Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Western animosity towards Iran due to its support for Palestinian cause, Yemeni PM says

Press TV | January 8, 2021

The prime minister of Yemen’s National Salvation Government has denounced attempts to form an anti-Iran front as part of a joint Israeli-Arab-US project, emphasizing that such bids aim to counter Tehran’s untrammelled support for the Palestinian cause and oppressed Palestinians.

“The normalization of relations between some regional rulers and the Zionist regime (Israel) is part of the Zionist-Arab-American scheme, and they are now seeking to form an alliance against Iran because it has stood with Palestine,” Abdulaziz bin Habtoor said on Thursday.

He added, “The project of partitioning Arab and Muslim world was drawn more than one hundred years ago in the service of the Zionist plan and the occupation of Palestine.”

Habtoor highlighted that any move that resists the Zionist project in the region will be met with fierce Western opposition.

He said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a specific and shared goal to disintegrate Yemen, besides certain plots to cement their dominance and influence in Yemen.

“The UAE seeks to wrest control over a number of Yemeni cities, islands and bases, and Saudi Arabia wants to dominate other sectors,” Habtoor noted.

The Yemeni prime minister then dismissed attempts by the Saudi-led coalition member states to present a united front as “a big lie,” stating they will turn on each other and clash in the future due to profound differences existing among them.

‘Appointment of Iranian ambassador to Sana’a broke Saudi diplomatic siege’

Separately, a member of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Iranian Ambassador to Sana’a, Hassan Irloo, stating that the step broke the diplomatic embargo that the Saudi-led coalition had imposed on the country.

Major General Sultan al-Samaei pointed to the deeply historical ties between Yemen and Iran, underlining that the Yemeni nation’s resistance embodies the axis of resistance that the Islamic Republic of Iran and Yemen are part of and their common stance against colonial powers, spearheaded by the Israeli regime and its allies.

Irloo, for his part, said Iran will not hesitate to support Yemeni people by transferring its capabilities in all fields.

The Iranian envoy stressed that relations between Tehran and Sana’a will witness broader cooperation in various spheres.

Irloo has recently been appointed as Iran’s ambassador to Yemen. In early November, he submitted his credentials to Mahdi al-Mashat, president of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen. Since then he was in the US and its regional allies’ crosshairs.

On December 8, the US slapped sanctions on the ambassador on allegations that Irloo was “linked” to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), without providing any proof.

January 8, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Yemen’s Houthis say Saudi pilots will only be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners

MEMO | December 31, 2020

An official in Yemen’s Houthi-led National Salvation Government (NSG) has reiterated that Saudi pilots currently being held captive will only be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in the kingdom.

In an interview yesterday with Al-Masirah TV, the head of the National Committee for Prisoners Affairs, Abdulqadir Al-Murtadha, stated: “We have assured the other party that the Saudi pilots will not be released from prison except in exchange for the Palestinian prisoners in Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “The negotiation rounds in the prisoners’ issue in 2020 were distinguished by the fact that they ended with implementation, unlike the previous rounds,” noting that 1,087 prisoners of the Houthi-allied Yemeni army and “popular committees” were freed earlier in the year; 670 prisoners through UN brokered agreements and 417 prisoners through local deals.

“The enemy thwarted 30 exchange deals during 2020, which were agreed upon through local parties to liberate more than 600 prisoners from both sides,” according to Al-Murtadha.

“We released 150 prisoners during 2020, including 64 children who were brought into the battles by the forces of aggression, while the rest were released for humanitarian reasons.”

Last year, Saudi Arabia incarcerated 68 Palestinians and Jordanians following a mass trial which has raised concerns by Human Rights Watch (HRW) over issues relating to due process. Some of the detainees had been held without charge for nearly two years.

Among the Palestinians detained is Mohammed Al-Khodari, who is over 80 years old and a high-ranking official from the Gaza-based resistance movement Hamas. Alike the other detainees he was charged on vague accusations relating to terrorism.

In March the leader of the Houthi movement known as the Ansarallah, Sayyid Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, extended an offer to the Saudis to release Hamas members held in Saudi in exchange for one of the captured Saudi coalition pilots held in Yemen along with four Saudi soldiers. The “much-appreciated initiative” was met with praise by Hamas who in a statement said it valued the “spirit of fraternity and sympathy” for the Palestinian people and their cause.

