US weighs UN funding cuts after Palestinians join agencies

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The United States is considering whether to cut funding to two UN agencies and the chemical weapons watchdog after the Palestinians joined the organizations, a US official said Wednesday. In a move aimed at boosting their international profile, the Palestinians have joined the UN trade development organization UNCTAD, industrial development agency UNIDO and the Chemical Weapons Convention which is upheld by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). US legislation bars ...

Israel clucks complaint against Dutch song parody carrying ‘anti-semitic’ jokes

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Israeli embassy in the Netherlands has lodged a complaint against a Dutch musical parody of Netta Barzilai’s song at the Eurovision competition. The parody, performed on Sanne Wallis de Vrie’s Show by Martine Sandifort, transformed Israeli singer Barzilai’s contest-winning song “Toy” into a parody touching upon themes such as the protests on the Gaza border, missile attacks and killings, reported the BBC. Speaking to Dutch newspaper NRC, the Israeli ambassador ...

Palestine join two UN agencies, chemical weapons treaty

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Palestinians have joined two UN agencies and the global convention to halt the spread of chemical weapons, a UN envoy said Wednesday, despite a threat of US funding cuts.   At the United Nations, the Palestinians have the status of a non-member observer state that allows them to seek membership of agencies and become a party to international treaties. The move will raise the Palestinian profile in international diplomacy and comes amid a rift with the administration of President Donald ...

Fairuz releases new song about Jerusalem titled ‘Till When God’

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Legendary Lebanese singer Fairuz who has not release a song in years has put out a new song honoring Jerusalem and Palestinians titled “Till When God”. The singer, now 82-years-old, is seen wearing an all-black outfit and veil with a graphic of Jesus behind her. Edited into the video are images of Palestinians in marches and clashes with Israeli soldiers. The song comes amid tensions between Palestinians and Israelis after President Donald Trump announced the opening of a US embassy ...

Israeli Security Cabinet convening in underground bunker

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Israel’s Security Cabinet, a forum of senior ministers headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has begun holding its weekly meetings in a secure underground bunker in Jerusalem, Israeli media said on Tuesday. The facility, known as the “National Management Centre”, was first used by the Security Cabinet in 2011 to rehearse a national crisis scenario. It was carved out beneath the government complex in Jerusalem and includes living quarters as well as command facilities. ...

Palestinians ask ICC to probe alleged Israeli human rights crimes

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki asked prosecutors at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to launch a full investigation into accusations of Israeli human rights abuses on Palestinian territory, saying the evidence was “insurmountable”. Maliki submitted a so-called “referral” giving the prosecutor at the Hague-based court the legal basis to move beyond a preliminary inquiry her office started in January 2015. The International Criminal Court has the ...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pictured in hospital

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Photos on Monday showed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in hospital walking unaided, reading a newspaper and seemed like he was in good health. Abbas, hospitalized three times in the last week, will remain in hospital at least one more night, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday, though little information was given about the veteran leader's condition. The hospital visits by Abbas, 82, have raised inevitable questions about his health and the future of the Palestinian leadership. ...

Paraguay opens its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, second country to follow US lead

Monday, 21 May 2018

Paraguay opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the second country to follow the United States in making the politically sensitive move from Tel Aviv. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin attended the inauguration ceremony. The United States relocated its embassy to Jerusalem a week ago, drawing Palestinian anger, and was followed by Guatemala on Wednesday. Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the inauguration of the new ...

Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza

Monday, 21 May 2018

A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition on Sunday after publicly setting himself on fire but his motives remain unclear with family believing he was despairing over Gaza’s dire living conditions and Hamas, the militant group that rules the territory, alleging personal problems. Suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam and cases are rare in conservative Gaza but dozens were reported last year. Several cases of self-immolation have also been reported in Gaza over the past years. ...

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in hospital: source

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned to hospital on Sunday with a high fever after having undergone ear surgery last week, a source familiar with his condition said. The source who spoke on condition of anonymity did not provide further details on the condition of the 83-year-old, who was at the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. It was the third time he was in hospital in a week. On Tuesday, Abbas underwent what was called a minor ear surgery. Late Saturday, ...

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