Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Pence enters Israel-Palestine fray at critical moment

Lora Ball | 20 January, 2018, 11:20

"The decision to cut funding to UNRWA and to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital puts pressure on King Abdullah to distance himself from the United States, and Israel, but of course that is much easier said than done".

The report contradicts a statement made by the president on Wednesday, as US President Donald Trump told Reuters that the US embassy would not be relocated within the year.

Mahmoud Abbas, who has openly cursed Trump over his policies, told a conference in Egypt that the United States has disqualified itself from continuing as a broker in the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a role America has had for decades. Both Israelis and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their historic capitals.

But 1.5 million Palestinians of 1948 have become 9 million or so today, and they do have the power to do one thing, whether they live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, as Israeli citizens inside Israel, or throughout the diaspora around the region and the world.

First, he again specifically rejected any thought of playing along with the latest U.S. effort to restart negotiations: "We told Trump we will not accept his project, the "deal of the century, ' which has become the 'slap of the century" " - referring to United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. MbS has met regularly with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, mandated by the US president to deliver the "ultimate deal". "Our equity is in the safety and security of USA personnel". At the Times, attacks on President Trump and members of his administration apparently are not to be considered "provocative acts".

Some 20,000 Palestinian Muslims prayed at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday despite inclement weather that caused several road accidents in the Palestinian territories, according to Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem's Religious Endowments (Awqaf) Authority. He added: "Jerusalem will be a gate for peace only if it is Palestine's capital, and it will be a gate of war, fear and the absence of security and stability, God forbid, if it is not".

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Washington hits record low for unemployment
The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent again, the same as the month before and down from 4.6 percent a year prior. Paul Turek, the state economist, credits steady growth for keeping unemployment down.

Stock under Radar: Scorpio Tankers Inc (STNG)
The shipping company reported ($0.15) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of ($0.11) by ($0.04). The highest price STNG stock touched in the last 12 month was $4.79 and the lowest price it hit in the same period was $2.99.

Not a lot. Abbas has not been this blunt about declaring Oslo dead, nor has he been as adamant about decentralizing the traditional USA role as mediator.

And his visit will end in Israel, where tensions are still high after the US made an announcement to hold back more than $65 million in funding for an agency that helps Palestinian refugees.

In an interview with CNN Thursday, Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand iman of al-Azhar, said meeting Pence would "tear up my identity" and come across as "contradictory in front of people".

He noted that Jerusalem has always been and will continue to remain the capital of Palestine. Abdullah's father, the late King Hussein - the gold-standard of west-leaning Arab moderation of his time, who attended 45 clandestine meetings with Israel in his search for peace - faced similar quandaries. Combined with the Arab population in Israel, the number of Palestinians is near parity with Israel's Jewish population.

The Israeli army killed one person identified as Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, during the raid and took his body away and left behind three homes destroyed and a fourth partially damaged. "He has torn off the mask and shown to the public the simple truth that I have been working to instill for many long years: The root of the conflict between us and the Palestinians is their steadfast refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any borders whatsoever".

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