Israelis kill 6 Palestinians in West Bank assault

A woman reacts during the funeral of Omar Abu Baker, 16, in the West Bank. The boy was killed in an Israeli raid, near Jenin. (Reuters)
A woman reacts during the funeral of Omar Abu Baker, 16, in the West Bank. The boy was killed in an Israeli raid, near Jenin. (Reuters)
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Updated 08 December 2023
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Israelis kill 6 Palestinians in West Bank assault

A woman reacts during the funeral of Omar Abu Baker, 16, in the West Bank. The boy was killed in an Israeli raid, near Jenin.
  • 14-year-old boy among the dead as troops storm Al-Fara refugee camp amid intense fire

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces shot dead six Palestinians on Friday in a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as the army confirmed it conducted a “counterterrorism” operation.

The ministry said those who lost their lives included a 14-year-old boy and an 18-year-old.
It said they had been killed “by bullets from the occupation (Israel) in the Al-Fara refugee camp” near Tubas.
The Palestinian Red Crescent also reported having treated six people wounded by gunfire, one of them critically.
“Clashes escalated with the (Israeli) forces who stormed the camp amid intense fire and ... explosions,” said the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The Israeli army said in a statement that during a joint military and Shin Bet counterterrorism operation, “two wanted suspects were apprehended,” listing both as prominent “terrorists” who had previously been imprisoned.
“During exchanges of fire, a number of terrorists were killed,” it added.
“Two M-16 rifles were found on the terrorists who were killed.”
Residents of the camp gathered for funeral processions on Friday morning, carrying the bodies of those killed in the raid through the streets.
The spot where one of them was shot had been turned into a makeshift memorial, with a pool of blood surrounded by stones and a Palestinian flag draped nearby.
Violence has flared in the territory since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
On Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said four Palestinians, two of them teenagers, were killed in multiple Israeli operations around the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.
The Palestinian Authority says Israeli fire and settler attacks in the West Bank have killed at least 263 Palestinians since the Israel-Hamas war began.
This exceeds the entire death toll of 235, most of them Palestinians, killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year.
Last month, 14 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin, according to the Ramallah-based Palestinian health ministry.
It was the highest West Bank death toll from a single raid since 2005, according to UN records.
Israel’s military said at the time that soldiers and other security forces had killed “several terrorists” with a drone strike and others in gunfights, seizing weapons and destroying a “tunnel shaft containing ready-to-use explosive devices.”
Israeli officials and military have regularly charged that the Jenin refugee camp in the city had turned into a “terrorist hub” where armed groups are among tens of thousands of residents.
According to the medical charity Doctors Without Borders or MSF, since the war erupted, Palestinian gunshot victims in the West Bank are now being shot more often in the head and torso rather than the limbs.
Without specifying who was responsible for the shootings, MSF’s international president Christos Christou said on Thursday there had been a “clear shift” in the injuries witnessed by MSF staff.
“When you see that shift in the trauma, you will see more and more dead people,” he said.

 


Gaza residents fear possible truce would only pause, not stop, the war

Gaza residents fear possible truce would only pause, not stop, the war
Updated 3 sec ago
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Gaza residents fear possible truce would only pause, not stop, the war

Gaza residents fear possible truce would only pause, not stop, the war
RAFAH, Gaza Strip: Homeless, hungry Palestinians fearing an Israeli assault on their last relatively safe haven in Gaza said they were desperate for a lasting ceasefire as the United States said a temporary truce could be agreed soon.
A proposed deal from the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in early March could stop the fighting for the first time since a brief truce in November and ease a human catastrophe unfolding in Gaza.
However, while negotiators discuss a reported proposal for a six-week truce, Israel’s enemy Hamas has said big differences remained and it was still demanding a permanent end to the fighting.
“We hope it will be a permanent ceasefire. We don’t want to go back to war because war after the first truce destroyed us and destroyed our houses,” said Rehab Redwan, a woman who had fled her house in Khan Younis to shelter in a roadside tent.
“Can you imagine — there’s no food, nothing to drink. There are no basics for life,” she added, saying she wanted to go back home even if it now rubble.
After nearly five months of Israel’s air and ground campaign, around 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have fled their homes, most houses are damaged or destroyed, famine looms and disease is rife, say aid agencies.
The war began when Hamas fighters attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.
Israel’s air and ground campaign in Gaza has since killed around 30,000 Palestinians, health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave say.

PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY TRUCE
Walking with a small child through the crammed streets of Rafah, where most displaced Gaza residents have fled to and which Israel says it plans to assault next, Faraj Bakroon said reported conditions for the proposed truce made no sense to him.
As well as including only a weeks-long pause in fighting, there is no indication that Israel would allow people who fled south to go back to their homes in the north — particularly if they are men of military age.
“If the truce is like the previous one and they would start war again after it is over, we don’t want it. And if we can’t go to the north then a truce is not needed. Let’s keep the war until it is totally over,” he said.
“How will we go according to the age they specified? How do we take the children? We can’t leave our children behind and move. We need to bring them,” he added.
Still, for many people in Gaza any stop to fighting would be welcome, even if it falls short of a lasting ceasefire.
“We want a total truce in which we can live,” said Rashad Daher through his full white beard. But he added, “regarding this temporary truce, we ask God that it happens.”
Ahmed Al-Far, living in Rafah after fleeing his home in Gaza City in the north, where Israel’s offensive focused first, said he hoped for a truce “so people can catch their breath and heal their wounds.”
“There are 150 to 200 martyrs daily among the people. It’s a huge loss for our people,” he said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah says Gaza aid must be doubled to stem crisis

