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Three Lebanese Judges Resign to Protest 'Political Interference'

Three Lebanese judges have resigned over interference by politicians in the work of the judiciary, including a probe into last year's Beirut blast, a judicial source said Thursday.

In a country where political leaders determine judicial appointments, including in top courts, there is little room for the judiciary to work against Lebanon's ruling elite.

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Report: West Agrees to Parliament Extension if Gen. Aoun Elected President

The U.S. and the West do not mind postponing the elections nor extending Parliament's term, on the condition that the legislature elect Army Commander General Joseph Aoun as president, diplomatic circles in Beirut reportedly said.

Al-Liwaa newspaper observed for its part that there is regional, international and Arab consensus on Aoun, adding that France and the Vatican do not object to Aoun’s election as president.

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Lebanon Orders Travel Agents to Stop Advertising Belarus

Lebanon's government on Thursday ordered travel agents to stop promoting Belarus as a destination in a bid to stem the flow of migrants attempting to enter the European Union.

The move came in a circular published issued by Tourism Minister Walid Nassar, who said it was aimed at preventing Beirut from being used as a departure point.

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Miqati to Visit Turkey and Egypt, May Meet Macron in Rome

Prime Minister Najib Miqati will visit Egypt and Turkey, after meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, informed sources told an-Nahar newspaper.

Al-Liwaa newspaper meanwhile said that Miqati might also meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Rome.

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U.N., Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Taskforce and NCLW Launch 16-Day Anti-GBV Campaign

From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10 , the International Human Rights Day, the United Nations System in Lebanon, the Sexual and Gender-based Violence Taskforce (SGBV TF) and the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) are joining forces, for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to urge actions to end and prevent gender-based violence in the country, the U.N. said on Thursday.

According to the latest estimates, nearly 1 in 3 women aged 15 years and older, around the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner, or both, at least once in their lifetime[2]. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated all the risk factors that increase violence against women and girls, while reinforcing many of the root causes such as gender stereotypes and harmful social norms. As examples, findings from 2021 indicate that online sexual harassment and blackmailing of women nearly doubled during the COVID-19 lockdown in Lebanon. The Internal Security Forces have reported “a clear and significant increase of domestic violence incidents” during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Germany Contributes €25M in Support of Palestine Refugees in Gaza, Lebanon

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Government of Germany through KfW Development Bank have signed agreements in support of Palestine refugees in Gaza and Lebanon, amounting to a total of EUR 25 million.

The additional funding will build on previous German-supported efforts in the reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared Camp in Lebanon after its destruction as the result of clashes in 2007 and where approximately 20,900 people are still expected to return to. "The EUR 10 million contribution will enable approximately 192 families to return to 269 residential units," UNRWA said in a press release, adding that "business owners will re-open their shops in 31 newly reconstructed retail units."

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Hizbullah Slams Australia's 'Terrorist' Listing

Hizbullah has denounced Australia's decision to list the whole group as a "terrorist organization," accusing Canberra of bowing to U.S. and Israeli demands.

Hizbullah has long been targeted by U.S. sanctions and blacklisted by the U.S. and Israel as a "terrorist" organization, but the Iran-backed group is also a powerful political player, with seats in Lebanon's parliament.

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Putting Gender Equality First: Op-Ed by EU Officials, Ministers

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, and EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Development from 24 Member States have co-authored an op-ed marking the first anniversary of the EU Gender Action Plan III and the International Day to eliminate violence against women.

Naharnet exclusively publishes the English-language version of the op-ed below, as received from the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon:

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2 Pro-Hizbullah Fighters Killed in Syria Airstrike

Israeli strikes targeting a part of Syria where fighters loyal to Lebanon's Hizbullah are based killed five people Wednesday, a war monitor said.

The Israeli missiles struck an area near three villages in the west of Homs province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group with a wide network of sources on the ground.

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Aoun Slams 'Lies' and 'Political Assassination Attempts'

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday lamented the presence of “systematic campaigns that are based on lies and aimed at political assassination.”

The President, however, stressed that he is determined to “try and make the necessary change, no matter the challenges.”

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