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  1. #21
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    Saudi offer in corruption crackdown: 'cough up the cash and go home'

    Government demanding up to 70% of rich detainees’ wealth in return for their freedom, newspaper reports

    Authorities in Saudi Arabia are offering businessmen and members of the royal family detained on allegations of corruption an opportunity to pay for their freedom, according to media reports.

    Around 200 princes, ministers, senior military officers and wealthy businessmen have been held in five-star hotels across the country since last week, many of them at the opulent Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh.

    Quoting “people briefed on the discussions”, the Financial Times reported that the Saudi government was demanding up to 70% of the individuals’ wealth in return for their freedom.

    If settlements are agreed, hundreds of billions of dollars would be diverted into the country’s depleted coffers. Saudi Arabia recorded a budget deficit of $79bn last year and low oil prices have pushed the country into a recession.

    The arrests were ordered by King Salman via his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Their crackdown appears to be popular with Saudis who believe their country is plagued by corruption among members of the royal family and well-connected businessmen.

    The attorney general has said he is investigating allegations involving sums of at least $100bn. An estimated 1,700 bank accounts have been frozen.

    Those detained include Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire who owns stakes in Citigroup and Twitter, who is a nephew of King Salman and who had publicly backed attempts to reform the country.

    Others include Waleed al-Ibrahim, the founder of Middle East Broadcasting Centre, which owns the Saudi satellite television channel Al Arabiya, and Bakr bin Laden, chair of the Saudi Binladin construction group.

    The businessmen in custody are being asked to hand over assets. Settlements for royals are likely to also include pledges of loyalty to Prince Mohammed, the adviser said.

    The FT said many of those detained were keen to secure their release by signing over cash and corporate assets. It quoted one person involved in the negotiations as saying: “They are making settlements with most of those in the Ritz. Cough up the cash and you will go home.”

    Royal family members have long received undisclosed monthly stipends from state coffers built up during years of higher oil prices. The government has been forced to introduce austerity measures since oil prices fell three years ago, reducing subsidies and driving up costs for average Saudi nationals.

    Critics have said the crackdown amounts to a power grab by Salman, as it has been highly selective: many royals and businessmen have not been detained.

    Those detained have been spared prison in an attempt to maintain the delicate consensual alliance between the many different – and often competing – branches of the royal family.

    “He couldn’t have put them in the jail,” a senior official explained. “So this was the most dignified solution he could find.”

    Other reforms being introduced include steps to limit the remit of the religious police, who have been stripped of their power of arrest and told they are being absorbed into the interior ministry, and the lifting of the ban on women driving.

    The crown prince told the Guardian last month that he wished to “return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam”, breaking the alliance between Wahhabi clerics and the country’s ruling elite.

    He aimed to end the kingdom’s near total dependence on oil by sweeping away the resistance to change that inhibited the development of a more diverse and open economy.

    Seventy per cent of Saudi Arabia’s population are under the age of 30. Over the next decade at least 5 million Saudis are likely to enter the workforce, posing an enormous problem for a government that does not currently have jobs to offer them.

    The government is planning a new economic zone to be established on 300 miles of the Red Sea coast, in a tourist area that has already been earmarked as a liberal hub akin to Dubai, where male and female bathers are free to mingle.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...h-and-go-home?

  2. #22
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    Israel TV: Saudi Arabia, Egypt gave Trump green light regarding Jerusalem




    Israel’s News 10 said Saudi Arabia and Egypt gave US President Donald Trump the go ahead to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

    The channel said the Arab parties’ reactions and condemnations are not genuine and are misleading.

    Israeli journalist and head of the Arab desk at the news channel, Zvi Yehezkeli stressed that the announcement could not have been made without coordination between Trump and his regional allies.

    “I am not sure about the Arab countries’ reactions to this resolution,” Yehezkeli said, adding that the responses issued so far were not serious.

    On Wednesday, the US President Donald Trump announced his decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital adding that the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    World leaders, from Europe to the Middle East to Australia, slammed the decision as a “unilateral and outside the vision of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” warning of “heightened tensions or even violence across the Middle East.”

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...ing-jerusalem/



    Saudi orders media to limit coverage of Trump’s decision on Jerusalem


    Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported that the Saudi royal court has sent notices to media organisations in the country ordering them to avoid giving US President Donald Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel too much airtime.

    The instructions were sent to managers of television and radio stations in the country as well as newspaper editors.

    In addition to this, both the Saudi and Bahraini embassies in Jordan warned their citizens last night against participating in the protests and demonstrations organised in Jordan against Trump’s decision.

