West Bank tensions
Israeli forces arrest six Palestinians over a shooting that killed a settler three days ago. The Israeli military says it detained the Palestinians in a village in Jenin, and closed the building where they were arrested. Two people were also injured in the shooting that took place near an illegal Israeli outpost in the northern occupied West Bank. Hamas resistance movement says the attack proves that Palestinians are continuing the struggle to liberate their land. Palestinians are outraged by rising settler attacks on their villages, with backing from Israeli troops. Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented hundreds of such attacks this year alone.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation meets to discuss the situation in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover in August. The organization has agreed to establish a humanitarian trust fund to address the growing economic crisis in that country. The fund will be set up under the Islamic Development Bank to channel aid to Afghanistan. That’s according to Pakistan's foreign minister whose country hosted the OIC meeting. A final statement has stressed the need for allowing Afghanistan access to its financial resources to prevent economic collapse. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also attended the Islamabad meeting. He called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan. The economic crisis there has been worsening as billions of dollars in central bank reserves remain frozen. That’s happening as the world is not yet recognizing the new Afghan government formed by the Taliban.
Omicron in Iran
Iran confirms its first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the capital Tehran. The health ministry says the infected person is a middle-age man who recently returned to Iran from the UAE. According to the ministry, the necessary measures have been taken to quarantine the man and those who were in contact with him. Daily Covid cases and deaths have been declining in Iran in recent weeks. On Sunday, the country reported 50 new fatalities in 24 hours. That’s a very low figure compared with the summer when daily deaths passed 700. The disease has largely been contained due to a mass vaccination program. So far, more than 50 million of Iran’s 85-million population have received their two doses.