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Dagelijks archief 15 maart 2017

Activists: Soldiers tried to plant a knife on Palestinian teen in Hebron

The Palestinian bystander repeatedly shouted out to the soldiers “I understand Hebrew! Don’t kill him!”

Israeli soldiers tried to plant a knife on a 15-year-old Palestinian teen in occupied Hebron, footage released by local activists appears to show.

The reports have been called “false manipulations and an attempt to distort the truth” by the Israeli army.

The footage showed Israeli soldiers approaching the checkpoint with a knife in his hand, before another soldier leads 15-year-old Muhammad Qazzaz away.

Read: Palestinian killed by Israeli forces

In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson wrote to Ma’an yesterday saying that the knife was found in Qazzaz’s possession after he arrived at the checkpoint.

According to the spokesperson, Qazzaz later admitted during interrogation that “he planned to carry out a terror attack in the Jewish Quarter in Hebron.”

The spokesperson confirmed that Qazzaz had not yet been charged and investigations were still underway.

However, local activists with the group Human Rights Defenders – Zeidan al-Sharabati, who filmed the incident, and eyewitness Badi Al-Dweik – claimed that the detention could have taken a deadly turn if the encounter had not been filmed, and alleged soldiers were planning on planting the knife on the scene.

‘Don’t kill him’

When Al-Sharabati arrived near the checkpoint, he said he saw Qazzaz flat on the ground with a soldier, pointing a machine gun at his head, placing his boot on Qazzaz’s neck.

A second soldier was seen carrying a knife and then throwing it near the checkpoint. Sometime later, another soldier was seen picking up the same knife and then moving with the young Palestinian towards the Israeli police station, when the footage was taken.

Read: Israeli forces detain Palestinian women and children

According to Al-Sharabati and Al-Dweik, many local Palestinians had gathered around the checkpoint to witnesses the violent detention, one of which, who understood Hebrew, heard a soldier telling another soldier to shoot and kill Qazzaz.

The Palestinian bystander repeatedly shouted out to the soldiers “I understand Hebrew! Don’t kill him!”

Later, Israeli soldiers tried to force those who were filming to go away, the activists said, who insisted if that if witnesses hadn’t been there to document the event, Qazzaz would have been killed and the knife would have been planted beside his body.

(Source / 15.03.2017)

Hoofddoekverbod van Europees Hof is verkeerd besluit

Het Europese Hof van Justitie heeft uitspraak gedaan in twee zaken over het dragen van een hoofddoek; een was in de zaak van de Belgische Samira Achbita die haar ontslag kreeg van haar werkgever G4S en de tweede in de zaak van de Franse ICT-consultant Asma Bougnaoui, die van haar werkgever geen hoofddoek meer mocht dragen na een klacht van een klant.

Het Europese Hof heeft in haar uitspraak aangegeven dat een werkgever het neutraliteitsbeleid mag voeren ten aanzien van religieuze en politieke uitingen, mits de werkgever dit in het bedrijfsreglement heeft vastgelegd.

Advocaat Elsa van der Loo heeft aangegeven dat de uitspraak “onwenselijk is omdat dit een inperking van de vrijheid van godsdienst is en “ het mijn inziens juist wenselijk is dat bedrijven ook een afspiegeling van de samenleving zijn.” (commentaar via LinkedIN).

In de Volkskrant komt Jeroen Temperman, hoofddocent internationaal publiekrecht aan de Erasmus Universiteit en specialist op het gebied van religie en mensenrechten, aan het woord. Deze docent geeft aan dat het Hof het neutraliteitsideaal van de staat nu ook toepast op bedrijven. Het is te rechtvaardigen dat de staat een neutraal imago heeft en handhaaft maar als persoon hoef je dat niet.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor hoofddoek islam

Volgens mij kan het niet waar zijn dat je als je ‘s ochtends thuis de deur uitgaat, dat je je godsdienst aan de kapstok hangt en ‘s avonds als je thuis komt weer aantrekt.

