Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh

Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh
Most European countries carry out repatriations on a case-by-case basis. (AFP/File)
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Updated 07 October 2021

Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh

Germany repatriates 8 women, 23 children with ties to Daesh
  • The women are aged between 30 and 38 and come from several regions around Germany
  • The group was repatriated from the Roj camp in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria

BERLIN: Germany has repatriated eight women who joined the IS terror group and 23 children from northern Syria, the foreign ministry said overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the biggest such transfer since 2019.
“The children are not responsible for their situation... the mothers will have to answer for their acts,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement, adding that “many of them were held in custody on arrival in Germany.”
Denmark also brought three women and 14 children to its territory as part of the same operation, carried out with US military support, Berlin said.
Maas said he was “happy” to have brought back to Germany people, especially children, identified “as being in particular need of protection.”
“They are mostly sick children or those with a guardian in Germany, as well as their brothers and sisters and their mothers,” the foreign ministry said.
The group was repatriated from the Roj camp in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria.
Tabloid-style daily Bild reported that foreign ministry and police officials landed in the region early Wednesday on a US military plane, which then brought the group to Kuwait before they boarded a flight to Frankfurt.
The women are aged between 30 and 38 and come from several regions around Germany, Der Spiegel weekly reported.
Countries have been wrangling over how to treat captives linked to IS since the group’s fall in March 2019.
Most European countries carry out repatriations on a case-by-case basis.
Germany’s last joint repatriation alongside Finland in December 2020 brought back five women and 18 children.


Syria buries former lawmaker shot near Israeli border

Syria buries former lawmaker shot near Israeli border
Updated 4 sec ago

Syria buries former lawmaker shot near Israeli border

Syria buries former lawmaker shot near Israeli border
DAMASCUS, Syria: A former Syrian lawmaker allegedly felled by Israeli sniper fire was laid to rest Monday in an official funeral attended by hundreds of people near Damascus.
Midhat Saleh, a well-known figure in Syria, was fatally shot Saturday in Ein el-Tineh, a village along the Israeli border in the Golan Heights where he ran a Syrian government office. Syria said he was killed by Israeli sniper fire. Israeli military and other officials declined to comment on the charge.
Israeli media, however, said Saleh had been assisting the Iranian military presence against Israel. If the Syrian claims are confirmed, it would mark the first time that Israeli snipers are known to have killed someone identified as an Iranian-linked target across the border.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed the area. Most of the world does not recognize the annexation, though the Trump administration declared the territory to be part of Israel.
On Monday, Saleh’s coffin, wrapped in a Syrian flag, was brought in an ambulance from the Mamdouh Abaza hospital in Qunetira to Jaramana, on the outskirts of Damascus, for burial at a Druze cemetery. Hundreds of people attended, in addition to senior officials and Druze clerics.
Saleh was born in Majdal Shams, in the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan, and was jailed several times by Israel, most recently for 12 years until 1997. He later moved to Syria, was elected to parliament in 1998 and served as an adviser to the government on the Golan issue.
Saleh’s son, Golan, a 17-year-old student, said that his father has always told him that the territory would return to Syria.
“I am proud that my father was martyred,” he said.

Egypt poverty rate falls 3% despite pandemic

Egypt poverty rate falls 3% despite pandemic
Updated 16 min 4 sec ago

Egypt poverty rate falls 3% despite pandemic

Egypt poverty rate falls 3% despite pandemic
  • Extreme poverty in Egypt (the percentage of people who cannot secure their food needs) decreased nationwide

CAIRO: Egypt’s poverty rate has fallen to the lowest level in 20 years, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

The agency said that poverty rates in Egypt fell to 29.7 percent during the 2019-2020 fiscal year — a decline of 2.8 percent from the 32.5 percent recorded in 2017-2018. It added that this reflects the success of the country in striving for social justice in conjunction with economic reforms implemented by the state.

The agency said that extreme poverty in Egypt (the percentage of people who cannot secure their food needs) decreased nationwide to 4.5 percent in 2019-2020, down from 6.2 percent in 2017-2018.

The agency noted a correlation between growing family sizes and financial insecurity, saying: “The increase in the size of the family is a cause and a consequence of poverty. At the same time, it is a result of poor families not having sufficient social protection and therefore resorting to having more children for social protection when old or ill as a source of income.”

CAPMAS said that 80.6 percent of individuals who live in families with 10 or more members are poor, and that 48.1 percent of individuals who live in families with 6-7 members are also poor, compared to 7.5 percent of families with fewer than four members.

The agency indicated that education levels are the most relevant indicator of poverty, as poverty rates decrease as the level of education rises among parts of the population.

The percentage of poor among Egyptians with no formal education reached 35.6 percent in 2019-2020, compared to 9.4 percent for university graduates.

CAPMAS said that the Egyptian state is “making a lot of efforts” to protect the poor with the aim of improving the quality of life of citizens.

