Israel-Hamas war, Day 19 | U.S., Russian bids on Israel-Hamas war fail at Security Council

Israel calls for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ resignation after his remarks angered Israel, accusing him of “tolerating and justifying” terrorism

October 25, 2023 06:55 am | Updated October 26, 2023 03:18 pm IST

Israeli security and emergency officials inspect a damaged building following a rocket attack from Gaza strip in Rishon Lezion, Israel October 25, 2023.

Israeli security and emergency officials inspect a damaged building following a rocket attack from Gaza strip in Rishon Lezion, Israel October 25, 2023. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Rapidly expanding Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip has killed more than 700 people in the past day as medical facilities across the territory were forced to close because of bombing damage and a lack of power, health officials said on Tuesday.

The soaring death toll from Israel’s escalating bombardment was unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It could signal an even greater loss of life in Gaza once Israeli ground forces backed by tanks and artillery launch an expected offensive into the territory aimed at crushing Hamas.

ALSO READ | Israel-Hamas war Day 20 updates

Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been under increasing bombardment and running out of food, water and medicine since Israel sealed off the territory following the devastating October 7 attack by Hamas militants on towns in southern Israel.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said the attacks killed at least 704 people over the past day, including 305 children and 173 women. More than 5,700 Palestinians have been killed in the war, including some 2,300 minors, the ministry said, without giving a detailed breakdown.

(With inputs from agencies)

This live blog is closed.

  • October 26, 2023 05:45
    Turkey says Israeli ground operation in Gaza will result in massacre

    Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Wednesday that an Israeli ground operation into Gaza would turn the fighting there into a massacre.

    In a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart in Doha, Fidan said that those supporting Israel’s actions under the pretence of solidarity are “accomplices to its crimes”.


  • October 26, 2023 05:22
    US antisemitic incidents up about 400% since Israel-Hamas war began, report says

    Antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by about 400% in slightly over two weeks since war broke out in the Middle East after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, advocacy group Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said Wednesday.

    The advocacy group’s data - which showed a 388% rise in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. between Oct. 7 and Oct. 23 over the prior year - comes amid monitoring by American authorities of domestic threats due to the conflict.


  • October 26, 2023 05:10
    Al Jazeera Gaza correspondent loses 3 family members in an Israeli airstrike

    Al Jazeera’s chief correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Wael Dahdouh, was helping broadcast live images of the besieged territory’s night sky when he received the devastating news: His wife, son and daughter had all been killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

    Moments later, the Qatari-based satellite channel switched to footage of Dahdouh entering al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza before giving way to grief as he peered over the body of his dead son.

    “They take revenge on us in our children,” he said, kneeling over his son’s bloodied body, still wearing his protective press vest from that day’s work.

    The video was sure to reverberate across the Arab world, where the 53-year-old journalist is well-known as the face of Palestinians during many wars. He is revered in his native Gaza for telling people’s stories of suffering and hardship to the outside world.


  • October 26, 2023 05:01
    Israel struck Lebanon in retaliation for missile launch: military

    The Israeli military said late Wednesday that its aircraft struck at Lebanon in retaliation for the earlier launch of a surface-to-air missile.

    “A short while ago, the IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired from Lebanon at an IDF UAV (drone),” the Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement.

    “In response, IDF aircraft struck the source of the launch,” it added.

    Hezbollah said earlier Wednesday that senior officials of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad had held talks with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah about achieving “real victory” in their war with Israel.


  • October 26, 2023 04:37
    U.S. House passes resolution standing with Israel after new speaker elected

    U.S. lawmakers passed a resolution Wednesday voicing solidarity with Israel in its war with Hamas militants, in their first act after electing a new speaker to of the Republican-led House of Representatives.

    The measure, entitled “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists,” received near-unanimous backing from Republicans and all but 10 Democrats.


  • October 26, 2023 04:14
    WHO urges Hamas to release all hostages on ‘health grounds’

    The World Health Organization on Wednesday called for Hamas to provide proof of life of the hostages it is holding and release them all on health grounds.

    The WHO said the International Committee of the Red Cross should be allowed immediate medical access to ascertain their health status, while it stands ready to provide the ICRC with any health support required for the hostages.

    The WHO said it was “gravely concerned” for the health of the hostages, which, it said, include health workers and up to 30 children.

    “There is an urgent need for the captors of the hostages to provide signs of life, proof of provision of health care and the immediate release, on humanitarian and health grounds, of all those abducted,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.


  • October 26, 2023 03:48
    U.S., Russian bids on Israel-Hamas war fail at Security Council

    The UN Security Council on October 25 failed again to take action on the Israel-Hamas war, with Russia and China vetoing a U.S.-led draft resolution and a text led by Moscow drawing insufficient support.

    The rival powers went ahead and put forward texts doomed to defeat despite what diplomats said was a last-ditch effort led by France to delay a vote and work toward consensus.

    Read the full story here
  • October 26, 2023 03:23
    Jordan’s King Abdullah to Macron: Urge Israel to end Gaza war

    Jordan’s King Abdullah told French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday that ending Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza is an urgent necessity and warned there could otherwise be an “explosion” in the wider Middle East.

    In a royal court statement, the monarch told Macron Israel should be pressured by global powers to stop its unrelenting bombing campaign in the Hamas-ruled Gaza and end its siege of the densely populated enclave of 2.3 million Palestinians.

    “The continuation of the (Gaza) war will lead to an explosion of the situation in the region,” Abdullah was quoted as telling Macron, echoing worries among regional leaders the war could expand well beyond Gaza.

    “We are against any attempt by Israel to create an exodus of Palestinians or internally displace the inhabitants of Gaza,” King Abdullah said, according to the royal court statement.


  • October 26, 2023 03:03
    Putin warns Israel-Hamas war could spread beyond Middle East, condemns Gaza bombing

    President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Israel’s conflict with Hamas could spread well beyond the Middle East and said it was wrong that innocent women, children and old people in Gaza were being punished for other people’s crimes.