December 31, 2020 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi FM to visit Pakistan to discuss strained bilateral ties

MEMO | December 29, 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud will lead a high-level delegation, including business leaders, in a visit to Pakistan next month in an effort to discuss recently strained relations, according to the Pakistani daily the Express Tribune.

The kingdom’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman will join the delegation to discuss the establishment of a Saudi oil refinery in Pakistan.

Al Saud will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in addition to meeting President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The visit comes amid tense relations between Riyadh and Islamabad since August when Qureshi criticised the Saudis over their lack of support on the issue of Kashmir over which Pakistan and rival India both claim in its entirety.

The Pakistani diplomat even stated that Islamabad would be “compelled” to “call a meeting of Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us”.

However, the Saudis who interpreted the statement as a veiled threat to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which is dominated by Riyadh, responded by requesting the earlier repayment of a $3 billion loan to Pakistan made two years ago and refused to renew deferred oil payments scheme which part of the loan agreement worth another $3.2 billion. Earlier this month, long-term ally China agreed to help Pakistan repay the debt.

Earlier this year Beijing also helped Pakistan repay $1 billion to the Saudis meaning Pakistan has thus far repaid $2 billion with $1 billion outstanding.

Meanwhile, the Saudis have been developing ties with India despite its traditional ties with Pakistan, with a historic visit by the head of the Indian military to Riyadh earlier this month aimed at strengthening their bilateral ties, particularly in defence.

Read also:

Railway link from Turkey to Pakistan, through Iran to start in 2021

December 29, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Pegasus spyware ‘used to hack phones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists’ in large-scale attack – report

RT | December 20, 2020

The personal phones of some 36 Al Jazeera journalists have been hacked by “government operatives” who used a controversial spying tool by Israel’s infamous NSO Group to snoop on them, a report by a Canadian research lab claims.

The report, released on Sunday by Citizen Lab, a research unit at the University of Toronto specializing in cybersecurity, alleged that the phones belonging to the employees of the Qatar-based media network, including journalists, producers, anchors, and executives, had been compromised and hacked with “an invisible zero-click exploit in IMessage” in July and August this year.

The exploit allowed the perpetrators of the attack, which Citizen Lab, “with a medium degree of confidence,” blamed on “government operatives” from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to infect the phones with spyware without the journalists having to click on malicious links themselves.

In its report, Citizen Lab said that the clandestine techniques employed in the attack “were sophisticated” and therefore “difficult to detect,” since the “targets” were often unaware of anything suspicious going on.

The hack might have remained undetected this time as well, were it not for the network’s Arabic language channel reporter Tamer Almisshal, who sounded the alarm that his phone might have been spied-on and let the researchers monitor his online traffic starting from January 2020. Several months after, in July, the researchers saw his personal phone visiting a website where it got infected with NSO’s group Pegasus spyware without Almisshal’s ever clicking on the link.

The discovery has prompted a wide-ranging search for possible other victims among Al Jazeera staff, eventually leading to Citizen Lab and the channel’s IT unit identifying a total of 36 personal phones that had been successfully targeted by the “four NSO group operators.” One of them, who the group nicknamed “Monarchy,” allegedly tapped into 18 phones, while another one – dubbed “Sneaky Kestrel” – spied on 15 phones.

The group said that it believes “Monarchy” was acting on the marching orders from Riyadh, since it “appears to target individuals primarily inside Saudi Arabia,” while “Sneaky Kestrel” focused on those journalists who were “primarily inside UAE.”

The researchers said that the security loophole that facilitated the hack was closed with the IOS 14 update released in September, but noted that, until then, it had likely been taken advantage of on a large scale. “We suspect that the infections that we observed were a miniscule fraction of the total attacks leveraging this exploit.”

Apple, for its part, appeared to throw weight behind Citizen Lab’s allegations of a state-sanctioned hack, saying that the reported attack “was highly targeted by nation states,” but noted that it could verify the findings of the report.

The Israeli group told The Guardian it would “take all necessary steps,” if it is provided with “credible evidence” that its spying tools were abused.

