18 September 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Hamas clears the way for Palestinian unification by agreeing to hold general elections in Gaza
By The Independent , 17 Sep 2017

Hamas has agreed to hold general elections in Gaza in order to bring about an end to its long-running feud with its rival movement, Fatah.  The group said it has dissolved its administration to allow a “unity government” led by President Mahmoud Abbas to assume responsibility in Gaza, as it pledged to accept key conditions to end the decades-old political and territorial split.

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Turkey deploys 80 military vehicles near Syrian border
By Aljazeera, 17 Sep 2017

Turkey sent 80 military vehicles including tanks to its southern border with Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday.Citing an unnamed military source, Anadolu said the deployment was part of reinforcements for troops stationed along the border. The vehicles were sent to the southeastern province of Hatay, Anadolu said.A third convoy of armoured vehicles was heading to Hatay's Reyhanli district, where Turkey's Cilvegozu border gate with Syria is located, Anadolu said.

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Iraqi leader warns Kurds over independence referendum violence
By The Guardian, 16 Sep 2017

The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, says he is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region’s planned independence referendum results in violence. In an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, Al-Abadi said if the Iraqi population was “threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily”.

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Saudi Arabia: Prominent Clerics Arrested
By Human Rights Watch, 15 Sep 2017

Saudi authorities have arrested dozens of people, including prominent clerics, in what appears to be a coordinated crackdown on dissent, Human Rights Watch said today. The campaign comes three months after Mohammad bin Salman became crown prince in June 2017. The reported arrests of Salman al-Awda, Awad al-Qarni, and more than a dozen others since September 10 are the latest in Saudi Arabia’s ongoing repression campaign against dissidents including peaceful activists, journalists, and writers. A prominent writer, Jamal Khashoggi, announced that his publication, al-Hayat, had banned him from writing regular opinion columns.

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Trump: Iran 'atrocious' at sticking to spirit of nuclear deal
By BBC News, 14 Sep 2017

US president Donald Trump has said Iran is keeping to the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal "atrociously".The deal - between Iran, the US, and other world powers, including China and Russia - was designed to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon.But Mr Trump has been a frequent critic and on Thursday again called it "one of the worst deals I've seen".His words came as the US imposed fresh sanctions on people accused of supporting Iranian cyber attacks.

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