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GCC Hotels Hoping for Growth to Return in 2017

The Gulf Cooperation Council at one time was the global hotel industry darling. Record revenue per room available, some of the highest worldwide occupancy rates, investments by government in tourism infrastructure and huge events on its horizon attracted hoteliers from around the world looking to receive their small slice of the pie. One vice president of sales for an international hotel chain said that just seven years ago so much demand existed for the destination and short supply. Hotels were used to having strong occupancy rates, increasing... 
 

Iran Upset with Response by President Trump to Attacks

On Thursday, the foreign minister of Iran denounced the response by the U.S. to two deadly assaults in the Iran capital of Tehran as repugnant. The number of dead in those attacks has increased to 13. Armed attackers carried out the brazen attacks on Wednesday at two high-profile locations – the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Parliament – that wounded over 50 people while adding to more tension across the Middle East. On Thursday a heightened presence of police was seen on the streets and most... 
 

Airlines Suspend Flight to Qatar as Tensions Increase

On Monday, all of the major airlines in the UAE including Etihad, Emirates, Air Arabia and flydubai will suspend their flights in and out of Doha beginning on Tuesday, as the rift between states in the Gulf Cooperation Council intensifies. Dubai based Emirates in a prepared statement confirmed its flights in and out of Qatar were being suspended beginning on Tuesday and going forward. As instructed by the government of the UAE, Emirates will suspend flights in and out of Doha beginning June 6, until further notice, read the statement. The final... 
 

Nestle Remains Confident Over Middle East

Nestle the global food conglomerate remains confident that the market in the Middle East will perform even though the region is very unstable, especially in areas such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The company opened factory No. 18 in the region last month in Dubai. The latest factory will make culinary products like Maggi soups and coffee mixes such as Nescafe. Plans for the Dubai factory in Al Maha were announced publicly during 2012, much before most of the conflicts around the region started. The ground breaking for the factory that cost $144 million... 
 

Détente Between Saudis and Russians Begins New Order in Oil

A meeting involving the two men in charge of the oil empires of Saudi Arabia and Russia sent a huge signal about the new relationship between the superpowers in energy. The meeting was the first between Igor Sechin the boss of Rosneft and Amin Nasser the chief of Saudi Aramco that was formal and scheduled. It went far beyond the many times the two met one another during global oil events. The conversation between the two put them on new ground. The meeting took place last week in Dhahran a city in Saudi Arabia and the two, said sources, discussed... 
 

UAE Minister Has Warned of Crisis in Alliance of GCC

A government minister from the United Arab Emirates warned that the Gulf Arab states alliance faced a major crisis and said trust needed to be rebuilt. UAE’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash made the comments on his Twitter account a few days after the UAE and Saudi Arabia signaled their frustration with Qatar. UAE’s state media published alleged remarks by Qatar that criticized rhetoric in the Gulf against Iran and suggested strains existed between the emir and the President of the U.S. Donald Trump. Tensions have risen of... 
 

Twenty-Eight Killed by Gunmen In Egypt

Twenty-eight people have been killed in Egypt when gunmen who remain unidentified fired on a bus that was carrying Coptic Christians. Officials labeled the attack as terrorism. Ten assailants that were wearing fatigues along with face masks fired on passengers from three vehicles on a desert road, said Egyptian officials. Hours later a response was made by Egypt through airstrikes on terrorist camps, said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a statement made on camera. The Christians had been traveling on Friday to St. Samuel the Confessor a nearby... 
 

UAE Will Introduce Tax of 100% on Energy Drinks and Tobacco

The Federal Tax Authority of the UAE has announced a selective tax of 100% on energy drinks and tobacco and a tax of 50% on soft drinks that will be applied during the fourth quarter, said reports on Wednesday. The announcement by the FTA was made at its first meeting. The minister for financial affairs Obaid Al Tayer was been quoted previously as saying a tax on just tobacco would generate as much as Dhs2 billion equal to $544.4 million per year. During the most recent session the 5% soon to be added tax was discussed. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashin... 
 

