Dubai based British news, features and travel writer with over 20 years' experience, writing for international titles including The Times (London) and The Telegraph. Offering services including ghost writing, PR and media relations, copywriting and editing.

News And Features Articles

Killing of gay IDF soldier by Hamas prompts new equal rights law

Israel’s right-wing, religious coalition government has passed a landmark ruling to give equal rights to the same-sex partners of dead soldiers.vThe Families of Fallen Soldiers Law was amended to allow the partners to be recognised for the first time as Israel Defence Forces (IDF) widows, meaning they can now access benefits including pensions, financial and educational support for children, medical, funeral, wake and convalescence costs, as well as psychological support.

Families urge hostage envoy Gal Hirsch to resign

The families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas have called for the country’s chief envoy for captives and the missing to resign, after weeks of failing to secure their loved ones’ release. Security officials have also privately criticised Gal Hirsch, a former general in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) who left the army in 2006 amid controversy over his part in failing to prevent the kidnapping of soldiers by Hezbollah, an incident that prompted Israel’s invasion of Lebanon that year.

Israeli hostage task force fears repeating past mistakes

The shadow of the “disastrous” deal that freed the soldier Gilad Shalit after he was held for five years by Hamas looms over Israeli officials, a member of the task force trying to release 239 hostages has admitted. As families demand a deal from Binyamin Netanyahu to free the captives at any price, the negotiator told The Times that officials are fearful of making the same mistake that they did in the Shalit case.

Israeli charity hopes to return to Gaza after Hamas kills volunteers

An Israeli charity transporting Palestinian children to Israeli hospitals for life-saving treatment has said it will continue its work even now some of its staff have been killed or taken hostage by Hamas. Yael Noy, the chief executive of the Road to Recovery, said at least three volunteers were murdered in the kibbutz communities of Israel’s south when the terrorists broke through the border on October 7. At least 1,400 civilians and soldiers were killed and 222 taken hostage.

Mossad enlists ultra-orthodox volunteers amid split over army service

Israel’s intelligence services are trying to entice the country’s ultra-orthodox community into service in an attempt to calm tensions over the military exemptions made for the religious minority. Non-orthodox Israelis, who all serve from the age of 18, have grown increasingly tired of the state benefits given to the ultra-orthodox Haredim who instead dedicate their life to the study of the religious texts.

Israeli police ‘use George Floyd brutality’ against protesters

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s hard-right national security minister, has been accused of fostering a culture of police brutality in trying to crack down on protests against the government. Ben-Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power party and the most radical member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, has secured a guarantee that he will soon be given control of a new “national guard” of volunteers. Before that, however, he is said to have started a sweeping overhaul of the police force.

Iran launches militia patrol to crack down on abortions

Iran has ordered a notorious paramilitary group to patrol towns and cities to crack down on abortions, as the regime worries about the country’s declining population. The “abortion patrol”, or “Nafs”, meaning “life” in Persian, was announced by Saber Jabari Faruji, an official from the Ministry of Health, who warned that those involved in illegal abortions will be dealt with “severely”, with medical staff having their licences revoked.

Iran wins UN human rights role despite wave of executions

Iran has been invited to chair the 2023 social forum of the UN human rights council, despite months of crackdowns on protesters that have left hundreds of civilians dead. The appointment of Ali Bahreini, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, has been met with outrage by rights campaigners who say the dictatorship — which has also executed more than 200 Iranians since January — has no right to lead a global human rights forum.

Iran puts treasured sites on sale to ease debt in face of sanctions

Some of Iran’s most ancient historical treasures are being put up for an online auction to reduce state debt in the face of crippling sanctions. Nineteen locations will be put on sale on May 22 by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. The decision has been condemned by experts. Mohammad Gharipour, one of Iran’s leading architectural historians, said the plan was “extremely worrisome and appears to have been hastily made”.

Iranian film and sports stars banned from leaving country

Iranian film stars, sports personalities and celebrities have been banned from leaving the country, had their bank accounts frozen and wages cut, according to leaked documents that reveal the depth of the regime's crackdown. Dozens of famous Iranians have been penalised for supporting the women's rights protests that have taken place since last year, secret documents seen by the Telegraph show, with punishing sanctions including “disconnecting their communication”.

Iranian mullahs use spy cameras to catch hijab refuseniks

Iran has begun a nationwide CCTV surveillance operation to catch women refusing to wear the compulsory Islamic head covering in the wake of a nationwide uprising. Since unrest began in September following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of the Iranian morality police, women across the country have defied the regime in a mass rebellion. Women can now be seen in public places without the headscarf, in addition to innumerable others burning them in public, rejecting the strict dress

Saudi dissident in UK says there is a bounty on his head

A Saudi Arabian security officer turned dissident who fled to London after he criticised his country’s human rights record has claimed there is a bounty on his head. Colonel Rabih Alenezi, a member of Saudi Arabia’s security service, posted a video on Twitter last month announcing that he was abandoning his post over “dangerous violations to human rights” and “the reckless policies and political indiscretions” of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS.

Israeli protests over Netanyahu’s judicial reforms escalate

A record 120 demonstrations took place across Israel on Saturday and elite military reservists said they would refuse to turn up for duties as protests against proposed controversial reforms by Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, escalated. Thousands of demonstrators opposing legislation that could essentially make the government unaccountable to the legal system were attacked by right-wing and religious extremists with tear gas, pepper spray and iron bars amid the clashes.
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