18 July, 2017, 12:00 am
JERUSALEM – Israel reopened Jerusalem’s Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound on Sunday, drawing a protest by Muslim religious authorities over the installation of metal detectors at entrances two days after a deadly shooting. On Friday, three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen on the outskirts of the holy site, holy to Muslims and Jews, and were then killed by security forces. It was one of the most serious attacks in the area in years.
Call for polls
TRIPOLI – The head of Libya’s UN-backed government has called for parliamentary and presidential elections in March 2018, although his proposals will likely have to compete with other Libyan and international efforts to bring an end to the country’s conflict. Fayez Seraj, prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), also called for a national ceasefire and the gradual merging of rival parliamentary bodies based in Tripoli and eastern Libya in a speech released late on Saturday.
AMMAN – Syrian state television reported a “terrorist explosion” north of the government-held coastal city of Latakia on Sunday and cited reports of casualties. The blast took place in Ras Shamra, a town about 12 km (7 miles) north of the city, state television said. It gave no further details.
DUBAI – Banks in the Yemeni city of Aden will close for three days from Monday and suspend clearing services in protest after a spate of armed robberies, the 12 lenders said in a letter to the central bank. Robbers armed with assault rifles raided a branch of Al-Ahli bank in Aden on Thursday, wounding a banker and a security guard, local media reported, after similar assaults in the southern province.
West Bank raid
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces killed a suspected Palestinian militant they were seeking to arrest after he shot at them in the occupied West Bank, police and the military said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the man was suspected of carrying out two shooting attacks in the West Bank on Saturday and opened fire at soldiers and policemen who had tracked him down.
BEIRUT – The Syrian army backed by heavy Russian air strikes seized a string of oil wells in southwest Raqqa province on Saturday, as retreating Islamic State militants battle to defend their remaining territory in the country. State-owned Ikhbariyah television quoted a military source as saying the army had taken control of Wahab, al Fahd, Dbaysan, al-Qseer, Abu al Qatat and Abu Qatash oil fields and several other villages in the desert area that lies in the southwest of Raqqa province.