Social programs launched by the Egyptian government form the cornerstone Egypt’s Vision for Sustainable Development 2030.

The agency said that one of the most important programs is the national project for the development of Egyptian rural villages, which aims to improve living standards, build infrastructure, support people with disabilities and boost urban services.

The CAPMAS results came as the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for the growth of the Egyptian economy during 2021, despite lowering estimates for the global economy.


Fire at an oil waste disposal unit in Jebel Ali in Dubai under control

 Fire at an oil waste disposal unit in Jebel Ali in Dubai under control
Updated 18 October 2021

Fire at an oil waste disposal unit in Jebel Ali in Dubai under control

 Fire at an oil waste disposal unit in Jebel Ali in Dubai under control

DUBAI: Dubai Civil Defense teams have brought under control a fire that broke out at an oil waste disposal site in the Jebel Ali Industrial Area, located far from factories in the zone, the Dubai Media Office said.

The site saw heavy smoke due to the burning of oil waste in a deserted portion of the industrial area.

No casualties have been reported.


Fire at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait under control

Fire at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait under control
Updated 18 October 2021

Fire at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait under control

Fire at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait under control
  • A number of minor injuries and cases of suffocation were reported

DUBAI: A fire broke out at the Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery in Kuwait on Monday morning is now under control, state-run news agency KUNA has reported.

Kuwait National Petroleum Company earlier said in a tweet that fire broke out in one of the facility’s atmospheric residue desulphurization (ARD) units.

“The firefighting teams in the refinery are currently dealing with the fire, knowing that no injuries occurred as a result of the accident,” KNPC earlier said in a tweet.

A number of minor injuries and cases of suffocation as a result of inhalation of fumes occurred among the contractor’s workers, the company said.

First aid was provided to the injured on the site and all of them are in good condition, and other injured were transferred to Al-Adan Hospital and their condition is stable, it added.

“ARD Unit No. 42 and all lines leading to it have been isolated and the refinery’s fire brigade is still dealing with the accident,” KNPC said.

“The refinery and export operations were not affected, and the local marketing and supply operations of the Ministry of Electricity and Water were not affected by the fire.”

The Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery, on a 10.5 square-kilometer site, began operating in 1949. It is the largest of three refineries of the state petrol company, producing about 466,000 barrels of petrol per day.

A fourth refinery with a production capacity of 615,000 barrels per day is under construction and set to begin operation by the end of the year.

The oil-rich Gulf emirate produces about 2.4 million barrels of petrol per day, most of which is exported.

with AFP


Palestinians defend their olive trees as settler assaults escalate

Palestinians defend their olive trees as settler assaults escalate
Updated 18 October 2021

Palestinians defend their olive trees as settler assaults escalate

Palestinians defend their olive trees as settler assaults escalate
  • Around 10,000 olive trees planted every year in West Bank

AMMAN: Palestinians are bracing themselves for settler assaults on their land as the olive harvesting season kicks into high gear.

Palestinian farmers, civil society, local and international volunteers, as well as video have documented Israeli settlers uprooting olive trees, stealing olive crops, and starting fires on nearby land.

Anees Sweidan, deputy mayor of Nablus, told Arab News that every year at this time settlers invaded the governorate of Nablus and stole ripe olives, cut down trees and burned them.

Sweidan said that Nablus municipality had paved parts of the road connecting areas to the east of the city with the village of Assera Al-Shamieh to help Palestinians protect their land from settler assaults.

He called on the international community to provide protection to Palestinians from settlers who attacked them and also to the international volunteers who came to help during the short but intense harvest season.

The biggest danger was always on Palestinian land closest to illegal Israeli settlements, he added.

Atallah Hanna, bishop of Sebastia, said God did not justify the injustice that was affecting people’s holy places and even olive trees.

“Olive trees are a symbol of peace in Palestine. They are also a symbol of our heritage in this holy land,” he told Arab News. “Jewish settlers might steal and burn, our Palestinian people will stand and we as Christians stand with justice and the case of justice of our Palestinian people.”

Israeli media reported that Defense Minister Benny Gantz had ordered the army to act “systemically, aggressively and uncompromisingly — together with the Shin Bet security service and the police — against all forms of violence, against Palestinians, Jews and of course against security forces.”

But Knesset member Sami Abu Shehadeh questioned the Israeli will as, he said, settler attacks against Palestinians were supported by the government and the army.

“If there was no political and military support for those racist individuals these attacks would not have continued all this period. This protection is a green light enabling the continuation and the escalation of these barbaric attacks by Jewish settlers,” he told Arab News.

The National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements has launched a “Protectors of the Land” campaign, while the Agricultural Relief Committee has launched its annual volunteer campaign with a slogan aimed at helping farmers harvest olives in areas threatened by settlement.

Palestinians plant around 10,000 olive trees in the West Bank each year, most of which are oil-producing varieties.

According to UN monitors, more than 4,000 olive trees and other tree crops were burned or removed by Israeli settlers in 2020.