Lebanon’s former Maronite Christian patriarch Sfeir dies

In this file photo taken on June 16, 2010, Lebanese Maronite Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, before a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. (AFP)
Updated 12 May 2019

Lebanon’s former Maronite Christian patriarch Sfeir dies

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Maronite Christian church says its former patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, has died after several days in hospital. He was 98.
Sfeir, an outspoken and feisty personality, served as spiritual leader of Lebanon’s largest Christian community through some of the worst days of the 1975-90 civil war.
He then played a key role in shaping the country’s postwar politics as one of the most prominent Christian leaders in the mostly Muslim region.
The former patriarch passed away early Sunday at a Beirut hospital. The church issued a statement saying “The Maronite church is orphaned and Lebanon is in sadness.”
Cardinal Bechara Rai, who succeed Sfeir in 2011, called on churches to ring their bells and hold prayers for the late leader.


Militant group says cease-fire reached to fighting in Gaza

Updated 40 min 39 sec ago

Militant group says cease-fire reached to fighting in Gaza

  • Spokesman Musab Al-Berim says the Egyptian-brokered deal went into effect at 5:30 a.m. Thursday
  • The fighting broke out early Tuesday after Israel killed a senior commander of the militant group

GAZA: A militant group says a cease-fire has been reached to end two days of heavy fighting with Israel.

Spokesman Musab Al-Berim says the Egyptian-brokered deal went into effect at 5:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) Thursday.

He says the cease-fire was based on a list of demands presented by his group late Wednesday, including a halt to Israeli targeted killings of the group’s leaders.

The fighting broke out early Tuesday after Israel killed a senior commander of the militant group.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.