Thursday, October 29, 2020

From Ian:

US announces citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on their passports
The United States will now allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their country of birth on passports and other consular documents, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday.

The declaration marked the reversal of a decades-old policy that refrained from identifying the city as part of the Jewish state in an effort by the US to remain neutral on a key final status issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Pompeo said in a statement that the policy change would be “effective immediately” and was “consistent” with US President Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and subsequently move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The new policy will allow US citizens to choose between “Jerusalem” or “Israel” as their place of birth; those who refrain from choosing will by default continue to be issued documents with their place of birth listed as “Jerusalem.”

US policy until Thursday allowed American citizens born in Jerusalem to identify only the city as their birthplace in their passports, unless they were born before Israel’s creation in 1948, in which case their country of birth was listed as “Palestine.” The State Department policy was challenged in the Supreme Court but ultimately upheld in 2015.
NYTs: Could a New U.S. Government Undo Trump's Policy toward the Palestinians?
Allowing the reopening of the Palestine Liberation Organization's diplomatic mission in Washington or restoring much of the aid to projects that directly benefited the Palestinian Authority would require overcoming a number of legal obstacles, some of which might require Congressional approval. And re-establishing the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which until 2019 functioned as the American diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, would require Israel's permission. "These are all possible but they would require heavy political lifting," said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

What PA President Abbas may wish for most - that a new U.S. president would prioritize the Palestinian cause, pressure Israel to make concessions, and even move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem - seems highly unlikely at best. Former Vice President Joe Biden has made clear he has many higher priorities and has signaled that he does not want to clash with the Israeli government. "The idea that everything will go back to the way it was before is somewhat of a fairy tale," said Mouin Rabbani, an expert on Palestinian politics.


A New Nuclear Deal with Iran?
How then can the United States get around the Iranian regime's adamant opposition to any restrictions on its nuclear or missile ambitions and secure a sound nuclear deal?

Even if the United States secured a new nuclear agreement with Iran, or resuscitated the old one, what makes anyone think that Iran would honor a deal any more than it honored the last ones?

Given the seriousness of these issues and the lack of trust in the mullahs, all provisions must not have "sunset clauses" but be permanent.

Even if these six factors may now make it possible to give "diplomacy a chance," it might be advisable only to try that route if it is reinforced with resolute military force.

The JCPOA it is not only a fraud, it is camouflage for the appeasers of the world to pretend they are doing something about Iran's nuclear ambitions when in fact they are not doing anything but allowing Iran, after a short delay, to have nuclear weapons.... The mullahs will not change on their own. Diplomatic options are poor and unrealistic.

The JCPOA deal not only fails to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, it also hides Western inaction in confronting Iran's missiles, nuclear sites and terrorism.


Three dead as woman beheaded in knife attack in Nice, France
A knife-wielding attacker shouting "Allahu Akbar" beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist incident at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police and officials said.

The attacker was confirmed by French police to have been a 21-year-old Tunisian national, who entered the country via Italy. However, further details regarding his identity remain unclear.

Within hours of the Nice attack, police killed a man who had threatened passersby with a handgun in Montfavet, near the southern French city of Avignon. He was also shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), according to radio station Europe 1.

France's Le Figaro newspaper quoted a prosecution source as saying the man was undergoing psychiatric treatment, and that they did not believe there was a terrorism motive.

Nice's Mayor Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near the city's Notre Dame church.

Estrosi said the attacker had repeatedly shouted the phrase "Allahu Akbar," or God is greatest, even after he had been detained by police.

One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said, adding that a woman had tried to escape from inside the church and had fled into a bar opposite the building.​ "The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive," Estrosi told reporters.

"Enough is enough," Estrosi said. "It's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory."
Man in Saudi Arabia arrested for attacking French consulate guard
A Saudi man was arrested in Jeddah after attacking and injuring a guard with a "sharp tool" at the French consulate on Thursday, Saudi state TV reported.

The French Embassy said the consulate was subject to an "attack by knife which targeted a guard," adding the guard was taken to hospital and his life was not in danger.

"The French embassy strongly condemns this attack against a diplomatic outpost which nothing could justify," an embassy statement said.

The attack happened after a knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" beheaded a woman and killed two other people in the French city of Nice earlier on Thursday. Nice's mayor described the attack as terrorism.

France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of a school teacher by a man of Chechen origin. The attacker had said he wanted to punish the teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.

