The disappearance and presumed murder of the Saudi exile Jamal Khashoggi has caused a crisis of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sign some papers relating to his marriage and never emerged again. Lurid accounts claim he was murdered in the consulate by a 15-strong team flown from Saudi Arabia the previous day in order to kill him.
This almost exclusively Turkish and Qatari narrative includes claims that a pathologist on this team dismembered Khashoggi’s body while he was still alive. For their part, the Saudis have maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate, and they had nothing to do with his disappearance.
Western mainstream media have mainly presented Khashoggi as a liberal journalist who opposed the regime of the purported Saudi modernizer, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS), because he wasn’t really a modernizer at all; accordingly, MBS had Khashoggi killed.
A rival analysis has been doing the rounds that Khashoggi was actually an Islamist extremist, a former friend of Osama bin Laden and an acolyte of the Muslim Brotherhood, a hater of Israel who called on all Arabs to join the “resistance” against it and who opposed M
Pressure from Israeli authorities compelled Twitter to remove 20 accounts belonging to top Hamas and Hizballah leaders in the first half of 2018, the Middle East Monitor reports. These include accounts belonging to Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Fawzi Barhoom and Rawhi Barhoum.
The move came after the Israeli Ministry of Justice’s Cybercrime Department issued a June 26 letter demanding that Twitter “permanently close” the accounts.
“Article 24 to the Israeli Counterterror Law (2016) states that any act of solidarity with a terror organization including any publication of its actions is an offense punishable by three or five years imprisonment,” the letter said.
It identified Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizballah as organizations Israel considers covered by the anti-terrorism law. The United States also has designated the organizations as terrorist groups.
Twitter says it takes local laws into consideration: “If we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.”
“UN appeals to the world to fund the PA’s ‘Pay for Slay’ policy,” by Maurice Hirsch and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, December 19, 2018:
Yesterday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) issued a joint statement in which they launched a US$350 million appeal to “address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians.” In the appeal, they called “upon the international donors’ community to help us in securing the requested funds for 2019 in order to maintain the humanitarian interventions.”
Significantly, the sum that the UN and the PA are asking the international community to donate – $350 million dollars – is equivalent to the $355 million dollars the PA allocated in its 2018 budget to fund its payments rewarding terror. This includes payments to terrorist prisoners, released terrorist prisoners, and to the families of the so-called “Martyrs” which includes terrorists killed while carrying out attacks, including suicide bombers.