Lebanon and Israel: Ominous clouds loom over their border

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Ominous clouds loom over Lebanon and Israel. The two countries are technically still in a state of war, but their common borders have remained without any tension since the 2006 conflict. A UN drawn ‘blue line’ marks their borders both on land and on sea, following Israeli withdrawal from its ‘safe zone’ in southern Lebanon.This demarcation is not definitive and requires signing as part of an eventual peace treaty between Israel and Lebanon and hence is placed under the ...

Christian Chesnot

Other nations could be part of future Mideast peace talks

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The US State Department said on Tuesday the United States would consider supporting the involvement of other countries in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the future if it believes it would be helpful in reaching an accord. Asked about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' call on Tuesday for international peace talks, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "If at some point we believe that other countries could be helpful to the peace process, we would certainly be ...

Abbas to seek wider peace process in rare UN speech

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will call for an alternative to US-mediated negotiations with Israel during a rare address to the United Nations Security Council, Palestinian officials said Monday. Addressing the council Tuesday for the first time since 2009, the longtime Palestinian leader is expected to call for multiple international powers to facilitate peace negotiations and again criticize the United States’ controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. ...

West Bank settlers grew twice the rate of Israel’s overall population last year

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank grew at nearly twice the rate of Israel’s overall population last year, a settler leader said Monday, predicting that settlement growth would surge even more in the coming years thanks in part to the Trump presidency. Yaakov Katz said that President Donald Trump, backed by a Mideast team dominated by settler supporters, has created a friendly new atmosphere conducive to settlement growth after eight contentious years with the Obama White House ...

Qatari envoy abused, thrown out of hospital in Gaza

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Qatari ambassador in Palestine was kicked out from a hospital by the staff and public images and video shared on Monday revealed. The video showed angry staff at the Shifa hospital in Gaza showing Qatari envoy, Mohammed al-Emadi, being forced out, throwing shoes at him and tearing up the flag of Qatar while chanting slogans against Qatar. Ambassador Al-Emadi planned to hold a press conference at the hospital before being attacked and thrown out by staff. The assailants justified their act ...

Virgin Atlantic ignites ‘Palestinian couscous’ storm

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Virgin Atlantic airlines was forced to change the name of one of their onboard meals after receiving many complains and accusation of being “terrorist sympathizers”.The dish that contained a mix of Maftoul, couscous, tomatoes and cucumber was named as the “Palestinian couscous salad” on the menu.Virgin Atlantic then removed “Palestinian” in its in-flight menu, although the salad includes Maftoul which is known to be a traditional Palestinian grain.The airline ...

Israeli military trial of Palestinian teen opens behind closed doors

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Israeli military trial of a Palestinian teenager charged after a viral video showed her hitting two soldiers in the occupied West Bank began Tuesday behind closed doors.The judge in the trial ordered journalists removed from the courtroom, ruling that open proceedings would not be in the interest of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who is being tried as a minor.Only family members were allowed to remain in the courtroom, with diplomats present to observe also asked to leave.A large crowd of ...

Palestinian leader Abbas tells Putin he wants US peace role diluted

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday he could no longer accept the role of the United States as a mediator in talks with Israel because of Washington’s behavior, the Interfax news agency reported.“We state that from now on we refuse to cooperate in any form with the US in its status of a mediator, as we stand against its actions,” Abbas told Putin at the start of talks in Moscow. Abbas was quoted as saying he wanted an expanded new ...

Washington denies discussing annexation of settlements with Netanyahu

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The White House denied on Monday that the United States had discussed with Israel a plan to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank.White House spokesman Josh Raffle, who works with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and who is in charge of this file, said the statements were "wrong" and that "the United States and Israel never discussed such a proposal, adding that the US president is focusing on his peace initiative between Israel and the ...

Israel accuses Turkey of aiding Hamas

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Israel on Monday accused Turkey of helping the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas to gain in military strength, following its arrest and deportation of a Turkish citizen. The Shin Bet intelligence agency said the movement's "economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and -- on occasion -- encourage it". "This activity relies on -- inter alia -- business platforms that serve Hamas in laundering funds that are transferred ...

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