Jordan’s King Abdullah says Gaza aid must be doubled to stem crisis
Updated 50 sec ago
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Jordan’s King Abdullah says Gaza aid must be doubled to stem crisis

Jordan’s King Abdullah says Gaza aid must be doubled to stem crisis
AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that humanitarian aid to Gaza must be doubled to prevent a deterioration in a hunger crisis affecting over 2 million people.
The monarch was quoted by state media as telling visiting USAID chief Samantha Power that the international community had to put more pressure on Israel to ease restrictions on the flow of food into the territory.
Jordan is urging its Western allies to lobby Israel to boost the quantities of aid coming from the kingdom via Kerem Shalom on the border of Egypt, Israel and Gaza, beyond the existing Rafah crossing, officials say.
Israel has said it is not blocking aid and blames problems on the UN and Palestinian sides for any delays.
Separately, the king arrived at a military air base to oversee the departure of seven C-130 military transport aircraft, three from Jordan and the rest from Egypt, Qatar, France and the UAE, that will air drop food parcels along the Gaza coast for a second day.
Jordan, which the UN and Western donors have turned into a regional hub for humanitarian supplies to Gaza, for the first time on Monday, along with the French army, air dropped food via four flights to thousands of displaced people sheltering on the beach.
Previous air drops that parachuted in medicines and humanitarian provisions were sent to hospitals that the Jordanian army runs in Gaza.

UN says Israel ‘systematically’ blocking Gaza aid access

UN says Israel ‘systematically’ blocking Gaza aid access
Updated 10 min 5 sec ago
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UN says Israel ‘systematically’ blocking Gaza aid access

UN says Israel ‘systematically’ blocking Gaza aid access
  • It has become nearly impossible to carry out medical evacuations and aid deliveries in northern Gaza and increasingly difficult in the south
  • All planned aid convoys into the north have been denied by Israeli authorities in recent weeks

GENEVA: Israeli forces are “systematically” blocking access to people in need in Gaza, complicating the task of delivering aid in what has become a lawless war zone, the UN said Tuesday.
It has become nearly impossible to carry out medical evacuations and aid deliveries in northern Gaza and increasingly difficult in the south, said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA.
All planned aid convoys into the north have been denied by Israeli authorities in recent weeks, with the last allowed in on January 23, according to the World Health Organization.
Making matters worse, even convoys cleared in advance with Israeli authorities have repeatedly been blocked or come under fire.
Laerke pointed to an incident last Sunday when a convoy, jointly organized by the WHO and the Palestinian Red Crescent (PCRS), to evacuate patients from the besieged Al Amal hospital in the southern city of Khan Yunis, was blocked for hours and paramedics detained.
“Despite prior coordination for all staff members and vehicles with the Israeli side, the Israeli forces blocked the WHO-led convoy for many hours the moment it left the hospital,” Laerke told journalists in Geneva.
“The Israeli military forced patients and staff out of ambulances and stripped all paramedics of their clothes,” he said, adding that the convoy, which was carrying 24 patients, remained blocked for seven hours.
“Three PRCS paramedics were subsequently detained, although their personal details had been shared with the Israeli forces in advance,” Laerke said, adding that just one had been released so far.
“This is not an isolated incident,” he stressed.
“Aid convoys have come under fire and are systematically denied access to people in need.”
Such “inadequate facilitation for the delivery of aid throughout Gaza means that humanitarian workers are subject to unacceptable and preventable risk of being detained, injured or worse,” Laerke said.
The Hamas attack that triggered the war resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.
Militants also took about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza including 31 presumed dead, according to Israel.
Israel’s military campaign has killed at least 29,878 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry.


Egyptian FM raises concerns over Red Sea tensions in talks with Iranian counterpart

Egyptian FM raises concerns over Red Sea tensions in talks with Iranian counterpart
Updated 27 February 2024
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Egyptian FM raises concerns over Red Sea tensions in talks with Iranian counterpart

Egyptian FM raises concerns over Red Sea tensions in talks with Iranian counterpart

DUBAI: Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, voiced concerns regarding the escalating tensions in the Red Sea, directly impacting Egypt, during discussions with his Iranian counterpart, Amir Abdolahian, Al Arabiya news channel reorted on Tuesday. 
Shoukry emphasized the unprecedented threat the tensions posed to international shipping traffic. 
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
The officials delved into bilateral relations between Egypt and Iran, particularly following the summit between President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and President Ebrahim Raisi in November. 
They addressed the ongoing conflict in Gaza, expressing concerns over its potential escalation.


Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops

Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops
Updated 27 February 2024
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Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops

Yemen’s Houthis say Red Sea attacks will only be reassessed if Israeli ‘aggression’ stops
  • Situation to be reassessed if Gaza siege is ended and humanitarian aid is free to enter

ADEN: Yemen’s Houthi spokesperson said on Tuesday that the group’s operations in the Red Sea, where its missiles and drones have been threatening international shipping, will only stop when Israeli “aggression” on Gaza ends and the siege is lifted.
Asked if the attacks on ships would seize if a ceasefire deal was reached for Gaza, Mohammed Abdulsalam said the situation would be reassessed if the siege ended and humanitarian aid was free to enter.