Israeli forces kill woman in West Bank as Abbas deplores Netanyahu’s anti-peace policies

Update Israeli forces kill woman in West Bank as Abbas deplores Netanyahu’s anti-peace policies
The Palestinian leader said that he adopted the political method of peaceful popular resistance that is acceptable to all parties. (AFP/File)
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Updated 14 November 2022

Israeli forces kill woman in West Bank as Abbas deplores Netanyahu’s anti-peace policies

Israeli forces kill woman in West Bank as Abbas deplores Netanyahu’s anti-peace policies
  • President says he has ‘no other choice’ than to ‘deal’ with new PM 

RAMALLAH: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated his concerns over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line policies as Israeli troops killed 16-year-old Palestinian girl Fullah Masalmah in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that the girl, from the town of Dahiriya, south of Hebron, died after Israeli soldiers shot her in the head during their storming of Beitunia.

The Israeli armed forces rounded up several Palestinians across the West Bank at dawn on Monday and carried out vast invasive operations in several West Bank towns.

Abbas said that Netanyahu was “not a man who believes in peace” with the Palestinians but that he would be forced to “deal with him,” even if the prospects for peace talks were minimal.

He made the remarks in a TV interview with an Egyptian channel on Nov. 13.

Abbas told the news channel: “I have known Netanyahu for a long time and have dealt with him a lot since the 90s. He is a man who does not believe in peace.”

The president said: “I deal with him because I have no other choice; with whom do I deal as a representative of Israel? There is a problem between me and Israel that occupies my land and my country. Who is its prime minister? Netanyahu. I have to deal with him, and at the same time, I stick to my position.”

Notably, Israel’s current and recent former leaders — Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid — refused direct contact with Abbas.

At the same time, there was limited Israeli connection with the Palestinian leader through Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who had focused on security cooperation and resolving Palestinian humanitarian issues.

Abbas said: “If he (Netanyahu) does not believe in peace, I say let’s find another solution. No. Peace is necessary. The proof is that we have often forced him to go to the US to discuss the peace process. But he is a man who does not believe in peace and believes that the occupation will remain forever.”

He added: “In the US now, many Americans do not accept his position and many American Jews — and this is something new — say that Israel is an apartheid state. In addition, 90 percent of America’s churches do not believe in Israel’s policy and publicly declare that this policy will not lead to any result.”

Abbas added that the Palestinians were working in a cumulative way to promote the Palestinian narrative in the US in an effort to overturn the dominance of pro-Israeli thought.

“The Palestinian people are fully aware of this policy, and there are no illusions that the solution will be tomorrow because we have been under occupation for 75 years. We know Israel. It’s challenging to withdraw from the Palestinian lands unless their theory fails,” Abbas said.

He added: “We recently talked with the Israelis about the bilateral relationship. We told them the Oslo Accords say it is forbidden to carry out unilateral actions on both sides. You are doing unilateral actions; stop it and release our money.”

The president praised the efforts of Egypt and Algeria to promote reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas as a success, adding that he only asks Hamas to recognize that the PLO is the representative of the Palestinian people and identify its international legitimacy.

Abbas said that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the most crucial political vehicle for Palestinians since the Nakba and that there would neither be a state nor a Palestinian entity without the PLO.

In his interview, Abbas also criticized Washington’s brokering of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, warning that not a single step forward had been taken since the US became involved in the Palestine dossier.

“Since the US laid its hand on the Palestinian-Israeli file in 1993 until today, the case has not progressed. We are in negotiations and in contact with the Americans about the bilateral relationship daily,” Abbas added.

The Palestinian leader said that he adopted the political method of peaceful popular resistance that is acceptable to all parties, adding that the Palestinian issue is “complicated” and “the solution is far away.”

Abbas said: “We seek permanent membership in the UN and access to the International Court of Justice despite the pressures, knowing that the UN has ignored us for more than 70 years.

“But we will continue regardless of the pressures without hesitation, because we are the owners of a cause and maintain our independent decision.”


Gulf Air steward dies mid-air after suffering heart attack

Gulf Air steward dies mid-air after suffering heart attack
Updated 28 November 2022

Gulf Air steward dies mid-air after suffering heart attack

Gulf Air steward dies mid-air after suffering heart attack
  • Plane landed in Erbil and was immediately met by medical team
  • Al-Yazidi was pronounced dead on arrival in nearby hospital

LONDON: Air steward Yasser Saleh Al-Yazidi died mid-air after suffering a heart attack on a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Paris on Tuesday, Mail Online reported. 

