Israel ‘is building regional defense alliance,’ says defense minister

Israel ‘is building regional defense alliance,’ says defense minister
Leader of Blue and White party, Benny Gantz looks on as he arrives to vote in Israel's parliamentary election at a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel September 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 21 June 2022

Israel ‘is building regional defense alliance,’ says defense minister

Israel ‘is building regional defense alliance,’ says defense minister

JEDDAH: Israel is building a US-backed regional air defense alliance that has already foiled Iranian attacks, Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed on Monday.

The program would “strengthen the cooperation between Israel and countries in the region,” Gantz said, and he hoped to move it forward during Joe Biden’s visit next month. The US president is visiting the region from July 13-16, with stops in the occupied West Bank, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The defense alliance was “already operative and has already enabled the successful interception of Iranian attempts to attack Israel and other countries,” Gantz said.

As tensions mount over Tehran’s nuclear program, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and parts of Iraq have been hit by drone and missile strikes by Iranian-backed militias.

The Gulf states have been frustrated over what they believe is a reduced US commitment to regional security and Washington’s failure to addressing their concerns over Iran’s missile program and regional meddling.

Gantz spoke on Monday as Israel’s defense minister but it was unclear how long he will remain in post. Israel’s parliament will be dissolved next week ahead of the fifth election in three years, after weeks of pressure on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s fragile coalition.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, head of the largest party in the coalition, will take over as interim prime minister until the elections can take place.


Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes
Updated 16 August 2022

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes
  • 2 soldiers were wounded in last Friday’s clashes between army units and terrorists

DUBAI: Tunisia’s minister of defense, Imed Memmiche, visited two soldiers who were wounded in last Friday’s clashes between army units and terrorists in Mount Salloum in Kasserine. 
 
Memmiche went to the Tunis military hospital on Monday to commend the men for their ‘patriotism and sense of duty’, according to the Ministry of Defense’s statement released on state news agency TAP.


UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222
Updated 16 August 2022

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222
  • The non-profit organization has donated to 22,517 projects so far this year

Dar Al Ber Society has spent over $56 million during the first half of 2022 on charitable and sustainable development projects that have benefitted 2.9 million people worldwide and in the UAE, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Monday. 

The non-profit organization has donated to 22,517 projects so far this year, according to WAM. 

More than $13.6 million were donated to a total of 8,901 projects in the first quarter of this year, while $14,128,257 were directed to 13,616 projects in the second quarter, the CEO and Managing Director of Dar Al Ber SocietyMuhammad Suhail Al-Muhairi said. 

Some of these humanitarian projects have been completed while others are underway, he added. 

The Dar Al Ber Society helped build 2,144 mosques – 904 in the first quarter and 1,240 in the second quarter. 

A total of 8,121 water-saving projects were also built with the help of the donations, Al-Muhairi said.

The organization helped set up 4,929 projects for families, as well as launch 5,285 medical projects, according to WAM. 

Dar Al Ber also implemented its seasonal projects in 37 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, in cooperation with 32 of its partners in the respective countries.

Represented by the Department of Zakat in the Projects and Zakat Sector, Dar Al Ber Society donated more than $11.6 million in local aid to 346,541 beneficiaries.


Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis
Updated 16 August 2022

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis
  • The meeting represented “positive and constructive dialogue that reflects the strength of bilateral relations”

DUBAI: Tunisia’s foreign minister discussed ways to rectify the democratic process in the country during a meeting with the chargée d'affaires at the US Embassy in Tunis on Monday. 
Othman Jerandi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad, met with Natasha Franceschi, chargée d'affaires at the US Embassy, to step up consultations between the two countries, Tunisia’s state news agency TAP reported. 
The meeting represented “positive and constructive dialogue that reflects the strength of bilateral relations,” the Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement.
Upcoming bilateral events, such as the Joint Military Commission, were also discussed at the meeting, according to the same statement.
During the meeting, Jerandi welcomed the ties between the two countries, while Franceschi stressed the US’ keenness to develop partnerships with Tunisia in all sectors.
Franceschi also presented America’s initiative to host the US-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled for Dec. 13-15 in Washington.


Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three
Updated 16 August 2022

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three
  • Similar police operations were also undertaken in Zarqa, northeast of Amman

DUBAI: Three people were arrested after Jordanian police on Monday raided a house in East Amman that was being used as a crystal meth laboratory.

The raid was carried out after agents of the anti-narcotics department received a tip off.

The officers did not find the suspect in his home, but discovered and subsequently seized chemicals used for manufacturing methamphetamine.

The man was arrested later during a follow-up operation, where he also said he had an accomplice who worked with him to produce and sell the narcotics.

In a similar effort in Jordan’s campaign to crack down on the illegal drug trade, police raided a chalet west of Al-Balqa and arrested a man found in possession of marijuana and as well as a firearm on suspicion after he tried to flee.

Similar police operations were also undertaken in Zarqa, northeast of Amman, where suspects have been arrested while in possession of illegal drugs and narcotics.


Iran submits a ‘written response’ in nuclear deal talks

Iran submits a ‘written response’ in nuclear deal talks
Updated 16 August 2022

Iran submits a ‘written response’ in nuclear deal talks

Iran submits a ‘written response’ in nuclear deal talks
  • No details offered on the substance of Iran’s response
  • But Tehran suggested it still would not take the EU-mediated proposal

DUBAI: Iran said Tuesday it submitted a “written response” to what has been described as a final roadmap to restore its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency offered no details on the substance of it response, but suggested that Tehran still wouldn’t take the European Union-mediated proposal, despite warnings there would be no more negotiations.
“The differences are on three issues, in which the United States has expressed its verbal flexibility in two cases, but it should be included in the text,” the IRNA report said. “The third issue is related to guaranteeing the continuation of (the deal), which depends on the realism of the United States.”
Tehran under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has repeatedly tried to blame Washington for the delay in reaching an accord. Monday was reported to have been a deadline for their response.
There was no immediate acknowledgment from the EU that Iran submitted its response. The EU has been the go-between in the indirect talks.
From Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US would share its own response to the EU.
“We do agree, however, with (the EU’s) fundamental point, and that is that what could be negotiated has been negotiated,” Price said.
He added that Iran had been making “unacceptable demands” going beyond the text of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Iran drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
“If Iran wants these sanctions lifted, they will need to alter their underlying conduct,” Price said. “They will need to change the dangerous activities that gave rise to these sanctions in the first place.”