Emirati diplomat: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash
Updated 07 June 2017

Emirati diplomat: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

DUBAI: A top Emirati diplomat has told The Associated Press that “there’s nothing to negotiate” with Qatar amid a diplomatic crisis now gripping the Gulf.
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash applauded efforts by the emir of Kuwait to try and mediate an end to the turmoil. However, when asked in a rare interview what Emiratis would be willing to concede, Gargash offered nothing. He also suggested that all options, including using force, remained on the table in confronting Qatar.
The United Arab Emirates joined Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in cutting off diplomatic ties to Qatar on Monday. The countries are now blocking Qatar’s access to their airspace and blocking its ships, isolating the small, energy-rich nation.
Measures taken by the United Arab Emirates and other nations against Qatar are aimed at pressuring Doha into changing its policies, not at overthrowing its regime, Gargash told AFP on Wednesday.
“We have now reached a cul-de-sac in terms of trying to convince Qatar to change course,” UAE’s Gargash said in an interview, accusing Qatar of being “the main champion of extremism and terrorism in the region.”
“This is not about regime change — this is about change of policy, change of approach,” Gargash said.
The Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting extremism, a charge Doha firmly denies.
Gargash said the crisis was the result of “an accumulation over many, many years of subversive Qatari politics and support for extremism and terrorist organizations.”
Qatar has forged regional alliances independently of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council states, drawing accusation by Saudi Arabia and its allies of serving Iranian interests.
The country is home to a number of high-profile figures of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, both listed as terrorist organizations by the United States.


– With input from AP and AFP


Journalist shot at Gaza protest dies of wounds

Updated 26 April 2018

Journalist shot at Gaza protest dies of wounds

  • Ahmed Abu Hussein worked for Radio Shaab, a well-known radio station, and as a photographer for a local news agency
  • Most of the Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30 were shot by snipers on the border

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian journalist shot two weeks ago by Israeli forces on the Gaza border has died, Israeli and Palestinian sources said on Wednesday. He is the second journalist killed in a month of unrest.

Ahmed Abu Hussein, 25, was shot on April 13 while covering protests along the Gaza border for Palestinian media. 

The Gaza Health Ministry announced he had died after receiving treatment inside Israel, which the Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv confirmed. His brother Diaa said they were preparing to transfer the body to Gaza for his funeral.

Abu Hussein worked for Radio Shaab, a well-known radio station seen as close to the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) party, as well as being a photographer for a local news agency.

The family said the body was expected to cross from Israel late Wednesday, with the funeral to be held on Thursday. Abu Hussein was shot in the stomach while covering protests near Jabalia in northern Gaza, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

Images from the day appear to show him wearing a press helmet in the moments after he was shot. 

The Israeli Army did not immediately comment on the incident.

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate said it held the Israeli authorities “fully responsible for this crime” and called for prosecutions. 

Photographer Yasser Murtaja was killed on April 6 while covering the protests. Israel has since accused him of being an active member of Hamas, a claim denied by his family and colleagues.

Abu Hussein’s death brought the toll of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire since March 30 to 41.

Most of the Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30 were shot by snipers on the border, while a few others were killed by Israeli artillery or airstrikes. No Israelis have been injured.

The deaths have led to calls for investigation from the UN, EU and others but these have been rejected by Israel.

The Israeli Army says its troops only open fire in self-defense or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel.

The return march protests are calling for millions of Palestinians to be allowed to return to their historic homes, that are now inside Israel

Israel says such a return would destroy its identity as a Jewish state and accuses Hamas of seeking to use the protests as a means of violence.