Rival Libya govt seeks international recognition

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian gives a joint press conference with his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Taha Siala (R) following his arrival at the Prime Minister's headquarters in the Libyan capital Tripoli, in this September 4, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2017
0

Rival Libya govt seeks international recognition

BENGHAZI: The head of Libya’s rival government in the east has called on the international community to recognize his administration which he says controls most of the North African country.
Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth.
The Government of National Unity, based in the capital Tripoli, is backed by the UN.
However, in a telephone interview with AFP on Sunday, Abdullah Al-Thani said the provisional government based in the east “draws its legitimacy... from the ballot box.”
Al-Thani used to be Libya’s internationally recognized prime minister until the formation of the GNA led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, following an inter-Libyan political agreement signed in 2015 under the aegis of the UN.

The GNA has struggled to assert its authority over large parts of the country and has also been plagued by political infighting — including defections to its rival in the east.
“Our (provisional) government represents the three Libyan provinces — Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Fezzan — as well as all cities and regions... in total agreement,” Al-Thani said on Sunday.
In the political and security chaos that followed the collapse of Qaddafi’s regime nearly six years ago, parliamentary elections were held in 2014.
But militias unhappy with the results of the elections grouped under the “Fajr Libya” (Libya Dawn) banner and stormed Tripoli.
They installed a “national salvation” government, forcing Al-Thani’s government and the newly elected parliament into exile in the east.
“With our valiant army, we control more than 90 percent of the country,” Al-Thani said, referring to forces in the east dubbed the Libyan National Army and headed by strongman Khalifa Haftar.
The international community must “respect the will of the people and support the provisional government,” Al-Thani said.


Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire

Updated 20 June 2018
0

Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire

JERUSALEM: Israeli jets struck 25 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday after militants launched rockets and mortar shells at Israeli territory, the military said.
Two Hamas security men were lightly hurt in one air strike in the southern Gaza Strip, residents said. No casualties were reported in Israel after one of the most intense recent barrages of militant rocket launches and Israeli air strikes.
Air raid sirens and Israeli phone warning applications sounded throughout the pre-dawn hours.
The military counted 30 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli territory and said its Iron Dome anti-missile shield intercepted seven rockets.
Since its last war with Gaza’s dominant Hamas in 2014, Israel has stepped up efforts to prevent cross-border attacks, improving rocket interceptors and investing in technologies for detecting and destroying guerrilla tunnels.
In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and forests, others have carried small explosive devices in a new tactic that has caused extensive damage.
At least 127 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the men sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon.
Israel’s deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn international condemnation.
Palestinians say the protests are an outpouring of rage by people demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from following the founding of Israel 70 years ago.
Israel says the demonstrations are organized by the Islamist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel’s right to exist. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.
Around two million people live in Gaza, most of them the stateless descendants of refugees from what is now Israel. The territory has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.
Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the strip, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there over the past decade.