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Oslo Accords’ peace promise

Oslo Accords’ peace promise
The peace with Egypt went cold as criticism continued to mount from other Arab countries that Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat had “sold out” the Palestinians and the Arab cause. (Getty Images)
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Updated 10 May 2020

Oslo Accords’ peace promise

Oslo Accords’ peace promise

Hope arising from the landmark deal was quickly cut short by violence, including the killing of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin

Summary

After the excitement of the Egyptian-Israel peace accords of 1978 and 1979 tapered off, there was an 11-year lull in which peace was stymied. Jordan refused to negotiate with Israel without the latter first agreeing to recognize Palestinian rights. Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin refused to recognize Palestinian rights. The peace with Egypt went cold as criticism continued to mount from other Arab countries that Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat had “sold out” the Palestinians and the Arab cause.

Then came an intervention by US President George H.W. Bush, who sought to capitalize on goodwill in the region after forcing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait during the Gulf War on Feb. 28, 1991. Using friendships among Gulf Arab countries, Bush spoke about the concept of “territory for peace” and also the “fulfilment of Palestinian rights.”

It wasn’t until Yitzhak Rabin was elected Israel prime minister in 1992 that serious discussions began directly between Israelis and Palestinians leading up to the Oslo Accords, signed in September 1993.

Chicago: As a Palestinian, I grew up under the shadow of the pain and suffering of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israeli violence during the 1947 and 1948 war forced my father’s family tflee their homes in West Jerusalem and live for more than two years in the squalor of a refugee camp in Jordan until my father could help bring them to the US in 1951.

My mother and her family in Bethlehem were forced to suffer through constant Israeli military assaults after the war, even though they lived under Jordanian control and there was an uncertainty about whether they could survive. They fled to the sanctuary and welcoming arms of the diaspora, living in Colombia and Venezuela.

They lost much. And until today, more than 10 acres of family land on my mother’s side adjacent to the Israel settlement of Gilo remains under Israeli control and outside our reach simply because we are Christian Palestinians, not Jews.

That cumulative weight of suffering was lifted from me as I sat and watched my hero, Yasser Arafat, shake the hand of our oppressor, Yitzhak Rabin, during the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords at the White House on Sept. 13, 1993.

Rabin was a monster to Palestinians. In January 1988, as a general, Rabin ordered his soldiers to “break the bones” of Palestinian civilians identified as “inciters” at protests against Israeli policy. Rabin was never charged, but his lower-ranking officers faced a public outcry that was covered up by Israel’s government and the pro-Israel news media.

Yet, we were willing to set that aside for an Israeli who was willing for the first time to recognize Palestinians as a people — a people denied by all of his predecessors, including Golda Meir, a Milwaukee school teacher who became an immigrant prime minister and once cruelly declared the Palestinians “did not exist.”

Yet on Sept. 13, 1993, we were willing to put the pain of the past aside and move forward with a new beginning at “a great occasion of history and hope,” as President Bill Clinton declared at the opening of the momentous event.

I remember grabbing a chunk of grass from the White House lawn in front of the stage as a souvenir to place in the program that was distributed to Palestinians and Israelis.

We all sat near each other in different groups and sections, Jews and Arabs, with relief as the ceremony began.

Key Dates


  • 1

    March 6, 1991: After the Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush steps up US involvement in the Middle East, including championing an Arab-Israeli treaty based on the “territory-for-peace” and fulfilment of Palestinian rights. Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 1991: At the Madrid Peace Conference, US Secretary of State James Baker invites Israel to meet with representatives of several Arab countries to pursue peace and establish self-rule for the Palestinians. Israel objects to direct talks with the PLO, and Palestinians from the Occupied West Bank partner with the Jordanian delegation to explore peace prospects. July 13, 1992: Yitzhak Rabin is elected prime minister and vows to progress with peace negotiations and the establishment of Palestinian self-rule, but enters into secret, direct talks with the PLO in Norway. Sept. 13, 1993: With President Bill Clinton hosting, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin begin the process of Palestinian self-government, with the Palestinians recognizing Israel and Israel recognizing the PLO and the establishment of the Palestine National Authority. The agreement is signed by Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres. Oct. 14, 1994: The Nobel Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres for signing the Oslo Accords. Oct. 26, 1994: Progress with the Palestinians opens the door to a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan in a ceremony in the Arava Valley, north of Eilat in Israel and near the Jordanian border. Feb. 25, 1994: American-born Benjamin “Baruch” Goldstein, wearing an Israeli military uniform and carrying an automatic weapon, enters Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and massacres 29 Muslims as they pray, wounding 125 others. April 6, 1994: On Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, a Hamas suicide bomber kills eight Israelis and injures 55 others. Nov. 4, 1995 Yitzhak Rabin is shot by an Israeli extremist who Rabin’s family claim is a follower of the right-wing extremist politics of Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. Rabin dies the following morning.


