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European parliament calls for recognition of Palestine

November 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The European parliament stressed on Wednesday that “time has come for the EU members to recognise an independent state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.” This call came in a statement for the Chair of the European Parliament’s Standing Delegation for Relations with Palestine, Neoklis Sylikiotis. He made his call to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. He also called for the suspension of the EU partnership with Israel until it becomes “seriously committed” to respecting human rights. Sylikiotis added: “This day reminds all of us of our failure to achieve justice for the Palestinians, who have been suffering the loss and theft of their human rights since 1948.” He stressed that […]

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Former Egyptian PM blocked from leaving UAE

November 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Former Egyptian Premier Ahmed Shafiq said on Wednesday the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was preventing him from travelling to his country after he announced his plans to run in Egypt’s presidential elections next year. In an exclusive interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, Shafiq — the last prime minister from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak era — said he was satisfied with his residence in the UAE but complained that Emirati authorities were not allowing him to travel to Egypt. “I am surprised that the brother UAE authorities are blocking my journey to Egypt because of reasons I do not know and understand,” he said. Shafiq said he wanted to meet Egyptian workers in the UAE as part of his election campaign […]

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Hamas: Israeli ban on Swiss officials ‘inhuman’

November 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Palestinian group Hamas said Wednesday that Israel’s barring of Swiss officials from entering the blockaded Gaza Strip from Israeli territory is “inhuman”. Hamas explained in a written statement that the ban was also a “violation” which prevented the Palestinian people from communicating with the world. On Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly banned the officials from entering the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media. Read More: Hamas: PA call for its workers to return to their posts ‘violation’ of Cairo deal The ban was issued over recent meetings between Swiss officials and members of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, Israeli Channel Two reported. According to the channel, Swiss representatives recently held talks with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh and […]

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Trump criticized in Britain and US for sharing anti-Muslim videos

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

President Donald Trump, who campaigned to bar Muslims he sees as a security threat, on Wednesday shared anti-Muslim videos posted on Twitter by a far-right British party leader, drawing condemnation from Britain, US Muslim groups and some members of Congress. The White House defended Trump’s retweets saying he was raising security issues. As president, Trump has issued executive orders banning entry to some citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, although courts have partially blocked the measures from taking effect. “Look, I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. “The threat is real and that’s what the president is talking about is the need for national security, the need for military spending, and those […]

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France’s Macron to give Saudi Arabia extremist list

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would draw up a list of extremist organisations to convey to Saudi Arabia after its crown prince pledged to cut their funding. Saudi Arabia finances groups overseen by the Mecca-based Muslim World League, which for decades was charged with spreading the strict Wahhabi school of Islam around the world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to modernise the kingdom and cleave to a more open and tolerant interpretation of Islam. “He never did it publicly, but when I went to Riyadh (this month), he made a commitment, such that we could give him a list and he would cut the financing,” Macron said during an interview with France 24 television. […]

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‘Positive’ signs in Lebanon so Hariri may withdraw resignation

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri said today that matters were “positive” and if that continued, he would withdraw his resignation next week, a statement from his press office said. Earlier, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that Hariri will “certainly” remain prime minister and Lebanon’s political crisis will be resolved in a few days, Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reported. “We have just finished talks with all the political forces, within and outside government. There is a broad agreement,” the daily quoted him as saying during a visit to Italy. Hariri resigned in a televised statement while he was in Saudi Arabia on 4 November, prompting a political crisis in Lebanon and thrusting it back into a regional tussle between Riyadh and […]

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Tunisia: Government ‘trying to control’ independent bodies

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Independent bodies which deal with the fight against corruption, journalists’ rights and human rights in Tunisia have today united to condemn the government’s attempts to “marginalise” them by “emptying them of their content and reviewing their regulatory laws in order to control them”. In a joint press conference, member of the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication, Hisham Snoussi, said: “It has become clear to us that the executive authority decided to circumvent the Constitution and to empty the authorities of their content by introducing laws that contradict rights and freedoms. There is a real decline in the authorities’ role.” Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Snoussi added: “All the authorities feel that the retreat implies the government’s power and contempt […]

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Mubarak: I refused to let go of any inch of Egypt

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today denied a BBC report which claimed that he had agreed to resettle Palestinians in Egypt over three decades ago. Published on the Facebook page Ana Asef Ya Rayes (I am sorry Mr. President), Mubarak said: “In order to explain what has been circulated on media in recent days, based on British documents that were published on the meeting between me and the British Prime Minister in February 1983, I found it important to clarify the following historical facts to the Egyptian people.” “During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, things were going to be worse in the Middle East. This was months after the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from Sinai in 1982. […]

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Israel orders Jordan Valley farmers off their land

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli forces this morning reportedly forced Palestinian farmers off lands they were working on in the Jordan Valley area of the Tubas district in the northern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency. Wafa reported that Israeli forces ordered a group of Palestinian farmers near the village of Sakout to stop working and leave their land immediately. While it remained unclear why the farmers were suddenly ordered off their land, the Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 per cent of its land classified as Area C – under full Israeli military control. Read: Israel refuses to return Palestinian land, handing it to settlers Fifty-seven per cent of the land in the Jordan […]

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Netanyahu: Israel seeks to join African Union

November 29, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed the desire for Israel to become a member of the African Union, in a renewed bid to increase cooperation with the continent, according to Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation. On a trip to several African nations, Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasised the importance of increased ties between Israel and African governments. During a speech in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with 11 other heads of state present, Netanyahu pledged to deepen trade, security and agricultural relations with neighbouring countries. “This is my third visit to Africa and second to Kenya, we believe in the future of Africa, we love Africa and I would like very much not only to cooperate on an individual basis with each […]

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