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First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war

The first aid trucks arrived in war-torn Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, bringing urgent humanitarian relief to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave suffering what the UN chief labelled a "godawful nightmare". Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group carried out the deadliest attack in the country's history on October 7. Hamas militants killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death, and took more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel has retaliated with a relentless bombing campaign on Gaza that has killed more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. An Israeli siege has cut food, water, electricity and fuel supplies to the densely populated and long-blockaded territory of 2.4 million people, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe. AFP journalists on Saturday saw 20 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent, which is responsible for delivering aid from various UN agencies, pass through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza. The crossing -- the only one into Gaza not controlled by Israel -- closed again after the trucks passed. The lorries had been waiting for days on the Egyptian side after Israel agreed to a request from its main ally the United States to allow aid to enter. UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the relief supplies were "the difference between life and death" for many Gazans, more than one million of whom have been displaced. "Much more" aid needs to be sent, he told a peace summit in Egypt on Saturday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the aid and urged "all parties" to keep the Rafah crossing open. But a Hamas spokesman said "even dozens" of such convoys could not meet Gaza's needs, especially as no fuel was being allowed in to help distribute the supplies to those in need. 'Reeling in pain'  Tens of thousands of Israeli troops have deployed to the Gaza border ahead of an expected ground offensive that officials have pledged will begin "soon". As international tensions soar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was hosting a peace summit in Cairo on Saturday attended by regional and some Western leaders. "The time has come for action to end this godawful nightmare," Guterres told the summit, calling for a "humanitarian ceasefire". The region "is reeling in pain and one step from the precipice", he said. Guterres said "the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long" after "56 years of occupation with no end in sight". But he stressed that "nothing can justify the reprehensible assault by Hamas that terrorised Israeli civilians". "Those abhorrent attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people," he added. Egypt, historically a key mediator between Hamas and Israel, has urged "restraint" and the relaunch of the long-frozen peace process. But diplomatic efforts to end the violence have made little headway, without the participation of Israel and its enemy Iran, a supporter of Hamas and other armed groups. 'Sliver of hope'  A full-blown Israeli ground offensive carries many risks, including to the hostages Hamas took and whose fate is shrouded in uncertainty. So the release of two Americans among the hostages -- mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan -- offered a rare "sliver of hope", said Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. US President Joe Biden thanked Qatar, which hosts Hamas's political bureau, for its mediation in securing the release. He said he was working "around the clock" to win the return of other Americans being held. Natalie Raanan's half-brother Ben told the BBC he felt an "overwhelming sense of joy" at the release after "the most horrible of ordeals". Hamas said Egypt and Qatar had negotiated the release and that it was "working with all mediators to implement the movement's decision to close the civilian (hostage) file if appropriate security conditions allow". Traumatised families with loved ones missing in Gaza demanded more action. "We ask humanity to interfere and bring back all those young boys, young girls, mothers, babies," Assaf Shem Tov, whose nephew was abducted from a music festival where Hamas killed hundreds, said Friday. Devastation  Almost half of Gaza's residents have been displaced, and at least 30 percent of all housing in the territory has been destroyed or damaged, the United Nations says. Thousands have taken refuge in a camp set up in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Fadwa al-Najjar said she and her seven children walked for 10 hours to reach the camp, at some points breaking into a run as missiles struck around them. "We saw bodies and limbs torn off and we just started praying, thinking we were going to die," she told AFP. In Al-Zahra in central Gaza, Rami Abu Wazna was struggling to take in the destruction wreaked by Israeli missile strikes. "Even in my worst nightmares, I never thought this could be possible," he said. Israel's operation will take not "a day, nor a week, nor a month" and will result in "the end of Israel's responsibilities in the Gaza Strip", Defence Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Friday. Regional tensions flare  In Gaza, retired general Omar Ashour said the destruction was "part of a clear plan for people to have no place left to live". "This will cause a second Nakba," he added, referring to the 760,000 Palestinians who were expelled from or fled their homes when Israel was created in 1948. The United States has moved two aircraft carriers into the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran or Lebanon's Hezbollah, both Hamas allies, amid fears of a wider conflagration. Fire across Israel's border with Lebanon continued overnight, with one Israeli soldier killed, Israeli public radio said. The military said it hit Hezbollah targets after rocket and missile fire. Violence has also flared in the West Bank, where 84 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The post First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneOct 21st, 2023

