Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, June 24

Middle East

TEHRAN — Iran reported 2,531 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total number in the country to 212,501 on Wednesday, official IRNA news agency reported.

Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said during her daily briefing that 133 people died from the virus overnight, taking the death toll to 9,996. (Iran-COVID-19)

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SANAA — Hundreds of billions of desert locusts were seen swarming through the Yemeni Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Wednesday, invading crops and leaving farmers of the war-torn Arab country in despair.

The destructive insects eat vegetation and destroy farms, exacerbating the food crisis as the ongoing war has already hampered relevant precautions. (Yemen-Desert Locusts-Sanaa)

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ANKARA — Turkish medical experts on Wednesday held a video conference with their Chinese counterparts in central China’s Hubei Province over the prevention and treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference, hosted by Chinese Ambassador to Turkey Deng Li and organized by the Chinese embassy, was attended by Emine Alp Mese, deputy health minister of Turkey, and other Turkish doctors specializing in various fields. (Turkey-China-COVID-19)

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RAMALLAH — If Israel implements its annexation plan on the West Bank, it would mean that it has to undertake its responsibilities over the territories as an occupying power, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Wednesday.

In an address via a video link to the Arab Parliament, Abbas said that annexing any part of the Palestinian lands is “null and void,” while reiterating his rejection of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan. (Palestine-Israel-Annexation)

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