Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

The clashes between the fighters have killed hundreds of militants lately and displaced thousands of civilians. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 June 2019

Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

  • The army freed Gharyan town from Haftar’s forces
  • The town was a key supply route for the LNA militia

CAIRO: Libya’s UN-backed government says it has taken back a strategic town near Tripoli from a Libyan commander whose forces have been fighting for the past three months to capture the country’s capital.
The Tripoli-based government released a statement late on Wednesday, saying their militias have retaken Gharyan and vowing to pursue its liberation campaign until the “aggressors are purged from all areas.”
The self-styled Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Haftar launched a push on Tripoli in April, claiming it seeks to free the city of radical militias.
Gharyan, about 100 kilometers from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Haftar’s forces.
Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli has been widely criticized. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced.


Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

Updated 38 min 14 sec ago

Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

  • Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months
  • Lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill

JERUSALEM: Israeli legislators submitted a bill Tuesday that would dissolve parliament and trigger unprecedented third national elections in less than a year.
Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months.
With the two largest parties, Likud and Blue and White, unable to form a power-sharing agreement ahead of a Wednesday deadline, lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill.
It is expected to go to a vote in parliament on Wednesday, setting the date for the next election on March 2.
“Under the exceptional circumstances that have emerged, and after two adjacent election campaigns in which no government was formed, the dissolution of the 22nd Knesset is being proposed,” the bill reads.
Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz have been able to form a coalition government after two inconclusive elections. Polls have predicted the third vote is unlikely to produce dramatically different results.
The legislation is something of a formality. The allotted period for forming a government following September’s election expires at midnight on Wednesday. Without a coalition deal, elections would have been automatically triggered later in March.
Each of this year’s elections, and their subsequent coalition jockeying, have largely been a referendum on Netanyahu, who was recently indicted for bribery, breach of trust and fraud in three corruption affairs.
Blue and White’s Gantz has refused to sit in a Netanyahu-led coalition, citing the long-serving leader’s legal troubles. Netanyahu has refused to step down, still overwhelmingly backed by his Likud party and his adoring base.