De vraag blijft natuurlijk of een moslima de hoofddoek uit eigen vrije wil draagt en daar ga ik ook steeds van uit, daar een man een vrouw niet kan en mag dwingen.

Op het moment dat een moslima er voor kiest een hoofddoek te dragen, kiest ze dat bewust en zelf om haar geloof te volgen. Het kan daarna toch niet zo zijn dat een rechter beslist dat ze haar geloof niet mag volgen?  

Met deze uitspraak geeft het Europese Hof van Justitie een verkeerd signaal af. Door deze uitspraak wordt de moslima teruggeworpen in haar geloof. Juist het vrij en openlijk uitkomen voor je geloof – en zeker als moslima met een hoofddoek – is een bevrijding in de huidige maatschappij. De moslima laat zien dat ze zelf het besluit heeft genomen om een hoofddoek te dragen.

Een werkgever kan zo’n uitspraak vastleggen in de ‘voorschriften van het werk’; de zogenaamde “individuele instructie of instructies voor een groep, zoals gedragscodes , gedragsregels, kledingvoorschriften, protocol, huisregels over het gebruik van vreemde talen, etc.”  
Volgens de site moet een werkgever “er voor waken dat de voorschriften niet discrimineren. Dat kan zich bijvoorbeeld voordoen als hij voorschrijft dat werknemers alleen de Nederlandse taal mogen spreken of vrouwen geen hoofddoekjes mogen dragen.” Hier wordt dus aangegeven dat het discriminerend is als een werkgever tegen een moslima zegt dat ze haar hoofddoek niet mag dragen.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor hoofddoekop het werk

Ik ben van mening dat als een werkgever aan een moslima meldt dat ze niet met een hoofddoek mag verschijnen, dat dit gezien kan worden als een aanval op het geloof van de moslima en dus een antireligieuze opmerking. De moslima kan dit zien als een aanval op haar geloof.

Ik hoop dat Ondernemingsraadsleden en leden van medezeggingsraden het zullen opnemen voor het geloof en in dit geval voor de moslima. Ben benieuwd, na weer een aanval op het geloof, op de Islam.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian at separation wall near Bethlehem


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian with live fire Wednesday morning, as the man was attempting to pass through a gap in Israel’s separation wall in the occupied West Bank to go to work in Jerusalem.

Witnesses said that Israeli forces opened fire on the man in the Wadi Abu al-Hummus area, near Israel’s Mazmuriya military checkpoint east of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said they received the man, suffering from a gunshot wound in his left thigh, from Israeli forces who were heavily deployed at the checkpoint.
He was evacuated to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital for treatment, where his injury was described as moderate.
The Palestinian Red Crescent identified him as 27-year-old Ahmad Radaideh, from the town of al-Ubeidiya east of Bethlehem.
Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israel-issued permit, and many risk being shot and injured while trying to cross into Israel to work.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.
(Source / 15.03.2017)

Who will Abbas meet first: Putin or Trump?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 29, 2017

The invitation extended by US President Donald Trump to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took Israel by complete surprise. It was made March 10 during a phone call in the evening hours at Trump’s initiative. According to a Palestinian source who spoke with Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, Trump was courteous and attentive, sounding out Abbas on how he views the future of talks with Israel and whether he thinks an agreement can be reached. Abbas answered in the affirmative, and the two arranged to meet in the Oval Office, according to the source.

When the Palestinian president put down the phone at the end of the call, “Team Trump” breathed a sigh of relief. If all goes as planned and the meeting takes place in May, the tempestuous president will get to know Abbas personally and, to the extent possible, see through the diabolical image of him that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has painted over the years.

That does not mean that Abbas’ associates are sanguine. The attitude toward the new president is, as President Ronald Reagan said of the Soviets, “trust but verify.” But the restrained and calculated diplomacy (and some Palestinians would proudly add “clever”) adopted by the Palestinian Authority (PA) has yielded impressive results far beyond expectations. For example, Trump has already laid down the law to Netanyahu on Israeli settlements in the West Bank (asking Netanyahu not to build any new settlements), all thanks to the backstage diplomacy conducted by the Palestinians.

