Abbas urges UN to end ‘apartheid’ for Palestinians

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Updated 21 September 2017

Abbas urges UN to end ‘apartheid’ for Palestinians

UNITED NATIONS: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday urged the United Nations to end what he described as an “apartheid” regime imposed by Israel in the Palestinian territories.
“We are entrusted and you are entrusted to end apartheid in Palestine,” Abbas told the UN General Assembly in a nearly 45-minute address.
“Can the world accept an apartheid regime in the 21st century?” he asked.
Taking the podium a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abbas slammed Israel over the construction of new settlements “everywhere,” saying they were putting the two-state solution in jeopardy.
“There is no place left for the state of Palestine and this is not acceptable,” he said.
The United Nations considers settlements illegal under international law and the Security Council in December adopted a resolution demanding an end to the expansion of the Jewish outposts on the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The resolution passed after the United States under the previous administration of Barack Obama declined to use its veto and instead abstained.
The Palestinian leader vowed to push for full recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, a move that would require approval from the Security Council where the United States, Israel’s key ally, holds veto power.
Abbas spoke at the assembly after meeting US President Donald Trump who said he was “working very hard with everybody involved toward peace” but offered little detail.

UAE civil aviation authority says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian plane Sunday

Updated 22 April 2018

UAE civil aviation authority says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian plane Sunday

  • The UAE civil aviation authority says fighter jets flew “dangerously close” to a UAE civilian jet
  • Authorities say threatening the safety and well-being of civilian travelers in any way is a “completely unacceptable act”

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that Qatari fighter planes had intercepted a civilian aircraft carrying 86 passengers aboard a flight bound for Bahrain, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
According to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, the civilian aircraft was on a scheduled flight “after obtaining all the necessary approvals as per the international regulations, procedures and agreements.”

In a statement issued through WAM, the GCAA said the Qatari fighter jets flew “very close” to the Emirati aircraft, less than 700 feet, “leaving just a few seconds for the captain to maneuver his way away to avoid being hit, thus jeopardizing the safety of travelers onboard."

The GCAA has further stated that threatening the safety and well-being of civilian travelers in any way is a “completely unacceptable act,” and it will file a case with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, against this aggression.

The airliner involved has not been identified.


“Qatari jets chased the UAE passenger plane and came close to it leaving just seconds before collision... a very dangerous and unsafe approach which endangered the lives of passengers,” the authority said in a statement cited by news agency WAM.

Bahrain’s civil aviation agency said in a statement cited by news agency NBA that the Airbus 320 was travelling from Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia to UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi’s airport is the main hub for Etihad Airways – however neither Etihad nor Emirates airlines were prepared to comment.

Sunday’s incident is not the first time the UAE has accused Qatar’s military of intercepting its civilian aircraft.

In January this year two Qatari jets flew dangerously close to two civilian aircraft traveling from the UAE while they were in Bahraini airspace, the Emirates civil aviation authority.

According to state news agency WAM the General Civil Aviation Authority condemned “provocative action,” at the time, which it said followed two similar incidents that had been reported by the UAE to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency.

Qatar denied the claim in a statement by its civil aviation authority saying the UAE was trying to cover up for its own violations of Qatari airspace.

(With Reuters and AFP)


The dispute

Qatar - under boycott by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt over alleged support for Islamist extremist groups and ties with Iran - is banned from using its rivals' airspace.