It’s not the first time the producer of Pegasus spyware kit finds itself in the spotlight in connection with allegations that its tech was used against reporters. Amnesty International reported in June this year that an award-winning Morocco-based journalist Omar Radi fell victim to the same spyware in an attack strikingly similar to the one described by Citizen Lab.

Last year, WhatsApp confirmed that dozens of Indian lawyers, journalists, and rights activists were among 1,400 users affected by the snooping software.

Despite the perpetual controversy surrounding the NSO group, an Israeli court in July sided with the firm and the Israeli Ministry of Defense in a case brought by Amnesty International, which demanded a ban on international sales of the software.

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Pakistan returns $1 bln of Saudi Arabia’s loan over Kashmir dispute

MEMO | December 16, 2020

Pakistan has returned $1 billion to Saudi Arabia as a second installment of a $3 billion soft loan, as Islamabad reaches out to Beijing for a commercial loan to help it offset pressure to repay another $1 billion to Riyadh next month, officials said on Wednesday according to a report by Reuters.

Analysts say it is unusual for Riyadh to press for the return of money. But relations have been strained lately between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, historically close friends.

Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and a $3.2 billion oil credit facility in late 2018. After Islamabad sought Riyadh’s support over alleged human rights violations by India in the disputed territory of Kashmir, Saudi Arabia has pushed Pakistan to repay the loan.

With the $1 billion flowing out, Pakistan – which has $13.3 billion in central bank foreign reserves – could face a balance of payments issue after clearing the next Saudi installment.

“China has come to our rescue,” a foreign ministry official told Reuters. A finance ministry official said Pakistan’s central bank was already in talks with Chinese commercial banks.

“We’ve sent $1 billion to Saudi Arabia,” he said. Another $1 billion will be repaid to Riyadh next month, he said. Islamabad had returned $1 billion in July.

Although a $1.2 billion surplus in its current account balance and a record $11.77 billion in remittances in the past five months have helped support the Pakistani economy, having to return the Saudi money is still a setback.

Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who visited Riyadh in August to ease the tensions, met the Saudi ambassador in Islamabad on Tuesday.

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran calls for end to development, testing of nuclear weapons: Envoy

Press TV | December 16, 2020

Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has called for an end to the development and testing of nuclear weapons, saying such a move is the first step toward total nuclear disarmament.

Kazem Gharibabadi made the plea at the 55th Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the Austrian capital on Tuesday and underlined Iran’s long-standing position on the need for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons.

“Iran supports the objectives stipulated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with the ultimate goal of disarmament, as well as general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,” he said.

“We also strongly believe that stopping all explosive tests of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosions, as well as ending the quantitative development and qualitative improvement of these weapons, is the first necessary step towards nuclear disarmament,” Gharibabadi added.

The Iranian envoy censured Washington’s approach on the non-proliferation regime and expressed concern over the possibility of the US conducting nuclear test explosions, saying the move undermines international peace and security.

Gharibabadi stressed that a possible resumption of the tests would breach a treaty on the moratorium on such practices, and also violates the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations touched on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program and called on the kingdom to join the NPT.

Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions have prompted worries in the global community over the past few years, especially after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hinted in 2018 that the kingdom may go for nukes.

Widespread reports of Saudi Arabia’s undeclared nuclear activities were confirmed in August, when satellite images revealed a large compound in a suspicious location in the heart of the desert.

The Wall Street Journal, citing Western officials, reported that Saudi Arabia had built a facility, with foreign aid, for extraction of yellow cake from uranium ore near the remote town of al-Ula.

December 16, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Joe Biden and Terrorism

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 28, 2020

As Joe Biden unveils his hawkish cabinet picks, it’s hard not to get the sense that we’re all hurtling back in time to those glorious days of regime change when the United States believed it had a sacred right to topple any government that got in its way. It also seems like we’re returning to the days that when jihadi terrorism aimed at America and its allies was horrible, terrible, a crime against humanity, and so on, while terrorism aimed at people the US didn’t like was, well, distasteful and unpleasant but not something to bring up in polite company.

While no one wants to blow up innocent civilians, in other words, what really counts is which civilians and in whose behalf.