    Putin, who made the comments in a Kremlin meeting with Russian religious leaders of different faiths, said bloodshed in the region had to stop. He said he told other world leaders in phone calls that if it did not, there was a risk of a much wider conflagration.

    “Our task today, our main task, is to stop the bloodshed and violence,” said Putin, according to a Kremlin transcript of the meeting.

    “Otherwise, further escalation of the crisis is fraught with grave and extremely dangerous and destructive consequences. And not only for the Middle East region. It could spill over far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”


  • October 26, 2023 02:47
    Biden criticizes ‘extremist settlers’ in West Bank

    U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he believes Israel needs to defend its citizens, while protecting innocent civilians in Gaza who are victims of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    Biden also offered a rare rebuke to Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and reiterated calls for a two-state solution for Palestinians and the Israelis once the current conflict subsides.

    “”I continue to be alarmed about extremist settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank,” Biden said, accusing them of pouring gasoline on a fire. “They’re attacking Palestinians in places that they’re entitled to be.”


  • October 26, 2023 02:11
    Iran accuses Israel of Palestinian ‘genocide’ in Gaza

    Iran on Wednesday accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide” against Palestinians as Israeli forces press on with a bombardment campaign of Gaza after deadly Hamas attacks on October 7.

    “The attacks of the Zionist (Israeli) regime have reached an intensity that shows the goal is the mass killing of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian charged in a letter addressed to the United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk.

    Remarks by Israeli officials and “the widespread and systematic attacks... in the Gaza Strip show that this is a campaign for the genocide of the Palestinian people”, Amir-Abdollahian said in his letter, which the foreign ministry shared on social media.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of “directing” Israel’s strikes on Gaza.

    “America is a definite accomplice of criminals,” said Khamenei during a speech in Tehran.


  • October 26, 2023 01:52
    UN warns Gaza blockade could force it to sharply cut relief missions as Israeli bombings rise

    The U.N. warned on Wednesday that it is on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the territory blockaded and devastated by Israeli airstrikes since Hamas militants launched an attack on Israel more than two weeks ago.

    The warning came as hospitals in Gaza struggled to treat masses of wounded with dwindling resources. The U.N.’s top official faced backlash from Israel after saying the Hamas massacre of Israelis on Oct. 7 that sparked the fighting did not “take place in a vacuum.”

    Health officials said the death toll was soaring as Israeli jets pounded Gaza overnight into Wednesday.


  • October 26, 2023 01:20
    ‘Massive’ Israel ground op in Gaza would be ‘an error’: Macron

    A “massive” Israeli ground incursion into Gaza would be “an error”, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday, warning it would harm civilians without ensuring Israel’s long-term security.

    The warning came as Macron held talks in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who also urged efforts “to avoid a ground invasion” in Gaza, where Israel is locked in a deadly confrontation with Hamas militants.

    “A massive intervention that would put civilian lives at risk would be an error,” said Macron after meeting Sisi, who also warned a ground operation would cause “many, many civilian casualties”.

    The French leader said “it would also be a mistake for Israel because it would be unlikely to offer long-term protection and because it is incompatible with protecting the civilian population or respecting international humanitarian law and the rules of war.”


  • October 26, 2023 01:08
    Gaza has gone through 16 years of ‘de-development’: UN

    The Gaza Strip has lived through 16 years of de-development, the United Nations said Wednesday, adding that the economic consequences of the Israel-Hamas war were “impossible to determine”.

    UNCTAD, the UN’s trade and development agency, said the Palestinian enclave’s economy had been “hollowed out” over time, with 80 percent of the territory’s population dependent on international aid before the war broke out earlier this month.

    “Gaza has experienced 16 years of de-development and suppressed human potential and the right to development,” UNCTAD said in an annual report on the Palestinian economy.

    While the report focused on 2022, UNCTAD officials addressed the current conflict during a press conference.


  • October 26, 2023 00:49
    Netanyahu says Israel is preparing ground invasion of Gaza

    Israel is preparing a ground invasion of Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement on Wednesday, but he declined to provide any details on the timing or other information about the operation.

    He said the decision on when forces would go into the blockaded Palestinian enclave would be taken by the government’s special war cabinet.


  • October 26, 2023 00:30
    Time has come to designate Hamas as terrorist outfit in India: Israeli envoy

    Israel on Wednesday asked India to designate Hamas as a terrorist entity like many other countries have done even as it hailed New Delhi’s “solid support” to its operations against the outfit.

    Israeli ambassador to New Delhi Naor Gilon said the need for proscribing Hamas as a terrorist organisation was taken up with India following the deadly attacks on Israeli cities on October 7.

    At the same time, he said the matter was taken up earlier as well.

    “The important countries for us are with us. These are the democracies of the world. Having said that...I think it is also time to officially designate Hamas in India as a terror organisation,” Gilon said at a media briefing.

    The Israeli ambassador said many countries including the US, Canada as well as the leading grouping, the European Union, have already designated Hamas as a terror outfit.

    “We spoke to the relevant authorities here. It is not the first time we spoke about it. I think we both understand the threat of terrorism. It is not something we are putting pressure on. We think it is something due because of our shared war on terror,” Gilon said about Israel’s call for designating Hamas as a terror outfit in India.


  • October 26, 2023 00:10
    Top Palestinian diplomat meets International Court officials

    The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday met senior International Criminal Court officials as the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza continued to rage.

    Maliki’s flying visit to the world’s war crimes court in The Hague came a day after he deplored inaction by the UN Security Council to stop “massacres” in Gaza by Israel, which has retaliated for a massive attack by Hamas that largely killed civilians.

    “Today, Dr Riyad al-Maliki... visited the ICC and held meetings with the President, the Prosecutor and the Registrar of the Court,” the ICC said in a statement.

    The top Palestinian diplomat’s visit was not announced to the media, but in a video released by the ICC he can be seen shaking hands with the court’s president Piotr Hofmanski, chief prosecutor Karim Khan and registrar Osvaldo Zavala Giler before sitting down for a discussion.


