Archive for May, 2012

Gazans hold rally in support of Turkey

Sun Sep 4, 2011

Dozens of supporters of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas have rallied in the streets of Gaza to show support of Turkey’s decision to cut its diplomatic relations with Israel.

Chanting slogans in support of Ankara and against Tel Aviv, the demonstrators condemned the recent UN-leaked report on the deadly Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound relief aid convoy Freedom Flotilla in international waters in 2010.

The marchers slammed the report, which offers an air of legitimacy to Israel’s prolonged blockade on the Gaza Strip, burning flags of Israel, Xinhua reported.

On Friday, Turkey expelled Israel’s envoy from Ankara and suspended all its military ties with Israel after Tel Aviv refused to apologize for its deadly attack on the Gaza-bound aid convey.

Meanwhile, following the release of the UN report, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara would take legal action against Israel’s blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice.

The report, written by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, approved Israel’s blockade of Gaza — tightened a year after the election of Hamas in Palestine’s general elections of 2006 — as a so-called security measure.

It terms the Israeli raid “excessive and unreasonable,” but also blamed Turkey and the flotilla organizers for contributing to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists.

The top Turkish diplomat challenged the report, saying the latest report is in contrast with an earlier report prepared by the UN Human Rights Council in September, which blamed Israel for violating international law.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza when the Hamas government took control of the territory in 2007.

The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the territory.

Source: PressTV.

Turkey to challenge Israel’s Gaza siege

Sun Sep 4, 2011

Turkey says it plans to challenge Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip at the International Court of Justice, amid rising tensions between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the decision on Saturday, one day after the release of a United Nations report on Israel’s May 31, 2010 attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy in international waters and the deaths of nine Turkish nationals on board the fleet.

The report, written by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, approved Israel’s blockade of Gaza — tightened a year after the election of Hamas in Palestine’s general elections of 2006 — as a so-called security measure.

It called the Israeli raid “excessive and unreasonable,” but also blamed Turkey and the flotilla organizers for contributing to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists.

Davutoglu rejected the Palmer report saying it was in contrast with an earlier report on the incident prepared by the UN Human Rights Council in September, which found that Israel violated international law by attacking the civilian aid convoy.

He argued that the recent document was not endorsed by the United Nations and was therefore not binding.

“What is binding is the International Court of Justice,” Davutoglu said.

“This is what we are saying: let the International Court of Justice decide,” he added, explaining that Ankara was preparing the necessary grounds for the legal action.

The comments came a day after Turkey, irked by Israel’s refusal to apologize over its deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, expelled Tel Aviv’s ambassador to Ankara and froze all military ties with Israel.

Turkey, which has been actively pursuing the case of Israel’s flotilla attack, also promised to support legal actions against Israel by the families of the victims of the attack.

It also vowed to take measures to ensure freedom to navigate in the eastern Mediterranean, a move that analysts suggest could mean sending navy forces to escort future aid convoys.

In his Saturday comments, Davutoglu warned Tel Aviv that its persistence in disdaining to apologize could seriously endanger Israel’s interest in Arab and Muslim countries, swept by popular revolutions and a surging wave of Islamic Awakening.

“If Israel persists with its current position, the Arab spring will give rise to a strong Israel opposition as well as the debate on the authoritarian regimes,” he said.

Source: PressTV.

أردنيون يدعون للتضامن مع البحرين ويستنكرون مشاركة قواتهم بقمع الاحتجاجات

الجمعة 02-09-2011

قال الحراك الشبابي الاردني أنه سينظم إعتصاماً مساء الاحد امام السفارة البحرينية في عمان للتضامن مع الشعب البحريني المطالب بالحرية – على حد وصف بيان صدر عنهم الخميس -.

وعبر التحرك عن رفضه للتدخل الأمني الاردني في الخارج. ووجه الناشطون دعوة للاعتصام أمام السفارة البحرينية الكائنة في الشميساني عند الساعة السادسة من مساء الأحد القادم تضامنا مع الثورة الشعبية في البحرين، ورفضا للتدخل الأردني ضد الثورة هناك.

وبحسب المنظمين يهدف الاعتصام إلى التعبير عن التضامن مع الشعب البحريني في مطالبه المشروعة ،ورفض القمع بحقه، ورفض “الاحتلال السعودي” للشعب البحريني على حد وصفهم.

ويشدّد الداعون لهذا الاعتصام على رفض إقحام قوات الجيش والدرك الأردنية في معارك ليست بمعاركنا كما يحصل في البحرين وافغانستان وليبيا.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أنّه قد تمّ الكشف عن إرسال الأردن لقوات من الدرك لمساعدة السلطات البحرينية في استعادة النظام والقضاء على الثورة الشعبية استجابة لطلب من الحكومة البحرينية.

المصدر: الجزيرة العربية.

Egypt envoy: No plan to demolish Gaza tunnels

Friday 02/09/2011

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egypt has denied plans to demolish tunnels on the border with Gaza.

Yasser Othman, ambassador to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, said Friday that no decision had been taken about the tunnels.

The plan is to restore security in the Sinai and the border area — not to tighten the siege on Gaza, he says.

He said the security campaign in the tunnel area will only target areas which threaten Palestinian and Egyptian security.

