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Middle East Political News

IRAN POLITICS: US Provocations Aimed at Demonizing Iran: UN Envoy

IRAN POLITICS: US Provocations Aimed at Demonizing Iran: UN Envoy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The new US administration officials should know that the failed experience of threats and sanctions forced their predecessors to come to the negotiating table. If they prefer to return to those times, Iran will definitely return to a situation much more advanced than the start of the [nuclear] negotiations, not within months and weeks, but in a matter of hours and days.”

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Saudi-Led Coalition Attacks Kill Many Children in Yemen: United Nations Report

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Saudi-Led Coalition Attacks Kill Many Children in Yemen: United Nations Report

“Now we know there is draft with the Saudis’ name on it. Let’s hope that when the list finally becomes public in a few weeks they’ll stay there,” Akshaya Kumar, deputy UN director at Human Rights Watch. Yemen, which is on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, has been engulfed in civil war since September 2014, when Houthi rebels swept into the capital Sanaa and overthrew President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognised government.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Assad Extends Grip in Areas Captured From ISIS

SYRIA POLITICS: Assad Extends Grip in Areas Captured From ISIS

Rolf Holmboe, Research Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and former Danish Ambassador to Syria said, “..The Russians want a solution on their terms, which is one where Assad stays in power. The ceasefires do two things. They allow the Russians to take control of the political negotiations and look good internationally. But more importantly, they allow Assad and the Iranian-backed militias to free troops to grab the territory that Islamic State is about to lose.”

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QATAR POLITICS: Saudi-Led Siege Failed to Bring Qatar to its Knees: Mutlaq Majed al-Qahtani

QATAR POLITICS: Saudi-Led Siege Failed to Bring Qatar to its Knees: Mutlaq Majed al-Qahtani

Mutlaq Majed al-Qahtani, the Qatari foreign minister’s special envoy for counterterrorism and mediation said, “If Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — the countries driving the confrontation, despite the appearance of a unified bloc — hoped to bring Qatar to its knees, they have failed. If they hoped to damage Qatar’s reputation and improve their own, they have failed. If they hoped to enhance their relationship with the US at Qatar’s expense, again, they have failed.”

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Mohammed bin Salman Wants End of War in Yemen

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Mohammed bin Salman Wants End of War in Yemen

Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the Saudi throne, confessed to two former US officials he “wants out” of the brutal two-year war he started in Yemen. More than 10,000 people have been killed and 40,000 injured in the war in Yemen, since bin Salman launched his Decisive Storm campaign to regain the country from Houthi control. Yemen is being ravaged by an outbreak of cholera that has infected 500,000 people.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: 50% of Gaza Patients Exit Permits Delayed By Israel: WHO

ISRAEL POLITICS: 50% of Gaza Patients Exit Permits Delayed By Israel: WHO

“There must be a drastic change in Israeli policy toward the exit of patients and toward Gaza in general. The fact that patients sometimes don’t get answers for months is cruel and the weakest population pays the price,” Ran Goldstein, the director of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said.

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IRAN POLITICS: Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Pass Bill in Response to US Sanctions

IRAN POLITICS: Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Pass Bill in Response to US Sanctions

In a session Sunday, 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, with only one abstention, to confront “America’s terrorist and adventurous actions” in the region. The plan would require Iran’s government and armed forces to draw up a strategy to counter US violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian bodies and individuals affected by US sanctions. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is the head of an Iranian commission tasked with monitoring the agreement’s implementation, told MPs that the government backed the bill which he described as “very strong.”

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KURDISTAN POLITICS: US to Massoud Barzani: Postpone Referendum

KURDISTAN POLITICS: US to Massoud Barzani: Postpone Referendum

Rex Tillerson said Washington “would want for the referendum to be postponed and that the issues between the Kurdistan region and the federal government in Baghdad should be addressed through dialogue.”

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Shia Dissident Haider Al Lif Must Die: Saudi Court Verdict

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Shia Dissident Haider Al Lif Must Die: Saudi Court Verdict

The Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh issued the ruling against Haider Al Lif on Friday, Arabic-language Ahrar television network reported. Saudi rights activists have condemned the verdict, arguing that Saudi authorities had earlier decided to overturn the decision against the Shia activist.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Israel Demolishes Four Palestinian Homes in West Bank

PALESTINE POLITICS: Israel Demolishes Four Palestinian Homes in West Bank

According to local residents, some 50 Israel military vehicles raided the village, alongside Israeli bulldozers, while Israeli drones were flying above the village. The punitive demolition attack in Deir Abu Mashaal left a total of 22 people homeless, despite the fact that they had not been charged with any wrongdoing, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Corruption Scandal: Netanyahu Household Under Scrutiny

ISRAEL POLITICS: Corruption Scandal: Netanyahu Household Under Scrutiny

Court filings revealed Netanyahu was now officially a suspect in bribery, breach of trust, and fraud cases. It’s not just the prime minister — his whole household is under scrutiny: The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on Monday that his wife, Sara Netanyahu, will likely be indicted soon for misuse of government funds.

