Blinken stresses importance of concluding Israeli probe into reporter’s killing

Blinken stresses importance of concluding Israeli probe into reporter’s killing
Palestinians visit the site where veteran Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed, in the West Bank city of Jenin. (AP)
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Updated 28 May 2022

Blinken stresses importance of concluding Israeli probe into reporter’s killing

Blinken stresses importance of concluding Israeli probe into reporter’s killing
  • Secretary Blinken underscored the importance of concluding the investigations into the death of Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh
  • Al Jazeera says it will go to ICC over the killing of the journalist

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Friday to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and stressed the importance of concluding Israel’s probes into the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
“Secretary Blinken underscored the importance of concluding the investigations into the death of Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The Palestinian Authority said on Thursday its investigation showed that Abu Akleh was shot by an Israeli soldier in a “deliberate murder.” Israel denied the accusation and said it was continuing its own investigations.
Abu Akleh was shot dead on May 11 while she was covering an Israeli military raid in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. She had been wearing a helmet and a press vest that clearly marked her as a journalist. 1
Israeli police officers, on May 13, charged at Palestinian mourners carrying the coffin of Abu Akleh, before thousands led her casket through Jerusalem’s Old City in an outpouring of grief and anger over her killing.
The Israeli army had said previously that she might have been shot accidentally by one of its soldiers or by a Palestinian militant in an exchange of fire.
Palestinian Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib told reporters on Thursday that its enquiry showed there had been no militants close to Abu Akleh when she died.
Meanwhile, the Al Jazeera news network said it will submit a case file to the International Criminal Court on the killing of Abu Akleh.
The Qatar-based network and the Palestinian Authority have accused Israeli soldiers of deliberately killing her. Israel rejects those allegations as a “blatant lie.” It says she was shot during a firefight between soldiers and Palestinian militants, and that only ballistic analysis of the bullet — which is held by the PA — can determine who fired the fatal shot.
An AP reconstruction lent support to witnesses who say the veteran Palestinian-American correspondent was killed by Israeli fire, but any final conclusion may depend on evidence that has not yet been released.
Al Jazeera said late Thursday it has formed an international legal team to prepare a case dossier to be submitted to the ICC. The court launched an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes last year. Israel is not a member of the ICC and has rejected the probe as being biased against it.
Al Jazeera said the case file would also include the Israeli bombing of the building housing its offices in Gaza City during last year’s war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, “as well as the continuous incitements and attacks on its journalists operating in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Israel said the building — which also housed the Gaza office of The Associated Press — contained Hamas military infrastructure, but has not provided any evidence. The AP was not aware of any purported Hamas presence in the building and condemned the strike as “shocking and horrifying.” No one was hurt in the strike, which came after an Israeli warning to evacuate.
“The Network vows to follow every path to achieve justice for Shireen, and ensure those responsible for her killing are brought to justice and held accountable in all international justice and legal platforms and courts,” Al Jazeera said.
Abu Akleh had covered Palestinian affairs and the Middle East for more than two decades. Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV Network, which also says Israel had killed the reporter, said it would refer the killing to the International Criminal Court.
(With Reuters and AP)


Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry

Student in Egypt held for killing girlfriend who refused to marry
Updated 17 sec ago

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.