    The Saudi embassy in Amman wrote the following on its official Twitter page: “The embassy calls upon its citizens living in Jordan and its students studying in Jordanian universities to stay away from places of public gatherings and protests in order to protect their safety.”

    The Bahraini embassy in Jordan also urged its citizens to steer clear of places of public gatherings and protests. In a statement posted on its official website, the embassy said: “The Kingdom of Bahrain embassy in Amman urges its citizens in Jordan to completely avoid areas of public gatherings and protests, and stresses the need to be cautious and vigilant in order to protect your safety and lives from the developments and events occurring in the area.”

    The warnings were met with criticism from politicians and activists on social media, who called on the two countries’ citizens to participate in the protests.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171208-saudi-orders-media-to-limit-coverage-of-trumps-decision-on-jerusalem/



    Saudi offers Abu Dis as future capital of Palestine

    December 6, 2017

    A Saudi proposal for a peace initiative between Israelis and Palestinians offers the village of Abu Dis as the future capital of Palestine instead of East Jerusalem, stirring widespread anger.

    Activists have released a new hashtag under the name “Jerusalem is our capital” in response to the Saudi proposal.

    The New York Times reported on Sunday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman made the proposal during Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to Riyadh last month.

    According to the proposal, the Palestinians will get a non-contiguous state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over which they will have only partial sovereignty while the majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank will remain. The proposal does not grant Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in other countries the right of return to Israel.

    According to the paper, Saudi Arabia gave Abbas two months to respond to the offer.

    Abu Dis is a Palestinian town near occupied East Jerusalem. According to the Oslo Accords it is classified as Area B which is administered by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...-of-palestine/

    comments:

    If these Saudi Khawarij had ever prayed any Salah then they would know the importance of Jerusalem, the first Kiblah for the Muslims.


    World leaders warned Trump against recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But he did it anyway.

    video: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEastE...69562933109089

    Israeli historian Ilan Pappé says Israel's presence in Palestinian territories is not occupation - it's colonisation.

    video: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEastE...69251139806935


    Saudi Arabia ‘doesn’t care’ about the Palestinians as long as it can make a deal with Israel against Iran, says former Netanyahu advisor

    by Raf Sanchez - 25 November 2017

    Saudi Arabia is so eager to establish diplomatic relations with Israel that it is prepared to sign off on almost any type of Israeli-Palestinian peace deal no matter how unfavourable to the Palestinians, according to Benjamin Netanyahu’s former security advisor.

    Yaacov Nagel, who stepped down as the Israeli prime minister’s national security advisor earlier this year, said Riyadh was so keen to begin open cooperation with Israel against Iran that it “doesn’t care” what kind of deal is reached with the Palestinians.

    “They just have to say there is an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, they don’t care, they don’t give a **** about what will be in the agreement,”
    Mr Nagel said. “They need to say there is an agreement in order to go for next steps.”

    Mr Nagel’s comments come amid weeks of increasingly public signs that Israel and Saudi Arabia’s relationship is warming while tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran.

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman enraged Iran by referring to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as “new Hitler of the Middle East”. Tehran fired back that the ambitious young prince was “immature and weak-minded”.

    Meanwhile, the first aid flights began to land in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Saturday, after Saudi Arabia agreed to loosen a three-week blockade which the UN warned would lead to mass starvation.

    Boris Johnson and others have urged Saudi Arabia to ease the blockade further to allow more food and supplies into the war-wracked country.

    Saudi leaders have always shied away from making formal peace with Israel out of fear of a backlash by their own public and from across the Arab world, where Israel is still widely seen as an enemy.

    But under Mr Nagel’s analysis, the current Saudi leadership under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is looking for any type of Israeli-Palestinian peace deal so it will have political cover for normalising relations with Israel.

    His theory raises the prospect that Saudi Arabia could try to force the Palestinians into accepting a deal, even an unfavourable one, when Donald Trump lays out his expected peace proposals early next year.

    Unconfirmed media reports have suggested that Prince Mohammed had already begun pressuring Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, into accepting a US-brokered peace deal.

    Mr Nagel said he did not know if Saudi Arabia had the leverage to force the Palestinians into a deal. “I hope so, I’m not sure,” he said. Palestinian officials have said they would resist any pressure from Riyadh to accept an unfavourable deal even though Saudi Arabia is a major donor to the Palestinian Authority.

    Normalisation of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel would represent one of the biggest shifts in Middle Eastern politics in decades and would see the Jewish state and the Arab kingdom formally allied against their shared enemy Iran.

