Israel commemorates war dead with nationwide pause, sirens

Israel commemorates war dead with nationwide pause, sirens
People stand still outside their cars as a two-minute siren marking Israel’s Memorial Day is heard in Tel Aviv on May 4, 2022. (Reuters)
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Updated 04 May 2022

Israel commemorates war dead with nationwide pause, sirens

Israel commemorates war dead with nationwide pause, sirens
  • Ceremonies and poetry readings held at cemeteries for the over 24,000 people lost in Israel’s conflicts

TEL AVIV: Israel honored its soldiers and civilians killed in wars and militant attacks on Wednesday, with air raid sirens wailing nationwide for two minutes and citizens observing a moment of pause for Memorial Day.
Ceremonies and poetry readings were held at cemeteries for the over 24,000 people lost in Israel’s conflicts, before the occasion turns more festive at sundown with parties and military flyovers to kick off Independence Day. This Thursday marks Israel’s 74th.
“Brothers and sisters, if we are not together, we will not be at all. We have no existence as conflicting tribes, rather, only as a varied and united nation,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the national Memorial Day service at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “We are all partners. We are all here together with one fate, with one mission.”
Last week, as Israel remembered the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust, Bennett pleaded for Israelis to refrain from fighting one another even at a time of great division in the fragile government he leads. He spoke in the context of recent tensions with Palestinians — but also from deeply personal experience.
In recent days, his family has received two separate death threats: packages that included live ammunition, demanding he resign.
Bennett said national unity is Israel’s “duty” to the fallen.
On Memorial Day, bereaved families visit cemeteries and attend memorial ceremonies, as television and radio shift programming to somber music, broadcasts of memorial services and documentaries about slain soldiers.
In the annual ritual, the sounding of a siren blast around the country brought people to a momentary halt. Pedestrians stood still in the street and motorists stopped on the highway and stood with heads bowed.
Israel has fought half a dozen wars with neighboring Arab countries, battled two Palestinian uprisings and endured scores of deadly militant attacks since its establishment in 1948. In addition to the soldiers killed in conflicts, Memorial Day honors more than 3,000 people killed in militant attacks.
The annual ritual came near the anniversary of the 11-day war with Gaza’s militant rulers, and in the midst of a recent spate of Palestinian attacks, Israeli raids in the West Bank, and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site. The hilltop compound contains the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam. It is also the holiest site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount because it is the location of the biblical Temples destroyed in antiquity.
On Monday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for a shooting that left an Israeli security guard dead at the entrance of a Jewish settlement in the West Bank last week. It was the first time Hamas has claimed such an attack targeting Israelis in the occupied West Bank since 2018.


Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry

Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry
Updated 11 August 2022

Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry

Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry
  • Salma Baghat was stabbed 17 times in Zagazig city
  • Latest in a string of ‘revenge’ murders by men

A man has been arrested for killing his 20-year-old girlfriend in a stabbing frenzy after she refused to marry him, in the latest case of femicide that has shocked the nation.

In a statement, Egypt’s Public Prosecution said that it had detained 22-year-old Islam Mohammed pending an investigation into charges of the premeditated murder of Salma Baghat, which took place in Egypt’s Zagazig city.

The prosecution said the young woman and her family rejected his offer to marry her due to his “bad behavior, abnormal beliefs, and his addiction to drugs.”

Mohammed, who attended Al-Shorouk Academy with Baghat, admitted to authorities that he killed her on Tuesday because she had rejected him and refused to comply with his demands to stop seeing her friends and quit her job.

Mohammed stabbed Baghat 17 times as she was leaving a building in the city, according to local media reports.

The prosecution said the man then posted a picture online of the victim’s body after the attack.

Baghat’s killing is the latest in a string of “revenge” murders.

The murder of 21-year-old Nayera Ashref outside her university campus in broad daylight in June this year sparked outrage across Egypt. Prior to her murder, Ashraf had repeatedly refused the advances of Mohamed Adel.

According to the Erdaak Foundation for Development and Equality, an estimated 7.8 million girls and women in Egypt have experienced some form of gender-based violence.

