Israel praises foiling of Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised the thwarting of what he said was an Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus. (Reuters/File Photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised the thwarting of what he said was an Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus. (Reuters/File Photo)
Short Url
Updated 26 June 2023
Follow

Israel praises foiling of Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus

Israel praises foiling of Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus
  • Cyprus declined to comment on whether an attack had been foiled
  • In 2021, Israel accused Iran of orchestrating an attempted attack against Israelis in Cyprus

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised the thwarting of what he said was an Iranian attack against Israeli targets in Cyprus.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office did not give any more details, but Israeli news website Ynet, without disclosing its sources, said an attack had been planned against Israelis staying in the city of Limassol.
Cyprus declined to comment on whether an attack had been foiled.
“Israel welcomes the foiling of the Iranian terrorist attack in the territory of Cyprus against Israeli targets,” Netanyahu’s office said.
“Israel operates everywhere in a wide variety of methods in order to protect Jews and Israelis and will continue to act to sever Iranian terrorism wherever it raises its head, including on Iranian soil,” the statement said.
Asked about the Israeli statement, Cyprus government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said: “We cannot comment on issues regarding national security.”
In 2021, Israel accused Iran of orchestrating an attempted attack against Israelis in Cyprus after police on the Mediterranean island said an armed individual had been arrested. Iran denied the accusation.


Egyptian guard killed in shooting on Rafah border, Israel and Egypt investigating

Egyptian guard killed in shooting on Rafah border, Israel and Egypt investigating
Updated 3 sec ago
Follow

Egyptian guard killed in shooting on Rafah border, Israel and Egypt investigating

Egyptian guard killed in shooting on Rafah border, Israel and Egypt investigating
JERUSALEM/CAIRO: A member of Egypt’s security forces was killed in a shooting incident near the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and an investigation is under way, Egypt’s military spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.
Israel’s military had earlier said it was investigating reports of an exchange of fire between Israeli and Egyptian soldiers.
“A few hours ago (Monday), a shooting incident occurred on the Egyptian border. The incident is under review and discussions are being held with the Egyptians,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
Israel seized control of the Rafah border crossing from the Gaza side of the border earlier this month as it stepped up its military offensive in the area, drawing criticism from Egypt.

Gaza hospitals operating in ‘medieval’ conditions: UK doctor

Paramedics transport a body at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah following Israeli bombardment on May 23, 2024.
Paramedics transport a body at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah following Israeli bombardment on May 23, 2024.
Updated 13 min 45 sec ago
Follow

Gaza hospitals operating in ‘medieval’ conditions: UK doctor

Paramedics transport a body at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah following Israeli bombardment on May 23, 2024.
  • Dawas described dire conditions in Gaza, with medical staff operating virtually without supplies, power supplies intermittent and patients lying on the floor

BRUSSELS: Gaza hospitals are reduced to practicing “medieval medicine,” a British surgeon recently returned from the bombarded Palestinian territory said on Monday.
“It’s absolutely true to describe it as medieval medicine. It is what you would hear about or read about what would be happening in Europe maybe 300, 400 years ago,” Dr. Khaled Dawas, head of gastrointestinal surgery at University College London Hospitals, told AFP in an interview.
Dawas described dire conditions in Gaza, with medical staff operating virtually without supplies, power supplies intermittent and patients lying on the floor.
He returned at the end of April from his two-week stint to help overstretched Palestinian hospital surgeons — his second wartime stay there, following one in January.
“By April they were seeing this constant, constant volume of dying and dead bodies coming into the hospitals and any human wouldn’t be able to tolerate it,” he said.
“They carry on working, but you can see the effect of that. They’re all extremely burdened by what they’re doing.”
The 54-year-old surgeon, an Arabic-speaker who has Palestinian parents, said many people in Gaza wounded or needing other medical attention tried to avoid going to the hospitals because it “means pretty much a death sentence.”
That was “because of the wound infections, because of the conditions.”
While the doctor said he felt “guilt” about leaving Gaza to return to his regular British medical work, from which he had taken leave, he said he would be back.
“I do hope that when I go back next time, that it’ll be when the ceasefire is in place. Because watching it unfold when you’re there is unbearable,” he said.
“It becomes more unbearable when you leave, actually, when you think back on what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard. And you wonder how people, any human being, can survive this for so long.”
Dawas was in Brussels to describe his experience to European Union officials.
Gaza has been under Israeli bombardment and ground assault since October 7, when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel, killing more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at 36,050 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.


EU-Israel relations take a nosedive as Spain, Ireland set to formally recognize a Palestinian state

EU-Israel relations take a nosedive as Spain, Ireland set to formally recognize a Palestinian state
Updated 27 May 2024
Follow

EU-Israel relations take a nosedive as Spain, Ireland set to formally recognize a Palestinian state

EU-Israel relations take a nosedive as Spain, Ireland set to formally recognize a Palestinian state
  • EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell threw his full weight to support the International Criminal Court

