Ammon News, World

Netanyahu says ‘unnecessary and wrong’ to call snap Israeli polls

[11/18/2018 4:46:27 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday it would be “unnecessary and wrong” to call snap polls, as he sought to hold his governing coalition together following the resignation of his defense minister. “In a period of security sensitivity, it’s unnecessary and wrong to go to elections,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. He noted past instances when right-wing governments had called elections that did not turn out as they had hoped. “We need to do whatever we can to avoid such mistakes,” he said. Netanyahu’s coalition was thrown into crisis Wednesday when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned over a controversial Gaza ceasefire deal, sparking speculation over whether early elections were now inevitable. After Lieberman’s withdrawal, Netanyahu’s government was left clinging to a one-seat majority in the 120-seat parliament. The veteran premier was to meet Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, whose center-right Kulanu party has 10 seats, later Sunday to discuss ways of holding the coalition together. Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home party, which holds eight seats in parliament, has demanded the defense portfolio, but Netanyahu says he will take it over at least temporarily. Bennett is one of Netanyahu’s main right-wing rivals. On Saturday, Bennett told Israeli television that Lieberman had “collapsed the government.” “There is no more government and we are heading towards elections,” he said. “There is no other alternative.” Elections are not due until November 2019. *AFP

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Russia says militants, moderates still not separated in Syria’s Idlib

[11/15/2018 3:48:37 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday the process of separating radical militants from moderate opposition groups in the demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region had not yet been successfully achieved. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the process, which was launched as part of a deal between Turkey and Russia in September, had not been successful despite efforts by Ankara. Syrian government forces killed 22 rebels near Idlib on Nov. 9, and seven civilians inside Idlib on Oct. 26, despite the Russian-Turkish deal. *Reuters

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Saudi prosecution calls for execution of 5 involved in murder of Khashoggi

[11/15/2018 6:00:45 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecution called for the killing of five people who confessed to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. They added that 21 people are being investigated, and 11 have been charged in the murder, however, they said that the system of criminal procedure prohibits the disclosure of the names of the accused. The prosecution said that the premeditation of murder happened on September 29, and that someone disabled the surveillance cameras at the consulate before carrying out the murder. This individual was identified following investigations, the prosecution said. The investigation also identified the individual who wore the victim’s clothes after the murder and disposed of the victim’s belongings in a trash receptacle, including his watch and glasses, after leaving the Consulate building. The prosecution’s spokesperson added that Saudi Arabia has asked Turkey to provide the kingdom with the evidence and voice recordings relating to the case, but that they are still waiting for Turkey to oblige to their request. “A team was created to convince Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia by order from the former deputy intelligence chief,” the spokesperson said. Read more The leader of this mission formed a 15-member team that consisted of three groups (negotiations/ intelligence/ logistics) to persuade and return the victim. The leader of the mission suggested to the former Deputy President of the General Intelligence Presidency to assign a former colleague to head the negotiation group in the team because of his previous relationship with the victim. This former colleague was assigned at the time to work with a former Advisor. Also read: Who ordered, supervised, and carried out Khashoggi's murder? And how? He added that this former Saudi advisor was also involved in the planning of the murder, adding that the head of the team assigned to convince to Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia was the one who took the decision to murder him. The former advisor is banned from traveling and is under investigation. The prosecution also stated that Khashoggi’s body was dismembered after he was murdered following a physical altercation, and moved out of the consulate. They added that five of the accused are the ones who transferred his body outside of the consulate, and another one gave the dismembered body to a local collaborator. He said that a sketch of this collaborator was drawn, and it will be given to the Turkish authorities. The prosecution also said that the accused gave an untruthful report to the former deputy intelligence chief, and denied killing Khashoggi in the beginning. The prosecution added that a fight had taken place, and then Khashoggi was drugged and dismembered. They stated that the prosecution does not respond to rumors and leaks from Turkish media. The Public Prosecutor has also requested the Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to receive any findings from their investigation. *Al Arabiya

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Israeli defense minister announces resignation protesting Gaza truce

[11/14/2018 5:27:08 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Wednesday that he was resigning from the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in protest at a Gaza truce. Announcing his decision, which takes effect 48 hours after he puts it in writing, Lieberman deemed Tuesday’s Egyptian-mediated deal with the Palestinian group Hamas “a capitulation to terror”. “What we're doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security,” Lieberman said. He added: “We should agree on a date for elections as early as possible,” while sharply criticising the ceasefire that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended. *Reuters

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US sanctions four Hezbollah operatives over action in Iraq

[11/13/2018 2:33:11 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on four operatives linked to the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah over its actions in Iraq. In a statement Tuesday, the Treasury Department called Hezbollah “a terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East.” The sanctions targeted Ubayd Al-Zaydi, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani, and Muhammad ‘Abd-Al-Hadi Farhat, who were said to have provided financial, material and technological support to Hezbollah in Iraq. The action followed the Trump administration’s decision this month to re-impose oil and banking sanctions on Iran over its financing of militant groups like Hezbollah, its military engagement in Syria and its nuclear program. The sanctions freeze any assets the four operatives may have under US jurisdiction and prohibit Americans from doing business with them. *AP

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Lebanon’s Hariri: Hezbollah responsible for obstructing govt formation

[11/13/2018 7:36:28 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri has said that the government formation has hit a big obstacle and that Hezbollah held responsibility for obstructing the process.

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Ghunaimat calls for immediate action to atop Israeli aggression against Gaza

[11/12/2018 2:42:26 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of State for Media Affairs and the government spokesperson, Jumana Ghunaimat, on Monday warned of the seriousness of the escalation in the Gaza Strip and called for immediate action to stop the Israeli aggression and protect innocent people. Condemning the Israeli attack that led to the fall of a number of victims, Ghunaimat stressed the need to address the situation in the Gaza Strip within the context of a comprehensive political guaranteeing the return of Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table in order to resolve the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution as a single way to achieve security and stability. She said the escalation will only lead to more tension, underlining the importance of stopping the aggression and taking immediate practical steps to end the strip's the humanitarian suffering.

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