Clashes hit Al-Aqsa amid outrage over provocative Israeli flag march

Clashes hit Al-Aqsa amid outrage over provocative Israeli flag march
Protesters lift Palestine’s flag during a rally in support of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque in Lebanon’s southern city of Sidon on May 29, 2022. (AFP)
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Updated 29 May 2022

Clashes hit Al-Aqsa amid outrage over provocative Israeli flag march

Clashes hit Al-Aqsa amid outrage over provocative Israeli flag march
  • Palestinian factions have warned that the flag-waving parade through the city’s Muslim quarter could re-ignite their decades-old conflict
  • 137 Palestinian protesters injured, 25,000 settlers join parade in show of force

RAMALLAH: Thousands of Israeli nationalists, some of them chanting “Death to Arabs,” paraded through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, in a show of force that risked setting off a new wave of violence in the tense city.

More than 3,000 police officers were deployed across occupied Jerusalem, reporting more than 20 arrests over “disorderly conduct.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 137 Palestinians were injured by Israeli armed forces — 11 of them by live ammunition — during violent clashes in Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Hebron and Jericho during protests against the march.

Ahead of the event, police said that 2,600 Jews toured Al-Aqsa esplanade, a record number for a single day.

Some of the visitors wore religious garb and prostrated themselves. A few held up Israeli flags and sang the national anthem. The preacher of the mosque, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, denounced their behavior.

“What happened today at Al-Aqsa has never happened since 1967, and the Israeli occupation should remember that Al-Aqsa Mosque is not a field to test reactions,” he said, accusing the government of deliberately looking to escalate tensions.

Police earlier fired stun grenades at Palestinians who pelted them with stones in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as record numbers of Jews visited the holy site, some of them appearing to pray in defiance of a longstanding ban.

Israeli political and security determination to support the parade has angered Palestinians.

There was widespread Palestinian condemnation of the passage of the provocative march in the neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.

About 25,000 Israeli settlers took part in the march and the Israeli police boosted its forces in East Jerusalem from the early hours of Sunday.

Police launched a preventive arrest campaign among Palestinians in East Jerusalem — a few hours before the launch of the march — and prevented Palestinian males under the age of 50 from entering the mosque.

Firas Al-Jibreni, a lawyer for the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, reported more than 22 detainees from Jerusalem and its surroundings on Sunday.

Israeli police surveillance UAVs roamed the East Jerusalem skies, especially over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while the Israeli army deployed the Iron Dome rocket interceptor system.

More than 800 settlers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday, including Israeli right-wing extremist MP Itamar Ben-Gvir, under tight security protection of the Israeli forces.


Minister stresses importance of continuing to develop Bahrain-UK partnership

Minister stresses importance of continuing to develop Bahrain-UK partnership
Updated 22 sec ago

Minister stresses importance of continuing to develop Bahrain-UK partnership

Minister stresses importance of continuing to develop Bahrain-UK partnership

RIYADH: Bahrain’s finance minister has stressed the importance of continuing to develop the partnership between his country and the UK in order to create more ambitious investment opportunities, Bahrain News Agency reported on Sunday.

Minister of Finance and National Economy, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, also affirmed the depth of UK-Bahraini relations which has strengthened economic cooperation and partnership between the two countries.

The minister also highlighted the importance of building on fruitful cooperation between the two countries and opening up new horizons so as to achieve common aspirations and goals.

The comments were made during the British Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East Amanda Milling’s visit to Manama.

Milling said she was delighted to visit Bahrain and pleased to meet with British embassy officials to learn more about the “on-going work with the Bahrain government.”


Austrian, Egyptian FMs hold talks in Cairo

Austrian, Egyptian FMs hold talks in Cairo
Updated 55 min 27 sec ago

Austrian, Egyptian FMs hold talks in Cairo

Austrian, Egyptian FMs hold talks in Cairo
  • Topics discussed include terrorism, immigration, Russia-Ukraine war, global food crisis

CAIRO: Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry held talks in Cairo, discussing the fight against terrorism, illegal immigration, the Russia-Ukraine war and the resulting global food crisis.

At a joint press conference, Schallenberg stressed the importance of resolving the global food crisis resulting from the conflict.

Shoukry said the war has impacted all the world’s countries, adding: “Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, but we have enough reserves for our people and we are working to provide other quantities.”

He said Egypt is in contact with all parties, and its goal is to restore stability and end the conflict.

Shoukry received Schallenberg at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation between Egypt and Austria, especially in the political, economic and investment fields.


Egypt’s House of Representatives approves Saudi PIF deal

Egypt’s House of Representatives approves Saudi PIF deal
Updated 03 July 2022

Egypt’s House of Representatives approves Saudi PIF deal

Egypt’s House of Representatives approves Saudi PIF deal
  • The agreement aims to encourage, support and protect PIF investments in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s House of Representatives, the lower house of Parliament, has approved an agreement signed in March between Cairo and Riyadh regarding Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The agreement aims to encourage, support and protect PIF investments in Egypt, enhance bilateral trade, and expand both countries’ investments in other countries regionally and internationally.

The PIF, established in 1971, is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, with assets estimated at $620 billion.


IIF welcomes Egypt’s hosting of COP27

IIF welcomes Egypt’s hosting of COP27
Updated 03 July 2022

IIF welcomes Egypt’s hosting of COP27

IIF welcomes Egypt’s hosting of COP27
  • The IIF includes more than 400 members representing financial institutions from more than 70 countries

CAIRO: The managing director and head of sustainable finance at the Institute of International Finance said it welcomes Egypt’s efforts to host the UN Climate Change Conference in November given the event’s great global importance.

Sonja Gibbs, during a video meeting with International Cooperation Minister Rania Al-Mashat, said COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh is a great opportunity for Egypt to present its achievements and plans in the field of climate action.

The IIF includes more than 400 members representing financial institutions from more than 70 countries.

It works to support global financial stability, economic sustainability and development efforts.


Port director general dismissed after Aqaba investigation findings of deadly gas leak

Port director general dismissed after Aqaba investigation findings of deadly gas leak
Updated 03 July 2022

Port director general dismissed after Aqaba investigation findings of deadly gas leak

Port director general dismissed after Aqaba investigation findings of deadly gas leak
  • The Director General of the Maritime Authority has also been dismissed

Jordanian Prime Minister, Bishr al-Khasawneh, said on Sunday that the Director General of the Ports Management and Operations Company and a group of officials in the company have been dismissed due to findings of the Aqaba gas leak incident. 

Thirteen people were killed, including at least four Asian migrants, when toxic chlorine gas escaped on the dockside in the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba last week.

The Director General of the Maritime Authority has also been dismissed following the report's findings. 

Khasawneh said that the Aqaba incident report will be referred to the Public Prosecution. 

He added that the investigation found major "inability and failure in safety procedures and dealing with hazardous materials in the port."

The results of the investigation will be announced with full transparency to public opinion.