EU, UN, JORDAN WARN ISRAEL AGAINST DISPLACING PALESTINIANS
The European Union (EU) on May 6 criticised the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling for evicting more than 1,300 Palestinians from Masafer Yatta, south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. “Under international law, individual or mass forcible transfers and deportation of protected persons from occupied territories are prohibited, regardless of their motive,” the EU tweeted. “As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian population and not displace it.” The UN also called for Israeli authorities to cancel the court’s ruling to evict 1,300 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Lynn Hastings said, “As all domestic legal remedies have been exhausted, the community is now unprotected and at risk of imminent displacement.” Meanwhile, Jordan authorities issued warning against Israeli plan to evict 1,300 Palestinians living in eight villages in the South Hebron Hills. Jordanian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Haitham Abu al Foul, also warned against Israeli plans to approve the construction of 4,988 illegal settlement units in other areas of the occupied West Bank.
TURKISH MOSQUE ATTACKED IN NORTH-EASTERN FRANCE
A mosque affiliated with Turkiye’s Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) in France’s north-eastern province of Metz was attacked on May 5. The mosque was damaged in a fire that broke out after unknown persons lobbed three Molotov cocktails on the walls of the mosque. Ali Durak, President of the Mosque Association, said the mosque was saved from being completely burned down at the last moment. “We did not expect such an attack,” he said, adding the Association is in constant interaction with the local community. Durak said the mosque was attacked for the first time, noting that local officials immediately contacted them after the attack. Meanwhile, the Coordination Committee of Turkish Muslim Associations (CCMTF) said in a statement that anti-Muslim, racist and xenophobic incidents are on the rise in the country. The latest attack is related to Islamophobia, which became more evident during the presidential elections, the statement emphasised.
IRAN: EU NUCLEAR TALKS ENVOY TO VISIT AS BLOC SEEKS TO SAVE DEAL
The European Union’s Iran nuclear talks coordinator Enrique Mora is to visit Tehran on May 10, the semi-official agency Nour News reported on May 7, as the bloc said it was seeking to break a deadlock and save the 2015 accord. Reuters reported that talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers have been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the US Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) list. “This trip could be seen as a new step in constructive consultations on the few but important issues that have remained in the Vienna talks,” Nour News said on Twitter.
LEBANON EXPATRIATES VOTE IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
Thousands of Lebanese living in 48 countries on May 8 began casting their ballots in the second phase of Lebanon’s parliamentary elections. A total of 194,348 expatriates have registered to vote in this round of the polls in 48 countries, including Australia, the United States, Canada, EU countries, and several African states. A similar vote was held on Friday for Lebanese expatriates in ten countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Jordan, and Iraq. Voter turnout in the first phase of the polls reached 60%, according to the election commission. Lebanon’s parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on May 15. A total of 103 lists made up of 718 candidates are competing in the elections to win a seat in the 128-member parliament. It is the second time in Lebanon’s history to allow Lebanese abroad to cast their votes. The first was in 2018.
ALGERIA LAWYERS BOYCOTT MOROCCO FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Algerian lawyers announced a boycott of a football match for lawyers, scheduled to start on May 7 in Morocco, due to Israeli participation. This came in a statement issued on May 5 by the Algiers Lawyers Organisation team, which was invited to participate in the competition. The statement disclosed: “The team decided to boycott the football tournament for lawyers (in Morocco), not to participate in it, and to refrain from entering Moroccan territory. The team decided to return from Tunisia, where it was on its way to participate.” The statement explained that the decision came: “After officially confirming the participation of teams from Israel in the competition that will be held in an Arab country. This constitutes a step towards normalisation with Israel, which goes against the principles of the Algerian government and people who reject any form of normalisation and who show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their just cause.”
ARAB COALITION BEGINS HOUTHI PRISONERS’ TRANSFER
The Saudi-led Arab coalition said, on May 6, that a plane carrying Houthi prisoners took off from Saudi Arabia to Yemen. The Saudi Press Agency quoted the coalition’s statement as saying “the first plane transporting Houthi prisoners to Yemen has left the Kingdom as part of the Saudi humanitarian initiative.” “Three phases of transporting prisoners by airplanes to Sana’a and Aden will be completed today,” it added. On 1 April, UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, announced a “long overdue” two-month truce between Yemen’s warring rivals, under which all offensive military air, ground and maritime operations were halted. Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.
IRANIANS HOLD RALLIES TO MARK INTERNATIONAL QUDS DAY
Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in nationwide rallies on April 29 to mark International Quds Day, an annual event to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. This year’s rallies came after a two-year hiatus and saw the participation of top Iranian government and military officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, Parliament Speaker, Mohammad Baqar Ghalibaf, Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) chief, Hossein Salami. In the capital, Tehran, people marched on different streets, carrying posters and banners with pro-Palestine messages and chanting anti-Israel slogans, and converged around noon at Tehran University where top officials, including Salami, addressed the gathering. In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Salami said the issue of Palestine is becoming “more prominent” in the global political arena, and reaching a point where attacks on Palestinians “doesn’t come without consequences” for Israel.
JORDAN’S CROWN PRINCE SWORN IN AS DEPUTY KING
Jordanian Crown Prince, Prince Al-Hussein Bin Abdullah II, was sworn in as deputy king on April 28. Al-Mamlaka quoted local sources as saying that the prince had taken the constitutional oath “in the presence of the ministry body” to cover the duties of the king during his absence from the kingdom. The Jordanian king had left “on a private visit with his wife, Queen Rania,” adding that they would later head on a “working visit to the United States.” Twenty-seven-year-old Al-Hussein, the king’s eldest son, has been sworn in for the position on previous occasions.