  • October 25, 2023 23:53
    More than half of Hamas’ hostages have foreign nationality - Israel

    More than half the estimated 220 hostages held by Palestinian group Hamas have foreign passports from 25 different countries, including 54 Thai nationals, the Israeli government said on Wednesday.

    In providing updated figures, the government also said 328 people from 40 countries were confirmed as dead or missing after the surprise Oct. 7 attack by Hamas fighters on southern Israel. In all, an estimated 1,400 people were killed in the assault.

    Israel said 138 of the hostages had foreign passports, including 15 Argentinians, 12 Germans, 12 Americans, six French and six Russians.

    Many were believed to have had dual Israeli nationality, however some, like the Thais and five Nepalese hostages, almost certainly did not. There was also one Chinese hostage, one Sri Lankan, two from Tanzania and two from the Philippines.


  • October 25, 2023 23:27
    UN to vote on Russian, US resolutions on Gaza war

    A divided UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on competing draft resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war that were drawn up by Russia and the United States, diplomats said.

    The council’s schedule said the meeting was due to begin at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT).

    After the defeat last week of two draft resolutions presented by Russia and Brazil, two new drafts will be voted on, diplomats told AFP.

    The Russian document, seen by AFP, calls for “an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire” and “condemns all violence and hostilities against civilians.”


  • October 25, 2023 23:10
    US Senate panel approves Lew to be Israeli ambassador, and final confirmation vote could come next week

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved Jacob Lew to be ambassador to Israel, moving quickly to get him in place during the country’s new war with Hamas.

    The panel voted 12-9 on Wednesday to move Lew’s nomination to the Senate floor for a final vote, which could come as soon as next week. All Republicans on the panel except Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul voted against him.

    Lew, a former treasury secretary and budget director under President Barack Obama, told the committee at his confirmation vote last week that “there is no greater mission” at this moment than to help strengthen ties between the United States and Israel.

    He said he would ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself in the war, which started after brutal surprise attacks by Hamas earlier this month. He said he would also address the humanitarian crisis facing civilians in Gaza after Israeli military strikes.


  • October 25, 2023 22:43
    Al Jazeera says family of one of its journalists killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

    The pan-Arab Al Jazeera TV said the family members of its correspondent in Gaza - his wife, daughter and son - were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza on October 25 night.

    There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the incident.

    The channel posted lived footage of its reporter Wael Al Dahdouh crying as he saw them laying lifeless in hospital. - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 22:25
    ‘Please wake up’: Families of Israeli victims urge world to stand against Islamist violence

    The world must take a stand against Islamist violence to avoid it spreading and take action to ensure the swift release of hostages taken by Hamas militants after their October 7 attack on southern Israel, families of victims said.

    A delegation of relatives visited Italy’s Rome to hold talks with authorities, including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as part of a campaign to bolster world efforts to free the more than 200 people taken captive.

    The group included Avi Eylon, whose 23-year-old daughter, Shira, was killed with a friend while attending a music festival.

    Sitting with Shira’s sister, Adar, at a hotel in the Italian capital, he said it was too late for his family but the hostages had to come home.

    “Please wake up. To the people in the world, to the people in Europe, please wake up, because this is not a land conflict, this is a religious conflict,” he told Reuters, saying the reason why Hamas murdered his daughter was that she was Jewish.

    Some 222 people were taken hostage after the attack on southern Israel in which 1,400 people were killed. - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 22:23
    Gaza hospitals in crisis as Israel-Hamas conflict rages on

    Gaza’s hospitals were facing “complete collapse”, Palestinian medics warned as the U.N. said supplies were running critically low and the Hamas-run Health Ministry reported 700 deaths in Israeli strikes in 24 hours.

    Alarm is growing over the spiralling humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has been bombing since October 7 when Hamas gunmen poured across its border beginning an attack that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, while also kidnapping more than 220 others, according to Israeli officials.

    U.N. figures show over a third of the narrow Palestinian territory’s 35 hospitals have closed due to damage or insufficient fuel, and one doctor said he was forced to perform surgeries without anaesthetic.

    According to U.N. figures, 12 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals and nearly two-thirds of its 72 primary healthcare clinics have shut down after being damaged by Israeli air strikes or due to fuel shortages. Once the generators stop running, hospitals will “turn into morgues”, the Red Cross has warned. - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 21:45
    Air India suspends Tel Aviv flights till November 2

    Air India has extended the suspension of its scheduled flights to Tel Aviv till November 2 amid the continuing tensions between Israel and militant group Hamas.

    An Air India official said the scheduled flights to Tel Aviv have been suspended till November 2.

    The airline has not operated a scheduled flight to and from Tel Aviv since October 7.

    Normally, the full-service carrier operates five weekly flights to Tel Aviv from Delhi. The service is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

    During this month, the airline operated a few chartered flights to Tel Aviv under the government’s Operation Ajay to bring back Indians who wished to come back from Israel. - PTI

  • October 25, 2023 21:20
    Germany, UAE discuss situation in Israel and Gaza

    The leaders of Germany and the United Arab Emirates discussed Israel and the Gaza Strip in a phone call, the German government spokesperson said, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressing both Israel’s right to self defence and the need for humanitarian care for people in Gaza.

    “Chancellor Scholz emphasised that every life is equally valuable and that Germany will continue to push for the protection of civilians, for continuous humanitarian access and humanitarian provision for people in the Gaza Strip,” the spokesperson said.

    Both Scholz and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan agreed they would work to prevent the conflict from spreading and to find a political solution. - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 20:58
    Israel agrees to U.S. request to delay Gaza invasion: Report

    Israel has agreed to delay an expected invasion of Gaza for now so that the United States can rush missile defences to the region to protect its troops there, the Wall Street Journal reported on the day, citing U.S. and Israeli officials.

    Israel is also taking into account in its planning the effort to supply humanitarian aid to civilians inside Gaza, as well as diplomatic efforts to free hostages held by Hamas militants, the report said.

