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Terrorism suspect killed, Israel abducts shepherd, passport renewals suspended: Everything you need to know to start your Friday

Here's what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Friday, April 29, and over the weekend

Terrorism suspect killed, Israel abducts shepherd, passport renewals suspended: Everything you need to know to start your Friday

General security has suspended the making of passport appointments via its online platform. (Credit: Anwar Amro/AFP)

A suspected terrorist who allegedly tried to run over Lebanese Army personnel was shot dead in North Lebanon on Tuesday, the army announced Thursday. The individual, who reportedly tried to run over soldiers in Wadi Khaled, was shot and killed instantly by his targets, the army said in a statement. According to the statement, the suspect, identified as M.M., is believed to be a member of Daesh (Islamic State) and is suspected of trafficking arms and explosives for the terrorist organization. In response to the shooting, unidentified individuals fired at an army post in the village of Majdel, also located in Wadi Khaled, from the locality of Maajir in neighboring Syria, where some Lebanese reside. In February, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces foiled suicide attacks planned by Daesh affiliates in Beirut’s southern suburbs, which several years ago also suffered from twin suicide bombings, claiming more than 40 lives.

The Israeli army Thursday abducted a Lebanese shepherd in the locality of al-Naqar in southern Lebanon, claiming he crossed the Blue Line. Hostilities have been flaring up between the two countries, which are officially in a state of war. Two weapons and “nearly a hundred grenades” were seized on the Lebanon-Israel border on Monday, the Israeli army claimed. This followed the firing of more than 20 shells into Lebanese territory after a rocket was launched from Lebanon into Israel over the weekend. The incidents occur amid weeks of violent attacks on Palestinian worshippers around holy sites, including Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, and the preventing by Israeli forces of Palestinian Christians from accessing their churches during Orthodox Easter.

General Security announced yesterday that, as of Wednesday, it had suspended the ability to schedule appointments to obtain passports on its online platform. The reason for this, said the agency, is that “the company contracted [to operate the online platform] was not paid its due money.” In a statement, General Security said that “since 2020, General Security centers experienced high demand for passports,” which was more than tenfold the amount in the preceding period. “This affected the amount of passports available.” General Security did not comment on when this interruption will end. It said, however, that it will honor any previously scheduled appointments. A report published on Tuesday by Arab Barometer, showed that about 48 percent of the Lebanese population “are seeking to leave their homeland for better opportunities abroad.”

The Interior Ministry launched yesterday an online platform that pinpoints voting centers for residents and expatriates ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. The vote is scheduled for May 15 in Lebanon and between May 6 and May 8 abroad, depending on the country. The tool instructs voters to specify whether they are expatriates or residents, and to enter their personal information: their constituency, district, town or village, gender, religion and registration number. Their designated voting center and number of the respective polling station will then be shown. The platform can be accessed through this link.

Richard Kharrat, a Lebanese gynecologist jailed in Abu Dhabi a month ago over tweets considered offensive to the Emiratis, was released yesterday. The charges against Kharrat have been dropped and he has been given two days to return to Lebanon, according to his lawyer Joelle Al Chakar. Between 2017 and 2020, Kharrat published tweets considered derogatory towards the UAE by some. An Emirati internet user had sent a message on Twitter to the UAE’s deputy attorney general, Hamad Al Shamsi, accusing Kharrat of mocking “the symbols of the state” and “causing the death of journalist Nicole Hajal's two premature babies in Lebanon at the time of their birth.” The gynecologist is the subject of a complaint in Lebanon brought by Hajal. Kharrat’s arrest spurred President Michel Aoun to ask Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, who is currently in hot water himself for allegedly “complicating” the ballot for Lebanese expatriates, to follow up on the case with the Emirati authorities. A parliamentary session scheduled yesterday to vote on a request filed by Lebanese Forces MPs to withdraw confidence in Bou Habib was abandoned due to a lack of quorum.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “A break in the blues: Free jazz festival a boon to musicians and music lovers alike.”


A suspected terrorist who allegedly tried to run over Lebanese Army personnel was shot dead in North Lebanon on Tuesday, the army announced Thursday. The individual, who reportedly tried to run over soldiers in Wadi Khaled, was shot and killed instantly by his targets, the army said in a statement. According to the statement, the suspect, identified as M.M., is believed to be a member of Daesh...