  • 2

    The first intifada erupts after an Israeli truck strikes a Palestinian station wagon carrying Palestinian workers into the Gaza Strip near the Jabalaya refugee camp. The intifada brings widespread violence and disruption to Israeli lives in Gaza, the West Bank and in Israel.


  • 3

    At the Madrid Peace Conference, US Secretary of State James Baker invites Israel to meet with representatives of several Arab countries to pursue peace and establish self-rule for the Palestinians. Israel objects to direct talks with the PLO, and Palestinians from the Occupied West Bank partner with the Jordanian delegation to explore peace prospects.

    Timeline Image Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 1991


  • 4

    Yitzhak Rabin is elected prime minister and vows to progress with peace negotiations and the establishment of Palestinian self-rule, but enters into secret, direct talks with the PLO in Norway.


  • 5

    With President Bill Clinton hosting, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin begin the process of Palestinian self-government, with the Palestinians recognizing Israel and Israel recognizing the PLO and the establishment of the Palestine National Authority. The agreement is signed by Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres.


  • 6

    The Nobel Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres for signing the Oslo Accords.

    Timeline Image Oct. 14, 1994


  • 7

    Progress with the Palestinians opens the door to a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan in a ceremony in the Arava Valley, north of Eilat in Israel and near the Jordanian border.


  • 8

    American-born Benjamin “Baruch” Goldstein, wearing an Israeli military uniform and carrying an automatic weapon, enters Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and massacres 29 Muslims as they pray, wounding 125 others.


  • 9

    On Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, a Hamas suicide bomber kills eight Israelis and injures 55 others.


  • 10

    Yitzhak Rabin is shot by an Israeli extremist who Rabin’s family claim is a follower of the right-wing extremist politics of Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. Rabin dies the following morning.

    Timeline Image Nov. 4, 1995

The actual peace documents were signed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Mahmoud Abbas as Clinton, his Russian counterpart, Rabin and Arafat looked on. Then, with Rabin on his right and Arafat on his left, Clinton nudged the two leaders together and they shook hands.

The Oslo Peace Accords included recognition of certain rights. The Palestinians openly recognized Israel’s “right to exist,” a major concession at the time, while Israel only recognized that Palestinians would have a process leading to limited self-rule.

Under the agreement, Israel never agreed to recognize Palestinian statehood, but instead vaguely defined Palestinian self-government in the occupied territories and to withdraw its armed forces from much, but not all, of the West Bank.

It was a foundation for a promise that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state in five years, but that was never written down or documented. It was interpreted.

And yet that was such an overwhelming relief for many, including my family. My wife is Jewish, and we traveled through Israel and Palestine
between 1994 and 1995. Although the agreement did not spell out true freedom, it created an atmosphere of hope. Palestinians and Israelis, for the first time, got to know each other as potential friends, not enemies.

But the peace that Oslo promised was quickly cut short, in a large part because of the violence by Israeli fanatics that sparked Palestinian outrage and counter-violence.
After shaking Arafat’s hand, Rabin declared: “We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice, enough of blood and tears ... enough!”

He should have spoken to his own people, though.

“Goosebumps, it was one of those events that gives you goosebumps,” said one excited observer at the American Embassy (in Riyadh) where a delegation of dignitaries, academics, and journalists viewed the momentous signing.”

