Libyan group seeks transfer of Manchester bomber case to ICC

A handout CCTV photo released by Greater Manchester Police on June 1, 2017, shows Salman Abedi in the Manchester area in days preceding the attack on the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017 that killed 22 people. (AFP)
Updated 03 June 2017
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Libyan group seeks transfer of Manchester bomber case to ICC

JEDDAH: A Libyan human rights group has linked the Manchester Arena bomber to an extremist Libyan group, and has called for transferring the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and to reveal “Qatar’s role as a financier of this group.”
British authorities earlier said that 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Britain, had executed the bombing on May 22, resulting in the deaths of 22 concert-goers and 119 injuries.
The Libyan National Committee for Human Rights demanded from the office of the prosecutor of the ICC and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “to urgently open a comprehensive international investigation in the political intervention in the internal affairs of Libya and the financial and military support from Qatar to Islamist and extremist organizations in Libya,” namely support to groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist organization.
Libyan lawyer and politician Abdulhafith Ghouta said Friday in a telephone interview with Arab News from Cairo, where he resides, that Abedi “belongs to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyyah Al-Muqatilah bi-Libya), which is known for its ties to Qatar,” and that the extent of Qatari support to the organization is no secret.
Ghouta said recent confrontations in Tripoli led to the exit of the group’s base from the city, led by Khalid Al-Sharif, one of the leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
In a statement, the human rights committee said Qatar is at the forefront of countries meddling in Libyan affairs and exacerbating the armed conflict by supporting armed militant groups and political extremists.
Such intervention hindered the democratic process during the transition stage, said the human rights committee, as well as dragging Libya into a new civil war due to violence erupting at the end of 2014 between armed groups loyal to Al-Karama operation and the House of Representatives, and other extremist and Islamist groups named Fajr Libya.
The military, financial, and political support for such groups by Qatar also led to significant deaths and injuries of civilians and military personnel due to suicide terror operations and assassinations in Benghazi, Darna and Barak, the human rights committee said.
The committee went on to state that Qatari meddling and intervention since 2011 further propagates violence and humanitarian crises, a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning arms in Libya.


War fears mount despite cease-fire between Gaza and Israel

Updated 32 min 25 sec ago
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War fears mount despite cease-fire between Gaza and Israel

  • Any further escalation will deepen humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip: UN chief
  • Before the truce, Israel unleashed an offensive it says destroyed more than 60 Hamas targets, including three battalion headquarters

GAZA CITY: After seven chaotic and violent hours, quiet returned to the Gaza Strip Friday night. Yet on Saturday, civilians in the Palestinian enclave and Israel remained fearful of the potential for a new war.
The fatal shooting by a Palestinian sniper of an Israeli soldier during protests along the border on Friday sparked a widespread wave of Israeli bombing, with three fighters from Hamas killed and dozens of targets struck.
After intensive indirect mediation by the UN and Egypt, a truce came into force at midnight, yet both populations remained on high alert of another all-out conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“War is coming. I know that the (Israeli) occupation is carrying out raids to pave the way with their home base,” Somaya Rabaya, 21, from Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, said.
While the cease-fire deal included an end to rockets and mortars, it didn’t include a commitment by Hamas to stop what Israeli media have dubbed “terror kites,” a senior Hamas source said.
In a brief statement on Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the movement accepted the cease-fire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials and that calm had been restored. Later, the Israeli military announced a return to civilian routine along the volatile border.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “gravely concerned” about the escalation and called on both sides to step back from the prospect of another devastating conflict. “Any further escalation will endanger the lives of Palestinians and Israelis alike, deepen the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and undermine current efforts to improve livelihoods,” he said.
On Saturday morning in Gaza, 17-year-old Wissam was with a number of other youths fitting kites with small bottles full of diesel, while sheltering behind a sandbank for fear of Israeli strikes. “This morning, they bombed a Hamas observation post near here. I was afraid they would hit us with a missile,” he said.
Israel says it has no interest is engaging in another war with Hamas, but says it will no longer tolerate the Gaza militant campaign of flying the incendiary devices into Israel.
On Friday, Israel unleashed an offensive it says destroyed more than 60 Hamas targets, including three battalion headquarters.
“The attack delivered a severe blow to the Hamas’ training array, command and control abilities, weaponry, aerial defense and logistic capabilities along with additional military infrastructure,” the Israeli military said in a statement, adding that the strikes “will intensify as necessary.”