Israeli strike on Syria kills army officer: state media

Israeli strike on Syria kills army officer: state media
Israel has been conducting widespread raids against Iranian targets in Syria. Above, Syrian air defense systems intercept Israeli missiles in this image grab from a video released on May 10, 2018. (Central War Media/AFP file photo)
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Updated 19 June 2024
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Israeli strike on Syria kills army officer: state media

Israeli strike on Syria kills army officer: state media
  • News agency: Israel carried out aggression using drones against two military positions in the provinces of Quneitra and Daraa

DAMASCUS: A Syrian army officer was killed Wednesday in an Israeli air strike in the country’s south, the official SANA news agency reported, citing a military source.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an aggression using drones against two military positions of our armed forces in the provinces of Quneitra and Daraa,” the agency said, adding the attack resulted in the death of the officer and material damage.


Israel far-right minister says prayed at flashpoint mosque compound

Israel far-right minister says prayed at flashpoint mosque compound
Updated 2 sec ago
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Israel far-right minister says prayed at flashpoint mosque compound

Israel far-right minister says prayed at flashpoint mosque compound

JERUSALEM: A far-right Israeli minister said Wednesday he had prayed at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, yet again defying longstanding rules that allow Jews to visit but not to pray.
The mosque compound is Islam’s third holiest site and a symbol of Palestinian national identity but it is also revered by Jews as the site of their ancient temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
“I’m the political leadership and the political leadership authorizes prayers on the Temple Mount,” National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir told a symposium in the Israeli parliament.
“I prayed on the Temple Mount last week and Jews pray on the Temple Mount... There is no reason why parts of the Temple Mount should be off-limits for Jews,” said Ben Gvir, who is known for provocative gestures.
While Jews and other non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem during specific hours, they are not permitted to pray or display religious symbols.
In recent years, the restrictions have been increasingly flouted by hard-line religious nationalists like Ben Gvir, prompting a sometimes violent reaction from Palestinians.
Ben Gvir’s remarks came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to address the US Congress in a bid to rally support amid tensions with President Joe Biden’s administration over his government’s handling of the war in Gaza.


Iran condemns UN expert report on 1980s ‘atrocity crimes’

Iran condemns UN expert report on 1980s ‘atrocity crimes’
Updated 40 min 36 sec ago
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Iran condemns UN expert report on 1980s ‘atrocity crimes’

Iran condemns UN expert report on 1980s ‘atrocity crimes’
  • UN’s independent special rapporteur on the rights situation in Iran, on Monday called for a probe into allegations Iran committed summary, arbitrary and extra-judicial executions
Tehran: Iran on Wednesday condemned a report by a United Nations expert that accused the country of “atrocity crimes” against minorities and killings in the 1980s.
Javaid Rehman, the UN’s independent special rapporteur on the rights situation in Iran, on Monday called for a probe into allegations Iran committed summary, arbitrary and extra-judicial executions in 1981-1982 and in 1988.
He said in a statement, after releasing a report with his detailed findings, that the actions “amounted to crimes against humanity of murder and extermination, as well as genocide.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani dismissed the report as an attempt by Tehran’s “enemies to tarnish the image of the Islamic republic.”
“The claims lack any legal basis and are completely rejected,” said Kanani, accusing Rehman of “abusing his position” and spreading “false news.”
In his report, Rehman said there should be “no impunity for such gross human rights violations, regardless of when they were committed.”
“The Iranian regime and its leaders should not be allowed to escape the consequences of their crimes against humanity and genocide,” he added.
The expert, whose mandate ends on July 31, said that “the targeting and victimising of religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities and political opponents continued with complete impunity during, and since, the first decade of the establishment of the Islamic republic in 1979.”
He highlighted in particular attacks on the Bahai — Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority — which he said was “targeted with genocidal intent and persecution.”
In response, Kanani said: “Iran reserves its legal right to protest this wrong process in some human rights institutions.”

Israel carries out new raids in Gaza as Netanyahu visits US

Israel carries out new raids in Gaza as Netanyahu visits US
Updated 24 July 2024
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Israel carries out new raids in Gaza as Netanyahu visits US

Israel carries out new raids in Gaza as Netanyahu visits US
  • Latest Israeli attacks destroyed homes in towns east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza
  • Gaza health officials says strikes in the past 24 hours had killed at least 55 people

