Widespread casualties on day 80 of Lebanon conflict 

Widespread casualties on day 80 of Lebanon conflict 
Smoke billows after an attack by Hezbollah on an Israeli military post in Metulla, facing the southern Lebanese border village of Khiam. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 December 2023
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Widespread casualties on day 80 of Lebanon conflict 

Widespread casualties on day 80 of Lebanon conflict 
  • Hezbollah announced that it had targeted several Israeli military outposts, causing direct casualties

BEIRUT: On Tuesday, the 80th day of the conflict in southern Lebanon, hostilities between Hezbollah and the Israeli army caused casualties among Lebanese civilians and the Israeli army, including serious injuries.

Israel also violated Beirut’s airspace. An Israeli drone targeted a spot close to a supermarket on the road leading to the center of Touline village. Two civilians were injured by flying glass from the attack.

Malek Awali, mayor of Touline, told Arab News that he was “surprised by this strike, as the village is 5 km north of the Litani Line, meaning that it is not located within the conflict area,” adding that “the bombed road doesn’t lead to the border region located south the line.”

Awali said that “Touline’s residents didn’t leave the village, which hosts 170 Syrian refugee families and 100 Lebanese families who fled the border region, considering it is a safe village.”

Before the attack on Touline, an Israeli drone carried out two strikes on an open area between the villages of Jibchit and Choukine. The explosions were heard in Nabatieh.

A security source told Arab News that “the Israeli bombing last week and early this week has targeted roads that lead to the border region and that are vital for Hezbollah, namely the Al-Khardali road.”

Following the death of the Iranian military commander Sayyed Reza Mousavi in an Israeli raid in Damascus, people in the southern region feared that Iran and its allies would respond to the incident from Lebanon.

Hezbollah announced that it had targeted several Israeli military outposts, causing direct casualties, including “the Zebdine outpost, using Burkan missiles,” adding that “Israeli enemy soldiers were deployed in the vicinity of the Ramyah outpost.”

The militant group added that it targeted “a monitoring room near the Shomera outpost using appropriate weapons, killing and injuring its members.”

Hezbollah also said that it targeted “a gathering of the enemy’s soldiers in the Dovev outpost using appropriate weapons, killing and injuring them.”

Israeli media said that “an Israeli soldier died due to injuries he received from an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon last week.”

The Israeli army conducted military actions in southern Lebanon, using airstrikes, artillery shelling and phosphorus bombs.

The attacks were directed at the outskirts of Blida, Mays Al-Jabal, Jabal Balat, Marwahin, and the eastern outskirts of Naqoura.

The Israeli bombing targeted the vicinity of the Zabdin farm in the Shebaa Farms, and the Israeli army carried out two air strikes with missiles, targeting agricultural lands in the town of Mays Al-Jabal in the eastern sector. The Israeli artillery shelling also targeted the outskirts of the town of Rashaya Al-Fakhar.

In the morning, the Israeli army fired toward the valleys and outskirts adjacent to the towns of Aita Al-Shaab, Ramiya, Tallet Al-Mutran, the Hamams area in Sarda, Wata Al-Khyiam, the outskirts of the town of Beit Lev, the outskirts of the town of Aitaroun, and the Al-Tarash area in the town of Mays Al-Jabal. The phosphoric artillery bombardment targeted the Balat Heights.

During the Christmas holidays, MP Melhem Khalaf, from the Forces of Change, toured the southern border villages of Hasbaya, Al-Kfir, Al-Qulayaa, Deir Mimas, Rmeish, Ain Ebel and Bint Jbeil.

He said on Tuesday: “There are 44 border villages experiencing war. There are victims and martyrs, shops are closed, daily life is disrupted, and anxiety, fear and destruction are spread. All the people of these villages are paying the price on our behalf and they are asking: Where do you stand concerning our concerns?”

Hezbollah politicians replied to calls to spare Lebanon from further involvement in the Gaza war. Hezbollah MP Hussein Jashi referred to what he considered “the plea of Western delegations not to expand the confrontation front in Lebanon.”