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YEMEN POLITICS: Supreme Political Council Urges Active EU Role in Conflict Resolution Efforts

YEMEN POLITICS: Supreme Political Council Urges Active EU Role in Conflict Resolution Efforts

Saleh Ali al-Sammad, the Yemen’s Supreme Political Council’s head expressed hope that the EU would draw the world’s attention to the sufferings of the Yemeni people, citing the bloc’s influence on the United Nations’ Security Council member states. The protracted war, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade, has already killed over 12,000 Yemenis.

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Amnesty Over, ‘Illegal Expatriates’ Await Saudi Crackdown

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: Amnesty Over, ‘Illegal Expatriates’ Await Saudi Crackdown

Saudi authorities estimate more than 600,000 people took the amnesty, which allowed any foreigner in breach of residency laws in the world’s top oil exporter to leave without penalty. “We don’t know what will happen to us,” said Atif Alam, 28, an Indian worker at a desolate labor camp in eastern Riyadh who fears a police raid. He rarely leaves the camp, wary of being seized at police checkpoints on roads throughout Riyadh.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel to Revoke Media Credentials of Al Jazeera Journalists and Close the Network’s Office in Jerusalem

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel to Revoke Media Credentials of Al Jazeera Journalists and Close the Network’s Office in Jerusalem

“Censoring Al Jazeera or closing its offices will not bring stability to the region, but it would put Israel firmly in the camp of some of the region’s worst enemies of press freedom. Israel should abandon these undemocratic plans and allow Al Jazeera and all journalists to report freely from the country and areas it occupies,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Programme Coordinator Sherif Mansour said in a statement.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: 75-Year-Old Palestinian Woman and Her Family to be Evicted By Israel from their Age-Old House

ISRAEL POLITICS: 75-Year-Old Palestinian Woman and Her Family to be Evicted By Israel from their Age-Old House

Fahamiya Shamasneh said, “Fifty-three years here means leaving is not easy — it is a lifetime. I was a young girl when I came to this house. The police are threatening us. We don’t know what to do. We will not leave of our own will. Maybe if they force us, carry us and throw us on the streets, then we’ll go.”

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SYRIA POLITICS: Foreign Fighters Return ‘Disillusioned’ By Groups They Joined: UN Reports

SYRIA POLITICS: Foreign Fighters Return ‘Disillusioned’ By Groups They Joined: UN Reports

“It is this failure to deliver, coupled with its extreme, violent ideology and brutal tactics, its in-fighting and the corruption of some of its leaders, that, according to this survey, most often gives rise to the disappointment and sense of disenfranchisement and exclusion that leads foreign terrorist fighters to defect,” UN report says.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Netanyahu Former Aide Ari Harow to Testify Against Him in Corruption Case

ISRAEL POLITICS: Netanyahu Former Aide Ari Harow to Testify Against Him in Corruption Case

The police have been interrogating Netanyahu, over allegations that he unlawfully accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters and separately held talks with the publisher of a top-selling Israeli newspaper for positive coverage in exchange for diminishing the impact of a free pro-Netanyahu daily.

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SYRIA POLITICS: 10 Russian Servicemen Killed Fighting in Syria this Year 2017

SYRIA POLITICS: 10 Russian Servicemen Killed Fighting in Syria this Year 2017

The scale of Russian military casualties in peace time has been a state secret since Putin issued a decree three months before Russia launched its operation in Syria. While Russia does not give total casualties, it does disclose some deaths.

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QATAR POLITICS: Qatar Buys Seven Warships Worth 5 Billion Euro from Italy Amid Diplomatic Row With Saudi Arabia

QATAR POLITICS: Qatar Buys Seven Warships Worth 5 Billion Euro from Italy Amid Diplomatic Row With Saudi Arabia

“We have signed a contract on behalf of the Qatar navy to acquire seven warships from Italy for five billion euros ($5.9 billion),” media outlets quoted the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Saeb Erekat: ‘US Silence on Settlements, Two-State Solution Encouraging Israel’s Apartheid Policies’

PALESTINE POLITICS: Saeb Erekat: ‘US Silence on Settlements, Two-State Solution Encouraging Israel’s Apartheid Policies’

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

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