Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

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Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip Dec. 7, 2017. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
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Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a rally in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, on Dec. 7, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A series of clashes and protests erupted in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the wake of the decision, while armed Islamist movement Hamas called for a new intifada, or uprising. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip Dec. 7, 2017. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
Updated 09 December 2017
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Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip after the end of Friday prayers, while clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between Gaza and Israel. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and ammunition. The participants chanted slogans condemning America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and calling for a revolt to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation.”
Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip: “Today we declare an uprising against the occupation, and there are no half solutions.
“We call upon all the free people of the world to boycott America and Israel, and we call on the Arab and Islamic countries to take a serious stand and support our people.”
He added that a US Embassy in Jerusalem would be “an occupation entity like any other.”
He also called for the return of the Palestinian diaspora: “Isn’t it time for anyone who (has believed) in this alleged peace for more than a quarter of a century to return to embrace his people and to join us in the trench of resistance?”
In East Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, clashes broke out along the border with Israel. As Palestinian youths burned tires, Israeli forces reportedly responded with tear gas and live rounds. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured, some critically.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said during another march in Gaza City: “The Palestinian Authority must take urgent decisions, by declaring the failure of Oslo Accords and the end of that period, ending security coordination (with Israel) and permitting resistance in the West Bank.


“Hamas leaders declare the intifada for the freedom of the West Bank and Jerusalem, in response to President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine.” 
“Trump’s decision ended any mediation role the United States could play in the political process, destroyed the peace process, and destroyed any talk about a deal to bring peace to the region,” Osama Al-Qawasmi, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement.
Friday sermons in the Gaza Strip addressed the issue of Jerusalem and the American decision to transfer its embassy there, and urged the rejection of any attempt to harm “the sanctity of the city.” 
One of the protesters, Ahmed Al-Aksh, blamed “the weakness of the Palestinian people because of the division between Fatah and Hamas” for the US decision, “as well as the preoccupation of Arab countries with internal issues.”
Now, Al-Aksh said: “We must go out to the streets and face that decision.”​
 
 


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince says Brexit opens UK for greater business opportunities with Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman
Updated 07 March 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince says Brexit opens UK for greater business opportunities with Kingdom

LONDON: People in the UK and Saudi Arabia are much safer if the two countries have a close relationship, the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said ahead of his visit to Britain.
Prince Mohammed arrived in the UK from Cairo last night to begin the second leg of his first overseas tour since becoming heir to the throne.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the crown prince said Brexit potentially freed up Britain to do more business with the Kingdom.
“We believe that Saudi Arabia needs to be part of the global economy,” he said. “People need to be able to move freely, and we need to apply the same standards as the rest of the world. After Brexit, there will be huge opportunities for Britain as a result of Vision 2030.”
He said the two countries enjoyed historic ties that dated back more than 100 years to the foundation of the Kingdom.
“We have a common interest that goes back to the earliest days of the relationship,” he said, adding: “Our relationship with Britain today is super.”
The 32-year-old crown prince, who is making his first official visit to Britain, has overseen a raft of reforms to modernize the Kingdom.
During the trip, he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, the Queen and other members of the British royal family.
A number of events have been scheduled, including a forum on business partnerships between the two countries and a discussion event at Chatham House.
The visit is expected to focus on defense, security and economic ties. The two sides will also review key bilateral and regional issues.
Billboards highlighting his UK visit have been erected in parts of the capital, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
One shows the flags of the two countries with “United Kingdoms” written across the top. Another shows Crown Prince Mohammed with the slogan: “He is bringing change to Saudi Arabia.”
The Telegraph interview touched on the wide-reaching reforms in the country that include allowing Saudi women to drive, work and run businesses.
He said that while Vision 2030 worked to diversify the economy, the inclusion of women in driving that economy was essential to the long-term success of the project.
The crown prince said that global travel had made Saudis increasingly aware how other countries operated. Such an insight, he explained, had led to a change in the aspirations of the country’s younger population.
Currently, UK trade with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states accounts for 10 percent of total commercial transactions — more than the total amount of trade with China, the newspaper added, citing British diplomats.
Security and intelligence cooperation are expected to feature heavily during talks in the UK.
“The British and Saudi people, along with the rest of the world, will be much safer if you have a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia,” the crown prince said.
He said the job at hand was to promote a “more moderate Islam,” to counter the “extremists and the terrorists (who) are linked through spreading their agenda.”
Economic growth in Saudi Arabia would benefit the rest of the Middle East, which would help to defeat extremism.
He dismissed claims that the Saudi government’s current stance against Iran and Qatar could potentially provoke new regional conflict.
Britain was “very supportive” of the Kingdom’s concerns over Iran and other regional security issues, he said.
Before leaving Egypt, Crown Prince Mohammed visited Al-Azhar, the world’s leading seat of learning for Sunni Muslims.
Accompanied by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam, he was shown the completed restoration work carried out on Al-Azhar Mosque.
The three-year project was financed by a grant from Saudi Arabia. The mosque, built in the 10th century, is now part of a sprawling university, which teaches Islam as well as secular subjects, and a nationwide network of schools.
Hundreds of Al-Azhar students met the crown prince and Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
During the trip, Crown Prince Mohammed visited the main Christian cathedral in Cairo and met the head of the Coptic church. He also toured infrastructure projects and the Suez canal and attended a play at Cairo Opera House.
The two countries signed deals linked to investment funds and the building of a project in Sinai connected to Saudi Arabia’s Neom megacity project.