Israel captures Palestinian knife attack suspect: army

Israeli soldiers control cars at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus after according to the army, an Israeli reserve soldier was wounded in a stabbing attack, on October 11, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Israel captures Palestinian knife attack suspect: army

  • Israeli forces detained a Palestinian suspected of stabbing and wounding a soldier.
  • A manhunt continued for a second Palestinian who shot dead two Israeli civilians.

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces detained a Palestinian suspected of stabbing and wounding a soldier but a manhunt continued for a second Palestinian who shot dead two Israeli civilians, the army said Friday.
The army spokesman’s office released video it said had been taken late on Thursday showing a cuffed and blindfolded man being led by soldiers in what appears to be a military facility.
“A short while ago, the terrorist who committed the terror attack... this afternoon was caught,” regional commander Col. Sagiv Dahan said in the Hebrew-language clip.
An army spokesman told AFP that details of the suspect and his arrest were being withheld for the time being as his interrogation was still in progress.
He is suspected of stabbing and wounding an army reservist on guard at a junction near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday afternoon.
A civilian was moderately wounded from shrapnel when soldiers fired in the direction of the fleeing assailant, the army said.
The fugitive who remains on the run is suspected of killing two Israelis and wounding a third in a shooting on Sunday in the Israeli-owned industrial zone where they all worked near the northern West Bank Jewish settlement of Barkan.
“Activity continues to catch the terrorist who carried out the shooting attack at Barkan,” an army statement said in Hebrew.
The army has named the wanted man as Ashraf Naalwa, 23, from the northern West Bank village of Shuweika.
The two attack sites and Shuweika village all lie within a 32 kilometer (20 mile) radius but so far there has been no indication of any connection.
A wave of mainly lone-wolf Palestinian attacks against Israelis erupted in 2015 but it has since largely abated.


Iraqi cleric Al-Sadr threatens to withdraw support for Abdul Mahdi’s government

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. (AFP)
Updated 20 min 9 sec ago
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Iraqi cleric Al-Sadr threatens to withdraw support for Abdul Mahdi’s government

  • “No one can predict what Al-Sadr thinks and even his MPs do not know what the man thinks, so it is likely that this threat is part of the ongoing negotiations”

BAGHDAD: Moqtada Al-Sadr, the powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric, on Monday threatened to withdraw his support for the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi if the prime minister fails to finalize the formation of his Cabinet within 10 days.
Al-Sadr is one of the most influential clerics in the country, with millions of followers, a large armed faction and a parliamentary bloc. He is the official sponsor of the Reform Alliance, the second-largest parliamentary coalition, which is overseeing the formation of the government following the national parliamentary elections in May last year. The removal of his support for Abdul Mahdi’s government might take the form of an announcement that he no longer has confidence in the Parliament, or the organization of mass demonstrations.
Abdul Mahdi, who became prime minister in October, formed his government with the support of Reform and the pro-Iranian Construction coalition. The latter is led by Hadi Al-Amiri, the commander of Badr Organization, one of the most powerful Shiite armed factions. However, disputes between the two alliances over some of the candidates erupted at the last minute, as a result of which four ministries remain vacant: Interior, defense, education and justice.

Monday’s statement, which was signed by Al-Sadr and described as his “last call,” was addressed to his Saeiroon parliamentary bloc, the leaders of all political blocs, and Abdul Mahdi. It was issued in response to criticism on social on Monday because of the vote by members of the parliamentary blocs, including Al-Sadr’s MPs, the day before to grant all the privileges enjoyed by the former MPs to the deputies who ruled out by the Federal Supreme Court due to the error of counting their votes.
“All the political blocs must authorize the prime minister to complete his ministerial Cabinet within 10 days…and he (Abdul Mahdi) must choose (the ministers) according to the standards of integrity, efficiency and specialization, or I will not support him,” Al-Sadr’s statement read.

His position is the latest in a series of events that have put pressure on Abdul Mahdi in recent weeks. These include efforts by some political blocs, including Saeiroon, to dismiss a number of ministers under the pretext of failure to improve services and inability to combat the financial and administrative corruption that is rampant in their departments.
While most political leaders believe that reaching a political agreement on candidates to fill the vacant ministries within 10 days “will be very difficult” and predict “this may be the end of the government of Abdul Mahdi,” some believe that Al-Sadr’s goal is to pile more pressure on Abdul Mahdi as a way to obtain certain concessions.

“Saeiroon is still negotiating with the prime minister and the other political partners to obtain some key government posts that its rivals are looking to get, and Abdul Mahdi refused to give them to the Saeiroon candidates, so this could be a part of this,” said a prominent Shiite negotiator who asked not to be named. “No one can predict what Al-Sadr thinks and even his MPs do not know what the man thinks, so it is likely that this threat is part of the ongoing negotiations."