TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 5 readers say no to Lebanon peace deal with Israel

Above, the Tel Aviv city hall is lit up in the colors of the Lebanese national flag in solidarity, on August 5, 2020, a day after a devastating blast at the port of Beirut. (AFP)
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Updated 28 August 2020

TWITTER POLL: Almost 3 of 5 readers say no to Lebanon peace deal with Israel

  • Both countries remain technically at war

DUBAI: Almost 3 of 5 Arab News readers are cool to the proposition that Lebanon sign a peace agreement with Israel, who continue to be technically at war for decades now and with sporadic clashes erupting in border areas between the two countries.

About 57 percent of respondents of a Twitter straw poll do not support a possible peace deal between Lebanon and Israel, compared with 43 percent who took the opposing view.

Conflict between the two countries peaked in the 1980s when Israel laid siege to Beirut to cripple Palestine Liberation Organization forces who have been attacking Israeli border communities. Armed confrontations have since declined after a UN-broker ceasefire took effect in August 2006.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, in an earlier interview with French news channel BFMTV, dropped hints on the possibility of an eventual peace with the Jewish state when he responded to a question regarding it: “That depends. We have problems with Israel, we have to resolve them first.”

The UAE this month has agreed to normalize relations with Israel, only the third Arab state to establish full diplomatic ties since the Jewish state’s creation in 1948. Egypt, along with Jordan, already has full diplomatic relations with Israel.

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said that Arab countries were at ‘different stages’ in normalizing relations with Israel and that the Emirates’ relationship with Jerusalem in future will be a “warm peace.”

“The region does need a strategic breakthrough,” he said.

 


First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

Updated 20 September 2020

First UAE sighting of one of the world’s rarest birds in Abu Dhabi 

  • Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird is estimated to have a global population of only around 100
  • It is believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration

DUBAI: One of the rarest birds in the world has been spotted in Abu Dhabi by two members of the Emirates Bird Records Committee (EBRC), according to state news agency WAM. 
Known as a Steppe Whimbrel, the bird - estimated to have a global population of only around 100 - was seen by Oscar Campbell and Simon Lloyd at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course, WAM reported on Saturday.
Believed to have travelled in time for the autumn bird migration, the Steppe Whimbrel is an extremely rare sub-species of the widespread Whimbrel, which regularly passes through the Emirates in spring and autumn.
The Steppe Whimbrel seen in Abu Dhabi is believed to have been born this year, making it the first time a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been spotted anywhere in the world, according to WAM.
“On August 29, we were studying around 20 whimbrels on the Saadiyat Beach golf course. We were stunned when one flew off showing the distinctive white wings, clearly different from the other birds,” Campbell and Lloyd told WAM. 
“We immediately realized the potential significance of this so we concentrated on observing the bird and obtaining photographs, allowing us to check the key identification features,” they said.
Campbell and Lloyd then shared their photographs with world’s top expert on Steppe Whimbrels, Gary Allport, who confirmed their findings. 
“The discovery of a Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi is remarkable in itself, and confirms our suspicion that the migration route of the sub-species passes through the Arabian peninsula region,” Allport said. 
“What is even more remarkable is that this is the first time ever, anywhere in the world, that a juvenile Steppe Whimbrel has been seen in the field…It’s an amazing find,” he added. 
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Course management was delighted with the discovery. 
“When you look at the significance of sighting the Steppe Whimbrel in Abu Dhabi, its history and the subspecies actually being declared extinct in 1995, it is pretty amazing,” Clinton Southorn, Cluster Director of Agronomy for managers Troon Golf, told WAM.
“This is one of the reasons the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has worked hard to achieve its Audubon certification and showcase the positive environmental impact the course can have on the environment,” he added.