Israel arrests Palestinian suspect in deadly shootings

The attacks boosted tensions and led to Israeli raids in parts of the West Bank. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 January 2019
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Israel arrests Palestinian suspect in deadly shootings

  • Assam Barghouti is accused of shooting the soldiers at a bus stop near the Givat Assaf settlement in the Ramallah area on Dec. 13
  • At least two other people, including another soldier, were wounded, the army said at the time

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces arrested overnight a Palestinian accused of shooting dead two soldiers in the occupied West Bank last month and involvement in another attack that caused a baby’s death, authorities said Tuesday.
Assam Barghouti is accused of shooting the soldiers at a bus stop near the Givat Assaf settlement in the Ramallah area on December 13, police said.
At least two other people — including another soldier — were wounded, the army said at the time.
Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, also accused him of involvement along with his brother in another shooting attack nearby, close to the Ofra settlement, that caused the death of a baby and wounded seven.
In the December 9 shooting, a pregnant woman was seriously wounded and her baby was born prematurely and later died.
Barghouti’s brother, Salah, 29, was killed during an arrest raid on December 12.
The armed wing of Palestinian militant movement Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, had claimed Salah Barghouti as one of its “fighters.”
The attacks boosted tensions and led to Israeli raids in parts of the West Bank, including in Ramallah, where Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has his base, triggering Palestinian protests.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter saluted the arrest of a “vile terrorist.”
Jewish settlers and their right-wing supporters had held angry demonstrations over the December attacks.
Assaf Barghouti was arrested at the home of an alleged accomplice in the West Bank village of Abu Shukheidim near Ramallah and was allegedly preparing more attacks, the Shin Bet said.
An AK-47 rifle, night-vision equipment and ammunition were seized during his arrest, according to the Shin Bet.


A cease-fire in Tripoli remains steadfast despite the recent clashes: UN envoy to Libya

Updated 1 min 51 sec ago
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A cease-fire in Tripoli remains steadfast despite the recent clashes: UN envoy to Libya

UNITED NATIONS: A cease-fire in Tripoli remains steadfast despite the recent clashes, said UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé on Friday.
Clashes between forces loyal to the 7th Brigade and Tripoli Protection Force have been reported in southern Tripoli since early Wednesday, with continuous mobilization of military equipment, vehicles, and fighters from both sides.
Briefing the United Nations Security Council, Salamé said the UNSMIL was cooperating with the Libyan Reconciliation Government to transfer control of prisons to the authority of the state, but armed groups are assuming responsibility for law enforcement rather than official Libyan bodies.
He also said that new divisions emerge in Libya every day that should be dealt with.
Salamé explained that the country can not succeed without a united national leadership, calling on Libyan parties to cooperate constructively to approve and pass the constitution.
The UN envoy said “we need additional effort to establish a stable and prosperous economic system in Libya,” adding that the Libyan currency has gained stability, inflation has decreased and progress has been achieved in resolving the liquidity crisis.
He said the UNSMIL stressed the importance of allowing aid to civilians in Libya without hindrance, noting that all Libyans suffer from violations, violence and difficult humanitarian conditions.
“Without international support, the saboteurs will succeed in undermining the political process in Libya,” he added.
Finally, Salamé said they expect theUN office in Benghazi to be reopened before the end of January.