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July 26, 2018

Palestine elected as G-77’s presiding country, ambassador Riyad Mansour confirms

Palestine elected as G-77’s presiding country, ambassador Riyad Mansour confirms

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

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  • Palestine elected as G-77’s presiding country, ambassador Riyad Mansour confirms
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On Tuesday, Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s ambassador to the United Nations, confirmed Palestine would preside next year over the UN’s G-77 bloc of developing countries.

While speaking to The New York Times, Mansour said, “We will be negotiating on behalf of 135 countries”. Formed in 1964, Group of 77 now represents about 80% of the world population. Palestine is expected to take over presiding for 2019 in January. Currently, the presiding nation is Egypt.

Palestine is an observer non-member state of the UN. In 2012, Israel and its ally the United States opposed promoting Palestine to “observer” status, and in 2015 both countries also opposed allowing Palestine to fly their flag at the UN.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon criticised Palestine’s presiding, saying, “The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations […] It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement. This will not promote the G-77’s goals, and encourages the Palestinians to not engage in negotiations for peace.”



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November 26, 2015

Israeli troops fatally shoot Palestinian assailant after stabbing attack

Israeli troops fatally shoot Palestinian assailant after stabbing attack

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

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File photo: fires burn near the Israeli settlement of Beit El in October.
Image: محمد الفلسطيني.

A Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli soldier on Wednesday, leaving the soldier injured in serious condition, before being shot by Israel troops at an intersection near the city of Hebron, said authorities. The assailant later died at hospital. This was one of many recent instances of violence caused partly by a controversy surrounding a Jerusalem holy site.

Recent violence provoked partly over a controversy surrounding al-Aqsa, a holy site of both Judaism and Islam, has killed 19 Israelis, at least 88 Palestinians, and one US citizen. Some of the Palestinians killed were assailants. The Associated Press reported Palestinians said seeking independence from Israeli occupation was a reason why the violence has been occurring.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas on Tuesday in an attempt to ease tensions between both sides, after talks regarding creating a Palestinian State stalled. An unnamed Palestinian official who spoke to Reuters said Kerry is to be negotiating with Netanyahu on the Palestinian Authority’s ruling rights in the West Bank.



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November 21, 2015

Saudi Arabian court convicts poet of apostasy, sentences to death

Saudi Arabian court convicts poet of apostasy, sentences to death

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

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A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced Saudi-born Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death on Tuesday for allegedly committing apostasy, a crime punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of Sharia Law. The court decision was brought to light yesterday by Adam Coogle, a researcher working for Human Rights Watch.

File photo of Dira Square, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where public executions are carried out under Sharia Law.
Image: Luke Richard Thompson.

Fayadh has previously posted a video online of a public lashing by religious police. Mona Kareem, an activist from Kuwait calling for Fayadh’s release, said “some Saudis think this was revenge by the morality police.”

Fayadh was detained by police in August 2013, accused of blasphemy and promoting atheism through his poems. According to Fayadh, this stemmed from a dispute with a fellow artist. He was soon released under bail.

Fayadh was again arrested in January 2014. He was tried at a court in Abha in February under allegations of committing blasphemy, promoting atheism, and having illegal relationships with women. He was sentenced in May that year to four years of jail and 800 lashes. Fayadh appealed the decision, and the case was retried by another judge, who sentenced him to death.

Activist Mona Kareem said the judge for Fayadh’s retrial “didn’t even talk to [Fayadh], he just made the verdict.”

Fayadh was given 30 days to appeal the court ruling, but according to Kareem, Fayadh “was unable to assign a lawyer because his ID was confiscated when he was arrested” in January 2014.

Human Rights Watch researcher Adam Coogle called the court ruling an example of Saudi Arabia’s “complete intolerance for anyone who may not share government-mandated religious, political, and social views.”



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November 1, 2015

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation – Wikinews, the free news source

Israel rejects baby tear gas allegation

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Israeli military has denied claims that their tear gas killed a Palestinian infant on Friday.

On Friday, the Israeli military clashed with Palestinian stone throwers in the Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. This is when the Palestinian Health Ministry alleges that the eight-month-old Ramadan Thawabta died, after he inhaled tear gas which was fired into his home.

