Khaled Meshaal Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of Khaled Meshaal, former political leader of Hamas. Personal:Birth date: 1956Birth place: Silwad, West Bank Birth name: Khaled MeshaalFather: Imam, name unknown publiclyRead MoreMother: Name unknown publiclyMarriage: Name unknown publicly, (1981-present)Children: Seven Education: Kuwait University, Bachelor of Science in Physics, 1978Religion: Sunni Muslim Timeline:1967 – After the Six-Day … Continue reading “Khaled Meshaal Fast Facts”

Here is a look at the life of Khaled Meshaal, former political leader of Hamas.

Birth date:
1956Birth place: Silwad, West Bank

    Birth name: Khaled MeshaalFather: Imam, name unknown publiclyRead MoreMother: Name unknown publiclyMarriage: Name unknown publicly, (1981-present)Children: Seven Education: Kuwait University, Bachelor of Science in Physics, 1978Religion: Sunni Muslim Timeline:
    1967 –
    After the Six-Day War, Meshaal’s family moves from the West Bank to Jordan and then to Kuwait.1971 – Meshaal joins the Muslim Brotherhood. 1978-1984 – Works as a physics teacher in Kuwait.1980 – Founds the Islamic League for Palestinian Students. December 1987 – Palestinian cleric Sheikh Ahmed Yassin founds Hamas, a spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood. Meshaal joins and becomes the leader of the Hamas chapter in Kuwait. August 2, 1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait. Reportedly, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to invade the small, oil-rich nation in order to pay off debts incurred during Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran. Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat throws his support behind Hussein. 1991 – US and coalition forces defeat Iraq and liberate Kuwait. Kuwait then expels 300,000 Palestinians from the country, including Meshaal. 1991Meshaal settles in Jordan and leads its Hamas chapter. He is in charge of international fund-raising. 1996 – Becomes chief of Hamas’ political bureau. September 1997 – Israeli Mossad agents, posing as Canadian tourists, spray fentanyl into Meshaal’s ear in an assassination attempt in Amman, Jordan. The Mossad agents are captured. King Hussein of Jordan tells Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the agents will be put on trial if Meshaal is not given the antidote. US President Bill Clinton also intervenes. Netanyahu reluctantly agrees and Meshaal recovers. As part of the deal, Israel also releases a number of Palestinian and Jordanian prisoners, including Yassin. September 22, 1999 – Meshaal, along with two other Hamas leaders, is accused of illegal political activity and briefly imprisoned in Jordan. After his release, Jordan’s King Abdullah II closes Hamas’ office in Amman and expels Meshaal from the county. Meshaal moves to Qatar. 2001 – Relocates to Damascus, Syria. March 22, 2004 – Yassin, leader of Hamas, is killed by Israeli air strikes.March 23, 2004 – Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi is named as Yassin’s successor.April 17, 2004 – Rantisi is killed by an Israeli airstrike on his car. Meshaal rises to the top of the Hamas leadership, along with Ismail Haniya. January 26, 2006 – Hamas, participating for the first time in Palestinian parliamentary elections, wins a landslide victory. Hamas wins 76 seats, and Fatah 43 seats, in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council, giving Hamas a majority.June 14, 2007 – After a week of battles between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas seizes control of Gaza.April 18, 2008 – Former US President Jimmy Carter meets with Meshaal, in Damascus, Syria.December 27, 2008 – Israel launches Operation Cast Lead, air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza in retaliation for continued rocket attacks against southern Israel. A ground offensive begins on January 3, 2009.January 18, 2009 – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declares a unilateral cease-fire in the fighting in Gaza. During the conflict, more than 1,200 Palestinians are killed, along with 13 Israelis.February 1, 2009 – Meshaal meets with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Speaking of Operation Cast Lead, he praises Iran: “The victory of the people of Gaza was a miracle of God and the Islamic Republic definitely has a share in this victory.” May 4, 2011 – Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sign a reconciliation agreement in an effort to unite rivals Hamas and Fatah.December 2011 – Hamas sides with the opposition in the Syrian civil war, against President Bashar al-Assad. Meshaal abandons the Hamas office in Damascus. January 29, 2012 – Meshaal makes his first official visit to Jordan since being expelled in 1999. He and Qatar’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al-Thani, meet with King Abdullah II. February 2012 – Meshaal moves to Doha, Qatar. December 7, 2012 – Meshaal visits Gaza. With the exception of a brief visit to the West Bank in 1975, it is his first visit to the Palestinian territories since leaving the West Bank in 1967. He appears before crowds, standing in front of a replica of an M75 rocket, “We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation,” he says, “and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take we will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”April 2, 2013 – Meshaal is re-elected chairman of Hamas’ political bureau.

