Middle-east

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Death sentences of 12 Brotherhood members referred to Egypt’s Grand Mufti

An Egyptian court has referred the cases of 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the Grand Mufti, the first step towards imposing a death sentence. The defendants are accused of storming the Matai police station and killing deputy chief Mustafa Al-Atar. The Minya Criminal Court has also set 7 August as the date to sentence the other 391 defendants on charges of involvement in the incidents. On 28 April 2014, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced 37 defendants to death, 394 to life terms and acquitted 17 others. The Court of Cassation accepted the defendants’ appeals against the verdict and ordered a retrial. Egyptian and international human rights groups criticise the authorities for the death sentences handed to political opponents […]


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Qatar: Publication of ‘top secret’ document undermines reconciliation process

Qatar has accused members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of violating the organisation’s bylaws in an attempt to undermine the efforts of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to resolve the current crisis by leaking selective excerpts of the Riyadh agreement on the eve of the A,merican official’s visit. Earlier today, CNN today published a “top secret” hand-written document as evidence of Qatar’s failure to meet its commitments under the Riyadh agreement. It alleged that the documents signed during 2013 and 2014 by members of the GCC included a commitment not to interference in each other’s internal affairs and to cease financial or political support to anti-government activist groups. Read: Defiant Qatar redefines the regional landscape Doha believes that the […]


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Bringing Palestinian history and culture to London

The largest Palestine event in Europe went ahead this weekend despite a smear campaign and attempts by pro-Israel groups to have it cancelled. Organised by the UK non-profit organisation Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestine Expo spanned two days and was held over five floors in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, overlooking the Houses of Parliament, on 8-9 July. With a host of renowned speakers including academics and activists, a souq and a number of interactive zones showcasing various art exhibitions and cultural programmes, the event attracted more than 15,000 visitors. One stall was a mock UN tent, standing as a reminder of the plight of Palestinian refugees. The timing of the event comes as Palestinians mark 100 years since […]


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Morocco to investigate leaked prison footage of Rif protesters

The Moroccan Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation to be opened after video footage released online showed Nasser Zefzafi, leader of the Hirak Rif who is currently in detention, while he was half-naked. Hassan Matar, the king’s General Prosecutor at the Court of Appeal in Casablanca, announced yesterday: “Once Nasser Zefzafi’s video, which was filmed during his detention, had been identified, the Public Prosecution ordered a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances and the facts surrounding the filming of his video and the aim behind its publication.” The statement was made amid the widespread criticism of politicians and human rights activists of the video leak. In this context, Adel Ben Hamza, the spokesman of the opposition Istiqlal party said in a […]


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Video of detained Rif protest leader shows no torture marks

A video has surfaced showing the detained Rif protest movement leader, Nasser Zefzafi, with parts of his body on show to deny he has been tortured by Moroccan security authorities, footage which contradicts reports and other images released showing the activist’s bruised body. The video was shown on Moroccan news sites including the intelligence services site Barlmane yesterday where Zefzafi dressed in a Moroccan djellaba. #Rif A few hours after it was uploaded, the video was removed but still remains available on social networks. Zefzafi was arrested on 29 May in Al-Hoceima and transferred to Casablanca. According to Abdessadek El Bouchtaoui, a member of the defence group of the detainees of the protest movement, the leader of the movement “suffered physical and […]


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Israel demolishes Palestinian building in Jerusalem

Israeli forces demolished a four-story building which was under construction in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya this morning, despite its Palestinian landowner having meeting with Israeli authorities to postpone the demolition scheduled for tomorrow. Owner of the building, Hanan Mahmoud, told Ma’an that she and her family were surprised when four bulldozers escorted by armed Israeli forces stormed the area at around 4am and began razing the building to the ground. Construction of the four-floor building – comprised of six apartments, with the ground floor planned to be used as shops – started about a year ago. Read: Greater Israeli violations against Palestinians in 2017 Member of Issawiya’s follow-up committee, Muhammad Abu Al-Hummus, said the Mahmoud family had repeatedly […]


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Settlers urge Israel to hold Cabinet meeting in Ibrahimi Mosque

Settlers have urged the Israeli Cabinet to hold a meeting at the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron in defiance of UNESCO’s recent ruling that it is a Palestinian heritage site. The UN cultural body last week deemed the Old City of Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque an endangered Palestinian site, despite an Israeli campaign to block the vote. In response, yesterday settlers called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold a Cabinet meeting at the site in order to reinforce Israel’s ties to the region, according to the Jerusalem Post. Read: UNESCO declares Hebron Old City a World Heritage Site In a letter to Netanyahu, a settler community leader in the occupied West Bank, Avi Ro’eh, said: “We have to […]


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Sudan welcomes UN hopes for lifting US sanctions

Sudan has welcomed a statement by the United Nations Country Team in Sudan which hoped for a “positive resolution on the lifting of the US sanctions”. Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Gharib Allah Khidir, said yesterday that Sudan “expressed its satisfaction with the facts and evidence highlighted in the United Nations statement and its emphasis on the close cooperation between the Sudan and the international community on humanitarian issues at the regional and international levels.” Read: Will Sudan side with Russia and Iran if sanctions are not lifted? He praised the positive spirit contained in the UN Country Team in Sudan’s statement and stressed on “the Sudanese government’s determination and commitment to continue to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations and all partners […]


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Israel Police question former army general

Police have detained a former general for questioning as part of ongoing investigations into the so called “submarine scandal”. Following the detention of six suspects yesterday, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer, a major general, whose identity has not been revealed, is being questioned in regards to the fraudulent purchase of submarines from German company ThyssenKrupp. Read: 6 senior Israeli officials detained in fraud case A judge extended the custody of three of the detainees last night, while one, Netanyahu’s cousin and personal lawyer, David Shimron, was released to house arrest. Former Israeli Navy Commander Eliezer Marom is also said to be wanted for questioning, according to the Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu himself is expected to give testimony as the investigation […]


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Palestinian population is 4.95 million

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the National Council for Population has issued a breakdown of the Palestinian population for World Population Day. The estimated population in Palestine as of mid-2017 is 4.95 million Based on estimates prepared by the PCBS, which were reached in accordance with the results of the general census of the population, housing units and establishments in 2007, the estimated population in Palestine as of mid-2017 is approximately 4.95 million. Of this 2.52 million are male and 2.43 million are female. The estimated population in the West Bank is about 3.01 million, including 1.53 million males and 1.48 females, while the population in Gaza is estimated to be over 2 million, including approximately 988,000 […]