UN chief urges ceasefire to end Gaza’s ‘godawful nightmare’

UN chief Antonio Guterres pleaded Saturday for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the war between Israel and Hamas militants that has devastated much of Gaza, demanding "action to end this godawful nightmare". Addressing a Cairo summit that ultimately proved fruitless, according to Arab diplomats, Guterres said the Palestinian enclave of 2.4 million people was living through "a humanitarian catastrophe" with thousands dead and more than a million displaced. The latest bloodshed began on October 7 when Hamas militants killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, and took more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign, killing more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry, and cut off supplies of water, electricity, fuel and food. According to Arab diplomats who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, the meeting in Cairo failed to reach an agreement, with Western representatives seeking "a clear condemnation placing responsibility for the escalation on Hamas", which Arab leaders refused. The Western officials also wanted to call for the release of those held by Hamas. Egypt's presidency instead released a statement -- drafted with the approval of Arab attendees, the diplomats said -- saying the war had laid bare "a defect in the values of the international community". World leaders have long "sought to manage the conflict, and not end it permanently, by proposing temporary solutions and palliatives that do not live up to even the lowest aspirations of a suffering people", the statement read. In response, Israel bemoaned the lack of a condemnation of what it called "Islamic terror" that endangered the region and entire world. "It is unfortunate that even when faced with those horrific atrocities, there were some who had difficulty condemning terrorism or acknowledging the danger," a foreign ministry statement said. "Israel will do what it has to do and expects the international community to recognise the righteous battle." 'Global silence'  In the opening session, Guterres had said "the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long" after "56 years of occupation with no end in sight" but stressed that "nothing can justify the reprehensible assault by Hamas that terrorised Israeli civilians". He then stressed that "those abhorrent attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people". In the meeting which also included the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy, Jordan's King Abdullah II called for "an immediate end to the war on Gaza" and condemned what he labelled "global silence" on Palestinian death and suffering. "The message the Arab world is hearing is loud and clear: Palestinian lives matter less than Israeli ones. Our lives matter less than other lives," he charged. "The application of international law is optional. And human rights have boundaries -- they stop at borders, they stop at races, and they stop at religions." The summit came on the day a first convoy of aid trucks rumbled into southern Gaza, which Guterres said needed to be rapidly scaled up, with "much more" help sent through. The UN has said that about 100 trucks per day are needed to meet worsening needs in Gaza. The Palestinians need "a continuous delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale that is needed", the UN chief told the Cairo "Summit for Peace". 'We will not leave'  Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi argued that the "only solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "justice" and said that "Palestinians must realise their legitimate rights to self-determination" and have "an independent state on their land". Abbas stressed his demand for a two-state solution and an "end to Israel's occupation" and rejected what he has warned could be a "second Nakba" -- a reference to the more than 760,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their lands during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. "We will not leave," he repeated three times at the end of his speech. Cairo and Amman have repeatedly rejected calls for large numbers of refugees to enter Egypt from Gaza, warning that the "forced displacement" would lead to the "eradication of the Palestinian cause". Egypt and Jordan were the first Arab states to normalise relations with Israel, in 1979 and 1994 respectively, and have since been key mediators between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Turkey's foreign minister Hakan Fidan urged for the current conflict to become, "rather than a regional conflagration, a breeding ground for a just and lasting peace". He also condemned "unconditional military aid to Israel which only serves to maintain the occupation", while Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan condemned the failure of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire after a US veto. The post UN chief urges ceasefire to end Gaza’s ‘godawful nightmare’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

