Scared of Al-Qaeda, US closes Sanaa Embassy

Updated 15 May 2014

Scared of Al-Qaeda, US closes Sanaa Embassy

SANAA: The US Embassy was closed to the public Thursday in Yemen after a spate of attacks against foreigners and fears that Al-Qaeda will seek revenge for a deadly offensive in the south.
“The embassy is closed today. And this will remain in effect until further notice,” an employee at the US mission in a heavily-guarded neighborhood in northeast Sanaa, said.
Police were deployed along all roads leading to the embassy and conducted a thorough inspection of vehicles in the vicinity in line with security measures put in place several months ago.
State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki said Wednesday that the embassy would be temporarily closed to the public “due to recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen.”
These attacks “and information we have received have given us enough concern to take this precautionary step,” she said in a statement.
On Monday a Frenchman was killed and another was wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in Sanaa’s diplomatic district.
Both worked for a private security firm that officials said was guarding the European Union delegation in Yemen.
On Wednesday, Yemeni security forces shot dead the head of a “terror cell” behind Monday’s attack, the country’s supreme security committee said.
Later that day the interior ministry said it was searching for suspects whose vehicles were involved in recent attacks in Sanaa after “five Al-Qaeda terrorists” were arrested in several parts of the capital.
The suspects had “arms, ammunition, and devices used to carry out terrorist acts” in their possession, it said.
In her statement on Wednesday the State Department spokeswoman said that Washington would “evaluate the security every day and.. reopen the embassy to the public once it is deemed appropriate.
The US Embassy and several Western missions in Yemen closed in August after US warnings of an Al-Qaeda attack.


Hospital: Palestinian official Erekat in critical condition

Updated 30 min 14 sec ago

Hospital: Palestinian official Erekat in critical condition

  • Erekat on Monday was in critical condition and breathing with a ventilator after his coronavirus infection worsened
  • Erekat has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past 30 years

JERUSALEM: Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat on Monday was in critical condition and breathing with a ventilator after his coronavirus infection worsened overnight, said the Israeli hospital treating him.
Hadassah Medical Center described Erekat’s case as extremely challenging given his history of health problems, including a lung transplant performed in the United States three years ago. It said he suffered from a weak immune system and a bacterial infection in addition to COVID-19.
It said Erekat, 65, was sedated and that its most senior doctors were consulting with international experts on how best to manage such a complicated case.
Erekat has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past 30 years, serving as their senior negotiator during on-again off-again peace talks. He also was a top aide to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the current Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. A fluent English speaker, the Western-educated Erekat also makes frequent appearances in the media.
Erekat was transferred to Hadassah on Sunday at the request of the Palestinian Authority, despite the Palestinians’ decision this year to sever ties with Israel. The Palestinians cut off ties to protest Israel’s pledge to begin annexing occupied West Bank land as part of President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has since frozen the annexation plan.