Middle-east

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Sudan to announce new national government

Sudan is set to announce a new national government early next month including a minister to take over the newly recreated post of prime minister, a senior official disclosed yesterday. The Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud said in a press conference in Khartoum that President Omar Al-Bashir will issue a decree slated for 10 January to declare the new government once the arrangements are finalised. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the political parties participating in national dialogue efforts have engaged in broad-based consultations to name the new prime minister and the entire cabinet, Mahmoud said. He called on the opposition to join the new government. “The doors are still open for the boycotters to join the national consensus […]


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Netanyahu says wrongdoing allegations will turn out to be false

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today denied allegations that he received “significant gifts” from a local and a foreign businessman after the attorney-general said a criminal investigation will be launched next week. A statement issued by a Netanyahu spokesman said the probe would fail to uncover any evidence against him. “All the supposed affairs will turn out to be fiction, as will be the claims currently being published in the media… Nothing will be found because there is nothing to uncover,” Netanyahu’s spokesman said. Israel’s Channel 10 television said on Wednesday that Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit, who was working with prosecutors and police, had ordered a probe. The report said Mandelblit had authorised police to question Netanyahu under caution in two […]


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Netanyahu says wrongdoing allegations will turn out to be false

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today denied allegations that he received “significant gifts” from a local and a foreign businessman after the attorney-general said a criminal investigation will be launched next week. A statement issued by a Netanyahu spokesman said the probe would fail to uncover any evidence against him. “All the supposed affairs will turn out to be fiction, as will be the claims currently being published in the media… Nothing will be found because there is nothing to uncover,” Netanyahu’s spokesman said. Israel’s Channel 10 television said on Wednesday that Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit, who was working with prosecutors and police, had ordered a probe. The report said Mandelblit had authorised police to question Netanyahu under caution in two […]


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Senior Hamas official visits Egypt to discuss bilateral relations

The deputy head of the Hamas political bureau arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for an official visit, the movement’s spokesman Abdul Latif Qanou has announced. Mousa Abu Marzook is expected to hold several meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss bilateral relations between Hamas and the government in Cairo. Qanou added that the meetings will also discuss the latest developments in Palestine. The visit by Abu Marzook comes several weeks after a member of the political bureau in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Zahar, told reporters that meetings “will be held” between Hamas and Egyptian officials in Cairo. At the time, Zahar said that communication between Hamas and Egypt “has never stopped” and that there is a “common desire” to hold such […]


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Senior Hamas official visits Egypt to discuss bilateral relations

The deputy head of the Hamas political bureau arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for an official visit, the movement’s spokesman Abdul Latif Qanou has announced. Mousa Abu Marzook is expected to hold several meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss bilateral relations between Hamas and the government in Cairo. Qanou added that the meetings will also discuss the latest developments in Palestine. The visit by Abu Marzook comes several weeks after a member of the political bureau in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Zahar, told reporters that meetings “will be held” between Hamas and Egyptian officials in Cairo. At the time, Zahar said that communication between Hamas and Egypt “has never stopped” and that there is a “common desire” to hold such […]


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Jordan holds Israel responsible for violations against Al-Aqsa

The Jordanian government yesterday said it held Israel, as the occupying power, fully responsible for any violation against the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Jordan’s Petra news agency reported. State Minister for Media Affairs and government spokesman, Mohammed Al-Momani, said any attempt by Israelis to storm or enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is illegal and an aggressive act against the Islamic holy site and the feelings of Muslims. The minister also reaffirmed Jordan’s stance on maintaining the status quo at Al-Aqsa. The minister was commenting on the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by 149 Jewish settlers yesterday. Earlier, the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem said in a statement that about 15,000 Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the current year.


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Report: Increase in violations against press freedoms in occupied Palestinian territory

November 2016 saw a significant increase in violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory, with the large majority of violations committed by Israeli forces, according to a report from the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA). The Ramallah-based NGO released a report on Tuesday highlighting that in November alone, a total of 31 “violations against media freedom” were documented, with 27 violations committed by Israeli forces and four committed by various Palestinian “apparatuses” in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Eleven violations had been recorded in October by Israeli forces, included restrictions on the movement of many journalists and media outlets, raids on press offices, destruction of property, and the detention of Palestinian […]


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Gulf States to upgrade missile defence system

A new defence contract will see Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE upgrade their missile defence capabilities. The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defence capabilities under a new $1.45 billion contract for the production and delivery of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (PAC-3 MSE) interceptors, Aerotech News reported. The defence and aerospace industry site announced that the contract will includes PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE missile deliveries for the US Army, and Foreign Military Sales of PAC-3 interceptors, launcher modification kits, associated equipment and spares for Qatar, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. The PAC-3 missile is a high-velocity interceptor which […]


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Kuwait, Saudi endorse two-state solution for Palestine conflict

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia welcomed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that reiterates American support for the two-state solution. A written statement published by Kuwait’s foreign ministry today “welcomed the vision raised” by Kerry on “finding a final settlement” to the protracted conflict. “Kerry’s suggestions are in keeping with the provisions of the relevant UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative and lay a viable groundwork for a final solution,” a ministry official told the Kuwait News Agency. The source, who cannot be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, called on the concerned parties to “respond positively to Kerry’s ideas” and “work constructively for reaching a fair, permanent and comprehensive peace in […]


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Israel’s Bennett: Major settlement blocs to be annexed in January

The leader of the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, said yesterday that Israeli government policy will change with the arrival of the Trump administration. “This is what government will be. From January 20, there’ll be a different policy in the government,” Bennett said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2. He repeated a call that Israel annex most of the West Bank. Speaking to Israel’s Ynet News yesterday, the Israeli education minister said that on 20 January, when US President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House, “Palestine will be taken off the agenda,” advocating instead that Israeli “law be imposed on areas in Judea and Samaria”, in reference to the West Bank “Israeli government policy will be to annex Ma’ale Adumim,” he added. Ma’ale Adumim, one […]