Palestinian journalist Amjad Yaghi was just nine years old when his mother left the Gaza Strip on what should have been a short trip to Egypt for medical treatment. But until a joyful reunion this week, they did not see each other again for 20 years. After leaving Gaza in 1999, Yaghi's mother, Nevine Zouheir, could not return to Gaza because of spinal disc pain for which she needs surgery. Despite 14 attempts to go to see her, Yaghi was unable to get out of Gaza after the militant group Hamas took control of the territory in 2007 and Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade that included travel restrictions. When Nevine Zouheir saw her son Amjad Yaghi from her balcony she ran to meet him The pair embraced in the stairwell - on their first meeting for 20 years Though he was invited to attend several conferences abroad, he received travel clearance only after they ended, leaving him without a valid reason to cross the border. Yaghi was finally granted a visa to enter Egypt via … [Read more...] about Emotional moment Palestinian mother and son are reunited in Egypt after 20 YEARS and 14 desperate attempts to see each other
It has been a deeply depressing week: bombings in Iraq, scores dead in a Pakistani church, a new alliance of extremist Islamic brigades formed in Syria and the siege of a top-end mall in Nairobi, with at least 72 people killed by militants from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab group. Twelve years after the 9/11 attacks, our tolerance for such violence is higher. But every few months, there is an incident that is sufficiently close to home, literally when a soldier is killed on the streets of London, or figuratively when weekend shoppers are targeted, to provoke the existential dread that is the aim, by definition, of terrorism. There are, however, several reasons to be more cheerful about the future than the week's events might suggest. First, the al-Qaida central leadership is, most analysts agree, very much weaker than before. The death of Osama bin Laden crippled an organisation that owed much of its influence to its media image. The current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an effective … [Read more...] about Does the carnage in Nairobi mean jihadist terror is resurgent?
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has voiced support for Kurdish statehood, taking a position that appears to clash with the US preference to keep sectarian war-torn Iraq united. Pointing to the mayhem in Iraq, Netanyahu on Sunday called for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan as part of a broader alliance with moderate forces across the region, adding that Israel would have to maintain a long-term military presence in the West Bank even after any future peace agreement with the Palestinians. Netanyahu laid out his positions in a policy speech that marked his most detailed response to the gains made by Sunni extremists fighting in Iraq. His endorsement of Kurdish independence, as well as his tough position on the West Bank, put him at odds with prevailing international opinion. In a speech to a Tel Aviv thinktank, Netanyahu said that the rise of both al-Qaida-backed Sunni extremists, as well as Iranian-backed Shia forces, had created the opportunity for … [Read more...] about Israel’s prime minister backs Kurdish independence
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set early Wednesday to secure a record fifth term in office with the support of right-wing parties, according to near complete unofficial election results. Netanyahu's Likud and the rival centrist Blue and White, led by former military chief Benny Gantz, were on pace to receive 35 Knesset seats each in the 120-seat parliament. However, Likud and its allied right-wing and religious parties were set to win 65 seats, beating the leftist bloc. The results mean that Netanyahu appeared to have a mandate to form a coalition. "I was very moved that the nation of Israel once again entrusted me for the fifth time, and with an even greater trust," Netanyahu told supporters. "I want to make it clear, it will be a right-wing government, but I intend to be the prime minister of all Israeli citizens, right or left, Jews and non-Jews alike," he said. Read more: Ultranationalists to play kingmakers after Israeli election The … [Read more...] about Israel’s Netanyahu on pace for reelection