Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster

A water cannon is used against demonstrators during a protest calling for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 9, 2024. (REUTERS)
1 / 4
A water cannon is used against demonstrators during a protest calling for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 9, 2024. (REUTERS)
Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster
2 / 4
Police members stand guard as demonstrators take part in a protest calling for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 9, 2024. (REUTERS)
Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster
3 / 4
Israeli police prepare for an anti-government demonstration in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (AFP)
Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster
4 / 4
An Israeli activist carries a placard during an anti-government demonstration in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 10 March 2024
Follow

Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster

Israelis rally for hostage release, Netanyahu ouster
  • Saturday’s gathering bore some resemblance to mass protests against Netanyahu’s controversial legal overhaul before the war in Gaza — “a century ago,” as one protester put it with a sigh
  • Israel has killed 30,960 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry

TEL AVIV: Shouting “Elections now!” and “Bring back the hostages now!,” thousands of Israeli demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday to demand the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after five months of war in Gaza.
With t-shirts and banners featuring the names and pictures of hostages seized during Hamas’s October 7 attack, the crowd demanded swift action to rescue the remaining captives.
The attack on southern Israel that triggered the war resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.




An aerial view shows mourners watching as medical personnel prepare the bodies of 47 Palestinians, that were taken and later released by Israel, during a mass funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 7, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (AFP)

Israel’s retaliatory campaign to destroy Hamas has killed 30,960 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry.
Around 100 hostages remain in Gaza alive and 31 are presumed dead, Israel has said, a key source of demonstrators’ despair.
“We are a broken country,” said Ora, a psychologist in her 60s who did not want to give her full name.
Some protesters called for an immediate ceasefire, a position Netanyahu’s government has so far rejected, arguing it would amount to a victory for Hamas.
“Ceasefire? yes, we don’t have any choice,” said Israel Alva, a former soldier who now sells medical equipment, adding that there was no “political plan” for after the war.
Mediators have been pushing for a new truce deal before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, set to begin in the coming days.
But US President Joe Biden said on Friday that a breakthrough was “looking tough.”

Shai Gill, a 50-year-old airline pilot who joined the Tel Aviv rally, said Netanyahu’s government — already hit by a massive protest wave before the war — “cannot stay in power” after the October 7 attack.
“They don’t have the trust of the people and we have to go for an election,” Gill said.
He accused the government of being “driven by the motivation to stay in power, and not by what is good for the country. They just are clinging to their seats.”
Police later said they arrested 16 protesters for public disturbances, while the force used water canons to disperse the crowd as they blocked a highway.
Saturday’s gathering bore some resemblance to mass protests against Netanyahu’s controversial legal overhaul before the war in Gaza — “a century ago,” as one protester put it with a sigh.
Israel’s top court in January ruled against a key component of the changes, which have largely been shelved.
Netanyahu had argued that they were necessary to rebalance powers between judges and elected officials.
But his detractors warned the multi-pronged package could have paved the way for authoritarian rule and be used by Netanyahu to quash possible corruption convictions against him.
Netanyahu was dealt a new blow this week when a probe found that the premier “bears personal responsibility” for a 2021 stampede in northern Israel that killed 45 Jewish pilgrims.
Netanyahu’s Likud party said in response that the investigation was politically motivated.
“Netanyahu has always governed the same way, with this attitude of ‘I’m not responsible’,” Gill said.
 

 


US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes
Updated 17 sec ago
Follow

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes
  • US envoy Amos Hochstein: ‘The conflict... between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough’
BEIRUT: US envoy Amos Hochstein Tuesday called for the “urgent” de-escalation in cross-border exchanges of fire between Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israeli forces raging since the start of the Gaza war.
“The conflict... between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough,” the presidential envoy said on a visit to Beirut. “It’s in everyone’s interest to resolve it quickly and diplomatically — that is both achievable and it is urgent.”

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
Updated 28 min 59 sec ago
Follow

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
  • Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has launched an air bridge with Sudan and Chad

DUBAI: The UAE has said 70 percent of the $100 million pledge it announced for UN agencies last April will go towards supporting humanitarian aid efforts in Sudan, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the funds would be directed to key UN partners, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. The money will provide food and health support, protect women and children, and offer livelihoods and shelter in emergencies.
Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashemi emphasized the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian support for the Sudanese people. She highlighted ongoing efforts to provide aid in cooperation with the WFP, including operations in El-Fasher and other areas in Sudan.
Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has launched an air bridge with Sudan and Chad, delivering 9,500 tons of food and medical supplies through 148 relief flights and a ship carrying some 1,000 tons of urgent supplies. Additionally, the UAE has supported Sudanese refugee camps in Chad and South Sudan by providing food.


Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
Updated 53 min 22 sec ago
Follow

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
  • The fire affected over 320,000 square meters of trees and dry grass

DUBAI:  Civil Defense teams on Monday extinguished a fire that spread from the Zamal area in the Koura District to the Anaba area in the Northern Mazar District.

Koura District Superintendent Bassem Al-Khalayleh informed the Jordan News Agency that the fire affected over 320 dunams (320,000 square meters) of trees and dry grass. He praised the quick response of the Civil Defense, which contained and extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading to neighboring areas.

Al-Khalayleh urged citizens to clean the areas surrounding their homes, remove waste and dead vegetation that pose safety risks, ensure the presence and readiness of fire extinguishers, and educate individuals about fire hazards. He emphasized the dangers of throwing cigarette butts in forests, leaving flammable waste unattended, lighting fires in grassy areas, and using fireworks near forests or residential areas.

Jordan is currently experiencing a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring to record highs of 45 degrees Celsius in several regions.

The Jordan Meteorological Department reported that the heatwave is expected to persist over the coming days, particularly impacting the desert areas, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, and Aqaba. Residents are advised to stay indoors during peak sunlight hours, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.


Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
  • At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries

DUBAI: Security units in Tunisia thwarted 59 attempts to illegally cross its sea borders and rescued 1,806 individuals, state news agency Tunis Afrique Press reported on Monday.

At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries, the Directorate General of the National Guard announced in a statement.

Two bodies were also recovered, and 24 wanted individuals, including smugglers and middlemen, were detained. In addition, the authorities seized boats and outboard motors used in illegal migration operations.


Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
  • The minister called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack.

DUBAI: Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Muammar Al-Eryani strongly condemned the Houthi militia on Monday for targeting government officials in Taiz, state news agency SABA reported. 

The attack targeted Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Al-Sabri, undersecretary of Taiz Governorate for defense and security affairs; Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Majidi, acting commander of the Taiz Axis; Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Mahfadi, commander of Brigade 22 Mika; Samir Yahya Abdul-Ilah, director-general of the Cairo Directorate; and several other civilian, security, and military leaders. They were on a visit to National Army officers stationed at the old airport camp northwest of Taiz.

Al-Eryani said that the attack occurred less than 500 meters from the recently reopened Al-Kamp-Republican Palace road, after a decade-long siege imposed by the Houthi militia on the governorate.

The attack highlights the Houthi militia’s lack of commitment to peace and their intent to undermine any efforts to alleviate the suffering of citizens, the minister said. 

Al-Eryani called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack. He urged for the militia to be classified as a terrorist organization, for its financial, political, and media resources to be cut off, and for measures to be taken to support the government in establishing control and achieving security throughout Yemeni territory.