Screens at Beirut airport hacked with anti-Hezbollah message

Update Information screens at Beirut’s main airport were hacked on Sunday with a message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Screenshots/X)
Information screens at Beirut’s main airport were hacked on Sunday with a message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Screenshots/X)
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Updated 07 January 2024
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Screens at Beirut airport hacked with anti-Hezbollah message

Screens at Beirut airport hacked with anti-Hezbollah message
  • Message appeared on electronic boards saying: ‘The airport is neither Hezbollah nor Iran’s airport’
  • A group opposing Hezbollah claimed responsibility

BEIRUT: Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut was subjected to an electronic hacking operation shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday.

This led to temporary confusion, but the airport continued to operate as usual, and its scheduled flights for Sunday night remained on schedule.

Text appeared without warning on the departure and arrival screens at the airport directed to Hezbollah and its security chief, Hassan Nasrallah, replacing the landing and departure timetables.

At the same time, the baggage system suffered a technical malfunction.

The text was signed by “Lord and the People,” and said: “This is Rafik Hariri Airport, not Hezbollah and Iran Airport. To Hassan Nasrallah, you will not find a helper if Lebanon is afflicted in a war and you bear responsibility for it and its consequences.”

The text also stated: “We will not fight on behalf of anyone. You blew up our port and now you want to blow up our airport because of the introduction of weapons. Let the airport be freed from the grip of the state.”

Lebanese citizens received text messages at the time of the hack on their mobile phones asking, on behalf of the Middle East Airlines MEA, “to adhere to the instructions of the security services.”

According to a security source, the airport administration quickly “turned off the screens on the airport campus after the hacking operation. It proceeded to transfer the bags manually until the technical fault was repaired.”

A source at MEA said: “The company did not issue any statement, especially after the display screens at the airport were disabled. Note that the company notifies its passengers via email or SMS if any emergency occurs, but it did not send a message in this regard.”

The source confirmed: “The flights are continuing to operate despite what happened today, and the malfunctions that occurred are being addressed.”

Since the outbreak of hostilities on the southern Lebanese front between Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces, Rafik Hariri International Airport has suffered interference to its air and sea navigation systems, but a security source told Arab News two weeks ago that the airport “has alternative systems through which it can monitor work without being affected by the Israeli interference.”

On Sunday, the border area suffered artillery shelling, phosphorus bombs, and Israeli air strikes that targeted homes and villages.

In return, Hezbollah targeted Israeli military sites with missiles, some of which were Burkan-type.

Hezbollah announced that it targeted “a gathering of Israeli soldiers in the south of Al-Manara, the radar site in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms, a positioning point for soldiers in Al-Malikiyah, and positions of soldiers in the vicinity of the Metulla military site.”

It added that it “also targeted the Shomera barracks … Al-Marj military site, and gatherings of soldiers in the vicinity of the Mitat site.”

An Israeli tank was targeted at the Ruwaisat Al-Assi site with Kornet missiles, “which led to it being hit, burned, and destroyed, and its crew being killed and wounded,” according to a party statement.

Israeli media reported that “rockets landed near … Al-Manara settlement in the Galilee Finger, and a building in the Metulla settlement was hit by a missile launched from southern Lebanon.”


Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament after helicopter crash killing president, others

Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament after helicopter crash killing president, others
Updated 4 sec ago
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Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament after helicopter crash killing president, others

Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament after helicopter crash killing president, others
  • Mokhber’s speech on Monday comes as Iran prepares for a presidential election to replace the late Ebrahim Raisi
  • Mokhber asserted that the country’s economy remained stable under Raisi when Iran took military actions in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan
TEHRAN: Iran’s acting President Mohammad Mokhber addressed the country’s new parliament Monday in his first public speech since last week’s helicopter crash that killed his predecessor and seven others.
His speech comes as Iran prepares for a presidential election to replace the late Ebrahim Raisi in just a month, a vote that could see the previously behind-the-scenes bureaucrat potentially run alongside others. Meanwhile, Iran’s new hard-line parliament is expected to select its new speaker Tuesday.
In his remarks, Mokhber praised Raisi’s time in office, noting that Iran’s crude oil production— a key source of hard currency for the country — climbed to more than 3.6 million barrels a day. That comes after Oil Minister Javad Owji said Sunday that Iran was now exporting around 2 million barrels a day, despite Western sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.
Mokhber also asserted that the country’s economy remained stable under Raisi when Iran took military actions in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan in recent months.
“Three countries were hit. We hit Israel, people find that figures and indexes are the same in the morning when they wake up, price of hard currency is the same, inflation is the same, liquidity is the same and the market is full of people’s needs,” Mokhber claimed. “This strength, this settlement and this power is not a usual thing, they all were because of guidance by the supreme leader and the sincere efforts of Ayatollah Raisi.”
The Iranian rial has tumbled from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Today, it stands around 580,000 to $1 in the wake of the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the accord and a series of attacks on shipping in the Mideast, first attributed to Iran and later involving Yemen’s Houthi rebels as Israel’s war against Hamas on the Gaza Strip began over seven months ago.
On May 20, rescuers recovered the bodies of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others in a mountainous region in northwestern Iran following a fatal helicopter crash.
Iran will hold presidential elections on June 28 to replace Raisi. On Thursday, a five-day registration period for candidates will open. Analysts have suggested that Mokhber could be one of those to register.
Meanwhile, Monday marked the first day for Iran’s newly elected parliament, following a March election that saw the country’s lowest turnout since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Of those elected to the 290-seat body, hard-liners hold over 230 seats, according to an Associated Press survey.
Iran’s parliament plays a secondary role in governing the country, though it can intensify pressure on a presidential administration when deciding on the annual budget and other important bills. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, has the final say in all important state matters.