On the edge of Gaza, Israeli soldiers brace for battle

After 16 days of mobilising and massing near the Gaza Strip, an eerie calm lingers among Israeli troops as they await the highly anticipated invasion of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory. The parched desert floor is now filled with hundreds of armoured vehicles along with columns of tanks primed for the expected onslaught. The mechanised steel is adorned with the blue and white Israeli flags, while soldiers labour away with the everyday maintenance of their vehicles. This entire first line is protected by an immense trench, about two kilometres (more than a mile) long, that was dug by engineering units outfitted with heavy machinery. Like most ground offensives, the combat engineering corps will lead the armoured formations when they enter Gaza -- breaching defences and clearing mines and booby traps to pave the way for ground troops. "Military engineering is essential. Without us, no one enters Gaza," explained a soldier serving with unit 601 of the military engineering corps, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There are a lot of obstacles. The enemy is spraying rockets and other things that I cannot detail to prevent us from progressing," he added. Jammed Israel's general staff said their troops are "ready" for a ground incursion, after more than two weeks of heavy bombardment of Gaza by Israeli warplanes and artillery that the Hamas-run health ministry says has killed more than 5,700 people. The campaign follows the bloodiest day in Israel's 75-year history, when hundreds of Hamas fighters rampaged through communities across southern Israel, killing around 1,400 people and taking more than 200 others hostage, according to Israeli officials. The decision to launch a ground invasion is now in the hands of the Israeli government, even as pressure builds from its allies over the shape and parameters of the operation. As its forces wait to strike, Israel has jammed signals near the Gaza border, rendering navigation applications like Google Maps and Waze useless throughout the militarised zone that has been sealed off from civilian use. AFP journalists on the ground noted that the attempts to pin their locations with the apps resulted in errant positions, including the airport near Tel Aviv or the Egyptian capital of Cairo. To reach the sprawling Tze'elim base some 20 kilometres from Gaza, a steady traffic jam leads to the entrance of the largest military facility in the country's southern desert. For kilometres (miles), tourist buses, family cars, tanks and army jeeps form an seemingly endless convoy en route to the base. Tze'elim has long been renowned as one of the premier training grounds for urban combat, which includes life-size replicas of Gaza neighbourhoods, including a mosque and minarets. The forces that have spent years honing their skills at the base will likely be instrumental in the expected ground campaign. Israeli forces last entered Gaza on foot in 2014, allowing Hamas ample time since then to fortify and expand their defences, including a maze of tunnels snaking under the city. In Tze'elim, "tens of thousands" are believed to be on hand in addition to the 169,500 Israeli soldiers already serving in active duty, while an estimated 360,000 reserves have been mobilised to assist in the fight. "Many are already on the ground," explains a senior officer on condition of anonymity referring to the Gaza border. The families of conscripts flock to the base to deliver meals or join their relatives on brief stints of leave, as they lounge on camping chairs lining the road to the base. 'We have to face this' At the entrance to the facility, Omer, a 23-year-old artillery reservist, searches through the masses of troops hoping to find a friend who is taking him on 24-hour leave. "I have been cut off from everything for 14 days -- two weeks in the field, shooting day and night," explained the artilleryman, with a dirt-smeared face and an Indian necklace hanging from his neck. Before the war, the gunner was a yoga teacher and had been studying in northern India when he received his marching orders. Since then, Omer has been manning his battery during "impossible" nights filled with the repeated concussion of heavy artillery and clouds of dust kicked up by passing armoured vehicles. "The worst thing is being in this shit and not even having time to grieve. I have two friends from Nova killed and a friend of a friend kidnapped," said the Israeli soldier, referring to the desert rave where around 270 people were gunned down by Hamas. "When all this is over, we will also have to face this," he added. "But right now, we don't have time." The post On the edge of Gaza, Israeli soldiers brace for battle appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

