Saudi Arabia leads condemnations of Israel’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Update Saudi Arabia leads condemnations of Israel’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque
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Jews visit the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City as Israel marks Tisha B'Av, the ninth day in the Hebrew month of Av, the destruction of the First and Second Temples, August 7, 2022. (Reuters)
Update Saudi Arabia leads condemnations of Israel’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque
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Israeli police stand by as Jews, including Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, visit the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City as Israel marks Tisha B'Av, on August 7, 2022. (Reuters)
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Updated 08 August 2022

Saudi Arabia leads condemnations of Israel’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Saudi Arabia leads condemnations of Israel’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque
  • Regional governments call for international to pressure on Israel to end the violence

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday condemned Israeli settlers storming Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard, in what the Kingdom called a “serious violation of international law.”

In a statement, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community to end the escalation and provide the necessary protection for Palestinian civilians.

The Kingdom said the attack violated the sanctity of the holy sites in Jerusalem, which contributes to exacerbating tensions and prolonging violence, amid escalations in Gaza that killed over 40 Palestinians and injured scores more this week.

 

 

Jordan, the custodian of the site, urged Israel to respect the sanctity of the compound and to “halt measures aimed at altering the historical and legal status quo.”

In a statement published on Petra news agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates’ spokesperson Haitham Abu Alfoul stressed that running the affairs of the holy site was exclusively under the jurisdiction of Jordanian-run Waqf (endowments) and al-Aqsa Affairs Administration in Jerusalem.

Abu Alfoul described Israel’s actions as a “violation of the historical and legal status quo and international law” and said it is a disrespect to the authority of the administration.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it held the Israeli government fully and directly responsible for its ongoing aggression against Christian and Islamic holy sites, the foremost of which was Al-Aqsa, and for the danger posed to and repercussions for the entire region.

A statement issued by the Islamic Awqaf (affiliated with Jordan and in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque) and signed by other Islamic commissions in Jerusalem stated: “Barbarism, no matter how much, will not change the reality of the Islamic mosque.”

It said the Islamic bodies and authorities stress their adherence to and support for the guardianship of King Abdullah II over Al-Aqsa Mosque and all Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

Qatar’s foreign ministry said the “provocative practices” are part of the attempts to alter the historical and legal status of Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling on the international community to halt Israel’s attempts to transform the ongoing conflict into a “religious war.”

 

 

The ministry said the provocative violations that coincide with the recent attacks on Gaza will lead to “a dangerous escalation of violence.”  

Kuwait condemned the Israeli actions as an attempt to change the historical and legal status of Al-Quds and its sanctities.

In a statement, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that the attacks would increase violence and tension and threaten the stability of the region. 

Kuwait also called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to curb these attacks, put an end to them and provide protection for the Palestinian people and their sanctities.

The Muslim World League also condemned the storming of the mosque, saying it was a serious violation of international resolutions and laws.

The League and its international councils, bodies and councils denounced the “dangerous escalation” that impacts on the sanctity of Islamic sites.

The chairman of the African Union commission also condemned Israeli “airstrike attacks” in the Gaza Strip as violence escalates in the troubled region.

 

“Moussa Faki Mahamat strongly condemns the continued airstrike attacks by Israel on Gaza,” an AU statement said.

The “targeting of civilians and the continued illegal occupation by Israeli security forces of the Occupied Territories, are in stark violation of international law, and complicate the search for a just and lasting solution,” the statement said.

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Palestinians protest against violent crackdown by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestinians protest against violent crackdown by Israeli forces in West Bank
Updated 15 sec ago

Palestinians protest against violent crackdown by Israeli forces in West Bank

Palestinians protest against violent crackdown by Israeli forces in West Bank
  • The demonstrations took place the day after army incursions into Jenin that left four Palestinians, including a 7-year-old boy, dead and more than 50 injured
  • Ibrahim Melhem, a spokesperson for the Palestinian government, said Palestinians from all sections of society are paying the price for the unjustified Israeli violence

