Iraqis Await Federal Court’s Decision on Dissolution of Parliament

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist movement carry his picture in front of the gate of the Iraqi parliament building, Baghdad, Iraq, 12 August 2022. (EPA)
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist movement carry his picture in front of the gate of the Iraqi parliament building, Baghdad, Iraq, 12 August 2022. (EPA)
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Iraqis Await Federal Court’s Decision on Dissolution of Parliament

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist movement carry his picture in front of the gate of the Iraqi parliament building, Baghdad, Iraq, 12 August 2022. (EPA)
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist movement carry his picture in front of the gate of the Iraqi parliament building, Baghdad, Iraq, 12 August 2022. (EPA)

Iraqis are awaiting the decision of the Federal Supreme Court over the dissolution of parliament after leader of the Sadrist movement, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, had given it 72 hours to make a ruling.

The deadline ends on Monday.

The court had, however, set Tuesday as a date for looking into complaints filed by Sadrist leaders over the dissolution of the legislature.

The Sadrists allege that the parliament had failed in fulfilling its tasks and constitutional duties in the nine months since its formation.

The Sadrists are hoping that the Federal Court would dissolve parliament, which would lead to early elections.

Legal experts, however, predict that the court will only reiterate statements by the Supreme Judicial Council last week, when it said the dissolution of the parliament was beyond its jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Sadrist movement called on Sunday for the establishment of a new Iraq, devoid of militias, illegal possession of weapons, violence, fighting, sectarianism and warring parties.

Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi, a close associate to Sadr, urged the establishment of a state of law “where brotherhood prevails, minorities are dignified, the judiciary is honest, balanced ties are forged with the outside, peace can reign, the army can protect, the government can serve, and religions and creeds are respected.”

Iraqi had on Saturday called for holding new parliamentary elections in the country without the participation of all parties and politicians that have been part of the political scene since the 2003 American occupation.

Sadr won the largest share of seats in the October elections but failed to form a majority government, leading to what has become one of the worst political crises in Iraq in recent years.

His bloc later resigned from parliament and his supporters last month stormed the parliament building in Baghdad. His supporters have been holding a sit-in at parliament ever since.



Israeli Forces Advance in Southern Gaza, Tanks Active in Rafah

This picture taken in Khan Yunis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Yunis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
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Israeli Forces Advance in Southern Gaza, Tanks Active in Rafah

This picture taken in Khan Yunis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Yunis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Israeli forces advanced deeper into some towns on the eastern side of Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Thursday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US lawmakers he was actively engaged in bringing hostages home.
Fighting in recent days has centered around the eastern towns of Bani Suaila, Al-Zanna, and Al-Karara, where the army said on Wednesday it had found the bodies of five Israelis who were killed in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel and held in Gaza since, Reuters said.
Hamas militants took more than 250 hostages in the early morning raid into southern Israel and killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies.
Israel retaliated by vowing to eradicate Hamas in Gaza in a nine-month war that has killed more than 39,000 Palestinians, Gaza health officials say.
Several were wounded in the eastern towns during Israeli tank and aerial shelling, while an airstrike east of Khan Younis killed four people, Palestinian health officials said.
Israeli bombardment intensified in several areas in Rafah, near the border with Egypt, as tanks operated north, west and in the town center, residents and medics said. Several Palestinians were also wounded in Israeli fire earlier on Thursday.
The Israeli military said forces operating in Khan Younis killed dozens of militants and dismantled around 50 military infrastructures, while it continued activities in Rafah, killing two militants.
In a speech to the US Congress, Netanyahu said his government was actively involved in seeking the release of remaining hostages and was confident they would succeed.
DISAPPOINTING SPEECH
Hamas described the comments by Netanyahu as "pure lies" accusing him of thwarting efforts to end the war.
Netanyahu's comments also disappointed many displaced Palestinians who had hoped for a clearer signal of an imminent end to the fighting, which has laid the overcrowded enclave to waste and created a humanitarian crisis.
"It was depressing, he didn't even mention ceasefire at all, not even once," said Tamer Al-Burai, a resident of Gaza City, now displaced in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.
"People awaited some surprise, a ceasefire announcement by Netanyahu as a gift to (US President Joe) Biden, but they slept with much disappointment, as Netanyahu said he was determined to pursue war," Burai told Reuters via a chat app.
Deir Al-Balah, where tanks haven't yet invaded, is currently overcrowded with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, displaced from other areas of the enclave, home to 2.3 million people.
"Netanyahu spoke in a play, he spoke to clowns," said Burai.
Diplomatic efforts by Arab mediators, backed by the United States, to conclude a ceasefire deal, seemed to be on hold, as Israel was expected to send a delegation for more talks next week.
In northern Gaza, an Israeli air strike on a house in the Sheikh Radwan suburb killed four people, medics said, while seven Palestinians arrived at a hospital in central Gaza who had been detained by Israeli forces and released in an area close to the border.