Afshin Molavi in Arab News, Sept. 14, 1993

On Feb. 25, 1994, only five months after the Oslo signing, Chicago Dr. Benjamin “Baruch” Goldstein, wearing an Israeli military uniform and carrying an automatic weapon, entered the Ibrahimi Mosque and massacred 29 Muslims as they prayed, wounding 125 others.

The massacre prompted a wave of suicide bombings by Hamas militants opposed to the peace process, beginning with an attack at a bus stop in Afula on April 6, 1994, designated by the Israelis as “Holocaust Memorial Day,” that killed eight Israelis and injured 55 others. It was considered the first suicide attack, although there had been three other attacks, one during the intifada on July 6, 1989, and two in April and October 1993.




A page from the Arab News archive showig the news on Sept. 14, 1993.

A 27-year-old disciple of Benjamin Netanyahu, Yigal Amir, of the far-right Israeli group Eyal, assassinated Rabin, shooting him in the arm and back following a peace rally on Nov. 4, 1995. Eyal confessed that he killed the Israeli leader because he wanted “to give our country to the Arabs.” Rabin’s widow, Leah, blamed Netanyahu and Israeli extremists for Amir’s actions.

The peace quickly unraveled. Israeli and Palestinian extremists who both opposed compromise escalated their violence. Eventually, Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu took control of the country, quickly peeling back the Oslo promises.

But I will never forget one memory driving with my wife through the Jordan Valley at an Israeli checkpoint in the summer of 1995. The Israeli soldiers handed us a flower and were curious that a Palestinian and a Jew would marry.

“You’re the future,” the Israeli soldier said with a smile.

It was one of the last smiles I would ever see on the face of an Israeli soldier again.

  • Ray Hanania, Arab News’ correspondent in Chicago, was invited by President Bill Clinton to help promote the Oslo Peace Accords to Palestinian and Arab Americans, meeting with Clinton, Rabin and Arafat, and witnessed the Oslo signing with other Jews and Arabs seated on the White House lawn.


Shadow war no more: The tussle between Iran and Israeli spy agency Mossad

A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 46 min 51 sec ago

Shadow war no more: The tussle between Iran and Israeli spy agency Mossad

A grab of a videoconference screen of an engineer inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, shown during a ceremony headed by the country's president on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Natanz nuclear plant sabotage lays bare vulnerability to betrayal at the hands of own population
  • Analysts say Tehran’s tepid response is a sign of its desperation for sanctions relief above all else

LONDON: Analysts have said that the blast that struck Iran’s most critical nuclear facility on April 11 is another significant event in a decades-long shadow war between Tehran and its regional adversary Israel.

They say the sabotage has not only exposed Iran’s vulnerability to betrayal at the hands of its own population, but its tepid response has revealed its desperation for sanctions relief above all else.

Unnamed intelligence officials from Mossad told Israeli media and the New York Times last week that the mysterious Natanz explosion was their handiwork. And, according to Yossi Mekelberg, associate fellow with the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, it is a continuation of the spate of blasts, blackouts, and fires that swept across the Islamic Republic last year — but with one major difference.

“What has changed from last year is how public it is. (Israel) is ready to take responsibility. From a shadow war it has moved to the forefront,” Mekelberg told Arab News.

“This confrontation has been taking place for two decades now, at least. Cyberattacks, assassinations of scientists, attacks on ships — this is something that is ongoing. What you have seen in the last year or so is that it is becoming open, from covert to overt.”

In the past year alone, Iran has been rocked by a relentless series of attacks, assassinations, and sabotages. The country’s top nuclear scientist was killed in a sophisticated attack.

Their entire nuclear archives were stolen and smuggled out of the country, and nuclear, military, and logistics sites across the country have suffered from a series of mysterious setbacks.

An image grab from footage obtained from Iranian State TV IRIB on April 17, 2021 shows the portrait of a man identified as 43-year-old Reza Karimi, saying the intelligence ministry had established his role in last week's "sabotage" on the Natanz nuclear facility. (AFP/File Photo)

According to Mekelberg, these incidents have not only hindered Iran’s economy and nuclear program, but also exposed a fundamental weakness in the regime.