    Threats to U.S. troops were of paramount concern, it said.

    The U.S. military and other officials believe their forces will be targeted by militant groups once the invasion of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory starts. - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 20:41
    U.S. Senate committee advances nomination of Jack Lew for ambassador to Israel

    The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed President Joe Biden’s nomination of former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to be ambassador to Israel, paving the way for his expected confirmation by the full Senate. The Committee backed the nomination by a 12-9 vote, mostly along party lines.

    Lew’s confirmation hearing was contentious, with some Republicans sharply criticizing his defense of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal sealed during former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration. They said it would be hard for them to support Lew given his past work to implement the agreement with a country that is a sworn enemy of Israel’s.

    Democrats have argued it is important to confirm an ambassador to support Israel in the aftermath of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

    Washington has not had an ambassador to Israel since July, when Tom Nides left the post. Biden nominated Lew in September.

  • October 25, 2023 20:35
    Florida Governor bans pro-Palestinian group from state campuses

    Florida’s university system, working with Governor Ron DeSantis, ordered colleges on October 24 to shut down a pro-Palestinian student organization, marking the first U.S. state to outlaw the group whose national leadership backed Hamas’ attack on Israel.

    The State University System of Florida said chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had to be dismantled as part of a “crack down” in the Republican-led state on campus demonstrations that provide “harmful support for terrorist groups.”

    “Based on the National SJP’s support of terrorism, in consultation with Governor DeSantis, the student chapters must be deactivated,” the system’s Chancellor Ray Rodrigues wrote in a memo to university leaders. SJP is active in at least two Florida universities, Rodrigues said.

    The University of North Florida in Jacksonville and Florida State University in Tallahassee have SJP chapters, based on Instagram sites.

  • October 25, 2023 19:56
    U.N. chief says false to accuse him of ‘justifying’ Hamas attacks

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres rejected accusations that he had justified Hamas attacks on Israel in his statement to the Security Council on October 24.

    “I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statement ... as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite,” he said. “I believe it’s necessary to set the record straight – especially out of respect for the victims and their families.” - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 19:08
    U.K. PM Rishi Sunak says ‘pauses’ needed in Israel’s war with Hamas

    U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “specific pauses” are needed in Israel’s war with Hamas to allow aid into Gaza but again stopped short of calling for a ceasefire. Facing calls from some opposition lawmakers during weekly questions in parliament to urge Israel to hold a ceasefire, Mr. Sunak reiterated it “has the right to defend itself under international law”.

    However, he said London had consistently called for the conditions to allow aid to enter the Gaza Strip and for British nationals and hostages kidnapped by Hamas militants to be brought out.

    “We recognise for all of that to happen there has to be a safer environment which of course necessitates specific pauses as distinct from a ceasefire,” he told MPs.

    Mr. Sunak said the pauses had been discussed “with partners” at the United Nations on October 24 and would continue to be discussed. Mr. Sunak’s spokesman told reporters later that a ceasefire would “only serve to benefit Hamas” while “humanitarian pauses, which are temporary, which are limited in scope, can be an operational tool”.

    The spokesman also said the U.K. PM disagreed with UN chief Antonio Guterres, who had earlier said that Hamas’ attacks did not occur “in a vacuum,” pointing to “56 years of suffocating occupation” endured by the Palestinians.

    “We are clear there is, can be, no justification for Hamas’s barbaric terrorist attack... which was driven by hatred and ideology.” - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 18:53
    German counter-terror officials probe suspected jihadist

    German counter-terror authorities took over a probe into a suspected jihadist arrested for allegedly planning an attack, prosecutors said, amid indications he had researched pro-Israel events.

    The 29-year-old was detained late on October 24 at his home in the western city of Duisburg, with prosecutors saying he was being investigated “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime – murder”. Authorities did not disclose his identity but media outlets named him as Tarik S., a German-Egyptian with a long history of involvement in jihadist activities.

    He had “apparently researched possible targets related to pro-Israeli events,” said Herbert Reul, Interior Minister for North Rhine-Westphalia state. - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 18:25
    Jordan Queen raps West’s ‘glaring double standard’ on Gaza

    Jordan’s Queen Rania accused Western leaders of a “glaring double standard” for not condemning Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians in its ongoing bombardment of Gaza, in an interview aired on the day.

    “The people all around the Middle East, including in Jordan, we are just shocked and disappointed by the world’s reaction to this catastrophe that is unfolding. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a glaring double standard in the world,” she told CNN.

    “When October 7 happened, the world immediately and unequivocally stood by Israel and its right to defend itself and condemned the attack,” she said. “But what we’re seeing in the last couple of weeks, we’re seeing silence in the world.”

    “Are we being told that it is wrong to kill a family, an entire family, at gunpoint, but it’s OK to shell them to death?” she asked. - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 17:50
    ‘Israel doesn’t want two front but we are ready for it’: IDF

    A spokesperson for the Israel Defence Force (IDF) said that Israel doesn’t want war on two fronts but the country is ready for it.

    Regarding the situation on the border with Lebanon, the spokesperson says, “We have evacuated around 30 communities in the northern border with Lebanon to keep them from harm’s way.”

    The IDF also says that sending troops into Gaza is not an easy decision but they have the “know-how” to implement it. “Sending young men and women into Gaza is not an easy option. Not declaring when ground operation into Gaza will start but we have all the knowledge and know-how to implement that,” the spokesperson says.

  • October 25, 2023 17:22
    Iran’s Khamenei says U.S. ‘directing’ Israel bombing of Gaza

    Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of “directing” strikes Israel has been carrying out on Hamas in Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks.

    “America is a definite accomplice of criminals,” said Khamenei during a speech in Tehran. “The United States is in some way directing the crime that is being committed in Gaza.”

    Khamenei said the hands of Americans “were tainted with the blood of the oppressed, children, patients, women and others”.

    Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas, hailed the October 7 attacks on Israel as a “success”. But the Islamic republic has insisted it was not involved in the onslaught.

