US refrains from vetoing UNSC vote on Israel

The US defended its decision to refrain from vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement building in Palestine, saying the unusual step was taken only after all negotiating options to pursue a two-state solution were exhausted. The resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory was introduced in the UNSC by Egypt. However, Trump slammed the US government for abstaining from voting.

The Secretary of State, John Kerry said, “The United States acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every US administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, told that United States had exhausted each and every effort to pursue a two-state solution through negotiations, discussions and confidence-building measures. Read the full article here.

ISIS bombs Church in Egypt, warns more to come

On Sunday, a peaceful Coptic cathedral in Cairo was struck by a bomb blast that killed 25 people. The Islamic state said that it had sent a suicide bomber to the chapel on the grounds of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox cathedral. This was the deadliest militant attack on Egyptian civilians in years.

The ISIS/ISIL identified the bomber as Abu Abdallah al-Masri. However the egyptian authorities identified the attacker as Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa. There was no explanation given for the discrepancy. Mr. Mostafa’s family said that he was jailed and released in 2014, and that was the time when they lost contact with him. It was inferred that he was tortured in jail, which may have led to his radicalization.

The ISIS also suggested that it was prepared to single out Egyptian Christians much as it did minority Shiites in countries like Iraq and Syria. This poses a new challenge for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is already confronting the problem of economic crisis. Read the full article here.