The infant’s relatives also said that he suffered from a pre-existing health condition, according to an Israeli military source. Hospital sources reportedly told Reuters that the cause of his death was still unclear. 

The IDF has formally rejected the allegations, after the Spokesperson’s Unit stated that “An investigation shows that no crowd dispersal means were directly targeting the Thawabta family home. The use of gas canisters was made several dozen meters away from the family home, toward rioters who blocked the main route with rocks”.

Ramadan Thawabta’s funeral was attended by hundreds on Saturday.


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October 30, 2015

Two Palestinians dead, two Israelis injured in recent attacks

Two Palestinians dead, two Israelis injured in recent attacks

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Friday, October 30, 2015

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Two Palestinians were shot dead by the Israel Defense Forces (idf) in the West Bank on Thursday, after allegedly assaulting soldiers. The separate incidents occurred within hours of each other.

Police said that a Palestinian assailant had stabbed and wounded a soldier, before he was shot dead by a paramilitary policeman. Just hours later at a nearby location, another Palestinian man was killed after trying to attack a soldier with a knife, according to the IDF.

One witness, Hani Hadoush argued that security forces had unnecessarily shot the young man. “Then the youth fell on the ground, he was holding nothing at all” she said. On the same day, people were throwing stones at cars near the village of Beit Einun, outside of Hebron. A woman suffered minor glass injuries to her face, after stones shattered her vehicles’ window.

These events, among other incidents, took place during a wave of riots and civil unrest throughout the West Bank this week.

Reuters reported that since the 1st of October, at least 62 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza; 35 of those being armed assailants.



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October 25, 2015

John Kerry announces agreements to maintain status quo in Alaqsa

John Kerry announces agreements to maintain status quo in Alaqsa

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

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United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that understandings have been reached regarding the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque. The understandings between Jordan, the Palestinian National Authority, and Israel, drawn to end the current surge in violence, include a pledge of coordination and cooperation, as well as practical and technological measures that will allow monitoring the area.

The understandings regarding Al-Aqsa were declared following Kerry’s meetings on Saturday in Amman, Jordan with the Palestinian President Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II. The understandings were based a comprehensive diplomatic move by the United States, which included a meeting in Berlin between Kerry Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Among the steps to be taken, surveillance cameras shall be placed to monitor the compound 24/7 ensuring that all sides abide by their obligations.

After Kerry’s announcement, the Israeli Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintain the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque, and proclaimed that Israel does not intend to divide the mosque. Furthermore, Israel vowed to strengthen its cooperation with representatives of the Jordanian Wakf and the Islamic officials in the mosque, in order to maintain security in the area and calm things down. As part of this resolution, Israel pledged to uphold the convention according to which only Muslims shall be allowed to pray in the compound, while others may only visit.

The understandings convey the leaders’ hope to restore the calm and put an end to the recent surge in violence surrounding the issues of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque, which caused the death of 50 Palestinians and 10 Israelis.



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Secretary of State John Kerry Announces Agreements to Maintain Status Quo in Alaqsa after Meeting with Local Leaders

Filed under: Archived,Middle East,Palestine,Politics and conflicts,Review — admin @ 5:00 am

Secretary of State John Kerry Announces Agreements to Maintain Status Quo in Alaqsa after Meeting with Local Leaders

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

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Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday that understandings have been reached regarding the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque. The understandings between Jordan, the PNA and Israel, drawn in the hopes to end the current surge in violence, include a pledge of coordination and cooperation, as well as practical and technological measures that will allow monitoring the area.

The understandings regarding Al-Aqsa were declared following Kerry’s meetings on Saturday in Amman with the Palestinian President Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II. The understandings were based a comprehensive diplomatic move by the United States, which included a meeting in Berlin between Kerry Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Among the steps to be taken, surveillance cameras shall be placed to monitor the compound 24/7 ensuring that all sides abide by their obligations.

