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RAMALLAH, July 14, 2018 (MENA) - Israeli soldiers crashed on Friday night an engagement party in the town of Yabad, north of the West Bank, and kept invitees from reaching it, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Saturday.

The Israeli soldiers broke into the town and set up a roadblock outside the hall where the engagement party of Qassam Freihat was taking place, according to eyewitnesses.

The soldiers stopped and checked the papers of invitees and held Freihat and questioned him.

RAMALLAH, July 13, 2018 (MENA) - Israeli settlers burnt at dawn Friday two vehicles in Urif village, in the south of Nablus.

A group of settlers from Yitzhar settlement barged into Wadi al-Sarrar area in the northeast of Urif village and set fire to two vehicles owned by a Palestinian citizen, local sources said.

Palestinian firefighters rushed to the scene and controlled the fire.

The settlers wrote slogans and threats before leaving the area.

Separately, Palestinian citizens from the west of Salfit city, northern the West Bank in cooperation with the anti-settlement movement in the province managed to obtain a decision from an Israeli court allowing them to restore about 226 donums of their lands that had been illegally taken by an Israeli firm.

 

HEBRON, July 10, 2018 (News Wires) - The Israeli military Tuesday ordered Fawzi Khalil Abu Tabeekh, from Yatta, in the south of the West Bank, to demolish three shelters and a barn for sheep he owns near his town, according to Rateb Jbour, a local activist.

He told WAFA that the army informed Abu Tabeekh to demolish the three shelters he uses as homes and the barn located in Masafer Yatta in an area close to the illegal settlement of Otnail.

Masafer Yatta is considered Area C, which is under full Israeli military control and which makes over 60 per cent of the area of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians are banned by Israel from developing their land while illegal Jewish settlers are given a free hand in building and developing these areas in flagrant violation of international law.

 

RAMALLAH, July 10, 2018 (MENA) - The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem sentenced a Palestinian mother of five from East Jerusalem to 10 years in prison and fined her around $ 9,000 after she was found guilty of a stabbing attempt in the city, according to the Committee of Families of Prisoners from Jerusalem.

Fadwa Nazih Hamadeh, 31, from Sur Baher neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, was arrested on August 12 last year outside Jerusalem's Old City Damascus Gate on allegation she attempted to stab Israelis.

Hamadeh is married and has five children, the oldest is eight years and the youngest 18 months.

RAMALLAH, July 7, 2018 (MENA) - Israeli soldiers assaulted on Saturday a number of Palestinians and foreigners who were protesting Israel’s takeover of Palestinian land in the Hebron-area village of Bani Naim, according to WAFA news agency.

Soldiers attacked the protesters, beat them up and forced them to leave the area.

They also attacked reporters covering the event, including Palestine TV crew.

The Israeli soldiers also detained Iyad Hashlamon, a photojournalist, after declaring the area a closed military zone.

 

By the Gazette Editorial Board

When he decided to walk out of the nuclear deal with Iran, President Donald Trump justified the move he made last May by the need to amend the deal. He wanted to force Tehran to end its ballistic missile programme and suspend its interference in the affairs of its Arab neighbours.

Trump, however, was not satisfied simply to renew US sanctions against Tehran. He urged his European partners, who co-signed the deal with Tehran in 2015, to suspend any sort of co-operation with Iran and threatened that their companies would also be subjected to American sanctions if they did not comply.

This is doubtless why some European companies announced their withdrawal from the Iranian market. They wanted to preserve their businesses in the US market.

Still not satisfied with pressuring its allies to withdraw their investments from Iran, the US also works hard to stop Iranian oil sales on the world market. On the one hand, Washington urged the big oil importing countries, such as India and China, to suspend oil imports from Iran by November 4. It then asked Saudi Arabia and other Opec members to increase their oil output so as to contain the oil price rise as a result of the cut in sales of Iranian oil.

Naturally, such policies are not expected to bring the Mullah regime into the international fold. Nor will they convince Tehran to withdraw its threat to resume uranium enrichment. The strategy of pouring more oil on the fire is more likely to end in triggering more regional disputes that could lead to direct military confrontation between Iran and its Arab neighbours, especially after Iran's recent threat to block the Strait of Hormuz.

The commander of the Al Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Solaimani, said on Wednesday that Iran would block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if Trump stopped Iranian oil sales.

Solaimani's statement echoed Tehran's official stand, coming as it did, a day after President Rouhani hinted at a threat to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries if Washington pressed ahead with forcing all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

“The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero... It shows they have not thought about its consequences,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA while on an official visit to Vienna.

Rouhani, who is now in Vienna trying to salvage the nuclear deal, said US sanctions against Iran were a “crime and aggression.” He called on European governments and others to stand up to Trump’s policies against Tehran.

Under pressure of the hard-liners in Tehran and the growing public anger of the economic hardship, Rouhani is not expected to kneel to the American pressure and accept the introduction of amendments to the nuclear deal, suspend the ballistic missile programme or even reduce its influence in the region.

On the contrary, tightening the rope round Tehran's neck would give more power to the Iranian hard-liners and force Rouhani to heat up public anger against the US as well as the Arab neighbours.

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