These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
The United Nations is expected to publish a database of companies involved in settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. The long list of firms that are working in violation of international law is scheduled to come out in the coming weeks. Sources say along Israeli firms, there are major US and European companies on the blacklist. The listing has been ordered by the UN Human Rights Council. Israel is defiantly keeping up its settlement expansion but the upcoming publication has caused jitters in Tel Aviv. That’s because a UN blacklist could scare away the international companies present in the occupied West Bank and prevent others from joining Israeli projects. This could have devastating effects on Israeli expansion plans. The Israeli regime and the administration of US president Donald Trump are racing to find a way to block the planned publication.
Geneva Syria talks: HNC throws a wrench
Representatives of various Syrian opposition groups arrived in the Swiss city of Geneva on Monday for peace talks which many hope would help end the multiple-year conflict in the country. The talks that are sponsored by the United Nations were expected to also include a delegation from the Syrian government. But Damascus refused to attend over the opposition’s persistence that President Bashar al-Assad must go before any initiative toward ending the crisis in the country is taken up. It appears that no breakthrough should be expected even in this round of talks in Geneva just like the previous seven failed rounds held so far. This, particularly in light of the recent military advances by the Syrian government against the terrorists and the opposition’s persistence on their demand that Assad must go.