RAMALLAH: Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated in the center of Ramallah on Thursday in response to a violent crackdown by Israeli authorities in the West Bank this week.
A strike was organized in protest against the Israeli army’s incursion into Jenin on Wednesday that left four Palestinians dead and more than 50 injured.
Palestinian medical sources at the Beit Jala Hospital said on Thursday that a 7-year-old boy was among the dead. Witnesses said Rayan Suleiman was with a group of Palestinian youths who were chased by Israeli soldiers on Wednesday during a confrontation in Taqua village in southeastern Bethlehem. He reportedly collapsed after his heart stopped. He was taken to the hospital but declared dead.
Ibrahim Melhem, a spokesperson for the Palestinian government, described the situation in the West Bank as intimidating and said Palestinians from all sections of society are paying the price for the unjustified Israeli violence.
He criticized Israeli soldiers for terrorizing students by carrying out raids on schools, resulting in incidents such as the one that caused the death of Rayan.
“The mere presence of soldiers in schools is a terrifying sight, so what about when they arrest students?” Melhem said.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry described Rayan’s death as a “heinous crime committed by the occupation forces.”
It said it holds the Israeli government directly responsible for the escalation in violence and condemned the aggression of the occupation forces in their violent incursions into Palestinian areas, measures that restrict the movement of Palestinians in their own land, the demolitions of Palestinian homes carried out by Israeli forces, and attacks by settler militias that take place under the supervision, protection and support of the Israeli government and its various military and security arms.
Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, told Arab News that Israel is waging an open and comprehensive war against Palestinian citizens, targeting their land and holy sites in an attempt to break the will of the people and using Palestinian blood to secure votes from the extremist right in elections scheduled for Nov. 1.
A Palestinian citizen from Jenin told Arab news: “We struggled for 54 years to have an independent Palestinian state, not to get a work permit in construction or agriculture in Israel.”
Suhair Freitech, a Palestinian political activist from Nablus, told Arab News that the Israeli actions are designed to give the impression that there is no Palestinian political partner, in the leadership or among communities, that wants peace. In this way, he added, Israeli authorities can justify their violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli soldiers who protect settlers who storm Al-Aqsa Mosque portray the Palestinians who resist such incursions as terrorists, Freitech said, adding: “The real terrorists are the settlers who steal Palestinian land.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has ordered the deportation of several relatives of a Palestinian man who carried out a deadly attack five years ago in East Jerusalem.
In a message posted on Twitter, Shaked said she sent a notice to seven people related to Fadi Al-Qanbar, who killed four Israeli soldiers in a truck-ramming attack in Abu Tor neighborhood in 2017, telling them to “leave the country within a week or be forcefully deported.”
Jessica Montel, director of the Israel-based human rights organization HaMoked, told Arab News: “This is a political stunt, trying to win votes from the ultranationalists at the expense of East Jerusalem Palestinians.
“HaMoked is preparing an appeal to the Jerusalem District Court, challenging it. This is collective punishment and we hope the court will agree that this is unacceptable and prevent these deportations.”


Qatar joins IAEA board of governors

Qatar joins IAEA board of governors
Updated 15 min 40 sec ago

Qatar joins IAEA board of governors

Qatar joins IAEA board of governors
  • Country previously served on the board twice, from 2013 to 2015 and from 2016 to 2018

VIENNA: Qatar has been elected for membership of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency for 2022-2024, the Qatar News Agency reported. 

The election took place during the 66th IAEA general conference, which started on Monday and will run until Friday in Vienna.

Qatar has previously served on the board of governors twice, from 2013 to 2015 and from 2016 to 2018. 

The 35-member board, which is in charge of the IAEA’s main policy-making bodies, reviews and approves budgeting, operational programs, safeguards agreements and safety standards.

It also has the authority, with the approval of the general conference, to appoint the agency’s director general. 

Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Hammadi said Qatar’s election affirms the global appreciation for its responsible approach to the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program. 

He emphasized Qatar’s commitment to continuing to support the IAEA’s activities promoting the peaceful use of nuclear power, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and facilitating member states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology. 

Qatar is a signatory to the majority of nuclear safety, security and safeguards conventions. Since its accession in 1976, it has been an active member of the IAEA.

 


Details of ‘Great Arab Minds’ initiative announced in Dubai

Details of ‘Great Arab Minds’ initiative announced in Dubai
Updated 26 min 24 sec ago

Details of ‘Great Arab Minds’ initiative announced in Dubai

Details of ‘Great Arab Minds’ initiative announced in Dubai
  • ‘Great Arab Minds’ aims to identify, support and acknowledge leading thinkers in the region, amplify their impact and inspire future generations
  • Sheikh Mohammed believes in the importance of movement, change and development, and in the capabilities of Arab talents and their ambitions, said Al-Gergawi

