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EL ARISH, Egypt: Egyptian security officials said they have arrested a former sergeant in the Israeli army after he illegally entered from Israel into the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
The authorities say the 24 year-old unarmed Israeli entered Egypt near the Taba crossing.
He was detained by Egyptian authorities yesterday. The officials said he was trying to reach the Gaza Strip through Sinai to fight alongside Palestinians. They identified him as Andre Yaacoub.
Also known as Andre Pshenichnikov, a Jewish immigrant to Israel from Tajikistan, he made headlines earlier this year when he announced he wanted to renounce his Israeli citizenship and move to a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank.
Algeria’s ruling party loses majority in Senate
ALGIERS: Algeria’s ruling party National Liberation Front (FLN) lost its majority in the senate after a partial election on Saturday, local newspaper reports said yesterday. The FLN, which has a majority in the lower house of parliament with 208 of 462 seats, won just 17 out of the 48 seats that were submitted to a vote. It now has a total of 39 seats, down from its previous 56 in the 144-seat upper house.
The FLN’s ally in the government, the Rally for National Democracy (RND) of former premier Ahmed Ouyahia, won 24 seats, an interior ministry statement was quoted as saying. The RND now has 44 seats in the senate. The senate or National Council is composed of two-thirds elected senators (96 members) and one-third (48) appointed by the head of state. Senators serve for six years and half of the senate is re-elected every three years.
Turkey claims progress in EU bid
ANKARA: Turkey claimed yesterday it has made progress over the last year toward accession to the European Union, rejecting accusations by the 27-nation bloc against its human rights record and reform efforts. “Our government has become the most reformist government in Europe despite all political obstacles,” EU Minister Egemen Bagis said in the introduction to a report published for the first time by Ankara since it began entry talks in 2005.