As reported first by Al-Monitor, the initiative to invite the Palestinian president to the White House was hatched in February at a meeting in PA headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah between Abbas and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. A solid personal relationship forged with Majid Faraj, the head of the Palestinian Security Services, was a contributing factor. The Pompeo-Abbas meeting was held at the same time as Trump and Netanyahu were sitting down to talk at the White House. The Palestinians understood that they must get Trump and Abbas together as soon as possible before the US president has time to formulate a misguided policy based on what he has heard from Netanyahu and from pro-Israel Trump administration figures.

Following the joint Feb. 15 Trump-Netanyahu White House press conference, the Palestinians set themselves three goals. The first, to reinforce the two-state principle as an inviolable condition without which no diplomatic process is possible; second, to debunk what they define as “dissemination of incitement” in the new administration by Netanyahu against Abbas and the Palestinians; and third, which has already been achieved, to open a communications channel with the White House after it had seemed for long weeks that Trump was oblivious to the Palestinians.

“I don’t know what worried us more,” said the Palestinian source. “Whether it was Trump talking offhandedly about one state and two states as if the issue wasn’t a cardinal one, or the fact that he swallowed hook, line and sinker Netanyahu’s oft-repeated mantra that the PA incites against Israel and teaches its children to hate Israel from an early age.”

The speed with which Pompeo arranged a White House invitation surprised the Palestinians. Trump’s call came less than a month after Pompeo’s visit to PA headquarters and even before the March arrival in the region of presidential envoy (representative for international negotiations) Jason Greenblatt. The proffered invitation put Team Trump into overdrive to prepare the Palestinian president for a meeting that could rightly be defined as “crucial.”

The PA’s top officials still don’t know what to make of Greenblatt, who is tasked with getting a diplomatic process back on track. This is an observant, Orthodox Jew, who studied at the Har Etzion yeshiva in the settlement of Elon Shvut in the West Bank, and is considered a fervent supporter of Israeli settlements there. Is there a chance of his understanding the difficulties Abbas faces and the despair of the Palestinians? Will he be able to convey the facts to Trump in an objective manner without adopting a staunch, one-sided pro-Israel approach? These are substantive questions that the Palestinians have about many of those Trump has named to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For now, the Palestinians have decided to treat Greenblatt as they do Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In other words, to set aside their concerns and focus on convincing the president that Abbas wishes to reach a fitting diplomatic arrangement with Israel.

The Palestinian source says that for now, Trump does not intend to present Abbas with any type of plan, only to discuss the principles and course for renewing negotiations with Israel — in other words, to get to know Abbas personally and hear his positions.

“Everyone understands that Trump intends to bring other sides into the negotiations, especially Egypt and Jordan, and indirectly Saudi Arabia, too,” the source said. As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Palestinians will seek to learn from Trump how he sees Russia’s role in a comprehensive regional move. The Palestinians are hoping that the White House meeting takes place before Abbas’ scheduled Kremlin meeting in May.

At this stage, Team Trump is recommending that Abbas insist on resuming negotiations with Israel where they left off in the past and not start from scratch. But given that Trump is intent on obliterating every vestige of the Obama administration, this might not be so simple.

(Source / 15.03.2017)

What will Hamas charter change mean for Israel?

Yahya Sinwar (L), the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and senior political leaders of the Islamist movement Khalil al-Haya (C) and Ismail Haniyeh (R) attend the opening of a new mosque in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Feb. 24, 2017

In the coming weeks, Hamas is due to unveil the draft of a revised charter that softens the movement’s positions on the conflict with Israel. Talking to the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Hamas sources said that the salient changes to the document include recognition of the 1967 borders and replacement of the term “Jews,” described as enemies, with the term “occupiers.” The draft will probably also include an announcement about severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas’ original charter underscores the affinity between the movement and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, known for its rejection of any diplomatic process with Israel. Nonetheless, the new charter, like the original document, will not include recognition of the State of Israel and will rule out any concession on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Should the charter’s expected amendment, especially its recognition of the borders delineating Israel until the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, result in a shift in Israeli policies toward the organization? It depends on whom one asks.

Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, a proponent of dialogue with Hamas, said in May 2016 that the organization’s leadership knows it has no chance of annihilating Israel. In his view, there is no reason to fear Iran’s influence on Hamas, because it has cut itself off from Tehran and aspires to establish contact with Israel. In September 2016, Halevy predicted that in any case, once a solid majority of Palestinians understand that their prospects of getting a state of their own have dissipated, and that negotiations between Israel and the current Palestinian leadership are nothing but a sham, their only recourse will be to adopt Hamas’ way.

Nimrod Novick, a former adviser to Prime Minister Shimon Peres and currently a research fellow at the Israel Policy Forum, told Al-Monitor, “Saying unequivocally that today’s Hamas is the same Hamas of a few years ago and the same Hamas of 10 or 20 years from now is far-reaching and pretentious and ignores changes the organization has already undergone.” Novick, also a board member of the Commanders for Israel’s Security, added that Hamas has made it quite clear that it would abide by the wishes of the people. According to Novick’s sources, the new Hamas charter will reaffirm the movement’s commitment to back any arrangement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership — as long as it is put to a referendum and wins the support of the majority of Palestinians.

Novick bemoans that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert refused to give Hamas an opportunity to prove its intentions after receiving verbal and written messages from the movement in 2009 about establishing a dialogue. The organization reportedly conveyed its willingness to open a dialogue with Israel, through a third party, regarding a long-term agreement on coexistence (not a “peace” agreement or an “end to the conflict”). At the time, the Israeli public paid little attention to the messages, even though it included “an effort to achieve a settlement of the core issues” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, apart from the most volatile core issues, that is, Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees. Novick noted that since that missed opportunity, Hamas has become less powerful and less united. He therefore advises that Israel beware of opening any channels of communication with the organization without making significant progress in negotiations with the current Palestinian leadership.

Mati Steinberg, a Jerusalem-based Middle East scholar who served as adviser on Palestinian affairs to Shin Bet chiefs, takes the opposite tack. He argues that not only is there no point in talking to Hamas, but such a move would inflict severe, long-term damage to Israel’s strategic interests. He believes the new Hamas charter will also include a temporary, or possibly even long-term, “hudna” (cease-fire or truce).

“Hamas assumes that Israeli willingness to make do with a hudna with Hamas, replacing a permanent arrangement with the [current Palestinian leadership], would once and for all obliterate the paradigm of an agreement with the [current Palestinian leadership] on territorial division with Israel and install Hamas rule over the West Bank,” Steinberg said. “All those who prattle about a regional initiative on Israeli-Palestinian peace need to know that it is based on the Arab Peace Initiative, which Hamas has rejected out of hand.”

Steinberg foresees that Hamas will continue to reject the Arab Peace Initiative. Therefore, opting for a partial and temporary arrangement with Hamas will weaken the Palestinians’ position and render the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative redundant. Steinberg asserted, “Absent an Arab initiative, there will be no regional context for resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.’’

Steinberg therefore proposes a comprehensive view of the Hamas problem in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and of the Palestinian issue and the regional context. Hamas, he said, will not “dirty its hands” with a diplomatic process, but will be forced to accept a regional arrangement to avoid isolation in the Arab and international arena. Such a regional scenario depends, to a large extent, on Israel’s willingness to reach a permanent arrangement that ends its occupation of the West Bank and eases its siege of Gaza, Steinberg said.

