12 February 2018 - NPWJ News Digest Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Trump tells Israel it needs to make 'significant compromises' for peace with Palestinians
By The Independent, 12 Feb 2018

 Donald Trump has told Israel it will have to make “significant compromises” if it wants to secure a peace deal with the Palestinians. Two months after he angered Palestinians and their supporters by unilaterally declaring the US was recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the US President said both sides would need to work hard to create a deal that might stick.

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US' Mattis says some PYD/PKK shifting to Afrin
By Al Jazeera, 12 Feb 2018

Turkey has legitimate security concerns along border with Syria and we do not dismiss that, says US defence secretary US Defense Secretary James Mattis has acknowledged that some members of the PYD/PKK-led SDF had shifted to Afrin, Syria amid Turkey’s ongoing operation against the groups in the border region, according to Anadolu news agency.  "The distraction of what's going on up in Afrin right now, which is drawing off some of the [SDF] forces, which have got about 50 percent," Mattis told reporters during his flight to Europe on Sunday, adding that the percentage could be less or more.

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Syria shoots down Israeli warplane as conflict escalates
by BBC news, 12 Feb 2018

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet has crashed after being hit by Syrian air defences during an offensive in Syria, the Israeli military says. The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel. It is believed to be the first time Israel has lost a jet in the Syrian conflict. The plane was hit during air strikes in response to an Iranian drone launch into Israeli territory, Israel says. The drone was shot down. Israel later launched further strikes in Syria. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say they hit aerial defence batteries and Iranian military sites in the latest strikes.

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One in four Iraqi children in poverty after war on Daesh
Memo Middle East Monitor, 11 Feb 2018

One in four Iraqi children are in poverty and four million are in need of assistance as a result of the country’s war with Daesh militants, the United Nation’s children agency said on Sunday. The UN has verified 150 attacks on education facilities and 50 attacks on health centres and personnel since 2014, UNICEF said in a statement. Half of Iraq’s schools need repairs and over 3 million children have had their education interrupted, it said.

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