Bahrain, Kuwait warn citizens against travel to Iraq

Iraqi riot police stand guard as protestors take part in a demonstration against state corruption, failing public services and unemployment, on October 2, 2019 in the southern city of Basra. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 October 2019

Bahrain, Kuwait warn citizens against travel to Iraq

  • Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on its citizens who are in Iraq to leave the country immediately
  • Protests erupted in the Iraqi capital earlier this week in anger over corruption, unemployment and poor services

MANAMA: Bahrain and Kuwait's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel ban on Friday to Iraq for its citizens amid protests in Baghdad, which resulted in at least 33 deaths.
The Bahraini ministry also called on its citizens who are in Iraq to keep away from the unrest and to leave the country immediately due to security concerns.

The Kuwaiti news agency Kuna cited a Foreign Ministry official as urging Kuwaiti nationals to avoid traveling to Iraq due to the demonstrations, and for those already there to leave as soon as possible, and to avoid areas where protests are held.
Protests erupted in the Iraqi capital earlier this week in anger over corruption, unemployment and poor services.
In response to the protests, Iraq’s prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi addressed the nation, calling on protesters to go home and saying their demands have been heard.
Iraqi security forces on Friday opened fire on dozens of protesters gathered in Baghdad for a fourth day of demonstrations, an AFP correspondent reported.

(with AFP)


Suspected arson at East Jerusalem mosque

Israeli border policemen take up position during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators at a protest against Trump's decision on Jerusalem, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank March 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 January 2020

Suspected arson at East Jerusalem mosque

  • The attack had the appearance of a “price tag” attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property

JERUSALEM: Israeli police launched a manhunt on Friday after an apparent arson attack, accompanied by Hebrew-language graffiti, at a mosque in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.
“Police were summoned to a mosque in Beit Safafa, in Jerusalem, following a report of arson in one of the building’s rooms and spraying of graffiti on a nearby wall outside the building,” a police statement said.
“A wide-scale search is taking place in Jerusalem,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “We believe that the incident took place overnight. We are searching for suspects.”
The spokesman would not say if police viewed it as a hate crime. The graffiti, on a wall in the mosque compound and viewed by an AFP journalist, contained the name Kumi Ori, a small settlement outpost in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The Times of Israel newspaper said on Friday that the wildcat outpost “is home to seven families along with roughly a dozen extremist Israeli teens.”
“Earlier this month security forces razed a pair of illegally built settler homes in the outpost,” it reported.
All settlements on occupied Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law, but Israel distinguishes between those it has approved and those it has not.
The paper said: “A number of young settlers living there were involved in a string of violent attacks on Palestinians and (Israeli) security forces.”
Police said that nobody was injured in the mosque incident.
The attack had the appearance of a “price tag” attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property in revenge for nationalistic attacks against Israelis or Israeli government moves against unauthorized outposts like Kumi Ori.
“This is price tag,” Israeli Arab lawmaker Osama Saadi told AFP at the scene.
“The settlers didn’t only write words, they also burned the place and they burnt a Qur’an,” said Saadi, who lives in the area.
Ismail Awwad, the local mayor, said he called the police after he found apparent evidence of arson, pointing to an empty can he said had contained petrol or some other accelerant and scorch marks in the burned room.
“The fire in the mosque burned in many straight lines which is a sign that somebody poured inflammable material,” he said.
There was damage to an interior prayer room but the building’s structure was unharmed.
In December, more than 160 cars were vandalized in the Shuafaat neighborhood of east Jerusalem with anti-Arab slogans scrawled nearby.
The slogans read “Arabs=enemies,” “There is no room in the country for enemies” and “When Jews are stabbed we aren’t silent.”
The attackers were described by a local resident as “masked settlers.”