A senior Foreign Ministry official who dealt for years with policy planning believes that anyone who thinks negotiating with Hamas is possible is delusional for the simple reason that Hamas is unwilling to talk to Israel. “They have not crossed that Rubicon,” said the official, who spoke with Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

“If you ask me personally, if they want to talk to us directly about a diplomatic arrangement, as the Egyptians did at the time, they’re more than welcome.” Nonetheless, he said, from a public diplomacy perspective, Israel would do well to present a positive approach while at the same time taking immediate steps to minimize the risks of violence and to stabilize long-term relations with Gaza. “I, myself, am operating in that direction,” he said.

On the political right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there is no perceptible interest in the changes underway in Hamas. The prevailing opinions on the right run the gamut from “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian people” to “First, they have to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.” As noted, Hamas’ draft charter makes no reference to recognition of the State of Israel much less recognition of the state of the Jewish people, which had been one of Netanyahu’s preconditions for relaunching talks with the Palestinians. What a relief. The children of Israel can continue to be frightened with the bogeymen out to wipe them off the face of the earth.

(Source / 15.03.2017)

US Treasury Designates Al-Anizi as Terrorist

US Treasury Logo

Washington- The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action Tuesday against al-Nusra Front (ANF) and al-Qaeda (AQ) facilitator Muhammad Hadi al-Anizi.

Anizi, who is based in Kuwait, was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

As a result, all property and interests in property of Anizi subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

“From raising funds to facilitating the travel of terrorists, Anizi is responsible for providing key financial and logistical support to al-Nusra Front and al-Qaeda,” OFAC said in a statement.

“The Treasury Department will continue to aggressively target Nusra Front’s and Qaeda’s financial structures to further disrupt their ability to conduct terrorist attacks.”

Anizi, a terrorist facilitator and financier, has provided extensive material and financial support to ANF since at least 2014.

In late 2015, Anizi solicited donations for ANF militants in Syria and sent approximately $20,000 to an ANF member in Syria.

In late 2014, he worked with an al-Nusra associate to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to the group’s members in Syria.

He also provided extensive material and financial support to AQ since at least 2007.

Anizi sought assistance from AQ financier and US- and UN-designated terrorist Sa’d al-Ka’bi to facilitate the travel of Qaeda-associated individuals in late 2015.

In mid- to late-2014, the terrorist obtained passports for a Qaeda associate in Syria, provided medical supplies to an injured Syria-based AQ associate and was appointed as AQ’s representative in Syria by the group’s senior leadership.

Prior to 2014, Anizi provided financial support to his brother, AQ facilitator and SDGT Abdullah al-Anizi, who used the money to fund terrorist operations.

(Source / 15.03.2017)

Palestinian woman shot, injured at Gush Etzion junction after alleged vehicular attack

Vrouw beschoten Gush Etzion

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian woman was shot and injured by Israeli forces at an intersection in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Wednesday afternoon after allegedly attempting to carry out a vehicular attack.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to run into Israeli soldiers at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion.
“Responding to the imminent threat, security forces shot and wounded the attacker,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Palestinian woman had been evacuated to an Israeli hospital for treatment.
The army added that no Israelis had been injured in the incident.
Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman told Ma’an that the organization was unable to ascertain the health condition of the Palestinian woman, as she was taken away by Israeli ambulance services before Red Crescent ambulances reached the scene.
Israeli news outlet Ynet had initially reported that the woman was killed, however the report later indicated that the woman survived the shooting, but was in a critical condition.
The news outlet stated that three Israelis, including a pregnant woman, suffered from “anxiety” following the events.
According to Ma’an estimates, 13 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed at the Gush Etzion junction since a wave of unrest first erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015.
Vrouw beschoten Gush Etzion1
(Source / 15.03.2017)

Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Silwan

Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home in Silwan, East Jerusalem on 15 March 2017 [maannews]

Image of a demolished Palestinian home ordered by Israeli forces in Silwan, East Jerusalem on 15 March 2017

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in the Silwan neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem on yesterday afternoon without prior notice, under the pretext that it was built without Israeli-issued construction permits.

Witnesses told Ma’an that forces stormed the area under heavy military and police protection and demolished a two-room home built of bricks and roofed with tin sheets owned by Muhammad Abu Salih.