Since Paty's killing, French officials have re-asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the killed teacher.
Is the Nice terror attack linked to Turkish gov't incitement? – analysis
A terrorist attack at a church in France on Thursday followed a week of Turkish incitement, including the use of mass media in Turkey to push for “retaliation” against France, such as boycotts, attacks on French President Emmanuel Macron, insults and rants directed against a French magazine and comparing France to the “Crusades.”

Ankara apparently succeeded in radicalizing at least one person to attack the churchgoers.

A “man wielding a knife on Thursday killed three people and injured several others in an attack at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice in southern France,” France24 reported. Nice’s mayor called it an act of terrorism.

The methods used to murder one of those in the church were “those used against the brave teacher,” according to The National, a private English-language daily newspaper published in the UAE. This is a reference to Samuel Paty, a teacher who was decapitated almost two weeks ago by a teenager after the father of a student incited against him for allegedly showing cartoons in class.

Turkey has launched an incitement campaign against France that is run by its ruling AK Party and driven by its pro-government media machine, such as Daily Sabah, Anadolu Agency and TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has incited against Macron, claiming he is mentally deranged, even as Turkey threatened legal action against the Charlie Hebdo magazine for publishing cartoons.
Erdogan: Macron Needs Mental Treatment; By Fighting against Islam, Europe Is Bringing Its Own Demise

Islamists have declared war on France, Jewish community leader says
Islamists have declared war on France, a senior leader of French Jews said following multiple assaults, including the murder of three people at a church in Nice.

Gil Taieb, the vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, made the comments Thursday in reference to the fatal knife attacks outside the Notre Dame church of the Mediterranean coastal city.

The perpetrator was shouting “Allahu akbar” — Arabic for Allah is the greatest — before he was shot and rushed to the hospital, Le Monde reported.

Also on Thursday, another man shouting about Allah attempted to stab police officers in Avignon, another southern French city situated about 120 miles west of Nice. He was shot and died from his wounds, Europe1 reported. Initial reports did not say whether authorities believe the incidents were linked.

“The Islamists are waging war against us!” Taieb wrote on Twitter. “We stand united against Islamist barbarism.”
Dr. Al-Rawi: Macron Insists on Offending Islam Because He Was Brought to Power by Rothschilds

Muslims have 'right to punish' French, says former Malaysian PM
Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday Muslims have a right to "kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past" but he did not approve of the killing of a French teacher over his use of cartoons of the Prophet.

In a blog post Mahathir, 95, a respected leader in the Muslim world, said he believed in freedom of expression but that it should not be used to insult others.

"Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past. But by and large the Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't," Mahathir said in a blog post, which he also posted on Twitter.

"Since you have blamed all Muslims and the Muslims' religion for what was done by one angry person, the Muslims have a right to punish the French," he said.

Twitter said the message violated its rules about glorifying violence, but it determined that it may be in the public's interest for the post to remain.

Several Muslim-majority countries have denounced remarks by French officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, defending the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French school classroom. The caricatures are seen as blasphemous by Muslims.
Palestinians call for ‘day of rage’ to protest offensive cartoons
Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the head of the Palestinian Islamic Supreme Council, called for a “day of rage” on Friday to protest “attempts to harm” the prophet Mohammed.

The call came as Palestinians continued to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron for his recent remarks about Islam.

On October 2, Macron spoke before a crowd gathered in the Paris suburb of Bois d’Aulne where teacher Samuel Paty had been beheaded by a radical Islamist assailant after he displayied cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech, and the French president said that “Islam is a religion which is experiencing a crisis today, all over the world.” He has also publicly defended cartoons of the prophet and pledged to tackle extreme Islamism in France.

At several protests in the West Bank, Palestinians burned French flags and trampled on pictures of Macron, accusing him of spearheading a campaign against Islam and Muslims.

Sabri, who also serves as preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that Muslims “reject the offensive drawings of the prophet Muhammad and will express their rejection of these uncivilized transgressions.”

He added that the “offensive cartoons contradict freedom of speech and expression” and are intended to ridicule and insult the prophet.
Egyptian TV Host: We Should File Lawsuit against Charlie Hebdo, Like Jews Sued Nazis for Stolen Gold



The Sudan Agreement: Another Arab-Israel Milestone
While Burhan remained tight-lipped about normalization in public, Hemeti campaigned for it at gatherings all around the country, arguing that engagement with Israel was in Sudan’s best interests. The main objections came from Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who heads a civilian cabinet created by the partnership formula reached between the military chiefs and the “Freedom and Change” political coalition. As late as September, Hamdok was still attempting to delink the Israel issue from Sudan’s U.S. terrorism designation. Yet his position softened once Washington firmly conditioned the end of sanctions on peace with Israel.

