Xinhua Middle East News Roundup at 2200 GMT, 20 February

Xinhua Middle East News Roundup at 2200 GMT, 20 February

ANKARA – At least three people were killed and 213 others were sent to hospital after two new earthquakes shook southern Turkey on Monday night, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

Rescue teams have been working at three wreck sites to rescue six people trapped in the latest tremors, Soylu told reporters in southern Hatay province, the epicenter of the tremors. (Türkiye-Earthquake)

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JERUSALEM – Israeli protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Jerusalem on Monday as Israel’s far-right government pushes ahead with a controversial overhaul of the justice system and prepares to hold the first vote on two bills.

Inside parliament, lawmakers prepared to hold the first vote on two bills aimed at curbing Supreme Court oversight of legislation and increasing politicians’ influence over the court. (Israel Judicial Review Protest)

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JERUSALEM – Israel has informed the United States that it will not approve new settlements in the occupied West Bank “in the coming months,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Monday.

On February 12, Israel’s far-right coalition government legalized nine settler outposts built without permits by granting them retroactive permits. The move drew sharp condemnation from the Palestinians and world powers. (Israel-New Settlements-Approval)

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ANKARA – The Turkish foreign minister on Monday confirmed Ankara’s demand for more Swedish steps over its security problems despite US pressure for Sweden and Finland’s rapid accession to NATO.

At a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the Turkish capital Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey is not confident about Sweden joining the military alliance, as it has not yet taken enough steps to address Turkey’s concerns. (Türkiye-Sweden-NATO bid)


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