Israel arrests Palestinian minister in Jerusalem

Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs Fadi Al-Hadami was detained and was being questioned for “activities in Jerusalem,” Israeli police spokesman. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 June 2019

Israel arrests Palestinian minister in Jerusalem

  • Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs Fadi Al-Hadami was arrested for “activities in Jerusalem”
  • The arrest follows days of violent unrest in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM: Israeli police said Sunday they had detained and were questioning the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs, while a source close to the official said he was arrested in his home.
Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs Fadi Al-Hadami was detained and was being questioned for “activities in Jerusalem,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
Hadami’s arrest was most likely due to recent activities that have included accompanying Chile’s president during a visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque complex, a source close to the minister told AFP.
On Tuesday, Hadami was seen alongside Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on a tour of the flashpoint holy site, enraging Israel, which said it constituted a violation of regulations and a breach of understandings reached with Santiago for the head of state’s visit.
The status of Al-Aqsa, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and located above the Western Wall, is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest for Muslims after Makkah and Medina, administered by the Muslim Waqf but secured by Israeli police.
Chile later said Pinera’s visit was private, with Hadami’s presence not part of official protocol.
The arrest follows days of violent unrest in Jerusalem.
Overnight Saturday, Israeli police “continued dealing with riots and disturbances in a number of neighborhoods when stones were thrown at officers and fireworks fired at them,” Rosenfeld said in a statement.
Two officers were wounded and six suspects arrested, Rosenfeld said.
The continued unrest follows the shooting of a 20-year-old Palestinian in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya by Israeli police, after he had allegedly thrown fireworks at them.
The young man, identified as Mohammed Obeid, died of his wounds, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.
Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.


Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

Updated 43 min 45 sec ago

Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

  • Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption

BEIRUT: Three lawmakers and members of Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s parliamentary bloc will not abide by its decision to name a new prime minister on Monday. 

Meanwhile, activists in the civil movement are holding meetings to announce a general strike and the blocking of roads on Monday in protest over reports that the new government will not include technocrats.

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption. He later said he would not agree to head a new government unless it consisted of technocrats.

Lawmaker Neemat Frem urged citizens to provide him with the name of their favorite candidate to head the new government, “for you are the primary source of authority, and it is my duty to convey your voice in the binding parliamentary consultations.”

Lawmaker Chamel Roukoz said he will not nominate anyone for the position of prime minister.

Lawmaker Michel Daher declared his intention to boycott the parliamentary consultations if Al-Khatib is the only candidate.

Aoun assured a delegation of British financial and investment institutions, and US bank Morgan Stanley, that binding parliamentary consultations will take place on Monday to form a new government, which will help Lebanon’s friends launch agreed-to development projects.

“The new government’s priority will be to address the economic and financial conditions as soon as it is formed,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

On Friday, Hariri sent letters to the leaders of a number of countries with good relations with Lebanon. 

He asked them to help Lebanon secure credit to import goods from these countries, in order to ensure food security and availability of raw materials for production in various sectors.

His media office said the move “is part of his efforts to address the shortage of financial liquidity, and to secure procuring the basic import requirements for citizens.”

Among the leaders Hariri wrote to are Saudi Arabia’s King Salman; the presidents of France, Russia, Egypt and Turkey; the prime ministers of China and Italy; and the US secretary of state.

On Dec. 11, Paris is due to host a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon. Reuters quoted a European source as saying: “France has already sent invitations to attend the group meeting.”

Protesters continued their sit-ins in front of government institutions in Nabatieh, Zahle and Saida.

In Tripoli, protesters blocked the city’s main roads, which were eventually reopened by the army.

In Akkar, protesters raided public institutions and called for an “independent government that fights corruption, restores looted funds, and rescues the economic situation and living conditions from total collapse.”

Lebanese designer Robert Abi Nader canceled a fashion show that was due to be organized in Downtown Beirut, where protesters are gathering. 

Abi Nader said he intended through his show to express support for the protests by designing a special outfit called “the bride of the revolution,” and revenues were to be dedicated to families in need.