With that in mind, it’s worth revisiting a talk that then-Vice President Biden gave at Harvard’s Kennedy School in October 2014. If you enjoy listening to an empty-headed politician spouting endless clichés, you can access all ninety minutes of it here. But if you’re not a glutton for punishment, you can jump to the 53:35 mark and zero in on Sleepy Joe’s specific thoughts regarding America’s Mideast partners and their inordinate fondness for ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The topic was the US-Saudi effort to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and here’s what the veep had to say, run-on sentences and all:

“The Saudis, the emirates, etc. what were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. … So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody is awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was Al Qaeda in Iraq when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in … eastern Syria, worked with Al Nusra, who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden, I don’t want to be too facetious, but they have seen the Lord. … Saudi Arabia has stopped funding, Saudi Arabia is allowing training on its soil… the Qataris have cut off their support for the most extreme elements of terrorist organizations, and the Turks, President Erdogan told me, he’s an old friend, he told me, you were right, we let too many people through. Now he’s trying to seal their border….”

Words like these are worth savoring because they undermine years of propaganda about American exceptionalism and the US as a force for good. Obama, for instance, claims to oppose sectarianism. Yet here was his second-in-command saying that US allies didn’t merely want to topple Assad, but that they wanted to topple him by fomenting “a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”

In other words, they wanted to mobilize thousands of bigoted Sunni head-choppers in order to topple the Alawite president of one of the most religiously diverse countries in the Middle East.

Obama also claims to oppose terrorism and, of course, vehemently objects to any suggestion that Al Qaeda is a western creation. Yet here was Biden stating in the very next sentence that Saudi Arabia & Co. had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into … Al Nusra and Al Qaeda” and that “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”

So they did supply Al Qaeda despite US protests, which, in any event, were strictly private. While Biden went on to say that the Saudis have seen the light thanks to the dramatic rise of the Al Qaeda offshoot known as ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), his wording was curious. Qatar, he said, had cut off support for “the most extreme elements,” while adding that Turkey, after admitting that it had let too many fighters traverse its border, was now trying to close the barn door after the horse had left.

But what does “most extreme” mean? That Qatar was still funding some Al Qaeda elements providing that they were not too outré? As for letting “too many people through,” was Biden suggesting that Turkey was right to let some Al Qaeda fighters cross, but that too many were spoiling the stew?

So it seems, and so numerous other reports attest. So not only did the Saudis fund Al Qaeda and ISIS to the hilt, they cut off aid to the latter only when they finally figured out, as Biden went on to say, “that ISIL’s target wasn’t Ramadi” in northern Iraq, but Mecca and Medina in their own kingdom. Killing thousands of people, raping and enslaving hundreds of Yazidi women, imposing a terrifying theocracy – such activities are permissible as long as they remain confined to Syria and Iraq. But once they threaten the House of Saud, well, that’s more than any civilized nation can bear.

The fresh-faced Harvard students who listened to such nonsense did not respond by booing, jeering, or tossing buckets of red paint. Amazingly, they instead responded with polite applause. Even more striking was the reaction when word got back to Washington. Instead of congratulating Biden for his forthrightness, Obama ordered him to go on what the New York Times described as “a Middle East apology tour” by phoning up Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Ankara, etc. and conveying his personal regrets – not for being incorrect, that is, but for being indiscreet. Vice presidents are supposed to know what they can and cannot say in a public place.

All of which calls to mind something known as the Bush Doctrine. In case no one can remember that far back, it goes like this:

“Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

So George W. Bush told a joint session of Congress just a few days after 9/11, and since no subsequent administration has expressly repudiated those words, presumably they’re still in effect. If so, then the next time reporters get an opportunity, they should ask the president-elect if he still supports the doctrine and whether he plans to sever ties with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE if he does.

They might also ask Hillary Clinton whether she would recommend a cut-off since, right around the time Biden was holding forth at Harvard, she was confiding in an email that “the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia … are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” It’s yet another example of top US officials saying one thing in public and the opposite when they think no one is listening.

Of course, the chances of severing ties with the Saudis are zero, while the chances of America’s fearless press corps posing such a question in the first place are nil as well. The Saudis may be terrorists, but they’re America’s terrorists, and that’s all that counts.

