Greece arrests Moroccan Daesh suspect

Greece arrests Moroccan Daesh suspect
Greek police have arrested a Moroccan suspected of belonging to Daesh group in Syria, who appeared in propaganda videos, sources said Thursday, in Thessaloniki over an international warrant issued in 2017 by Rabat. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 29 July 2021

Greece arrests Moroccan Daesh suspect

Greece arrests Moroccan Daesh suspect
  • Greek police sources told AFP the 28-year-old man was arrested in Thessaloniki
  • Morocco's MAP news agency said he was detained on Tuesday for alleged involvement in terror actions

RABAT: Greek security services have arrested a Moroccan suspected of belonging to Daesh in Syria who had appeared in one of their propaganda videos, police and security sources said Thursday.
Greek police sources told AFP the 28-year-old man was arrested in Thessaloniki on the basis of an international warrant issued in 2017 by Rabat, and that a decision would be taken on his possible extradition to Morocco.
Morocco’s MAP news agency, quoting a security source, said he was detained on Tuesday for alleged involvement in the planning of “terrorist” actions in Morocco.
The suspect, known as Abu Mohamed Al-Fateh, had joined the extremist group in Syria in 2014 and held “positions of responsibility,” it said.
He had appeared in a video showing the body of a Syrian fighter being mutilated.
About 1,600 Moroccans joined extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya, of whom 137 were killed, according to official figures in Morocco.


Palestinian artist depicts the ‘ticking bomb’ of Gaza

Palestinian artist depicts the ‘ticking bomb’ of Gaza
Updated 9 min 18 sec ago

Palestinian artist depicts the ‘ticking bomb’ of Gaza

Palestinian artist depicts the ‘ticking bomb’ of Gaza
  • Abeer Jebril paints ballet dancers because ‘I see her as an icon of beauty and power’

GAZA CITY: Palestinian artist Abeer Jebril’s paintings show ballerinas chained in barbed wire, dancing on rocks, or facing barricades to mirror what she calls the “ticking bomb” reality of women in Gaza.
Jebril, 35, hopes her portraits will bring attention to the social and political problems women face in Gaza, home to two million people and devastated by wars and economic restrictions.
“The reason I chose the ballet dancer is that I see her as an icon of beauty and power,” said Jebril, who is inspired by Degas, the French Impressionist.
“It shows what the woman feels, lives, faces and how she is chained, it shows what she feels in Gaza to the audience.” she said.
One of her paintings depicts a dancer with her feet chained in barbed wire. Another is stepping on rocks while a third woman wraps her body around a grenade. “Men and women are both in chains under the occupation,” Jebril said.
She said her paintings also shed light on how “women suffer from the dominance of men and the inability to have a say on issues that matter.” Men and women, Jebril said, “live in a ticking bomb in Gaza,” not knowing what will happen next.
Jebril said she got ideas for her paintings from moves by international ballet dancers and those of her 11-year-old daughter Maya, who dances ballet.
Her portaits, created using painter’s knives, have been displayed in galleries in some European and Arab countries.
“I felt despair seeing paintings displayed outside Gaza when I couldn’t be there. I so much had hoped to have stood next to them,” she said.


Tunisia’s president says he will change electoral law, appoint PM

Tunisian President Kais Saied vowed Monday to appoint a prime minister and reform electoral law during a TV address. (Screenshot)
Tunisian President Kais Saied vowed Monday to appoint a prime minister and reform electoral law during a TV address. (Screenshot)
Updated 9 sec ago

Tunisia’s president says he will change electoral law, appoint PM

Tunisian President Kais Saied vowed Monday to appoint a prime minister and reform electoral law during a TV address. (Screenshot)
  • Kais Saied also said that he had instituted transitional rules

TUNIS: Tunisian President Kais Saied vowed Monday to appoint a prime minister but said emergency measures that he announced in July would remain in place.

“These exceptional measures will continue and a prime minister will be named but on the basis of transitional rulings responding the will of the people,” he said in a televised speech from the city of Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of Tunisia's 2011 unrest.

Saied also said on Monday he would introduce a new electoral law and that he had instituted transitional rules.


Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya

Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya
Updated 20 September 2021

Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya

Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya
  • The rescues came amid a spike in attempted crossings of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Over 24,000 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya by the country’s coast guard so far this year, according to the UN migration agency

ABOARD THE GEO BARENTS: Two vessels rescued around 190 Europe-bound migrants, including women and children, off the coast of Libya, charities operating the vessels said Monday.
The rescues came amid a spike in attempted crossings of the Mediterranean Sea.
More than 24,000 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya by the country’s coast guard so far this year, according to the UN migration agency. That’s more than double the number from 2020, when about 11,890 migrants were brought back to shore in the conflict-ridden country.
More than a thousand more are believed to have drowned in just the first half of the year, according to the agency’s figures.
Migrants waved to rescuers from a flimsy rubber dinghy at midday Monday before they were given life vests and transferred onboard the Geo Barents, a rescue vessel operated by the charity Doctors without Borders. They numbered 54 in total, according to Barbara Deck, the organization’s project coordinator.
Among them were two dozen minors, six women and a 6-week-old baby, who was among the first to disembark, crying, after being carefully placed in a large orange life vest. The migrants’ original vessel had been packed, with no shade and barely room for all onboard to sit down.
The migrants were not immediately available for comment. They were rushed for medical inspection by workers for the aid agency known by its French name as Medecins Sans Frontieres. Some appeared exhausted and smiled in relief after their rescue, with a few dancing and singing. Among them were migrants from African countries including Ivory Coast, Cameron, Mali, Somalia and Burkina Faso, according to Deck.
It was unclear why this year has seen so many crossings but mid to late summer is typically a peak time for attempts on the Central Mediterranean route because of good weather. Rescues along this route have become routine during the warmer months. Economic hardship, sometimes exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, is a driver for many of the migrants.
Earlier in the day, the Geo Barents also rescued six men in a small fiberglass boat, three of them from Libya, two from Tunisia and one from Morocco. The men had been trying down the rescue ship, according to MSF staff.
The migrants told rescuers that the dinghy’s engine had stopped working, according to Mattijs Melsen, deputy search and rescue leader with MSF.
“The boat was not designated for such a voyage,” he said.
The Ocean Viking, also working in the same area off Libya, rescued around 130 Europe-bound migrants over the past three days, said Claire Juchat, a communications officer for the SOS Mediterranee charity, which operates the vessel.
The migrants, including 44 children and 12 women, were on four separate boats, Juchat said. There were two migrants with critical health conditions whom the Italian coast guard evacuated along with four family members early Monday, she said.
The remaining migrants will stay onboard the two vessels until their missions are completed, then they will be taken to Europe.
Libya has for years been a hub for African and Middle Eastern migrants fleeing war and poverty in their countries and hoping for a better life in Europe. The oil-rich country plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
Traffickers have exploited the chaos and often pack desperate families into ill-equipped small boats that stall and founder along the perilous Central Mediterranean route. Thousands have drowned along the way. Some Libyan militiamen have been implicated in widespread abuses of migrants, including torture and abduction for ransom.


US says flight with 21 UScitizens, 48 residents left Kabul

US says flight with 21 UScitizens, 48 residents left Kabul
Updated 20 September 2021

US says flight with 21 UScitizens, 48 residents left Kabul

US says flight with 21 UScitizens, 48 residents left Kabul
  • Qatar Airways flight departed from Kabul on Sunday with 21 U.S. citizens and 48 residents, said Ned Price

WASHINGTON: A Qatar Airways flight carrying 21 US citizens and 48 lawful permanent residents left Kabul on Sunday, the US State Department said in a statement on Monday.
The Department’s Spokesperson Ned Price said: “We can confirm that a Qatar Airways flight departed from Kabul on Sunday with 21 US citizens and 48 lawful permanent residents on board.”
He said they are thankful to Qatari authorities, who continue to coordinate these flights with the Taliban.
“As we have stated before, we will continue to help US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Afghans affiliated with the US government to depart Afghanistan,” added Price.
The Department’s spokesperson said his country ‘welcomes continued cooperation by all involved with facilitating these flights’.


Egyptian foreign minister highlights need to revive Palestine negotiation process

Shoukry outlined Egypt’s position and how it was continuing its efforts to restart negotiations in the Palestinian peace process. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Shoukry outlined Egypt’s position and how it was continuing its efforts to restart negotiations in the Palestinian peace process. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 20 September 2021

Egyptian foreign minister highlights need to revive Palestine negotiation process

Shoukry outlined Egypt’s position and how it was continuing its efforts to restart negotiations in the Palestinian peace process. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • El-Sisi stressed the importance of the international community’s support for Egypt’s efforts to rebuild Palestinian territories

CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has stressed the need to revive negotiations over Palestine and create a political climate that avoids escalation of tensions, during a telephone conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. 

Ambassador Ahmed Hafez, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Shoukry outlined Egypt’s position and how it was continuing its efforts to restart negotiations.

Hafez said that the phone call also discussed moves for reconstruction in Palestine and the provision of aid and development support to the occupied Palestinian territories, in coordination with the Palestinian National Authority.

During his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s support for efforts to achieve comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to work in compliance with international legitimacy resolutions. 

El-Sisi stressed the importance of the international community’s support for Egypt’s efforts to rebuild Palestinian territories, in addition to the need to maintain calm between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, especially in easing tension in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.