Meanwhile, developing cooperation between Hemeti and Hamdok brought about a breakthrough in efforts to restore internal peace, with rebel groups represented by the Sudan Revolutionary Front signing the Juba Agreement early this month. All of these groups support rapprochement with Israel and oppose political Islam. Abdel Wahid al-Nur—the Paris-based leader of the strongest rebel faction, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), which is still negotiating its own peace agreement—has already made a public statement welcoming normalization. Another key rebel figure, Abdelaziz Hilu of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), is expected to follow suit. Hamdok, an experienced economist, apparently concluded that he could use the practical benefits of normalization to overcome opposition from communists, Nasserites, Baathists, and Islamists. Indeed, these groups have not managed to stage meaningful protests against the deal so far, nor have they left the government.

Through Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din, Hamdok is now promising that the Israel deal will be ratified by parliament. Yet the legislative assembly that was supposed to be formed for the transitional period until elections in 2022 has not been established. According to arrangements between Sudan’s military chiefs and civilian politicians, a joint meeting of the Sovereignty Council and the government’s ministers may exercise the powers of the absent parliament. This mechanism may allow Israel and Sudan to activate their coming normalization protocols without a parliamentary vote.

For now, Sudan has granted Israel the right to use its airspace for shorter flights to Latin America—one of Netanyahu’s longstanding priorities for boosting trade ties. The Sudanese are also seeking Israeli know-how and technologies for agriculture, among other sectors. With drastic reforms and substantial investments, the country could eventually become a breadbasket for the Arabian Peninsula and beyond—the Emiratis and Saudis have already expressed great interest in this potential. Moreover, cheap electricity from Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, only a few miles from Sudan’s border, would further enhance the prospects of igniting an economic recovery in the not-too-distant future.

It is unclear at the moment how quickly Israel and Sudan will sign each of the individual protocols and establish mutual embassies. Yet it is safe to assume that Burhan is keen to move as fast as possible—certainly before January, when a new president may enter the White House.

PROSPECTS FOR FURTHER NORMALIZATION DEALS? Most Arab states are waiting for the results of the U.S. election before making any public overtures toward Israel. Morocco, Oman, and Qatar are weighing the possible advantages of upgrading their relations—though all three may be overtaken on the bumpy road to Jerusalem by Djibouti, whose president has been urged by the UAE to consider a move. Eventually, Abu Dhabi’s great influence down the East African coast may lead to some form of cooperation between Israel and the two de facto states of Somaliland and Puntland. Israel will also intensify efforts to establish relations with the Muslim-majority states of the Sahel, including Mauritania, which recognized Israel in 1999 but severed formal relations a decade later.


Unexpected: Lebanon Demands Israel’s Existing Offshore Gas Field in Maritime Border Negotiations
The first round of negotiations between Israel and Lebanon on the demarcation of their shared maritime border concluded on Wednesday. The talks were held at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) base in Naqoura (Nakura) in southern Lebanon. The next round of talks is expected to continue on Thursday.

There are reports that the Lebanese side are not talking directly with the Israelis in the room, but rather via the mediators in the same room.

What’s at stake is the ability to welcome in international gas companies to explore and pump a tremendous amount of natural gas out of the ocean floor in the disputed region.

What was originally under discussion was an 860 square kilometer region that both sides claim is theirs, the dispute stemming from where and from which exact angle the maritime border line is drawn from shore. But, apparently to the surprise of everyone else at the meeting, the Lebanese negotiators demanded an additional 1,460 square kilometer area further south, that was previously an undisputed section of Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Lebanese are now claiming ownership of Israel’s Karish gas field and Block 72, where additional drilling was expected to take place.

The Karish field was discovered by Noble Energy in 2011, and is located near the offshore Leviathan gas field, but at deeper water depths at 1738 meters.

This is the first time that Lebanon is directly negotiating with Israel. After Hezbollah blew up the Port of Beirut, the Lebanese government collapsed from corruption and ineptitude, and of course Hezbollah interference, not to mention the collapse of the Lebanese economy, the Lebanese side isn’t exactly negotiating from a position of strength.
Palestinians denounce inclusion of settlements in US-Israel scientific pact
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday condemned the US-Israel agreement to extend scientific cooperation to areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, describing it as a first step toward American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank.

“This is a dangerous and unacceptable precedent, which we cannot stay silent,” Abbas’s official spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.

“We reject this American policy which attempts to help Israel consolidate its occupation of Palestinian lands. None of these policies will give any legitimacy to anyone. The settlements will one day disappear,” Abu Rudeineh added.

