Iraq names judges who will take over elections commission

An Iraqi policeman guards a checkpoint by electoral posters in the old town of Mosul on May 11, 2018, as Iraq prepares for the parliamentary elections to be held on May 12. (AFP)
Updated 10 June 2018

Iraq names judges who will take over elections commission

BAGHDAD: Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council, the highest judicial authority, named judges on Sunday tasked with taking over the country's elections commission following allegations of widespread violations in a May parliamentary election.
Parliament on Wednesday passed a law that mandated a nationwide manual recount of votes from the election. The law called for the Independent High Elections Commission's leadership to be replaced by nine judges.
"The Supreme Judicial Council's meeting saw the naming of the judges nominated to take over the duties of the board of commissioners of the Independent High Elections Commission," Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar said in a statement.
The board of commissioners have said they would appeal against the law.
The recount was approved by parliament a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who's bloc came third in the election, said there had been serious violations and that most of the blame lay with the elections commission.
The move could undermine nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States who also opposes Iran's sway in Iraq and who's bloc won the largest amount of seats in the election. One of Sadr's top aides expressed concerns that some parties were trying to sabotage the cleric's victory.


Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

Updated 23 October 2020

Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

  • Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures”
  • Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes struck suspected Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip before dawn on Friday following rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures” operated by Islamist group Hamas, which has controlled the territory since 2007, the Israeli army said.
Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Two rockets had been launched at Israel late Thursday, without causing any casualties or damage.
One was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, while the other hit open ground, the army said.
The last reported rocket attack from Gaza was on Tuesday night.
It came after the army announced it had found a new tunnel that crosses “dozens of meters (yards) into Israel” from Gaza.
The next day the army said the tunnel belonged to Hamas.
Authorities have discovered some 20 tunnels originating in Gaza since 2014, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said this week.
Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since the Islamists ousted loyalists of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas from the territory in 2007 and there have been numerous smaller flare-ups.
An informal truce brokered by Egypt and the United Nations, with the financial support of gas-rich Qatar, has been in force since late 2018.
It has been broken several times but has been restored on each occasion.