He said: “We are not concerned with reassuring the enemy and its settlers. Rather, we are present in our land and ready to respond to any attack decisively and without delay.”

Former Hezbollah Minister Mohammed Fneish said: “No one can discourage us from performing our role. Whoever wants to bury his head in the sand should do so, and refrain from bearing responsibility. We are not immune from the repercussions of the conflict and we will not fall into the traps of promises or temptations.”
 


Tent compound rises in Khan Younis as Israel prepares for Rafah offensive

Tent compound rises in Khan Younis as Israel prepares for Rafah offensive
Updated 23 April 2024
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Tent compound rises in Khan Younis as Israel prepares for Rafah offensive

Tent compound rises in Khan Younis as Israel prepares for Rafah offensive
  • Israel has said it plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah during an anticipated offensive on the southern city
  • The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians
Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press appear to show a new compound of tents being built near Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli military continues to signal it plans an offensive targeting the city of Rafah.
The tent construction is near Khan Younis, which has been targeted by repeated Israeli military operations over recent weeks. Israel has said it plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah during an anticipated offensive on the southern city, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge during the war, now in its seventh month.
Also Monday, a failed rocket strike was launched at a base housing US-led coalition forces at Rumalyn, Syria, marking the first time since Feb. 4 that Iranian-backed militias have attacked a US facility in Iraq or Syria, a US defense official said. No personnel were injured in the attack, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The conflict has sparked regional unrest pitting Israel and the US against Iran and allied militant groups across the Middle East. Israel and Iran traded fire directly this month, raising fears of all-out war.
The war was sparked by the unprecedented Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.
The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80 percent of the territory’s population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.
The US House of Representatives approved a $26 billion aid package on Saturday that includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine, as well as billions for Israel. The US Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

Iran’s foreign minister calls EU sanctions ‘regrettable’

Iran’s foreign minister calls EU sanctions ‘regrettable’
Updated 23 April 2024
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Iran’s foreign minister calls EU sanctions ‘regrettable’

Iran’s foreign minister calls EU sanctions ‘regrettable’
  • EU foreign ministers agreed in principle to expand sanctions on Iran by agreeing to extend restrictive measures on Tehran’s weapons exports

DUBAI: European Union sanctions announced following Iran’s attack against Israel are “regrettable” because the country was acting in self-defense, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian posted on X on Tuesday.
Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles on Israel in what it said was retaliation against a suspected Israeli bombing of its embassy compound in Damascus.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed in principle to expand sanctions on Iran by agreeing to extend restrictive measures on Tehran’s weapons exports of any drone or missile to Iranian proxies and Russia.
“It is regrettable to see the EU deciding quickly to apply more unlawful restrictions against Iran just because Iran exercised its right to self-defense in the face of Israel’s reckless aggression,” Amirabdollahian said on X, before calling on the EU to apply sanctions on Israel instead.
More work will need to follow in Brussels to approve a legal framework before the expansion of the sanctions can take effect.


Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report

Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report
Updated 23 April 2024
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Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report

Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report
  • Rights issues include credible reports of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture, says report
  • Israeli military's conduct has come under scrutiny as its forces have killed over 34,000 in Gaza since Oct. 7

WASHINGTON: The war between Israel and Hamas that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis has had “a significant negative impact” on the human rights situation in the country, the US State Department said in its annual report on Monday.

Significant human rights issues include credible reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings, enforced disappearance, torture and unjustified arrests of journalists among others, said the State Department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

The report added that the Israeli government has taken some credible steps to identify and punish the officials who may have been involved in those abuses.

Israel’s military conduct has come under increasing scrutiny as its forces have killed 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the enclave’s health authorities, many of them civilians and children. The Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip has been reduced to a wasteland, and extreme food shortages have prompted fears of famine.

Israel launched its assault in response to a Hamas attack on Oct. 7, in which Israel says 1,200 people were killed.