    “Let everyone know that in this matter and future matters, the Palestinian nation is victorious and the future world is the world of Palestine, not the world of the Zionist regime,” Khamenei said, referring to Israel.

    The remarks come after a warning from the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on October 24 that the U.S. would respond “decisively” to any attack by Tehran proxies, as tensions rise over the conflict. - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 17:03
    Turkey’s Erdogan says Hamas is not a terrorist organisation

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in his strongest comments yet on the Gaza conflict, said on Wednesday the Palestinian militant group Hamas was not a terrorist organisation but a liberation group fighting to protect Palestinian lands and people.

    Speaking to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party, Mr. Erdogan also called for an immediate ceasefire between Israeli and Palestinian forces and said Muslim countries must act together to secure a lasting peace in the region.

    “Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, it is a liberation group, ‘mujahideen’ waging a battle to protect its lands and people,” he said, using an Arabic word denoting those who fight for their faith.


  • October 25, 2023 17:00
    Qatar’s PM: hopes there will be breakthroughs on hostage releases “soon”

    Qatar’s prime minister said on Wednesday that there is some progress on hostage negotiations following the Palestinian militant group Hamas taking more than 200 hostages during its Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel.

    Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said he hopes there will be breakthroughs on hostage releases “soon”.

    “The number of children killed in Gaza exceeds the number of children killed in Ukraine, but we have not seen the same reaction,” Sheikh Mohammed who is also the minister of foreign affairs, added in a press conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister in Doha.


  • October 25, 2023 16:57
    Egypt’s Sisi says Cairo playing positive role in de-escalating Gaza crisis

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that his country was playing a “very positive role” trying to de-escalate and find a diplomatic solution to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    Egypt has taken an active role in negotiating access to aid for people in Gaza through the Rafah crossing, which it shares with Gaza, as well as in negotiations for hostage releases, while advocating for a ceasefire in the conflict.

    Inspecting scores of Egyptian warplanes, tanks, and other military hardware at an exercise on the western edge of the Sinai Peninsula, about 135 miles (215 km) from Egypt’s border with the Gaza strip, he said that though Egypt had considerable military capabilities it would only ever use them wisely and in self-defence.

    “It’s very important when you have this kind of power that you use it reasonably, wisely, and maturely and you don’t overstep and have illusions about your own strength,” he said, alluding to internal calls for Egypt to involve itself in the conflict.

    “You have this capability to defend yourself ... never let anger or fervour cause you to overstep,” he said.


  • October 25, 2023 16:56
    Hamas Health Ministry says 6,546 killed in Gaza during war

    The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Wednesday that 6,546 people have been killed in the territory since the outbreak of war with Israel.

    The death toll includes 2,704 children. A total of 17,439 people have also been wounded since the conflict erupted on October 7.


  • October 25, 2023 16:55
    Israel hits Syria’s Aleppo airport for fourth time in two weeks

    Israeli strikes hit Syria’s Aleppo airport on Wednesday, a war monitor said, in what was the fourth such incident in two weeks as regional tensions simmer over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

    “Israel renewed its air aggressions on Syria... bombing Aleppo International Airport on Wednesday afternoon,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    Syrian transport ministry official Suleiman Khalil said the Aleppo airport runway had been targeted by a strike.


  • October 25, 2023 16:55
    Gaza has experienced ‘16 years of de-development’: UN

    The Gaza Strip has lived through 16 years of de-development, the United Nations said Wednesday, adding that the economic consequences of the Israel-Hamas war were “impossible to determine”.

    “Gaza has experienced 16 years of de-development and suppressed human potential and the right to development,” the UN’s UNCTAD trade and development agency said in an annual report on the Palestinian economy.

    While the report focused on 2022, during a press conference UNCTAD officials could not ignore the current conflict.


  • October 25, 2023 16:54
    Turkey says Israeli ground operation in Gaza will result in massacre

    Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Wednesday that an Israeli ground operation into Gaza would turn the fighting there into a massacre.

    In a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart in Doha, Fidan said that those supporting Israel’s actions under the pretence of solidarity are “accomplices to its crimes”.


  • October 25, 2023 16:39
    U.N. warns Gaza blockade could force it to sharply cut relief operations as bombings rise

    The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees warned Wednesday that without immediate deliveries of fuel it will soon have to sharply cut back relief operations across the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded and hit by devastating Israeli airstrikes since Hamas militants launched an attack on Israel more than two weeks ago.

    The warning came as hospitals in Gaza struggled to treat masses of wounded with dwindling resources, and health officials in the Hamas-ruled territory said the death toll was soaring as Israeli jets continued striking the territory overnight into Wednesday.

    The Israeli military said its strikes had killed militants and destroyed tunnels, command centres, weapons storehouses and other military targets, which it has accused Hamas of hiding among Gaza’s civilian population. Gaza-based militants have been launching unrelenting rocket barrages into Israel since the conflict started.


  • October 25, 2023 16:20
    Jordan’s King Abdullah to Macron: Urge Israel to end Gaza war

    Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday told French President Emmanuel Macron that ending the war in Gaza was an urgent necessity and warned that there could otherwise be an “explosion” in the region.

    In a royal court statement, the monarch told Macron Israel should be pressured by global powers to stop its bombing campaign against civilians in the enclave and end its siege of its over two million residents.


  • October 25, 2023 16:12
    Israel sounds rocket alert in northern Carmel, no word of casualties

    The Israeli military sounded sirens in the northern Carmel region on Wedneday, warning of possible incoming rockets or drones, but there were no immediate reports of any casualties.

    The Carmel, near the port city of Haifa, is about 145 km (90 miles) from the Gaza Strip, where an Israel-Hamas war is now in its third week. It is also 42 km (26 miles) from the border with Lebanon, across which Israel has exchanged fire with Hezbollah.


  • October 25, 2023 15:53
    Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders discuss how to achieve ‘victory’

    The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah met top leaders of the Palestinian militant factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and discussed what their alliance must do to “achieve a real victory for the resistance”, Hezbollah said on Wednesday.