“They have a real issue inside their nuclear program,” he said. “The idea that their top scientist, they couldn’t protect him, and that someone managed to take your nuclear archives out of the country — that is not something you can simply put in your pocket.”

Iranian state television named 43-year-old Iranian national Reza Karimi as the prime suspect in the April sabotage — but said he had already fled the country in the hours before the blast occurred.

Mekelberg and other experts believe the involvement of an Iranian national is indicative of the regime’s core vulnerability: Turncoats within its population, and even within the nuclear program itself.

INNUMBERS

Iranian oil

* $40 - Price per barrel of oil used in Iran’s budget calculations.

* 300,000 - Estimated oil exports in barrels per day (bpd) in 2020.

* 2.8m - Iranian oil exports in bpd in 2018.

“They have a real issue with security. I assume that the more things like this happen, the more paranoid they become about who they can trust, who is working with foreign agencies. Obviously, someone is,” Mekelberg said.

Olli Heinonen, a non-proliferation expert and distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Stimson Center, believes the sophistication of the Natanz attack means there is little doubt that local collaborators from within the regime enabled it.

“Those who have designed and executed these actions have insider information and highly likely local contributors,” Heinonen told Arab News.

This handout satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on January 8, 2020 shows an overview of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, south of the capital Tehran. (AFP/Maxar/File Photo)

Like Mekelberg, Heinonen highlighted Iran’s apparent ineptitude in defending even its most critical nuclear facilities and pointed to the stark contrast between the country’s record and another global pariah state’s nuclear program.

“It is worth noting that we have not heard about similar incidents in North Korea,” he said. “It is evident that the (Iranian) security forces have not been able to protect the assets as the leadership had expected.

“This does not come as a surprise. Not all Iranians, including technical professionals, buy the reasonability of the enrichment efforts, the investments for which could be used better elsewhere, even within the nuclear program.”

Tehran has admitted that the attacks caused serious damage at the Natanz facility. Last week, Alireza Zakani, a regime hardliner who heads the Iranian parliament’s research center, referred to “several thousand centrifuges damaged and destroyed” in an interview on state television.

A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on August 25, 2014, shows an alleged Israeli drone that was shot down above the Natanz uranium enrichment site. (AFP/File Photo)

“From a technical standpoint, the enemy’s plan was rather beautiful,” the head of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee said. “They thought about this and used their experts and planned the explosion so both the central power and the emergency power cable would be damaged.”

Heinonen said the attacks have “certainly slowed production” of 20 percent enriched uranium, which is above the enrichment level needed for nuclear power, but far below the 90 percent required for weapons-grade uranium.

However, he cautioned that production could begin to ramp up again within three months of the attack, and Tehran’s promise to begin enriching uranium to 60 percent in response to the attack could act as a springboard toward rapid development of a nuclear bomb.

“In a short term (60 percent enrichment) does not contribute much to breakout time, but it demonstrates the fact that uranium enrichment is mainly designed to build a nuclear latency; to be in a position to relaunch in short interval a full nuclear weapon acquisition program, if such a decision is made,” he said.

The response to the attacks is part of a delicate balancing act by Tehran, according to Nader Di Michele, an Iran-focused analyst at political risk consultancy Prelia.

This handout powerpoint slide provided by U.S. Central Command damage shows an explosion (L) and a likely limpet mine can be seen on the hull of the civilian vessel M/V Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. (AFP/File Photo)

“They do not want escalations but the government has to show a response in terms of its foreign policy. That could be aimed at international actors or even its domestic population,” he told Arab News.

Beyond increasing uranium enrichment, it was reported that unknown actors targeted an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the following days. However, Di Michele thinks the damage caused by that attack was, by design, minimal compared with the devastation caused by the Natanz attack.

“There always has to be a response to these attacks, but I think the Iranian delegation understands that there is a limit to what they can do if they want sanctions relief.”

Di Michele said if the ongoing negotiations in Vienna prompt a lifting of sanctions and release of various assets that, in turn, deliver a financial boost to the regime, “we can never be sure what proportion of that would go to support which activities.”