      July 7, 2014 – Israel declares Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza. Over the course of approximately seven weeks, more than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 Israelis are killed. May 6, 2017 – Haniya, Meshaal’s replacement, is elected by Hamas’ Shura Council.

Yemen Fast Facts

Here’s a look at Yemen, a country located on the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing a border with Saudi Arabia and Oman.

About Yemen:
(from the CIA World Fact Book)
527,968 sq km (twice the size of Wyoming)Population: 28,667,230 (July 2018 est.)

    Median age: 19.8 yearsCapital: SanaaRead MoreEthnic groups: Predominantly Arab, also Afro-Arab, South Asian and EuropeanReligions: Muslim (99.1%: an estimated 65% are Sunni and 35% are Shia) and small numbers of Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Baha’iGDP (purchasing power parity): $73.63 billion (2017 est.)GDP per capita: $2,500 (2017 est.)Unemployment: 27% (2014 est.)Other Facts:
    Yemen is part of the Arab League.Since 2004, a group of militant Shiite Muslims called the Houthis have been rebelling against the Yemeni government. The conflict is both separatist and sectarian. Houthis are from northern Yemen and they are Shiite Muslims in a majority Sunni country. Some Western diplomats have said the Houthi rebellion is supported by Iran while Yemen’s government has alleged that the Houthis are backed by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia. In December 2017, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented evidence that a missile fired by Houthis at a civilian target was supplied by Iran.Timeline:
    May 22, 1990 –
    The Republic of Yemen is created from the unification of North Yemen, the Yemen Arab Republic and South Yemen, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen.May-July 1994 – A civil war between northerners and southerners begins due to disagreements between supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, from North Yemen, and Vice President Ali Salim al-Baid, from South Yemen. Troops loyal to President Saleh win the war.September 25, 1999 Saleh wins the country’s first direct presidential election, with 96.3% of the vote. Opposition leaders allege tampering at the ballot box. September 23, 2006 – Saleh wins re-election to a seven-year term with 77% of the vote.September 17, 2008 – Ten people, Yemeni citizens and police officers, are killed in terrorist attack on the US embassy in Sanaa.December 28, 2009 – A Yemen-based arm of al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), claims responsibility for a failed bombing on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25.January 2, 2010 – US President Barack Obama announces a new counterterrorism partnership with Yemen, involving intelligence sharing, military training and joint attacks.January 3, 2010 – The United States and the United Kingdom temporarily close their embassies in Sanaa after they receive word that AQAP may be planning an attack on the facilities. The US embassy reopens two days later after Yemeni forces kill two AQAP militants in a counterterrorism operation. January 2010 – A group called Friends of Yemen is established in the United Kingdom to rally support for Yemen from the international community. They later hold meetings in London and Saudi Arabia. January 27, 2011 – Protests break out, inspired by demonstrations in neighboring countries. The unrest continues for months, while crackdowns on protesters lead to civilian deaths.June 3, 2011 – Opposition forces launch missiles at the presidential palace, injuring Saleh and killing several others. September 2, 2011 – More than two million people demonstrate across Yemen, demanding that the military remove Saleh from power. September 23, 2011 – Saleh returns to Yemen after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. September 30, 2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki, spokesman for AQAP, is killed by a CIA drone strike.November 23, 2011 – Saleh signs an agreement in Saudi Arabia transferring his executive powers to Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s vice president, effectively ending his rule. January 21, 2012 – Parliament approves a law that grants Saleh immunity from prosecution. February 21, 2012 – Yemen holds presidential elections to replace Saleh. There is only one candidate on the ballot, Vice President Hadi, the acting president since November 2011. Hadi receives 99.8% of the 6.6 million votes cast, according to the government elections committee.February 25, 2012 – Hadi is sworn in as president.May 21, 2012 – During a rehearsal for a military parade in Sanaa, a suicide bomber kills more than 100 Yemeni troops and wounds more than 200.May 23, 2012 – The Friends of Yemen group pledges more than $4 billion in aid to help the country fight terrorism and boost its economy. The amount is later increased to $7.9 billion. There are delays, however, that hold up delivery of the funds, according to Reuters.December 5, 2013 – Militants attack a Defense Ministry hospital in Sanaa. They ram the building with an explosives-laden vehicle and gunmen battle security forces inside. At least 52 people are killed, including four foreign doctors, according to the government.December 15, 2013 – Parliament calls for an end to drone strikes on its territory three days after a US missile attack mistakenly hits a wedding convoy, killing 14 