Scores killed in Gaza strikes as new aid convoy arrives

Scores of Palestinians were killed in central Gaza on Sunday after Israel stepped up its strikes on the war-torn enclave and another convoy of 17 aid trucks arrived as the Hamas-run territory faces "catastrophic" shortages. With the violence raging unchecked, Iran said the region could spiral "out of control". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stark warning to Lebanon's Hezbollah, saying getting involved would be "the mistake of its life". Washington warned any actors looking to inflame the conflict that it would not hesitate to act in the event of any "escalation". Hamas militants in Gaza stormed across the border into Israel on 7 October, launching a raid that killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated, or burnt to death on the first day, according to Israeli officials. They also seized more than 200 hostages in the worst-ever attack in Israel's history. Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign that has so far killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza's health ministry. Officials said the central town of Deir al-Balah had been particularly badly hit overnight from Saturday to Sunday. The ministry said at least 80 people had been killed in the overnight raids on central Gaza, which destroyed more than 30 homes. At the hospital morgue, an AFP journalist saw the bodies of many children on the bloodied floor, where distraught families wept as they identified the victims. Among them was a man clutching his dead toddler and a young boy who pulled back a blanket over his little sister's body. "My cousin was sleeping in his house with his daughter in his arms. He was a man with no record, nothing to do with the resistance," said Wael Wafi, gazing at the body of his cousin, his arm still wrapped around his three-year-old daughter Misk. Also Sunday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that 29 of its staff had been killed since the start of the war in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, saying half of them were teachers. On Saturday it had given a toll of 17. The scale of the bombing has left basic systems unable to function. The UN said dozens of unidentified bodies had been buried in a mass grave in Gaza City because cold storage had run out. Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier was killed near the Gaza border by an anti-tank missile fired by militants inside the enclave, the army said. 'Accident' as Israel hits Egypt post Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant warned the war with Hamas could take months. "It will take one month, two months, three months, and at the end, there will be no more Hamas," Gallant said. A second convoy of 17 trucks of aid entered Gaza from Egypt on Sunday following an initial delivery of 20 trucks on Saturday after intensive negotiations and US pressure. Separately, an AFP journalist saw six trucks leaving Rafah after filling up from dwindling fuel stocks held at the crossing as the enclave faces catastrophic shortages after Israel cut off supplies of food, water, fuel, and electricity. It later resumed water supplies to the south on 15 October. Although Egyptian media said another 40 trucks would enter Gaza on Monday, the UN says the enclave needs 100 trucks per day to meet the needs of Gaza's 2.4 million residents. And so far, there have been no deliveries of fuel, with UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini warning Sunday that supplies would run out "in three days". "Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals, and... aid will not reach many civilians in desperate need," he said. The Hamas government said 165,000 housing units -- half of those in the entire Gaza Strip -- had been destroyed in the raids. With fears growing that the conflict could spread, Israel on Sunday admitted accidentally hitting an Egyptian border post, apologizing for the incident which Cairo said had left an unspecified number of border guards with "minor injuries". Risk of regional escalation There were fresh exchanges of fire over Israel's northern border with Lebanon as fears grew that Hezbollah, a close ally of Hamas and Iran, could enter the conflict, prompting Israel's Netanyahu to warn it would be "the mistake of its life". "We will strike it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the significance for it and the state of Lebanon will be devastating," he said. Iran also warned about the conflict spreading on Sunday, with top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian cautioning that if Washington and Israel did not "immediately stop the crime against humanity and genocide in Gaza.. the region will go out of control". But Washington said it wouldn't hesitate to act in the event of any "escalation", just hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region. "If any group or any country is looking to widen this conflict and take advantage of this very unfortunate situation that we see, our advice is: don't," US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on ABC News. On Sunday, Pope Francis used his weekly Angelus prayer in Rome to plead for an end to the bloodshed. "War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human fraternity. Brothers, stop!" he said. He later held a 20-minute conversation with US President Joe Biden about "conflict situations in the world and the need to identify paths to peace", the Vatican said. Biden later discussed with war with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy, the White House said. The US president also held talks with Netanyahu, said the White House, adding: "The leaders affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza." In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron's office announced he would be traveling to Israel on Tuesday for talks with Netanyahu. Protesters marched in several European capitals on Sunday. At least 10,000 people rallied in support of Israel in Berlin as Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to stamp out a resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Thousands gathered in Paris to demand an end to Israel's operation in Gaza, the first pro-Palestinian rally in the French capital that wasn't banned on security grounds. The post Scores killed in Gaza strikes as new aid convoy arrives appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Gaza: Suspending UNRWA Aid Risks Hastening Famine

(New York) - Governments should continue funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), given its vital role in averting a humanitarian catastrophe and the risk of famine in the Gaza Strip, while the agency investigates allegations that 12 of its staff were involved in the Hamas-led October 7.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2024

Japan premier vows ‘ceaseless’ aid as snow hampers quake relief

WAJIMA, Japan — Japan’s prime minister vowed to provide “ceaseless” support to areas devastated by the New Year’s Day earthquake as snow and sleet hampered rescue and relief efforts and local media reported that the disaster had now claimed at least 126 lives. The adverse weather on the Noto peninsula continued to vex survivors at the epicenter.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2024

Israel designates safe zone in Gaza; Palestinians and aid groups say it offers little relief

Israel designates safe zone in Gaza; Palestinians and aid groups say it offers little relief.....»»