He added: “It can be assumed that a proportion of those assets released would go toward foreign policy activities. What those entail, I couldn’t speculate on.”

---------------

Twitter: @CHamillStewart


Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges

Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges
Updated 20 April 2021

Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges

Indian capital running out of medical oxygen as pandemic surges
  • PM Modi speaks of virus 'storm' overwhelming country as new daily infections exceed 200,000 for six days running
  • A local hospital with over 500 COVID-19 patients on oxygen has enough supplies for only four hours, Delhi's health minister

NEW DELHI: Indian authorities said Delhi hospitals would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday as PM Narendra Modi said a coronavirus “storm” is overwhelming India’s health system.
Major government hospitals in the city of 20 million people had between eight and 24 hours’ worth of oxygen while some private ones had enough for just four to five hours, said Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia.
“If we don’t get enough supplies by tomorrow morning, it will be a disaster,” he said, calling for urgent help from the federal government.
Modi said the federal government was working with local authorities nationwide to ensure adequate supplies of hospital beds, oxygen and anti-viral drugs to combat a huge second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The situation was manageable until a few weeks ago. The second wave of infections has come like a storm,” he said in a televised address to the nation, urging citizens to stay indoors and not panic amid India’s worst health emergency in memory.
“The central and state governments as well as the private sector are together trying to ensure oxygen supplies to those in need. We are trying to increase oxygen production and supply across the country,” he said.
Modi faces criticism that his administration lowered its guard when coronavirus infections fell to a multi-month low in February and allowed religious festivals and political rallies that he himself addressed to go ahead.
India, the world’s second most populous country and currently the hardest hit by COVID-19, reported its worst daily death toll on Tuesday, with large parts of the country now under lockdown amid a fast-rising second surge of contagion.
The health ministry said 1,761 people had died in the past day, raising India’s toll to 180,530 — still well below the 567,538 reported in the United States, though experts believe India’s actual toll far exceeds the official count.
“While we are making all efforts to save lives, we are also trying to ensure minimal impact on livelihoods and economic activity,” Modi said, urging state governments to use lockdowns only as a last resort.
DELHI RUNNING OUT OF OXYGEN
One local hospital with more than 500 COVID-19 patients on oxygen has enough supplies for only four hours, Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain said late on Tuesday.
Tata Group, one of India’s biggest business conglomerates, said it was importing 24 cryogenic containers to transport liquid oxygen and help ease the shortage in the country.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Protection has said https://bit.ly/2Qg99IY all travel should be avoided to India, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a visit to New Delhi that had been scheduled for next week, and his government said it will add India to its travel “red list.”
Several major cities are already reporting far larger numbers of cremations and burials under coronavirus protocols than those in official COVID-19 death tolls, according to crematorium and cemetery workers, the media and a review of government data.
Delhi reported more than 28,000 fresh infections on Tuesday, the highest daily rise ever, with one in three people tested returning a positive result.
“The huge pressure on hospitals and the health system right now will mean that a good number who would have recovered, had they been able to access hospital services, may die,” said Gautam I. Menon, a professor at Ashoka University.
On Tuesday, the health ministry reported 259,170 new infections nationwide — a sixth day over 200,000 and getting closer to the peak of nearly 300,000 seen in the United States in January.
Total coronavirus cases in India are now at 15.32 million, second only to the United States, with epidemiologists saying many more infectious new variants of the virus were one of the main factors behind the latest surge in cases.


Chelsea and Man City set to withdraw from European Super League

 Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City were reported to be preparing the paperwork to withdraw from the breakaway European Super League. (AFP/File Photos)
Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City were reported to be preparing the paperwork to withdraw from the breakaway European Super League. (AFP/File Photos)
Updated 20 April 2021

Chelsea and Man City set to withdraw from European Super League

 Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City were reported to be preparing the paperwork to withdraw from the breakaway European Super League. (AFP/File Photos)
  • Chelsea and City were among the 12 teams who announced on Sunday that they were setting up a rival to UEFA's Champions League