November 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Covert War on Syria

Tales of the American Empire • November 26, 2020

For the past decade, foreign powers have sought to destroy Syria. Most people are unaware since western corporate media pretend the violence is the result of a revolution or civil war. A direct invasion of Syria would pose difficult political problems. The preferred method in the modern world is to destroy a nation by agitating and arming minority groups while sending thousands of foreign mercenaries to join attacks and flooding the world with propaganda.

________________________________

Related Tale: “The Plot to Destroy Syria”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P512Q… Related Tale: “The Incident at Benghazi”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc4wr…

“US arms shipment to Syria rebels detailed”; HIS Jane’s 360; April 8, 2016; https://web.archive.org/web/201612050…

“AIPAC to go all-out on Syria”; Manu Raju; Politico; September 5, 2013; https://www.politico.com/story/2013/0…

Related Tale: “The 2011 Destruction Libya”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Lh4…

“The Red Line and the Rat Line”; Seymour Hersh; London Review of Books; April 17, 2014; explains the false flag chemical attacks; https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n…

“The White Helmets are a Propaganda Construct”; The Colbert Report; February 11, 2018; https://www.corbettreport.com/the-whi…

“Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media”; Ben Norton; The Grayzone; September 23, 2020; https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/sy…

“A Short History of the War on Syria 2006-2014”; Moon of Alabama; September 14, 2013; https://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/09…

“Outgoing Syria Envoy Admits Hiding US Troop Numbers”; (thwarting President Trump’s withdrawal plan); Katie Bo Williams; Defense One; November 12, 2020; https://www.defenseone.com/threats/20…

Syria War Archives; Factual information from Globalresearch; https://www.globalresearch.ca/indepth…

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi-led coalition, mercenaries working with al-Qaeda, Daesh in Yemen: Foreign Ministry

Press TV | October 25, 2020

The Foreign Ministry of Yemen’s National Salvation Government says the Saudi-led coalition engaged in a campaign against the country as well as the allied militiamen loyal to former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur are closely working with al-Qaeda and the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

The ministry, in two separate identical letters addressed to the United Nations and the UN Security Council on Saturday, elaborated on clean-up operations carried out by Yemeni armed forces and fighters from the Popular Committees against al-Qaeda and Daesh terror cells in the central province of Bayda.

The letters emphasized that there were foreign nationals, mostly Saudi citizens, among the militant commanders and combatants slain in the operations.

Large amounts of weapons, bombs and explosive belts were also seized.

The foreign ministry highlighted that the Saudi-led alliance has been providing al-Qaeda and Daesh with air cover as of ‘March 26, 2015,’ in addition to monetary, military and logistical support, medical care, and facilitation of their free movement.

The letters read that the Yemeni army forces and the Popular Committees fighters had recovered sophisticated weapons and military equipment ‘only in the inventory of countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United States.’

The Yemeni foreign ministry underlined that it has obtained documents that disclose Saudi Arabia’s support for al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists, including monthly payrolls and military ID cards.

Documents have also been discovered proving a number of al-Qaeda and Daesh operatives were treated in hospitals in Saudi Arabia and the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib.

“Prior to and after the al-Bayda Operation, a number of al-Qaeda and Daesh elements fled to some occupied areas, including those in Ma’rib, and hid within the ranks of Saudi-sponsored Hadi loyalists,” the foreign ministry said.

It added, “The relationship between al-Qaeda and Daesh with the aggressors and traitors has reached a point where the leaders of these two groups hold high positions in Hadi’s ousted government. Some of these elements have been designated by the US Treasury Department as sponsors of terrorism, though.”

The letters said the Aden-based Yemeni administration had called for the release of 96 al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists during negotiations on the exchange of prisoners being held by the National Salvation Government in Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. Ansarullah, backed by armed forces, has been valorously defending Yemen against the alliance.

October 25, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Former government lawyer ‘ashamed’ of defending UK over Saudi arms sales

MEMO | October 20, 2020

A former lawyer at Britain’s Foreign Office responsible for fighting lawsuits against the British government over its arms sales to Saudi Arabia has said that she is “ashamed” of having played a role in helping the government get away with allegedly breaking the law.