Category: newsSource:  sunstarRelated NewsDec 8th, 2023

Israeli president tells Musk he has ‘huge role’ in anti-Semitism

Israel's president told Elon Musk on Monday that the tech mogul has "a huge role to play" to combat anti-Semitism, which his social media platform is accused of spreading.  The meeting came after the world's richest person visited a kibbutz community devastated in attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence officials. Musk has been criticised over what critics say is a proliferation of hate speech on X, formerly Twitter, since his takeover of the social media site in October 2022. He has been accused by the White House of "abhorrent promotion" of anti-Semitism after endorsing a conspiracy theory seen as accusing Jews of trying to weaken white majorities. Israel's figurehead President Isaac Herzog told him: "Unfortunately, we are inundated by anti-Semitism, which is Jew hatred. "You have a huge role to play," he said. "And I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there's a harbouring of a lot of... anti-Semitism." Musk did not mention anti-Semitism in his video remarks released by Herzog's office, but said Hamas militants "have been fed propaganda since they were children". "It's remarkable what humans are capable of if they're fed falsehoods, from when they are children; they will think that the murder of innocent people is a good thing." On October 7 Hamas militants broke through Gaza's militarised border into southern Israel to kill around 1,200 people and seize about 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials, in the worst-ever attack since the nation's founding. Vowing to destroy Hamas in response, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment of targets in Gaza, alongside a ground invasion, that the Hamas government says has killed almost 15,000. A temporary truce has been in effect since Friday. Talk of satellites Earlier Monday, Netanyahu and Musk discussed "security aspects of artificial intelligence" with senior defence officials, the Prime Minister's Office said. Musk and Netanyahu held a conversation on X following their tour of Kfar Aza, one of the communities attacked by Hamas. "We have to demilitarise Gaza after the destruction of Hamas," Netanyahu said, calling for a campaign to "deradicalise" the Palestinian territory. "Then we also have to rebuild Gaza, and I hope to have our Arab friends help in that context." Netanyahu told Musk he hoped to resume United States-mediated normalisation talks with Saudi Arabia after Hamas's defeat and "expand the circle of peace beyond anything imaginable". The war stalled progress towards a Saudi-Israel normalisation deal, and in early November Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler denounced the conduct of Israeli forces fighting Hamas in Gaza. Israel's Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said his country had reached an understanding in principle on the use of Starlink satellites, operated by Musk's company SpaceX, in Israel and the Gaza Strip "with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications". Starlink is a network of satellites in low Earth orbit that can provide internet to remote locations, or areas that have had normal communications infrastructure disabled. In September, Netanyahu urged Musk "to stop not only anti-Semitism, or rolling it back as best you can, but any collective hatred" on X. Musk said at the time that while his platform could not stop all hate speech before it was posted, he was "generally against attacking any group, no matter who it is". X Corp is currently suing nonprofit Media Matters on the grounds that it has driven away advertisers by portraying the site as rife with anti-Semitic content. Musk has also threatened to file suit against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, over its claims that problematic and racist speech has soared on the site since he completed his $44-billion takeover......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsNov 27th, 2023

Second stage of hostage-prisoner release awaited in Gaza truce

Israeli authorities said that 14 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attacks on 7 October would be released on Saturday, as well as 42 Palestinian prisoners.Hamas fighters are set to release a second group of hostages Saturday in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, officials said, as a truce largely held in the devastated Gaza Strip after seven weeks of war that killed thousands of people......»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 26th, 2023

Second stage of hostage-prisoner release awaited in Gaza truce

Israeli authorities said that 14 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attacks on 7 October would be released on Saturday, as well as 42 Palestinian prisoners.Hamas fighters are set to release a second group of hostages Saturday in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, officials said, as a truce largely held in the devastated Gaza Strip after seven weeks of war that killed thousands of people......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 25th, 2023

Tentative Gaza deal reached to free some hostages, pause fighting – report

(1st UPDATE) As the conflict enters its seventh week, authorities in Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip raise their death toll to 12,300, including 5,000 children.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2023

UN barking up the wrong tree

Negotiations with the terror group Hamas, the crux of the humanitarian pause being pushed in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations, or UN, are backed by groups with an ax to grind against the United States and Israel. The UN said the halt in hostilities is needed to bring in aid and provide fuel primarily to run the electricity for hospitals to maintain medical operations. At the height of the terror attack, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said Hamas bandits ransacked the UN office and carted away provisions, including fuel. The UN agency, which provides aid to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and is the only specialized UN agency for a particular group of refugees, warned it would have to halt operations if no fuel was delivered. The lack of fuel means hospitals and water desalination plants will not function. While there have been limited deliveries of food, water, and medicines, no fuel has been allowed, as Israel is concerned about Hamas’ possible diversion of fuel deliveries. White House national security spokesman John Kirby described Israel’s concerns as legitimate. A satellite image provided by the Israel Defense Forces showed Hamas owns fuel tanks near the Rafah border crossing, containing 500,000 liters of fuel. The IDF suggested that the United Nations ask Hamas for fuel after it showed the satellite images on social media. “Ask Hamas if you can have some,” the IDF wrote. Rafah is the main crossing in and out of Gaza that does not border Israel. It has become the focus of efforts to deliver aid since Israel imposed a “total siege” of the enclave in retaliation for an attack by Hamas militants on 7 October. Israel’s military spokesperson Daniel Hagari recounted that Hamas has been stealing fuel from UNRWA, prompting the decision to block the fuel supply to Gaza. “Petrol will not enter Gaza. Hamas takes the petrol for its military infrastructure,” he said. Another IDF spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, said the photographs belied Hamas’s claims that “it does not have enough fuel to support hospitals and bakeries.” The IDF added: “Hamas-ISIS steals this fuel from civilians and transfers it to its tunnels, rocket launchers, and leaders. This is what Hamas’s list of priorities looks like.” Hamas propaganda said that a power outage at the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip was a “crime against humanity” and called on Arab and Muslim countries and the UN to address the crisis. A power outage hit the hospital on Monday night due to a fuel shortage. It was news network Al Jazeera which reported that electricity was restored during the night, but the hospital only had fuel to operate generators for 48 more hours, after which lifesaving medical devices such as respirators and incubators would cease functioning. The fuel supply from Israel was halted after the 7 October terror assault. Under the cover of a barrage of thousands of rockets, over 2,500 gunmen crossed the border and rampaged murderously through southern Israeli towns, killing more than 1,400, most of whom were civilians. More than 220 were taken hostage. Now, Hamas is trying to deceive the world by crying in violation of human rights with the denial of fuel to the territory it controls. The outrageous twist Hamas applies to the atrocities it initiated then is swallowed lock, stock and barrel by the UN, which is pounding on Israel for a humanitarian pause. “Residents of Gaza, the address for your complaints is not Israel. It’s Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif, and other Hamas-ISIS members who pushed Gaza into this abyss,” according to the IDF. The IDF has disputed the so-called humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that the UN and Hamas are peddling.  “As of now, I can tell you that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There are hardships in moving people within days to the south of the Gaza Strip, but the population is getting along,” an IDF official said. Another indicator that the terror organization controlling Gaza has little concern for the civilians is their obstructing the movement of the Gaza residents south as Israel had directed to the extent of confiscating the car keys of individuals. Hamas is the source of the crisis that the UN said should be solved, which is precisely what Israel is trying to do in committing to wipe out the terror group from the planet. The post UN barking up the wrong tree appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 28th, 2023

