Escalation in Arsal, consultations begin for Parliament's extension
An-Nahar obtained information that the salary scale bill is under works to appease all groups and will be finalized after the Eid al-Fitr Holiday. Ministerial sources said that contacts were ongoing but there was nothing new yet. The sources said: "We should wait for the right political time to approve the salary scale draft law, similar to the way the Lebanese University dossier was approved."
Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes raided Lebanon's eastern border with Syria, targeting a bus carrying militants and the Lebanese Army reportedly fired back.
No Parliamentary election on the horizon
In the Bekaa Valley, Syrian rebel groups attacked Syria army posts inside Syrian territories and fired shots at a Lebanese Army checkpoint on the outskirts of Arsal. Hours later, Syrian planes raided Ajram, Rahweh and Zamarani.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk held a news conference in which he spoke about scrapping the wanted lists of security agencies, saying such a decision received a unanimous vote. He said the decision allowed the judiciary to play its role after years of security agencies overstepping the prerogatives of the judicial authorities.
The Committee of Muslim Scholars issued a statement thanking the minister for his efforts in abolishing the lists, which are based on information collected via informants.
Salam: We should fill gap between disassociation and reality
One of the reasons disputed issues were resolved in the last Cabinet session and the past weeks, including the salaries of public sector employees, is because politicians seek to begin negotiations over extending Parliament's mandate. They prepared for that move by getting some disputes out of the way.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam said he was relieved that a positive atmosphere prevailed in this week's Cabinet session, saying: "We decided to shoulder our responsibility, discuss pressing issues and decide on them through consensus without resorting to voting. Despite such a mechanism, some political parties sought to disrupt the work of the Cabinet.”
“This mechanism is exceptional and was only adopted to accommodate the exceptional circumstances we are living in. If the circumstances change, then voting instead of reaching a consensus would be adopted.
"Political parties should reach an agreement on whether they want to hold the election. If there was a decision to hold the polls, they will be held."
Two figures give speeches on Jerusalem Day. Nasrallah: We are closely following the battle in Gaza
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said, in a ceremony to launch a replica of a prison cell he stayed in for 11 years, that the east is writing its own history today -- with the ugliest price in some places.
"The Middle East is now inside a prison, similar to the one Lebanon is in."
"There is no president for this prison, you know why? To preserve the rights of Christians!"
"We say Lebanon comes first. And the other says I come first and last."