civilians. February 10, 2014 – State news reports that Hadi has approved making Yemen a federal state consisting of six regions: two in the south, and four in the north. Sanaa is designated as neutral territory. September 21, 2014 – Hadi, Houthi rebels and representatives of major political parties sign a ceasefire deal. The United Nations-brokered deal ends a month of protests by Houthis that essentially halted life in Sanaa and resulted in hundreds of people being killed or injured. January 17, 2015 – Houthi rebels kidnap Hadi’s Chief of Staff Ahmed bin Mubarak in a push for more political power. He is released 10 days later, according to Reuters. January 20, 2015 – Houthi rebels take over the presidential palace.January 22, 2015 – President Hadi resigns shortly after the prime minister and the cabinet step down. Houthis say they will withdraw their fighters from Sanaa if the government agrees to constitutional changes including fair representation for marginalized groups within the country. No agreement is reached. February 11, 2015 – The United States and the United Kingdom suspend embassy operations in Yemen.March 20, 2015 – Terrorists bomb two mosques in Sanaa, killing at least 137 and wounding 357. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack. March 22, 2015 – Houthi rebels seize the international airport in Taiz.March 26, 2015 – Warplanes from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and other countries strike Houthi rebel targets.December 6, 2015 – The governor of the city of Aden and six bodyguards are killed in a car bombing. ISIS claims responsibility.December 18-19, 2015 – At least 100 people are killed as violence erupts in the Harath district of Hajjah, a strategic border near Saudi Arabia. April-August 2016 – Direct peace talks between the warring parties take place in Kuwait, but fail after Houthi rebels reject a UN proposal aimed at ending the war. Yemeni government officials leave the discussions shortly afterward.November 28, 2016 – The Iranian-backed Houthi movement forms a new government in the capital. Abdul Aziz Habtoor, who defected from Hadi’s government and joined the Houthi coalition in 2015, is its leader, according to the movement’s news agency Saba.December 18, 2016 – A suicide bomber strikes as soldiers line up to receive their salaries at the Al Solban military base in the southern city of Aden. The strike kills at least 52 soldiers and injures 34 others, two Yemeni senior security officials tell CNN. ISIS claims responsibility. January 29, 2017 – US Central Command announces that a Navy SEAL was killed during a raid on a suspected al Qaeda hideout in a Yemeni village. The Navy SEAL is later identified as William Owens. The Pentagon reports that 14 terrorists were killed during the raid. Yemeni officials say civilians got caught in the crossfire and 13 people died, including eight-year-old Nawar Anwar Al-Awalki, the daughter of Anwar Al-Awalki. The raid was authorized by US President Donald Trump, days after he was sworn in as commander in chief. February 8, 2017 – Two senior Yemeni officials tell CNN that the government has requested that the United States stop ground operations in the country unless it has full approval.May 15, 2017 – Save the Children reports that 242 people have died of cholera as an outbreak spreads through Sanaa and beyond. October 16, 2017 – US forces conduct airstrikes against two ISIS training camps in what a defense official tells CNN are the first US strikes specifically targeting ISIS in Yemen.November 4, 2017 – Houthi rebels fire a missile at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. The Saudi government says that their military intercepted the missile before it reached its target. The Saudis carry out airstrikes on Sanaa in response.November 6, 2017 – Saudi Arabia blocks humanitarian aid planes from landing in Yemen. The move is in retaliation for the attempted missile strike on RiyadhDecember 4, 2017 – Saleh is killed by Houthi rebels as he tries to flee Sanaa. December 6, 2017 – Trump issues a statement that he has directed his administration to call for an end to Saudi Arabia’s blockade. December 21, 2017 – The International Committee of the Red Cross announces that one million cases of cholera have been reported in Yemen since the outbreak began during the spring. More than 2,200 people have died, according to the World Health Organization. It is the largest outbreak of the disease in recent history.April 3, 2018 – Speaking at a UN Pledging Conference on Yemen, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres notes that, in its fourth year of conflict, more than three-quarters of the population, 22 million, require humanitarian aid. Regarding hunger alone, “some 18 million people are food insecure; one million more than when we convened last year.”August 3, 2018 – The World Health Organizations warns that Yemen is teetering on the brink of a third cholera epidemic.August 9, 2018 – A Saudi-led coalition bombs a school bus killing 40 boys returning from a day trip in the northern Saada governorate. Fifty-one people are killed in total. Later, munitions experts tell CNN that the bomb, a 500-pound (227 kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin, was sold as part of a US State Department-sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi coalition blames “incorrect information” for the strike, admits it was a mistake and takes responsibility.

