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Israel arrests 4 suspects in deadly stone-throwing

Gorkha Post




Israeli police have arrested four Palestinian youth on suspicion of the stoning of a Jewish man`s car this month that created a deadly clash and helped trigger new measures focusing on stone-hurlers.

Police said late Saturday the four suspects were aged 16 to 19 and residents of Sur Baher, the east Jerusalem Palestinian district near where the attack took place on September 13 during the Jewish Rosh Hashanah, or New Year, holiday.

The stones had hit the car of 64-year-old Alexander Levlovich, causing him to veer off the road and hit a tree. He died in the crash, and two female passengers were injured.

Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the crash and vowed “war” on stone-throwers.

Netanyahu`s security cabinet last week broadened the rules under which stone-throwers can be targeted by live fire, while setting minimum sentences and authorising larger fines for stone-throwing minors and their parents.

Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary general Saeb Erekat criticised the measures, saying “the Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanises a whole nation.”

Tensions have been high in the West Bank and Jerusalem after recent clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and with the convergence last week of the Jewish Yom Kippur and Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays.

On Sunday, masked Palestinians threw stones and fireworks at police at the flashpoint compound. Police said they dispersed the rioters, with no arrests or injuries reported.

The Jewish Sukkot holiday that begins on Sunday night is expected to lead to an increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the Al-Aqsa compound over the coming days, potentially adding to the volatility.

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Britain, France and Germany propose new sanctions on Iran

Gorkha Post



BRUSSELS — Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war, according to a confidential document, in a bid to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran,according to a document seen by the Reuters news agency.

On March 16, Reuters reported the move would be aimed at satisfying demands made by US President Donald Trump and keeping him ‘committed’ to the 2015 nuclear pact that Tehran signed with world powers and from which Trump has threatened to withdraw.

All 28 members must agree to any such sanctions,according to EU rules.

The document, citing specifically Iran’s ballistic-missile tests and its role in supporting Syria’s government in the seven-year-old civil war against Western-backed rebels, said, “We will…be circulating in the coming days a list of persons and entities that we believe should be targeted in view of their publicly demonstrated roles”.

The proposal is part of an EU strategy to save the accord signed by world powers that curbs Tehran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, namely by showing US.President Donald Trump that there are other ways to counter Iranian power abroad.

Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories on Jan. 12. It said they must agree to ‘fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal’ which was sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama or he would refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran. US sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh ‘waivers’ to suspend them on May 12.

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The steps would go beyond what a U.S. State Department cable seen by Reuters last month outlined as a path to satisfy Trump: simply committing to improving the nuclear deal.

European Union foreign ministers will discuss the proposal at a closed-door meeting on Monday in Brussels, diplomats said.

Analysts say the nuclear agreement, touted at the time as a breakthrough reducing the risk of a devastating wider war in the Middle East, could collapse if Washington pulls out.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif struck a defiant note towards Washington on Friday.

“If the United States makes the mistake of pulling out of the JCPOA, it will definitely be a painful mistake for the Americans,” Iranian state television quoted Zarif as saying. The JCPOA is the formal name of the nuclear deal.

Zarif did not refer to the possibility of new EU sanctions.

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