Arab League pledges $100 million to Palestinians, rejects Trump’s ‘deal’

The Arab League said Trump's peace deal will not work to create peace in the Middle East. (AFP)
Updated 22 April 2019

Arab League pledges $100 million to Palestinians, rejects Trump’s ‘deal’

  • Israel withheld the money over Palestinian payments to political prisoners
  • Palestinian leadership boycotted Washington after they recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

CAIRO: The Arab League has pledged to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian Authority to plug the gap left when Israel blocked tax transfers earlier in the year.
“We confirm that Arab countries will support the Palestinian state’s budget... (to) resist the political and financial pressure it faces,” the League said Sunday following a meeting in Cairo.
Israel collects taxes on behalf of the PA, but withheld $138 million in transfers in February over Palestinian payments to political prisoners jailed for attacks against Israelis.
The Arab League’s move comes as the Trump administration prepares to unveil a much-touted “Deal of the Century” for peace between the Palestinians and Israel in the coming months.
The Palestinian leadership, which has boycotted Washington over a series of moves including recognizing the bitterly disputed city of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, says it can no longer trust the United States as a broker.
The Arab League said the deal “will not succeed in achieving long-lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”
The peace plan is being developed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose close ties to right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have heightened Palestinian suspicions.
Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.


Arabs reject religion’s role in politics

Updated 09 December 2019

Arabs reject religion’s role in politics

  • Appeal of militant groups such as the Al Qaidam Daesh, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban are in decline, poll suggests
  • The YouGov survey was commissioned by Arab News in partnership with the Arab Strategy Forum, which takes place today in Dubai

DUBAI: Militant groups in the Arab world face a gradual decline and most Arabs oppose the use of religion for political gain, a new survey suggests.

The appeal of extremists such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Daesh and the Taliban is likely to fade over the next 10 years, researchers found.

The survey indicates that most Arabs view corruption as the main problem in their home country and the leading cause of conflict in the Arab world.

 

Daesh (Islamic State) fighters march in Raqqa, Syria, at the height of their power in 2014. (AP file photo)

Researchers also found overwhelming approval for developments in female empowerment such as Saudi women driving and a new inheritance law in Tunisia, and most Arabs expect further progress in their own countries in the next 10 years.

The survey’s findings on political Islam were “good news” for the region, said political science professor Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla. The Middle East had had enough of extremism and Arabs realized that political groups based on religion were “taking them nowhere,” Abdulla told Arab News.

“Indeed, we have seen the ugly face of it during the four to five years of Daesh’s control of large areas in Syria and Iraq. So it is natural to see there is a decline in the popularity of these parties. But much more important are the predictions that support for religious parties, whether moderate or extremist, is in sharp decline.

Opinion

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“People are becoming aware that there has been some kind of abuse and overuse of people’s emotions for political gains by these religious movements. The foremost is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is going through its worst moment.”

The YouGov survey was commissioned by Arab News in partnership with the Arab Strategy Forum, which takes place today in Dubai. The 12th annual event will explore events and trends expected over the next 10 years, with 18 key speakers including former ministers, government officials, industry experts, international strategists, writers and media professionals. 

 

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