Israel and the US on Wednesday signed an agreement that removed all previous geographic restrictions from their scientific cooperation, a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “a victory over all the organizations and countries that boycott Judea and Samaria,” using the Biblical term for the West Bank.

During a festive ceremony at Ariel University in the heart of the West Bank, Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman signed a protocol that amended three 1970s agreements that form the basis for bilateral scientific cooperation.
Palestinian Narrative of Victimization ‘Coming to an End’
An astonishing level of criticism from Arab commentators, intellectuals and journalists has been leveled at the Palestinian leadership in recent weeks in response to its condemnations against countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, which have just signed normalization agreements with Israel. Five years ago, it seemed that the Palestinians could never fall out of grace with Americans, the Arab world or even the Europeans. These days, all this seems to have changed.

Uzi Rabi, head of the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, sat down for a discussion with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the peace agreements and the future of the Middle East.

Referring to the recently signed agreements, said Rabi, “this is definitely a breakthrough and has the potential of a game-changer. What should we expect on top of it? What is your prospect with regard to the geopolitical architecture in this region after or post the agreements with the UAE and Bahrain?”

Friedman said he believes the normalization agreements have proven that “the sky’s the limit.”

He expressed hope that “in our lifetimes, God willing, we will see an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict as we’ve traditionally thought of it—the notion of a 22-member Arab League that is united in their opposition to Israel. I think it will come to an end.”

“It doesn’t mean all 22 Arab League nations will come on board,” he added. “It will be incremental. But I have no doubt it will grow five, 10, maybe more countries over time. And we are having discussions with many of them now. Each one has their own issues, their own population dynamics. It’s not a one-size-fits-all type of arrangement. I’m enormously optimistic.”

Rabi noted that while the United States left the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—and placed enormous financial pressure on Iran, the question remains “whether this is enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What more can be done to that effect?” he asked.
PWM: PA Minister of Justice’s own statement proves that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel!
While the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are still considering the request of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to invent a “State of Palestine,” and approve opening an investigation against Israel, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Justice, Muhammad Al-Shalaldeh, has inadvertently made a public statement, which proves that the ICC lacks any jurisdiction over Israel.

Presenting the PA plans to open the PA courts for the first time to allow for both the prosecution of Israelis and for private Palestinians to sue Israelis who allegedly caused them harm, Al-Shalaldeh made remarkable statements.

On the subject of the criminal prosecutions, Al-Shalaldeh clarified that the PA is:

“currently working to gather criminal evidence in order to submit the first lawsuits.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2020]


On the subject of the civil claims, Al-Shalaldeh added:

“The Palestinian courts will examine the issuing of rulings and sentences against settlers, in a demand for civil liability for damages, which is connected to providing civil compensation. This is in order to establish the perception of state sovereignty over an occupied area, and as continuation of Palestine being accepted as a UN non-member state, in addition to strengthening the perception of judicial authority over the occupied Palestinian area.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2020]


Why do these statements by the PA Minister of Justice himself prove what PMW argued in its submission to the ICC that the ICC lacks jurisdiction over Israel?

The ICC is not a regular national criminal court. Rather, it works solely on the basis of “delegated jurisdiction.” Membership in the ICC is limited to “states,” whose national jurisdiction could be delegated, in given circumstances, to the ICC.
The Palestinians: 100 years of lawlessness
The Palestinian national movement is "celebrating" 100 years of anarchy. You don't need to be the Zionist enemy to judge it so harshly. Arabs, and even many Palestinians, know it, and recently have even been saying so in public.

The Palestinians should be condemned not for their opposition to Zionism, and not even because of their violence. They see their struggle as a post-colonialist liberation, which has always entailed violent elements. Their enmity to Israel is understandable: they have been beaten, oppressed, and a large part of their people exiled.

The ongoing lawlessness of their national movement has to do with its consistent evasion of responsibility for the fate of its people. The movement has become addicted to a pattern of behavior that combines failed aggression with serial whining. It's important to remind those who insisted on pitying the Palestinians because of their wretchedness that this behavior is what has brought most of their misfortunes down upon them. It's hard to respect them as a national collective.

Their attempts in the 1920s and 1930s to uproot the Zionist enterprise was effective. As Jews, it's hard for us to admit, but the widespread Palestinian terrorism did bring them closer to their goal. Every round of violence brought them closer to the desired result, in the form of British restrictions to aliyah, until Britain effectively dumped its support for the Zionist enterprise with the White Paper of 1939.

