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U.S., Gulf States Slap Sanctions on Nasrallah, Qassem, Hizbullah Officials

The United States and the Arab Gulf countries on Wednesday imposed new sanctions targeting Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, his deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem and other senior officials of the Iran-backed Lebanese group.

“Today, the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese Hizbullah,” the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

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Hizbullah Bloc Nominates Berri for Speakership, Urges Fast Govt. Formation

Hizbullah's Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc on Wednesday called for the re-election of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to his post, as it urged a quick cabinet formation process.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc noted that the upcoming period requires addressing “the economic and social affairs” and “a lot of vigilance, wisdom and firm stances.”

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Hariri Hails 'Made in Lebanon' Achievements

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday boasted that his government made several “achievements” during its term.

“This government has made achievements that previous government had failed to make and this is due to the election of President (Michel) Aoun,” Hariri said during a cabinet session which could be his government's last.

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Ex-Mufti Qabbani Urges 'Jihad' in Support of Palestinians

A senior Sunni cleric in Lebanon has called on all Muslims to wage jihad, or holy war, in support of the Palestinians after the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, the former top Sunni religious authority, or Grand Mufti, in Lebanon, also said it is not sanctioned religiously for the Palestinians or any Arab or Muslim country to "surrender, reconcile or make peace deals or give up any inch" of historic Palestine.

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Rights Group Says Palestinian Activist Detained in Lebanon

Lebanese authorities have detained a Palestinian human rights activist after he was summoned to a security agency in Beirut, an international rights group said Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch said Ghassan Abdallah, director of the Palestinian Human Rights Organization, or PHRO, was detained after being summoned to the General Security Directorate early Monday and was held incommunicado for more than 24 hours.

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Cabinet OKs Electricity-Related Items, to Hold Its Last Session Monday

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday approved some agenda items related to power generation as it decided to hold its last session Monday ahead of turning into a caretaker cabinet with the expiry of the term of the incumbent parliament.

It approved several items during its session at the Baabda Palace, including granting a license for the establishment of the Saint Georges University in Beirut, an item on generating electricity from wind turbines, and two items on seaside properties in Zouk and Chouf.

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Beirut Air Traffic Controllers Go on One-Hour Strike

Air traffic controllers at the Rafik Hariri International Airport held a one-hour strike on Wednesday demanding salary increases, the National News Agency reported.

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Report: Parties ‘Delay Differences’ ahead of Consultations

In the wake of Lebanon’s legislative elections that surprisingly created electoral alliances between conflicting political parties, various factions have reportedly started mending relations with their original allies in preparation for the upcoming stage of electing a Speaker and the formation of a new government.

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Syrian Ambassador: Syria Has No Enemies in Lebanon, Formal Coordination Solves Refugee Crisis

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali stated that Syria “has no enemies in Lebanon,” pointing out that the Syrian refugees crisis can only be solved “through coordination between the two governments”, al-Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday.

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Geagea Meets Hariri at Center House

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea held talks Tuesday evening with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Center House in downtown Beirut.

A statement issued by Hariri's office said the meeting was also attended by Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury, Information Minister Melhem Riachi and ex-minister Bassem al-Sabaa.

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