    Such an alignment would delight the White House as it would mean the two US allies could present a united front against Iran. After visiting Riyadh in February, Mr Trump hinted at the warming ties saying that he found the Saudi leadership to be “very positive” towards Israel.

    An Israeli minister publicly confirmed for the first time this week that Israeli and Saudi officials had met but said that the meetings had been kept secret at Saudi Arabia’s request. Asked if he had ever met with the Saudis during his time in the most senior ranks of the Israeli government, Mr Nagel said: “I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no”.

    Adel al-Jubier, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, has publicly insisted that there is no change to Riyadh’s position. He said Saudi Arabia would only establish relations with Israel if the Israelis withdrew from all territories captured in 1967 and allowed for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    “Until that happens, we don't have relations with Israel,” Mr Jubeir said.

    Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition government is unlikely to agree to those terms, setting up an impasse in the public positions of the Israeli and Saudi governments.

    “There is no way that a peace initiative that does not embarrass the hell out of the Saudis would not shatter Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition,” wrote Chemi Shalev, a columnist for the liberal Haaretz newspaper.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...e-deal-israel/

  3. #23
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    Muslims in Muslim Countries and Christmas


    Ibn Taymiyyah said: "The reason why the religion of Allah and its rituals is vanishing, and kufr and sin prevailing, is because of imitation of the kaafireen, just as the means of preserving all good is by following the ways and laws of the Prophets." (al-Iqtidaa', 1/413)


    Middle East




    Islam forbids the Muslims to imitate the kuffaar, especially the Jews and Christians, but this prohibition does not apply to all their affairs, rather it applies to matters of their religion and things that are unique to them, by which they are known.

    It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will enter it too.” We said: “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: “Who else?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1397; Muslim, 4822.

    This hadeeth indicates that it is haraam to imitate the Jews and the Christians, and that those who follow them and tread the same path as them are criticized. Islam has reinforced this prohibition, by describing those who imitate the kuffaar as being of them. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3512; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 2691.

    https://islamqa.info/en/5000

  4. #24
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    UAE blocks access to Skype over 'unlicensed VoIP calls'

    December 31, 2017

    United Arab Emirate’s telecom providers Etisalat and Du have confirmed that Skype has been blocked throughout the country over "unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls", Gulf News reported on Sunday.

    Addressing the issue, Skype confirmed inaccessibility in UAE and also mentioned that the app had been blocked in Qatar.

    "It has been brought to our attention that our website and services have been blocked by the ISPs in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar," said Skype in a message on its website. "That means you won't be able to use Skype in the United Arab Emirates or Qatar."

    The blocking of free calling service — including through Whatsapp and Snapchat — is a debated subject in the UAE with a Federal National Council member advocating for a lift in the restriction in the 2016 April session, Khaleej Times had reported in June.

    On the other hand, UAE's neighbour, Saudi Arabia, had announced in September that online video calling apps — including WhatsApp, Skype and Viber — would be unblocked in the Kingdom that month.

    The apps were blocked in Saudi Arabia in 2013, after the government claimed that they "do not meet the regulatory conditions” in the country. An industry source had then alleged that the move was motivated by business interests.

    Most recently, Skype joined the lengthening list of internet tools on China's blacklist, disappearing from download stores in November.

    "We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of VoIP apps do not comply with local law, therefore these apps have been removed from the App Store in China," Apple had said in an emailed statement.

    The company, however, had not specified which laws such apps were found to have violated.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1379952/ua...sed-voip-calls

    comments:

    This is what happens when your country is going bankrupt, so you try to make money off of anything you can.

  5. #25
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    Israel to launch railway network connecting it with Saudi Arabia

    16th January 2018

    Israeli authorities have announced that they intend on building a railway network linking Israel with Saudi Arabia to transfer goods and people.

    The plan was first proposed last week by Israel’s transport minister, Yisrael Katz, who had initially presented the idea to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy last month.

    Under the proposal, goods could travel by rail from Israel’s Mediterranean port of Haifa through Jordan to Saudi Arabia’s Gulf port of Dammam via Jordan.

    According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the 15 million shekels (£10.5 million) cost of the plans for this project was included in the 2019 budget, which was approved three days earlier.

    Currently, Yedioth Ahronoth said, Israel is transporting goods arriving in Haifa Port and heading to Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States through Jordan, noting that the war in Syria led these countries to use Israeli ports instead of those in Syria.

    The paper reported that the Israeli Transportation Minister called this railway the “Peace Line”, adding that Israel would open a new commercial crossing to deal with goods exported by the Gulf States and Iraq through Israeli ports.

