Arabic press review: Tunisian union may block US ships to protest embassy move

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Tunisia's largest trade union considers preventing American ships from entering the country's ports over US embassy move to Jerusalem

Cargo ships unload imported goods in the Tunisian port city of Rades (AFP)
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Last update: 
Monday 14 May 2018 15:14 UTC
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Tunisian workers may block US ships

Tunisia's largest trade union is considering preventing the unloading and launching of American ships in the country's ports in response to the US decision to transfer its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, according to the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Mohammed Abbas, assistant general secretary of the Tunisian General Labour Union, told Al-Quds: “The union is considering a proposal to prevent the unloading and shipping of American vessels coming to Tunisian ports, in condemnation of US President Donald Trump's decision to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem."

Abbas's remarks came on the sidelines of a public meeting organised by the union, which rejects Trump's decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the US embassy there.

A ceremony is being held on Monday to open the new US embassy in Jerusalem's Arnona neighbourhood and has already been met with Palestinian protests in which at least 43 people have been killed.

The event coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel and also comes just a day ahead of the Nakba - or "catastrophe" - which saw 750,000 Palestinians displaced from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948.

Gaddafi supporters back Haftar 

Military and political supporters of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pledged their support to General Khalifa Haftar during a recent two-day meeting in Benghazi, online news site Arabi21 reports.

It was the first meeting of the leaders since the 2011 uprisings that eventually ended Gaddafi's four-decade rule. 

Those gathered were among armed forces who have been supporting Haftar's Operation Dignity - a military campaign to battle rival groups launched by the general in May 2014.

They praised Haftar's efforts to combat "terrorism" in eastern Libya.

UNRWA staff on hunger strike

Seven leaders of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) started a hunger strike on Sunday to protest the organisation’s administrative measures, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad reported.

Among other issues, employees are protesting an increase in costs of their health insurance policies and those of their family members, which they say are unfair.

The strikers say they will carry out further escalations unless UNRWA stops the changes and called on the UN coordinator in Jordan to intervene quickly and "not to leave all the decisions of the organisation in the hands of only one person".

Protests over Egyptian metro price hike

Egyptian security forces continued on Monday to cordon off subway stations for the third day in a row, in anticipation of escalating protests against ticket price increases, according to the Cairo-based newspaper Almesryoon.

On Friday, the Egyptian Minister of Transport raised the maximum price of a ticket to seven Egyptian pounds (39 cents). This represents a three-fold price increase, sparking protests over the weekend.

The price rise comes as Egypt tightens its finances as part of austerity measures tied to a $12bn, three-year loan agreed with the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.