Official: One-fifth of firms fail to meet Nitaqat quotas

May 22, 2013

Al_Arabiya

Riyadh, May 22: Twenty percent of private sector companies in Saudi Arabia are not meeting quotas for the employment of nationals, despite a program aimed at boosting recruitment that launched two years ago, a labor official was quoted as saying on Monday.

Nitaqat, a government-led Saudization program, was launched with the aim of increasing the number of nationals employed in private sector companies and to help reduce the unemployment rate.

The Nitaqat program classified companies into blue, green, yellow and red categories according to their level of compliance.

Companies most compliant with Nitaqat’s regulations belong in the blue category, while companies with little or no compliance are classed as red. One-fifth of companies in the Saudi market are in still the red category, Ahmed Al-Humaidan, undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor, told Al-Eqtisadiah business newspaper.

Since launching Nitaqat, the Ministry of Labor confirmed the employment of 500,000 Saudis, thus improving the compliance of companies in the private sector.

The labor official said he was certain that companies will enhance their compliance and get out of the red category, in the face of penalties.

Companies in the red category face being banned from completing procedures such as the change of profession, transfer of visas, issuance of visas, and the opening of files for new branches.

These companies have a grace period of six months to improve their status, according to Nitaqat’s regulations.

Al-Humaidan confirmed that a Labor Ministry committee is looking into ways by which nationals can benefit from working in the maintenance and operation of public facilities.

This follows a decision by the Shoura Council, last October, which banned non-Saudis from working in such fields, unless the job was of a “special nature.”

The Nitaqat system states that business owners must provide regular and updated data on employment positions in operations and maintenance for public facilities, to gain the committee’s approval.

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News Network
April 7,2024

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Israel's relentless aggression against the Gaza Strip has now stretched over six months, and shows no sign of abating despite international calls for a ceasefire.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of violence against Palestinians.

At that time, the Israeli regime said attacking Gaza had two goals: eliminating Hamas and bringing back the hostages taken by the resistance group to Gaza. None of them have been achieved so far.

About 130 of the 250 Israeli captives taken during Operation Al-Aqsa Storm are still in Gaza after a provisional truce deal in December saw the exchange of a number of prisoners between the two sides.

Death toll

The conflict in Gaza has taken a devastating toll on Palestinians, with over 33,200 people, including 13,800 children, having lost their lives in 180 days of war, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

On top of that, around 76,000 people have been wounded – about four out of every 100 people in Gaza. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said this week some 1,000 children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs.

A record-breaking 176 UN staff members and seven foreign aid workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

The Israeli army has killed the largest number of journalists of any modern conflict and detained more than 24. More than 140 journalists have been killed during the six months of war in the Israeli military's raids, bombardments and missile attacks across the Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has worsened day by day as the Israeli army continues to prevent aid from reaching the region, resulting in starvation being utilized as a tactic of warfare as over a million are at risk of starvation, with international groups warning of an “imminent” famine.

At least 27 Palestinians have already died from malnutrition and dehydration, according to international NGOs.

Displacement

More than 80 percent of Gaza’s population (Over 1.9 million Palestinians) have been intentionally displaced as the Israeli military ordered Palestinians to “go south” from the start of the war.

Some 1.4 million people are believed to be sheltering in Rafah, a small city on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt which is being bombarded by the Israeli forces every day as they have left no safe zone for the Palestinians to live.

Infrastructure damage

The estimated $18.5 billion in damage has affected public service infrastructure, resulting in 26 million tons of debris and rubble.

Over 290,000 housing units, equivalent to 62 percent of all homes in Gaza, have been damaged or destroyed by the war, leaving more than a million people homeless.

Only a fraction of hospitals, 10 out of 36, are operational following severe damage, leading to overwhelming strain on their limited resources.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, has been left severely damaged and burned after enduring a relentless two-week-long siege. The compound, which witnessed the loss of at least 400 lives and the arrest of hundreds, now faces a dire situation.