Rights groups have flagged numerous incidents of civilian harm during the Israeli army’s offensive in Gaza, as well as raised alarm about rising violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinian Health Ministry records show Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 460 Palestinians since Oct. 7. But so far the Biden administration has said it has not found Israel in breach of international law.

Washington gives $3.8 billion in annual military assistance to its longtime ally. Leftist Democrats and Arab American groups have criticized the Biden administration’s steadfast support for Israel, which they say provides it with a sense of impunity.

But this month, President Joe Biden for the first time threatened to condition support for Israel, and insisted that it take concrete steps to protect humanitarian aid workers and civilians.


Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report

Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report
Updated 23 April 2024
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Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report

Israel’s Gaza war has negatively impacted human rights, says US report
  • The Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip has been reduced to a wasteland, and extreme food shortages have prompted fears of famine

WASHINGTON: The war between Israel and Hamas that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis has had “a significant negative impact” on the human rights situation in the country, the US State Department said in its annual report on Monday.
Significant human rights issues include credible reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings, enforced disappearance, torture and unjustified arrests of journalists among others, said the State Department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
The report added that the Israeli government has taken some credible steps to identify and punish the officials who may have been involved in those abuses.
Israel’s military conduct has come under increasing scrutiny as its forces have killed 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the enclave’s health authorities, many of them civilians and children. The Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip has been reduced to a wasteland, and extreme food shortages have prompted fears of famine.
Israel launched its assault in response to a Hamas attack on Oct. 7, in which Israel says 1,200 people were killed.
Rights groups have flagged numerous incidents of civilian harm during the Israeli army’s offensive in Gaza, as well as raised alarm about rising violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Palestinian Health Ministry records show Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 460 Palestinians since Oct. 7. But so far the Biden administration has said it has not found Israel in breach of international law.
Washington gives $3.8 billion in annual military assistance to its longtime ally. Leftist Democrats and Arab American groups have criticized the Biden administration’s steadfast support for Israel, which they say provides it with a sense of impunity.
But this month, President Joe Biden for the first time threatened to condition support for Israel, and insisted that it take concrete steps to protect humanitarian aid workers and civilians.


Nobel laureate urges protest against Iran’s ‘war on women’

Nobel laureate urges protest against Iran’s ‘war on women’
Updated 23 April 2024
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Nobel laureate urges protest against Iran’s ‘war on women’

Nobel laureate urges protest against Iran’s ‘war on women’
  • Narges Mohammadi issues plea from Evin prison amid new crackdown by Tehran’s morality police

JEDDAH: Jailed Iranian Nobel laureate Narges Mohammadi urged Iranians on Monday to protest against the clerical regime’s “war against women” amid a new crackdown forcing women to cover their heads.
Mohammadi, who is being held in Evin prison in Tehran, called on Iranian women to share their stories of arrest and sexual assault at the hands of the authorities.
Iran launched a nationwide operation this month to enforce the wearing of the headscarf. Women have been arrested and taken to police stations by the morality police, and the Farsi hashtag meaning “war against women” has been trending on social media.
“People of Iran, I ask you, artists, intellectuals, workers, teachers, and students ... inside and outside the country to protest against this war against women,” Mohammadi said in a message from inside the prison. “Do not underestimate the power of sharing your experiences. Doing so will expose the misogynistic government and bring it to its knees.” She accused the authorities of bringing “a full-scale war against all women to every street in Iran.”
Mohammadi said she had been joined in jail by Dina Ghalibaf, a journalist and student who was arrested after accusing security forces on social media of putting her in handcuffs and sexually assaulting her during a previous arrest at a metro station. “For years, we have witnessed many women who have endured assault, abuse, and beatings by government agents,” Mohammadi said.
Mohammadi, 52, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year in recognition of her campaign for human rights in Iran, which has led to her spending much of the past two decades in and out of jail. She has been imprisoned since November 2021 and has not seen her husband and twin children, who live in Paris, for several years.