Turkish police shoot driver ‘planning Israel protest’

The driver claimed that he was on his way “to protest in front of the Israeli Embassy” in Ankara. (AFP)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Turkish police shoot driver ‘planning Israel protest’

  • In May, Ankara ordered Israel’s ambassador to leave over the killing of protesters along the border with the Gaza Strip

ANKARA: Turkish police on Monday shot a tractor driver in the leg after he refused to stop, state media reported, with the suspect claiming he was planning a protest at Israel’s embassy in Ankara.
The 45-year-old was detained after damaging several vehicles with the tractor in the capital despite calls to stop by the police, state-run news agency Anadolu said.
The driver claimed that he was on his way “to protest in front of the Israeli Embassy” in Ankara but no details on the planned action were given by Anadolu.
However, an Israeli official, who did not wish to be named, said “to the best of our understanding, the incident was not related to Israel or its embassy.”
The Ankara governor’s office said in a statement that the incident was being investigated but officials could find no links to terror.
The office did not mention the planned protest and the incident took place near the Israeli ambassador’s residence in Ankara, not the embassy. Relations between Israel and Turkey, one of the Jewish state’s few key Muslim partners, have been strained this year.
In May, Ankara ordered Israel’s ambassador to leave over the killing of protesters along the border with the Gaza Strip.


Lebanon to form body to probe civil war disappearances

Updated 46 min 54 sec ago
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Lebanon to form body to probe civil war disappearances

  • The long-awaited law would empower an independent national commission to gather information about the missing
  • Families and rights groups have been campaigning for the law since 2012, when it first went to parliament

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament on Monday approved the formation of an independent commission to help determine the fate of thousands of people who went missing during the country’s civil war, which ended nearly three decades ago.
The long-awaited law would empower an independent national commission to gather information about the missing, collect DNA samples and exhume mass graves from the 1975-1990 conflict.
Families and rights groups have been campaigning for the law since 2012, when it first went to parliament.
“This is the first step toward giving closure to families of the missing hopefully,” said Rona Halabi, spokeswoman for the International Committee for the Red Cross. “This represents a milestone for the families who have waited for years to have answers.”
The Hague-based International Commission on Missing Persons says more than 17,000 people are estimated to have gone missing during the Lebanese civil war.
Lebanon’s National News Agency said lawmakers approved the law after voting on each of its 38 articles.
LBC TV said lawmakers initially protested, saying calls for accountability may affect current officials. The broadcaster said they were reassured the 1991 amnesty for abuses committed by militias during the war remains in place.
Many of Lebanon’s political parties are led by former warlords implicated in some of the civil war’s worst fighting.
“For the first time after the war, Lebanon enters a genuine reconciliation phase, to heal the wounds and give families the right to know,” Gebran Bassil, the country’s foreign minister tweeted.
The ICRC began compiling DNA samples from relatives of the disappeared in 2016 and has interviewed more than 2,000 families to help a future national commission.
DNA samples have been stored with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and the ICRC. The law would allow Lebanese security forces to take part in the sample collection.