Hamas to meet Egyptian officials in Cairo soon

  Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar said yesterday that officials from his movement would meet with Egyptian officials in Cairo soon, the Palestine Information Centre (PIC) reported. In an interview with the PIC, Al-Zahar said: “Hamas Deputy Leader Ismail Haniyeh is to meet with Egyptian officials when he returns to Gaza.” Al-Zahar did not comment about the agenda of the meeting with Cairo. Al-Zahar noted that another senior Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Marzook, who has an office in Cairo, will accompany Haniyeh during his meetings with the Egyptians. Al-Zahar also hailed the recent Egyptian easing of restrictions that have recently come into effect at the Rafah border crossing. “This means that Egypt has started to review its positions towards Gaza […]

Arab Gulf ‘frustrated’ with Egypt’s Sisi

Abdulkhaliq Abdullah, adviser to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed, said that the energy rich states of the Arabian Gulf hold “frustrated” and “resentful” feelings towards Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Anadolu reported yesterday. “[Al-Sisi] represents a political and financial burden,” Abdullah said. However, he emphasised that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are not currently thinking of abandoning the Arab world’s largest country “due to its importance.” In an interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu, Abdullah said: “The size of Gulf aid to Egypt since July 2013 has exceeded $20 billion, but this did not have a positive effect on the life of the Egyptians.” On 3 July 2013, Al-Sisi, the then defence minister, carried out a […]

Israeli tantrums and diplomatic gamesmanship shift attention from Palestine

Last week’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 can be summarised as a collective international effort to provoke the type of drama in which opportunism and retaliation consolidate their dominion over oblivion. Outgoing US President Barack Obama departed conveniently from the usual veto over resolutions deemed hostile by Israel due to the unfolding timeline rather than a change in foreign policy. Predictably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed his belligerence by recalling ambassadors and ordering the termination of aid to Senegal. The latter should count as evidence of Israel’s real interests in giving aid to Africa; it is simply a way to bribe developing countries into giving their support to its colonial ambitions in Palestine. The rhetoric of abandonment has been […]

Erdogan’s claim that US supports Daesh ‘ludicrous’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that he has evidence that the US-led coalition gives support and aid to terrorist groups including Daesh and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD. “They were accusing us of supporting Daesh,” Erdogan angrily told a press conference in Ankara. “Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos,” he said, without presenting any of the intelligence he claimed to the press gathered around him. The US State Department yesterday rejected as “ludicrous” the accusations made by the Turkish president. State Department spokesman Mark Toner there was no was basis for such an accusation. The United States has been supporting […]

Explained: Palestinian citizens of Israel

Did you know that one in five of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian? Israel refers to them as “Israeli Arabs”, and claims that they have full freedoms as part of a multicultural democracy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected any accusations of discrimination, and claims that all citizens, Jewish and Arab, are treated equally. The truth, however, is somewhat different. First, some background. In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from what became the State of Israel. Some, however, remained, and became Israeli citizens. All the way up until 1966, however, they were subjected to a military regime that was used to expropriate land, control movement and suppress political activity. But the end of military rule didn’t mean equality. […]

Explained: Palestinian citizens of Israel

Did you know that one in five of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian? Israel refers to them as “Israeli Arabs”, and claims that they have full freedoms as part of a multicultural democracy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected any accusations of discrimination, and claims that all citizens, Jewish and Arab, are treated equally. The truth, however, is somewhat different. First, some background. In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from what became the State of Israel. Some, however, remained, and became Israeli citizens. All the way up until 1966, however, they were subjected to a military regime that was used to expropriate land, control movement and suppress political activity. But the end of military rule didn’t mean equality. […]

For first time in 3 years, Brotherhood leader sees his mother

Mohamed Al-Beltagi, a jailed senior leader in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, saw his mother yesterday for the first time since he was arrested in the wake of the military coup which ousted the first democratically elected Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013. His lawyer, Ahmed Sa’ed, said that the judge who presided over Al-Beltagi’s hearing allowed for him to exit the dock for only ten minutes so that he could hold his mother’s hand, an elderly woman who is confined to a wheelchair. According to Sa’ed, Al-Beltagi’s meeting with his mother was very “emotional” and he said that Al-Beltagi knelt down and kissed the hands of his sick mother and spoke to her for a short time before being taken […]

Algeria: 55,000 Algerians involved in terror since 1990s

Almost 55,000 Algerians involved in “terrorist offences” have faced prosecution in their country since the 1990s, Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Louh revealed on Monday. Louh revealed his startling figures during a session in the upper chamber of the Algerian parliament, noting that there is currently a database of information about all of these terrorism suspects that was set up in 2014. According to Louh, the number includes those who were pardoned under the terms of a political agreement and amnesty following a referendum conducted in 2005. In total, 54,457 people had been investigated and prosecuted. In September, Algeria’s main military chief, Ahmed Saleh, said: “In the near future, we will make the terror phenomenon in our country something from the […]

For the first time, Moscow says it supports a role for military chief Haftar in Libya’s leadership: Bloomberg 

Russia announced on Tuesday that it supports a role for retired army general Khalifa Haftar in ruling the country. Haftar is the military chief for the Tobruk-based parliament in eastern Libya, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying that Haftar is “doing a lot to fight Islamic State terrorists and help the government restore control of oil production.” “We believe that the Libyans have to find a compromise on his participation in the new Libyan leadership,” the Russian official said. Gatilov criticized the UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, over his policy that allegedly supports the Tripoli government, which has been in a standoff with Haftar. Kobler’s policy has hindered the attainment of a […]

Oman joins Saudi-led Islamic alliance: Gulf sources

Oman, which has traditionally resisted Gulf Arab states’ efforts to close ranks against Iran, has joined a Saudi-led coalition of Muslim countries to fight terrorism, Saudi and Gulf sources said on Wednesday. The sultanate indicated its willingness to take part in the 40-country alliance in a letter to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the sources said. Although differences are rarely aired in public, Oman has long stood out among its Gulf allies. The Sultanate has worried that a wider regional confrontation between Riyadh and Tehran could threaten its own stability, and seeks to play the conciliator. “Oman has always in the past taken positions and policies that are contrary to the Gulf positions regarding the […]