Israeli mole in Erekat office held

Updated 17 January 2016
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Israeli mole in Erekat office held

RAMALLAH: Palestinian intelligence officers have arrested an employee of top negotiator and PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat for spying for Israel, a security source said on Sunday.
The high-ranking official said on condition of anonymity that the man employed in the negotiations department of the Palestine Liberation Organization was arrested around two weeks ago.
According to the official, the man, whose identity was not revealed, was an "administrative employee without access to political files".
He was arrested "for spying on behalf of Israel," he added.
The suspect is said to have confessed after being arrested in the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is based. He had been under surveillance for a long period of time, according to the source.
Palestinian security forces were in the process of evaluating any potential damage caused by the suspect's activities.
Erekat, a close ally of Palestinian President Mahomud Abbas, has been the top negotiator in peace efforts with Israel. Talks have been at a standstill for nearly two years.
Under Palestinian law, those accused of spying for Israel risk the death penalty.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian who allegedly tried to stab soldiers in the West Bank has been gunned down.
The military claimed that Sunday’s stabbing attempt took place near a base south of the West Bank city of Nablus. No soldiers were harmed in the incident.
The last four months have seen near daily Palestinian attacks. Some 145 Palestinians have been killed.


Iraqi forces launch anti-Daesh operation north of Baghdad

Updated 56 min 7 sec ago
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Iraqi forces launch anti-Daesh operation north of Baghdad

  • The mainly Shiite PMF have been an effective force against Daesh
  • This is the second phase of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory”

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s military said Saturday its troops in partnership with security agencies and paramilitary forces launched the second phase of an operation aimed at clearing remnants of the Daesh group from north of Baghdad and surrounding areas.
This is the second phase of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory,” which started two weeks earlier and targeted the area along the border with Syria. The military said the new target area is north of Baghdad and in the Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar provinces.
Although Iraq declared victory against Daesh in July 2017, the extremists have turned into an insurgency and continue to carry out deadly attacks in the country.
The military said Iraqi troops, Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the federal police and others are taking part in the operation supported by the Iraqis and the U.S-led international coalition.
On Saturday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited the operation room alongside the deputy head of the PMF, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.
Earlier this month, the Iraqi government moved to place the Iranian-backed militias under the command of the armed forces. The move was believed to be an attempt to curb the powerful militias, particularly amid rising tension between Iran and the US, the power brokers in Iraq.
The mainly Shiite PMF have been an effective force against Daesh and are a significant political force, with government ministers and 48 seats in the 329-member parliament.