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US faith groups publish statement defending right to boycott Israel

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

US faith groups have published a statement in support of the right to boycott, asserting that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is protected by the First Amendment. The statement was backed by the Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Alliance of Baptists, American Friends Service Committee and dozens of other faith organisations. “We are alarmed by legislation recently passed in a number of states penalising participation in the nonviolent, grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights,” the groups said, “and by similar legislation that is proposed in the US Congress.” “As faith leaders, we have long used the nonviolent instruments of boycott and divestment in our work for justice and peace.” Read: Israeli ministers […]

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Ex-Israel PM referred Weinstein to ex-Mossad agents to quash sexual assault claims

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has admitted to recommending ex-Mossad agents to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who were then used to suppress news stories detailing allegations of sexual assault against dozens of women, Israel’s Channel 2 reported yesterday. Earlier this week it was revealed that Weinstein, who has been accused of harassment and rape by over 82 women, hired a network of spies last year, which included former Mossad agents, to investigate women who accused him of assault, specifically actress Rowan McGowan who detailed his abuse in her autobiography. Barak confirmed yesterday that he referred Weinstein to the Israeli firm Black Cube, which claims its employees are “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units”. […]

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Houthis threaten to target ports, cities of Saudi coalition members

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Yemen’s Houthi group yesterday threatened to target all airports, ports and areas of interest in countries that belong to the Saudi-led military coalition that fights the Iran-backed militia in Yemen. “All airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be direct targets of our weapons, which is a legitimate right,” read a statement released by the Houthis’ political office. This comes after the Saudi-led coalition’s leadership had announced the temporary closure of all air, sea and land borders in Yemen after the Houthis launched a ballistic missile towards Riyadh airport on Saturday. The Supreme Political Council, formed by the Houthis and Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party, said that it would not stand […]

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Leak: Israel supported Hariri’s resignation

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israel’s Channel 10 has published a leaked cable sent from the Israeli foreign ministry to all Israeli ambassadors calling on them to support Saudi efforts and rally support for the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The classified cable urged the diplomats to appeal to the highest officials within their host countries to attempt to expel Hezbollah from the Lebanese government and politics. On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Hariri’s resignation as a wake-up call for the international community to take action against what he called “the Iranian enemy”. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Hariri’s resignation confirms what Israel had warned a year ago, that Hezbollah is occupying Lebanon. “The Israeli army is ready […]

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Saudi Arabia arrests main investor in Ethiopia’s dam

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saudi authorities have arrested billionaire businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, the main foreign investor in Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. Al-Amoudi is thought to be worth $10.9 billion and was the first to donate to the Renaissance Dam campaign launched by the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and to give the Ethiopian government $88 million to build it. He is thought to be the richest man in Ethiopia and the second richest in Saudi, after Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who was also arrested on Saturday. Al-Amoudi owns a wide range of companies in the fields of construction, energy, agriculture, mining, hotels, healthcare and manufacturing. Read: Is Saudi’s Bin Salman tackling corruption or making money? He was arrested as part of a crackdown […]

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Saudi Arabia places Yemen’s president under house arrest

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saudi Arabia has banned Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, his two sons, ministers and military personnel from returning to Aden, the Associated Press reported yesterday. The agency quoted unnamed Yemeni officials as saying last night that the Saudi ban was put in place due to the “bitter hostility between Hadi and the UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led alliance, and controls southern Yemen”. A presidential source, however, today denied the claims saying: ““[These lies] are part of a systematic campaign targeting Saudi Arabia, which is leading a battle to stop Iranian interference in Yemen and the region.” Since Hadi left Yemen in February, he has repeatedly sent written requests to Saudi King Salman asking to return home. However, […]

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Egypt arrests 10 family members to force fugitive to surrender

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Egyptian authorities have arrested ten family members of an escaped prisoner in an attempt to pressure him to surrender, the Geneva-based Committee for Justice said yesterday. The committee documented the arrest and enforced disappearance of ten family members of escaped prisoner, Mahmoud Abu Hassiba on 27-28 August from the victims’ homes in Helwan, it said. Abu Hassiba escaped while being transported to prison. On 27 August at 22:00 security forces arrested Abu Hassiba’s wife, Aya, and her father from her family’s house. An hour later they returned and arrested Aya’s brother Abdullah. The family was held at the Helwan police station before being moved to an undisclosed location. Egypt: #WeNeedToTalk A relative who was released from Helwan police station because […]

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Israel plan to ‘annex’ settlements to Jerusalem violates international law

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

A proposed Israeli law to effectively annex West Bank settlements to Jerusalem municipality violates international humanitarian law, according to legal rights centre Adalah. The bill would annex West Bank settlements Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Gush Etzion, and Efrat to Jerusalem, and impose Israeli civilian rule on territory under military occupation. Adalah has urged the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to oppose the “Jerusalem and its Daughters” law, which would annex a ring of West Bank settlements to Israel’s Jerusalem municipality “and impose Israeli civil law in these occupied territories”. Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara stressed that the bill violates international humanitarian law, describing this “large-scale confiscation of property belonging to a protected population” as “a […]

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US’ Pentagon, Congress disagree on support for Saudi coalition in Yemen

November 7, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

US Pentagon has confirmed its continued support for Saudi Arabia in its war on the Houthis in Yemen while Congress has agreed to discuss a draft resolution which demands the cessation of American support for the Arab Coalition. The statements show differences and contradictions in the American vision between the Pentagon and Congress about whether or not to support the forces of the Arab Coalition. The Pentagon welcomed the Saudi statement that reveal the role of Iran in Yemen and its “involvement” in the support of Houthi militants and in supplying them with ballistic missiles, in a statement issued yesterday by spokesman Adrian Rankin-Galloway. “The United States and Saudi Arabia are working together to combat terrorism and confront Iran’s destabilising […]

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US threatens, again, to pull out of UNSC unless it ends criticism of Israel

November 7, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has warned the UN Human Rights Council that the US is ready to pull out of the inter-governmental body unless it changes its attitude towards Israel. Speaking over the weekend at the annual Washington conference of the Israeli American Council, Haley once again struck out at the UN over its alleged bias against Israel. Haley told the applauding audience that the US is ready to pull out unless the UN institute reforms including removing Israel as a permanent item on its agenda. The former governor of South Carolina reiterated longstanding US demands on the Human Rights Council to remove Item Seven, which requires a report on the “Human rights situation in Palestine and […]

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