UN barking upthe wrong tree

Negotiations with the terror group Hamas, the crux of the humanitarian pause being pushed in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations, or UN, are backed by groups with an ax to grind against the United States and Israel. The UN said the halt in hostilities is needed to bring in aid and provide fuel primarily to run the electricity for hospitals to maintain medical operations. At the height of the terror attack, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said Hamas bandits ransacked the UN office and carted away provisions, including fuel. The UN agency, which provides aid to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and is the only specialized UN agency for a particular group of refugees, warned it would have to halt operations if no fuel was delivered. The lack of fuel means hospitals and water desalination plants will not function. While there have been limited deliveries of food, water, and medicines, no fuel has been allowed, as Israel is concerned about Hamas’ possible diversion of fuel deliveries. White House national security spokesman John Kirby described Israel’s concerns as legitimate. A satellite image provided by the Israel Defense Forces showed Hamas owns fuel tanks near the Rafah border crossing, containing 500,000 liters of fuel. The IDF suggested that the United Nations ask Hamas for fuel after it showed the satellite images on social media. “Ask Hamas if you can have some,” the IDF wrote. Rafah is the main crossing in and out of Gaza that does not border Israel. It has become the focus of efforts to deliver aid since Israel imposed a “total siege” of the enclave in retaliation for an attack by Hamas militants on 7 October. Israel’s military spokesperson Daniel Hagari recounted that Hamas has been stealing fuel from UNRWA, prompting the decision to block the fuel supply to Gaza. “Petrol will not enter Gaza. Hamas takes the petrol for its military infrastructure,” he said. Another IDF spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, said the photographs belied Hamas’s claims that “it does not have enough fuel to support hospitals and bakeries.” The IDF added: “Hamas-ISIS steals this fuel from civilians and transfers it to its tunnels, rocket launchers, and leaders. This is what Hamas’s list of priorities looks like.” Hamas propaganda said that a power outage at the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip was a “crime against humanity” and called on Arab and Muslim countries and the UN to address the crisis. A power outage hit the hospital on Monday night due to a fuel shortage. It was news network Al Jazeera which reported that electricity was restored during the night, but the hospital only had fuel to operate generators for 48 more hours, after which lifesaving medical devices such as respirators and incubators would cease functioning. The fuel supply from Israel was halted after the 7 October terror assault. Under the cover of a barrage of thousands of rockets, over 2,500 gunmen crossed the border and rampaged murderously through southern Israeli towns, killing more than 1,400, most of whom were civilians. More than 220 were taken hostage. Now, Hamas is trying to deceive the world by crying in violation of human rights with the denial of fuel to the territory it controls. The outrageous twist Hamas applies to the atrocities it initiated then is swallowed lock, stock and barrel by the UN, which is pounding on Israel for a humanitarian pause. “Residents of Gaza, the address for your complaints is not Israel. It’s Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif, and other Hamas-ISIS members who pushed Gaza into this abyss,” according to the IDF. The IDF has disputed the so-called humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that the UN and Hamas are peddling.  “As of now, I can tell you that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There are hardships in moving people within days to the south of the Gaza Strip, but the population is getting along,” an IDF official said. Another indicator that the terror organization controlling Gaza has little concern for the civilians is their obstructing the movement of the Gaza residents south as Israel had directed to the extent of confiscating the car keys of individuals. Hamas is the source of the crisis that the UN said should be solved, which is precisely what Israel is trying to do in committing to wipe out the terror group from the planet. The post UN barking upthe wrong tree appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

After conflict’s won, what happens next?