Iraq Backs Production Cut’s 9-Month Extension by OPEC

OPEC and allies are poised to keep their oil production cuts in place for at least 9 more months after Iraq supported such an extension, which removed one of the final obstacles remaining to an agreement. The proposal represents the latest attempt by producers of oil from the Saudis to Russians to increase prices and revive their own economies. The negotiations are being followed closely elsewhere as they could affect things from the Exxon Mobile share price to Nigerian sovereign bonds and the Brazilian real. Twenty-four representatives from different... 
 

Hassan Rouhani Re-Elected President in Iran

Thanks to a big turnout from the urban middle class, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected by a landslide Saturday, allowing him to continue his quest of expanding personal freedoms as well as opening the ailing economy of Iran to investors from around the globe. Likely just as important, said analysts, the lopsided victory will enable Rouhani to strengthen his position of the reformist and moderate faction as Iran prepares for the end of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s rule. Of the more than 41 million votes that were cast,... 
 

U.S. State Department: Syria’s Assad Hides Atrocities with Crematorium

The United States said on Monday that it believes the government of Syria has constructed a big crematorium close to its Saydnaya Military prison as part of its effort to hide the mass atrocities that are carried out inside the notorious prison. U.S. officials have put the onus on the Russians to rein in the Syrian regime. The U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs’ acting assistant secretary Stuart Jones outlined new declassified intelligence with photos and said that Russia, who supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad,... 
 

U.S. Close to Arms Deal Worth $100 Billion with Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is close to the completion of a number of arms deals that add up to over $100 billion with Saudi Arabia, said a senior official in the White House a week before President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the Gulf Coast kingdom. The official asked for anonymity, but said that the arms package could up end being even as high as $300 billion during the next decade to help boost the defense capabilities of Saudi Arabia. The officials said the final stages are taking place of a series of different deals. The package was developed to coincide... 
 

Advocate Groups Welcome Relaxing of Saudi Male Guardianship Rule

The King of Saudi Arabia has reportedly issued a new order that allows women to benefit from some government services without consent of a male guardian. The new move by the kingdom to allow women additional control of their life choices by relaxing its controversial system of male guardianship was welcomed tentatively as one more small step for Saudi women. Saudi Arabia is considered one of the world’s most gender segregated countries in the world, where women are constantly being supervised by a guardian, who is male, are not allowed to drive... 
 

Transgender Emiratis Sue to Be Recognized as Men

A pair if citizens from the United Arab Emirates asked a court in Abu Dhabi to have their names and genders changed on all state records. The two, who were born women, have brought an unprecedented case in their request to be recognized as men, said their lawyer this week. Al-Bayan the state newspaper reported on the lawsuit this week. The two plaintiffs only identified by initials as A.M., 28, and H.S., 26, asked the court for the gender and name changes following their surgery for gender reassignment and hormone therapy. H.S. said with his gender... 
 

Saudi Arabia: Cinemas, Opera House Could be Opened

The government of Saudi Arabia has said that one day it could open cinemas as well as build an opera house. This week, the man who is spearheading the entertainment reforms in the kingdom played down the opposition by the powerful religious authorities of changes they consider sinful. During the 1970s, Saudi Arabia had a few cinemas, but its clerics persuaded authorities to shutter them reflecting the increased Islamist influence across the Arab region during that time. Cinemas remain banned in the country and while there are concerts that started... 
 

Pope Francis Speaks of Tolerance During Cairo Mass

On Saturday, Pope Francis spoke of tolerance as well as co-existence during his Mass in Egypt at a military stadium. The Pope is visiting Egypt as part of a trip that is designed to create a brotherhood between Christians and Muslims and to forge solidarity with persecuted Coptic Christians in the country. His trip to the country in North Africa is just a few weeks following the bombing on Palm Sunday of two of the Coptic churches that left 45 dead. There was heavy security that could be seen surrounding the Pope when he entered the stadium in Cairo... 
 

Israel Strikes Military Site in Syria Near Damascus

Syria state media has reported that an Israeli missile strike created a huge explosion and subsequent fire at a Syria military site close to the international airport in Damascus. The Sana news agency reported that warehouses and a fuel tank had been heavily damaged. However, sources with the Syrian rebels said that an arms depot operated by the Hezbollah group from Lebanon, which is an ally of the Syria government forces and fighting alongside them, was hit. Israel said that the explosion has been consistent with the policy it has to prevent Iran... 
 