DUBAI: A main purpose of the UAE’s ‘Great Arab Minds’ initiative is to reduce the emigration of Arab scientists, specialists, intellectuals, doctors, and engineers.
The UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Committee leading ‘Great Arab Minds’ Mohammed Al-Gergawi on Thursday highlighted the details of ‘The Great Arab Minds’ initiative, reported the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
In January 2022, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Arab world’s largest movement designed to search for exceptional talents among Arab scientists, thinkers, and innovators across key fields.
Al-Gergawi, also the Secretary-General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), said the ‘Great Arab Minds’, under the MBRGI, aims to identify, support and acknowledge leading thinkers in the region, amplify their impact and inspire future generations.
Sheikh Mohammed believes in the importance of movement, change and development, and in the capabilities of Arab talents and their ambitions, said Al-Gergawi.
He affirmed that the initiative reflects Sheikh Mohammed’s vision in reigniting the Arab World’s Civilization Drive, support great Arab minds and acknowledge their work and achievements, in service of humanity.
A study conducted by KPMG, showed that ignorance costs the Arab world more than $2 trillion. The Great Arab Minds initiative aims, according to WAM, to change this reality and contribute to shaping a brighter future for Arab generations.
During an event organized in the Museum of the Future to announce the details of the initiative, Al-Gergawi witnessed the signing of four partnerships between “The Great Arab Minds” initiative and KPMG, LinkedIn, Meta, and Majarra.
The initiative’s mission is to search for exceptional talents among Arab scientists, thinkers, and innovators across key fields, aiming to identify, support and acknowledge leading thinkers in the region, amplify their impact and inspire future generations.
Over a 5-year period, “The Great Arab Minds” will reward scientists, thought leaders, scholars, and innovators across 6 categories: Natural Sciences (Physics and Chemistry), Medicine, Literature and Arts, Economics, Technology and Engineering, and Architecture & Design.
The initiative includes the “Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Great Arab Minds,” which will be awarded to 6 winners of six categories each year.
The Great Arab Minds initiative aims to facilitate the recognition of Arab thought leaders, scholars, scientists, geniuses, and transforming their ideas to real-life breakthroughs and solutions.
It also aims at empowering cluster of Arab scientists and thinkers and building a network of Arab thinkers, scientists, and exceptional talents in various fields to work as one team to drive the Arab world’s intellectual renaissance.


US imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports

US imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports
Updated 53 sec ago

US imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports

US imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports
  • The US Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on a network of companies

WASHINGTON: The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on companies it suspects of involvement in Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum trade, including some based in China, as Washington warned of further actions to enforce its economic curbs on Tehran.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Washington placed sanctions on two China-based companies, Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd, and WS Shipping Co. Ltd, part of attempts to thwart sanctions evasion on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.
The US Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on a network of companies involved in what it said was the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to users in South and East Asia.
The action targeted Iranian brokers and front companies in countries including Hong Kong and India, the Treasury said in a statement.
Washington and Tehran’s indirect talks to revive a 2015 nuclear pact, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have broken down.
“As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA, we will continue to accelerate our enforcement of sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical sales under authorities that would be removed under the JCPOA,” Blinken said in the statement.
“These enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis, with an aim to severely restrict Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports.”
Blinken warned anyone involved in such sales and transactions should stop immediately if they wish to avoid being subjected to US sanctions. 


Egyptian representative urges nations to set aside political differences: COP27

Egyptian representative urges nations to set aside political differences: COP27
Updated 29 September 2022

Egyptian representative urges nations to set aside political differences: COP27

Egyptian representative urges nations to set aside political differences: COP27
  • During June’s UN climate meeting in Bonn, some nations walked out when Russian took the floor
  • Aboulmagd said countries must not use geopolitical issues that have occurred since COP26 to conceal their inaction

LONDON: As they prepare to host in November the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP27, Egyptian hosts called on countries to put aside their political differences to concentrate on the climate crisis, the Guardian reported. 

The UN climate summit, which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, will seek to build on the many carbon-cutting pledges made by participating companies and countries at COP26 in Glasgow last November. 

However, the world’s geopolitical situation has shifted dramatically in the last year. 

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has not only had significant implications for the global energy and food markets, but it has also made facilitating climate talks far more difficult. 

The diplomatic standoff between the US and China, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gasses, is another impediment to progress.

Wael Aboulmagd, the Egyptian government’s special representative for COP27, called on countries to focus on the urgency of the climate crisis and to continue negotiations despite any political tensions, the Guardian said.

“Animosity will have a cost. We as responsible diplomats ask everyone to rise to the occasion and show leadership,” Aboulmagd said on Wednesday. “Put political differences aside and come together.”

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, countries have a diplomatic responsibility to carry out negotiations irrespective of the external political context.

However, during a UN climate meeting in Bonn in June, some nations staged a walkout when Russia took to the conference floor before later returning. 

Aboulmagd said countries must not use the geopolitical issues that have occurred since COP26 to divert attention away from their inaction, according to the Guardian. 

“Show more ambition. I urge everyone not to use this unfolding geopolitical situation as a pretext for backsliding,” he said. 

Aboulmagd added that rising fossil fuel prices should instead serve as an incentive to find alternatives.

“I hope and urge everyone to take the right lesson from this: that overdependence on fossil fuels is problematic, and we need to expedite the transition to renewable energy.”

He reminded all countries who were present in Glasgow of the importance of cooperating to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of extreme weather.

“Set aside the adversarial zero-sum approach. With this most existential threat, we need to act to save lives and livelihoods. There is no time for delays, no pretext for not acting or backtracking.”