Jordan king urges world to back Palestinian rights

King Abdullah II of Jordan asked the international community to “fulfil its responsibilities” toward Palestinians. (AP)
Updated 30 January 2018
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Jordan king urges world to back Palestinian rights

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday urged the international community to “fulfil its responsibilities” toward Palestinians in Jerusalem and support the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
His comments, following a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, came after US President Donald Trump sparked Arab and Muslim outrage by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and suspended funds to UNRWA.
“The international community must fulfil its responsibilities to protect the rights of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem,” Abdullah said, according to a palace statement.
The city is “the key to achieving peace and stability in the region,” he said.
East Jerusalem was under Jordanian adminstration before Israel occupied it during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994, recognizes the kingdom’s status as custodian of the city’s holy sites.
Jordan in December called Trump’s move “a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter.”
The Jordanian monarch also on Monday urged the international community to support the UN agency for Palestinians.
Earlier this month, the United States put on hold two planned payments of more than $100 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
The agency, set up after the 1948 creation of Israel that drove huge numbers of Palestinians from their homes, faces what the UN has described as the “most severe” crisis in its history.


Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest near Kibbutz Harel, which was damaged by wildfires during a record heatwave, in Israel May 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 May 2019
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Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

  • Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes on Thursday as fires raged
  • The fires were fueled by high temperatures and dry condition

JERUSALEM: Egypt and four European countries sent aircraft to help Israel battle wildfires that have forced the evacuation of some small towns, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, as a record heatwave looked set to worsen conditions.
At an emergency briefing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had appealed for international help to combat the fires, and that firefighting planes were coming in from Greece, Croatia, Italy and Cyprus.
Egypt, on the orders of President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, had also sent two helicopters to assist Israel, Netanyahu told reporters.
The Palestinian Authority and Russia had also offered help, Netanyahu said.
Israel braced for wildfires on Friday amid a major heat wave that shows no signs of abating.
Israel “really appreciates” the help, Netanyahu said, singling out El-Sisi for sending aid.
“I am deeply thankful for the readiness of neighbors to help us in a time of crisis, just as we help them,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service said blazes in a key corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were mostly under control but difficult weather remained a conflagration risk.
“As of this moment, this (containment) is being done in the best possible way, but the challenge is yet ahead of us given the weather conditions, the winds and the extreme heat,” Netanyahu said.
Some 3,500 residents of small towns in the path of the fires were evacuated on Thursday, officials said. Dozens of homes have burned down.

Evacuations
Thousands of people were evacuated from towns and dozens of homes were burned on Thursday as fires raged, fueled by high temperatures and dry conditions. Over 500 acres of woodland have burned, said Nitai Zecharya, an Israeli official from the Jewish National Fund, known for planting forests in the country.
Zecharya said that while firefighters had brought most of the blaze under control, officials remained “very stressed” about strong winds fanning flames and “spreading fires to other fronts.”
The cause of the fires remains unclear, but they erupted following the Jewish festival of Lag Ba’Omer, which observers mark with bonfires.
A sweltering heat wave is pushing temperatures in parts of the country up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 Celsius.