More Than 1 Million Expats Will Leave Saudi in Amnesty Campaign

According to Saudi government officials, 1 million or more migrant workers will leave Saudi Arabia under an amnesty campaign that is currently taking place. The campaign, which is three months long, allows those that have overstayed in the country with correct visas or documents to leave without facing penalties or fines for violating visa rules. Those that exit under the amnesty campaign become exempt from the requirement of an exit fingerprint and can return to Saudi Arabia legally at a later date. To apply for amnesty, workers need to go on the... 
 

Freed Egyptian-American Aid Worker Welcomed by President Trump

Aya Hijazi, an aid worker who is Egyptian-American was welcomed on Friday by President Donald Trump after being freed after three years of detention in Egypt. The White House had quietly worked on securing her release earlier in the week, said White House officials. Trump said everyone was very pleased that Aya was back home and it was an honor having her visit the Oval Office. Trump spoke during a brief opportunity for photos and less than one full day after a plane from the U.S. government had landed in Washington with her aboard. Hijazi, who... 
 

Israel Will Not Negotiate With Hunger Strike Inmates

Israel said it would not negotiate with hundreds of prisoners who are Palestinian and started a hunger strike pressing for better prison condition, said a minister for the government on Tuesday. He added that the protest’s organizer was put into solitary confinement. If continued, the strike, which Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti jailed during the second uprising of the Palestinians started, would be the biggest in the past few years. The strike could also heighten tensions between Israel and Palestinians during a time of renewed attempts... 
 

Reversing Smartphone Slump in the Gulf Region

The beginning months of any year are always the most exciting related to the smartphone market and 2017 is no exception. Over a period of just a week or two, a selection of the top manufacturers in the world revealed their new handsets in a race which is becoming fiercer by the day. Global sales of smartphones increased only 5% in 2016 to just over 1.5 billion total units following an increase of 14.4% in 2015. That has left smartphone makers scrambling to find market share amidst less growth. Conditions across the Gulf region were tougher, with... 
 

Saudi Woman Forcibly Returned After Seeking Asylum

A woman from Saudi Arabia who sought asylum in Australia was detained in the Philippines during a layover and subsequently returned on Wednesday to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Dina Ali Lasloom, in a video that was self-recorded, said authorities in the Philippines held her at the airport in Manila after confiscating her passport. Her videos have circulated across social media the past two days. In one video she states her name and that she is from Saudi Arabia but fled the country to seek asylum in Australia, adding she was in fear of violence... 
 

U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson Takes U.S. Stance on Syria to Russia

On Tuesday, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took with him a message from the world powers to Moscow. The unified message denounced Russia’s support for Syria and took on the traditional role of the U.S. as the West’s leader on behalf of the Trump administration. Tillerson left on Tuesday for Russia after being in Italy where he had met different foreign ministers in the Group of Seven. They were also joined by allies from the Middle East to form a united position related to Syria, which was placed atop the international agenda... 
 

Alleged Chemical Attack Kills 58 in Idlib

Fifty-eight people were killed while dozens more were wounded in what has been called a chemical attack on a town held by rebels in northwest Syria, says a monitoring organization. Reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that strikes by either Russian jets or the Syrian government caused a number of people to choke. Unconfirmed reports later said that aircraft fired rockets at clinics that had been treating survivors from the previously bombing in Khan Sheikhoun. The government of Syria has denied repeatedly the use of chemical weapons.... 
 

Kuwait Increasing Business and Expat Utility Rates

The government of Kuwait announced new utility rates for both businesses and expats starting May 22. The new water and electricity rates in Kuwait for businesses as well as expats will begin for businesses on May 22 and for expats on August 22, said the utilities ministry of Kuwait this week. The new rates will then apply to offices of the government starting in November and the agricultural and industrial sectors starting in February of 2018, according to a report in a national newspaper. The new tariffs will increase from a per kilowatt rate of... 
 

