DUBAI: Israel sharpened its rhetoric against Iranian combat drones on Tuesday, disclosing what it said were two bases used to carry out maritime attacks with the remote-controlled planes and offering to cooperate with Arab partners on counter-measures.
Gulf Arab countries share Israeli concerns about such drones, seeing the hand of Iran or its allies in aerial attacks on shipping or on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia. Tehran has often denied such allegations.
“Today I reveal to you two central bases in the area of Chabahar and Qeshm island in south Iran, from which operations in the maritime arena were launched, and where today, too, advanced Shahed attack drones are deployed,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz told a televised security conference.
Separately, the chief of Israel’s air force proposed working with Arab partners – such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with which Israel formalised ties last year – against the drone threat.
“I think that this is a great opportunity to create contacts and to build a defence plan for all the countries that have a common interest in protecting themselves,” Major-General Amikam Norkin told the conference, hosted by Reichman University.
“ We can help significantly (against drones), whether in terms of intelligence, detection or interception.”
UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN special envoy for Libya, Jan Kubis of Slovakia, has quit his post less than a year after taking on the role in January, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said Tuesday.
“Kubis has resigned,” a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity, with several other diplomatic sources confirming the surprise development.
No official reason was given for the resignation, which comes one month before key presidential elections are to be held in Libya.
RIYADH: The Arab Coalition said on Tuesday it had conducted 17 operations against the Houthi militia in Yemen’s Marib and Al-Bayda over the past 24 hours, according to a statement.
The coalition confirmed that the operations destroyed 12 Houthi military vehicles and killed more than 110 militia members.
It also said on Tuesday it had destroyed a ballistic missile launch site in overnight air strikes in the militia-held capital Sanaa.
The coalition said air strikes had been conducted against “legitimate military targets” in Sanaa, according to a statement reported by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
It described the ballistic missile sites as “secret,” and said one of “high-value” had been destroyed.
The coalition said it had taken measures to spare civilians any collateral damage, adding that “the secret positions” had used hospitals, organizations and civilians as human shields.
CAIRO: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has reaffirmed Cairo’s rejection of the use of Yemeni territory to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia and international navigation in the Red Sea.
He did so during his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in Cairo.
Shoukry stressed the need for a political solution to the conflict in Yemen, and the importance of the country’s security and stability to those of the wider region.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said Shoukry expressed hope that Grundberg’s efforts will advance the path toward a political solution in Yemen.
Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s support for Grundberg’s mission, and for all regional and international efforts to achieve a desired settlement of the conflict. Shoukry also stressed Cairo’s support for Yemen’s unity, sovereignty and independence.
Grundberg briefed him on his contacts and efforts to resume a comprehensive dialogue between Yemeni parties, and on the latest political developments in the country.
Grundberg also expressed his desire to work with Cairo for the benefit of Yemen and its people.
BEIRUT: More than half of families in Lebanon had at least one child who skipped a meal by October 2021 amid a “dramatic deterioration of living conditions,” the UN’s children’s fund said in a report released on Tuesday.
Children have been hit hard by the country’s deep economic crisis exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic which has left about eight in 10 people poor and threatens the education of some 700,000 children including 260,000 Lebanese, the report said.
The multifaceted crisis, rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement, has led to a breakdown in the provision of basic services such as electricity and water.
Nearly half of households had insufficient drinking water by October 2021, the report said, with a third of them citing cost as the main factor.
“The staggering magnitude of the crisis must be a wake-up call,” said Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF representative in Lebanon.
The report noted that less than three in 10 families had received social assistance, leading them to take “desperate measures.”
The proportion of Lebanese families sending children to work increased sevenfold to seven percent between April and October, the report said.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government has been slow to implement social safety programs including a $246 million World bank-funded one adopted by parliament in March and a $556 million ration card scheme backed by the legislature in June.
“Urgent action is needed to ensure no child goes hungry, becomes sick or has to work instead of receiving an education,” Mokuo said.
ABU DHABI: Foreign nationals and citizens of GCC countries can now enter the UAE through land ports and border points starting Tuesday, Nov. 23.
That’s according to an announcement made by the Federal Authority for identity and Citizenship (FAIC) and National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).
The updated protocol clarifies that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 with any of the approved vaccines will need to present a negative PCR test result that does not exceed 14 days in order to be granted entry. If visitors are staying for six consecutive days in the country, they will be required to undergo PCR testing on the sixth day of entering the UAE.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated people will also be allowed in if they can present a negative PCR test result that does not exceed 72 hours. Additional testing is mandatory on the fourth day of entering the UAE, if they’re staying for four consecutive days or more, and on the eighth day if they’re staying for eight days or more.
Both authorities stressed the importance of visitors’ compliance to the country’s preventative measures, which include wearing masks, following social distancing rules and sterilizing luggage. They also advised people with chronic diseases or COVID-19 symptoms to avoid traveling.