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US Closes PLO Offices in Washington DC

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12 Sep 2018 (All day)
US Closes PLO Offices in Washington DC
Palestinian reaction was swift to the announcement on Monday by the Trump Administration in the US that it has ordered the PLO’s offices in Washington DC to be closed, with the stated purpose of pressuring the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel. "Adherence to Jerusalem and preserving it and the rights of the Palestinians, including the issues of Jerusalem and the refugees, is more important than the relationship with the US," declared PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh. “The decision to close the PLO office won't stop us from preserving our Islamic and Christian holy sites or change our commitment to international resolutions and the decisions of Arab and Islamic summits concerning the Palestinian cause."

"We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to US threats and bullying," added senior PA diplomat Saeb Erekat. "Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes."

However, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Tuesday evening saying "The US made the correct decision regarding the PLO mission in Washington. Israel supports American actions that are designed to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attempts to attack Israel in international forums will not advance peace."

Other steps taken by the Trump Administration, including cutting US funding for the UNRWA, have also been bitterly criticized in recent days, with a report surfacing on the London-based website Al-Khaled Tuesday indicating that the Administration is pursuing a plan to pressure Arab countries to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees drawing accusations of a “conspiracy” to eliminate the decades-old demand that the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during and following the 1948 War of Independence be allowed to “return” to the country. 

Russia Says Reports of Chemical Weapons in Syria Untrue
The Kremlin was pushing back Tuesday against claims that chemical weapons had been used in attacks on rebel positions in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, saying the film evidence being presented to prove the allegations had been staged. Nevertheless, defense community analysts speculated that the Trump Administration would strike Assad regime forces in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons and Turkish President Erdogan warned that the situation could rapidly escalate regional tensions.

Erdogan told the Wall Street Journal newspaper on Tuesday that "All members of the international community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms. The consequences of inaction are immense. A (Assad) regime assault would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond."

Turkish troops have deployed on the border with Idlib province in an apparent attempt to contain any spillover violence and officials in Ankara have warned that they will not accept any more refugees from the war in Syria.

Joint List MKs Get Support for Anti-Israel Campaign
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit pledged his support Tuesday to Joint (Arab) List MKs Ahmad Tibi and Jamal Zahalka for their efforts to drum up international pressure against Israel over the recently passed “Jewish Nation-State Law” during a meeting they held in Cairo. Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer characterized the behavior of Tibi and Zahalka as “spitting in the face of the country that pays their salaries.”

Iranian Leader Rattles Nuclear Sabre
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday that the Islamic Republic has between 3,000 and 4,000 active centrifuges, adding that the nuclear infrastructure should be noted by the clerical regime’s enemies. "America and Israel have a program against Iran and they scrapped a deal they requested," Larijani said, referring to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. "After America withdrew, European leaders asked that Iran not give a quick reply to this action and they asked for time, which is passing now."

Today’s videos give a look at how Israelis are celebrating Rosh Hashanah in 2018


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