UAE Places Ban on Imports of Poultry from Malaysia and Tennessee

The United Arab Emirates placed a ban on the importing of some poultry products from the U.S. state of Tennessee and Malaysia over fears of bird flu. The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment made the announcement of the ban. The ban includes all types of live wild, domestic and ornamental poultry, as well as eggs, bird remains and chicks that that were not heat-treated from the county of Lincoln, Tennessee reported WAM the official news agency for the UAE. The ban was placed after the World Organization for Animal Health released a... 
 

Commentator Accuses U.S. of Deliberately Stifling Airline Competition

Sultan Al Qassemi an Emirati commentator accused the United States of trying to rein in air carriers Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways from the Gulf through the recent ban on taking large electronics inside the cabin of airplanes. Under new rules, that the U.S. announced Tuesday, passengers from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa are not permitted to bring electronics aboard that are bigger than a smartphone when flying to the United States. Airports on that list included Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha bases for the three largest carriers... 
 

Electronics Banned in the Cabins on Some Flight from Middle East to U.S.

A U.S. official says that the new ban of some electronics in the cabins of flights from the Middle East and Africa into the U.S. would impact some airlines. Another U.S. official said the ban covers devices that are larger than a mobile handset. An official in aviation said there was a concern related to security of passengers boarding nonstop flights into the U.S. from certain countries. This relates to the screening taking place in some countries related to nonstop flights that are bound for the U.S. The officials added that it is their belief... 
 

Israeli Jets Fired At By Syria Following Airstrikes

Syria has fired missiles at warplanes from Israel that were on a mission to destroy a convoy of weapons destined for Hezbollah the Lebanese militant group that is Iranian backed. That prompted Israel to deploy the missile defense system it has. This incident was a rare military exchange between the pair of hostile neighbors. Military officials from Israel said its military aircraft hit a number of targets inside Syria and when back within airspace that is Israeli controlled a number of anti-aircraft missiles were then launched by Syria toward the... 
 

Kuwait Eyeing Higher Healthcare Fees for Expats

Kuwaiti officials are planning an increase in healthcare fees for expats in their buildup toward a complete segregation of care at hospitals for citizens and expats, said reports from two reliable sources. Sources were cited by the Kuwait Times saying that the process of restricting services at public hospitals to just Kuwaitis would be a gradual one because of the lack of sufficient capacity in private hospital across the country. However, other measures including higher fees for healthcare services as well as the denial of access to a specific... 
 

Bahrain Claims Militant Group Linked to Iran Involved in Attacks

Bahrain over the weekend said it uncovered a militant group of 54 members linked to Iran that is suspected of being involved with the recent security forces attacks including the organization of a January prison break. It was one of the largest operations by Bahrain security forces against a suspected militant group that Bahrain blames for the increase in armed attacks in the kingdom where the Fifth Fleet from the U.S. is based. Tensions have run high in the kingdom since 2016 after local authorities increased their crackdown on dissent, banned... 
 

President Trump Signs Second Travel Ban

On Monday, United States President Donald Trump signed another executive order that bans immigration from six countries that are Muslim-majority. However, the new order exempted Iraq from the previous order and reinstated a temporary ban on refugees from all countries. This latest travel ban arrives just six weeks after the original one signed by Trump caused major chaos in airports around the globe, before federal courts blocked it. The new one removed language in the first one that banned refugees from Syria indefinitely and called for the prioritizing... 
 

Saudi Arabia Might Raise Prices of Domestic Fuel 30%

The government of Saudi Arabia could increase its prices for domestic gasoline by as much as 30% starting in July, said industry sources. This is part of a reform plan by the top exporter of oil in the world to align the prices of fuel in the country, with benchmark global levels. During December of 2015 Saudi raised prices of its 95 octane gas from SAR0.60 per liter to SAR0.90 ($0.24). However, that kept the kingdom amongst the nations with the least expensive gasoline anywhere in the world. The government wants to now increase prices for domestic... 
 

