Israel Threatens to Send Lebanon Back to the Stone Age

The 200bn riyals package covers 17 initiatives ranging from housing to exports the country’s commerce and investment minister Majed Al Qasabi said. Saul Loeb  AFP

Israel Threatens to Send Lebanon Back to the Stone Age

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud approved the plan on Thursday in an attempt to get the economy back on track after a drop in oil prices.

Forbes notes that over the past decade, fintech startups in the Middle East have raised over USD 100m in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020.

It has earned the US condemnation from the Muslim world and Western allies - including a rare rebuke from King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who reiterated earlier this week that the Palestinians have a right to East Jerusalem as their capital. The US-Saudi-Israel alliance of convenience could be the first casualty of Trump's Jerusalem move. The oft-delayed program was originally announced last year and will give direct cash payments to Saudis based on their level of incomes. The reference to "east Jerusalem" is a clear indication Saudi Arabia accepts the concept of Israel's capital in west Jerusalem.

Last month, Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara invited Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh to visit Israel. And though the country will likely employ fewer austerity measures than in previous years once it finalizes its 2018 budget, the new tax will play a part in ensuring that spending levels do not reach 2013 highs.

The growing divisions in the region come as the war against Islamic State ends and the Syrian civil war seems to slow into a frozen conflict.

"The current situation suggests that Saudi Arabia now has both a high disincentive to pursue nuclear weapons in the short term and a high motivation to pursue them over the long term", the Washington Institute said.

According to Barakeh, resolutions adopted by the OIC should be clearer and stronger than those adopted by the Cairo-based Arab League.

His speech comes as the country prepares to distribute cash assistance to low-income families as part of a new welfare system ahead of more subsidy cuts to drive down government costs in the face of sustained lower oil prices.

Near Ramallah, a Palestinian was shot and injured after he attacked an officer with a knife.

Last week, Energy Secretary Rick Perry declined to comment on the possibility of uranium enrichment being included in the deal, according to Reuters. Katz reportedly threatened that Israel would bomb the plants.

"This is not a dream at all". This could leave Riyadh more isolated unless it can achieve some kind of success, either in Yemen or elsewhere.

"The Obama administration held firm with the Saudis because it's one thing to cap nuclear technology where it already exists, but it's longstanding US policy not to spread the technology to new countries", the publication added. Control of it remains one of the core stumbling blocks to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Lebanon's response to the bill was harsh, with Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri saying that redefining the maritime borders is equivalent to a declaration of war. "It empowers the Iranian position". Despite Iran's "interference to destabilise the region", Katz pointed to the railway project as an opportunity to achieve lasting peace.

While there were no official calls for violence in the kingdom, Saudi newspapers, which are privately owned but government-guided, carried editorials lashing out at the Americans. "Saudi Arabia follows international law", he said.

"It is a golden opportunity".

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