    Part of an Iran-backed regional alliance, the heavily armed Hezbollah has had daily exchanges of fire with Israeli forces along the Israeli-Lebanese frontier since war broke out between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7.

    The meeting involved Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri and Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhala, Hezbollah said in a statement. It did not say when the meeting took place.

    “An assessment was made of the international positions being taken and what the parties of the Axis of Resistance must do ... to realise a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestinian and to halt the brutal aggression,” Hezbollah said.

    “There was agreement on continuing the coordination.”


  • October 25, 2023 15:35
    U.S. antisemitic incidents up about 400% since Israel-Hamas war began, report says

    Antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by about 400% in slightly over two weeks since war broke out in the Middle East after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, advocacy group Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said Wednesday.

    The advocacy group’s data - which showed a 388% rise in antisemitic incidents in the U.S. between Oct. 7 and Oct. 23 over the prior year - comes amid monitoring by American authorities of domestic threats due to the conflict.


  • October 25, 2023 15:34
    Turkey’s Erdogan says Hamas is not a terrorist organisation

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Palestinian militant group Hamas is not a terrorist organisation but a liberation group waging a battle to protect its land.

    In a speech to his party’s lawmakers in parliament, Erdogan said Israel had taken advantage of Turkey’s good intentions and that he will not go to Israel as previously planned.


  • October 25, 2023 15:33
    Erdogan says cancelling plans to visit Israel

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he was cancelling plans to visit Israel because of its “inhumane” war against Hamas militants in Gaza.

    “We had a project to go to Israel, but it was cancelled, we will not go,” Erdogan told ruling party lawmakers in parliament, adding that he viewed Hamas as “liberators” fighting for their own land.


  • October 25, 2023 15:32
    UN warns Gaza fuel shortage will stop aid work by end of day

    The main UN aid agency in besieged Gaza warned it will have to stop operations by the end of Wednesday because it is running out of fuel, as Hamas said overnight Israeli strikes killed at least 80 people.

    Alarm has grown about the spiralling humanitarian crisis in heavily bombarded Gaza where one doctor said he was forced to perform emergency surgery on the wounded without anaesthetic.

    Israel has cut off impoverished Gaza’s usual water, food and other supplies, and fewer than 70 relief trucks have entered since the war started -- “a drop of aid in an ocean of need”, warned UN chief Antonio Guterres.


  • October 25, 2023 15:31
    Israel needs its security, Palestinians need chance to live better life: Kushner

    Jared Kushner, one of the chief U.S. architects of a series of normalisation agreements between Israel and Arab nations, said on Wednesday that the Abraham Accords were more important now than ever in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

    “Israel has to have its security... Palestinians have to have the opportunity to live a better life,” said Mr. Kushner, who founded global investment firm, Affinity Partners. He was a senior adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump as well as his son-in-law.


  • October 25, 2023 15:04
    France’s Macron to meet with Egypt’s Sisi in Cairo

    French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday, Mr. Macron’s office told pool reporters.

    Mr. Macron is travelling to Jordan and Egypt a day after visiting Israel, where he said that the U.S.-led coalition of dozens of countries fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria should include the fight against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.


  • October 25, 2023 14:36
    Leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah holds talks with senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad figures

    The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group held talks on Wednesday with senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad figures in a key meeting of three top anti-Israel militant groups amid the war raging in Gaza.

    A brief statement following the meeting said that Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah agreed with Hamas’ Saleh al-Arouri and Islamic Jihad’s leader Ziad al-Nakhleh on the next steps that the three — along with other Iran-backed militants — should take at this “sensitive stage.”

    Their goal, according to the statement that was carried on Hezbollah-run and Lebanese state media, was to achieve “a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestine” and halt Israel’s “treacherous and brutal aggression against our oppressed and steadfast people in Gaza and the West Bank”.

    No other details were provided. The discussions in Beirut came as the war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, is now in its third week. The fighting, triggered by Hamas’ deadly incursion into Israel on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, has killed more than 5,700 Palestinians in Gaza.


  • October 25, 2023 14:17
    Israeli air strikes kill eight Syria troops: state media

    Israeli strikes killed eight soldiers in southern Syria early Wednesday, Syrian state media reported, in what the Israeli army said was a response to earlier rocket fire.

    Persistent rocket and artillery exchanges with Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and allied Palestinian factions across Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria have raised fears of a new front in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

    “Around 1:45 am (2245 GMT Tuesday), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the occupied Golan Heights,” Syrian state media said.

    They said the strikes also wounded seven soldiers and caused material damage.


  • October 25, 2023 13:57
    More than 100 Palestinians killed in West Bank amid Gaza war

    More than 100 Palestinians have been killed across the occupied West Bank since war erupted between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas on October 7, the Health Ministry said Wednesday.

    Many of the Palestinian deaths came in raids by Israeli troops, but there has also been a rise in violence between Palestinians and Israeli settlers which has seen civilians as well as fighters killed on both sides.

    Since October 7, killings have surged in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, with the Palestinian death toll reaching 101 Palestinians, according to the Ramallah-based Health Ministry.

    Over the same period, the Israeli military has reported one member of the security forces killed while taking part in a raid.


  • October 25, 2023 13:48
    Pope urges release of hostages and humanitarian aid access in Gaza

    Pope Francis on Wednesday renewed his calls for the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants and for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Gaza Strip.

    “I am always thinking about the grave situation in Palestine and Israel. I encourage the release of hostages and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” he said during his weekly audience.

    Francis recalled that he will lead Friday’s special prayers for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica, in what he said last week would be a “day of fasting, prayers, penance”.


  • October 25, 2023 13:29
    Israel-Hamas conflict a new cloud among many: IMF chief

    The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the war between Israel and Hamas was another cloud on a horizon with plenty of them, warning that the global economic outlook could worsen.

    “What we see is more jitters in what has already been an anxious world,” Kristalina Georgieva told an audience at the FII investment conference in Riyadh.

    “And on a horizon that had plenty of clouds, one more - and it can get deeper.”


  • October 25, 2023 13:13
    Bahrain Finance Minister: “important” to continue building bridges over Abraham Accords

    On Wednesday, Bahrain’s Finance Minister, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa said it was important to continue building bridges when asked about the Abraham Accords, a series of normalisation agreements between Israel and Arab nations signed in 2020.

    “The future of this region and its stability is built on providing opportunity for all, that will underpin a secure and safe region,” he said in Riyadh at the FII investment conference.


  • October 25, 2023 13:05
    Iran ordered recent attacks by allies in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon: Israel military

    The Israeli military accused Iran on Wednesday of having ordered recent attacks by Tehran-backed militias in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, and said Israel was jointly monitoring the region with its U.S. ally.

    In a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Iran was currently providing Hamas in Gaza with intelligence, and was also helping stoke anti-Israel sentiment globally with an online messaging campaign.

    - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 12:46
    Israel-Hamas war already affecting regional economies: IMF head

    The raging war between Israel and Hamas is already battering the economies of nearby countries, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund told a Saudi investor forum on Wednesday.

    “You look at the neighbouring countries -- Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan -- there the channels of impact are already visible,” Kristalina Georgieva said at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

    Ms. Georgieva spoke one day after Wall Street titans told the forum that the war could deal a heavy blow to the global economy, especially if it draws in other countries. “What we see is more jitters in what has already been an anxious world,” Georgieva said.

    - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 12:13
    Population can’t be collateral damage in Israel-Gaza conflict: Irish Deputy PM

    The innocent population of Palestinians cannot be collateral damage as Israel pursues its right to go after Hamas, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister has warned even as he admitted “different strands of opinion” within the European Union (EU) on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

    In an interaction on the sidelines of the Global Ireland Summit in Dublin on October 24, Micheal Martin told reporters that Europe is united in condemning Hamas but any Israeli response has to be within the parameters of humanitarian law.

    Mr. Martin also called for an immediate pause in hostilities to allow humanitarian aid to flow into the region. “I unreservedly condemn the attack by Hamas on Israel. Israel absolutely has the right to self-defence; to defend itself and its people in response to this heinous attack by Hamas,” said Mr. Martin.

    - PTI

  • October 25, 2023 12:11
    Israeli airstrikes hit a number of military sites in southern Syria

    Israeli airstrikes hit a number of military sites in southern Syria on Wednesday, killing eight soldiers and wounding seven others, according to Syrian state media.

    The strikes targeted the Daraa countryside overnight and came from the direction of Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the SANA state-run news agency said, citing military officials.

    The Israeli military said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that its fighter jets struck “military infrastructure and mortar launchers” of the Syrian army “in response to rocket launches from Syria toward Israel yesterday.”

    - AP

  • October 25, 2023 12:09
    Hezbollah chief meets top Palestinian leaders

    The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah met with top leaders of the Palestinian militant factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to a report by Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, saying they had assessed what their alliance must do to “achieve a real victory for the resistance” in Gaza.

    The meeting grouped Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, with Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri, and Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhala, al-Manar reported.

    “The meeting ... assessed the positions taken internationally and what the Axis of Resistance must do”, a headline on al-Manar said, referring to an alliance of Iran, Palestinian militant groups, Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and other factions.

    - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 12:05
    Gaza displaced show signs of disease from crowding, poor sanitation: doctors

    Doctors in Gaza say patients arriving at hospitals are showing signs of disease caused by overcrowding and poor sanitation after more than 1.4 million people fled their homes for temporary shelters under Israel’s heaviest-ever bombardment.

    Aid agencies have repeatedly warned of a health crisis in the tiny, crowded Palestinian enclave under an Israeli blockade that has cut off electricity, clean water and fuel, with only small U.N. convoys of food and medicine getting in.

    Read more here
  • October 25, 2023 11:52
    Israel aims to crush Hamas but vague on Gaza’s post-war future

    Israel is determined to crush Hamas but has said little about what would replace its rule in Gaza after the war, with observers expecting Washington will play a decisive role.

    “One thing is clear: the Gaza Strip will not be ruled by Hamas once this war is over,” Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy told AFP as Israel’s military steps up strikes in preparation for a widely-expected ground offensive.

    In the wake of the October 7 attacks, when militants from the Palestinian Islamist movement began a deadly cross-border assault that has killed 1,400 people, Israel has laid out just one objective: “Destroying Hamas”.

    Read more here
  • October 25, 2023 11:13
    Hamas government says at least 80 killed in Israel night strikes on Gaza

    Gaza’s Hamas government said Wednesday that Israeli air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory during the night killed at least 80 people.

    A statement from the government’s media office said “more than 80 people were martyred and hundreds wounded in massacres committed by the occupation (Israel) raids” overnight.

    Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas since it erupted on October 7.

    - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 10:26
    Qatar’s mediator role critical as fate of Israeli hostages hangs in the balance

    The gas-rich nation of Qatar has become a key intermediary over the fate of some 200 hostages held by Hamas militants after their unprecedented attack on Israel, once again putting the small Arabian Peninsula country in the spotlight.

    The negotiations have also thrust Qatar into a delicate international balancing act as it maintains a relationship with those viewed as militant groups by the West while trying to preserve its close security ties with the U.S. Under arrangements stemming from past Hamas ceasefire understandings with Israel, the gas-rich emirate of Qatar has paid the salaries of civil servants in the Gaza Strip, provided direct cash transfers to poor families and offered other kinds of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

    Read more here
  • October 25, 2023 09:39
    “Unlawful, unjustifiable”: Blinken draws comparison between LeT in Mumbai, Holocaust

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken drew a parallel between the terrorist attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Mumbai and Hamas in Israel, emphasising that all acts of terrorism are “unlawful and unjustifiable.”