Israel orders Spain to stop consular services for Palestinians from June 1

Israel orders Spain to stop consular services for Palestinians from June 1
Updated 27 May 2024
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Israel orders Spain to stop consular services for Palestinians from June 1

Israel orders Spain to stop consular services for Palestinians from June 1
  • Israel statement: Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem is ‘authorized to provide consular services to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem only’

JERUSALEM: Israel’s foreign ministry said Monday it had told the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering consular services to Palestinians from June 1 over Madrid’s recognition of a Palestinian state.
The ministry said in a statement that Spain’s consulate in Jerusalem is “authorized to provide consular services to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem only, and is not authorized to provide services or perform consular activity vis-a-vis residents of the Palestinian Authority.”


Israel army kills Palestinian teen after West Bank ‘attempted attack’

Israel army kills Palestinian teen after West Bank ‘attempted attack’
Updated 27 May 2024
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Israel army kills Palestinian teen after West Bank ‘attempted attack’

Israel army kills Palestinian teen after West Bank ‘attempted attack’
  • The deadly incident took place near Hebron in the southern West Bank, the army and the Palestinian ministry said

JERUSALEM: Israel’s military said its troops killed a Palestinian assailant in the occupied West Bank, with the Palestinian health ministry identifying him as a teenager.
Israeli forces “identified a terrorist who came in their direction and attempted to carry out a stabbing attack,” a military statement said.
“The soldiers fired at him and killed him,” it said.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the fatality as Majd Shahir Aramin, 14, and said he had been killed by Israeli forces.
The deadly incident took place near Hebron in the southern West Bank, the army and the Palestinian ministry said.
The West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, has seen a surge in violence for more than a year, but especially since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7.
According to Palestinian officials, at least 519 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli troops or settlers since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip.
Attacks by Palestinians have killed at least 12 Israelis in the West Bank over the same period, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.


Israeli police and Jewish pilgrims clash at beleaguered festival site

Israeli police and Jewish pilgrims clash at beleaguered festival site
Updated 27 May 2024
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Israeli police and Jewish pilgrims clash at beleaguered festival site

Israeli police and Jewish pilgrims clash at beleaguered festival site
  • The all-night sessions of prayer, mystical songs and dance had in previous years drawn crowds in the tens of thousands
  • Police limited the number of attendees since the 2021 tragedy in which 45 people died in a crowd rush

JERUSALEM: Clashes erupted on Sunday between police and Jewish pilgrims at a religious festival site in northern Israel where three years ago 45 people died in a crowd crush, and which authorities closed this year due to rocket fire from Lebanon.

Since the 2021 tragedy at the tomb of a 2nd-century sage during the annual Lag B’Omer celebration, police have limited the number of attendees.

The all-night sessions of prayer, mystical songs and dance had in previous years drawn crowds in the tens of thousands.

This year’s festival was canceled since the site at Meron in the Galilee region has been targeted by rocket fire from Lebanon.

Many northern Israeli towns have been evacuated since Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon began firing at them following Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel, which sparked the war in Gaza.

Both sides have traded blows since. Despite the closure, police said they turned away thousands of pilgrims over the weekend, though hundreds managed to reach the site, where things got out of hand.

The visitors damaged property and hurled objects at officers, police said. Nineteen officers were injured.

Israeli media reported that several people among the unauthorized crowd were hurt. At least one officer was suspended for pushing an older man to the ground, and police said it was examining other incidents from the site.


Ten dead, 39 injured in southern Turkiye highway collision

Ten dead, 39 injured in southern Turkiye highway collision
Updated 27 May 2024
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Ten dead, 39 injured in southern Turkiye highway collision

Ten dead, 39 injured in southern Turkiye highway collision

ISTANBUL: Ten people died and 39 others were injured in southern Turkiye on Sunday when an intercity bus collided with three other vehicles on a main highway, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said.
The bus, traveling to Istanbul from Diyarbakir, crashed into a transport truck and two other vehicles in the Tarsus district near the Mediterranean city of Mersin, he said on social media platform X.
The government said an investigation had been launched.