Hamas announces seven-point reconciliation

On Thursday, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) announced a seven-point reconciliation initiative with the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas in exchange for the cancellation of recent Palestinian government measures that including the dismissal of thousands of Gaza employees and the cancellation of the Hamas-appointed committee to run the sector. In a statement, Salah Al-Bardawil, a member in Hamas Political Bureau, said that “Hamas is heading towards the Palestinian reconciliation on clear, sound and deep bases.” He also called for “an immediate cancellation of all the measures that are imposed on Gaza under the pretext of forming the government administrative committee.” He also announced the readiness of “Hamas to end the urgent mission of the government committee as soon as […]

United Nations: Seven Million Yemenis on the Verge of Starvation

According to a report that was published on Thursday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), seven million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation, while 2.3 million children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. One third of the total population needs humanitarian aid and protection, according to the report, which pointed out that everything is urgently needed there, including shelter, food, water, health services, sanitation and safety. The 407 displaced families gathered in a camp outside the town of Khamir in Amran governorate (north). The report pointed out that innocent civilians in Yemen were affected by a brutal conflict. The report added that since the escalation of the conflict more than […]

Two killed, three wounded in Egypt attack near Luxor

A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in an attack late on Thursday on a patrol in Esna, south of Luxor, the Interior Ministry said. The police patrol had stopped a vehicle and when stopped, two gunmen fired on the patrol, the ministry said in a statement. One of the perpetrators were arrested while the other fled, the ministry said, adding that the wounded have been transferred to hospital. Attacks on security forces have been common in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. In recent months, attacks have expanded to target Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the country’s largest minority.

Egypt to bear cost of Alexandria Synagogue renovation

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry on Thursday announced plans to carry out extensive renovations of a synagogue in Alexandria — despite the fact that, under Egyptian law, the local Jewish community should bear the cost of such restorations. “The renovation of Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue will take about eight months and cost some 100 million Egyptian pounds [roughly $5.5 million], which will be provided by the Egyptian government,” the ministry said in a statement. According to the same statement, the government had already allocated 1.27 billion Egyptian pounds (roughly $70.5 million) towards eight major historical renovation projects. In July, Al-Said Helmy Ezzat, head of the ministry’s Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department, announced that proposals to renovate the historical synagogue had been approved […]

Netanyahu is a suspect in bribery and fraud case

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of bribe, fraud and breach of trust in two cases, the country’s police confirmed on Thursday. A statement from the prime minister’s office, however, rejected the accusations saying: “We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister. The campaign to change the government is underway, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there won’t be anything because there was nothing.” Israel’s daily newspaper Haaretz reported the country’s Attorney General, Avichai Mendelblit, as saying that progress was being made in talks with a former top aide to Netanyahu, Ari Harow, to become a state witness. The two cases mentioned in the police request are known as Case 1000, which involves […]

50 Palestinians in Israeli jails declare hunger strike

Fifty Palestinians held by Israel launched an open-ended hunger strike Thursday to protest recent moves by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) to reduce monthly stipends paid out to prisoners and their families. “Fifty inmates in Israeli prisons have launched a hunger strike in solidarity with former detainees in Ramallah who are now protesting the stipend cuts,” Mansour Shamasneh, a spokesperson for detained and formerly detained Palestinians, said at a press conference. For the last 46 days, dozens of former Palestinian prisoners have been holding a sit-in in the West Bank city of Ramallah — the PA’s administrative capital — to protest the recent stipend reductions. “The PA continues to cut stipends [for prisoners] and public-sector salaries, depriving us and our […]

Egypt urges Sudan to ‘honour commitments’ on dam

Egypt on Thursday urged Addis Ababa to “honour its commitments” in regards to Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, construction of which is now underway on the Blue Nile River. Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have named two French firms — Artelia and BRL — to carry out a series of studies to assess the dam’s anticipated impact on the Nile River, which winds its way through all three countries. Ethiopia, however, has refused to suspend the dam’s construction while the impact studies are being conducted. At a Thursday press conference in Khartoum, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokri called for the “honest implementation” of earlier commitments — agreed to by the three countries involved — regarding the dam’s construction, which, he said, must […]

Turkey: We can fulfil Qatar’s needs

Turkey is able to continue to fulfil Qatar’s needs after its neighbours boycotted it, the economic minister said today. “We can continue to fulfil Qatar’s needs not only by manufacturing here [in Turkey] and sending ready-made products, but also by starting production here and completing it in Qatar, thus fulfilling all of its daily needs,” said Nihad Zibekji, Turkish Minister of Economy. Zibekji’s statement was issued after he launched an event with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani. The event was entitled “Turkish-Qatari bilateral business meetings” and it was organised in Izmir. Representatives of civil society organisations and businessmen from both sides attended the event. The minister added that “70 – 80 Qataris and 150 companies […]

Israel backs Palestinians intelligence chief as Abbas successor

Worried about the sudden death of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel is backing the head of the intelligence service as his successor, the daily Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom has reported. The newspaper added that there is a potential candidate for the succession of Abbas but his political weight is nearly negligible, adding that anyone who wants to exercise power has to stick to the head of the General Intelligence Major General Majid Faraj as he is the master key for all scenarios and his is the strongest voice in the West Bank when it comes to security. The newspaper also explained that Faraj has excellent relations with the Israeli security forces “and his fighting against Hamas gives him a high mark, and […]