Arab coalition fighters strike Houthi-held positions in Sanaa

Smoke rises during the battle between former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and the Houthi fighters in Sanaa on December 2. (Reuters)
Updated 03 December 2017
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Arab coalition fighters strike Houthi-held positions in Sanaa

ADEN: Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition bombed Houthi positions in Sanaa overnight on Sunday, residents and local media said.
Saleh announced on Saturday he was ready to turn a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on Yemeni citizens, in a move that could pave the way to end nearly three years of war.
The apparent shift in position came as Saleh’s supporters battled Houthi fighters in Hadda, a district in southern Sanaa where members of Saleh’s family, including his nephew Tareq, live. It was the fourth day of clashes sparked by what Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) called an attempt to seize a main mosque in the city.
The fighting has killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and raised concern of further casualties among civilians.
The clashes had added a new layer to an already complex situation in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, where a proxy war between the Iran-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed Hadi has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent times.
Saleh’s announcement was welcomed by the Saudi-led coalition, which has struggled to achieve any progress against the Houthi-Saleh alliance that had controlled most of northern Yemen since 2015 and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said coalition aircraft pounded Houthi outposts in southern Sanaa, but gave no details on casualties. Residents reported at least five air strikes shook the highlands of the area.
Inside the city, residents said that Houthi fighters seized television studios of Yemen Today, a news channel owned by Saleh, after clashes that damaged the building. Residents said 20 employees were trapped inside the building.
Saleh had on Saturday issued his message to the Saudi-led coalition in a speech broadcast from the studios.
Yemen descended into violence in late 2014 when the Houthis, a group that hails from the Zaidi branch of Shiite Islam, marched on Sanaa and seized control of the government.
The group, backed by government troops loyal to Saleh, resumed its march south and attacked Hadi’s interim capital in Aden, forcing Hadi to flee and inviting the Saudi-led alliance to join the fighting.
Yemen’s war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting nearly one million people and led the country to the brink of famine.


Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

Updated 21 July 2018
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Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

  • Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace
  • The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority

CAIRO: Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace in the Middle East and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority and Arab citizens of Israel as racist legislation.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt announces...its rejection of the law passed by the Israeli Knesset on the “national state for the Jewish people” law ... for its ramifications that consecrate the concept of occupation and racial segregation,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“It undermines the chances for achieving peace and reaching a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian issue,” it said.
It said the law would also have a potential impact on the right of Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948 when Israel was founded, and their descendants, to return to their homes under United Nations resolutions.
Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to forge a peace treaty with Israel under the US-sponsored Camp David accord that provided for the Jewish state to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.
But relations between two countries remained lukewarm, with Egypt demanding that Israel quit other lands it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem.
On Friday, Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, the most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, denounced the Israeli law calling it “a step that reflects repugnant racism“