Israeli human rights violations slammed by Cairo Institute and array of civil rights group
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in collaboration with seven Palestinian human rights organizations; Al-Haq, and Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, the Community Action Center – Al Quds University, Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights, Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, Civic Coalition forJerusalem delivered an oral statement before the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council focusing on the policy of punitive residency revocations that Israel has escalated recently.
The statement called on states to condemn Israeli policies aiming at forcibly transferring Palestinians fromJerusalem, put pressure on Israel to end residency revocation practices immediately, and prosecute, before their own national courts, Israeli officials responsible for planning and executing forcible transfer. The organizations also called upon the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to report on the escalation of violations in Occupied East Jerusalem.
In the same regard, during a joint meeting with the new Special Rapporteur on June 11th, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Al Haq, Badil- Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees Rights, Civic Coalition for Jerusalem, Medical Aid for Palestinians, and The Community Action Center (Al-Quds University) presented a joint letter calling for the urgent need for him to seriously address the consistent denial of access of Special Rapporteurs and other HRC mechanisms to the OPT by Israel the occupying power.
Al Jazeera interviews chief aide to Obama
Al Jazeera’s Washington, D.C. bureau chief, Abderrahim Foukara, conducted an interview with Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting in President Obama’s Administration, during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (“GES”) in Silicon Valley, which concluded on Friday. Al Jazeera was the international broadcasting partner to GES. Highlights of the interview, focused on the war in Syria, appear below.
The 14-minute interview will air in full on the Al Jazeera Arabic program “Min Washington” on Tuesday, July 5that 15:05 GMT and will be re-broadcast on Wednesday July 6th at 07:05 GMT and Thursday July 7th at 22:05 GMT. Additionally, excerpts are currently running on Al Jazeera’s news programs in both English and Arabic, and included on AJ+, the Network’s widely viewed online news platform. It will also air in full on Al Jazeera English.
On President Obama becoming increasingly resolved, after five years of war in Syria, that he will not take military action, Rhodes said:
“If we felt like there was a military option that could succeed, if we felt like there was a force, a military option that had a strong domestic and international legal basis that had a clear plan for how we were going to see it through, that could address the underlying political questions that have fueled the Syrian civil war, we would be open to that. The President has used military force in many different countries including North Africa and Libya. The fact of the matter is, it’s not simply because we are concerned about the enormous resource allocations that go with that type of military action. It’s because the President has not seen a plan that he believes successfully can bring an end to the conflict, and we believe ultimately that’s going to need a political framework.”
On calls from the region and even US diplomats who want the Obama Administration to take a more robust position regarding President Assad, Rhodes said:
“I think when you look at the specific question of how do we deal with Bashar Al Assad, it’s been our long standing position that he should leave power, that any political transition has to include him departing power, that we have supported groups inside of Syria who oppose Bashar Al Assad. At the same time, we very much welcome the views expressed in that dissent cable. We have had open debates as a government for many years. The problem that we see is, we don’t believe that there is a US imposed military solution that can resolve the situation in Syria.”
On relations with Iran getting closer and criticism that the Obama Administration is allowing Iran to continue its influence in Syria, Rhodes commented:
“With respect to Iran, we have been very clear here that we reached an agreement that we saw as very positive but focused on one issue; the nuclear issue, and that is not a symbol of a broader rapprochement. We are actually acting in opposition to Iranian policies in many parts of the region. We do believe that the nuclear deal was worth it. And I think that even if you assign the worst intentions to the Iranians, you would want them to not have a nuclear weapon, because if you take everything that they are doing in the region today that is troubling and you put a nuclear umbrella essentially over that, that would be much more destabilizing and dangerous even in the very difficult circumstances we have today.”
Highlights of Al Jazeera’s Coverage at the GES
Al Jazeera was the international broadcasting partner to GES, which included, among other global future-oriented events, President Obama hosting a roundtable for entrepreneurs from around the world, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Al Jazeera covered these events, as part of its in-depth reporting over the course of this critical three-day, knowledge-sharing event.
Included in this reporting as well, Foukara interviewed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and AJ+ hosted its first-ever Facebook Live interview with Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel.
The interview with Secretary Kerry will air in full on “Min Washington” on Tuesday July 5th at 11:05 PM ET and will be re-broadcast on Wednesday and Thursday of that week. Additionally, excerpts are currently running on Al Jazeera’s news programs in both English and Arabic, and being included on AJ+. It will also air in full on Al Jazeera English.
About Al Jazeera’s “Min Washington“
Al Jazeera’s “Min Washington” is a weekly roundtable show on American political and cultural affairs that offers viewers in-depth and well-informed analysis of US matters and their impact on North Africa and the Middle East. During Abderrahim Foukara’s eight years as host of “Min Washington,” he has interviewed a wide range of prominent U.S. politicians and public figures, including U.S. Presidential Candidate and previous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
As previously announced, Al Jazeera intends to expand its existing international digital services to broaden its digital presence into the U.S. later this year.
Etihad Airways partners with Air Serbia to launch US routes
Etihad Airways’ equity partner Air Serbia today launched flights to the United States, a milestone achieved with the support of, and in collaboration with, several of Etihad Airways equity partner airlines.
Air Serbia, in which Etihad Airways has a 49 per cent stake, launched its five-times-a-week scheduled flights between its Belgrade hub and New York JFK International Airport, marking a return of direct air links between Serbia and the USA after a 24-year absence. The route is being operated with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Etihad Airways, together with three of its seven equity partners – Jet Airways, Alitalia and airberlin – played a key role over the past six months to prepare for the new route launch. From engineering, fleet planning and technical support, pilot to cabin crew training, and marketing, legal and guest service backing, the true spirit of partnership and resource sharing was evident – fundamental to group strategy to drive efficiency and create synergy.
