Gunman kills 8 in Yemen bus attack

Updated 16 June 2014

Gunman kills 8 in Yemen bus attack

SANAA, Yemen: A gunman opened fire on a bus transporting military hospital staff in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday, killing eight people, including two women, and wounding a dozen others, security officials and witnesses said.
The attack on the bus in the commercial district of Sayla took place early in the day before rush hour. Shaher Mohammed Ali, a worker in the district, said he saw a lone masked gunman open fire on the bus after it slowed down before a ramp. The gunman then fled the scene in a car, Ali said.
Security officials had earlier said more than one gunman was involved in the attack, which they said bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a powerful local militant group that has targeted military and police.
The officials said the bus was carrying 20 nurses, pharmacists, cleaners and other staff working in the military hospital in Aden. Five of the wounded are in serious condition, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
In December, Al-Qaeda militants attacked a military complex in the capital that housed a military hospital, killing 52 people, including seven foreign nurses and doctors.
The group has also been linked to a number of failed attacks on the United States. Washington, which considers it the most active branch of the terror group, has provided training and assistance to the Yemeni government, including carrying out drone attacks against the group’s operatives.
The Yemeni government has meanwhile stepped up an offensive in recent weeks aimed at driving the militants out of their strongholds in the south.


Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

Updated 18 August 2019

Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

  • Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa

AMMAN: Jordan has stepped up its diplomatic pressure on Israel, demanding that they do not change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Zaid Lozi, director-general of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, summoned Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Amir Weissbrod to protest Israel’s actions in Jerusalem.

According to Petra News, Lozi told the envoy that recent remarks by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Ardan over changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque are unacceptable. Lozi added that the mosque is a place of worship for Muslims only.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi addressed a group of EU ambassadors in Amman and “stressed the urgency of effective international steps against Israel’s violations of Holy Sites in occupied Jerusalem.”

Safadi told Arab News that the situation in Jerusalem is challenging and must be addressed. He said that he will present a detailed report on Jordan’s position to Parliament on Monday.

The ministry denounced the Israeli authorities’ closure of the mosque’s gates and demanded that Israel respects its obligations in accordance with international humanitarian law.

HIGHLIGHT

• Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, told Arab News that Israeli authorities had been attempting to enforce major changes at the mosque.

“Security forces barged into the mosque yesterday. They went to the Bab Al-Rahmeh Mosque where they confiscated carpets and the closet where shoes are kept.”

Jordan’s diplomatic statements follow comments by Ardan, who said that Israel is disappointed with the current state of affairs at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

According to Israeli officials, the mosque area is sovereign Israeli territory, despite it being administered by Jordan. Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Qader said that Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa.

“There appears to have been a gradual deterioration of Arab and Islamic support to Jordan. It surprises me that Muslims have been quiet, perhaps they see an advantage if Jordan’s role is diminished? If true, this would be dangerous.”

Qader, a former minister in the Palestinian government and a current member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Arab News that Jordan’s position “guarantees continuation of the status quo.”