UK’s Prince William kicks off solo Middle East tour in Kuwait

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The UK’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, met with the Emir of Kuwait on Monday during his solo Middle East tour. (KUNA - Kuwait News Agency)
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Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, meeting with Kuwait's Minister of the Amiri Diwan (Royal Palace) Affairs, Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah. (KUNA - Kuwait News Agency)
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Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, meeting with Kuwait's Minister of the Amiri Diwan (Royal Palace) Affairs, Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah. (KUNA - Kuwait News Agency)
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Prince William uses a monocular during a visit at Kuwait's Jahra Pools nature reserve, 35kms north of the Kuwaiti capital. (AFP)
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Duke of Cambridge Prince William and director of Kuwait's environment public authority Sheikh Abdullah Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. (AFP)
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Prince William walks with Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, deputy minister for royal affairs, and Sahar Al-Aqab, the director of cultural centres department at the royal palace. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2019

UK’s Prince William kicks off solo Middle East tour in Kuwait

  • Emir sent cable of condolence to Queen Elizabeth II and UK prime minister Boris Johnson after London Bridge attack
  • The Duke will also visit Oman on his journey to the region

KUWAIT CITY: The UK’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, met with the Emir of Kuwait on Monday during his solo Middle East tour.

The Duke of Cambridge was received by Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the Bayan Palace, where the two enjoyed a five-course lunch.

During their meeting, which was attended by dignitaries, government ministers, ambassadors and religious leaders from the Muslim and Christian faiths, the Emir expressed his sympathies for the recent London Bridge Attack in which two people were killed.

He had sent a cable of condolence to Queen Elizabeth II and UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday.

Also on Monday, Prince William visited the Jahra Nature Reserve where he was briefed on Kuwait’s efforts to preserve its natural habitats.

The Duke will also visit Oman on his journey to the region, which Kensington Palace said was a mission of strengthening British-Gulf cooperation.

“Throughout the tour, the Duke's programme will pay tribute to the historic ties Britain shares with Kuwait and Oman, and will highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence,” a statement read.

“From the modern capitals of Kuwait City and Muscat, to the vast Kuwaiti deserts and stunning wadis in the Omani mountains, the visit will take in both countries' unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes, and diverse communities,” it added.


Suspected arson at East Jerusalem mosque

Israeli border policemen take up position during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators at a protest against Trump's decision on Jerusalem, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank March 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 January 2020

Suspected arson at East Jerusalem mosque

  • The attack had the appearance of a “price tag” attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property

JERUSALEM: Israeli police launched a manhunt on Friday after an apparent arson attack, accompanied by Hebrew-language graffiti, at a mosque in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.
“Police were summoned to a mosque in Beit Safafa, in Jerusalem, following a report of arson in one of the building’s rooms and spraying of graffiti on a nearby wall outside the building,” a police statement said.
“A wide-scale search is taking place in Jerusalem,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “We believe that the incident took place overnight. We are searching for suspects.”
The spokesman would not say if police viewed it as a hate crime. The graffiti, on a wall in the mosque compound and viewed by an AFP journalist, contained the name Kumi Ori, a small settlement outpost in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The Times of Israel newspaper said on Friday that the wildcat outpost “is home to seven families along with roughly a dozen extremist Israeli teens.”
“Earlier this month security forces razed a pair of illegally built settler homes in the outpost,” it reported.
All settlements on occupied Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law, but Israel distinguishes between those it has approved and those it has not.
The paper said: “A number of young settlers living there were involved in a string of violent attacks on Palestinians and (Israeli) security forces.”
Police said that nobody was injured in the mosque incident.
The attack had the appearance of a “price tag” attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property in revenge for nationalistic attacks against Israelis or Israeli government moves against unauthorized outposts like Kumi Ori.
“This is price tag,” Israeli Arab lawmaker Osama Saadi told AFP at the scene.
“The settlers didn’t only write words, they also burned the place and they burnt a Qur’an,” said Saadi, who lives in the area.
Ismail Awwad, the local mayor, said he called the police after he found apparent evidence of arson, pointing to an empty can he said had contained petrol or some other accelerant and scorch marks in the burned room.
“The fire in the mosque burned in many straight lines which is a sign that somebody poured inflammable material,” he said.
There was damage to an interior prayer room but the building’s structure was unharmed.
In December, more than 160 cars were vandalized in the Shuafaat neighborhood of east Jerusalem with anti-Arab slogans scrawled nearby.
The slogans read “Arabs=enemies,” “There is no room in the country for enemies” and “When Jews are stabbed we aren’t silent.”
The attackers were described by a local resident as “masked settlers.”