Norwegian union angers Israel with boycott

Relatives of Palestinian Saba Obaid mourn during his funeral in the West Bank town of Salfit. (Reuters)
Updated 12 May 2017
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Norwegian union angers Israel with boycott

OSLO: Norway’s biggest trade union voted Friday in favor of a boycott against Israel, a decision immediately condemned by Israeli diplomats who judged it “immoral.”
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) went against a recommendation from its leadership and voted 197 to 117 in favor of an international economic, cultural and academic boycott against Israel because of the current impasse over the Palestine issue.
LO, which also called for Norway to recognize a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders, was criticized by the government.
“Norwegian government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union’s decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott,” Foreign Minister Borge Brende wrote on Twitter.
Israel’s Embassy in Oslo said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the boycott.
“This immoral resolution reflects deeply rooted attitudes of bias, discrimination and double standard toward the Jewish state,” ambassador Raphael Schutz wrote in an e-mail to AFP.
Noting that LO had also called for the dismantling of a wall erected by Israel separating it from the Palestinian territories, Schutz said that “by adopting these positions LO placed itself shoulder to shoulder with the worst enemies of Israel.”
Norway hosted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the early 1990s that led to the now-defunct Oslo accords.


Russia says kills 88,000 Syria rebels

Updated 20 October 2018
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Russia says kills 88,000 Syria rebels

  • Russia launched strikes in support of President Bashar Assad’s regime in September 2015
  • Russian air forces have carried out more than 40,000 bombing missions, hitting about 120,000 targets

MOSCOW: Russia’s defense minister said Saturday that almost 88,000 rebels had been killed in Syria in the three years since Moscow’s intervention to back government forces.
“Over the course of the operation, a total of more than 87,500 rebels have been eliminated, 1,411 settlements have been liberated and more than 95 percent of Syria’s territory,” Shoigu was quoted as saying at a forum in Singapore in a ministry statement.
“Most of the rebels have been liquidated,” Shoigu said.
Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says close to 365,000 people have been killed during the seven-year civil war.
Russia launched strikes in support of President Bashar Assad’s regime in September 2015.
Russian air forces have carried out more than 40,000 bombing missions, hitting about 120,000 targets of “terrorist” infrastructure, Shoigu said.
The defense minister said that “Syrian armed forces currently control territory where more than 90 percent of the population lives.”