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Palestine threatens to cut ties with US if PLO office is shut

RAMALLAH: The Palestinians will freeze their ties with the US if it follows through on a threat to close the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, a senior PLO official warned Saturday. The surprise American move and Palestinian backlash came as US President Donald Trump seeks bargaining chips in his bid to broker an elusive…

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Pakistan calls for end to Israel’s siege of Gaza

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has welcomed the recent political reconciliation between the Palestinian factions — Fatah and Hamas — but said that this positive development was not enough to tip the scales of justice in favour of their long-suffering under Israeli occupation. “The international community must renew its resolve to sustain positive momentum and, as a…

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Palestinian schoolgirl wins $150,000 Arab reading prize

DUBAI: A Palestinian high school student on Wednesday won $150,000 (125,000 euros) in an Arabic-language reading competition organised by the Dubai government. Seventeen-year-old Afaf Raed Sharif, from Ramallah, beat 16 finalists from across the Arab world to land the top prize in the second annual Arab Reading Challenge. Participants had to read at least 50…

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Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a “final” accord. Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a…

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Palestinian gunman kills three Israeli guards at West Bank settlement

HAR ADAR,WEST BANK: A Palestinian man with security clearance to work at a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank opened fire at a checkpoint on Tuesday, killing two Israeli security guards and a paramilitary policeman. The assailant, who was armed with a pistol and also seriously wounded a fourth Israeli, was shot dead, police…

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Palestine’s Hamas ready for talks with Fatah, elections: statement

CAIRO: Palestine’s Hamas group has agreed to talks with rival Fatah movement, to dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and hold general elections as a way to implement a deal to end their long-running feud, the group said in a statement on Sunday, reported Reuters. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Western-backed Palestine Authority, controlled by Fatah, fought…

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Palestinian activist arrested over Facebook post released

NEWS DESK: The Palestinian Authority has released a prominent activist a week after he was arrested for writing a Facebook post criticising the government of President Mahmoud Abbas, reported The Independent. Issa Amro’s lawyer said Sunday that his client was released on $1,400 bail after being held under a recent edict that allows the government…

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Israel continues to sell arms to Myanmar’s military junta

According to a major UK newspaper, Israel is behind the sale of weapons to Myanmar’s military junta amid the ongoing bloody violence against Rohingya in Myanmar. As more than 150,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar via boats in the recent days after fresh incidences of violence spread against the Muslim community in Burma, it has come…

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UN chief seeks ‘dream’ of Israel-Palestinian peace in first visit

JERUSALEM: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres held talks with Israeli leaders Monday on his first visit since taking office, making a forceful argument for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and speaking of his “dream” for peace. Guterres also spoke of what he called obstacles to peace when meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including…

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Arab League chief says Israel risks igniting ‘religious war’

The head of the Arab League warned Thursday that Israeli attempts to control highly sensitive religious sites in Jerusalem by force risk igniting a “religious war”. Israel’s actions are “playing with fire, and will only ignite a religious war and shift the core of the conflict from politics to religion,” Arab League chief Ahmed Abul…

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Palestinians to resume prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque

NEWS DESK: Palestinians will return to pray at a sensitive Jerusalem holy site Thursday after Israeli authorities removed controversial security measures there, potentially ending a nearly two-week crisis that sparked deadly unrest, reported AFP. Muslim authorities announced a boycott of the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, was to end Thursday…

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Pakistan reiterates support to establishment of independent state of Palestine

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed concern at the continuing wave of violence against Palestinians and violation of Muslims’ right to perform their religious obligation following the closure of Al Aqsa Mosque.   In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the practices being pursued against the Palestinian demonstrators are flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,…

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Israel removes holy site metal detectors as Muslims continue boycott

JERUSALEM: Israel removed metal detectors from a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site Tuesday after their installation triggered deadly violence, but Muslim worshippers kept up a boycott, suspicious over what would come next.

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Jerusalem holy site crisis must be resolved by Friday: UN envoy

UNITED NATIONS: A crisis over new Israeli security measures at a Jerusalem holy site must be resolved by Friday to avoid an escalation of violence, the UN envoy to the Middle East warned Monday.

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Erdogan condemns Israel’s ‘excessive’ use of force in Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday denounced as “excessive” the use of force by Israeli security forces in deadly clashes over sensitive Jerusalem holy site. “I condemn Israel’s insistence on its position despite all warnings… and the excessive use of force by Israeli forces against our brothers gathered for Friday prayers,” he said in…

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Six dead in worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed for years

JERUSALEM: Six people were killed on Friday in the bloodiest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years, prompted by new security Israeli measures at Jerusalem’s holiest site. Three Israelis were stabbed to death in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, hours after three Palestinians were killed in violence prompted by Israel’s installation of metal…

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Tear gas scene from Jerusalem’s ‘Day of Rage’

JERUSALEM: When Muslim elders called for a “Day of Rage” on Friday to protest at new Israeli security measures at Jerusalem’s holiest site, photographer Ammar Awad knew where he had to be. A native of Jerusalem who has covered the city for Reuters for 17 years, Awad headed to Ras al-Amud, directly across the valley…

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Israel bans Muslim men under 50 from praying at Al-Aqsa mosque

JERUSALEM: Israel barred access of Muslim men under 50 to Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday and deployed some 3,000 policemen near the site amidst expected protest over security measures. The move came after Israel’s security cabinet decided not to remove the metal detectors installed at the entrances to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews…

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Tensions mount as Al-Aqsa remains closed

RAMALLAH: Palestinian religious and political figures have denounced the ongoing closure of Al-Aqsa mosque compound, calling it a violation of their religious freedoms, reported Al Jazeera. Al-Aqsa remained closed on Saturday, a day after a deadly shooting attack outside an entrance to the holy site in occupied East Jerusalem. “There is no excuse for the…

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Israel’s closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque is ‘collective punishment’: Palestinian cleric

NEWS DESK: A senior Palestinian cleric denounced Israel’s closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque following a rare gun attack, calling the measures ‘collective punishment’ that affects thousands of worshippers, reported Al Jazeera. Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian territories, said on Saturday that Israeli authorities have barred clerics from entering the…

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Modi, Netanyahu seek to deepen ties on first visit by an Indian PM

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday on the first ever visit by an Indian premier to Israel as they sought to deepen ties beyond high-priced defence deals. The two leaders presented a series of agreements between India and Israel for cooperation on satellite technology, water and agriculture, as well as…

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