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Qatar-EU row

Qatar strongly denies any involvement in a corruption case being investigated by Belgian authorities linked to the European Parliament. Qatar’s mission to the EU says the country has been criticized and attacked in the investigation. Doha says it is deeply disappointed that the Belgian government made no effort to engage with it to establish the facts. Belgian authorities have charged four people linked to the EU parliament, including its vice president Eva Kaili, over allegations that Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making. On Thursday, the European Parliament voted to suspend all work on legislation involving Qatar and to bar the country's representatives from its premises. Qatar argues the decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction could negatively impact ties and natural gas supplies.

Tunisia political uncertainty

Tunisia’s main opposition coalition calls on President Kais Saied to step down after an overwhelming majority of eligible voters snub parliamentary elections. The head of the National Salvation Front alliance says the abstention rate of more than 91 percent shows that Saied has lost legitimacy. The coalition, which includes the Ennahdha party, also called for mass protests to demand snap presidential elections. Most opposition parties boycotted Saturday’s vote, saying it was part of a coup against Tunisia's democracy a decade after the ouster of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Saied, who was elected in 2019, shut down the parliament last year and changed the constitution so that he could rule by decree. He claimed the moves would save Tunisia from political paralysis and help him tackle economic issues.

Israeli settler attack 

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has condemned the latest raid on al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers. Hamas says such incursions are provocative and very dangerous. The movement has urged Palestinians to mobilize immediately in defense of al-Aqsa Mosque. The resistance movement stressed the Palestinian nation will make sure to protect the mosque under any circumstances, warning Israel of the consequences of raids on the holy site. Meantime, an Israeli settler has killed two Palestinian brothers in the occupied West Bank. The settler ran over them while they were fixing a broken tire. He has fled the scene. There has been an increase in coordinated and armed settler attacks in Nablus in recent months.

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