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Israel arrests senior member of terror group behind Dolev bombing



Israel arrests senior member of terror group behind Dolev bombing

Israeli forces on Thursday arrested a senior member of the terrorist group suspected of being responsible for the August bombing in Samaria that killed 17-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb and seriously injured her father and brother, according to Palestinian media reports.

Walid Muhammad Hanatsheh was arrested and his home in At-Tira, near Ramallah, searched early on Thursday morning, according to the reports.

Though Israel’s Shin Bet security agency refused to comment on Hanatsheh’s arrest, it said that 13 Palestinian suspects were arrested in overnight raids around Ramallah, but did not provide further details.

“The investigation into the [terrorist] cell is ongoing. We are not providing information about any arrests at this time,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

During the arrests, riots broke out with Palestinian residents throwing rocks and firebombs at Israel Defense Forces jeeps.

The current wave of arrests comes in the wake of the arrest last Wednesday of several other members of the PFLP suspected of involvement in the August terrorist attack, including suspected ringleader, Samer Arbid, 44, who according to the Shin Bet organized the cell behind the attack and personally detonated the explosive device that killed Shnerb.

Also read:  Report: Terrorists behind Jerusalem pizza bombing received more than $910K

Following his interrogation on Saturday, Arbid was admitted to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital in critical condition, where he is, according to his lawyer Mahmoud Hassan, currently breathing with the aid of a ventilator, with broken ribs and having suffered kidney failure.

The Joint Arab List called on Monday for an official investigation into the incident, and the Justice Ministry has begun one.

Upon the denial of a request that he be released due to his injuries, an Israeli judge allowed for greater visitation rights by his family while he recovers, but said the Shin Bet would likely be able to resume interrogating him “in the coming days.”

Israeli security forces had previously arrested Arbid earlier in September on suspicion of planning the Dolev attack, but released him due to lack of evidence. He was taken back into custody last week, and the Shin Bet requested and was granted permission to employ “extraordinary measures” in his interrogation. Such measures are typically authorized in “ticking time-bomb” scenarios in which law enforcement believes there is risk of an imminent attack.

According to Israeli research institute NGO Monitor, Arbid has been arrested and placed in administrative detention on numerous occasions, including in 2003, 2007-08, 2013 and most recently in March 2016. According to NGO Monitor, Arbid has worked for NGOs with ties to the PFLP, including Addameer and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, both of which are directly funded by various European governments.




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U.S. strikes 2 targets in Syria in response to ‘continued attacks’



The U.S. military struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to “continued attacks” against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The strikes were conducted against a training facility in Abu Kamal and a safe house in Mayadin in the eastern governorate of Deir Ezzor, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a brief statement.

The U.S. struck similar targets in eastern Syria in October and earlier in November.

Pro-Iranian militias have intensified their attacks on U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks as a response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The security situation in the entire region has been particularly tense since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants staged deadly attacks in southern Israel.

Israel is responding with an overwhelming air and ground offensive in Gaza.

As a deterrent, the U.S. has moved more weapons systems, warships and air squadrons to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is deploying several hundred troops to the Middle East to support US units there.

U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered Sunday’s action to make it clear that the U.S. was defending itself, its personnel, and its interests, Austin stressed.

The U.S. is prepared to take further necessary measures to protect its own people and interests.

  • dpa
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Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin



Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

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U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel



A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

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