Killing reported in Gaza refugee camp on third day of truce

Killing reported in Gaza refugee camp on third day of truce
A Palestinian woman sits on debris in her damaged apartment in the Khezaa district on the outskirts of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, following weeks of Israeli bombardment, as a truce between Israel and Hamas entered its second day on November 25, 2023. (AFP)
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Updated 26 November 2023
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Killing reported in Gaza refugee camp on third day of truce

Killing reported in Gaza refugee camp on third day of truce
  • Palestinian Red Crescent says farmer killed by Israeli forces in Gaza refugee camp
  • Israel says truce could be extended if Hamas continues to release 10 hostages a day

GAZA/JERUSALEM: A Palestinian farmer was killed and another injured on Sunday after they were targeted by Israeli forces in the Maghazi refugee camp in the center of Gaza, the Palestinan Red Crescent said as a truce between Israel and Hamas fighters entered a third day.
There was no immediate comment from Israel on the report and it was not clear if it would impact the latest phase of plans to swap 50 hostages held by the Palestinian militant group for 150 prisoners in Israeli jails over a four-day period.
Thirteen Israelis and four Thai nationals arrived in Israel early on Sunday after a second release of hostages held by Hamas following an initial delay caused by a dispute about aid delivery into Gaza.
Although the issue was resolved through mediation by Egypt and Qatar, it underscored the fragility of the truce, the first halt in fighting since Hamas fighters rampaged through southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages.
In response to that attack, Israel has vowed to destroy the Hamas militants who run Gaza, bombarding the enclave and mounting a ground offensive in the north. Some 14,800 people, roughly 40 percent of them children, have been killed, Palestinian health authorities said on Saturday.
Israel had said the cease-fire could be extended if Hamas continued to release at least 10 hostages a day. A Palestinian source had said up to 100 hostages could go free.
The armed wing of Hamas announced on Sunday the killing of four of its military commanders in the Gaza Strip, including the commander of the North Gaza brigade Ahmad Al Ghandour. However, it was not clear when they had been killed.

Freed Hostages

Television images showed freed hostages on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing after leaving Gaza as Hamas handed the captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross late on Saturday.
Six of the 13 Israelis released were women and seven were teenagers or children. The youngest was three-year-old Yahel Shoham, freed with her mother and brother, although her father remains a hostage.
“The released hostages are on their way to hospitals in Israel, where they will re-unite with their families,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
Israel released 39 Palestinians — six women and 33 minors — from two prisons, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.
Some of the Palestinians arrived at Al-Bireh Municipality Square in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where thousands of citizens awaited them, a Reuters journalist said.
Violence flared in the West Bank where Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians, including two minors and at least one gunman, late on Saturday and early Sunday, medics and local sources said.
Even before the Oct. 7 attacks from Gaza, the West Bank had been in a state of unrest, with a rise in Israeli army raids, Palestinian attacks, and violence by Israeli settlers in the past 18 months. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since Oct. 7, some in Israeli air strikes.
Saturday’s swap follows the previous day’s initial release of 13 Israeli hostages, including children and the elderly, by Hamas in return for the release of 39 Palestinian women and teenagers from Israeli prisons.
On Friday Hamas also released a Philippine national and 10 Thai farm workers.
The four Thais freed on Saturday “want a shower and to contact their relatives,” Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on social media platform X. All were safe and showed few ill-effects, he said.
“I’m so happy, I’m so glad, I can’t describe my feeling at all,” Thongkoon Onkaew told Reuters by telephone after news of the release of her son Natthaporn, 26, the family’s sole breadwinner.

Aid dispute 

The deal risked being derailed when Hamas’ armed wing said on Saturday it was delaying releases until Israel met all truce conditions, including committing to let aid trucks into northern Gaza.
Saving the deal took a day of high-stakes diplomacy mediated by Qatar and Egypt, which US President Joe Biden also joined.
Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan said only 65 of 340 aid trucks that had entered Gaza since Friday had reached northern Gaza, or “less than half of what Israel agreed on.”
Al-Qassam Brigades also said Israel had failed to respect terms for the release of Palestinian prisoners that factored in their time in detention.
The Israeli military said the United Nations and international organizations distribute aid within the Gaza Strip. The UN said 61 trucks delivered aid to northern Gaza on Saturday, the most since the war began seven weeks ago. They included food, water and emergency medical supplies.


Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’

Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’
Updated 4 sec ago
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Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’

Hamas says US military aid to Israel ‘green light’ for Gaza ‘aggression’
  • Condemns US House of Representatives’ approval of billions of dollars in new military aid to Israel
GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian militant group Hamas on Sunday condemned the US House of Representatives’ approval of billions of dollars in new military aid to Israel, much of which is to strengthen Israeli air defenses.
“This support, which violates international law, is a license and a green light for the Zionist extremist government (Israel) to continue the brutal aggression against our people,” Hamas said in a statement.

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad
Updated 3 min 59 sec ago
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Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad

Iran president to visit Pakistan, boost ties: Islamabad
  • Ebrahim Raisi will be accompanied by ‘a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister... as well as a large business delegation’

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi will travel to Islamabad on Monday to meet his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said, as the two countries seek to mend ties following deadly cross-border attacks this year.
Raisi will be accompanied by “a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister... as well as a large business delegation,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The tit-for-tat missile strikes in January in the porous border region of Balochistan — split between the two nations — stoked regional tensions already inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.
Tehran carried out the strikes against an anti-Iran group in Pakistan the same week it targeted Iraq and Syria.
Pakistan responded with a raid on “militant targets” in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province, one of the few mainly Sunni Muslim regions in Shiite-dominated Iran.
Both countries have in the past accused each other of sheltering militants.
A visit to Islamabad by Tehran’s foreign minister led to the two sides pledging to improve dialogue and install liaison officers in both countries.
Sistan-Balochistan province has for years faced unrest involving cross-border drug-smuggling gangs and rebels from the Baloch ethnic minority, and Muslim extremists.
Raisi will also visit Lahore and Karachi to meet provincial leaders, according to the statement.
The countries will further strengthen ties and enhance cooperation in “trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” it added.
Pakistan is counting on a joint gas project with Iran to solve a long-running power crisis that has sapped its economic growth.
A $7.5-billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline intended to feed Pakistani power plants was inaugurated with great fanfare in March 2013.
But the project immediately stagnated following international sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has built its own section of the 1,800-kilometer (1,100-mile) pipeline, which should eventually link its South Pars gas fields to the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, near Karachi.
In February, Pakistan’s outgoing caretaker government approved the construction of an 80-kilometer section of the pipeline, primarily to avoid the payment of billions of dollars in penalties to Iran due to years of delays.
Washington has warned that Pakistan could face US sanctions, saying it does not support the pipeline going forward.


Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines

Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines
Updated 20 min 24 sec ago
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Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines

Emir of Qatar begins Asia tour with state visit to Philippines
  • During his tour the emir will speak with the countries’ leaders and senior officials

DUBAI: The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad began his state visit to Manila, the Philippine capital, on Sunday as part of his Asia tour, reported the Qatar News Agency.

Sheikh Tamim received a welcome at Maharlika Presidential Airport from a delegation including Rafael Perpetuo Lotilla, minister of energy; Ahmed bin Saad Al-Humaidi, ambassador of Qatar to the Philippines; and Lilibeth Velasco Puno, ambassador of the Philippines to Qatar, along with several senior officials from the Philippine government and members of the Qatari embassy.

Accompanied by an official delegation, Sheikh Tamim’s itinerary includes visits to Bangladesh and Nepal following his time in the Philippines.

During his tour, the emir will speak with the countries’ leaders and senior officials, focusing on ways to enhance cooperation and discussing issues of common interest.

Additionally, agreements and memoranda of understanding are expected to be signed across various fields.


Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097
Updated 21 April 2024
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Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 34,097
  • The tally includes at least 48 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Sunday that at least 34,097 people have been killed in the territory during more than six months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants.
The tally includes at least 48 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 76,980 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.


Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM
Updated 21 April 2024
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Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

Sultan of Oman to visit UAE on Monday - WAM

DUBAI: Sultan Haitham of Oman will visit the UAE on Monday for talks with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, state news agency WAM reported. 

During the visit, both leaders will discuss “the deep-rooted, historical relations between the UAE and Oman and cooperation in various fields,” the agency said. 

The two leaders will also discuss a number of regional and international issues of common interest.