- 148 Air Serbia cabin crew have completed A330 aircraft type rating training at Etihad Airways’ headquarters in Abu Dhabi. In total, over 450 Air Serbia crew have been trained by Etihad Airways since 2013 on narrow body A319 and A320 aircraft.
- 36 Air Serbia Cabin Seniors who will be operating the aircraft as Cabin Managers were given a 3-day Leadership training course in Abu Dhabi. They also underwent specific training in Belgrade.
- Etihad Airways provided Air Serbia with 20 cabin crew to support the first three months of the New Yorkroute launch as ambassadors and to assist with onboard service delivery.
- Alitalia trained 32 Air Serbia pilots for Airbus A330 certification, specifically for the Belgrade – New Yorkroute. This included classroom training, and flight simulator cockpit training at Alitalia’s A330 flight simulators in Rome.
- Alitalia has seconded two A330 Captains to Air Serbia to share best practice and expertise on A330 operations with Air Serbia colleagues.
- airberlin has trained a number of Air Serbia pilots on other aircraft types over the years.
- Etihad Airways has supported Air Serbia by sending three flight instructors for the A330 introduction toNew York. Three Air Serbia pilots are also seconded to Etihad Airways for flight training.
- Etihad Airways provides flight data monitoring and analysis for all Air Serbia flights.
AIRBUS A330 AIRCRAFT
- Jet Airways leased the A330 to Air Serbia with Etihad Airways providing technical and maintenance support.
- Teams from Etihad Airways and Air Serbia have worked together to design, source and certify the A330 interior refurbishment with various suppliers since the end of last year.
- Etihad Airways Engineering, a business division of Etihad Airways, repainted the A330 in Air Serbia’s new livery and reconditioned the aircraft interiors with new seat fabrics in Business and Economy Class, new carpets, new galleys, new lavatories and new partitions.
- Etihad Airways Engineering worked with inflight entertainment system supplier Panasonic to provide full wi-fi connectivity across both cabins.
- Up to 80 Etihad Airways and Air Serbia staff were involved in the transition of the A330 which was delivered to the Serbian carrier on June 7, a day ahead of schedule.
- Alitalia is now providing engineering support for the Air Serbia aircraft, while Etihad Airways Engineering will handle aircraft turnarounds at New York JFK International Airport.
- Alitalia is assisting with back office engineering support of the aircraft in service.
By working together in different areas of the business, the equity partners were able to drive benefits, achieve significant economies of scale and, most of all, show how the investment business model that Etihad Airways has successfully developed, was delivering results.
James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said the collaborative efforts demonstrated the strength of the partnership strategy.
“Cooperation and collaboration between the equity partners has been second to none,” he said.
“The Etihad Aviation Group is all about driving innovation and efficiency, and as our equity investments mature, so too, will the benefits and synergies become more apparent. By developing our unique equity strategy over the past four years, we have created a compelling alliance of partners to share business and cost synergies that are driving benefits straight to the bottom line.
“We have developed our global network significantly, and in doing so, shared massive cost synergies that demonstrate a commitment to work together to reach our goal. We invested time, effort, resource and manpower to initiate, drive and develop these relationships.
Mr Hogan, who is also Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Air Serbia, added: “The introduction of non-stop services between Belgrade and the Big Apple is a terrific achievement for Air Serbia that underlines its progress so far as well as the strength of its business strategy.
“On top of that, it demonstrates the benefits of Etihad Airways Partners, whose member airlines provided support every step of the way, with Air Serbia pilots undergoing training in Rome with Alitalia, the cabin crew completing service and safety training in Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways, and the A330 being leased from Jet Airways.”
The New York service has been conveniently scheduled to provide long-haul customers with easy onward connections over Belgrade to cities across Europe, working with Etihad Airways Partners to increase network reach.
The aircraft is configured with 254 seats, features menus inspired by Serbian cuisine, fully lie-flat seats and inflight entertainment systems at every seat with the latest films, music and TV shows in English and Serbian.
About Etihad Aviation Group
Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising four business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.
From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, 117 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 122 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
About Air Serbia
Air Serbia was launched as the national airline of the Republic of Serbia in October 2013. From its Belgrade hub, Nikola Tesla International Airport, Air Serbia flies to, or has announced plans to serve, 44 passenger and cargo destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North America. The airline also offers long-haul and international destinations in Asia, Australia and the Americas through its codeshare partners and its equity partner, Etihad Airways that holds a 49% share. The airline currently operates a fleet of 14 narrow-body, one wide-body and 6 turboprop aircraft. For more details please visit www.airserbia.com
UN Chief Ban names Sudan’s Yacoub El Hillo as special rep to Liberia
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Yacoub El Hillo of Sudan as his Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission in Liberia(UNMIL), succeeding Antonio Vigilante of Italy, who concluded his assignment on 15 June 2016.
According to an information note provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Mr. El Hillo, who will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia, brings to the position a wealth of experience in the field and at United Nations Headquarters.
Since August 2013, the note continued, Mr. El Hillo has served as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, as well as UNDP Resident Representative, in the Syrian Arab Republic, based inDamascus.
Prior to his assignment in Syria, the UN official served as Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, a position he had held since November 2010.
SAMS seeks dentists to volunteer to help victims Syrian refugees in Turkey
SAMS urgently calls for experienced dentists to join our upcoming dental mission to Hatay, Turkey on July 15- 19. For more information, please email SAMS’s Medical Missions Coordinator, Yara Mowafy at email@example.com
Thank you for your volunteerism and continuous commitment to support Syrian refugees.
SAMS Medical Missions Team
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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