BRUSSELS: Relations between the European Union and Israel took a nosedive on the eve of the diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state by EU members Ireland and Spain, with Madrid suggesting sanctions should be considered against Israel for its continued attacks in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
Israeli Foreign Minister Katz told Spain that its consulate in Jerusalem will not be allowed to help Palestinians.
At the same time, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, a Spaniard, threw his full weight to support the International Criminal Court, whose prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others, including the leaders of Hamas.
“The prosecutor of the court has been strongly intimidated and accused of antisemitism,” Borrell said. “The word antisemitic, it’s too heavy. It’s too important.”
Angry words abounded Monday, with Katz accusing Spain of “rewarding terror” by recognizing a Palestinian state, and saying that “the days of the Inquisition are over.” He referred to the infamous Spanish institution started in the 15th century to maintain Roman Catholic orthodoxy that forced Jews and Muslims to flee, convert to Catholicism or, in some instances, face death.
“No one will force us to convert our religion or threaten our existence — those who harm us, we will harm in return,” said Katz.
Even though the EU and its member nations have been steadfast in condemning the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in which militants stormed across the Gaza border into Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 hostage, the bloc has been equally critical of Israel’s ensuing offensive that has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
The latest attacks have centered on Rafah, where Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people Sunday, hit tents for displaced people and left “numerous” others trapped in flaming debris.
The UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice, on Friday demanded that Israel immediately halt its offensive on Rafah, even if it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire for the Gaza enclave.
“Israel has to stop its offensive in Rafah,” Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said.
Spain, Ireland and non-EU member Norway plan to make official their recognition of a Palestinian state on Tuesday. Their joint announcement last week triggered an angry response from Israeli authorities, which summoned the countries’ ambassadors in Tel Aviv to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Albares criticized the treatment of the ambassadors. “We reject something that is not within diplomatic courtesy and the customs of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” he said.
“But at the same time we have also agreed that we are not going to fall into any provocation that distances us from our goal,” he added. “Our aim is to recognize the state of Palestine tomorrow, make all possible efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire as soon as possible and also, in the end, to achieve that definitive peace.”


A bus crashes into vehicles in southern Turkiye, leaving 10 dead and 39 injured

A bus crashes into vehicles in southern Turkiye, leaving 10 dead and 39 injured
Updated 27 May 2024
Follow

A bus crashes into vehicles in southern Turkiye, leaving 10 dead and 39 injured

A bus crashes into vehicles in southern Turkiye, leaving 10 dead and 39 injured
  • The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals and at least eight of them were in serious condition
  • There were 28 passengers on board the intercity bus, which was traveling from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir to Adana

ANKARA: A passenger bus crashed into vehicles on a highway in southern Turkiye, killing at least 10 people and leaving 39 others injured, officials said Monday.
The accident occurred in the province of Mersin late on Sunday, when the bus veered into the opposite lane in heavy rain and crashed into two cars. A truck later slammed into all three vehicles, Gov. Ali Hamza Pehlivan told reporters.
The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals and at least eight of them were in serious condition, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
There were 28 passengers on board the intercity bus, which was traveling from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir to Adana, in the south of the country, Anadolu reported.


Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament

Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament
Updated 27 May 2024
Follow

Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament

Iran’s acting president addresses new parliament
  • Mohammad Mokhber’s first public speech since last week’s helicopter crash that killed his predecessor and seven others
  • Asserts the country’s economy remains stable when Iran took military actions in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan

TEHRAN: Iran’s acting President Mohammad Mokhber addressed the country’s new parliament Monday in his first public speech since last week’s helicopter crash that killed his predecessor and seven others.
His speech comes as Iran prepares for a presidential election to replace the late Ebrahim Raisi in just a month, a vote that could see the previously behind-the-scenes bureaucrat potentially run alongside others. Meanwhile, Iran’s new hard-line parliament is expected to select its new speaker Tuesday.
In his remarks, Mokhber praised Raisi’s time in office, noting that Iran’s crude oil production— a key source of hard currency for the country — climbed to more than 3.6 million barrels a day. That comes after Oil Minister Javad Owji said Sunday that Iran was now exporting around 2 million barrels a day, despite Western sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.
Mokhber also asserted that the country’s economy remained stable under Raisi when Iran took military actions in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan in recent months.
“Three countries were hit. We hit Israel, people find that figures and indexes are the same in the morning when they wake up, price of hard currency is the same, inflation is the same, liquidity is the same and the market is full of people’s needs,” Mokhber claimed. “This strength, this settlement and this power is not a usual thing, they all were because of guidance by the supreme leader and the sincere efforts of Ayatollah Raisi.”
The Iranian rial has tumbled from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Today, it stands around 580,000 to $1 in the wake of the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the accord and a series of attacks on shipping in the Mideast, first attributed to Iran and later involving Yemen’s Houthi rebels as Israel’s war against Hamas on the Gaza Strip began over seven months ago.
On May 20, rescuers recovered the bodies of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others in a mountainous region in northwestern Iran following a fatal helicopter crash.
Iran will hold presidential elections on June 28 to replace Raisi. On Thursday, a five-day registration period for candidates will open. Analysts have suggested that Mokhber could be one of those to register.
Meanwhile, Monday marked the first day for Iran’s newly elected parliament, following a March election that saw the country’s lowest turnout since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Of those elected to the 290-seat body, hard-liners hold over 230 seats, according to an Associated Press survey.
Iran’s parliament plays a secondary role in governing the country, though it can intensify pressure on a presidential administration when deciding on the annual budget and other important bills. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, has the final say in all important state matters.