Middle-east

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Egypt delays UN vote on settlements

Egypt postponed a UN Security Council vote due to take place today on a resolution it proposed demanding an end to Israeli settlement building, diplomats said, after Israel’s prime minister and US President-elect Donald Trump urged Washington to veto it. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi told Egypt’s UN mission to postpone the vote, which would have forced US President Barack Obama to decide whether to shield Israel with a veto or, by abstaining, to register criticism of the building on occupied land that the Palestinians want for a state, diplomats said. In a sign that they feared Obama might abandon the United States’ long-standing diplomatic protection for Israel at the United Nations, Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged […]


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Egyptian electricity lines feeding southern Gaza Strip damaged

Egyptian power lines feeding the besieged Gaza Strip were damaged due to complications at the power plant in Arish city in the North Sinai are, Gaza’s power company said in a statement yesterday. The damage in the Egyptian lines cut the electricity for more than 16 hours a day in the southern part of Gaza, according to the statement. Egypt supplies more than 20 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip through three power lines. Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day. The Israeli blockade has also impeded the capacity to repair […]


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Israel orders separation of Palestinian family to avoid eviction by settler group

Following a contentious court battle between a Palestinian family in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settler organisation Ateret Cohanim, the Israeli Supreme Court yesterday evening ruled that the couple would be permitted to reside in their home for ten years without their children until it is transferred to the ownership of the settler organisation. According to a statement released by Mustafa Sub Laban and his wife Nora Gheith, the decision came after they appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court against a previous decision to evict the family immediately, adding that the most recent decision “partly accepted the appeal” and will allow the couple to stay in the home for ten more years. However, their children, daughter […]


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Iraq: Mosul wounded overwhelming Erbil hospitals

Health officials in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region have warned that hospitals in Erbil are stretched to breaking point after having received almost 8,000 wounded from Mosul over more than two months. “An estimated 7,595 people have been rushed to Erbil hospitals within the past 65 days,” Kurdish outlet Rudaw reported Saman Barzanji, the head of Erbil municipality’s health department, as saying earlier today. “Almost all hospitals are dedicated to receiving Mosul [wounded],” Barzanji added. According to the health official, $632,000 had been spent by two Erbil hospitals alone in order to treat those wounded by the ongoing operation to recapture Mosul from Daesh, and that there was a shortage of medicine. Barzanji blamed the central Iraqi government in Baghdad for […]


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Aleppo is the source of both shame and pain

There is no doubt that the tragedy of Aleppo will go down in history as a shameful stain on the world’s conscience. To it will be added the other stains that are bound to follow. The conscience of the Arab world has finally announced its demise; it stood by and watched the killing of thousands of Sunnis in Aleppo at the hands of the Russians and Iranians, but did nothing in the face of this tragedy. The scenario is reminiscent of Bosnia and Herzegovina and all those killed by the Serbs in the early 1990s, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their land in 1948. If we go way back in history, it reminds us of […]


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Gaza women cancer patients start hunger strike to protest Israel treatment ban

Dozens of female cancer patients in Gaza began a hunger strike today to protest Israeli authorities’ banning them from obtaining travel permits to travel to receive treatment. During a protest attended by dozens of cancer patients in front of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Gaza this morning, the Aid and Hope Programme for Cancer Patient Care in Gaza condemned senior health official Bassam Al-Badri for humiliating and offending cancer patients. Al-Badri had previously directed offensive and false accusations against the female cancer patients barred from travelling, claiming they purely sought media attention. Seham Al-Tatri, one of the cancer patients, stressed the need to follow-up on the patients’ affairs and to make it a priority, as well as hold those […]


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Palestine: Parliament annuls Abbas’ decision to revoke MPs immunity

For the first time since infighting in 2007, the Palestinian parliament convened yesterday and discussed President Mahmoud Abbas’ decree to strip five Fatah MPs of their parliamentary immunity. The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), as the parliament is known, decided that Abbas’ revocation of the parliamentarian immunity of the five lawmakers, who are outspoken critics for his policies, was “illegal and unconstitutional”, stressing that parliament was the only institution entitled to take such decisions. The PLC’s chairman, MP Faraj Al-Ghoul, said: “Abbas’ decision to revoke immunity of five MPs is nonsense.” He stressed that the constitutional court which authorised Abbas to carry out this measure made an “illegal” and “unconstitutional” ruling. Al-Ghoul reiterated that the MPs enjoy their parliamentarian immunity even […]


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Blanket of snow covers Saudi desert

Snow has covered large areas of desert in the northern border region of Saudi Arabia.
Pictures circulating on social media show camels sitting on the white desert floor with a thin layer of snow covering them.
Saudi Press Agency official said sno…


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Saudi Arabia to deport foreign pharmacists

The Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health stipulating the government’s intentions to abolish some of the required hiring qualifications for pharmacists, in an attempt to localise the health sector, a ministry official source revealed. The UK-based Al-Hayat agency quoted the Adviser to the Saudi labour minister, Mazen Elrouqi, saying that the agreement focuses on localising employment opportunities in the health sector, including pharmacies. According to the ministry’s law, a pharmacist should hold a bachelor degree in pharmacy in order to obtain a work permit. He noted that the two ministries have agreed to cancel the degree requirement. Elrouqi said the government plans to create a system where barcodes are used […]


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Official in Egypt files lawsuit to annul Renaissance Dam Agreement

The Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister, Ambassador Ibrahim Yusri, has filed two lawsuits before the State Council to annul agreements which he said are in violation of the Egyptian constitution and harm the country’s interests. The first lawsuit demands the Renaissance Dam Agreement which Egypt has signed with Ethiopia and Sudan be annulled. According to the lawsuit, the agreement is “unfair” for Egypt, and harms Egypt’s interests in the Nile waters and will have serious implications on the country. The lawsuit attributes the weakness of the agreement to the weakness of the legal and professional advisors team in the presidency. Yusri has also filed a lawsuit demanding the Egyptian-Cypriot agreement be cancelled as it waives Egypt’s territorial borders and sovereign rights.