Millions of Saudis Without Medical Insurance

Authorities in Saudi Arabia estimate close to 2.5 million citizens of the kingdom work in the private sector without any medical coverage. The insurance industry in Saudi Arabia, which experienced sharp growth in net income last year, should see even further growth in 2017, showed a new report released this week. However, enforcement of compulsory coverage is key to the growth of the industry, stressed the report. Saudi Arabia has almost 20 million citizens and another 10 million foreign nationals with dependents, making the possibility of insurance... 
 

Authorities in Saudi Arabia Authorize Tax Date for Soft Drinks

The Council of Ministers in Saudi Arabia authorized the kingdom’s Finance Minister to establish a date to implement a new tax on all soft drinks, tobacco and other specific items indicated a report released by the Saudi Press Agency. The tax is just part of an initiative Gulf-wide that was proposed at the GCC Supreme Council during 2015 but was just approved by Saudi’s finance ministry late in 2016. No other state in the Gulf has announced when their law will be introduced, but the cabinet in Qatar approved a new draft law during a session last... 
 

Emirates No Longer Offering Seafood Meal in Economy Class

Emirates Airlines the Dubai based air carrier confirmed that its meal option of seafood was removed from its menu for passengers in economy class. The move was communicated to members of the Skyward loyalty program at Emirates and said it follows the airline’s internal review. The statement said that as part of the airline’s continuous review of products and services it provides its customers, it could confirm that it would stop offering its seafood meal option to economy class passengers. A spokesperson for the airline said that it constantly... 
 

Saudi Arabia to Handover as Many as 120,000 New Homes in 2017

The government of Saudi Arabia launched a new housing program that is designed to hand over as many as 120,000 homes to its citizens in 2017. The program, Sakani, is part of the efforts to distribute financial assistance and homes to as many as 280,000 families through the Ministry of Housing in the country. A general supervisor and advisor to the agency, Prince Saud Bin Talal said that the first group of homes would reach 15,560 units. That group includes 5,015 housing plots and government financial support for over 7,700 through its Real Estate... 
 

Iran President to Visit Kuwait and Oman

A top official in Iran said on Tuesday that Gulf Arab states should seize the opportunity that Hassan Rouhani the President of Iran is visiting Kuwait and Oman to improve ties, by warning that a chance of this magnitude passes very quickly. Rouhani is scheduled to visit both Kuwait and Oman Wednesday, which will mark the first visit by Rouhani to the two Gulf States since he took power back in 2013. The six Gulf Cooperation Council Arab member states, in particular Saudi Arabia, have accused Iran of the use of sectarianism as a way to interfere... 
 

Trump to Discuss Middle East Air Carriers with U.S. Airlines

On Thursday, President Donald Trump will meet with the CEOs of the top U.S. airlines and one issue is sure to be a divisive force during the meeting. That issue is what will be done about three Middle East based airlines – Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Over the last 15 years, the three cash rich carriers based in the Middle East have clawed their way to the front of the global airline market. Of recent, the expansion of the three has created a direct competition with the trio of U.S. top airlines American, United and Delta. The three... 
 

Saudi Cabinet Approves 5% VAT

The cabinet in Saudi Arabia gave its approval for a region-wide 5% value added tax that will start next year in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In a cabinet session that King Salman chaired, the cabinet approved the Value Added Tax Unified Agreement, said the Saudi Press Agency or SPA. The press agency also said that a Royal Decree was being prepared. The cabinet’s approval was given after it deemed that the kingdom was at a point where it was ready for the implementation of VAT, said the news agency. A 5% VAT is to be imposed across all of... 
 

Iran Denies Visas to Wrestlers from the United States

On Friday, Iran banned wrestlers from the United States from participating in Freestyle World Cup competition later this month. The denial of visas was in response to the executive order by President Donald Trump that forbids visas for any Iranians for the next 90 days, said the official Iranian news agency IRNA. A senior cleric in Iran vowed that his country was going to continue its missile program even though it has received threats from the White House administration that new sanctions were being prepared. Bahram Ghasemi a spokesperson for the... 
 

Anger Mounts in Europe and Middle East Over Travel Ban

A parliamentary committee in Iraq asked the government on Sunday to reciprocate against the immigration curbs implemented by the U.S. on citizens of 7 Muslim dominated countries. The government of Iraq has not yet commented on the executive order made by President Donald Trump that barred immigrants from those seven nations from entering for the next 90 days. The order also banned the admission of refugees from Syria for an indefinite period and a ban of 120 days for all refugees. However, officials in Iraq said they would lobby the administration... 
 

