Israel arrests cousin of jailed Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi

In this Aug, 28, 2015 file photo, Nariman Tamimi and her daughter Ahed try to free her son Mohammed from an Israeli soldier during a protest near the West Bank village of Nebi Saleh. (AP)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Israel arrests cousin of jailed Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi

TEL AVIV: Israel’s army has arrested nine Palestinians from the West Bank home village of jailed teenager Ahed Tamimi, including a relative shot in the head in December, the military and witnesses said Monday.
The overnight arrests were in Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank and included four minors, witnesses said.
Among them was 15-year-old Mohammed Tamimi, a cousin of Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested in December after a viral video showed her hit and kick two Israeli soldiers, an uncle, Atta Tamimi, said.
An army spokeswoman said the arrests were due to the “increase in violent riots and acts of terrorism” in the village.
Nabi Saleh, in the northern West Bank, has long been a major site of opposition to Israel’s occupation of the territory.
In the viral video, Ahed and her cousin Nour Tamimi push and slap the soldiers, who do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.
The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Ahed Tamimi has been charged with 12 counts including assault and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.
She has been ordered held in custody until the completion of her trial at an Israeli military court. Her mother, also arrested after the video went viral, is being held until her trial is completed as well.

Court releases 4 in Netanyahu aides’ corruption case
An Israeli court has released four of the seven suspects held in a high-profile corruption case involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s confidants after a judge apparently discussed their detention with an investigator.
The development leaves two Netanyahu aides — Nir Hefetz, the premier’s former media adviser, and Communications Ministry Director Shlomo Filber — and media tycoon Shaul Elovitch in jail.


Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

Updated 48 min 38 sec ago
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Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

  • Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Lebanon insists that the area lies within its economic zone and refuses to give up a single part of it

BEIRUT: Lebanon has hinted that progress is being made in efforts to resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel following the return of a US mediator from talks with Israeli officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield returned to Lebanon following talks in Israel where he outlined Lebanese demands regarding the disputed area and the mechanism to reach a settlement.

The US mediator has signaled a new push to resolve the dispute after meetings with both Lebanese and Israeli officials.

Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to begin offshore oil and gas production in the offshore Block 9 as it grapples with an economic crisis.

A source close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who met with Satterfield on Monday after his return to Lebanon, told Arab News that “there is progress in the efforts, but the discussion is not yet over.” He did not provide further details.

Sources close to the Lebanese presidency confirmed that Lebanon is counting on the US to help solve the demarcation dispute and would like to accelerate the process to allow exploration for oil and gas to begin in the disputed area.

Companies that will handle the exploration require stability in the area before they start working, the sources said.

Previous efforts by Satterfield to end the dispute failed in 2012 and again last year after Lebanon rejected a proposal by US diplomat Frederick Hoff that offered 65 percent of the disputed area to Lebanon and 35 percent to Israel. Lebanon insisted that the area lies within its economic zone and refused to give up a single part of it.

Satterfield has acknowledged Lebanon’s ownership of around 500 sq km of the disputed 850 sq km area.

Lebanon renewed its commitment to a mechanism for setting the negotiations in motion, including the formation of a tripartite committee with representatives of Lebanon, Israel and the UN, in addition to the participation of the US mediator. Beirut also repeated its refusal to negotiate directly with Israel.

Two months ago, Lebanon launched a marine environmental survey in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters to allow a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies to begin oil and gas exploration in the area.