General strike over jobs hits Tunisia city

Tunisians wave their national flag as they take part in a general strike against marginalization and to demand development and employment on Tuesday, in Tataouine, south of Tunisia. (AFP)
Updated 12 April 2017
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General strike over jobs hits Tunisia city

TATAOUINE, Tunisia: More than a thousand people demonstrated Tuesday in the southern Tunisian city of Tataouine during a general strike to denounce marginalization and demand development and jobs, an AFP correspondent said.
The city some 500 km south of Tunis on the edge of the desert has been the scene of several protests over the past fortnight.
The general strike went ahead despite measures announced Monday by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed after meeting ministers, industry and union leaders and regional representatives.
A ministerial delegation had visited Tataouine on April 4 but with no tangible effect.
On Tuesday, cafes, shops and public buildings closed, although pharmacies, bakeries and hospitals remained open.
Demonstrators chanted slogans including “Employment is a right, not a favor” and “No to the decline of our rights.”
“I am famished. I eat dry bread. I am needy. I can’t take it anymore. I’m fed up. We no longer have any alternative,” Fathi Azlouk, an unemployed man in his 50s, told AFP.
The measures announced by Chahed on Monday include opening up of petroleum companies’ representations in the region, asphalting roads and a Cabinet meeting in Tataouine next month.
Six years after Tunisia’s revolution sparked the Arab Spring, the country has yet to resolve problems such as poverty, unemployment and corruption that led to the ouster of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.


US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

Updated 20 April 2019
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US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!,” Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.
The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.
It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.
The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.