      November 20, 2018 – Save the Children says that an estimated 85,000 children under the age of 5 may have died from extreme hunger or disease since the war in Yemen escalated in early 2015.December 6, 2018 – The opposing sides in Yemen’s conflict begin direct talks in Sweden, the first direct discussions between the parties since 2016.

Israeli forces use live fire on Palestinian protesters as manhunt continues for gunman who killed 2 Israeli soldiers

Israeli troops used live fire to disperse protesters in the West Bank on Friday amid rising tensions following a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians in recent days.

An 18-year-old Palestinian named Mahmoud Rabah Nakhleh died after he was shot in the abdomen during clashes north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. A 13-year-old Palestinian was shot in the lower leg while using a slingshot in a stand-off with Israeli settlers near the Beit El settlement outside Ramallah, CNN eyewitnesses reported.

    The Israeli army confirmed to CNN that it had used what it called riot dispersal means at the site, which included live fire. A protester jumps over smoke from burning tires during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus, on Friday.Earlier, less than a kilometer away, an Israeli soldier was injured after he was struck by a rock and stabbed, the Israeli army said. His condition was described as moderately to severely wounded. The assailant was also injured in the ensuing struggle. Read MoreOfficials had been braced for widespread protests after Israel’s army carried out raids overnight Friday in Ramallah. But overall levels of violence remained relatively low, and calls by Palestinian political factions to escalate confrontations with Israeli forces appear to have gone unheeded. Forty people were arrested overnight in Ramallah on suspicion of “involvement in terror activities, popular terror and violent riots targeting civilians and security forces,” Israel’s army said. The army added that 37 of the detainees belonged to the Hamas militant group, which has threatened further attacks on Israeli soldiers. Two Israeli soldiers were shot dead Thursday at a bus stop on a main road in the Israeli-controlled part of the West Bank, the Israeli military said. A third soldier and a fourth person were wounded in the incident. Thursday’s shooting took place less than two kilometers away from the site of an attack in Ofra settlement on Sunday which wounded seven, including a pregnant woman whose baby was delivered prematurely but died three days later. Hamas had praised Thursday’s fatal attack on Israeli soldiers and claimed responsibility for Sunday’s Ofra settlement shooting.Israeli soldiers stand at the scene of an attack near the settlement of Givat Assaf in the West Bank on Thursday.

    Scattered clashes on Friday

    At one checkpoint east of Ramallah, the site of serious clashes in recent days, a CNN team saw around two dozen Palestinian protesters throwing rocks and setting tires alight on Friday, and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas canisters. Elsewhere CNN saw evidence of an increased Israeli military presence in the West Bank, with more checkpoints in operation and road closures. CNN also saw an increased security presence at bus stops, which have been the site of two shooting attacks in recent months. Palestinian security forces clash with Hamas supporters in Hebron on Friday.A video being widely shared by Palestinians on social media appears to show Hamas supporters, many of them women, being violently confronted by Palestinian Authority security officers during a Friday demonstration in the West Bank city of Hebron. In the West Bank, Hamas’s influence is checked by the Palestinian Authority, as well as Israeli forces. The video shows at least one man being dragged from a car and beaten by PA security officers in riot gear. It’s unclear what led to the incident. The Palestinian Authority has not responded to CNN’s calls for comment.

    Netanyahu retaliates by legalizing settlements

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the deaths of the Israeli soldiers Thursday by announcing plans to legalize thousands of homes built illegally by settlers in the West Bank, in an attempt to placate right-wing groups angered by the attacks. He said the West Bank homes had been “built in good faith,” and that legalization would enable “thousands of residents to have public, educational and religious structures, the construction of which has not been possible for decades.” Israelis protest outside Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Thursday.Around 1,000 Israelis joined a protest outside Netanyahu’s residence on Thursday, according to Israeli media, hours after the shooting of the Israeli soldiers. Demonstrators called on the Prime Minister to resign for failing to clamp down on the violence. Some held placards showing the face of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the crosshairs of a gun.

      Netanyahu is also advancing the construction of two new industrial zones in the West Bank, and has asked the attorney general to make legal arrangements for the building of 80 new residential units in Ofra settlement. All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal under international law, which classifies the area as occupied territory. Israel disputes the assessment, arguing that the status of the territories is more ambiguous than international law allows. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967.

Yemen rivals agree to ceasefire around ‘lifeline’ port city of Hodeidah, UN says

Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeidah, a major flashpoint in the country’s war, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday.

The besieged rebel-held port city is an entry point for 70% of foreign humanitarian aid into the country, according to the United Nations, which has described Hodeidah as a “lifeline” for Yemen’s war-ravaged population. “We have reached an agreement on Hodeidah port and city which will see a mutual redeployment of forces from the port and the city and an establishment of governorate-wide ceasefire,” Guterres said. “UN will play a leading role in the port, and this will facilitate humanitarian access.”

