17 | 09 | 2019

According to media reports, a large-scale drone attack was launched in the early hours of September 14 against oil refineries of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Saudi Aramco near the cities of Abqaiq and Khurais in the eastern part of the Kingdom. The Houthi Ansar Allah movement, now fighting against forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Arabian Coalition supporting him in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Riyadh has already called this terrorist attacks. No one was killed during the attacks on the oil facilities, according to Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister. The country’s emergency services managed to contain the major fires at both refineries and to eliminate any risk of a large-scale industrial disaster. According to media reports, Saudi Arabia was forced to cut crude oil exports by 50 per cent. There are plans to compensate for these reductions using Saudi Arabian oil reserves during the upcoming repair work and reconstruction.

Six Communist and workers' parties have issued a joint statement in Paris warning against the continuing threat of a new war in the Middle East. Meeting at the Fete de l'Humanite, representatives of parties from Iran, France, Lebanon, Cyprus, Iraq and Britain expressed their concern at the rising tension between the governments of the US and Iran. They also condemned the 'economic warfare' being waged against the people of Iran as the result of US and European Union sanctions and pledged solidarity with forces in that country struggling for democratic and human rights.

'The sanctions are ruining the Iranian economy with high inflation, factory closures, mass unemployment and scarcity of medical supplies, devastating the lives of working people', accused Tudeh Party of Iran international secretary Navid Shomali.

Facebook announced on Thursday, September 12, that it was suspending a chatbot operated by far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page for violating hate speech policies, after a message spread by his campaign warned that Arabs citizens of Israel “want to annihilate us all.” The head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), who had complained to Facebook about the bot, welcomed the move.

“After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy. We also found that the bot was misusing the platform in the time allowed to contact people. As a result, we suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action,” a company spokesperson said.

A message appearing on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page on Wednesday, September 11, called on voters to prevent the formation of a “secular, weak, dangerous, leftist government, supported by Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men – and that will make possible a nuclear Iran that will annihilate us.” The message, which was reported in the daily, Communist newspaper, Al-Ittihad sought to rally votes for the Likud in next Tuesday’s, September 17, general election.

Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) condemned the message, saying, “We have contacted [the management of] Facebook demanding they act immediately to put an end to this racist and dangerous incitement by Netanyahu against the Arab population.”

It is with concern that the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) is following the path that the European Union (EU) has been treading in order to create conditions to criminalise solidarity with the Palestinian cause, while turning a blind eye on the illegalities and crimes of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.

Examples of this are the assimilation, denunciation and condemnation of Israeli policy, anti-Semitism (EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, and subsequent decisions by several member states); legislation against the international “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement” (Germany and France); the ban on participating in any political activities or events, enacted against the Palestinian writer and activist Kahled Barakat (Germany); the threat of a residence ban against Charlotte Kates, coordinator of the International Network for Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners (Germany); the charge against Ángeles Maestro Martín and two other women of collaboration with a terrorist organisation for raising funds for the reconstruction of what the Israeli forces had destroyed in the Gaza Strip in 2014 (Spain).

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday night, September 10, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the occupied Palestinian West Bank if reelected.

Speaking to the press a week before the election, Netanyahu also said that the Trump administration’s peace plan, which he said would be released days after the election, will provide an “historic opportunity” for annexing the West Bank and other areas.

Moscow has taken note of the Arab countries’ highly negative reaction to the statement made by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his intention to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.

We share concerns over these Israeli plans, the implementation of which can lead to a dramatic escalation of tensions in the region and undermine hopes for a long awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, gathering in its ranks 100 million workers in 132 countries around the globe, strongly condemns the announcement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has promised to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins the general election next Tuesday September 17th.

The Jordan Valley is a region of strategic importance while it represents 30% of the occupied West Bank and such statements show the escalation of Israeli authoritarianism against the Palestinian People in view of the elections.

The racist bill promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to place cameras in polling stations was defeated in committee yesterday, Monday, September 9. The controversial bill failed to gain a majority in the Knesset Regulatory committee, leaving the Likud-proposed legislation without an immediate path to become law before the September 17 election. The committee voted down a motion to shorten the usual legislative process so that the bill would not have to wait the standard 45 days before being brought before the Knesset plenum for debate and three votes.

The third International Trade Union Forum for solidarity with the workers and People of Syria concluded its works today on September 8th in Damascus.

In the framework of the Forum, the 232 international delegates from 52 countries met with the President of the country, Bashar Al-Assad. During the meeting, on the behalf of WFTU, colleagues from Czech republic, Egypt, Niger, Tchad, Russia, India and Lugansk gave a short speech.

Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), attacked far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) Chairman Benny Gantz on Friday, September 6, for their racist attitude towards the Joint List, the political representation of the vast majority of Arab citizens of Israel.

Odeh commented on the remark he floated during an interview with Yidioth Ahronoth, published on August 23, about the possibility of the Joint List joining a coalition headed by Blue & White: “I see that Netanyahu doesn’t want Arabs in the Knesset; Gantz doesn’t want Arabs in the coalition.” Odeh addressed the opposition expressed by Gantz to the idea, saying that, like Netanyahu, Gantz is “looking for an Arab who doesn’t have a national identity; a pro-Zionist Arab – as a fig leaf.”

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