Qatar to allow some foreigners permanent residency

Qatar plans to allow some expatriates to obtain permanent residency, state news agency QNA reported. A draft law approved at a cabinet meeting will allow permanent residence to the children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris, as well as expatriates who provide outstanding services to Qatar, the Wednesday evening report said. “According to the provisions of the bill, the minister of interior may grant a permanent residency ID to a non-Qatari if they meet the conditions specified in the law,” the cabinet statement carried by QNA said. Gulf Arab countries have a high number of expatriate workers but do not allow naturalisation of foreigners except in rare cases and under strict conditions. Read: Arab journalists working in Qatar risk losing their […]

Does Lebanon’s Jroud Arsal represent yet more ethnic cleansing of Sunni Muslims?

On 4 January 2014, the so-called Islamic State in the Levant — Daesh — declared its capture of the city of Fallujah in Iraq. There followed a number of reports about atrocities committed by the new ‘government’ in the city. In early 2016, Iraqi forces aided by the US-led coalition began an offensive to regain control of Fallujah; they declared victory in June last year. Before the offensive began, widespread messaging encouraged the residents of Fallujah to vacate their homes before the fighting started in earnest; the rationale was to avoid civilian casualties. Thousands heeded the calls. What followed was one of the worst examples of property destruction in the history of modern Iraq, which forced thousands more people to […]

Israel completes construction of Separation Wall near Hebron

Israeli authorities have reportedly completed the construction of a 26-mile section of Israel’s illegal Separation Wall in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank. Israeli media reported on Wednesday that the concrete barrier was erected between the Tarquimiya crossing and the Israeli town of Meitar. According to Israeli media, the 26-mile barrier consists of some 20-feet-high cement blocks, where “additional protective measures” are also expected to be installed. Before the construction of the cement wall, a barrier fence was erected by Israeli authorities there. “The completion of the wall in the southern Hebron Hills is another step in the Ministry of Defence’s efforts to significantly increase the security of residents of the area, and of all Israeli citizens,” […]

Haftar: No vessels to enter Libya’s waters without my permission

Comander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, on Wednesday ordered his forces to prevent any ships from entering the country’s territorial waters without his permission. This came after Italy approved a bill to send a limited naval mission to help Libya’s coastguard curb migrant flow. The government said the mission had been requested by Libya’s UN-backed government. Read: EU grants Libya €46m to fight illegal immigration Earlier that day, Italy sent its first military naval vessels to the Libyan capital Tripoli. In response, the official Facebook page of Haftar’s forces said that the general ordered the naval bases in the cities of Tobruk, Benghazi, Ras Lanuf and Tripoli to prevent any watercraft from entering the territorial seas without his permission.

US-backed Yemeni troops attack al Qaeda in southern state

Yemeni troops, backed by the United States and the United Arab Emirates, conducted raids against the local affiliate of al Qaeda in Shabwa province on Thursday, the Emirati state news agency WAM said. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of a civil war pitting the Houthi movement against the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to try to widen its control and influence in Yemen. “Since early morning on Thursday, Yemeni troops and Hadrami (from Hadramout province) Elite Forces, with US and UAE backing, moved to smash elements of the terrorist organisations, especially AQAP,” WAM reported. WAM did not say what kind of support the UAE and US militaries had provided or give details on […]

Sudanese Politician: Halayeb will return to us and the Egyptian government contradicts itself

Rabi Abd Al-Ati, the leader in the Sudanese ruling party the National Congress Party has criticized the Egyptian government’s decision to allocate about 60 million US dollars to the development and reconstruction of the Halayeb triangle, Thursday. In an interview with Quds Press, Abd Al-Ati stated that “the Halayeb triangle is purely Sudanese and no matter what the Egyptian government does, it will not change the reality that it occupies the Halayeb.” Abd Al-Ati added that “Halayeb will return to Sudan sooner or later, and what the Egyptian government is doing on the ground contradicts its words, which is very confusing.” The Egyptian government has announced the allocation of one billion and 100 million Egyptian Pounds, which is equivalent to […]

Bill to cut off aid to Palestinians passed by US committee

A US Senate committee approved a bill on Thursday that would cut off $300 million in annual US aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops making what lawmakers described as payments that reward violent crimes. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 for the measure, known as the Taylor Force Act, after a 29-year-old American military veteran who was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian while visiting Israel last year. The bill, which must be approved by the full Senate and House of Representatives before becoming law, is intended to stop the Palestinian Authority from paying the stipends, which can reach $3,500 per month. Force’s attacker was killed by Israeli police, but his killer’s family receives such a monthly payment. […]

Firefighters extinguish blaze in Dubai residential skyscraper

Firefighters have extinguished a blaze that swept through one of the world’s tallest residential buildings in Dubai early on Friday, forcing occupants to flee their homes as burning debris showered down the sides of the 79-storey tower. Dubai’s civil defence authorities said firefighting squads put out the blaze by around 4.00 am (0000 GMT) and were cooling the 1,105 foot (337 metre) tall Torch tower. The tower was evacuated and no injuries were reported, authorities said. Flames shot up the sides of the building in the city’s upscale Marina district in the second blaze at the structure since 2015. Firefighters and police sealed off surrounding streets, which were partially covered by dust and debris. By 4.00 a.m. the exterior of […]

Australian police say two men charged with plot to place bomb on Etihad flight

Australian police said on Friday two men have been charged over terror-related offences involving a plan to place an improvised explosive device on an Etihad Airways flight. Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan said the men had assistance from Daesh in Syria, but that the device did not breach airport security. Police arrested four men last weekend in raids across Australia’s biggest city of Sydney. One man has been released while another is being held without charge under special counter-terror laws.