Palestinian Authority recalls its ambassadors from 4 EU countries

Photo showing an elderly Palestinian man falls on the ground after being shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. (AP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Palestinian Authority recalls its ambassadors from 4 EU countries

JERUSALEM: The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has recalled its ambassadors to four European countries to protest their participation in a party celebrating the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
The ministry said Wednesday that its ambassadors to Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria were being called home for consultations.
The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, strongly objected to the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The European Union objected to the embassy move. But the four European countries criticized by the Palestinians broke with EU policy to attend the celebration.
The Palestinians said they consider the participation a “grave violation of international law.”
The Palestinian action comes a day after Turkey and Israel withdrew their respective Top diplomats from both capitals in protest over the Gaza killing.

The row, which on Tuesday saw President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu exchange bitter jibes on Twitter, threatens a 2016 deal on normalizing ties after the crisis sparked by the May 2010 deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.
Turkey has expressed outrage over the killing by Israeli forces on Monday of 60 Palestinians during protests and clashes on the Gaza border and also blamed tensions on the US decision to move its embassy for Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Ankara also withdrew its ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic for consultations after the bloodshed, which came on the same day the embassy move took place. Kilic arrived back in Ankara on Wednesday afternoon, state media said.
Erdogan will on Friday host an emergency summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul which he has said will send a “strong message to the world” on the issue.


Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

Pro-government forces stand in the destroyed Thalateen Street in the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, as civilians return to see their homes after the regime seized the camp and adjacent neighborhoods of Tadamun and Hajar al-Aswad earlier in the week from the Daesh group. (AFP / LOUAI BESHARA)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

  • he so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.
  • Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

JEDDAH: The Assad regime in Syria was accused on Saturday of using a new law on urban development to rid the country of all political opposition.

The so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.

However property rights are in a state of confusion after a seven-year war that has created more than 5 million refugees and 6 million internally displaced people. Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or not aware of the legal requirements in time.

The Assad regime is using the confusion to create a suitable environment for demographic change, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi told Arab News. 

“The regime has a two-fold goal,” he said. “First, terrorize the opposition and supporters of the Syrian revolution so that they lose the right to their properties.

“Second, there is talk of reconstruction in Syria now. This law sends out a message to investors that their interests lie with the regime. It is an attempt to tempt companies and business people to support the regime, because the regime is the only party that approves bids and gives grants and contracts. All this merely adds to the Syrians’ plight and misery.”

Al-Aridi said the attempted land grab was being resisted by European countries, especially France and Germany. “The Syrian Negotiating Committee is also exerting a very important effort so that such an evil act will not happen,” he said. 

Also on Saturday, the US warned Damascus it would take “firm action” if the regime violates a cease-fire deal, after Syrian aircraft dropped leaflets on a southern province in advance of an expected offensive.

Al-Aridi said any such offensive would be a breach of agreements between Russia and the US on de-escalation zones, and he warned the regime and Iran against “playing games” with the US. “Such threats are part of a response to the two unanswered Israeli attacks on Iran’s military positions in Syria,” he said.

“They area also meant to divert attention from the American-Israeli intent to kick Iranian militias and forces out of Syria.”

He said the regime and Iran could do nothing without Russian support. “We don’t think the Russians are willing to provide such support, or to mess with the US or Israel. Parallel to such threats, Assad is trying to make certain reconciliation agreements with what they call ‘Syrians in liberated areas.’ We believe that they cannot do anything of the sort.”