Archives For Middle East Updates

Following the United Arab Emirates’ example, the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain has announced it will become the nation’s first hotel to establish a kosher kitchen as it prepared to welcome an influx of Jewish visitors.

With an expected surge in travel from Israel since the normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, these Gulf states are adapting to the potential clientele.

“Bahrain is unique as it already has an indigenous Jewish population, and since the recent normalization of relations, we are seeing a greater interest from Jewish and Israeli travelers, and we want to be able to provide kosher food for those who prefer this option,” said Bernard de Villèle, Ritz Carlton general manager.

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Hot off her re-election to the U.S House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing.

She was responding to news that Israel demolished illegally built structures built by some Bedouin families, in Khirbet Humsah, in an area under Israeli responsibility. The new report said 73 men, women and children were displaced.

“This a grave crime – in direct violation of international law,” Omar wrote on Twitter. 

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Palestinians are observing three days of mourning after Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, died on Tuesday morning from COVID-19.

“The departure of the brother and the friend, the great fighter Saeb Erekat, represents a big loss for Palestine and for our people,” President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement. “We feel deep sorrow for losing him, especially at such difficult times the Palestinian cause is living through.”

Erekat, 65, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), announced on Oct. 8 that he had contracted the coronavirus. He was a high-risk patient, having undergone a lung transplant in 2017.

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Opposition lawmakers are accusing Benjamin Netanyahu of politicizing his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and placing Israel in a precarious position with a new Democrat administration. 

Netanyahu was one of the last of Israeli and world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden after he claimed victory on Saturday night. The Israeli prime minister sent out two tweets on Sunday morning: one congratulating Biden and another thanking Trump for years of friendship and support.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said Netanyahu “abandoned relations between Israel and the Democratic party” during Trump’s term, banking on Trump’s continuation as president and enjoying all of the administration’s positive decisions.

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Insisting that he will continue as U.S. secretary of state for another term, Mike Pompeo announced that he will be heading to the Middle East, Turkey and Georgia to visit key American allies to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s “historic efforts to forge peace and cooperation throughout the Middle East.” 

Pompeo will be visiting Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and he will be the first secretary of state since John Kerry to visit the country of Georgia.

Israel and Gulf Arabs have enjoyed warm relations with the United States, primarily based on a shared hostility with Iran. Pompeo is expected to discuss increasing pressure on Iran in the next two months.

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