“When governments consider themselves above the law, the consequences can be horrifying,” said Molly Mulready in an article for the Independent detailing how she had helped “fight legal action against the government’s export of arms to Saudi Arabia.”

Mulready explained that she did not become a Foreign Office lawyer in order to justify this “moral depravity.” Her article provided details about how the British government managed to overcome legal hurdles to continue selling arms to Riyadh.

In the five years since de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman launched a military campaign in Yemen, there have been ongoing allegations of war crimes. With Britain supplying arms to the Saudi military, many of which are said to have been used against civilians, the Conservative government has been accused of complicity in serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Legal challenges were made by human rights groups in an attempt to block arms sales to Riyadh. Despite these challenges, in 2017 a High Court judge authorised the British government to continue licensing such exports.

Speaking of her role in mounting the government’s defence, Mulready said that as many as 318 cases of alleged violations of international humanitarian law — an average of just over two per week for almost three years — were recorded by December 2017. Despite these concerns, arms sales continued into 2019 when the court of appeal overturned the 2017 High Court judgement. At the time of the lawsuit, the government confirmed that there were now 516 cases on that list of violations.

In its defence, said Mulready “The British government insisted that there was definitely no clear risk that even one such incident might amount to a serious violation by the Saudi armed forces and happen again in the future. Exports resumed and are ongoing.”

Commenting on her part Mulready said: “I have acute shame about my role in all of this. I did not become a lawyer in order to justify the moral depravity that is the export of arms to Saudi Arabia.”

Earlier this month, a report discovered that Britain was issuing licences for arms sales to Saudi Arabia at an unprecedented rate of almost one a day, in what looked like a concerted effort to make up for months of lost time.

Read also:

UK ‘complicit’ in humanitarian disaster through $7.6bn arms sales to Saudi

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Arab support for PA budget falls by 82%

MEMO | October 19, 2020 

Arab support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget has fallen by 82 per cent during the first eight months of this year, Shehab news agency reported on Sunday.

According to data issued by the PA Ministry of Finance, the Arab countries have paid the PA $38.1 million in 2020 so far, compared to $198.33 million during the same period last year.

Over the past few months, US President Donald Trump revealed that he had asked the wealthy Arab states to stop paying money to the Palestinians. In July, the PA’s Minister of Finance Shukri Bsharah reported that a number of Arab states had suspended their financial aid for the authority.

The decline in Arab support coincides with a budget deficit in the normally supportive states due to the sharp decline in oil prices and reduced demand for crude oil.

Saudi assistance, Shehab reported, declined by 77.2 per cent, down from $130m in the same period in 2019 to just $30.8m this year. Algerian support fell to zero whereas it paid $26.1 million during the first eight months of 2019.

The PA said last week that Arab support for its budget has fallen by 55 per cent over the past five years from a high of around $1.1 billion. The authority is in the middle of its worst ever financial crisis since refusing to accept the tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf since July. That is when PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced the suspension of all agreements with the occupation state.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Hamas: the US has told Arab states to stop supporting the PA

MEMO | October 19, 2020

A senior Hamas official has claimed that the US has told a number of Arab states to stop giving financial support to the Palestinian Authority, Al-Aqsa TV reported on Sunday. According to Saleh Al-Arouri, a number of states have been asked to put pressure on Fatah, which controls the PA, in order to pull out of any reconciliation with Hamas.

The Deputy Head of the Hamas Political Bureau added that these countries are those which sponsored the US deal of the century. He stressed, however, that Hamas is committed to the Palestinian understandings reached in Istanbul and would never backtrack on them.

Al-Arouri also revealed that the US had offered to talk with Hamas over the so-called “deal”, but Hamas refused because Washington’s intention was to split the national Palestinian stance and threaten the PLO leadership.

In July, the former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that the best way to undermine the Israeli annexation plans “is to change the function of the PA” from serving the Israeli occupation to confronting it. He stressed that if such a change was not made, the PA should be dissolved after discussions with the different Palestinian factions and reaching an agreement on a replacement in order not to end up in chaos.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment