Israel Hamas war updates | Egypt to open Gaza crossing for up to 20 aid trucks; doctors struggle to treat hospital blast victims

U.S. President Biden said he spoke with Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after his visit to Israel, where leaders there agreed to allow the aid in

October 18, 2023 06:56 am | Updated October 19, 2023 11:28 am IST

Palestinian protesters set fire to a Netanyahu image during pro-Palestinian protest outside the Israeli embassy in Athens, Greece, on October 18, 2023.

Palestinian protesters set fire to a Netanyahu image during pro-Palestinian protest outside the Israeli embassy in Athens, Greece, on October 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden, after arriving in Tel Aviv, backed Israeli account that hospital explosion was caused by militants. Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for the huge blast and fireball which engulfed the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital, and said it killed as many as 500 people. Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Biden said: “I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.”

As rage spread through the region because of the hospital carnage, and with Mr. Biden arrived in Israel and hugged Mr. Nethanyahu. As Mr. Biden left for Israel, Jordan’s Foreign Minister said his country canceled a regional summit scheduled for Wednesday in Amman, where Mr. Biden was to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

He will now visit only Israel, a White House official said.

Before Tuesday’s blast, health authorities in Gaza said at least 3,000 people had died in Israel’s 11-day bombardment that began after a Hamas October 7 rampage on southern Israeli communities in which 1,300 people were killed and around 200 were taken into Gaza as hostages.

(Inputs from agencies)

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  • October 19, 2023 04:57
    Egypt announces ‘sustainable’ aid corridor to Gaza via Rafah

    Egypt announced Thursday the ‘sustainable’ passage of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, as hundreds of aid trucks wait at the gates of the enclave being bombarded by Israel.

    “Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and American President Joe Biden have agreed on the sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah terminal,” said presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy in a statement, without specifying a date. - AFP

  • October 19, 2023 03:37
    Israel conducts raid on Syrian govt position in south: NGO

    The Israeli government carried out a raid on a Syrian government position in the war-torn country’s south, a war monitoring NGO said on Wednesday.

    “Sounds of explosions rang out in the province of Quneitra after an Israeli strike against a Syrian army position,” said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO, which has a vast network of sources in the country. - AFP

  • October 19, 2023 03:36
    Rishi Sunak heads to travel to Israel Thursday

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to Israel on Thursday before heading to other countries in the region in an effort to deescalate the Israel-Gaza conflict, his office has said.

    “The attack on Al Ahli Hospital should be a watershed moment for leaders in the region and across the world to come together to avoid further dangerous escalation of conflict,” Mr. Sunak said in a statement. - AFP

  • October 19, 2023 02:53
    Biden to address nation on Israel-Hamas war, Ukraine: White House

    U.S. President Joe Biden will give a speech from the Oval Office on Thursday about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the White House said Wednesday.

    “Tomorrow, President Biden will address the nation to discuss our response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia’s ongoing brutal war against Ukraine,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. - AFP

  • October 19, 2023 02:47
    Biden says Egypt’s president has agreed to open Gaza border to allow in 20 trucks with aid

    U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Egypt’s president has agreed to open a border crossing into Gaza to allow in 20 trucks with humanitarian aid.

    Mr. Biden said he spoke with Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after his visit to Israel, where leaders there agreed to allow the aid in.

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  • October 19, 2023 01:33
    U.S. sanctions 10 Hamas members over the surprise Israel attack

    The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a group of 10 Hamas members and the Palestinian militant organization’s financial network across Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and Qatar in response to the surprise attack on Israel that left more than 1,000 people dead or kidnapped.

    Targeted for sanctions by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control are members who manage a Hamas investment portfolio, a Qatar-based financial facilitator with close ties to the Iranian regime, a Hamas commander and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange. - AP

  • October 19, 2023 01:32
    U.S. vetoes UN resolution on Israel-Hamas war

    The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Wednesday calling for a “humanitarian pause” in the raging Israel-Hamas conflict as the text did not recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, the U.S. ambassador said.

    Twelve out of 15 Council members voted in favor of the resolution put forward by Brazil, which also condemned the “heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas,” while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained.

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  • October 18, 2023 23:47
    Exchange of fire on Israel-Lebanon border amid Gaza war

    The Israeli army said on Wednesday it had “thwarted a terrorist cell” in Lebanon, accusing unidentified militants across the border of firing mortar shells at Israel while its war with Hamas raged.

    The army said in a statement its forces had fired at the location in Lebanon from which “anti-tank missiles” were presumed to have been launched towards Israeli communities near the border. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 22:59
    Jordanian police clash with protesters near Israeli embassy

    Jordanian police on Wednesday said several anti-riot police were injured during clashes that broke out with rioting protesters near the Israeli embassy, who were torching property.

    The authorities had earlier deployed riot police to disperse thousands of demonstrators planning to march on the heavily fortified Israeli embassy to protest against Israel’s military assault against Gaza.

    The Israeli embassy, where protesters gather daily, has long been a flashpoint of anti-Israel protests at times of turmoil in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Late on Tuesday, dozens of youths attempted to storm the heavily-guarded compound but security forces used tear gas to disperse them. Several protesters were arrested.


  • October 18, 2023 22:52
    Indian nationals, 18 Nepalese fly out of Israel under ‘Operation Ajay’

    A special flight carrying Indian nationals and 18 Nepalese citizens wanting to leave Israel amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict left for India on Tuesday as part of ‘Operation Ajay’.

    In a post on X, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “Operation Ajay moves forward. 286 more passengers are coming back to India. Also carrying 18 Nepalese citizens.” The Indian Embassy in Israel said Operation Ajay continues with the fifth flight having taken off from Tel Aviv to Delhi.

    Nepalese Ambassador to Israel Kanta Rizal told PTI that some of these 18 Nepalese were living in difficult zones while others wanted to go back.

    “We sent 254 Nepalese citizens on the Nepal Airlines on October 12 and may look to arrange more flights to take them out,” she said.


  • October 18, 2023 22:46
    Clashes erupt again on the Lebanon-Israel border

    Clashes erupted again Tuesday on the border between Lebanon and Israel, where Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon have engaged in a series of low-level skirmishes since the outbreak of the latest war in Gaza.

    An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon landed in the town of Metula in northern Israel Tuesday morning, injuring three people, according to the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed.

    No group in Lebanon has immediately claimed responsibility. It was not clear if the injured were civilians or soldiers, but Israel has ordered civilians to evacuate the area near the border with Lebanon.


  • October 18, 2023 22:42
    Hamas says one of top commanders killed in Israel strike

    Palestinian militant group Hamas said Tuesday one of the top leaders of its armed wing was killed in an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip.

    “Ayman Nofal, ‘Abu Ahmad’, a member of the general military council and commander of the central command in Al-Qassam Brigades, was killed” in an Israeli strike on the central Gaza Strip, Hamas said in a statement, referring to its military wing.

    The Israeli military did not immediately confirm the killing when contacted by AFP.

  • October 18, 2023 22:36
    Israel troops kill two Palestinian teens in West Bank amid Gaza anger

    Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers near Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday during widespread protests against Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said.

    The deaths brought the toll of Palestinians killed in the latest flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence to at least 64 in the West Bank, a sharp uptick in fatal clashes with the army and settlers.

    Israel is preparing a ground assault in the Gaza Strip in response to a deadly attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas that killed at least 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, on Oct. 7.

    Israeli forces have carried out their fiercest bombardment of Gaza in response, killing more than 3,000 Palestinians and imposing a total siege on the blockaded enclave that Hamas controls, fuelling anger among Palestinians in the West Bank.


  • October 18, 2023 22:26
    Biden’s pick to be ambassador to Israel tells senators he’ll ensure the U.S. ally ‘has what it needs’

    President Joe Biden’s nominee to be ambassador to Israel told senators Wednesday that he would “ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself” and would work with the U.S. ally to end the attacks by Hamas if he were confirmed.

    Jacob Lew, a treasury secretary under President Barack Obama, promised to coordinate with the international community and address the humanitarian crisis facing civilians in Gaza amid Israeli military strikes. His hearing came as Biden visited Israel to reinforce U.S. support and try to ease tensions in the latest war with Hamas.

    “At this moment, there is no greater mission than to be asked to strengthen the ties between the United States and the State of Israel and to work toward peace in a region that has known so much war and destruction,” Lew said in his opening statement.

    The Senate is moving quickly to confirm Lew, who was nominated by Biden last month after Tom Nides left as ambassador in July. Democrats say Lew’s wealth of government experience — he also was chief of staff to Obama and White House budget director under Obama and President Bill Clinton — makes him the right person to fill the post at an important moment in the two countries’ relationship.


  • October 18, 2023 22:16
    UNSC fails to adopt resolution on Israel-Palestine conflict after veto by U.S.

    The UN Security Council on Wednesday failed to adopt a Brazil-led draft resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict to allow full access for aid to the Gaza strip after the U.S. vetoed the text.

    The U.S., a permanent member of the UNSC and a close ally of Israel, said it is disappointed the resolution makes no mention of Israel’s rights of self-defence.

    The 15-nation Council met to vote on the draft resolution that was proposed by Council President Brazil.

    While 12 Council members voted in favour of the resolution, Russia and Britain abstained. The resolution could not be adopted because of a veto cast by the U.S.

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  • October 18, 2023 22:11
    US intel shows Israel not to blame for hospital strike: W.House

    US intelligence shows Israel was not to blame for a strike on a Gaza hospital, the White House said Wednesday, as President Joe Biden said it appeared to be the result of an “errant rocket” fired by a “terrorist group.”

    “While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on social media.

    Biden, in Tel Aviv earlier during a short visit to show solidarity to Israel after the October 7 Hamas attacks, told reporters that “based on the information we’ve seen to date, it appears as a result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza.”

    He said the assessment relied on “data I was shown by my defense department.”


  • October 18, 2023 22:00
    Israel President Herzog meets with U.S. President Biden in Tel Aviv

    Israel’s President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday met with the visiting US President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv.

    President Herzog, together with Prime Minister Netanyahu, personally greeted President Biden when Air Force One arrived in Israel, but, due to the circumstances, there was no formal public ceremony to greet the President as is usually held.

    President Herzog and President Biden first held a private meeting, before being joined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.


  • October 18, 2023 21:52
    UN Mideast envoy warns spillover risk ‘very real and extremely dangerous’

    The United Nations Middle East peace envoy warned the Security Council on Wednesday that the risk of expansion of the conflict between Israel and Hamas Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is “very real, and extremely dangerous.”

    “I fear that we are at the brink of a deep and dangerous abyss that could change the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if not of the Middle East as a whole,” said Tor Wennesland, addressing the 15-member body via video from Doha.


  • October 18, 2023 21:39
    Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it is stronger then before as border clashes rage

    Lebanon’s Hezbollah warned its adversaries on Wednesday it was “thousands of times stronger” than before, as its fighters exchanged fire at the border with Israeli forces in violence fuelled by the war between Hamas and Israel.

    The United States has warned Iran, which backs Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas, against getting involved in the crisis, and deployed two aircraft carriers which it says aim to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate the war.

    Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine, in a speech to thousands of supporters, said U.S. President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “malicious Europeans” should be careful.

    “The response to the mistake you might make with our resistance will be resounding,” he said.

    “Because what we have is faith, and God is stronger than you, all your battleships, and all your weapons,” he said, speaking at a rally called in response to a strike that killed hundreds of people at a Gaza hospital.


  • October 18, 2023 21:39
    White House doesn’t blame Israel for Gaza hospital blast

    White House says current assessment is Israel was ‘not responsible’ for Gaza hospital blast; still collecting evidence

  • October 18, 2023 21:03
    4 held for defacing Israeli flag in Mumbai

    Police have arrested four persons for allegedly defacing the flag of Israel in South Mumbai, an official said on Wednesday.

    A video of the incident, which took place at a junction in the Bhendi Bazaar area on Tuesday night, has surfaced on social media platforms. In the video, a group of people can be seen defacing the Israeli flag.

    Taking serious cognisance of the incident, the J J Marg Police registered an FIR (first information report) under relevant sections of the IPC and arrested four persons, he said.


  • October 18, 2023 20:52
    Israel to allow aid into Gaza via Egypt: PM office

    Israel would let aid enter Gaza via Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Wednesday, saying only “food, water and medicine” would be allowed into the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

    “In light of (US) President (Joe) Biden’s demand, Israel would not foil the supply of humanitarian aid via Egypt,” the prime minister’s office said, announcing a cabinet decision.

    The statement noted that aid to civilians in the southern Gaza Strip would be allowed “so long as these supplies do not reach Hamas” which rules Gaza.

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  • October 18, 2023 20:30
    Fiji embassy opening in Israel faces potential delay amid Israel-Hamas war

    Fiji could delay opening its embassy in Israel, the Pacific Island nation’s deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, amid fears the war between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas could destabilise the region.

    The conflict, which erupted on Oct. 7 after Hamas fighters stormed into Israel, has inflamed tensions across the Middle East. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned on Oct. 17 of further action by Tehran’s allies against Israel if it did not cease its retaliatory attacks on Gaza.

    “Until things stabilise, we probably won’t be ... having an embassy there soon,” Manoa Seru Kamikamica told Reuters in Abu Dhabi, where he was attending a United Nations investment conference.

    “There is certainly a commitment by the government of Fiji,” he said, “but now we will have to just monitor and evaluate.”


  • October 18, 2023 20:22
    U.S. vetoes UN Security Council action on Israel, Gaza

    The United States vetoed on Wednesday a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip.

    The vote on the Brazilian-drafted text was twice delayed in the past couple of days as the United States tries to broker aid access to Gaza. Twelve members voted in favor of the draft text on Wednesday, while Russia and Britain abstained.


  • October 18, 2023 20:16
    Protesters near U.S. embassy in Beirut sprayed with water cannon, teargas

    Lebanese security forces used teargas and water cannon to repel scores of protesters demonstrating on Wednesday near the U.S. embassy in Beirut against what they said was Israel’s attack on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians.

    The United States has been targeted for criticism across the region for pledging ironclad support for Israel in its war in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas carried out a deadly cross-border attack into Israel on Oct. 7.

    Demonstrators, who blame Israel for Tuesday’s blast at the Gaza hospital although Israeli officials say it was a misfired rocket from a Palestinian group, were prevented from reaching the embassy’s boundary by barricades blocking roads hundreds of metres (yards) from the mission in a north Beirut suburb.


  • October 18, 2023 20:15
    Brazil’s Lula condemns ‘unjustifiable’ Gaza hospital strike

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday condemned a deadly strike on a hospital in war-torn Gaza, calling it an “unjustifiable tragedy” without attributing blame.

    Lula, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, reiterated his appeal for urgent international action to protect children and civilians in the Israel-Gaza war, in a message posted on X, formerly Twitter.

    “The attack on the Ahli Hospital is an unjustifiable tragedy. Wars are senseless,” Lula wrote.

    “Innocents should not have to pay for the insanity of war.”


  • October 18, 2023 20:01
    Drone attack on U.S. troops intercepted in Iraq, heightening fears of a regional conflagration

    Two suicide drones launched at a base hosting U.S. troops in Iraq were intercepted Wednesday, a defense official said.

    Hours later, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq announced it had launched another drone attack on a second base. No injuries were reported in either incident.

    The salvos came at a time of increasing tension and fears of a broader regional war in the wake of the latest Hamas-Israel war.

    Since the beginning of the war on Oct. 7, all eyes have been on Hezbollah, the powerful Hamas ally across Israel’s northern border in Lebanon and its formidable arsenal. The group has traded so-far limited strikes with Israel on the border in recent days.

    But Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have also threatened to attack U.S. facilities over American support for Israel.

    “Our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to direct qualitative strikes at the American enemy in its bases and disrupt its interests if it intervenes in this battle,” Ahmad “Abu Hussein” al-Hamidawi, head of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, said in a statement last Wednesday. He also threatened to launch missiles at Israeli targets.


  • October 18, 2023 19:47
    Pakistan NGOs ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians

    Non-governmental organisations in Pakistan are ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, but they cite blockade and logistical issues as key challenges, Dawn reported.

    This comes as aid organisations have said time is “running out to save millions of people” in the Gaza Strip. Yet, no aid is being allowed inside the area.

    Edhi Foundation’s Faisal Edhi told Dawn: “All routes to Gaza are closed. It’s all sealed.” He added that his heart bleeds for the Palestinians.

    While all crossings into Gaza from Israel are closed, the only entry point is the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. However, that, too, has been left inoperable due to Israeli air strikes.

    As per Edhi, aid agencies in Pakistan could enter from the Egyptian side, but the North African country was “refusing visas to Pakistanis.


  • October 18, 2023 19:24
    Gaza’s doctors struggle to save hospital blast survivors

    Doctors hamstrung by dwindling medical supplies rushed Wednesday to save people badly wounded in a massive blast at a Gaza City hospital the day before, performing surgery – often without anaesthesia – on patients lying on floors, as Israel kept up its attacks on the besieged territory.

    The Hamas militant group blamed Israel for the massive blast at the al-Ahli Hospital — saying nearly 500 died — while Israel blamed a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants.

    Public outrage over the hospital carnage spread through the Middle East as US President Joe Biden landed in Israel in hopes of preventing a wider conflict in the region.


  • October 18, 2023 19:18
    Turkey to declare 3 days’ mourning over Gaza hospital strike

    Turkey will declare three days’ mourning over a deadly strike on a hospital in war-torn Gaza that killed hundreds, a Turkish official told AFP on Wednesday.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause, has accused Israel of “striking a hospital sheltering women, children and innocent civilians” and urged the world to stop the tragedy in Gaza.

    Israel and Palestinian militants have accused each other of the attack.

    “Turkey will declare three days national mourning,” the official who wished to remain anonymous told AFP.

    Ozlem Zengin of Erdogan’s ruling AKP party said that the national mourning would be declared under a presidential decree.

    “It is important to show at what level we perceive this issue,” she was quoted as saying by the private NTV brodcaster.

  • October 18, 2023 19:09
    Egypt’s Sisi rejects Gaza refugee influx, blames Israel for aid block

    Egypt’s president said Wednesday he would not allow any mass influx of refugees from Gaza, saying it would set a precedent for “the displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan”.

    After talks with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi blamed Israel’s air strikes on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for the failure to get aid to the territory’s 2.4 million people.

    “The displacement of Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt means the same displacement will take place for Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan,” Sisi warned.

    “Subsequently, the Palestinian state that we are talking about and that the world is talking about will become impossible to implement -- because the land is there, but the people are not.”


  • October 18, 2023 18:56
    Israelis advised to ‘immediately’ leave Turkey amid anti-war demonstrations

    Amidst Israel’s war with Hamas and rising Arab terror threats abroad, Israel’s National Security Council issued new warnings on Wednesday against citizens travelling to Arab countries, singling out Turkey as the greatest threat.

    The warning against travelling to Turkey is now at level 4, the highest threat level.

    “All Israelis in Turkey are called upon to leave immediately,” the NSC said.

    Israelis still in Turkey are advised to avoid gatherings in public places, overt displays of being Jewish or Israeli, and not going to local sites with identifiably Jewish or Israeli connections.


  • October 18, 2023 18:53
    Congress leader Naseem Khan demands suspension of trade with Israel

    Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Naseem Khan on Wednesday said the Centre should suspend bilateral trade with Israel.

    Khan, who is the Working President of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, made this demand in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    “India must immediately stop all bilateral trade with Israel. This would be in accordance with the sentiments of crores of peace-loving people of India,” he stated.


  • October 18, 2023 18:36
    Israel says has ‘evidence’ militants to blame for Gaza hospital blast

    The Israeli army said Wednesday it had “evidence” that militants were responsible for the blast that killed hundreds at a Gaza hospital, saying a review proved others were at fault.

    “The evidence - which we are sharing with you all - confirms that the explosion at the hospital in Gaza was caused by an Islamic Jihad rocket that misfired,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari told a press conference in Tel Aviv.

    The comments came after an explosion at a Gaza hospital compound on Tuesday evening killed at least 200 people, according to health officials in the enclave, sparking protests across the Middle East and wide-ranging condemnation.

    “There was no IDF (Israeli army) fire by land, sea or air that hit the hospital,” Hagari said.

    “Our radar system tracked missiles fired by terrorists in Gaza at the time of the explosion and the trajectory analysis of the rockets shows the rockets were fired in close proximity to the hospital.”


  • October 18, 2023 18:33
    British Foreign Minister to travel to Middle East, including Egypt

    British foreign minister James Cleverly told parliament he would travel to the Middle East on Wednesday, outlining a diplomatic push which a British source said would include a visit to Egypt and possibly Qatar and Turkey.

    Britain has called for “cool heads” following a blast at a hospital in Gaza that killed huge numbers of Palestinians and repeatedly said the Israel-Hamas conflict must not escalate to the wider region.

    “I have travelled to Israel, I’ve engaged with G7 allies, regional partners, and will be visiting the region again later on today, because we recognise that this will require intensive efforts,” he told parliament.


  • October 18, 2023 18:26
    Thousands protest across Egypt in solidarity with Gaza: media

    Thousands of people demonstrated across Egypt Wednesday in solidarity with Gaza after 12 days of Israeli bombardment, Egyptian media reported,

    President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had said that if he called for protests in support of the Palestinian cause, “you would see millions” on the streets of Egypt -- where protests are banned.


  • October 18, 2023 18:23
    U.S. sanctions 10 Hamas members, financial facilitators

    The U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on 10 Hamas members, operatives and financial facilitators Wednesday, including a key commander, as conflict rages after the militant group’s surprise attack on Israel.

    “The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a statement.


  • October 18, 2023 18:22
    Indian Navy monitoring West Asia developments, keeping sharp watch on Chinese Navy in IOR: Vice Admiral

    The Indian Navy is monitoring the developments in West Asia and also keeping a sharp watch on the Chinese Navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) “by the hour”, a top Navy officer said on Wednesday in the context of the escalating Hamas-Israel conflict.

    Replying to a host of questions in a session at the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 here, Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi, who heads the crucial Western Naval Command, said the Navy is fully aware of Chinese activities in the IOR or possible ripple effects of what is happening in West Asia.

    “There is constantly…at this point of time there is someone in the naval headquarters or the command headquarters working on what could happen after whatever is happening in West Asia (a reference to the Hamas-Israel conflict),” he said.

    The vice admiral said as far as the Chinese are concerned, we are keeping a sharp watch on whatever they are doing in the South China Sea.

    “In the Indian Ocean, we are keeping a sharp watch as to where their research ship, spy ship, satellite tracking ship, warships (are)…wherever they are by the hour,” Vice Admiral Tripathi said while replying to questions.


  • October 18, 2023 18:09
    Thousands in Tunisia protest against Israel outside French embassy

    Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters rallied in Tunisia on Wednesday outside the French embassy, condemning Western support for Israel which they blamed for a deadly strike on a Gaza hospital.

    Some protesters were waving Palestinian flags while others demanded the ambassador be expelled, accusing France of being among the Western “allies of the Zionists”, AFP journalists reported.

    A second protest was due to be held outside the US embassy in Tunis at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT), with rallies also expected in provincial towns and cities, organisers said.


  • October 18, 2023 18:05
    “Wait for the facts...”: UK Foreign Secy Cleverly on Gaza hospital explosion

    While condemning the attack on Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza which claimed the lives of hundreds of people UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Wednesday suggested that the international community should wait for the facts to come out before jumping to conclusions as it can put even more lives to risk.

    He further said that getting the wrong information would put even more lives at risk.

    Taking on his social media ‘X’, Cleverly stated, “Last night, too many jumped to conclusions around the tragic loss of life at Al Ahli hospital. Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk. Wait for the facts, and report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail.”


  • October 18, 2023 17:55
    Hamas accuses Washington of being ‘complicit in the massacres’ in Gaza

    Hamas slammed the United States on Wednesday accusing Israel’s long-time ally of being complicit in the ongoing strikes in Gaza, following a deadly strike on a hospital that health officials say killed hundreds.

    “The continued endorsement of the Zionist narrative by the US administration makes it complicit in the occupation’s massacres and the Baptist hospital massacre in Gaza,” the group said in a statement.


  • October 18, 2023 17:41
    Canadian prime minister says blast at Gaza hospital is unacceptable

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said the news of a blast at a hospital in Gaza was “horrific and absolutely unacceptable.”

    Trudeau told reporters that “it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital”. Health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave said hundreds of people died in the explosion, which they blamed on Israel.


  • October 18, 2023 17:28
    Dozens hurt in anti-Israel protests in Istanbul: official

    Dozens of people, including police officers, were injured during anti-Israel protests in Istanbul after a deadly strike on a hospital in the Gaza Strip, authorities said Wednesday.

    Israel and Palestinian militants have traded blame for the hospital strike, which killed at least 200 people and triggered a wave of anti-Israel protests in the region.

    Sixty-three people including 43 police officers were hurt during the protests outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul late on Tuesday, the governor’s office said.

    The scuffles broke out between police and protesters when several demonstrators tried to overcome security barricades in order to enter the consulate building.

    Police detained five people.

    The governor’s office said a 65-year-old man had a heart attack during the protests and later died in hospital.


  • October 18, 2023 17:19
    Biden pledges solidarity with Israelis

    President Joe Biden vowed to show the world that the U.S. stands in solidarity with Israelis during his visit there Wednesday, and offered an assessment that the deadly explosion at a Gaza Strip hospital apparently was not carried out by the Israeli military.

    “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting. But he said there were “a lot of people out there” who weren’t sure what caused the blast, which sparked protests throughout the Middle East.

    Biden didn’t offer details on why he believed the Israelis were not responsible for the blast, and the White House did not immediately explain his assessment.

    “The entire world was rightfully outraged but this outrage should be directed not at Israel but at the terrorists,” Netanyahu said during a subsequent meeting with Biden and Israel’s war cabinet.


  • October 18, 2023 16:57
    Gaza’s doctors struggle to save hospital blast survivors as Middle East rage grows

    Doctors in Gaza City faced with dwindling medical supplies performed surgery on hospital floors, often without anesthesia, in a desperate bid to save badly wounded victims of a massive blast that killed civilians sheltering in a nearby hospital amid Israeli bombings and a blockade of the territory.

    The blast left gruesome scenes. Hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge in al-Ahli and other hospitals in Gaza City, hoping they would be spared bombardment after Israel ordered all residents of the city and surrounding areas to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.

    Ghassan Abu Sitta, a plastic surgeon working at al-Alhi, said he heard a loud explosion and the ceiling of his operating room collapsed.

    “The wounded started stumbling toward us,” he wrote in an account posted to Facebook. He saw hundreds of dead and severely wounded people. “I put a tourniquet on the thigh of a man who had his leg blown off and then went to tend to a man with a penetrating neck injury.”

    Video that The Associated Press confirmed was from the hospital showed the hospital grounds strewn with torn bodies, many of them young children, as fire engulfed the building. The grass was strewn with blankets, school backpacks and other belongings. On Wednesday morning the blast scene was littered with charred cars and the ground was blackened by debris.

    Hospital director Suhaila Tarazi said the aftermath of the blast was “unlike anything I have ever seen or could ever imagine.”

    “Our hospital is a place of love and reconciliation,” she said. “We are all losers in this war. And it must end.” - AP

  • October 18, 2023 16:40
    Xi, Putin discuss Mideast conflict, Russia’s security interests

    China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin “exchanged views” on the conflict in Israel and Gaza during talks in Beijing on Wednesday, while Xi told his guest China supports Russia’s “security and development interests,” Chinese state media reported.

    The two leaders discussed progress in developing a natural gas pipeline between China, Mongolia and Russia, as well as supporting the cooperation of Chinese and Russian firms in strategic emerging industries, according to the report by Chinese state media.

    Xi told Putin that China was willing to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with Russia within multilateral frameworks, the report said, during the talks on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 16:04
    Watch: On hospital attack, Biden says: “Based on what I have seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you”
  • October 18, 2023 15:51
    Arab world blames Israel for hospital strike as thousands rally; many call it ‘war crime’

    A Gaza hospital strike that killed at least 200 people has unleashed a torrent of condemnation across the Arab world, with even allies blaming Israel for the attack, despite its denials.

    The denunciations coincided with angry rallies in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Iran and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, with more planned on Wednesday following calls for a “day of rage” across the region.

    Israel and Palestinian militants have traded blame for the hospital strike on Tuesday night, with the Israeli army saying on Wednesday it had “evidence” that militants were responsible.

    But the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which both established ties with Israel in the Abraham Accords of 2020, condemned the “Israeli” attack which came as Israel lays siege to Gaza.

    “The United Arab Emirates strongly condemns the Israeli attack... resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of people,” the UAE’s official WAM news agency said early on Wednesday.

    Bahrain’s foreign ministry “expressed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s condemnation and strong denunciation of the Israeli bombing”, the Bahrain News Agency said.

    Morocco, another country that recognised Israel in 2020, also blamed it for the strike, as did Egypt, which became the first Arab country to normalise relations in 1979.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi condemned in the strongest terms “the Israeli bombing” of the Ahli Arab hospital, which led to “the deaths of hundreds of innocent victims” among the Palestinian citizens in Gaza.

    He called the “deliberate bombing” a “clear violation of international law”.

    Saudi Arabia, which has ended talks on potential ties with Israel since the Israel-Hamas war flared, called the blast a “heinous crime committed by the Israeli occupation forces”.

    Jordan said Israel “bears responsibility for this grave incident” while Qatar, which has close ties to Hamas, slammed the “brutal massacre”.

    The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, also blaming Israel, called it “a war crime, a crime against humanity, and organised state terrorism”. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 15:43
    End Gaza war: Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin

    The war in Gaza is terrible and it must be brought to an end by the United Nations and all countries, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Wednesday.

    Pointing to the deadly blast at a civilian hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip that killed hundreds of people, Mr. Stalin asked if the perpetrators of the horrific attack had become ‘numb’ to humanitarianism.

    On ‘X’, the Chief Minister said the UN and all countries in the world should come together and stop the horrendous war and save the lives of innocent people.

    War by itself, irrespective of the objective and whoever carries on with it, is terrible, as innocent people are the first casualities. The ongoing war in the Gaza region for the past about 10 days has shocked people across the world, he underlined. - PTI

  • October 18, 2023 15:33
    Putin says strike on Gaza hospital is terrible catastrophe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a strike on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians was a terrible catasrophe that showed the conflict should be ended. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 15:29
    Iran calls for Islamic countries to sanction Israel

    Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel and expel all Israeli ambassadors, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday.

    An urgent meeting of the OIC is taking place in the Saudi city of Jeddah to discuss the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after a blast at a Gaza hospital late on Tuesday killed large numbers of Palestinians.

    “The foreign minister calls for an immediate and complete embargo on Israel by Islamic countries, including oil sanctions, in addition to expelling Israeli ambassadors if relations with the Zionist regime have been established,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

    Amirabdollahian also called for the formation of a team of Islamic lawyers to document potential war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.

    Iran has no diplomatic relations with Israel. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 15:26
    ‘Wait for the facts,’ says Britain on Gaza hospital blast

    British foreign minister James Cleverly on Wednesday urged people to wait for the facts about a blast at a hospital in Gaza and said too many people had already jumped to conclusions.

    “Last night, too many jumped to conclusions around the tragic loss of life at Al Ahli hospital,” Mr. Cleverly wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

    “Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk. Wait for the facts, report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail.” - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 15:17
    Biden, in Israel, says hospital blast caused by militants

    After arriving in Israel, U.S. President Joe Biden backed Israeli account that hospital explosion was caused by militants.

    Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for the huge blast and fireball which engulfed the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital, and said it killed as many as 500 people. Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

    Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Biden said: “I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.”

    “But there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot, we’ve got to overcome a lot of things,” Mr. Biden added.

    “The world is looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does, and other democracies, and they are looking to see what we are going to do.” - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 14:23
    Lack of crater at Gaza hospital blast site proves it wasn’t Israeli strike: Israel Defence Forces

    Hours after a deadly blast at a civilian hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip killed hundreds of people, Israel on Wednesday claimed that a lack of a crater at the blast site proves that it was not an air strike by its forces as claimed by Hamas-run Health Ministry.

    A massive explosion at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital late on Tuesday night killed at least 500 people, Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said. - PTI

  • October 18, 2023 14:21
    Italy Defence Minister urges punishment for Hamas after Gaza hospital strike

    The international community “must protect innocent civilians and punish Hamas”, Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said on Wednesday, commenting on the Gaza hospital strike in which hundreds of people died.

    Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, has blamed the blast on Israel. Israel says it was a result of a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another militant group in the enclave. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 14:07
    Uneasy calm in markets as Middle East tension rises

    An escalation of the Israel-Gaza war into a broader conflict could deliver another shock to world growth and halt disinflationary forces in their tracks.

    Market reaction has been modest so far, but that could change.

    “Whether this conflict remains limited to a confrontation between Hamas and Israel or escalates into a broader regional conflict involving Iran’s proxy armed groups, notably Hezbollah, will have significant implications,” said Hamza Meddeb, director of the political economy programme at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

    “Such an escalation could lead to increased oil prices, concerns about oil supply, and the potential for a global economic downturn.” - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 13:57
    Pope Francis deplores ‘desperate’ situation in Gaza

    Pope Francis deplored the “desperate” situation in Gaza on Wednesday as he urged the faithful to take “only one side” in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the side “of peace.”

    Speaking during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis did not mention the deadly Gaza hospital strike, for which Israelis and Palestinians are blaming each other.

    “War does not solve any problem, it only sows death and destruction, increases hatred, multiplies revenge. War erases the future,” he said. “I urge believers to take only one side in this conflict, that of peace, but not with words but with prayer and total dedication,” he added.

    The pope pleaded for all possible efforts “to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe”, and announced special prayers for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica at 6:00 p.m. (1600 GMT) October 27. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 13:50
    Perpetrators of Gaza hospital blast must be ‘held responsible’, says PM Modi
  • October 18, 2023 13:29
    Biden arrives in Israel on mission to contain Israeli-Hamas war and encourage delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza

    U.S. President Joe Biden touched down in Israel on Wednesday for a diplomatic scramble to prevent the war with Hamas from spiralling into an even larger conflict, a challenge that became more difficult as outrage swept through the Middle East over an explosion that killed hundreds in a Gaza Strip hospital.

    Descending from the plane amid a large security contingent, Mr. Biden embraced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog on the tarmac. They spoke briefly before departing in a convoy.

    Mr. Biden was originally scheduled to visit Jordan as well, but his meetings with Arab leaders were called off as he was leaving Washington, costing him an opportunity for the face-to-face conversations that he views as crucial for navigating this fraught moment.

    Now Mr. Biden’s only stop is Tel Aviv, where he’s expected to push for allowing critical humanitarian aid into Gaza during meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel has been preparing for a potential ground invasion of Gaza in response to Hamas’ attacks on October 7, which killed 1,400 Israelis. - Agencies

  • October 18, 2023 13:25
    Blinken calls Abbas to offer condolences for hospital deaths; Israel says has ‘evidence’ militants to blame for Gaza hospital blast

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to offer condolences over a deadly blast at a Gaza hospital and voice support for Palestinians’ “legitimate aspirations,” the State Department said Wednesday.

    Mr. Blinken, who is on a regional crisis tour, spoke by telephone with Mr. Abbas late on Tuesday after the strike on the Ahli Arab Hospital, hours after meeting him in person in Amman.

    Mr. Blinken called Mr. Abbas “to express profound condolences for the civilian lives lost in the explosion” at the hospital, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

    Mr. Blinken “expressed continuing U.S. support for the Palestinian people, stressing that Hamas terrorists do not represent Palestinians or their legitimate aspirations for self-determination and equal measures of dignity, freedom, security and justice,” Mr. Miller said.

    Health authorities in Hamas-ruled Gaza, said the explosion killed between 200 and 300 people and was caused by the latest in a wave of Israeli air strikes.

    The Israeli military blamed Palestinian militants, saying an outgoing Islamic Jihad rocket misfired. Islamic Jihad denied the allegation and neither account could be independently corroborated. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 13:17
    Gaza’s doctors struggle to save hospital blast survivors as Middle East rage grows

    Doctors in Gaza City faced with dwindling medical supplies performed surgery on hospital floors, often without anesthesia, in a desperate bid to save badly wounded victims of a massive blast that killed hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in a nearby hospital amid Israeli bombings and a blockade of the territory.

    The Hamas militant group blamed the blast on an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military blamed a rocket misfired by other Palestinian militants. At least 500 people were killed, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said.

    Rage at the hospital carnage spread through the Middle East as U.S. President Joe Biden headed to the region in hopes of stopping a spread of the war, which started after Hamas militants attacked towns and cities across southern Israel last week. - AP

  • October 18, 2023 13:01
    ‘No excuse for hitting a hospital’ in Gaza: EU chief

    “There is no excuse for hitting a hospital full of civilians” in Gaza, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU lawmakers on Wednesday, adding that “facts need to be established” on the tragedy.

    The EU president, speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, said the overnight explosion that hit the Gaza hospital, killing at least 200, turned it into “a hell of fire”.

    “All those responsible must be held accountable,” she said, not apportioning blame for the strike.

    - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 12:56
    German Chancellor demands investigation into hospital strike

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday called for a comprehensive investigation of a blast at a Gaza hospital compound which health officials in the impoverished enclave said killed at least 200 people.

    “I am horrified by the images of the explosion in a hospital in Gaza. Innocent civilians were injured and killed,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “A thorough investigation of the incident is imperative,” added Scholz, who was in Cairo on Wednesday after talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


  • October 18, 2023 12:34
    Israel military says there is nothing to suggest airstrike cause hospital blast

    The Israel military has responded to reports that an airstrike caused the hospital blast in Gaza last night, saying that there were no craters or anything else to suggest that aerial munition caused the Gaza hospital explosion.

    The military added there were no direct hits on Gaza hospital from its end, and there was no structural damage to surrounding buildings. It further accused the Hamas militant group of inflating casualty figures in the hospital blast.

    (Inputs from Reuters)

  • October 18, 2023 12:23
    Israeli airstrikes continue, Gaza’s interior ministry says

    Gaza’s Interior Ministry said Israel renewed airstrikes before dawn on Wednesday and hit locations across the Gaza Strip after the blast at al-Ahli Hospital.

    At least 37 people were killed following attacks in the al-Qasasib and Halima al-Saadia areas of Jabalia, north of Gaza, it said.


  • October 18, 2023 12:15
    Gaza’s largest hospital will soon run out of fuel, says the hospital director

    Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of victims of the al-Ahli Hospital blast were taken, will run out of fuel on Wednesday unless more supplies enter the Gaza Strip, the hospital’s general director says.

    The hospital, Gaza’s largest, is stretched far beyond its capacity following the al-Ahli explosion, Mohammed Abu Selmia said Wednesday, adding that health workers were still treating severely wounded patients.

    “They are all in a terrible situation,” he told AP. “A young woman whose limbs were amputated, a child whose intestines came out, many others have had limb amputations, bleeding in the brain, bleeding in the liver and spleen.”

    He said earlier that doctors were performing operations on the floor without anesthesia and that a shortage of essential medical supplies was an urgent issue.


  • October 18, 2023 11:44
    Hezbollah says it hit Israeli tank

    Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group says its fighters have hit an Israeli Merkava tank with an anti-tank missile, inflicting casualties among the troops.