    According to Israeli media, the Israeli Railway Commission has already formed a team of experts to lay down plans for this project, which, it said, would improve Israel’s international status as the railway will connect Europe with the Middle East.

    Israel has set its sights on normalising relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states which Israeli leaders say share their country’s concerns about Iran.

    However, Israel maintains a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and tightly regulates the overland passage of goods and people through its border with the territory.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/01/16/is...-saudi-arabia/

    comments:

    When the Ottomans built train tracks to the holy sites then they purposefully made the tracks narrow compared to the ones used in Europe so they may not be able to use it to invade/attack the holy sites. Now 100 years later these Khawarij Arab Sauds build train tracks in the holy cities and straight to the biggest enemy of Islam, Israelis.

    It's alright though, they are just make a way for al-Mahdi and Issa (alayhi salam)'s army to go free Falastine.

  6. #26
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    Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman on Billion Dollar Shopping Spree

    Here's how the Crown Prince of Saudi, Bin Salman, spent one billion dollars despite his reformation, anti-corruption and austerity narratives.

    video 1: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEastE...82460571819325

    video 2: https://www.facebook.com/KJVids/videos/1536572503063699





    Khawarij Bahrain Regards Jerusalem a 'Side Issue'

    The Foreign Minister of Bahrain regards Jerusalem as a 'side issue'.


  7. #27
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    Hindu Idol Worship in Arabia

    The Arabian Peninsula that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) cleaned of idols and idol worship is now being polluted with current day Arabs building Hindu Temples filled with idols for worship, and these Arabs are worshiping these Idols too now.


  8. #28
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    Anti-expat Kuwait MP calls for naturalised widows to lose citizen

    1/20/2018


    Controversial Kuwaiti MP Safaa al-Hashem has called for naturalised wives of Kuwaiti men to have their citizenship revoked once their husbands die.

    Kuwait's only female MP
    , known for her controversial stances, has called for revoking the citizenship of widows of Kuwaiti men.

    "The Kuwaiti citizenship of the naturalised wife should be rescinded after her husband's death so that she will not seek the Kuwaiti citizenship for her children from her new husband who will be a foreigner from her country of origin," MP Safaa al-Hashem posted on Twitter.

    Hashem, who is known for her inflammatory rhetoric against expats and has pledged to address the demographic imbalance in the country, said "foreign" widows of Kuwaiti men had no reason to keep the Kuwaiti citizenship they had acquired, Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah reported.

    The lawmaker, who is also chairman of the Women and Families Committee in the Kuwaiti parliament, said members would be discussing the issues of the wives of Kuwaiti men with the Minister of Interior.

    Hashem also sparked controversy last week after she claimed that 300,000 people out of 1.3 million "real" Kuwaitis have forged documents, describing those with fake citizenships as "rats".

    Other hard-line policies Hashem has proposed to reduce immigration include forcing non-Kuwaitis to pay a tax for walking on streets and banning them from having access to free medicine in hospital, regardless of how poor they may be.

    Lawmakers have proposed other discriminatory measures including deporting foreign teachers, banning expatriates from driving and a "15 year cap" on foreign workers in the country.

    Expats currently make up 70 percent of Kuwait's 4.3 million population.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/ne...s-citizenships

    comments:

    Women continue to prove that they are women's worst enemy. And if these arab women weren't so busy trying to wear the pants at home and mini-skirts when vacationing in UK/Europe then maybe they wouldn't have to worry about their men marrying expats.

  9. #29
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    Saudi Arabia approves airspace for flights to Israel

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted permission for Air India flights headed to Israel to use its airspace for the first time, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

    The policy, which will be implemented next month, means that flights from New Delhi to Tel Aviv would be shortened by two and a half hours.

    The new route, Haaretz reports, means that the airline would reduce fuel costs and sell cheaper tickets to passengers.

    The Saudi government had previously banned flights headed to Israel from using its airspace for 70 years.

    While it is no secret that private jets can fly from Saudi and other Gulf airports to Israel, they could not use the direct route and had to make a stop-over in Amman airport first.

    The decision is widely seen as an acknowledgement of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s influence in the region, who visited the occupied West Bank on Saturday 10 February.

    Last year, he became the first Indian premier to go to Israel on an official state visit.

    But the policy also signifies the normalisation of diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been linked to having increasingly covert relations over the last year.

    This has been credited to the shakeup of Saudi domestic and foreign policy, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/02/13/sa...hts-to-israel/


 

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