After Kerry’s announcement, the Israeli Prime Minister reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintain the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque, and proclaimed that Israel does not intend to divide the mosque. Furthermore, Israel vowed to strengthen its cooperation with representatives of the Jordanian Wakf and the Islamic officials in the mosque, in order to maintain security in the area and calm things down. As part of this resolution, Israel pledged to uphold the convention according to which only Muslims shall be allowed to pray in the compound, while others may only visit.

The understandings convey the leaders’ hope to restore the calm and put an end to the recent surge in violence surrounding the issues of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque, which caused the death of 50 Palestinians and 10 Israelis.

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October 13, 2015

A wave of violence still surges over Jerusalem

A wave of violence still surges over Jerusalem

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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This morning, October 13th, 2 Israelis were killed and 16 were injured as a result of an attack on a bus in Jerusalem. This is but one of the several violent occurrences from this morning, as a part of the recent surge of violence in the region.

The Israeli police stated that among the 16 injured this morning during the attack on the bus in Jerusalem, some had been severely hurt. The police also said that the two Palestinian assailants opened fire and stabbed the passengers on the bus. Israeli forces arrived at the location and neutralized the attackers, one of whom was killed.

Earlier this morning, several other attacks on Israeli territory, committed by Palestinians, have been reported. One Israeli citizen was killed and more were injured during knife and vehicle attacks in major Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Raanana. In most cases the assailants were shot down by Israeli security forces or citizens.

These events follow a seemingly endless surge of violence afflicting Israel and the Palestinian National Authority this past month. The violence spreading through Israel and the West Bank originated from a struggle over the holy sites in Jerusalem. So far 30 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds were wounded during recent events, whereas 7 Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded.



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September 23, 2015

Palestinian woman killed after allegedly attacking IDF

Palestinian woman killed after allegedly attacking IDF

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An 18-year-old Palestinian woman died on Tuesday morning, after being shot by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron.

Hadil al-Hashlamoun was shot several times in her lower body by the soldiers and was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in a critical condition. The hospital said Hadil had been severely injured, and underwent surgery on arrival.

According to an IDF statement, Hashlamoun attempted to stab the soldiers with a knife at the policeman’s checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street. She was not treated for 30 minutes.

The initial report by the Judea Regional Brigade commander said that a metal detector went off when she went through the checkpoint. The report also said that soldiers demanded she stop, firing warning shots at the ground. They then opened fire after she allegedly tried to raise the knife.

A Palestinian group called Youth Against Settlements published photos taken before and after the shooting, which do not appear to show the knife.

The photographs show the Palestinian woman kneeling while a soldier aims his firearm at her. The IDF claims that this was before she pulled out the knife.

The shooting is one of two occurring on Tuesday in Hebron. Overnight, a 21-year-old Palestinian man was killed after IDF soldiers suspected him of attempting to throw an explosive at them.



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September 10, 2015

Salim Zanoun announces the postponement of PNC session

Salim Zanoun announces the postponement of PNC session

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

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Salim Zanoun, chairman of the PNC (Palestinian National Council), announced yesterday, September 09, 2015, at a press conference, the postponement of the PNC session by three months, previously expected to take place on September 14th and 15th. The decision to convene the PNC, the PLO’s legislative body, was made due to the resignation of 11 PLO members, including the president, Mahmoud Abbas, this past August, and the need to elect new members.

According to Zanoun, a committee including himself, members of the PLO Executive Committee, and the secretary-generals of Palestinian political factions would meet to discuss the session this coming month. Zanoun also said it was important to “give space to other Palestinian factions to participate in this large responsibility.”

Leading Palestinian factions who boycotted the PNC session, led by Hamas and the PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad), have been quick to respond to Zanoun’s announcement. Spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, welcomed the decision to postpone the session, saying that it was important to discuss reformation of all the PLO’s institutions, the PNC in particular. PIJ leader, Khalid Al-Batsh, has also welcomed the postponement, describing the move as wise and successful, reflecting national consensus. Al-Batsh called Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to hold a meeting that would see the participation of all Palestinian factions. Al-Batsh expressed his hope that Abbas would arrange with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to allow the meeting to be held in the Egyptian capital. The PNC last convened in 1996 in Gaza City.



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