CAIRO/GAZA: Israeli forces carried out new raids in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to address the US Congress.
The latest Israeli attacks destroyed homes in towns east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza and thousands of people were forced to head west to seek shelter, residents said.
The Palestinian Civil Emergency Service said it had received distress calls from residents trapped in their homes in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, but were unable to reach the town.
Israel’s military, which is trying to eradicate the Islamist militant group Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, said it had been operating in areas from which fighters had been able to fire rockets into Israel and attack Israeli troops.
Gaza health officials said Israeli military strikes in the past 24 hours had killed at least 55 people, the latest casualties in a war that health authorities in the enclave say has killed more than 39,000 Palestinians.
“Where should we go? Shall we cross into the sea?” said Ghada, who has been displaced with her family six times during the war, said from Hamas City in northwestern Khan Younis.
“We are exhausted, starved, and want the war to end now, now not an hour later. Every day means more families are wiped off the registration book,” she said via a chat app.
Local residents said they had been ordered to head west toward a designated humanitarian area, but that the area was now unsafe.
Israeli forces also carried out airstrikes on several areas of central and northern Gaza Strip, killing and wounding several Palestinians, health officials said.
Residents of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, said Israeli forces had blown up several houses in the west of the city.
PALESTINIANS CRITICIZE US
Hamas-led fighters triggered the war on Oct. 7 by storming into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 captives, according to Israeli tallies. Some 120 hostages are still being held though Israel believes one in three are dead.
Some Palestinians who gathered at a hospital in Khan Younis before funerals criticized the United States, Israel’s most important international ally, for welcoming Netanyahu.
The Israel leader was due to address Congress later on Wednesday and to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would meet Netanyahu in Florida on Friday.
“The United States is a main partner in what is happening in Gaza. We are being killed because of the United States. We are being slaughtered by American planes, American ships, American tanks, and American troops,” said Kazem Abu Taha, a displaced resident from Rafah.
A senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, said: “The Congress invitation to Netanyahu to make a speech gives legitimacy to the crimes of the war of genocide in Gaza. Receiving a war criminal is a shame to all Americans.”
Israel has rejected accusations brought by South Africa at the UN’s top court that its military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide campaign against Palestinians. It has reacted angrily to a decision by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to seek an arrest warrant against Netanyahu.
Netanyahu said this week a deal to release Israelis held captive in Gaza could be near. But Hamas officials said Netanyahu was stalling and that they had not seen any change in the Israeli stance that would allow an agreement to be reached.
Hamas wants a ceasefire agreement to end the war in Gaza. Netanyahu says the war cannot end before Hamas is eradicated.


Israel-Hamas war latest: Netanyahu is in Washington to address Congress ahead of ceasefire talks

Israel-Hamas war latest: Netanyahu is in Washington to address Congress ahead of ceasefire talks
Updated 24 July 2024
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Israel-Hamas war latest: Netanyahu is in Washington to address Congress ahead of ceasefire talks

Israel-Hamas war latest: Netanyahu is in Washington to address Congress ahead of ceasefire talks
  • On Thursday, officials from Egypt, Israel, the United States and Qatar will meet in Doha with the aim of resuming talks for a proposed three-phase ceasefire to end the war
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Washington to address Congress, has signaled that a ceasefire deal could be taking shape.

DEIR AL-BALAH: The Gaza Health Ministry says the bodies of 55 people killed by Israeli strikes have been brought to local hospitals over the past 24 hours.
Hospitals also received 110 wounded, the ministry said Wednesday. The ministry doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants in its count.
The overall Palestinian death toll from the Israel-Hamas war rose to at least 39,145, the ministry said, and another 90,257 have been wounded.
Israel launched the war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.
Israeli delegation heads to Cairo ahead of planned ceasefire talks in Doha
An Israeli delegation will head to Cairo on Wednesday for negations with Egyptian officials, according to Lebanon’s daily Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group. According to Egyptian sources, the negotiations will focus on the Rafah border crossing and Philadelphi corridor.
On Thursday, officials from Egypt, Israel, the United States and Qatar will meet in Doha with the aim of resuming talks for a proposed three-phase ceasefire to end the war between Israel and Hamas, Al-Akhbar said. It added that Egyptian and Qatari mediators see that the first phase of the deal is close but they are concerned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might destroy a possible deal in the final hours.
A spokesperson for Netanyahu’s office confirmed that a delegation is expected in Cairo.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq sends drones to attack ‘a vital target’ in Eilat
An umbrella group of Iran-backed factions in Iraq says it has carried out an attack with drones on “a vital target” in the southern Israeli city of Eilat.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq said the early Wednesday attack comes in retaliation for what it called Israel’s massacres in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military said its air force shot down two drones that were flying toward Israel from the east. It added that the drones did not enter Israel’s air space.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed responsibility for scores of attacks against Israel in recent months, but most of the drones were shot down before reaching their targets. A drone attack by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi last week rebels killed one person in the center of Tel Aviv and wounded at least 10 others near the United States Embassy.


Musk activates Internet service in Gaza hospital with help of UAE, Israel

Musk activates Internet service in Gaza hospital with help of UAE, Israel
Updated 24 July 2024
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Musk activates Internet service in Gaza hospital with help of UAE, Israel

Musk activates Internet service in Gaza hospital with help of UAE, Israel
  • Announcement came more than five months after the Israeli government gave approval for Starlink’s use in the hospital in Rafah
  • The high speed Internet would enable potentially life-saving medical consultations via real-time video calling

DUBAI: SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said that his Starlink satellite Internet service has been activated in a hospital in Gaza, where many medical facilities have been destroyed by the war, with the help of the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
The Gulf Arab state’s foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, thanked the billionaire entrepreneur for supporting the UAE field hospital in Gaza, where many medical facilities have been demolished and medicines are scarce.
“Starlink is now active in a Gaza hospital with the support of @UAEmediaoffice and @Israel,” Musk posted on X.


The announcement came more than five months after the Israeli government gave approval for Starlink’s use in the hospital in Rafah, a flashpoint city in southern Gaza.
Residents said on Tuesday that Israeli forces had blown up several homes in Rafah, near the Egyptian border, where Israel said its operation aimed to dismantle the last Hamas battalions.
The high speed Internet would enable potentially life-saving medical consultations via real-time video calling, the UAE foreign ministry said in February.
Hamas started the war in Gaza on Oct. 7 when it attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking over 250 hostages back to Gaza, according to Israeli tallies.
Israel responded with an offensive that has killed more than 39,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, and turned the coastal strip into a wasteland.