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UK House of Lords debates Hamas designation as terrorist group

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The UK’s House of Lords debated whether Hamas should remain a designated terrorist organisation yesterday afternoon, with several prominent figures advocating for the issue to be reconsidered. A question raised by Lord Raymond Hylton, a cross bencher and peer who has met with Hamas officials in both besieged Gaza and the occupied West Bank, pointed out that in light of the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, the situation of the group had changed significantly since it was first listed as a terror group. “Would delisting not help all sides to be rather less intransigent than they have been up to now? Would it not build confidence among all Palestinians and help support their new Government of Unity?” he queried Baroness […]

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‘Britain is responsible for my tragedy’

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration, the British promise to help create a Jewish national homeland in Palestine, Motasem A Dalloul interviews 81-year-old Palestinian, Abdul-Hamid Ramadan Al-Aloul, who has lived through the British occupation, the Nakba and Israeli air strikes on his home. “My mother told me that my uncle was killed in an attack carried out by armed Jewish groups near Haifa just two years before I was born,” Abdul-Hamid Ramadan Al-Aloul, who was born in 1936, tells MEMO. “I was born and grew up during the British occupation, which armed Jewish gangs and prevented any Palestinian from even carrying a folding pocket knife,” Al-Aloul says. I have heard this from several Palestinians who lived during the […]

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Israel, US call on EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israel’s Yesh Atid party leader, Yair Lapid and US Congressman, Ted Deutch have called on the European Union to declare Hezbollah a “terrorist organisation”. In a joint statement published in Spain’s La Sierra newspaper and Italian Corriere Della Sera newspaper yesterday, the officials described Hezbollah as “the most horrifying terrorist organisation”. The two called on the European countries to cancel what they called “false distinction” between the political and military arms of Hezbollah, and to declare the whole organisation a terrorist group. “This distinction is false and has no credibility,” Deutch said, adding that whoever believes that “declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organisation will make it difficult to provide assistance to Lebanon is mistaken”. “Look at Gaza Strip, for example. Hamas is classified as a […]

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Israeli Labour leader attacks Arab colleague as ‘extremist’

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli Labour leader Avi Gabbay has attacked an Arab lawmaker in his own party as an “extremist” for refusing to attend an official Knesset ceremony celebrating the Balfour Declaration centenary. Explaining his decision not to participate, Labour MK Zouheir Bahloul said that to do so would be inappropriate “when I myself am not free”, a reference to his Palestinian identity. In response, Gabbay said he is “against extremist statements”. He added: “[Labour] is not a party of extremists, or those who engage in negative discourse. There is no doubt that they [Palestinian citizens of Israel] are free”. Bahloul, however, refused to back down: “I don’t understand what is an ‘extreme statement’”, he told Israel Radio. “What I am doing is […]

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BBC Persian correspondents are not spies

It has been alleged that there are 152 British spies operating in Iran. These men and women are not just shadowy attachés at the British Embassy in Tehran, or secretive returned émigrés, lurking in the shadows of Revolutionary Guard get-togethers. These people are journalists, and if they really are spies, then the Iranian government has just busted one of the largest spy-rings in any country, ever. The Iranian security services are no doubt very capable, of course, but they haven’t busted twelve dozen spies all at once before. All of the criminal charges brought against these 152 journalists, which were complained about at the United Nations last week by the BBC, are false. These ordinary press-hounds are the unfortunate victims […]

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#WeNeedToTalk

Egyptians have hijacked the hashtag setup in support of coup leader and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to highlight the numerous human rights abuses carried out under his leadership. The hashtag is part of the World Youth Forum which Al-Sisi is hosting. While some were using the hashtag #WeNeedToTalk for its intended purpose… #WeNeedToTalk History shall declare that POE Sisi has embraced youth of Egypt&transformed them into positive energy 4 serving the country. pic.twitter.com/ifAa4FzSPT — Mahameho (@Maha_SalahElDin) October 31, 2017 Otherwise showed how Egypt is not an inclusive society and not everyone is being invited to talk. He must have missed his invitation to #WeNeedtoTalk pic.twitter.com/hwUk5SSMra — Mona Seif (@Monasosh) October 30, 2017 In fact, Timothy E Kaldas believes Egyptians have […]

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UN backs Palestinian efforts to hold Israel accountable

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Israeli government and a US senator have reacted angrily to news that the United Nations’ development budget for Palestine includes support for Palestinians to “seek legal recourse for violations by the occupying power”. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the State of Palestine “presents the strategic programming framework” of the UN system in the occupied Palestine territory, and “presents its collective response to national development priorities”. It is intended to cover a five-year period, 2018-2022 inclusive, beginning on 1 January 2018. Sixteen UN agencies with offices in Palestine and four non-resident agencies are signatories to the UNDAF, which has four “strategic priority areas”. Read: UN official slammed for urging sanctions on Israel These are listed as: supporting Palestine’s […]

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No recovery in Egypt tourism industry 2 years after Russia plane crash

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The mystery of the Russian airplane that crashed over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula two years ago is still unsolved, and the fallout is still hurting the country’s economy and vital tourism sector. On 31 October 2015, an Airbus A321 exploded 23 minutes after its departure from the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh on route to St Petersburg, killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members on board. Those behind the attack remain unknown and no solution appears in the horizon for the problems that the plane crash caused for the Egyptian economy. Two years on from the attack, the families of the victims petitioned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov not to resume flights to and from Egypt until […]

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Abbas keeps silent regarding Israel attack on Gaza

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Almost all the Palestinian factions and well-known figures condemned the Israeli bombing of a Palestinian resistance tunnel in Gaza which killed seven Palestinians and wounded 12, however President Mahmoud Abbas has remained silent following the attack. Abbas met with an Israeli delegation at his office in occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on the day of the bombing. According to the Shehab News Agency, Palestinians hope Abbas will condemn the Israeli attack on Palestinians at least in the same manner as he condemns resistance attacks on Israel. Though there have been calls for the resistance to retaliate and hold Israel accountable for its “crime”, the overwhelming majority fear the situation may escalate and lead to a full Israeli offensive against […]

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Israel firms plan to invest in Saudi Smart City

November 1, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

A number of Israeli companies are planning to invest in the new Saudi city of NEOM, which was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman days ago, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday. The news organisation said reports in the Jerusalem Post revealed that Israeli private sector companies are planning to invest in the new smart city which is relatively close to Israel. Meanwhile, other reports revealed that Russia and China – the main investors in the project – are interested in involving Israel as it has terminals on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean so that they can move exports through it instead of sailing around Sinai and paying fees for the Suez Canal. A Saudi official told Anadolu […]

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