    Yemen’s Khaled al-Yamani, left, and rebel negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam shake hands Thursday under the watch of UN chief Antonio Guterres.The ceasefire announcement came at the conclusion of the first direct talks in more than two years between representatives of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which Saudi Arabia supports, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. International pressure has intensified for a ceasefire as the humanitarian crisis worsens in Yemen after more than three years of war. Read MoreThe warring parties, which have been meeting in Sweden for the past week, also agreed to a large-scale prisoner exchange and to de-escalating violence around Taiz, where intense battles have raged between the Saudi-backed forces and Houthi rebels. “We’ve also reached a mutual understanding to ease the situation in Taiz, and I believe this will lead to the opening of humanitarian corridors and facilitation of demining,” Guterres said. As the talks ended Thursday, both sides shook hands as shouts of “congratulations” rang out in the background. The two are set to meet again at the end of January, according to the UN chief. Until then, negotiations are expected to continue, including over a key Houthi demand to open Sanaa’s airport to commercial flights. Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy to Yemen, told reporters that an agreement on the Yemeni capital’s airport could be reached within a week. Sanaa International Airport is held by Houthi rebels, but Saudi Arabia, which imposes an air blockade over Houthi-held areas, only allows UN flights into the capital. “We don’t have to be here to get an agreement,” Griffiths said from Rimbo, north of Stockholm. “We’re going to keep on negotiating. Sweden will continue without Sweden.” Guterres didn’t specify when the Hodeidah ceasefire is expected to go into effect but said the United Nations will take on an “important monitoring role” in the port, a major rebel gateway into the Red Sea. 'What gives them the right to bomb us?' Exhausted Yemenis demand halt to war”Based on your constructive engagement in Sweden, we have a better understanding of the positions of the parties,” Guterres told the rival delegations. “We have agreed to engage in the discussions on a negotiating framework in the next meeting. This is a critical element for the future of political settlement to end the conflict.”The last Yemen peace talks in 2016 ended with Houthi rebels rejecting a UN proposal, prompting the Saudi-backed Yemeni officials to leave the talks. Twenty million people in Yemen are hungry, with 1.8 million children “acutely malnourished,” according to a report released Thursday by the Yemeni government, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and humanitarian partners.

      The Yemen conflict began after Houthi rebels took over Sanaa in August 2014 and escalated following a Saudi and Emirati-led intervention in March 2015.The war has claimed more than 10,000 lives and sparked what the United Nations has called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” The country is also home to the world’s worst famine in 100 years, the United Nations says.

Ayad Allawi Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of Ayad Allawi, the former interim Prime Minister of Iraq.

Birth date:
1945Birth place: IraqMarriage: Thana (1987-present)

    Children: ThreeRead MoreEducation: Studied medicine/neurology in Baghdad and London.Religion: Shia MuslimTimeline:
    Joins the Baath Party while in medical school in Baghdad.1970s In charge of Baath organizations in Europe when he breaks from Saddam Hussein’s regime and goes into exile in London.1978 – Survives an assassination attempt by Hussein supporters. He is beaten with an ax and hospitalized for almost a year.1991 – Co-founds the Iraqi National Accord, a group in opposition to the Hussein led Baath Party.April 2003 Returns to Iraq when Baghdad falls to the Coalition forces.October 2003 Holds the rotating presidency of the Iraqi Governing Council.April 2004 Resigns from the Iraq Governing Council security committee when the Coalition refuses to give the committee authority over security issues in Iraq.May 28, 2004 Unanimously selected by the Iraqi Governing Council to be the interim prime minister of Iraq after the June 28, 2004, handover of power. June 28, 2004 – Sworn in as the interim prime minister of Iraq. He is the first ruler other than Hussein to lead the country in more than three decades.September 23, 2004 – Holds a press conference with US President George W. Bush at the White House. December 16, 2004 – Allawi announces his list of 240 candidates for the Iraqi National Assembly and says security and national unity would be the top priorities of his slate. He turns down a chance to run on a ticket determined by Grand Ayatollah Sistani.April 2005 – Steps down as interim prime minister.July 2008 – Testifies before a US House Foreign Affairs subcommittee about the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. March 26, 2010 – Iraqi officials issue election results confirming Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition wins the most seats in Parliament.

      September 8, 2014 – Iraqi lawmakers approve a new government with Allawi as one of the country’s three vice presidents.December 2017 – In response to US President Donald Trump’s call to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Allawi urges the United Nations to intervene, stating that the move will hamper the role of the United States in the peace process.

Baby born prematurely after West Bank shooting dies

A baby born prematurely to an Israeli mother who was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank has died, a Jerusalem hospital said in a statement Wednesday evening.

The four-day-old baby boy was delivered early at 30 weeks, just hours after the shooting at the entrance to the Ofra settlement that left seven people injured on Sunday. The baby’s mother, Shira Ish-Ran, 21, was critically injured in the shooting but is slowly improving.Critically wounded woman in West Bank attack was pregnant; baby 'stable' after labor induced”The murderers are abhorrent, the most deviant criminals on earth. The security forces are pursuing them and I hope that there will be news soon on this matter,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an event in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening. “We will not slacken until we find them and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law.”

