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Israel holds two Palestinians over JERUSALEM: Israel has broken a network of Hamas cells in the West Bank and arrested two men suspected of involvement in the lynching of two soldiers in Ramallah in 2000, the internal security agency said on Thursday. A statement from the agency said that "during June 2012, the Shin Bet, along with police and the military, exposed a wide infrastructure of Hamas active in Ramallah and villages" in the region. "Among the activists arrested and interrogated by the Shin Bet were two, who admitted in their interrogation to involvement in the lynching that took place on October 12, 2000 at the Palestinian police station in Ramallah," the statement said. Shortly after the second intifada broke out, Palestinians caught and lynched two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered the West Bank city. The Shin Bet named the two suspects as Marwan Maadi, 51, and Yasser Hatab, 40. Both are residents of Jafna, a village near ...

Syria DAMASCUS: President Bashar al-Assad has appointed Wael al-Halqi as Syria's new premier, state television reported on Thursday, after his predecessor defected to join a rebellion. "The president has signed Decree 298, appointing Wael al-Halqi as the new prime minister," the broadcaster reported. Health Minister Halqi was appointed to replace Riad Hijab, whose defection to the opposition was announced on Monday. Hijab's was the highest-level defection from Assad's regime since the outbreak of a revolt almost 17 months ago. The ...
Syrian rebels say pull back again in Aleppo district  ALEPPO: Syrian rebels withdrew from parts of a strategic district of Aleppo on Thursday after fierce fighting with President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a rebel commander said. "There have been some withdrawals of Free Syrian Army fighters from Salaheddine," Abu Ali said. Rebels had abandoned two streets which had been frontlines in the conflict, he said, but were regrouping for a counter-attack. Buildings in the area have been flattened by bombardment and rebels are short of ammunition. Another ...
Kuwait won KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait will not attend a conference that Iran is to host on Thursday on finding ways to end the conflict in Syria, a senior official said in a newspaper report. "We have informed Iran officially that we are not attending," foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah was quoted as saying in the privately owned Al-Seyassah newspaper. A top aide to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi visited Kuwait on Sunday and invited the Gulf state's top ...
Syria army pounds rebel-held areas of Aleppo: NGOs  BEIRUT: Syria's army, locked in a fierce battle for control of Aleppo, pounded rebel-held areas of the commercial capital on Thursday, rights activists reported. An intense bombardment rocked the neighbourhoods of Hanano, Saif al-Dawla, Shaar and Shakur from 3:00 am (0000 GMT), according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Shooting was heard in several suburbs of the northern city, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists on the ground, which also reported ...
About 2,400 Syrians reach Turkey to flee violence  KILIS: Some 2,400 people, including two generals, fled the violence in Syria to reach neighbouring Turkey overnight, the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Wednesday. The group was mostly made up of women and children from areas near the Syrian towns of Aleppo and Idlib, but also included a total of 37 defecting military personnel, the agency said. Nine people were being treated at a hospital in Reyhanli in Turkey's Hatay province, it said. No one was immediately ...
Syria army launches Aleppo ground assault: security BEIRUT: The Syrian army launched on Wednesday a ground assault on the northern city of Aleppo, a Syrian security official told AFP. "The army is advancing from west to east to cut Salaheddin in half horizontally," the official said on condition of anonymity, referring to the key rebel stronghold in the city. "It will not take a long time to control the district, even if there are some pockets of resistance remaining," the source added. A rebel commander ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln