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For the 12th time… the Lebanese parliament has failed to elect a president



For the 12th time… the Lebanese parliament has failed to elect a president

For the 12th time… the Lebanese parliament has failed to elect a president

Lebanon’s parliament failed again today (Wednesday) to elect a president for the twelfth time. Neither pro-Hezbollah candidate Suleiman Branji nor former finance minister Jihad Azour won enough votes to win the heated parliamentary session.

Azour received 59 votes compared to 51 votes for former minister Branji, one vote for Joseph Aoun, 6 votes for Ziad Baroud and 8 votes for the “New Lebanon” slogan, an invalid paper, a white paper and one lost vote.

Amid calls for a recount, Lebanese media reported that Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri adjourned the session after losing the quorum to elect a president. With 128 delegates entering the chamber, the session began after the quorum was reached.

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri voted in the 12th session to elect a president for the country.

The session ended after representatives of Hezbollah and its ally “Amal Movement” withdrew after the first round, disrupting the continuation of the quorum in the second round.

In the first round of voting, a candidate needs a two-thirds majority or 86 votes to win. A majority of 65 votes is required for a run-off. But a quorum requires two-thirds of two sittings.

Before the session, if “Hezbollah” and its allies overthrew the quorum to hold the second round, the policy they followed during the previous sessions, Azour could get a large number of votes in the first round.

Analysts suggested a scenario of entering a phase of “long vacuum” with the main candidates failing to secure a majority to decide the outcome.

“With significant international pressure and no settlement on a candidate, it could take months before a president is elected,” researcher and university professor Karim Bidar told AFP.

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He believed that today’s session, like the previous sessions, was “a mechanism for political forces to determine their electoral weight”.

Nabih Berri presides over the session to elect the President of the Republic in Lebanon (AFP).

“The Hezbollah Candidate”

The stock of Azour, who joined the International Monetary Fund in 2017 and served as Lebanon’s finance minister between 2005 and 2008, has risen in recent weeks, following intense contacts with representatives opposed to Franjieh and declaring support for his candidacy.

Subsequently, Representative Michael Mowat, running for president and having received the largest number of votes in previous sessions without reaching the required majority, announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy in favor of Azure.

The Lebanese Forces party, which has a strong Christian parliamentary group, the Independent Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah’s most important Christian ally and rejects Franchi’s visit, and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s group … are among Azzurri’s most prominent supporters.

After supporting his candidacy, Azure temporarily stepped down as Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF. In his first remarks, he said he wanted his candidacy to be “a contribution to the solution, not an element added to the elements of the crisis”.

Former Finance Minister Jihad Azur (Reuters)

He insisted that he was “not a challenge to anyone”, in response to “Hezbollah”, many of whose representatives described Asur as a “confrontational” and “challenging” candidate.

Before entering the parliament hall today, Hezbollah representative Hassan Fadlallah called for a dialogue between political forces saying that “the president is created only by consensus”. “We don’t impose on others, we don’t want to be imposed on ourselves,” he said.

The head of the Hezbollah group, Representative Muhammad Raad, said (on Monday) that supporters of Azour’s candidacy, without naming him, “do not want to give him the presidency of the republic, but only to use him. To prevent the party’s candidate from reaching him,” referring to Branji.

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In his speech (Sunday), Franjie affirmed that he would be “the president of all Lebanon” despite his alliance with “Hezbollah” and his friendship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He has leveled harsh criticism at opponents of his candidacy, who describe him as a “violent candidate” regarding “Hezbollah”.

And he said in a speech: “I remind them that in 2016 they supported the opposition candidate, President Michel Aoun.”

Former minister Sulaiman Pranji (Reuters)

“The solution?”

In 2016, Aoun assumed the presidency after a two-and-a-half-year presidency based on a political settlement between Hezbollah and its rivals.

Although the Lebanon file appears to be out of the international and regional spotlight, France has been leading a movement to speed up a presidential election for months in vain.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the former foreign minister appointed by Paris as special envoy to Lebanon, is expected to arrive in Beirut soon in a fresh bid to end the political crisis.

French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said her country was calling on Lebanon to take Wednesday’s session “seriously and use the opportunity it offers to get out of the crisis”. He emphasized the “priority given by French diplomacy” to resolving the Lebanon crisis.

For his part, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said: “Until a president is elected, we believe that Parliament should continue until the job is done.”

Lebanon has been running a caretaker government unable to make the necessary decisions for months since 2019, when the World Bank witnessed the world’s worst economic collapse since 1850. Urgent reforms are needed to provide financial support to the community.

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According to Bidar, the sharp division between political forces would pave the way for “negotiations leading to a third-man solution and elections that could be pre-arranged like the previous ones in Lebanon’s history.”

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The Gaza war will last more than a few weeks



The Gaza war will last more than a few weeks

Jerusalem / Abdel Raoub Arnaud / Anatolia

Hebrew newspaper Maariv said on Friday that Israeli army chief Herzey Halevy informed US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Thursday that the war in Gaza would take more than a few weeks.

Halevy’s words came in response to Blinken’s question on the matter, the newspaper quoted two Israeli sources familiar with Thursday’s meeting with the Israeli military cabinet in West Jerusalem.

He said: “Blinken raised the issue on his own initiative, and how long the Israeli army’s operation in Gaza is expected to continue in its current scope, which includes very large ground forces.”

According to the newspaper: “Blinken explained that (US President Joe) Biden’s administration is concerned that continued Israeli military action in Gaza, especially with the scale and intensity it is currently taking, will significantly increase international pressure. On Israel and America.”

He continued: “According to the sources, Blinken asked Israel to take additional measures to ensure that the operation in the southern Gaza Strip does not cause serious harm to civilians.”

It reported that Halevy responded that “the IDF’s operation in Gaza, including in the southern region, is expected to continue for more than a few weeks.”

Maariv pointed out that the Biden administration “has yet to call for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, or demand that Israel cease military action.”

He added: “But there is deep concern in Washington about the resumption of military action in the Gaza Strip after the (temporary) ceasefire that ended on Friday morning, especially about the (anticipated) Israeli military action in the south of the Gaza Strip, home to two million Palestinians.

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He added: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Levy told Blinken that ground operations in southern Gaza would be less harmful to civilians than airstrikes.”

On Friday morning, a temporary cease-fire in the Gaza Strip ended on November 24 with Qatari-Egyptian mediation and lasted for 7 days, during which prisoners were exchanged and humanitarian aid brought into the enclave of about 2.3 million people. Palestinians.

During the pre-ceasefire round, the Israeli military repeated its messages, which asked residents of the northern Gaza Strip to move to the southern Gaza Strip, but targeted the displaced in areas and roads it said were “safe”. It committed documented massacres, which met with international and international condemnation.

Since last October 7, Israel has been waging a devastating war in the Gaza Strip that has caused massive infrastructural destruction and tens of thousands of civilian casualties, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, according to an official Palestinian official. and UN

The message published on the official page of Anadolu Agency is a summary of a part of the message shown to subscribers via the News Streaming System (HAS). To register with the agency, please contact the following link.

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Martyrs and Injured in Israeli Attacks on Gaza After the End of the Ceasefire | news



Martyrs and Injured in Israeli Attacks on Gaza After the End of the Ceasefire |  news


4 Palestinians were killed and several others injured in attacks by the Israeli occupation army in different areas of Gaza.Clashes erupted on multiple axes in the area minutes after the end of a week-long humanitarian ceasefire. And its extension has not been announced.

Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza reported martyrs and wounded as a result of an Israeli attack targeting a house in central Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip.

The 4-day ceasefire that started last Friday was extended twice and ended today at 7 am local time.

The Israeli military said it had resumed operations against the Palestinian Islamist movement (Hamas) in Gaza, accusing the movement of violating ceasefire terms and firing into Israel. Gaza

The Israeli military confirmed that its warplanes were bombing all areas of the Gaza Strip, and military radio quoted a senior political source as saying, “We are back to fighting with full force and no negotiations have been held to release the abductees.”

Al Jazeera’s correspondent monitored the Israeli offensive in the northwest of the Gaza Strip and artillery attacks targeting various parts of Gaza City. He confirmed that clashes broke out between the opposition and occupation forces in more than one area in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. He said the Israeli strike targeted a site near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

The reporter confirmed that casualties were reported as a result of Israeli strikes and artillery fire in various parts of Gaza.

The government media office in Gaza announced a series of raids targeting the south of the Strip, while Gaza’s Interior Ministry confirmed that Israeli aircraft had targeted the town of Abasan east of Khan Yunis and a house in the Abu Iskandar area in the northwest. of Gaza City.

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The seven-day ceasefire allowed for the exchange of prisoners from occupied prisons to Palestinian prisoners in Gaza, and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip.

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Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court visits Israel



Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court visits Israel

Hack – AFP

The International Criminal Court announced Thursday that public prosecutor Karim Khan traveled to Israel “at the request and invitation” of survivors and families of victims of the October 7 Hamas attack.

The court explained through the “X” site that the visit was “not investigative in nature” but it “represented an important opportunity to express sympathy and initiate dialogue for all the victims.”

Khan is scheduled to travel to Ramallah in the West Bank, where he will meet with senior Palestinian officials, the court said.

Since October 7, Israel has launched a military campaign in the Gaza Strip, killing more than 15,000 people, including more than 6,000 children.

The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 to prosecute the world’s worst atrocities, began investigating possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories in 2021, including possible crimes committed by Israeli forces, Hamas and other armed Palestinian factions.

Khan announced that his mandate would include crimes committed during the current war. But the tribunal’s teams could not enter Gaza and were not allowed to conduct trials in Israel, which is not a member of the tribunal.

The five signatories to the International Criminal Court’s founding treaty requested an inquiry into the “situation of the State of Palestine,” Khan announced, explaining that he had gathered “a large amount of information.” Both sides could face war crimes charges, legal experts said.

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