U.S. President Aims at Keeping Terrorists Out of the Country

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump set a hard line tone on the country’s national security by ordering new, strict screening of refugees to ensure that radical Islamic terrorists do not enter the U.S. Trump visited the Pentagon and was joined by his Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to sign the executive order that brought sweeping changes to the refugee policies in the U.S. and put his plans into motion to build up the military. Trump said the government wants to make sure it does not admit the very threats into country that our soldiers are battling... 
 

Saudi Arabia Warns as Shamoon Returns

On Monday, Saudi Arabia warned organizations inside the kingdom to be on the lookout for the return of the Shamoon virus that is crippling to computers by erasing disks. The government’s labor ministry announced it was attacked and a firm that handles chemicals posted a disruption in its network. The telecoms authority from Saudi Arabia released an alert that advised everyone to remain vigilant for possible attacks by Shamoon 2, a variant of the original virus that during 2012 that crippled thousands of computers at Saudi Aramco the oil giant. Shamoon... 
 

Apartment Prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Dropped in 2016

Prices at apartments in Dubai fell by an average of more than 11% during 2016 as the housing market battled tough conditions in the economy said a report by Bayut.com a property online site. In its report released annually, the company said that prices of apartments in Dubai fell from Dhs2.57 million during 2015 to just over Dhs2.29 million in 2016. Rents were not as affected, but still were down 6% from the average in 2015. The site said that rent for studios was down by 8%, while prices dropped 5% for buying studios. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment... 
 

Egypt Central Bank Maintains Key Interest Rates

This week the central bank of Egypt has maintained its key interest rates with no change. The bank is holding pat until it can see an impact on the country’s inflation due to last month’s hike in cost of borrowing is clearer. Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee maintained its overnight deposit rate of 14.75% and its overnight rate for lending of 15.75%, the bank announced in a prepared statement. A majority of economists who were served had predicted the bank would not move interest rates. The bank increased its rates by 550 basis points on... 
 

Oman Joins Muslim Saudi-led Coalition to Fight Against Terrorism

Oman has traditionally been resistant to efforts from Gulf Arab states to close ranks against the Islamic Republic if Iran. However, it has now joined a coalition led by Saudi Arabia of Muslim nations to fight against terrorism, both Gulf and Saudi sources have said this week, The sultanate showed a willingness to be part of an alliance of 40 countries in a letter sent to the Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, said sources. Although it is rare that difference become aired publicly, Oman long stood out amongst... 
 

Saudi Arabia: No Immediate Tax on Remittances of Expats

Saudi Arabia has reportedly been discussing possible plans of imposing a tax of between 2% and 6% on remittances. Saudi Arabia announced through one of its senior officials that there are not any immediate plans of imposing a tax for remittances by expats. Earlier there were reports that claimed the Shoura Council in the kingdom was discussing the possibility of a tax. Former member of the Shoura Council Husam Al-Angari, who was the one who submitted the tax proposal, suggested a tax of 6% on expat residents in the first year of their time in the... 
 

Netanyahu Calls UN Vote Shameful Over Settlements

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a UN vote to stop settlement activities on occupied land shameful. Netanyahu stressed that Israel was not going to abide by the vote on Friday taken by the UN Security Council’s 15 members. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas through a spokesperson said the resolution had been a huge blow to Israel’s policy. The resolution was able to pass when the United States did not veto it, breaking with a longstanding practice by the Americans. Washington traditionally has sheltered Israel from any condemnatory... 
 

Israel Urging United States to Veto Resolution by UN on Settlements

Israel has urged the U.S. to veto on Thursday a UN draft resolution made by the Security Council that calls for the immediate halt of settlements being built on occupied land that is wanted by Palestinians for an independent state. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on his Twitter account late at night making the appeal in a sign of big concern that U.S. President Barack Obama could take one last parting shot at a policy he has always opposed and a leader whom he has always had a rocky relationship with. On Wednesday, the draft resolution... 
 
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