Norway calls on Israel to reverse largest confiscation of Palestinian land since Oslo Accords


The Norwegian Foreign Ministry called on Israel to reverse the largest illegal confiscation of Palestinian land since the Oslo Accords in 1993.

“Israel’s long-standing policy of dispossession, land confiscation and illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories undermines our collective efforts to achieve a two-state solution and a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said, according to what was reported on Thursday by Euronews.

She stressed that “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and pose a major threat to peace and security in the region.”

The Israeli occupation authorities have agreed to confiscate 12.7 square kilometers of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, where approximately 6,000 housing units will be built for Israeli settlers.

Source: Maan News Agency

Occupation forces arrest two boys from Issawiya


Jerusalem Ma’an – Israeli occupation forces stormed the town of Issawiya in Jerusalem on Thursday evening.

Eyewitnesses said that the occupation forces stormed Issawiya after spreading out in the middle of the village, and then arrested two young men.

Source: Maan News Agency

Israeli airstrikes kill at least 11 Palestinians in Gaza Strip


GAZA: Late last night, Israeli airstrikes targeted multiple locations in Gaza City and the refugee camps of Maghazi and Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip, resulting in the killing of at least 11 civilians and injuries to several others.

Local sources report that nine individuals were killed when Israeli forces bombed a residence and an UNRWA warehouse in the Maghazi and Nuseirat refugee camps.

Additionally, sources confirmed the murder of two civilians as a result of an Israeli airstrike on a residential building in Gaza City.

The ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza since October 7, 2023, has so far resulted in 38,038 documented Palestinian fatalities, with an additional 87,445 injuries, according to the latest updates released by the local health authorities in the region.

Source: Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA

UAE welcomes 18th group of wounded Palestinian children, cancer patients

ABU DHABI: The 18th group of wounded Palestinian children and cancer patients and those accompanying them, arrived today in the UAE, in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide medical treatment for 1,000 injured children and 1,000 cancer patients from the Gaza Strip at the UAE’s hospitals.

Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Development Affairs and International Organisations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasised the UAE’s commitment to providing medical treatment and healthcare to the Palestinians from Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian suffering they are experiencing.

He noted that the wise leadership’s directives to provide all forms of support in the field of healthcare came within this framework, especially with the complete collapse of health services in the Strip.

He also valued the efforts of the authorities, officials, and teams in the brotherly Arab Republic of Egypt for facilitating the transfer of
the wounded and providing all forms of support to the UAE teams present in Al Arish.

Upon the arrival of the Etihad Airways flight from Al Arish International Airport to the Zayed International Airport, medical teams swiftly transferred the wounded and those in need of immediate care to hospitals for treatment.

This initiative is part of the ongoing efforts by the UAE at various levels to assist the fraternal people of Palestine and enhance the response to the humanitarian conditions witnessed by the Gaza Strip.

Source: Emirates News Agency

More investment in skills development is key to Africa’s growth potential: OECD

PARIS: Improving access to, and the quality of, skills development will help Africa harness the growth potential of a fast-growing and increasingly skilled workforce of young Africans, according to the 2024 edition of Africa’s Development Dynamics: Skills, Jobs and Productivity, published today by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Eighty-five percent of the total expected increase in the global working-age population by 2050 will be in Africa. The working-age population (15-64 years old) will almost double in Africa by that year, from 849 million in 2024 to 1.56 billion in 2050. Those new entrants to labour markets will be more educated than previous generations, as the total number of young Africans completing secondary or tertiary education will more than double, from 103 million to 240 million, between 2020 and 2040. They will be looking for work in dynamic economies; Africa’s GDP growth is projected to increase from 3.2% in 2023 to 3.5% in 2024 and reach an average rate o
f 4.0% in 2025, outpacing Latin America and the Caribbean (2.5%), and close behind developing Asia (4.8%), compared to 3.2% for the world.

According to the report, many African economies are facing a dual challenge: workers lack the specific skillsets required by existing jobs, while not enough quality jobs are available to give workers an incentive to further build their skills. Over 80% of African youths in school aspire to work in high-skilled occupations, but only 8% find such jobs.

Skill shortages – notably in sectors such as agrifood, renewable energies and mining – hold back private investment. In the end, a cycle of insufficient supply of skilled workers and low demand for skills created by new jobs keeps economies largely informal. An estimated 82% of all workers in Africa are employed in informal – mostly low-paid, low-quality and low-protection – activities, compared to 56% in Latin America and the Caribbean and 73% in developing Asia.