    Speaking at the United States Security Council ministerial meeting regarding the situation in the Middle East, following the October 7 attack on Israel by Gaza-based Hamas, Mr. Blinken said, “As this Council and the U.N. General Assembly have repeatedly affirmed, all acts of terrorism are unlawful and unjustifiable. They’re unlawful and unjustifiable, whether they target people in Nairobi or Bali Istanbul or Mumbai, in New York or Kibbutz Be’eri,” he said.

    “They are unlawful and unjustifiable whether they’re carried out by ISIS, by Boko Haram, by Al Shabaab, by Lashkar-e-Taiba or by Hamas. They are unlawful and unjustifiable whether victims are targeted for their faith, their ethnicity, their nationality or any other reason,” Mr. Blinken said.

    - ANI

  • October 25, 2023 08:47
    Civilian casualties in ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict matter of serious, continuing concern: India tells U.N. Security Council

    India has voiced deep concern over the deteriorating security situation and large-scale loss of civilian life in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, urging the parties to work towards creating conditions necessary for peace and restarting direct negotiations through de-escalation and ending violence.

    The remarks by India’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.N., Ambassador R. Ravindra, came on Tuesday at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

    “India is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation and large-scale loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict. The mounting humanitarian crisis is equally alarming,” Mr. Ravindra said.

    He said the escalation of hostilities in the region has only exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation and has once again underscored the fragile nature of the ceasefire.

    - PTI

  • October 25, 2023 08:34
    Three killed in Israeli strike near West Bank refugee camp: Palestinian media

    Three people were killed and several others wounded in an Israeli strike near the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, Palestinian media reported Wednesday.

    “An Israeli plane fired at least two missiles towards a group of people near Jenin camp,” killing three people and wounding several others, the WAFA report said, citing local sources.

    The Israeli military said in a statement that it had carried out “counterterrorism activities” in the area, but did not mention casualties. It said it was responding to an attack from what it called “armed terrorists”, who “fired and hurled explosive devices at Israeli security forces”.

    In response, it said, one of its attack drones had “struck the terrorists. Hits were identified. No injuries to Israeli security forces were reported.”

    The U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA says at least 95 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since Israel declared war on Hamas in Gaza earlier this month.

    - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 08:32
    U.N. agency warns of ‘halt’ to Gaza aid operations

    A U.N. agency warned it could be forced to stop aid operations in war-riven Gaza on Wednesday due to dwindling fuel supplies, as calls mounted for a humanitarian “pause” in fighting.

    After 18 days of withering Israeli air strikes and a near-total land, sea and air blockade of the Palestinian territory, U.N. refugee agency UNRWA warned operations were at breaking point.

    “If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip,” said the U.N. agency, which provides aid to 600,000 displaced Gazans.

    - AFP

  • October 25, 2023 08:19
    Comment | A massive intelligence failure in Israel

    No words can be strong enough to condemn the massacres carried out in Israel by Hamas, the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist organisation. A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in the densely populated Gaza Strip as Israel, expectedly, responds with the full might of its armed forces.

    The scale and complexity of the attack indicated that Hamas had been meticulously planning it for months. The cross-border incursion across the hi-tech fence separating southern Israel from Gaza began with rocket fire and involved the use of dinghies, bulldozers, motorcycles, paragliders, and drones bearing explosives.

    Read more here
  • October 25, 2023 08:01
    U.S. developing contingency plans to evacuate Americans from Mideast in case Israel-Hamas war spreads

    The White House said that “prudent contingency planning” is underway to evacuate Americans from the Middle East in case the Israel-Hamas war spreads into a broad regional conflict.

    White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stressed there are currently no “active efforts” to evacuate Americans from the region beyond charter flights the U.S. government began operating earlier this month out of Israel.

    “It would be imprudent and irresponsible if we didn’t have folks thinking through a broad range of contingencies and possibilities,” Mr. Kirby said. “And certainly evacuations are one of those things.”

    The White House addressed the contingency plans amid growing concerns that the 18-day-old Israel-Hamas war could further escalate. The U.S. has advised Israel that postponing a possible ground invasion of Gaza could be helpful as the U.S. and other partners in the region try to secure the release of more than 200 hostages who were captured in the October 7 attack on Hamas soil. The contingency planning was first reported by The Washington Post.

    - AP

  • October 25, 2023 07:50
    U.S. has ‘high confidence’ Palestinian rocket caused Gaza hospital blast- official

    U.S. intelligence officials have “high confidence” that an explosion at a Gaza hospital last week was caused by a Palestinian rocket that broke up mid-flight, and not by Israel, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

    The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 471 people were killed in the blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital on October 17. Palestinians and Arab states said an Israeli air strike hit the hospital.

    Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian militant Islamic Jihad group, which has denied responsibility.

    U.S. President Biden said a day after the incident, while visiting Tel Aviv, that the explosion appeared to be the result of an errant rocket fired by a “terrorist group”, echoing Israel’s view.

    - Reuters

  • October 25, 2023 07:31
    Opinion | The Israel-Palestine conflict and ‘mainstream media’

    The Israel-Palestine conflict and ‘mainstream media’

    Issues over the choice of language, headlines, and images are exacerbated as the fog of Israel-Hamas war covers the social media landscape

  • October 25, 2023 07:19
    Australia sends additional air force transport jets to the Middle East

    Australia said it sent an additional two air force transport jets to the Middle East in case citizens of the country need to be evacuated should hostilities escalate.

    Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles said Wednesday that three aircraft were now in the region.

    “All of this is a contingency and the purpose of it is to be supporting Australian populations that are in the Middle East if, in fact, this conflict gets worse,” Mr. Marles told Nine Network television.

    Marles did not say where the aircraft were sent other than they were not in Israel. Australia has helped hundreds of Australians leave Israel aboard chartered flights and was working toward helping 79 leave Gaza.

    - AP

  • October 25, 2023 06:55
    Israeli drone strikes Palestinians during West Bank raid, military says

    Israeli forces on a raid in the occupied West Bank early on Wednesday came under fire by a group of Palestinians whom the military then targeted with a drone strike, the Israeli military said.

    - Reuters

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