Morocco Refuses To Normalize Ties With Israel

The Prime Minister issued a rejection of any relations with Israel.

Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani has rejected any normalization of relations with Israel, Reuters reports.

El Otmani told his Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD) that “we refuse any normalization with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people.”

This follows the recent announcement of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel’s deal to normalize ties. Following this announcement there was speculation as to whether or not any other Arab countries would do the same. 

Morocco, however, has made it clear they will not normalize ties with Israel. 

According to Reuters Morocco has been in support of a “two-state solution” with East Jerusalem as a capital of a Palestinian state. 

In 1993, Morocco and Israel commenced low level ties after a peace deal called the Oslo Records was reached. However in 2000, Rabat, the capital of Morocco, suspended relations with Israel after the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising.

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Banksy Paintings Auctions For $2.9m With Proceeds Going To A Palestinian Hospital

They were donated to ABCD Bethlehem, a non-for-profit group that supports Palestinian children with disabilities.

Three paintings by anonymous British artist, Banksy, have sold for $2.9m at a London auction, with the proceeds being donated to a hospital in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Banksy is known for his works of political and social commentary. 

The trio of paintings, titled the “Mediterranean Sea View 2017” reference the European refugee crisis. 

The “traditionally framed, romantic-era style oil paintings depicting tumultuous seascapes” as described by BBC, were altered by Banksy’s addition of life jackets and buoys.

Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art for Europe, said prior to the auction, “In ‘Mediterranean Sea View 2017,’ Banksy corrupts three found oil paintings with his own witty reworkings to create something that, while posing as a 19th-Century seascape, spotlights one of the burning issues of the 21st Century.”

The paintings are a powerful social commentary on Europe’s migrant crisis of the past decade. The migrant crisis saw countless amounts of refugees enduring dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean and Aegean seas on boats and makeshift to flee war, armed conflict and social unrest. While many made it to European shores, thousands died at sea. 

Prior to the London based auction, the paintings were displayed in the lobby of The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. The Walled Off Hotel was opened by Banksy in 2017, to draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

They were donated to ABCD Bethlehem, a non-for-profit group that supports Palestinian children with disabilities. The proceeds will go towards building a new acute stroke unit and buying children’s rehabilitation equipment for the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR). The BASR provides medical, surgical and rehabilitation services in Palestine.

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Car Bomb Attack Kills At Least Five, Wounds 85 in Rebel-Held Syria’s Azaz

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack until as of now. 

Azaz, Syria – An explosive laden car blew up in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern town of Azaz on Sunday, killing at least 5 and injuring around 85 people, including women and children. The incident took place in the village of Siccu. Injured civilians, who were in critical condition, were taken to a hospital on the Turkish side of the border.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack until as of now. 

The Northwestern Syrian town of Azaz has been under the control of rebels backed by Turkey since the state got its control into Syria in 2016. And the YPG/PKK terror organization, which regularly attacks from Syria’s Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions, often targets Jarabulus, Azaz and Afrin.

Attack in Afrin

Earlier on Sunday in another terror attack, 13 people, including children, were injured in Afrin, a northwestern town of Syria, which is controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters. Sunday’s attacks came as parliamentary elections took place in government-held parts of the war-torn country. As in previous elections in Syria, the vote could produce a rubber-stamp body loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and to enable the peaceful settlement of residents: The missions, Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

READ MORE: Jordanians Call For Change After So-Called Honor Killing Of Ahlam

Jordanians Call For Change After So-Called Honor Killing Of Ahlam

Ahlam was murdered by her father who shortly after, sat down and drank tea beside her body.

Trigger warning: violence, domestic violence

In Jordan, a woman named Ahlam was murdered by her father in what is recognized as an “honor killing.” The attacks began after a dispute unraveled between Ahlam and her father. Her father hit her with a brick and continued the harm as Ahlam attempted to escape. She managed to start running as she was screaming for help, but her father chased her. She passed away after multiple hits to her head. Neighbors tried intervening, however, they were allegedly stopped by Ahlam’s brothers. As her body laid on the ground, Ahlam’s father sipped back on a cup of tea and smoked a cigarette. 

Ahlam had been previously in jail on a charge for misdemeanour by her father who then paid for her bail a month later. Investigations have opened on a report that someone complained of a woman being assaulted. There had been notifications that she was facing abuse at home, and no one stepped in to address the violence. 

Jordanian law allows for criminal indictment reduction under reason of honor; this can be seen in the Jordanian Penal code, Articles 98 and 99. Therefore, the father could reduce his crime under reason of Ahlam bringing dishonor to the family. Many Jordanian women have gone on social media to share that Jordanian laws continue to silence women while using Ahlam’s story as a horrifying example.

 

Jordanians flooded Twitter with anger and sadness. However, there were also comments that supported the murder. Comments such as “If she did something that touches the family’s honor then she deserves it…” escalated the issue. The father is facing the charges at Grand Criminal Court in Amman after Ahlam’s story garnered attention in the media. 

A similar incident occurred in Jordan when a man had killed his 14-year-old daughter after she made a Facebook account in May 2020.

There is a lot of growth to be made in the Jordanian government to address issues for Women’s Rights. A petition was made and began circulating online calling for the end of Articles 98 and 99 which now has more than 35,000 signatures. The translation of the petition urges the abolition of articles 98 and 99 in the Jordanian law. The petition is also asking for the end of Article 52, which gives families the right to waive the right to life of their children.

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