    According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), shots were fired from a passing car toward people standing at a bus stop at the entrance to the settlement. Soldiers nearby responded by firing toward the vehicle, which managed to get away, the IDF said.Israeli security forces have focused their efforts around the West Bank city of Ramallah as they look for the gunmen in the shooting.

‘What gives them the right to bomb us?’ Exhausted Yemenis demand halt to war

A young man wide-eyed and horrified rushes into a hospital in Yemen’s war-torn Hodeidah province.

We don’t know his name. Only that this must be the worst day of his life. “Is she dead,” he asks as he gently strokes the head of a lifeless little girl. “She is,” someone answers.

    He hugs the still body of his three-year-old sister, but only briefly. There are more relatives to find. “My wife, where is she?” he asks. Read MoreHe is quickly rushed through the chaotic corridors packed with wailing wounded and weeping victims. The man’s wife is alive. But by the end of the night on December 8, he will find six of his family members dead and 12 others wounded by heavy artillery fired under Saudi-led coalition air cover, according to eyewitnesses and residents.”I lost my brother too,” he told a reporter at the scene. “His whole side was torn open, his head was split. I swear I only recognized him by his t-shirt.” UN humanitarian chief: It's not too late to save Yemen from apocalypseThe footage, captured by the Houthi rebel-backed Ansarallah Media Center and obtained by CNN, provides a rare glimpse into the bloody battle for Hodeidah, a strategic port city that is at the epicenter of Yemen’s civil war. In 2015, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign to forcibly remove Houthi rebels from power and re-instate the country’s internationally recognized government. After more than three years of conflict, and as the humanitarian crisis worsens, international pressure for a ceasefire is growing. Last week, opposing sides began direct talks under the auspices of the United Nations. But even as the negotiations continue in Sweden, there is no respite in Yemen, where the most vulnerable face the dual threat of war and hunger. The UN says half of Yemen’s population — about 14 million people — are at risk of famine. A Saudi coalition spokesperson denied responsibility for the December 8 attack shown in the video from the Houthi-run Ansarallah Media Center. “We have no knowledge of this, and it is widely recognized that the Houthi militia is continuing to target civilians with all types of weapons in Hodeida province and its cities,” Colonel Turki al-Malki told CNN.

    America’s role in Yemen

    The Trump administration’s role in Yemen’s tragedy came under increased scrutiny after a CNN investigation found remnants of a US-made bomb at the scene of an airstrike in the northern province of Saada that left dozens of children dead in August. The Saudi coalition told CNN the missile strike was aimed at a “legitimate target.” Another CNN investigation uncovered fragments of US-manufactured weapons at a string of other incidents since 2015.Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the USThe US says it does not make targeting decisions for the coalition, which is fighting a Houthi rebel insurgency in Yemen. But it provides support for its operations through billions of dollars in arms sales and some sharing of intelligence. The problem for the administration is that patience for the Saudis is running out on Capitol Hill. Some Senators are particularly riled by the CIA’s conclusion, according to sources, that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.The Saudi government has denied that bin Salman was involved in Khashoggi’s death, and US President Donald Trump has also been at odds with the CIA assessment. “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a statement last month.After Khashoggi was murdered, the US stopped airborne refueling of Saudi aircraft involved in the conflict. 'I can't breathe.' Jamal Khashoggi's last words disclosed in transcript, source saysNow, momentum is growing behind a proposal to invoke a never-before-used provision of the War Powers Act, which allows Congress to order the President to withdraw from a conflict.”It’s un-American,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, of Trump’s suggestions that US arms sales with Saudi Arabia take precedence over a forceful to response to a journalist’s murder. “When we provide aid to other countries, we do so because we want to see good things happen in those countries. We espouse American values around the world.”

      Back inside the hospital, medical staff are overwhelmed. The dead are hastily wrapped in blankets to make room for those still fighting to live. On the doorstep of the building, two toddlers lie lifeless, their bodies waiting to be claimed by loved ones.The man asks a final question this time to the camera: “What gives them the right to bomb us? May God never bless them.”

Two killed in West Bank shooting attack

Two people were shot dead Thursday and two wounded at a bus stop on a main road in the Israeli-controlled part of the West Bank, a chief medic told Israeli television.

In a statement, Israel’s military said the gunman stepped out of a vehicle and opened fire on Israeli soldiers and civilians standing at the bus stop. He then fled the scene, according to the statement. The shooting took place less than two kilometers away from Ofra settlement, the site of a drive-by shooting on Sunday in which seven people were wounded. A baby born prematurely to one of those injured died Wednesday.

