Israeli authorities knock down part of Bedouin school in West Bank

Bedouin children attend improvised school class in the village of Abu Nuwar, West Bank, after the Israeli army demolished a two-classroom school in a Bedouin community. (AP)
Updated 05 February 2018
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Israeli authorities knock down part of Bedouin school in West Bank

ABU NUWAR, West Bank: Israeli authorities on Sunday tore down two EU-funded classrooms that were part of a school for Bedouins in the occupied West Bank because they said they were built illegally.
Palestinians condemned the move.
Israeli authorities say such demolitions carry out court rulings against unauthorized building by Palestinians. Palestinians see it as part of a broader move to seize land for potential Jewish settlement expansion.
The two classrooms, which stood separately from the rest of the hilltop school, were demolished early in the morning by a work crew while Israeli security officers closed off the area, according to residents of the Palestinian village Abu Nuwar.
Tens of thousands of Bedouin, once nomads, live in villages across the desert region of southern Israel and in the West Bank.
It was the fifth time the school has been demolished since 2016, Palestinian officials said. Residents, with the help of non-government organizations and E.U. funding, reconstruct it each time.
"The building was built illegally and without the necessary permits. In addition, the enforcement was approved by the Supreme Court," said a statement from Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the military-run authority that deals with Palestinian civilian issues.
Shadi Othman, head of media in the E.U. office in Jerusalem, said: "The European Union demanded from Israel more than once not to demolish projects the European Union funds and which aim to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians."
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said on Twitter the demolition was "the continuation of Israel's humiliation of international law and only aims to break the Palestinian will for freedom and life."


Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

Updated 20 February 2019
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Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

  • Financial crimes a rising threat to global economy, MENA forum told

JEDDAH: The changing dynamics of terror financing and money laundering posed a growing problem for countries and organizations seeking to halt their spread, a regional conference in Cairo was warned.

Saudi Arabia's Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab told the first Middle East and North Africa conference on countering terrorism that new forms of transnational terror funding and money laundering demanded greater cooperation between states and organizations.

The conference, organized by the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office, aims to bolster international unity in the face of the escalating threat of terrorist financing and money laundering operations.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” Al-Mua’jab said.

He said money laundering and terror financing are at the “forefront of global criminal phenomena,” and often complemented each other.

“One of the most important steps the world has taken through its international and regional systems is to engage in initiatives and agreements to combat terrorism financing and money laundering as the artery of the criminal body that strikes the global economy,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner in the international coalition against the so-called Daesh terrorist organization and leads, together with the US and Italy, the Counter Daesh Finance Group. It has also implemented laws and procedures aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said.

Al-Mua’jab said the September 2018 report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Saudi Arabia had praised the Kingdom’s commitment to the recommendations of the group.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” he said. “It was one of the first countries in the world to be affected by terrorist acts. Its experience of combating the crimes has been exemplary.”

He said measures taken by the Kingdom included the 2017 “Law of Combating Crime and its Financing,” regulation of charities and the establishment of a standing committee to investigate money laundering.

The Kingdom’s Public Prosecution Office recently released a manual outlining steps to counter money laundering, including measures for seizure and confiscation, tracking of funds and details of international cooperation. 

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has also issued a guidebook for Saudi banks to combat money laundering. 

A recent Saudi Cabinet meeting outlined strategic objectives for reducing the risks of the two crimes, he said.