Africa’s Development Dynamics 2024 finds that the quality an
d quantity of education in Africa remains low compared to other world regions. In 2021, on average, African governments allocated 3.7% of their GDP to education, or 14.5% of their total public expenditure. These are slightly below the international benchmarks of at least 4% of GDP and 15% of total public expenditure. Sixteen out of the 42 African countries with available data for 2020-23 did not meet these international benchmarks.

Skills development, coupled with better jobs, will increase productivity for millions of workers. The report indicates that each additional year of education can boost African learners’ earnings by up to 11.4%, the greatest return to education than in any other region.

The report also looks at strategic areas where Africa’s five regions have the highest potential to increase productivity thanks to a better skilled workforce: mining in Central and Southern Africa, digital in East Africa, renewable energy in North Africa and agri-food in West Africa.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Sultan bin Ahmed launches eye surgery campaign in Egypt

SHARJAH: H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), launched a campaign for eye surgeries, donated by Sharjah Broadcast Authority (SBA), in cooperation with Sharjah Charity International, targeting eye patients who are unable to pay the costs of treatment, at the University Hospital in Aswan, Egypt.

He learned about hospital services, medical equipment, patient care, and eye disease diagnosis leading to surgery. He met with patients who underwent eye operations and were sponsored by SBA, through its charitable television and radio programmes that work to collect charitable donations from donors.

Muhammad Hassan Khalaf, Director General of SBA, thanked Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi for launching hearts and eyes campaigns in Egypt, praising the support from wise leadership to enhance charitable contributions, improve standards of living, and provide healthcare globally.

He praised the cooperation of Sharjah Charity Internat
ional in supporting charitable campaigns, appreciating their efforts in reviewing medical cases through the radio programme ‘The Sent Wind’ and contributing to collecting donations to provide medical assistance to those who need it.

Muhammad Hassan Khalaf stressed that the Authority’s mission is not limited to the media role only, but extends beyond that to include the humanitarian and social aspects and the promotion of the values of goodness, love and social solidarity, considering that visits and meeting with patients that receive the necessary treatment and talking with children’s families work to motivate those in charge of the charity programmes department to do more in order to provide health assistance to the largest possible number around the world.

Abdullah Sultan bin Khadim, Executive Director of the Sharjah Charity International (SCI) expressed his satisfaction with the launch of the campaigns in Aswan Governorate, Egypt. These campaigns are part of the SCI’s ongoing charitable initiatives, whic
h have successfully facilitated over 130 heart surgeries for children in different countries across Asia and Africa.

According to Bin Khadim, the campaigns receive sponsorship from the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority and generous philanthropists. Their goal is to carry on with their humanitarian mission of providing medical treatment to children with heart diseases and individuals with eye conditions in Aswan and the surrounding areas. He stated that the SCI would be responsible for supervising all surgical procedures performed at Magdi Yacoub Heart Centre or Aswan University Hospital.

Bin Khadim highlighted the friendly efforts in these charitable campaigns, showcasing the UAE’s commitment to helping people in need across the globe. This highlights the importance of this duty and strengthens the connections among individuals. He thanked the donors for their support, which plays a crucial role in helping them fulfil their humanitarian mission, extending appreciation to the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority for
their significant contribution to the treatment campaigns and these projects that enhance the health and quality of life for the beneficiaries and bring hope back into their lives.

A new campaign, launched by the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, aims to collect donations from individuals. An initiative has been launched to offer essential care and treatment to around 500 individuals who lack the financial means to treat eye diseases, visual impairments, and undergo cataract surgeries.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed recently unveiled the “Adopt a Library” initiative at the Dr. Magdi Yacoub Heart Centre and Aswan University Hospital during his visit. This project is part of the efforts by the “Kalimat Foundation” to bring compact libraries to children. Each library is filled with 100 Arabic books, covering a wide range of topics and suitable for various age groups.

Accompanying Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed during his visit were: Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the SCI; Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-Gen
eral of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA); Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB); Hassan Yaqoub Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Media Council; Salem Ali Al Ghaithi, Director of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority; Abdullah Sultan bin Khadim, Executive Director of Sharjah Charity International; several directors of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority channels; and officials in the health sector of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Source: Emirates News Agency