    Israeli soldiers stand near the scene of the attack.The Palestinian militant group Hamas praised Thursday’s attack. The group’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, did not claim responsibility for the attack, but warned of more to come. “There is still a lot in our pocket [that can be used] against the enemy. The fire under the ashes in the West Bank will burn the occupier,” the group said in a statement. Read MoreIsrael’s military has blocked traffic to Ramallah — the administrative center of the Palestinian Authority — in its search for the shooter. “We have currently blocked the entrances and exits to Ramallah and we are conducting searches there and continuing to act in the vicinity,” Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Cornicus said in a conference call with reporters. The West Bank is a Palestinian territory, whose administrative responsibilities are divided geographically between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli military still maintains broad authority, controlling main roads and checkpoints, as well as having a presence in settlements. Cornicus said the shooting could have been a copy-cat attack, possibly inspired by a recent shooting. He did not comment on whether a militant group may have been responsible, or on the background on the suspects.He added that Israel’s military is boosting its presence in the West Bank with additional battalions that would “conduct both defensive and offensive missions to protect the community and people traveling on the roads.”A Palestinian man named Saleh Barghouti suspected of carrying out Sunday’s shooting was shot dead by Israeli forces in a raid on Wednesday night near Ramallah. Another Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at a West Bank industrial park two months ago was shot dead in an overnight raid in the West Bank, according to Israel’s military.

      Ashraf Naalwa, 23, from the West Bank village of Shuweika, was on the run for two months after the attack, which left two Israelis dead. The attack was carried out in a factory where both the victims and the attacker worked.”The murderers are abhorrent, the most deviant criminals on earth,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an event on Wednesday evening.

Critically wounded woman in West Bank attack was pregnant; baby ‘stable’ after labor induced

A 21-year-old pregnant woman was among seven people wounded in a drive-by shooting near the Israeli settlement of Ofra in the West Bank, according to the Israeli ambulance service, Magen David Adom, known as MDA.

The woman, critically injured at the entrance to the settlement, was 30 weeks pregnant, doctors at the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem said.After the woman arrived at the hospital having suffered heavy blood loss and with wounds to the lower abdomen, doctors induced labor, Dr. Alon Schwartz of Shaare Zedek said on Israeli television.

    The baby is in a stable condition, while the woman is undergoing further surgery, Schwartz said.Shots were fired from a passing car toward people standing at a bus stop at the entrance to the settlement, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Soldiers nearby responded by firing toward the vehicle, which managed to flee the scene, the IDF said.Read MoreTwo people are described by MDA as moderately wounded in the attack, and four are described as lightly wounded.

‘I can’t breathe.’ Jamal Khashoggi’s last words disclosed in transcript, source says

“I can’t breathe.” These were the final words uttered by Jamal Khashoggi after he was set upon by a Saudi hit squad at the country’s consulate in Istanbul, according to a source briefed on the investigation into the killing of the Washington Post columnist.

The source, who has read a translated transcript of an audio recording of Khashoggi’s painful last moments, said it was clear that the killing on October 2 was no botched rendition attempt, but the execution of a premeditated plan to murder the journalist.During the course of the gruesome scene, the source describes Khashoggi struggling against a group of people determined to kill him.

    “I can’t breathe,” Khashoggi says.”I can’t breathe.”Read More”I can’t breathe.”The transcript notes the sounds of Khashoggi’s body being dismembered by a saw, as the alleged perpetrators are advised to listen to music to block out the sound.And, according to the source, the transcript suggests that a series of phone calls are made. Turkish officials believe the calls were placed to senior figures in Riyadh, briefing them on progress.Some of the details in the transcript seen by CNN’s source have emerged in previous reports of the recording’s content. But this is the fullest account of the transcript that has so far been published.Jamal Khashoggi's private WhatsApp messages may offer new clues to killingIt is likely to increase pressure on the Trump administration, which has been determined to separate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the murder, and sought to frame the issue as a binary choice between supporting or cutting off a key partner in the Middle East. US President Donald Trump has been at odds with the CIA, which, sources say, has concluded bin Salman personally ordered the killing.The revelations also threaten to undermine a key plank of an initial Saudi explanation for Khashoggi’s death, that it was a rogue operation that went horribly wrong.The original transcript of the audio was prepared by Turkish intelligence services. Turkish officials have never said how they obtained the audio. The transcript would have been translated before it was shared with other intelligence services; CNN’s source read a translated version and has been briefed on the investigation.The office of one US senator, who has received a briefing on the investigation by CIA Director Gina Haspel, told CNN that the source’s recollections of the transcript are “consistent” with that briefing.CNN asked Saudi officials to comment on the contents of the transcript as described by the source, and to provide comment from those named in it. A Saudi official said: “The relevant Saudi security officials have reviewed the transcript and tape materials through Turkish security channels and nowhere in them is there any reference or indication of a call being made.””If there is additional information Turkish authorities have that we are unaware of, we would welcome it being officially handed over to us for review, which we have requested numerous times and are still requesting. And, up until now; we have not received anything.” The official did not address the transcript’s characterization of the scene inside the Saudi consulate, nor Khashoggi’s last words. A security camera image shows Khashoggi entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

