7 Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes

7 Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes
A Lebanese army soldier inspects the wreckage of a car that was targeted in Israeli strike early on Mar. 2, 2024, near the southern Lebanese town of Naqoura. (AFP)
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Updated 02 March 2024
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7 Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes

7 Hezbollah fighters killed in Israeli strikes
  • Three of the fighters died when their car was targeted by an Israeli drone early on Saturday on the coastal road from Al-Naqoura toward the city of Tyre

BEIRUT: Israeli air and drone strikes have killed seven Hezbollah fighters, including a field commander, in less than 24 hours.

Three of the fighters died when their car was targeted by an Israeli drone early on Saturday on the coastal road from Al-Naqoura toward the city of Tyre.

The car caught fire, killing all the occupants — field commander Hussein Badawi from Deir Qanun Al-Nahr, Abbas Khalil from Al-Sama’iyya, and Farouk Mohammed Harb from Al-Halusiya.

Another four fighters — Ali Shalhoub, Mohammed Ghebreyes, Mustafa Salman, and Ali Qasim — died on Friday night in Israeli air strikes on the towns of Aita Al-Shaab and Blida in Lebanon’s southern border region.

Avichay Adraee, spokesperson for the Israeli Army, said on X that Israeli Air Force planes destroyed a car carrying fighters who had launched rockets at Israeli territory.

“These individuals were affiliated with the Imam Hussein Brigade, which is linked to Iran and operates on behalf of Hezbollah,” he added.

Israeli artillery also targeted the outskirts of Labbouneh, Tayr Harfa, Al-Jebain, the Al-Wazzani area, and the southwestern neighborhoods of Mays Al-Jabal and Ramiya. Incendiary shells were fired by the Israeli Army near Al-Naqoura, Jabal Al-Labbouneh, and Alma Al-Shaab.

Israeli fighter jets remained in the skies above southern Lebanon and also flew at low altitude over Beirut’s southern suburbs on Saturday.

Hezbollah said that it launched a successful drone strike on a new Israeli sector headquarters in Liman, and also struck the Israeli military border site of Jal Al-Alam.

Brig. Gen. Pablo Gomez Lera, commander of UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon’s eastern sector, met with Rawad Salloum, mayor of Hasbaya, to discuss the indiscriminate bombing of villages and towns in the area, the forced displacement of residents in border towns, and relief projects for those who remain.

He expressed his dismay at the expansion of military operations, but also said that he hoped a ceasefire would be in place before the likely start of Ramadan on March 11.

Mohammed Fneish, a former Hezbollah minister, warned the group will continue its operations against Israel.

Violence in Palestine must be addressed and efforts to halt the bloodshed prioritized over any discussions regarding peace, he said.

“Hezbollah sets the rules of engagement on Israel and it (Israel) cannot transcend these rules,” Fneish added.


Services at Dubai Airport back to normal after disruptions caused by storm

Services at Dubai Airport back to normal after disruptions caused by storm
Updated 10 sec ago
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Services at Dubai Airport back to normal after disruptions caused by storm

Services at Dubai Airport back to normal after disruptions caused by storm
  • DXB CEO Paul Griffiths says challenges remain, including baggage backlog
  • Regular flight schedules have resumed, with 1,400 flights operating each day

DUBAI: Regular flight schedules at Dubai International Airport had resumed by Monday following the storm early last week that caused the highest rainfall the UAE has experienced in 75 years, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said on Tuesday. About 1,400 flights are now operating each day.

“With roads in and around the airport 100 percent clear of water accumulation, our manpower, logistics and facilities are operating as usual again,” he added.

“To have the airport back up and running is no small feat. Also, 2,155 flights were canceled and 115 were diverted. We had to work closely with our airline partners and service providers to rework schedules, boost manpower and look after all those who had been disrupted.

“I’m continuously amazed by the unwavering dedication of our Dubai Airports employees, airline partners, government agencies, commercial partners and service partners. It has been the most challenging adverse weather event we’ve had to navigate, and our people and partners worked tirelessly to keep the operation running and to assist our guests.”

Griffiths said the welfare of passengers remained a central focus throughout the disruptions over the past week. After some initial difficulties in delivering supplies as a result of flooded roads around Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports, more than 75,000 food packs were successfully provided for passengers stranded at the two locations.

“While certain challenges remain, including processing the baggage backlog, we’re working closely with our service partners but know there’s still more work to be done and, once again, thank guests for their patience while we work through this,” said Griffiths.

“We’re deeply saddened by the ongoing impact of the heavy rainfall on affected communities and businesses across the UAE. We’re also supporting our own people who were badly affected by the weather and will continue to support wherever we can.”


US calls on Iraq to safeguard US troops after new attacks

US calls on Iraq to safeguard US troops after new attacks
Updated 32 min 41 sec ago
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US calls on Iraq to safeguard US troops after new attacks

US calls on Iraq to safeguard US troops after new attacks
  • “These attacks put coalition and Iraqi personnel at risk,” Air Force Major General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing

WASHINGTON: The US military called on Iraq’s government on Tuesday to take steps to safeguard American troops in both Iraq and Syria after failed attacks on Monday by Iran-aligned militia.
“These attacks put coalition and Iraqi personnel at risk. We call on the government of Iraq to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of US forces in Iraq and Syria against attacks from these groups,” Air Force Major General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing.
“If these attacks continue, we will not hesitate to defend our forces, as we have done in the past.”


