Palestinian Islamic Jihad delegation heads to Egypt amid tensions
A delegation of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant group will head to Egypt on Thursday for dialogue on defusing the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine, an official said.
Dawood Shehab, a PIJ leader from Gaza, told reporters that the group’s secretary-general Ziad Al-Nakhala, at the invitation of Egypt, will lead the delegation to discuss the escalating violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem with Egyptian security intelligence officials.
The meeting comes after a series of deadly incidents in the region.
On January 26, Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied northern West Bank and killed nine Palestinians and wounded 16 others.
A day later, a gunman opened fire on people near a synagogue at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, killing at least seven people.
Egypt has been mediating between Israel and the Palestinians and brokered several ceasefire agreements to end hostilities in the region.
Israeli PM sacks Defence Minister who urged a halt to judicial overhaul
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired Defence Minister Yoav Gallant after the latter called on the government to halt its contentious judiciary overhaul plan.
Netanyahu’s office issued a short statement late Sunday saying he decided to remove Gallant from his position, without citing any reasons, reports Xinhua news agency.
The move was largely seen as an indication that the Prime Minister’s coalition tries to push through key reform bills that are expected to be brought to parliamentary votes later this week.
Gallant responded in a tweet that Israel’s security “has always been and will always remain the mission of my life”.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israeli national security minister and a staunch supporter of the reforms, welcomed the dismissal of Gallant.
Opposition leader and Chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid criticised Netanyahu for firing Gallant, warning swift moves to overhaul judicial system are a threat to Israel’s security.
In a televised speech on Saturday, Gallant called for dialogue with opposition parties, and postponement of government efforts of pushing ahead with the plan until the Knesset reconvenes from its Passover holiday on April 30.
He was the first minister in Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet to break ranks and call for a freeze of the divisive plan to weaken the Supreme Court.
Gallant, a senior minister with Netanyahu’s Likud party, said that the overhaul plan has triggered turmoil in the Israeli society and military that poses a threat to national security.
Gallant was followed by two other Likud lawmakers and a minister, who issued similar calls to freeze the controversial plan.
The plan has sparked massive protests across Israel, and growing discontent in the Israeli military, with thousands of reservists with elite units, including combat pilots, intelligence officers, and cyber experts, announcing in open letters over the past weeks that they will not show up for duty if the reforms are passed in Parliament.
Netanyahu says the overhaul is needed in order to curb the “overly activist” Supreme Court.
Critics of the overhaul plan worry that the reform would undermine checks and balances within Israel’s political system, and that the Prime Minister, who is on trial for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes, is in a conflict of interests.
Atif Aslam, wife Sara welcome baby girl in holy month of Ramzan
Pakistani playback singer Atif Aslam, who is known for chartbusters such as ‘Aadat’, ‘Bakhuda’, ‘Jeena Jeena’, ‘Jaane De’ and several others, has become a proud faher as he and his wife Sara Bharwana welcome a baby girl.
The ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ hitmaker took to his Instagram on Thursday to share the news of his baby’s arrival with his fans. He posted a picture of his daughter wrapped up in pink colour baby sleepwear.
The baby is named Halima.
He wrote in the caption: “Finally the wait is over. The new queen of my heart has arrived.”
“Both baby and Sarah are fine Alhamdulilah. Please do remember us in your prayers. Ramadan Mubarak from Halima Atif Aslam 23/03/2023.”
He also added #Ramadan in the caption.
Atif has sung many songs in Bollywood films including ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from ‘Rustom’, ‘Tu Jaane Na’ and ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘Tere Bin’ from ‘Bas Ek Pal’.
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
JERUSALEM: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammad Hussein, declared that Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
RIYADH: The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia and Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom’s Supreme Court has said.
The court called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday evening that corresponds to Shaban 29, 1444.
The Ministry of Justice announced it has launched an electronic system for crescent sighting “with the aim of automating and governing the moon sighting processes, and unifying work procedures between the courts of first instance and the Supreme Court.”
The service aims to unify the data source of the observatory through a robust electronic system that provides speed and integration with the relevant authorities, raising the quality of the observatory operations, and speeding up the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding new moon sightings.
More than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will mark the holy month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.
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FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
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