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Arab states present new list of Qatar-linked terrorists

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Salman bin Abdulaziz

Riyadh, July 25 : Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt on Tuesday presented a new list of nine organisations and nine individuals which they claim are backed by Qatar and allegedly involved in “terrorist activities”.

In a joint statement, the Arab states said that the list is framed “within their firm and solid commitment to fighting terrorism, cutting off sources of funding, prosecuting those who are involved in it and combating extremist ideologies and hate speech incubators”, reports Efe news.

The publication of these names came in response to the speech of Qatari emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on July 21, in which he showed Qatar’s disposition which included two conditions: non-interference and no acceptance of orders dictated from outside.

The announcement by the four states comes after the end of a trip by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Riyadh, Kuwait and Doha to try to mediate the crisis, which broke out on June 5, when the four countries cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and established a maritime, land and air blockade after accusing it of “financing and supporting terrorism”.

“The terrorist activities of the aforementioned entities and individuals have direct and indirect ties with the Qatari authorities,” the statement said, urging Doha to take “urgent steps and legal actions to persecute terrorist and extremist individuals and entities and especially those on the list”.

In addition, the text warned that the four nations will continue with the current measures and “possible future measures that might be taken”, which they did not specify, unless Doha is “committed to fulfilling all the just demands, which enable the fight against terrorism and maintain security and stability in the region”.

The list includes three Qatari and one Emirati who allegedly raise money to support the al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, as well as “other terrorist militias in Syria”, according to the Arab quartet.

Likewise, the group maintained that three Yemenis and three entities of this nationality also support Al Qaeda and receive help from charities in Qatar.

The list also includes two Libyan citizens and six Libyan organisations, including armed groups and media outlets, which they call “terrorist groups” and allegedly received “substantial financial support from the Qatari authorities”.

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Middle East

Gaza protests : 4 killed, 618 injured

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

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Gaza protests

Jerusalem, June 9 (IANS) Four Palestinian protesters were killed and 618 others wounded by Israeli soldiers on Friday during clashes near the Israel-Gaza border, officials said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, said Zeyad al-Briem, 25, and Haytham al-Jammal, 15, were killed in east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, while Emad Darabieh, 26, was shot dead in east of Jabalia in northern Gaza.

Meanwhile, Yousef al-Faseeh, 29, was killed in east of Gaza City, Xinhua reported.

Among the injured Palestinians, 117 were hit with live gunshots, 60 with tear gas inhalation, and 77 by bullets shrapnels or tear gas canisters, said al-Qedra.

The clashes, which broke out on Friday afternoon, were part of the 11th Friday “Great March of Return” held by Palestinians in Gaza since March 30. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed so far.

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The Palestinian organisers called the latest rally “the Friday of the One-million-men March for Jerusalem”.

Local media reported that thousands of Palestinian demonstrators joined the protests at five different spots in eastern Gaza.

Hundreds of kites carrying Molotov cocktails flown by demonstrators landed on Israeli agricultural fields and caused large fires.

Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at journalists and TV crew in eastern Gaza. Palestinian demonstrators brought down an Israeli drone carrying a camera used to film demonstrators in eastern Gaza City.

Five journalists were injured, including AFP photographer Mohamed al-Baba, who was shot in his right foot, and a cameraman working for the al-Aqsa Radio of Hamas, who was hit with a tear gas canister in his back, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

The Ministry also accused Israeli soldiers of firing tear gas at the medical workers who were treating the injured protesters.

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Middle East

Israel begins building marine barrier with Gaza

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

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Avigdor Liberman

Jerusalem, May 28 (IANS) Israel’s Defence Minister on Sunday announced that construction had begun on a marine barrier with the Gaza Strip extending into the Mediterranean Sea.

Avigdor Liberman said in a statement that the barrier aimed to prevent any attempts by Palestinians in Gaza to enter Israeli territory through the sea, Efe news reported.

“This is an additional setback for Hamas, which has lost another strategic capability that it has invested massive amounts in developing. We will continue to protect the citizens of Israel with might and sophistication,” Liberman said.

The barrier is to consist of three layers, one of which is to be underwater, and is expected to be completed within a year, the statement added.

During Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, members of the military wing of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, managed to swim to Israeli territory and launch an attack on a Israeli army installation before being killed.

Israeli authorities are also constructing an underground barrier beneath the Gaza-Israel boundary to stop Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli territory.

Israel claims Hamas constructs these tunnels to attack Israeli civilians.

An independent inquiry into the 2014 war in Gaza by the UN Human Rights Council concluded that “the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF (Israeli army) positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

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Middle East

US drone strikes kill 11 IS militants in Afghanistan

The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids.

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Kabul, May 28 : At least 11 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed after US and NATO-led coalition forces launched airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, authorities said on Monday.

“The drone strikes were launched on Sunday. Two IS militants were also wounded and three vehicles were destroyed after the raids,” an Army statement said.

Also on Sunday, Afghan Army helicopters struck and destroyed two heroin factories in Khogyani district, reports Xinhua news agency.

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