposed as a sham the US claim to be neutral with regards to the Palestinian issue. […]

Iraq claims 85% of east Mosul under its control

A senior Iraqi military commander claimed last night to have regained control of 85 per cent of the eastern half of Mosul, as the military continues its offensive against Daesh militants, now almost near the end of its third month. Al Jazeera cited an AP report that quoted the Counter Terrorism Service’s (CTS) Brigadier Haider Fadel as saying that almost 85 per cent of Mosul’s eastern districts had been taken out of Daesh fighters’ control, as a separate army official put the number at 80 per cent. However, while Daesh may have to contest many of the city’s eastern districts against the advancing Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), the government only holds about a third of eastern half of Mosul, or […]

Prisoner swaps between Hamas and Israel are a sensitive issue

The issue of Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas in Gaza still has momentum in Israel, with various predictions of whether the two sides will get into agreement for a prisoner exchange or if they will postpone it, especially after the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades — the Hamas military wing — broadcast a video of a captured Israeli soldier. In return, Israel has implemented an even harsher regime and series of punishments against Palestinian prisoners. We need to understand the Israeli decision-making mechanisms when it comes to prisoner exchange discussions; how the Israeli government and elites think; what the position of captured soldiers’ families is; and how civil society puts pressure on the Israeli government in this regard. A few days ago, […]

Prisoner swaps between Hamas and Israel are a sensitive issue

The issue of Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas in Gaza still has momentum in Israel, with various predictions of whether the two sides will get into agreement for a prisoner exchange or if they will postpone it, especially after the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades — the Hamas military wing — broadcast a video of a captured Israeli soldier. In return, Israel has implemented an even harsher regime and series of punishments against Palestinian prisoners. We need to understand the Israeli decision-making mechanisms when it comes to prisoner exchange discussions; how the Israeli government and elites think; what the position of captured soldiers’ families is; and how civil society puts pressure on the Israeli government in this regard. A few days ago, […]

Israelis question number of Egyptian troops in Sinai

The media in Israel has reported a number of analyses of the announcement by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of the number of Egyptian troops in Sinai, Masralarabia.com reported on Wednesday. In a TV interview, the Egyptian leader said that there are 20,000 to 25,000 of his soldiers in the peninsula. Israel Defence pointed out that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt allows just 10,000 to 15,000 Egyptian troops to be deployed up to 50km from the Suez Canal. However, the troops are currently deployed all over the Sinai Peninsula and are also along the border with Israel. “If this is true, it means that Al-Sisi sent more than twice the number of Egyptian troops to Sinai than allowed in […]

Israelis question number of Egyptian troops in Sinai

The media in Israel has reported a number of analyses of the announcement by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of the number of Egyptian troops in Sinai, Masralarabia.com reported on Wednesday. In a TV interview, the Egyptian leader said that there are 20,000 to 25,000 of his soldiers in the peninsula. Israel Defence pointed out that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt allows just 10,000 to 15,000 Egyptian troops to be deployed up to 50km from the Suez Canal. However, the troops are currently deployed all over the Sinai Peninsula and are also along the border with Israel. “If this is true, it means that Al-Sisi sent more than twice the number of Egyptian troops to Sinai than allowed in […]