    ‘You are coming back’

    The transcript begins at the moment Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate in a quiet residential district of Istanbul at lunchtime on October 2. Khashoggi thought he had made a routine appointment to pick up papers that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. But, according to the source, it dawns upon Khashoggi almost immediately that things are not going to plan, when he recognizes one of the men who meets him.He asks the man what he is doing there.According to CNN’s source, a voice identified in the transcript as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official working for bin Salman, and known to Khashoggi from their time together at the Saudi Embassy in London, addresses him.”You are coming back,” the man says.”You can’t do that,” Khashoggi replies. “People are waiting outside.”(Khashoggi’s fiancée accompanied him as far as the consulate, with instructions to call associates if he did not emerge.)Without any further dialogue, according to the source, the transcript indicates that several people set upon Khashoggi.Noises follow, and very quickly Khashoggi is fighting for air. The slow-motion disaster of Trump's Khashoggi strategyIn one version of the evolving explanations for his death, Saudi officials suggested Khashoggi was accidentally choked. But according to the transcript, CNN’s source says, the journalist’s voice can be heard above the noise, repeatedly claiming he could not breathe.Despite his desperate pleas, the last discernible words the transcript records for Khashoggi are:”I can’t breathe.”The transcript notes more noises, and several more voices.One of those voices is identified on the transcript by Turkish authorities as belonging to Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, the source says.Aside from Khashoggi and Mutreb, he is the only other voice identified by name on the transcript.As the transcript continues, it is clear Khashoggi is not yet dead.The transcript notes the noises that can be heard on the tape, almost in the manner that subtitles describe moments in movies where there is no dialogue.”Scream.” “Scream.””Gasping.” Then, the transcript notes other descriptions.”Saw.””Cutting.”Tubaiqi is noted giving some advice to other people in the room, apparently to help them deal with the appalling task.”Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me.”During the scene, the transcript notes at least three phone calls placed by Mutreb.The transcript does not specify the moment Khashoggi dies.According to the source, the transcript suggests Mutreb is updating someone, whom Turkish officials say was in Riyadh, with almost step-by-step details of what is taking place.”Tell yours, the thing is done, it’s done.” The word “yours” is taken by CNN’s source to refer to a superior, or boss.The transcript has been circulated to key Turkish and Saudi allies, including those in Europe, but only the United States and Saudi Arabia have received the recording itself, the source believes.The working assumption among those allies is that Mutreb was talking to Saud al-Qahtani, bin Salman’s closest aide, the source said. Saudi officials say al-Qahtani has been removed from his former position as media chief to the crown prince.The transcript only records Mutreb’s side of the conversation. Without a recording of that call, or more details of which number was called, further conclusions based on the transcript alone cannot be made.A portrait of Jamal Khashoggi during a remembrance ceremony for him in Washington on November 2.A source close to the Saudi investigation into Khashoggi’s killing told CNN that Mutreb and Tubaiqi deny making any phone calls.CNN has previously reported how Mutreb, Tubaiqi and 13 other Saudis arrived in Istanbul by private charter jets and commercial aircraft on the day of and the days leading up to Khashoggi’s murder.Turkish surveillance video records the 15-man hit team arriving at the consulate shortly before Khashoggi, and departing a few hours later. A body double of Khashoggi dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes is seen on CCTV leaving by the back door.It is clear from the transcript of the phone conversation that the calls do not describe a terrible situation gone awry, or explain an unexpected set of circumstances, the source says. Instead, the caller appears simply to be informing someone of what is going on. Hardly, the source says, the actions of a panicked ringleader, but more the description of a situation going entirely according to plan.The transcript is relatively short, given the time span it describes, the source told CNN. There is not much dialogue; certainly no hint of a conversation about why Khashoggi should go “back,” and no suggestion either, as advanced at one point by Saudi officials, that he had been drugged by the hit team.There is nothing in this transcript that the source could describe as a “smoking gun” — a snippet of conversation or phone call that directly ties bin Salman to the so-called hit team, and to Khashoggi’s murder.


      Graham on Khashoggi: Crown Prince ‘complicit’

      ReplayMore Videos …


      Graham on Khashoggi: Crown Prince ‘complicit’ 02:00But the lasting conclusion the source drew from the transcript is that Khashoggi’s killing was a planned assassination by an organized team that carried out its job with ruthless efficiency, keeping someone in Riyadh informed at each step.While the transcript provides no smoking gun directly tying Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the killing, it seems to echo Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sentiments after hearing the CIA’s assessment of Khashoggi’s killing.

        Graham, who was among a group of senators to receive a classified briefing on the Khashoggi case, said earlier this week that he agreed with the conclusions of the US security services that bin Salman was implicated in the case. “There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw,” he said.