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Egypt: Tourism revenues to rise 105% this year

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Tourism revenue in Egypt will rise 105 per cent by the end of the year, taking it to $7 billion, Deputy Tourism Minister, Adela Ragab, said. According to Tariq Amer, governor of the Egyptian Central Bank, Egypt’s tourism revenues amounted to $3.4 billion in 2016. During an interview with Al-Shorouk, Ragab said: “The number of tourists coming to Egypt may exceed 7.5 million by the end of this year.” The United Nations World Tourism Organisation predicts that eight million tourists will have visited Egypt this year. Some 5.9 million tourists visited Egypt between January and September this year, compared to 3.8 million during the same period the previous year, figured from the Ministry of Tourism show. Read: No recovery in Egypt […]

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Egypt’s judiciary announces review into notorious Scorpion prison

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Egypt’s judiciary has decided to review one of the country’s most notorious prisons, according to the Associated Press. The 12-page document indicates that the State Commissioners’ Committee reportedly ordered Cairo University to put together a team of medical and human rights specialists in order to assess whether the infamous “Scorpion” prison is suitable to hold prisoners. The Scorpion prison, linked with the Tora prison complex in Cairo, has become notorious for being one of the main jails where political prisoners are often sent and where abuse has become prevalent. According to the document, the interior ministry declined to provide prison records of visits by prisoners’ families and other documents that show how the prison was constructed and furnished. Read more: […]

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US faith groups publish statement defending right to boycott Israel

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

US faith groups have published a statement in support of the right to boycott, asserting that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is protected by the First Amendment. The statement was backed by the Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, Alliance of Baptists, American Friends Service Committee and dozens of other faith organisations. “We are alarmed by legislation recently passed in a number of states penalising participation in the nonviolent, grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights,” the groups said, “and by similar legislation that is proposed in the US Congress.” “As faith leaders, we have long used the nonviolent instruments of boycott and divestment in our work for justice and peace.” Read: Israeli ministers […]

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Ex-Israel PM referred Weinstein to ex-Mossad agents to quash sexual assault claims

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has admitted to recommending ex-Mossad agents to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who were then used to suppress news stories detailing allegations of sexual assault against dozens of women, Israel’s Channel 2 reported yesterday. Earlier this week it was revealed that Weinstein, who has been accused of harassment and rape by over 82 women, hired a network of spies last year, which included former Mossad agents, to investigate women who accused him of assault, specifically actress Rowan McGowan who detailed his abuse in her autobiography. Barak confirmed yesterday that he referred Weinstein to the Israeli firm Black Cube, which claims its employees are “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units”. […]

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Saudi Arabia arrests main investor in Ethiopia’s dam

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saudi authorities have arrested billionaire businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, the main foreign investor in Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. Al-Amoudi is thought to be worth $10.9 billion and was the first to donate to the Renaissance Dam campaign launched by the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and to give the Ethiopian government $88 million to build it. He is thought to be the richest man in Ethiopia and the second richest in Saudi, after Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal who was also arrested on Saturday. Al-Amoudi owns a wide range of companies in the fields of construction, energy, agriculture, mining, hotels, healthcare and manufacturing. Read: Is Saudi’s Bin Salman tackling corruption or making money? He was arrested as part of a crackdown […]

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Saudi Arabia places Yemen’s president under house arrest

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saudi Arabia has banned Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, his two sons, ministers and military personnel from returning to Aden, the Associated Press reported yesterday. The agency quoted unnamed Yemeni officials as saying last night that the Saudi ban was put in place due to the “bitter hostility between Hadi and the UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led alliance, and controls southern Yemen”. A presidential source, however, today denied the claims saying: ““[These lies] are part of a systematic campaign targeting Saudi Arabia, which is leading a battle to stop Iranian interference in Yemen and the region.” Since Hadi left Yemen in February, he has repeatedly sent written requests to Saudi King Salman asking to return home. However, […]

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Egypt arrests 10 family members to force fugitive to surrender

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Egyptian authorities have arrested ten family members of an escaped prisoner in an attempt to pressure him to surrender, the Geneva-based Committee for Justice said yesterday. The committee documented the arrest and enforced disappearance of ten family members of escaped prisoner, Mahmoud Abu Hassiba on 27-28 August from the victims’ homes in Helwan, it said. Abu Hassiba escaped while being transported to prison. On 27 August at 22:00 security forces arrested Abu Hassiba’s wife, Aya, and her father from her family’s house. An hour later they returned and arrested Aya’s brother Abdullah. The family was held at the Helwan police station before being moved to an undisclosed location. Egypt: #WeNeedToTalk A relative who was released from Helwan police station because […]

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Israel plan to ‘annex’ settlements to Jerusalem violates international law

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

A proposed Israeli law to effectively annex West Bank settlements to Jerusalem municipality violates international humanitarian law, according to legal rights centre Adalah. The bill would annex West Bank settlements Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Gush Etzion, and Efrat to Jerusalem, and impose Israeli civilian rule on territory under military occupation. Adalah has urged the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to oppose the “Jerusalem and its Daughters” law, which would annex a ring of West Bank settlements to Israel’s Jerusalem municipality “and impose Israeli civil law in these occupied territories”. Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara stressed that the bill violates international humanitarian law, describing this “large-scale confiscation of property belonging to a protected population” as “a […]

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African Union to withdraw 1,000 troops from Somalia

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced on Tuesday that it is to withdraw 1,000 soldiers from Somalia by the end of this year, Anadolu has reported. The Special Representative of the African Union Chairperson for Somalia said that the withdrawal of AMISOM troops would be “gradual”. “AMISOM has begun its drawdown from Somalia and will have its troop numbers reduced by 1,000 by 31 December,” Francisco Madeira told a press conference in Mogadishu. “Our drawdown and transition must be gradual, conditions-based, responsible and done in a manner that does not compromise the safety and security of the Somali people.” Madeira stressed the importance of unity between the people and the military in Somalia against terror, “Because the military […]

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Israel afraid of new escalation over alleged tension on Gaza borders

November 8, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israel is afraid of a new escalation with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip after a rise in tension along the border, Israeli news website Walla reported yesterday. According to Quds Press, Israeli military sources said that Israeli is still afraid of a new escalation a week after it bombed a Palestinian resistance tunnel on the borders and killing 12 Islamic Jihad and Hamas fighters. The Israeli website said that “Israel does not know how many tunnels are being dug by Hamas after the discovery of the Islamic Jihad tunnel and how many of these tunnels have crossed the borders.” It also said that the Israeli military is afraid that “if the Islamic Jihad decided to respond, it would […]

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