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Germany Shuts Its Instanbul Consulate Over Security Threats

The German Consulate in Istanbul would be closed on Wednesday due to a heightened threat of attack in Turkey’s biggest city, the German Foreign Ministry said.

Germany warned its citizens in Istanbul that the risk of attack was particularly high in the central district of Beyoğlu and around the heavily trafficked Taksim Square.

The ministry said the move to close the consulate was made following “the assessment of the security authorities’’ and urged citizens to be especially vigilant and avoid crowds.

Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as the United States, already warned their nationals last week of an increased risk of attack in Turkey.

The U.S. tightened its warning on Monday to specify Istanbul.

Turkey, in turn, had warned its citizens of attacks in Europe and the U.S…

Tensions between Turkey and some European countries have flared over protests Ankara considers Islamophobic or anti-Turkish.

Most recently, the right-wing extremist Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan set a Koran on fire in front of a mosque in Stockholm.

He threatened to do it every week until Turkey approved Sweden’s accession to NATO.

In recent weeks, several similar actions across Europe have sparked outrage in Turkey.

Those included an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being strung up in Stockholm and Koran’s pages torn up in the Netherlands.

Sweden, along with Finland, wants to join NATO as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

All 30 current NATO members must agree to this.

Turkey and Hungary have not yet said yes.


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Saudi Prince, Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Dies in Air Crash

Saudi Prince, Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died aged 62, the Saudi monarchy announced on Thursday.

Reports in Arabic media claim the prince was killed in a plane crash, as published by RT.

The Saudi royal court announced the prince’s passing in a short statement, saying that funeral prayers for the deceased royal would be performed at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh.

Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz was the son of Prince Bandar and the grandson of the first Saudi monarch, King Abdulaziz.

Born in 1961, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Air Force and served as assistant intelligence chief at the GIP, the Saudi intelligence agency, from 2004 to 2012.

While the court’s statement did not reveal a cause of death, Lebanon’s Al Mashhad news outlet reported that the prince died when his F-15 fighter jet crashed during a training exercise with the Air Force.

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Dozens of Hamas terrorists surrender to Israeli soldiers

Dozens of Hamas terrorists surrendered to Israeli forces in northern Gaza Thursday, Dec. 7, according to reports.

The group turned themselves in after being pushed back by the advancing Israel Defense Forces near Jabaliya, the Times of Israel reports.

Photos shows dozens of men lined up on a street, sitting in rows with their hands over their heads

The men were stripped to just their underwear as the IDF troops lined them up.

Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker estimated that more than a hundred Hamas fighters turned themselves in, the largest group to surrender to the IDF since Israel began its incursion into the Palestinian enclave.

However, Israel’s Kan News reported that the group of men were detained before the IDF could verify whether they were all in fact members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The New Arab, a Qatari-owned news outlet based in London, alleged that one of the men seen in the footage was Diaa Al-Kahlot, one of its correspondents reporting from Gaza.

Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan claimed that the people arrested in the video were unarmed civilians who were not affiliated with the terror group, Arabic broadcaster Al Araby reports.

The IDF has yet to comment on the arrests in Jabaliya.

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UN Political Mission in Sudan to end on Sunday

UN political mission in Sudan to end on SA United Nations political mission in war-torn Sudan will end on Sunday after the UN Security Council voted on Friday to shut it down following a request from the country’s acting foreign minister last month.

A war erupted on April 15 between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces after weeks of rising tension between the two sides over a plan to integrate forces as part of a transition from military rule to civilian democracy.

The British-drafted resolution terminates the mandate of the UN mission, known as UNITAMS, on Dec. 3 and requires it to wind down over the next three months. UNITAMS was established by the 15-member council in June 2020 to provide support to Sudan during its political transition to democratic rule.

“We reiterate that the Sudanese authorities remain responsible for the safety and security of UNITAMS staff and assets during this transition and call for their full cooperation in allowing an orderly withdrawal,” deputy British UN Ambassador James Kariuki told the council.

Violence against civilians in Sudan is “verging on pure evil”, a senior United Nations official warned last month, as a humanitarian crisis in the country worsens and ethnic violence escalates in the western region of Darfur.

A UN country team providing humanitarian and development aid will remain in the country, where the UN says nearly 25 million people – half the population – need help.

“We affirm the government’s readiness to continue constructive engagement with the UN by strengthening cooperation with a country team,” Dafallah Alhaj, an envoy to Sudan’s army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, told the council.

He said the delivery of humanitarian aid was a top priority.

The UN special envoy to Sudan announced in September that he was stepping down, more than three months after Sudan declared him unwelcome.

Last week UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed veteran Algerian diplomat Ramtane Lamamra as his personal envoy for Sudan.

The Security Council resolution encourages all parties to cooperate with the envoy.

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