But even back then, the inherent lawlessness of the Palestinian national movement was laying the groundwork for its destruction 10 years later. Its leaders recruited the people into widespread violence against Jews (and the British) by legitimizing anarchy and terrorism. By doing so, they brought disaster to Palestinian society, which explains more than anything else their mass escape in 1948 and their ineffectual resistance in cases where they were expelled. In the 100 years the Palestinians have been a people, this is their main disaster, and they are the ones who created the conditions for it.
Saudis, Arab States Drastically Reduce Aid to Palestinians
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is witnessing one of its worst financial crises as it finds itself unable to fulfill its obligations toward the Palestinians with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Many reasons are behind the current crisis. Chief among these are the local economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic that led to a decline in the domestic revenues collected by the PA. Prior to that, US aid to the PA was halted due to the PA’s rejection of the US president’s peace plan in the Middle East, known as the “deal of the century.” Also, the PA stopped accepting clearance funds collected by Israel since its decision in June to end all agreements signed with Israel. And most recently, there has been a decline in Arab financial grants and aid allocated to the Palestinian state budget.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance, Arab financial aid and grants for the Palestinian budget decreased by 81.6% during the first eight months of the year. This year, according to the ministry, the total grants and aid amounted to 132.3 million Israeli shekels ($39.2 million) from the beginning of the year until late August compared to 716 million shekels ($212 million) during the same period last year.

Remarkably, the Saudi support declined by 77.2% according to the ministry, as the total support since the beginning of this year amounted to 107 million shekels ($31.7 million), compared to $130 million last year. Meanwhile, Algeria has not provided any financial aid since the beginning of this year.

The Palestinians attribute the reason behind this decline to the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on some countries such as Algeria on the one hand, and to some countries’ responsiveness to the US decision to stop aid to the PA on the other.
Lawmakers Demand New Hezbollah Sanctions to Thwart Another Mass Explosion in Beirut
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding the White House take action to sanction Hezbollah leaders following the disclosure of new evidence indicating the Lebanese terror group is manufacturing and stashing weapons beneath residential buildings in Beirut.

Lawmakers recently were made aware that Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant group, is storing precision-guided missiles and related components under civilian buildings in and around Beirut, endangering those who live in these areas. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now petitioning the Trump administration to take immediate action against Hezbollah, according to a letter sent to the White House on Wednesday and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The letter comes just after a Hezbollah-linked explosion in southern Lebanon last month as well as a massive explosion in Beirut that killed hundreds and wounded nearly 7,000 civilians in August. Many blamed the explosion on Hezbollah and its practice of storing arms and explosives in highly populated areas to maximize civilian casualties if the facilities come under attack by the United States, Israel, or other Western nations. The volatile nature of these weapons means that Hezbollah operatives working at these illicit missile factories could make a mistake that pulverizes the building above.

"These factories could be viewed as military targets and therefore put at risk the civilians living above them," the lawmakers wrote in a letter led by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "The September 22, 2020, explosion at a facility in southern Lebanon underscores the risks posed by Hezbollah's habitual and purposeful positioning of weapons in civilian areas. The chance of a disaster at sites such as this is far too high to allow this practice to continue unchecked."

Hezbollah missile depots have been located in Beirut's Laylaki and Chouaifet neighborhoods, according to information seen by the lawmakers.
Arab Coalition seizes massive drugs shipment in Yemen linked to Hezbollah
The Arab Coalition supporting the Yemeni government said on Tuesday it had seized a Hezbollah-linked shipment of drugs destined for the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.

A security source in Aden told The National that the coalition, in co-ordination with the security authorities in Aden, foiled drugs smuggling to the Houthi-held areas in Yemen’s north.

“The shipment was sent by a smuggling network linked with Lebanese Hezbollah,” Saudi news channel Al Arabiya reported, quoting a coalition source.

Col Mohammed Al Qommaly told The National that coalition forces “seized a half tonne of cocaine and heroin hidden within sugar sacks shipped in containers”.

“Based on the intelligence we received, we kept tracking the ship for more than a month until it docked in Aden harbour carrying tonnes of the sugar bags in which the drug shipment was hidden,” Col Al Qommaly said.

“The drugs shipment was entirely collected and officially handed over to the Public Prosecution in Aden to carry on the investigation process."

Security officials in Yemen have thwarted several similar attempts to smuggle large quantities of drugs to Houthi-held territory in recent years.

According to a report issued by the Yemeni Interior Ministry in July 2019, massive drug smuggling operations were under way in the northern provinces of Al Jawf, Hajjah, Marib and Al Baydha.

There, pro-government security forces have captured hundreds of smugglers and seized large amounts of cannabis and other drugs.





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