The Airbus A321 was flying at 34,000 feet over Iraq when Al-Yazidi became ill, Erbil International Airport Director Ahmed Hoshyar told Iraqi media.

The pilots were forced to make an emergency landing in Erbil, Kurdistan, so that the crew member could receive medical treatment, Mail Online reported.

When the plane touched down, a medical team immediately transferred Al-Yazidi to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The plane was grounded for nearly four hours in Erbil before continuing on its way to Paris.

In the wake of Al-Yazidi’s death, the Bahrain-owned airline issued a statement.

“The national carrier expresses its deepest condolences to the crew member’s family and loved ones and confirms that the flight resumed to Paris as scheduled,” it read.

“Gulf Air reassures that the safety of its passengers and crew comes at the top of its priorities and thanks the affected flight’s passengers for their patience and understanding.”

Flight attendants with Gulf Air go through an intensive eight-week program in which they are trained in first aid, safety and emergency procedures.

As most commercial flights do not carry specialized medical equipment, however, pilots are generally required to perform an emergency landing if any serious medical issues arise, Mail Online said.

 


Senate slams European Parliament decision criticizing Egypt’s human rights record

Senate slams European Parliament decision criticizing Egypt’s human rights record
Updated 28 November 2022

Senate slams European Parliament decision criticizing Egypt’s human rights record

Senate slams European Parliament decision criticizing Egypt’s human rights record
  • Senate Speaker Abdel Wahab Abdel Razek accused the European Parliament of continually adopting positions and policies based on ‘fragile assumptions and misconceptions’
  • Abdel Razek: ‘Unfortunately, these policies are outdated, reminiscent of a European colonial legacy, and reveal nothing but a hidden desire to spread the culture of a particular civilization’

CAIRO: The Egyptian Senate has branded a European Parliament resolution criticizing Egypt’s progress on improving its human rights record as being based on “fragile assumptions and misconceptions.”

Senate Speaker Abdel Wahab Abdel Razek told a House of Representatives plenary session that the decision was unacceptable and went against “international rules and norms.”

The European Parliament resolution highlighted what it described as a lack of improvement in Egypt’s human rights situation including on the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly or association, and media freedoms.

Calling for a review of the EU’s relations with Egypt in light of “very limited progress on its human rights record,” the European Parliament also demanded the “immediate and unconditional release of a number of political activists, journalists, lawyers, and social media influencers.”

In a speech, Abdel Razek said: “We all received with displeasure the decision issued by the European Parliament on Nov. 24 regarding the human rights situation in Egypt.”

He accused the European Parliament of continually adopting positions and policies based on, “fragile assumptions and misconceptions and an attempt to claim that it has the authority to evaluate and hold others accountable outside the borders of its members, in violation of international rules and norms.

“Unfortunately, these policies are outdated, reminiscent of a European colonial legacy, and reveal nothing but a hidden desire to spread the culture of a particular civilization. These are issues that no free country, particularly Egypt, will accept,” he added.

In a statement on Friday, the Egyptian Parliament said the resolution, “shows again that the European Parliament insists on adopting an arrogant approach toward Egypt, giving itself the right to use a host of sheer lies to deliver a judgement regarding some recent developments inside Egypt.”

Abdel Razek noted that Egypt had sought to strengthen efforts to improve the lives of its citizens.

He highlighted the Decent Life Initiative as one of the country’s most important projects bringing together the public and private sectors, and civil society, to help boost living standards for Egypt’s neediest groups.

He added that Egypt had launched a national dialogue to identify issues of concern to citizens and had also reactivated the Presidential Pardon Committee which had previously worked to grant amnesty to convicts and reintegrate them into society.

In addition, millions of refugees and asylum seekers had been welcomed to Egypt, Abdel Razek said, adding that efforts to promote and preserve all human rights within the framework of a national vision were ongoing.