In 2020 alone, there were 415 violent crimes reported against girls and women in the country, the organization said in a report published last year.


Japan welcomes Gaza ceasefire, stresses ‘violence will not solve the issue in the Middle East’

Japan welcomes Gaza ceasefire, stresses ‘violence will not solve the issue in the Middle East’
Updated 11 August 2022

Japan welcomes Gaza ceasefire, stresses ‘violence will not solve the issue in the Middle East’

Japan welcomes Gaza ceasefire, stresses ‘violence will not solve the issue in the Middle East’
  • ‘Japan hopes that this ceasefire will contribute to a stabilization of the situation in Gaza’

TOKYO: Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Wednesday welcomed the Gaza ceasefire and said that the problems between the Palestinians and Israel “cannot be resolved through violence.”

Following a fierce series of bombings by Israel and a response by Palestinians in Gaza, tensions have grown in the region, although a ceasefire has been agreed to.

“Japan hopes that this ceasefire will contribute to a stabilization of the situation in Gaza and lead to an improvement of the socio-economic situation locally. We call on all stakeholders to comply with the agreement and call for maximum self-restraint.”

Hayashi said the many casualties amongst the general public that have resulted from the clashes “is a big and deep concern for us, and I’d like to express my condolences to the victim’s families.”

The foreign minister expressed Japan’s official position on the Palestinian cause saying, “Violence will not solve the issue in the Middle East. We believe that it can only be resolved through negotiation and efforts to build confidence between the parties. Therefore, we call on all those involved to make the strongest efforts possible.”

Hayashi made his remarks in reply to Arab News Japan’s question in a press conference at the ministry held right after participating in the inauguration of the new cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Hayashi was retained as Foreign Minister in the new lineup.

This article originally appeared on Arab News Japan


Dubai customs officials uncover 3.7kg drug haul hidden in car parts

Dubai customs officials uncover 3.7kg drug haul hidden in car parts
Updated 11 August 2022

Dubai customs officials uncover 3.7kg drug haul hidden in car parts

Dubai customs officials uncover 3.7kg drug haul hidden in car parts

DUBAI: Inspectors at Dubai International Airport have seized 3.7kg of marijuana that were found hidden inside air filters used for an engine, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Dubai Customs officers made the discovery after an x-ray of a passenger’s items revealed an “abnormal density,” the WAM report added.
Upon dismantling the auto spare parts, officers said they found the narcotics “skillfully concealed” around the air filters.
The suspect was arrested and an investigation was launched.


Oman police thwart attempt to smuggle 73kg of cannabis

Oman police thwart attempt to smuggle 73kg of cannabis
Updated 11 August 2022

Oman police thwart attempt to smuggle 73kg of cannabis

Oman police thwart attempt to smuggle 73kg of cannabis
  • Police authorities in Dhofar Governorate earlier arrested two people from the African continent after 13 kilograms of hashish were found in their possession

DUBAI: Police in Oman have foiled an attempt to smuggle a large haul of the drug cannabis into the country.

It is the latest in a number of seizures forming part of the government’s efforts to raise awareness and prevent the spread of controlled substances.

The General Department of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Control, in cooperation with the Coast Guard Police, arrested two people while they were unloading 73kg of cannabis on a beach in Muscat Governorate,” the Royal Oman Police said in its Twitter account, adding that legal proceedures were underway.

 

 

Police authorities in Dhofar Governorate earlier arrested two people from the African continent after 13 kilograms of hashish were found in their possession.

A forum in Dhofar earlier this week discussed the issue of controlled substances in Oman.

The event explored the types of substances being brought into the country, as well as the reasons for the use and the effects of their abuse, viewed from a social and family perspective.


US and Kuwait discuss enhancing global food security

US and Kuwait discuss enhancing global food security
Updated 11 August 2022

US and Kuwait discuss enhancing global food security

US and Kuwait discuss enhancing global food security

KUWAIT: The US Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Michele Sison met with Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah during an official state visit, Kuwait State Agency (KUNA) reported.

They explored ways to boost cooperation to enhance global food security and health sector.

They discussed bilateral ties and reviewed the latest regional and international developments of common interest.