He also said that restoring security in the northern Sinai would help Egypt improve facilities at the Rafah crossing.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.

Jordan- Regional turmoil hurts medical tourism

Mokhtar Thabet
Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Global Arab Network – The medical tourism sector is still witnessing a drop in revenues due to the loss of patients, particularly from two major traditional markets: Yemen and Libya.

According to Awni Bashir, president of the Private Hospitals Association (PHA), the number of patients seeking care in the Kingdom’s medical centres and accompanying visitors is expected to drop by 25 per cent by the end of this year.

As Jordan, which used to be a major regional medical tourism destination, has been severely affected by regional instability, PHA will start looking for other markets, beyond the region, Bashir said.

The association is working on a plan to promote the industry in other countries, like, for example, Kazakhstan, Bashir told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.

The tourism sector in general has been seriously affected this year as a result of the regional unrest.

Tourism earnings in the first six months of the year amounted to JD949 million, down from JD1.089 billion in the first half of 2010, according to official statistics.

The number of tourists who visited the country in the January-June period of this year dropped by 14.2 per cent, from 3.639 million in the same period last year to 3.124 million.

“We still have no cases from Libya and only a few from Yemen, which we used to consider as our major markets,” said Bashir, pointing out that the number of patients coming from Iraq and Kurdistan is not encouraging either.

In the latter case, Bashir attributed the low demand on the Kingdom’s private hospitals to difficulties patients face trying to obtain visas.

Annually, the medical tourism sector generates $1 billion on average. Over 240,000 patients from across the world receive treatment at the Kingdom’s hospitals.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Abdul Latif Wreikat said the ministry established a medical tourism unit to facilitate issues related to the sector.

According to a statement that was e-mailed to The Jordan Times, the minister said an office will be inaugurated soon at the Queen Alia International Airport to assist those coming to seek medical treatment in the country’s hospitals.

At the same time, the official said that the ministry seeks to activate health attachژs at the Kingdom’s embassies so that they can help facilitate procedures for patients seeking treatment in Jordan.

Source: Global Arab Network.

EU adopts oil embargo on Syria

Talal Abdullah
Friday, 02 September 2011

Global Arab Network – The European Union formally adopts a ban on Syrian oil imports today, but the embargo will take effect on November 15 for existing contracts after Italy insisted on a delay, according to diplomats.

The EU will also expand its list of people targeted by an assets freeze and travel ban, adding four businessmen accused of bankrolling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the diplomats told AFP Thursday.

And three companies, including a bank, will see their assets in the EU frozen as punishment for the regime’s deadly repression of protesters, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The announcement of the oil embargo will coincide with a key meeting of EU foreign ministers in Poland. The measure will deprive Assad’s regime of a vital source of cash, as the EU buys 95 percent of Syria’s crude oil.

“These measures must be validated by European governments on Friday,” one diplomat said, after the EU reached a preliminary agreement on Monday.

Source: Global Arab Network.

Jordanians demand new constitution

Fri Sep 2, 2011

Hundreds of anti-government protesters have poured into the streets across Jordan to demand reforms and a new constitution, Press TV has learned.

Witnesses say protest rallies were held in several cities, including the southern city of Tafileh, following the Friday Prayers.

Chanting anti-government slogans, the demonstrators called for the replacement of country’s constitution with the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an.

Protesters have also demanded an end to corruption in the country.

They have named this Friday as “Friday of Resolve.”

Meanwhile, Jordanian activists have called for a protest rally in front of the Bahraini Embassy in the capital Amman to condemn Manama’s brutal crackdown on peaceful anti-government protesters.

Jordan has been faced with anti-government rallies demanding reforms and an end to corruption since January.

In June, in a bid to appease protesters, King Abdullah II announced a number of concessions, including the formation of future governments that were based on an elected parliamentary majority rather than one appointed by the monarch.

He later said it may take two to three years to put an elected government in place.

Source: PressTV.

Palestine protesters disrupt Israeli concert in UK

Friday 02/09/2011

LONDON (AFP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators repeatedly interrupted a performance by Israel’s Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s famed Proms festival in a protest against its links with the Israeli army.

Security was tightened before the show at London’s famous Royal Albert Hall after protesters set up camp outside and urged concert-goers to “rip up their tickets”.

However, the measures could not prevent a group of around 30 demonstrators from loudly booing and shouting as soloist Gil Shaham prepared to play Max Bruch’s violin concerto.

BBC Radio 3, which was broadcasting the event, temporarily took the performance off air.

“We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air,” a BBC statement said.

Palestine campaign director Sarah Colborne earlier called on “those who support peace and human rights” not to attend.

“The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s services to the Israeli army continue up to the present day, performing for Israeli soldiers at army outposts,” she said.

The concert was conducted by Zubin Mehta, who is celebrating 50 years with the orchestra, which last played at the festival in 2003.

The Proms, which is run by the BBC, is a world-renowned eight-week season of around 100 classical concerts that has been running since 1895.

A spokesman for the BBC said the invitation was “a purely musical one”.

“We will be having extra security as protesters could get into the hall but there will be bag searches of the audience which they will be alerted to,” the spokesman said before the concert.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.