Iran frees hundreds after World Cup win over Wales

Iran frees hundreds after World Cup win over Wales
Updated 28 November 2022

Iran frees hundreds after World Cup win over Wales

Iran frees hundreds after World Cup win over Wales
  • 709 detainees were freed from different prisons in the country
  • Prominent Iranian actor Hengameh Ghaziani had also been released on bail

TEHRAN: Iran has released more than 700 prisoners after the national team’s World Cup football victory over Wales, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said Monday.
It announced that “709 detainees were freed from different prisons in the country” following the 2-0 victory on Friday.
Among those are “some arrested during the recent events,” Mizan Online said, making indirect reference to demonstrations which have shaken Iran for more than two months.
It gave no further detail.
The ongoing protests were triggered by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest by morality police for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.
Other Iranian media separately reported that prominent Iranian actor Hengameh Ghaziani had been released on bail after her arrest for having supported the protests.
Two of the most prominent figures detained over the demonstrations — former international footballer Voria Ghafouri and dissident Hossein Ronaghi — were also let out on bail, reports said.
State news agency IRNA reported on Monday that former state television host Mahmoud Shahriari, 63, had been released after two months in prison for “encouraging riots.”
Iran on Friday scored twice deep into stoppage time to stun Wales and breathe new life into its World Cup campaign ahead of a politically charged showdown Tuesday against the United States.
Iran lost its first World Cup match to England, 6-2.
Iran’s judiciary says more than 2,000 people have been charged since the start of the protests.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk last week said around 14,000 people have been arrested.

Related


Turkiye, Egypt to re-appoint ambassadors “in coming months”

Turkiye, Egypt to re-appoint ambassadors “in coming months”
Updated 28 November 2022

Turkiye, Egypt to re-appoint ambassadors “in coming months”

Turkiye, Egypt to re-appoint ambassadors “in coming months”

ANKARA: Turkiye and Egypt may restore full diplomatic ties and re-appoint ambassadors mutually “in coming months,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.
Ankara and Cairo may re-start diplomatic consultations led by deputy foreign ministers as part of a normalization process “soon,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.
After years of tension, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shook hands with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Qatar this month in what was described by the Egyptian presidency as a new start in bilateral relations.


Turkish forces nearly ready for a Syria ground operation – officials

Turkish forces nearly ready for a Syria ground operation – officials
Updated 28 November 2022

Turkish forces nearly ready for a Syria ground operation – officials

Turkish forces nearly ready for a Syria ground operation – officials
  • Eescalation comes after a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul two weeks ago that Ankara blamed on the YPG militia

ONCUPINAR, Turkiye: Turkiye’s army needs just a few days to be ready for a ground incursion into northern Syria and such a decision may come at a cabinet meeting on Monday, Turkish officials said, as Turkish forces bombarded a Kurdish militia across the border.
Howitzers fired daily from Turkiye have struck Kurdish YPG targets for a week, while warplanes have carried out airstrikes.
The escalation comes after a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul two weeks ago that Ankara blamed on the YPG militia. The YPG has denied involvement in the bombing and has responded at times to the cross-border attacks with mortar shelling.
“The Turkish Armed Forces needs just a few days to become almost fully ready,” one senior official said, adding that Turkiye-allied Syrian rebel fighters were ready for such an operation just a few days after the Nov. 13 Istanbul bomb.
“It won’t take long for the operation to begin,” he said. “It depends only on the president giving the word.”
Turkiye has previously launched military incursions in Syria against the YPG, regarding it as a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkiye, the United States and European Union designate a terrorist group.
The PKK has also denied carrying out the Istanbul attack, in which six people were killed on a busy pedestrian avenue.
President Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkiye would launch a land operation when convenient to secure its southern border. He will chair a cabinet meeting at 3:30 p.m. (1230 GMT).
“All the preparations are complete. It’s now a political decision,” another Turkish official told Reuters, also requesting anonymity ahead of the meeting.
Erdogan said back in May that Turkiye would soon launch a military operation against the YPG in Syria, but such an operation did not materialize at that time.
The first Turkish official said a ground operation, targeting the areas of Manbij, Kobani and Tel Rifat, was inevitable to link up the areas brought under the control of Turkiye and its Syrian allies with incursions since 2016.
Ankara had been in contact with Moscow and Washington about its military activities, the person added.
The United States has told NATO member Turkiye it has serious concerns that an escalation would affect the goal of fighting Daesh militants in Syria.
Russia asked Turkiye to refrain from a full-scale ground offensive. It has supported Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country’s 11-year war, while Ankara has backed rebels fighting to topple him.
On Monday, the defense ministry said Turkiye’s army had “neutralized” 14 YPG militants preparing to carry out attacks in Syrian areas under Turkiye’s control. It typically uses the term to describe casualties.
The defense ministry said on Saturday three Turkish soldiers had been killed in northern Iraq, where the military has been conducting an operation against the PKK since April.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, having traveled to the Iraqi border area, was quoted as telling military commanders on Sunday that Turkiye will “complete the tasks” of the mission.