Al-Quds ‘has a very high place among all Arabs’

Palestinian men watching an address given by US President Donald Trump at a cafe in Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6, 2017, a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East. (AFP)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Al-Quds ‘has a very high place among all Arabs’

RIYADH: US President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem met with a wave of disapproval on Thursday with Saudis across the society condemning the move.
The president made the announcement on Wednesday, reversing US policy of several decades as well as going against the UN consensus of remaining neutral on Jerusalem’s status.
Condemning the unilateral move, Mohammed Alkhunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News on Thursday: “We condemn such an illegal decision, this is not acceptable.”
“We in the Kingdom will not accept this, Al-Quds (Jerusalem) is one of the holiest places in Islam and has a very high place among all Arabs,” he said.
Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a Saudi analyst and senior legal consultant, told Arab News: “Throughout its history, Jerusalem has been revered by the followers of three religions — Jews, Christians and Muslims — it houses the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall considered holy by the Jews, how can it be declared capital of Israel in this way, which is generating a storm of outrage with leaders from both the Muslim world as well as from the wider international community criticizing the move.”
He said: “Characterized by many economic activities such as tourism (especially religious), industry, trade and agriculture, Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, but the international community did not recognize it as part of Israel.”
Al-Hedayan said: “This is a severe provocation to Muslims all over the world. This move could lead to bloodshed and increase instability in the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), reaffirmed the Kingdom’s permanent support for the State of Palestine with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, asserting the high place for Al-Quds for Arabs throughout the ages.
His remarks came during his chairmanship of the Saudi delegation to the 20th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which started on Wednesday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League, SPA reported.
Abdullah Inayat, media relations director at W7 communications, described the move as unwarranted.
He added that such move will only derail the peace process.
 


Case of slain Libyan rebel commander opens old wounds

Updated 16 October 2018
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Case of slain Libyan rebel commander opens old wounds

  • The unsolved killing of Abdel Fattah Younes by suspected fellow fighters in 2011 caused deep rifts inside the rebel camp
  • The investigation risks stirring new tensions between eastern Libya and a U.N.-backed administration in Tripoli

BENGHAZI: Eastern Libyan authorities have resumed an investigation into the unexplained killing of a top rebel commander in the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, a case that could reopen old wounds.
The unsolved killing of Abdel Fattah Younes by suspected fellow fighters in 2011 caused deep rifts inside the rebel camp of the kind that have marked the turmoil and violence gripping Libya ever since.
The investigation risks stirring new tensions between eastern Libya, controlled by the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, and a U.N.-backed administration in the capital Tripoli.
Haftar ordered the eastern military prosecutor to "immediately and urgently reopen the investigation" of the killing of Younes and two others slain in 2011, according to a decree posted late on Monday.
A previous investigation launched in 2011 had named as prime suspect Ali Essawi, who was deputy prime minister during the uprising at a rebel transitional authority which took over power from Gaddafi.
A court later dropped the case against Essawi and other suspects. But Essawi resurfaced into the spotlight when Tripoli-based Prime Minister Fayez appointed him as economy minister this month.
His appointment had sparked angry reactions from Younes's Obeidat tribe and a second eastern-based tribe, who warned in comments published on local media that the move was a provocation.
Both tribes are among the most powerful in the east and allied to Haftar, who has conquered most of eastern Libya.
The United Nations has been trying to mediate between east and west in a bid to overcome divisions and prepare the North African country for elections.
France had been pushing for the vote in December but recent fighting between rival groups in Tripoli and a lack of a constitutional basis has dimmed the prospect.
Younes was for years part of Gaddafi's inner circle.
He defected at the start of the uprising in February 2011 and became the military chief of the rebellion, a move opposed by other rebels who had suffered under the old regime.
His death caused deep rifts within the rebellion, exposing tensions between Islamists - whom Gaddafi fiercely suppressed during his 42-year dictatorship - and secularists and former army figures, with various factions accusing each other of responsibility.
The circumstances of his killing remain murky, but it is known that he was slain in July 2011 after rebel leaders summoned him back from the front line to Benghazi, the eastern city and cradle of the uprising.