Arab leaders, dignitaries attend funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Arab leaders, dignitaries attend funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan attend the State Funeral Service for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022. (AFP)
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Updated 19 September 2022

Arab leaders, dignitaries attend funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Arab leaders, dignitaries attend funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
  • Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al-Busaidi also attended the funeral
  • Leaders from Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan attended reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday

LONDON: Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania were among 2,000 mourners who gathered on Monday to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State Prince Turki bin Mohammed attended the funeral on behalf of King Salman and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa attended on behalf of his father King Hamad.




Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State Prince Turki bin Mohammed and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa arrive at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday. (BNA)

Morocco’s Prince Moulay Rachid represented King Mohammed VI at the funeral and attended a reception hosted by the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at Church House afterward.

The UK and the world said a final goodbye to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch at a state funeral that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.




King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania arrive for a reception hosted by Britain's King Charles III for Heads of State and Official Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP)

Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al-Busaidi also attended the funeral with the charge d’affaires of the country’s embassy in London, Hussain bin Muhammad Muqaibel, Oman News Agency reported.

On Sunday, Bahrain’s King Hamad, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Oman’s Sultan Haitham, Kuwait’s Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Jordan’s king, queen and crown prince attended a reception hosted by Britain's King Charles III for heads of state and official overseas guests at Buckingham Palace in London.




Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Oman’s Sultan Haitham and Kuwait’s crown prince offer their condolences to King Charles at Buckingham Palace on Sunday. (Dubai Media Office)

The Arab leaders offered their condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.


Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu moves closer to coalition deal

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu moves closer to coalition deal
Updated 10 sec ago

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu moves closer to coalition deal

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu moves closer to coalition deal
  • Deal announced overnight promises the Shas party five ministerial jobs in Netanyahu’s incoming government
JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime-minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu struck a deal with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party Thursday on allocating cabinet jobs in a key step toward forming a government ahead of a looming deadline.
The deal announced overnight promises the Shas party five ministerial jobs in Netanyahu’s incoming government, which is expected to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history.
“We have achieved another step toward forming a government,” said Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving premier, whose victory in a November 1 election set him up to retake power after just 14 months in opposition.
Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party has already signed coalition deals with three controversial extreme right parties — Religious Zionism, Jewish Power and the virulently anti-LGBT Noam.
Likud’s agreements with Shas and another ultra-Orthodox bloc, United Torah Judaism, are provisional, not binding coalition deals. Additional pacts will be required before a government is announced, the parties have said.
One complication is that Shas leader Aryeh Deri has been convicted of tax offenses, which, according to Israel’s attorney general, bars him from serving in cabinet.
Israel’s parliament, where Netanyahu and his allies now control a majority, may seek to pass legislation allowing Deri to serve in cabinet before firming up a coalition deal.
Under the Shas-Likud deal, Deri will be both interior minister and health minister in Netanyahu’s next government, in addition to being named deputy prime minister.
If confirmed, Deri would become Israel’s first ultra-Orthodox Jewish deputy premier.
Last month’s election put Netanyahu and his allies in a position to form a stable, right-wing government, ending an unprecedented period of political deadlock that forced five elections in less than four years.
Some Israeli political analysts had forecast that Netanyahu would move to announce a coalition days after receiving his mandate from President Isaac Herzog on November 13.
But the coalition talks have proved complex, with Netanyahu forced to give sensitive portfolios to controversial figures, including Jewish Power leader Itamar Ben Gvir, who has been promised the national security ministry with responsiblity for the border police in the occupied West Bank despite his fiercely anti-Arab rhetoric.
Netanyahu’s 28-day mandate from Herzog expires at midnight (2200 GMT) Sunday.
He is widely expected to seek a two-week extension, as several issues remain unresolved, including the allocation of portfolios within his own Likud party, according to Israeli media reports.

Iran executes first known prisoner arrested in protests

Iran executes first known prisoner arrested in protests
Updated 08 December 2022

Iran executes first known prisoner arrested in protests

Iran executes first known prisoner arrested in protests
  • Iran accused the man of blocking street and attacking security officer with machete

