Palestinians praise King Salman’s ‘patriotic position’

Saudi Arabia's King Salman. (AFP)
Updated 14 September 2019

Palestinians praise King Salman’s ‘patriotic position’

  • The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished

AMMAN: Ibrahim Milhem, a spokesman for the Palestinian government, praised Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s “strong Saudi patriotic” position at this difficult time for the Palestinian cause and said his stance is “a reflection of the dangers that this national cause is facing.”
Milhem told Arab News on Friday that Saudi Arabia’s leading role in “Arab, Islamic and international efforts gives Palestinians hope,” and added that the Kingdom’s quick response to Israel’s plan to expand settlements in East Jerusalem shows “that the Saudis are making a strong statement of concern about the need to (respect) international law.”
Milhem said that King Salman’s phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demonstrated to the world the “Arab support to Palestinians and provides a political cover to all that is needed to stand up to the ‘deal of the century’ and the attempts of Netanyahu to end the two-state solution by his annexation efforts.”
The expansion of the settlements in East Jerusalem, which Israel seized along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Mideast war, threatens to further complicate one of the thorniest issues in the conflict.
There is a strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination, illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents, according to official data obtained by The Associated Press.

HIGHLIGHT

The expansion of the settlements in East Jerusalem, which Israel seized along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Mideast war, threatens to further complicate one of the thorniest issues in the conflict.

The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished.
The data was acquired and analyzed by the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, which says it only obtained the figures after a two-year battle with the municipality.
Milhem added in his interview with Arab News that the government of Palestine will “always remember the Saudi position, which has always given financial and political (support) to the people of Palestine.”

It says the numbers show that while Palestinians make up more than 60 percent of the population in East Jerusalem, they have received only 30 percent of the building permits issued since 1991.


Full steam ahead for Egypt-Sudan rail network

Updated 43 min ago

Full steam ahead for Egypt-Sudan rail network

  • Gateway project will open continent to new trade and jobs, says Cairo minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir has discussed plans with Sudanese counterpart Hashem bin Auf to build a cross-border railway network between the two neighboring countries.

The pair discussed terms of a joint cooperation document for railway connectivity, which aims to provide funding for an economic, social and environmental feasibility study for the project. The planned network will extend from the Egyptian city of Aswan across the southern border to Sudan’s Wadi Halfa in its first phase.

Funding will be organized through cooperation between Egypt, Sudan and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

Al-Wazir signed the document and delivered it to the Sudanese ambassador in Cairo for signing by the country’s transport minister.

The two sides also discussed a number of road projects, including a prospective land road between Egypt and Chad through Sudan. 

The project aims to be a gateway for trade between the two countries, Chad and West Africa. 

The Cairo-Sudan-Cape Town road, which passes through nine African countries, was also mentioned by the ministers. Al-Wazir also said that Egypt is building a Cairo-Arqin road corridor inside its borders, which passes through the governorates of Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan, and then then extends to the Egyptian border, passing through the Toshka junctions to Arqin, parallel with Sudan.

He added that the new project is important in achieving land connectivity and increasing trade with African countries, as well as serving Egyptian and African citizens, opening new job opportunities and encouraging comprehensive development. The Sudanese side also requested cooperation with Egypt in maritime transport and the training of maritime cadres at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

Al-Wazir said that Egypt will provide its capabilities to train the workers, whether through the Arab Academy, Egyptian ports or the Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety.

The two sides also agreed to hold a joint meeting to follow up on the progress of other cooperation projects and to discuss the development of the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation.

Al-Wazir’s team said that the coming period should include urgent plans to develop the authority, train river workers and provide support through specialized technical cadres.