Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

Above, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

GAZA CITY: Gaza Strip witnessed a general strike of government institutions and schools as shops remained open to protest President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

On Wednesday evening and on Thursday the Gaza Strip's cities experienced various marches called by the Palestinian factions to denounce the American decision, during which the demonstrators burned pictures of US President Donald Trump and American and Israeli flags.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Intifada (uprising) in the Palestinian territories and to mark Friday as "a day of outrage".

“Let tomorrow be a day of rage and the beginning of a broad movement for an uprising that I call “the intifada of freedom of Jerusalem”, such as that which our people in occupied Jerusalem recently blew up in which they mourned the nose of the occupation,” he said in a televised speech.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel and “enable the resistance in the occupied West Bank to respond to this blatant aggression.”

“We say clearly that Jerusalem is united, not Eastern or Western, it is an Arab Palestinian Islamic and the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine. Today I say that Palestine is one and united from the sea to the river, which cannot be divided by two states or two entities. Palestine is ours and Jerusalem, all Jerusalem to us. We do not recognize the legitimacy of the occupation and the existence of Israel on the land of Palestine to get a capital” Haniya said


“We must speed up the pace of alleviating the Palestinian people and take a decision to lift the sanctions on the Gaza Strip. The wounded people will not be able to face the occupier if they do not have the factors of steadfastness. I call for the cessation of security coordination with the enemy in the West Bank.”

At a press conference in Gaza, Hamas' military wing Islamic Jihad called for the withdrawal of the Arab peace initiative and an end to normalization with Israel. It also called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw its recognition of Israel and revoke the Oslo Accords.

"We ask the Arabs and Muslims to stop considering the United States as an ally and a friend,” the group said.

Ahmed Bahr, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), stressed the need to write off the Oslo agreement, calling on the resistance to respond to the “American crime against Jerusalem.”

“The response to the American decision will not be achieved with dreams, not with slogans and declarations, but through an effective Arab and Islamic national resistance movement that will hurt the occupation and exert political diplomacy that will be able to isolate the occupation and besiege its policies in international organizations and forums and criminal courts.” Bahr said during an emergency session of the PLC in Gaza.

On Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah visited the Gaza Strip as part of reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas.

“We will devote reconciliation. If we fail, we will rise again in a spirit of determination and steadfastness, so that together we can face the greatest challenge before us, the Israeli occupation and the need to end it, the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its eternal capital,” Al-Hamdallah told a news conference in Gaza.

Akram Attallah, a Palestinian columnist, told Arab News that “Palestinians have been occupied for years by internal conflict that has become a priority and has become the main issue that has drained their administrative, political and media efforts. The partisan and personal issues are a priority for Palestinian forces and parties national project.”

“The beginning from here from Palestine is a courageous decision to put an end to these differences that have afflicted us and to rebuild the political system on new foundations. Trump sheds the curtain on the role of the United States. This may be a different beginning.”

“The Palestinians are going through a difficult period and a real danger. When nations are exposed to dangers, they unite,” he said.


Morocco inaugurates Africa’s fastest train

Updated 15 November 2018
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Morocco inaugurates Africa’s fastest train

  • King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron boarded the train for the inaugural trip from Tangier to the capital Rabat
  • The high-speed line was completed at a total cost of 22.9 billion dirhams ($2.4 billion)

RABAT: Morocco inaugurated on Thursday Africa’s fastest train which will halve traveling time between the commercial and industrial hubs of Casablanca and Tangier.
After seven years of work on the high-speed railway line, King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron boarded the train for the inaugural trip from Tangier to the capital Rabat.
The train, which was tested at a speed of 357 km (222 miles)per hour and is planned to run at 320 km (198 miles) per hour, will more than halve the 200 km (124 miles)Casablanca-Tangier journey to around two hours. It is about twice as fast as South Africa’s high-speed Gautrain linking Johannesburg’s international airport to the city’s financial district Sandton.

The high-speed line was completed at a total cost of 22.9 billion dirhams ($2.4 billion), according to state news agency MAP. Transport officials were not immediately available for comment. 51 percent of the project was financed by France, Morocco contributed 28 percent and the remaining 21 percent was provided by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. 
Morocco bought 12 double-decker high-speed-trains from French group Alstom that will be operated by state-owned railway ONCF which expects six million passengers on the new train service annually.
The king named the first line Al Boraq after a mythical winged creature that transported the prophets to the heavens. While the Moroccan government and businesses praised the project as a key achievement in developing the country's infrastructure, the line has sparked controversy for its high cost. Critics say that Morocco should be investing in education and health instead.

Officials have said the project will boost growth in Tangier and help attract more investments to northern Morocco where one of Africa’s largest ports is located.
But critics perceive the project as symbolising a two-speed Morocco further accentuating disparities between territories as vast regions in the south and key cities such as Agadir remain without a basic train service.
A train derailment last month near Kenitra 15 km (10 miles) north of Rabat, which killed seven people and injured 125 others, triggered calls for a better allocation of resources by giving priority to improving safety and infrastructure as well as punctuality of basic railway services.