LONDON: Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City were reported to be preparing the paperwork to withdraw from the breakaway European Super League less than 72 hours after agreeing to join it, in a major blow for the proposed new competition.
Shortly before the BBC reported that the two English clubs were set to back out of the breakaway competition, in Spain the new league went to court to stop the soccer authorities from thwarting its plans.
Chelsea and City were among the 12 teams who announced on Sunday that they were setting up a rival to UEFA's Champions League without the need for annual qualification.
The announcement has prompted a wave of opposition from within the game, political world and public opinion, particularly in England.
The news that Chelsea, owned by Russian Roman Abramovich, were taking steps to pull away from the plan, was celebrated wildly by Chelsea fans who had been protesting outside their team's behind closed-doors Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Neither Chelsea, Manchester City nor the Super League organisation immediately responded to a request for comment.
The moves came shortly after the Super League won a preliminary ruling from a Madrid court to stop European soccer body UEFA and the sport's global governing body FIFA from imposing sanctions designed to stop the new formation.
The company set up to run the new league is headquartered in Madrid and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is the league's first chairman.
The court said in a ruling seen by Reuters that FIFA, UEFA and all its associated federations must not adopt "any measure that prohibits, restricts, limits or conditions in any way" the Super League's creation.
It was not immediately clear what authority the Madrid court, which adjudicates corporate disputes, had over the Swiss-based soccer bodies and a source close to UEFA said the organisation was "relaxed" about the ruling.
The Super League has been hoping that a mixture of defensive court actions and momentum would lead soccer's authorities to accept their new competition within the game.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the clubs cannot be "half in, half out" of the established framework.
UEFA has threatened to ban the 12 clubs, who include Manchester United and Real Madrid, from domestic and international competition, with Infantino adding his voice to the backlash.
"We strongly disapprove ... if some go their own way then they must live with the consequences of their choice, either you are in, or you are out. You cannot be half in and half out," Infantino told UEFA's congress in Montreux, Switzerland.


Samsung to launch remote control button for Shahid VIP

Sam Barnett, MBC GROUP CEO, and President of Samsung Electronics Middle East and North Africa Sungwan Myung. (Supplied)
Sam Barnett, MBC GROUP CEO, and President of Samsung Electronics Middle East and North Africa Sungwan Myung. (Supplied)
Updated 20 April 2021

Samsung to launch remote control button for Shahid VIP

Sam Barnett, MBC GROUP CEO, and President of Samsung Electronics Middle East and North Africa Sungwan Myung. (Supplied)
  • Shahid VIP becomes first MENA streaming service to have dedicated branded button on Samsung Smart TV remote controls

DUBAI: The premium subscription-based service of Shahid, and Samsung Electronics, have linked up to bring an exclusive Shahid VIP branded button to the new Samsung Smart TVs launched this year.

The partnership marks the first time a MENA-based streaming service will have its own branded button on a Samsung Smart TV remote control.

The South Korean multinational was also the first TV provider to launch Shahid VIP’s Smart TV app.

Buyers of the new Smart TVs might also have the chance to receive a free subscription to Shahid VIP.

Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, said: “Two of the biggest brands in entertainment are coming together to provide a game-changing experience for at-home viewers.

“This is the first time Samsung has integrated a MENA-based streaming service on its TV remote. And this makes Shahid VIP easier to watch for an even bigger audience this year.”

Sungwan Myung, president of Samsung Electronics MENA, said: “It’s extremely exciting for us to be partnering with the region’s No. 1 broadcaster and the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform.

“Our partnership with Shahid VIP provides our users with an extensive library of premium content that caters to a variety of tastes.”


Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started -data

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started -data
Updated 20 April 2021

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started -data

Turkey logs highest daily COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started -data
  • Turkey registered its highest daily toll of 346 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday
  • Total cases stood at 4,384,624 while the total death toll rose to 36,613

ISTANBUL: Turkey recorded 346 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Tuesday, registering the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
The data also showed the country recorded 61,028 new coronavirus cases in the same period.
The total number of cases stood at 4,384,624 while the total death toll rose to 36,613, according to the data.
Turkey currently ranks fourth globally in the number of daily cases based on a seven-day average, according to a Reuters tally.