Read: Israel demolishes Arab-Israeli’s home without notice

Muhammad’s father Amin Abu Salih told Ma’an that the family had not been given advanced notice  that the demolition was to take place.

According to the family, one of the rooms was built 18 years ago, and the other was added five years ago.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Jerusalem municipality could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fakhri Abu Diab, a spokesman for a local committee aiming to defend Palestinian properties in Silwan, had told Ma’an: “Israeli occupation institutions have launched an unprecedented attack against Silwan in the form of land confiscations, demolitions, and other methods, in order to apply pressure on its indigenous residents to coerce them to leave their town that abuts the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque, to pave the way for settlers to replace them.”

(Source / 15.03.2017)

Israel shuts down Palestinian research center, arrests director

File photo shows Khalil Tafakji, a prominent Palestinian cartographer and the director of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society in east Jerusalem al-Quds.

File photo shows Khalil Tafakji, a prominent Palestinian cartographer and the director of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society in east Jerusalem al-Quds

Israeli forces have shut down a Palestinian research center in east Jerusalem al-Quds and nabbed its director, a prominent cartographer, over allegations of working for the Palestinian security apparatus.

The office of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society in east Jerusalem al-Quds was closed on Tuesday for six months, an Israeli police statement said.

Israeli officials accused the director of the research center, Khalil Tafakji, of cooperating with the Palestinian Authority to monitor the sale of land by Palestinians to Israeli Jews.

Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tafakji’s activities were “part of the Palestinian Authority’s plan to undermine our sovereignty in Jerusalem and terrorize Arabs selling real estate to Jews in the city.”

“I’ll continue to act assertively to prevent Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem,” he added.

Under the Palestinian law, sale of land to Israeli settlers is punishable by death.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat issued a statement, slamming the “illegitimate” closure and arrest as part of Israel’s attempts to “erase any Palestinian presence in the city.”

Tafakji has been mapping the Palestinian territories for decades and his research has been a major reference for international experts and the world press.

Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January, the Israeli regime, which sees in him a stronger supporter than former president Barack Obama, has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian lands.

A general view shows buildings under construction in the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds on March 7, 2016

Such construction constitutes a blatant violation of international law. The Geneva Conventions ban construction on occupied land. 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.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

Read more:

Trump envoy, Israeli PM discuss settlements

Trump has also said in controversial remarks that he considers Jerusalem al-Quds as the future capital of an Israeli “state.” This is while Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state. They want Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of that state.

The US president has also vowed to fulfill a campaign pledge to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

(Source / 15.03.2017)

Bouteflika nominated Africa Coordinator for terrorism efforts

Image of Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika [file photo]

Image of Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been nominated as Africa Coordinator for Combating Terrorism during a ceremony for the outgoing and incoming Commissions of the African Union, in Addis Ababa yesterday.

Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of Algeria.

Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of Algeria

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal who acted as the personal representative of the President of the Republic. The announcement was made by President-in-Office of the AU, Alpha Condé, to members of the Bureau of the Conference, in recognition and honour of Algeria’s “personal and renewed commitment” in the fight against international terrorism.

The ceremony also recognised the significant and proven contribution of Algeria in international mobilisation around the fight against this scourge.

Political dialogue

This trust is a “strong testimony” to the policies Algeria has carried out in order to stabilise the country and its achievements in the political, economic and social fields, “thanks to the policy of dialogue, national reconciliation and civil concord.”

The AU also commended the country for its role and personal commitment to the resolution of conflicts in Africa through political dialogue.

Algeria has played a major role in mediating a solution for conflict-ridden Libya and has vehemently opposed any Western interference in the region’s affairs.

The North African country has been involved in a few successful anti-terror operations in recent weeks as it battles militant operatives in the country.

The region has seen a decrease in its security standing as militants fighting in Libya, who have faced major setbacks, attempt to move to Libya’s neighbouring states to continue their operations.

(Source / 15.03.2017)