With an acute shortage of medicine and healthcare professionals on the brink of exhaustion and starvation, the majority of patients in Gaza are unable to receive the treatment they desperately need.

The scarcity of resources has forced medical teams to carry out operations and amputations without the availability of anesthetic, further exacerbating the already dire circumstances.

Political resolutions

On March 6, South Africa filed an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and requested for additional provisional measures issued on January 26.

In January, the ICJ ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel described the genocide allegation as baseless.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, calling for a halt to all arms sales to Israel, and for the regime to be held accountable for possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month, demanding an “immediate ceasefire” for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The resolution is the first to be approved by the council after three previous attempts during the past five months of war were vetoed by the US.

Meanwhile, during the months of war, protests around the world have been held in support of Palestine, calling for an immediate ceasefire and halt to arms sales to Israel.

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News Network
April 13,2024

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Tehran, Apr 13: Iranian armed forces have seized a container ship near the Strait of Hormuz amid rising tensions across the region after a deadly Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Syria.

The incident comes amid Israel bracing for Iranian retaliation after the regime's April 1 strike on a building in the Iranian embassy compound in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which killed seven IRGC military advisors, including two generals.

The ship was commandeered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the elite force that lost seven members in the Syria strike, Iranian state media reported on Saturday.

“The ship has now been guided towards the territorial waters of our country,” state-run IRNA reported.

The vessel was identified as the Portugal-flagged MSC Aries, which reportedly departed from a port in the United Arab Emirates en route to India. 

Footage from the deck of the vessel obtained by The Associated Press news agency on Saturday showed soldiers rappelling down from a helicopter.

The helicopter appeared to be a Soviet-designed Mil Mi-17, which is operated by the naval forces of the IRGC.

Zodiac Maritime said in a statement that MSC is responsible for all vessel activities.

“Title to the vessel is held by Gortal Shipping Inc as financier and she has been leased to MSC on a long-term basis. Gortal Shipping Inc is affiliated with Zodiac Maritime,” it said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) had said a vessel was seized by “regional authorities” 50 nautical miles (92km) northeast of the UAE’s Fujairah in a waterway vital to world trade.

Another Israeli-linked container ship was attacked and damaged by a drone in the Indian Ocean in late November, which the United States blamed on Iran.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a post on X that the move by Iran was “a pirate operation in violation of international law”.

He called on the European Union and “the free world to immediately declare” the IRGC a “terrorist organization and to sanction Iran now”.

The Gulf of Oman is near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a fifth of all globally traded oil passes. Fujairah, on the United Arab Emirates’ eastern coast, is a main port in the region for ships to take on new oil cargo, pick up supplies or trade out crew.

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Iraqi resistance forces have targeted Haifa Airport in the northwestern part of the 1948 Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of anti-terror fighters, in a brief statement claimed responsibility for the early Wednesday drone strike against the facility.

The coalition said the airport came under attack by armed unmanned aerial vehicles.

It noted that that the attack “falls within the framework of the second phase of operations against the occupying Israeli regime. It was conducted in support of Palestinians in Gaza, and in retaliation for the Zionist entity’s massacres against defenseless Palestinian civilians.”

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq underscored it would continue to “destroy the enemy’s strongholds.”

Separately, the sound of explosions was heard close to Ovda Airbase, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) base located around 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) north of Eilat, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news channel reported.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has carried out numerous attacks on Israeli targets since the start of a genocidal war on Gaza by the occupying regime in early October.

Israel unleashed its war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has enforced a “total siege” on the territory, severing the supply of fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians residing there.

The Israeli war has resulted in the death of 32,916 Palestinian lives and left another 75,494 wounded, painting a grim picture of the situation.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has also struck major American military bases in Syria and Iraq in retaliation for Washington’s singled out support for the bloody Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip, and in a show of strong solidarity with Palestinians.

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