    The group said the attack early Wednesday targeted an Israeli army position across the border from the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab. The Israeli army said it is checking reports that an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanon.


  • October 18, 2023 11:31
    Jordan’s foreign minister says summit ‘would not be able to stop war now’

    Jordan canceled a planned summit with President Joe Biden, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II because it “would not be able to stop the war now,” Jordan’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs said.

    Ayman Al-Safadi said in a statement on Wednesday that “Jordan will continue to work with everyone so that when this summit is held, it will be able to achieve what is required of it, which is to stop the war, deliver humanitarian support to the people of Gaza, and put an end to this crisis.”


  • October 18, 2023 11:06
    Latest Israel-Palestine escalation a global catastrophe: Russia

    Russian state-owned news agency RIA has quoted the Russian foreign ministry as saying that the latest escalation of Israel-Palestine conflict is “a global catastrophe”.

    “Israel should provide satellite images to prove it’s not behind the strike,” said a ministry official.

    - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 10:39
    Islamic Jihad group denies responsibility for hospital strike

    The Palestinain Islamic Jihad group denied Israel’s claim that it was behind the deadly blast at Al-Ahli hospital. It accused Israel of “trying hard to evade responsibility for the brutal massacre it committed.”

    “The accusations promoted by the enemy are baseless,” Islamic Jihad said, adding that the group “does not use places of worship or public facilities, especially hospitals, as military centres or weapons stores.”

    The group said details such as “the angle of the bomb’s fall and the extent of destruction it left behind” confirm it was similar to Israeli strikes.

    The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, also denied Israel’s claim, calling it “lies.”


  • October 18, 2023 10:36
    Congress MP Chidambaram urges government to explore ways to start negotiations
  • October 18, 2023 10:01
    Israeli military urges Gaza city residents to evacuate southward

    In a new advisory, the Israeli military has urged Gaza city residents to evacuate southward, saying aid is available at Al-Muwaasi.

    - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 09:33
    U.S. Treasury official issues warning over Hamas funding

    A Treasury official said the U.S. is renewing plans to pursue Hamas funding streams and called on allies and the private sector to do the same or “be prepared to suffer the consequences.”

    “We cannot, and we will not, tolerate money flowing through the international system for Hamas’ terrorist activity,” said Brian Nelson, under secretary for terrorism and illicit finance, at an anti-money laundering conference.

    “Treasury will bring our tools to bear against Hamas’ financing and the overall funding of terrorism,” he said.

    - AP

  • October 18, 2023 09:08
    MP Saket Gokhale writes to EAM Jaishankar to issue statement on hospital strike
  • October 18, 2023 08:49
    Western intelligence leaders wary of potential fallout in their countries

    Leaders of Western intelligence services said they are attuned to the potential fallout in their home countries of the deadly attacks by Hamas on Israel.

    Representatives from intelligence agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia — a coalition known as the “Five Eyes” — convened in California to discuss Chinese economic espionage. But the meeting unfolded against the backdrop of the conflict in the Middle East.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray said his agency is working with local law enforcement to address threats of violence against both the Jewish and Muslim communities. It is also working through its legal attache office in Tel Aviv, Israel, to locate and identify Americans who remain unaccounted for after the Oct. 7 attacks.

    David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said events like the Hamas attack lead to “soul searching” about “what we know, what we knew, what we can do in our own countries” to protect against similar violence.


  • October 18, 2023 08:26
    Arab nations at U.N. demand immediate ceasefire

    The 22 Arab countries at the United Nations joined in demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza following the devastating explosion and fire at a Gaza City hospital.

    Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, said Arab Group members are “outraged by this massacre” and also united in demanding the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid and preventing “forcible displacement” of Palestinians.

    Mr. Mansour said that after the “massacre,” the highest objective is a cease-fire because “saving lives is the most important thing.”


  • October 18, 2023 08:02
    UN chief says ‘horrified’ by Gaza hospital strike
  • October 18, 2023 07:54
    Biden has ‘tough questions’ for Netanyahu: White House

    U.S. President Joe Biden will pose “tough questions” in meetings with Israeli leaders during a Middle East trip that has been upended by a strike on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday in which hundreds of Palestinians were killed.

    Mr. Biden will meet with Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet and seek a sense of Israel’s plans and objectives in the days and weeks ahead, White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Air Force One during the flight to Tel Aviv.

    “He’ll be asking some tough questions, he’ll be asking them as a friend, as a true friend of Israel, but he’ll be asking some questions of them,” Mr. Kirby said.

  • October 18, 2023 07:35
    U.S. raises travel advisory for Lebanon to ‘do not travel’

    The U.S. State Department on Tuesday raised its travel alert for Lebanon to “do not travel,” citing the security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah.


  • October 18, 2023 07:20
    Saudi Arabia condemns hospital bombing
  • October 18, 2023 07:18
    Gulf states pledge $100m in ‘urgent’ aid for Gaza

    The Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday announced $100 million in emergency aid for the Gaza Strip.

    After an extraordinary meeting in Muscat, the bloc’s foreign ministers pledged “an urgent humanitarian relief operation” with “relief aid worth $100 million”.

    Read full story here.

  • October 18, 2023 06:57
    Hospital blast draws protests across Arab world

    Palestinian security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah who were throwing rocks and chanting against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as popular anger boiled following the horrific attack on a Gaza hospital.

    The blast drew condemnation across the Arab world, and protests were staged at Israel’s embassies in Turkey and Jordan and near the U.S. embassy in Lebanon, where security forces fired tear gas toward demonstrators.

    Television footage showed protests in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taz, as well as in the Moroccan and Iraqi capitals.

    Regardless of who is found responsible for the explosion, which Hamas said had killed patients and others left homeless by Israeli bombardment, it will complicate efforts to contain the crisis.

    - Reuters

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