Houthi militia shell commercial center in Hodeidah

Supporters of the Houthis demonstrate in the capital Sanaa on 25 June 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 December 2018
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Houthi militia shell commercial center in Hodeidah

  • Houthi militias shelled a commercial center in Hodeidah, amid peace talks in Sweden
  • Local sources said that the Houthi militia shelled the CityMax center with a mortar and artillery

DUBAI: As peace talks between Yemeni government representatives and a Houthi delegation began on Thursday in Sweden, local reports from Yemen said that a group of Houthi militias shelled a commercial center in Hodeidah.  

Local sources told Yemen’s official news agency Saba New that “the Houthi militia shelled the CityMax center with a mortar and artillery, which destroyed the center and burnt the building completely.”

“The commercial center contained commercial goods worth tens of billions of riyals,” the source said.

The Houthi militia shelled the CityMax center with a mortar and artillery. (Photo courtesy: SabaNew)

Local reports also claimed that Houthi militia targeted a number of civilian houses with mortars on Wednesday. The shells fell on a number of houses, causing total destruction and damage to other houses. One family was believed to haven been killed in the attack, however Arab News cannot independently conform this report.

Meanwhile, during the Stockholm peace talks, the warring parties agreed to a prisoner swap that will allow thousands of families to be reunited, United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths said.

The talks mark the first meeting between Yemen’s legitimate government and Houthi militants, backed by Iran, since 2016, when 106 days of negotiations yielded no breakthrough in a war that has pushed 14 million people to the brink of famine.


Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Updated 15 December 2018
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Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel

  • The prime minister is also committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital when the city’s status is determined in a peace deal
  • The embassy will be moved to west Jerusalem, and defense and trade offices will also be established

SYDNEY: Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Saturday, but a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved.
Morrison is also committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital when the city’s status is determined in a peace deal.
“Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem — being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government — is the capital of Israel,” Morrison said in a speech in Sydney on Saturday.
“And we look forward to moving our embassy to west Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after final status of determination,” he said, adding that work on a new site for the embassy was under way.
In the interim, Morrison said, Australia would establish a defense and trade office in the west of the holy city.
“Furthermore, recognizing our commitment to a two-state solution, the Australian government is also resolved to acknowledge the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a future state with its capital in east Jerusalem,” he added.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
Most foreign nations have avoided moving embassies there to prevent inflaming peace talks on the city’s final status — until US President Trump unilaterally moved the US embassy there earlier this year.
Morrison first floated a shift in foreign policy in October, which angered Australia’s immediate neighbor Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
The issue has put a halt on years-long negotiations on a bilateral trade deal.
Canberra on Friday told its citizens traveling to Indonesia to “exercise a high degree of caution,” warning of protests in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and popular holiday hotspots, including Bali.
Morrison said it was in Australia’s interests to support “liberal democracy” in the Middle East, and took aim at the United Nations he said was a place Israel is “bullied.”