DUBAI: Iran said Thursday it executed a prisoner convicted for a crime allegedly committed during the country’s ongoing nationwide protests, the first such death penalty carried out by Tehran.
The execution comes as other detainees also face possible death penalty for their involvement in the protests, which began first as an outcry against Iran’s morality police and have expanded into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Activists warn others could be put to death as well soon since activists say at least a dozen people so far have received death sentences over their involvement in the demonstrations.
The “execution of #MohsenShekari must be me with STRONG reactions otherwise we will be facing daily executions of protesters,” wrote Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of the Oslo-based activist group Iran Human Rights. “This execution must have rapid practical consequences internationally.”
Iran’s Mizan news agency reported the execution. It accused the man of blocking a street and attacking a security force member with a machete in Tehran.
The Mizan news agency, run by the country’s judiciary, identified the executed man as Mohsen Shekari. It said he had been convicted in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, which typically holds closed-door cases that have been internationally criticized in other cases for not allowing those on trial to pick their own lawyers or even see the evidence against them.
Mizan said Shekari had been arrested Sept. 25, then convicted Nov. 20 on the charge of “moharebeh,” a Farsi word meaning “waging war against God.” That charge has been levied against others in the decades since 1979 and carries the death penalty.
Iran has been rocked by protests since the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by the country’s morality police. At least 475 people have been killed in the demonstrations amid a heavy-handed security crackdown, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that’s been monitoring the protests since they began. Over 18,000 have been detained by authorities.
Iran is one of the world’s top executioners. It typically executes prisoners by hanging. Already, Amnesty International said it obtained a document signed by one senior Iranian police commander asking an execution for one prisoner be “completed ‘in the shortest possible time’ and that his death sentence be carried out in public as ‘a heart-warming gesture toward the security forces.’”


Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank raid

Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank raid
Updated 08 December 2022

Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank raid

Israeli army kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank raid
  • The military raid targeted Jenin town and its refugee camp in northern West Bank
  • Palestinian factions called for general strike to mourn the dead

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Israeli forces killed three Palestinians during an early Thursday raid in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The military raid targeted Jenin town and its refugee camp in northern West Bank. The areas are a stronghold for Palestinian militants and Israel has stepped up raids there in recent months.
The official Palestinian news agency reported that “confrontations and violent clashes” erupted between residents of Jenin and the Israeli forces.
Old photos circulating on social media showed two of the three Palestinians who were killed posing with rifles. Palestinian media also shared footage showing an ambulance hit by Israeli gunshots in Jenin.
Palestinian factions in the city called for a general strike to mourn the dead and show solidarity with their families.
On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian militant who opened fire at them near the West Bank settlement of Ofra.
More than 140 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem this year, making it the deadliest year since 2006.
The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting Israeli army incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Israel has been conducting daily arrest raids throughout the West Bank, in an operation prompted by a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the spring that killed 19 people.
The military says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks, but the Palestinians say they entrench Israel’s open-ended occupation, now in its 56th year.
At least 31 people have died in Arab attacks in Israel and the occupied West Bank this year, according to Israeli figures.


Iraqi security forces kill two protesters in the south

Iraqi security forces kill two protesters in the south
Updated 08 December 2022

Iraqi security forces kill two protesters in the south

Iraqi security forces kill two protesters in the south

BAGHDAD/NASSIRIYA: Iraqi security forces shot dead two protesters in the southern city of Nassiriya on Wednesday after using live ammunition to disperse an anti-government protest, police and medical sources told Reuters.
At least 16 protesters were wounded, mainly by live bullets, when security forces attempted to move them away from bridges and a central square, the sources said.
Police said protesters threw stones at security forces, wounding 17. A Reuters witness said crowds subsequently gathered outside a hospital morgue, demanding the release of the two bodies.
Around 300 people took part in the demonstration which was called to protest against recent arrests that targeted activists in the mainly Shiite city of Nassiriya.
Protesters took to the streets against a court ruling this week sentencing Hayder Hamid Al-Zaidi, 20, to three years in prison over alleged criticism of state-sanctioned militias.
Zaidi, 20, who was active in popular anti-government protests that began in October 2019, was sentenced Monday in a criminal court in Baghdad over comments on Twitter that he maintains he did not write. He had been charged under a penal code section that outlaws publicly insulting any government institution or official.
Al-Zaidi was arrested over the tweet in June and released after 16 days on bail. He has maintained that his account was hacked.
It was the first such deadly demonstration since a new government was formed by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani in October. 
(With Reuters and AP)


Islamic school funded by Kuwaitis opens in Venezuela

Islamic school funded by Kuwaitis opens in Venezuela
Updated 08 December 2022

Islamic school funded by Kuwaitis opens in Venezuela

Islamic school funded by Kuwaitis opens in Venezuela
  • Establishment to teach Arabic, Islamic education, Venezuelan curriculum to more than 180 students

KUWAIT: The Venezuelan Islamic School, funded by Kuwaiti businessmen and overseen by Zakat House, has opened in the country’s capital Caracas, the Kuwait News Agency reported on Wednesday.

More than 180 students in kindergarten, primary, and secondary school will be taught Arabic, Islamic education, and the Venezuelan curriculum following Kuwait’s first charitable work in the country.

The inauguration was attended by Kuwait’s Ambassador to Venezuela Nasser Al-Enezi, Head of the Venezuelan Islamic Center Baligh Saeed, and a number of dignitaries, students and school staff.

Al-Enezi praised the Zakat House of Kuwait for sponsoring projects for the Arab community, and business for its contribution.