White House wants ‘real progress’ before restoring UNRWA funding

White House wants ‘real progress’ before restoring UNRWA funding
Updated 23 April 2024
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White House wants ‘real progress’ before restoring UNRWA funding

White House wants ‘real progress’ before restoring UNRWA funding
  • “In terms of our funding of UNRWA, that is still suspended,” Kirby said
  • “We welcome the results of this report and strongly support the recommendations in the report“

WAHSINGTON: The White House said Tuesday it would “have to see real progress” before restoring its funding to the UN agency for Palestinians, the main aid agency operating in war-torn Gaza.
The comments from National Security Council spokesman John Kirby came after the US froze aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency following accusations by Israel that its staff may have participated in the October 7, 2023, Hamas attacks.
A UN probe is looking into those accusations.
A separate independent review into UNRWA found some “neutrality-related issues” in its much-anticipated report released Monday. It noted Israel had yet to provide evidence for incendiary allegations that staff were members of terrorist organizations.
“In terms of our funding of UNRWA, that is still suspended. We’re gonna have to see real progress here before that gets changed,” Kirby said.
Many donor countries have resumed funding since Israel’s accusations, including Sweden, Canada, Japan, the EU and France — while others, including the United States and Britain — have continued to hold out.
“We welcome the results of this report and strongly support the recommendations in the report,” Kirby said, noting that the United States also faced legal constraints in restarting its funding.
Congress passed a bill signed into law by President Joe Biden last month that blocks US funding until March 2025.
UNRWA, which employs some 30,000 people, began operations in 1950 and provides services to nearly six million people across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The neutrality issues highlighted in Monday’s report included staff sharing biased political posts on social media and the use of a small number of textbooks with “problematic content” in some UNRWA schools.


US sanctions four over ‘malicious cyber activity’ for Iran’s military

US sanctions four over ‘malicious cyber activity’ for Iran’s military
Updated 23 April 2024
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US sanctions four over ‘malicious cyber activity’ for Iran’s military

US sanctions four over ‘malicious cyber activity’ for Iran’s military
  • The individuals and companies were working “on behalf of” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC), the Treasury said
  • Tuesday’s sanctions are the latest to be levied against Tehran by the United States

WASHINGTON: The US ramped up its sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, designating four people and two companies it says were “involved in malicious cyber activity” on behalf of the country’s military.
“These actors targeted more than a dozen US companies and government entities through cyber operations, including spear phishing and malware attacks,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
The individuals and companies were working “on behalf of” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC), the Treasury said.
“Iranian malicious cyber actors continue to target US companies and government entities in a coordinated, multi-pronged campaign intended to destabilize our critical infrastructure and cause harm to our citizens,” the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
“The United States will continue to leverage our whole-of-government approach to expose and disrupt these networks’ operations,” he added.
Tuesday’s sanctions are the latest to be levied against Tehran by the United States and its allies for supporting anti-Israel proxies in the Middle East and for providing military support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Last week, the US and Britain announced widespread sanctions against Iran’s military drone program in response to Tehran’s large-scale attack against Israel earlier this month.
That attack came in response to an April 1 air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus — widely blamed on Israel — that killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two generals.
A day after those sanctions were unveiled, the US fined a Thailand-based firm $20 million for more than 450 possible Iran sanctions violations.
They included processing close to $300 million in wire transfers for a company jointly owned by the National Petroleum Company of Iran.
Alongside the Tuesday’s sanctions, the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have also indicted the four individuals in question, “for their roles in cyber activity targeting US entities,” the Treasury Department said.


Egypt condemns Israeli human rights violations in Gaza Strip

Egypt condemns Israeli human rights violations in Gaza Strip
Updated 23 April 2024
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Egypt condemns Israeli human rights violations in Gaza Strip

Egypt condemns Israeli human rights violations in Gaza Strip
  • Egypt said it condemned violations of international law including the targeting of civilians
  • Abu Zeid reiterated the need for immediate intervention by the international community to stop such violations

CAIRO: Egypt has condemned the repeated Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “It is regrettable and shameful that violations of international law and humanitarian values continue in such a flagrant manner in the 21st century, in full view and hearing of all countries, international organizations, and the Security Council.”
This came during statements made by ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid regarding the discovery of mass graves in the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Egypt said it condemned violations of international law including the targeting of civilians, displaced persons, and medical teams by Israeli forces.
Abu Zeid reiterated the need for immediate intervention by the international community to stop such violations and to conduct the necessary investigations to hold perpetrators accountable.
He added that the killing, destruction, and violence witnessed in the West Bank over the past few weeks is no less dangerous, further aggravates the crisis, and threatens to escalate tensions across all occupied Palestinian territories.
He called for an immediate halt to the violence and attacks by settlers, protected by Israeli forces, against Palestinian civilians, their property, and homes in the West Bank.
The bodies of over 200 Palestinians, including patients, have been uncovered so far in mass graves at the Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza’s Khan Younis since Saturday, according to media reports.