In the wake of the coordinated, well-planned savage attack mounted by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which stunned Israel on 7 October, a seething Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed the total annihilation of Hamas. A “mighty vengeance” is what he promised against what he described as a “cruel enemy, worse than ISIS.” Likewise enraged by the slaughter of scores of Israelis, including over 200 revelers who were mowed down by armed paragliders and foot soldiers as they made merry at an electronic music festival outside the Re’im kibbutz, about 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometers) from the wall that separates Gaza from southern Israel, Netanyahu’s words were echoed by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant who declared, “We will wipe this thing called Hamas, ISIS-Gaza off the face of the earth. It will cease to exist.” Hamas didn’t spare any of the nearly 1,500 Israelis they felled —men, women, children, old people — they also took with them over 200 hostages. Within a week of the attack, Israel retaliated with an intense bombing of Central and Northern Gaza, with Israel striking over 7,000 targets, including rocket launchers, command centers, munitions factories, and leaders of Hamas.  It has been nearly three weeks since the 7 October attack by Hamas, and it remains unclear if or when Israel will conduct a ground invasion of Gaza. Even as Israel continues to blast enemy targets, Western leaders and the UN are pleading for a pause to give aid a chance to get through the blockade and into Gaza and for the safe release of the hostages in Hamas’s hands. On Thursday, Israel said it had briefly sent tanks into Gaza to “prepare the battlefield ahead of the next stages of combat.” Again, on Wednesday, Netanyahu vowed Israel would exact a price for the terrorist assault, which killed over 1,400. Despite these statements by Netanyahu and the Israeli defense minister to decimate Hamas to kingdom come, there is no exact clarity as to when Israel will begin its ground invasion. For sure, the challenges of a ground war are gargantuan. If or when such a ground invasion is finally mounted, what awaits the Israeli defense force will be sustained urban warfare in enemy territory in pursuit of an objective that, other than the total demolition of Hamas, leaves so many other vital matters hanging in the air. The Israelites will confront at least four critical challenges in carrying out a major ground offensive. For Council for Foreign Relations expert Max Boot, these include urban fighting, an inherently different form of warfare where buildings provide positions for defenders, and the multiplication of difficulties for Israeli combatants due to the presence of a large number of Palestinian civilians and even the hostages seized by Hamas who could be used as human shields. Then there are all the underground tunnels built by Hamas over the years, enabling them to hide from Israeli troops and emerge at unexpected moments. There, too, is the challenge of a possible second front, with the Hezbollah in Lebanon poised on Israel’s northern border. The Hezbollah has an estimated arsenal of some 150,000 missiles and rockets. So far, Hezbollah has not mounted a major assault on Israel, but analysts fear it could do so once Israeli ground forces get into Gaza. “A two-front conflict would be a nightmare for Israel,” says Boot. A third critical challenge consists of post-combat stabilization operations. Known in the US military as “Phase IV,” this is where US efforts in both Washington and Iraq foundered badly for lack of preparation. Israeli media have reported that the Israeli government has been struggling to develop a Phase IV plan of its own and, Boot points out, “no wonder because there are no good options.” If Israel simply attacks Hamas and then leaves — as it had done in the past — the terrorist group would just regenerate itself. If to prevent that from happening, a Palestinian Authority government would be established in place of Hamas, with help from Arab states, that could be an option. But if that fails, Israel may have no choice but to re-occupy Gaza — a situation that could leave Israeli soldiers vulnerable to a grinding guerrilla war of the kind they faced in Lebanon in the early 1980s all through 2000. Even as they do get into Gaza, there are many unknowns, according to Boot: how will Israel deal with the Hamas tunnel network; how skillfully will Hamas fight; will a toll on civilian lives in Gaza force Israel to suspend its offensive; will Hezbollah join the war; will this war spread across the region and draw into the fray Hamas’s biggest supporter, Iran? If Hamas is indeed physically decimated — what then should be done to stabilize Gaza after the enemy has been vanquished? Who takes over Gaza once the guns have been stilled and the smoke of war clears? What happens next? Israel’s leaders say those matters, for the moment, are not of immediate concern to them. But at a certain point, they will become unavoidable; Israel will have to grapple with complex questions and carve out a workably resolute path through the din for its continued survival. The post After conflict’s won, what happens next? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

Netanyahu says Israel ‘preparing’ Gaza ground war

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel is readying a ground war in Gaza, pressing ahead with plans that have troubled allies and threaten to worsen an already cascading humanitarian crisis.  Facing ever-louder international calls to temper Israel's ferocious 19-day bombing campaign in the Hamas-controlled territory, Netanyahu delivered a nationally televised address.  He told fellow Israelis still grieving and angry after Hamas's bloody attacks: "We are in the midst of a campaign for our existence," while insisting Israel will decide how the war is prosecuted. On 7 October, throngs of Hamas gunmen poured from Gaza into Israel, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping 222 more, according to official tallies. US President Joe Biden is among the foreign leaders stepping up public calls for Israel to "protect innocent civilians" and to follow the "laws of war" as it pursues Hamas targets. Thousands of Gazans are already believed to have died in Israel's aerial assault, with the toll expected to rise substantially if tens of thousands of Israeli troops massed around Gaza move in.  Biden on Wednesday said he had privately suggested Israel should get hostages out if possible before any ground invasion.  "It's their decision, but I did not demand it", Biden said, as he called on Congress to allocate more money for Israeli defense. Speaking in Cairo, French President Emmanuel Macron warned: "A massive intervention that would put civilian lives at risk would be an error." But boasting of "raining down hellfire on Hamas" and killing "thousands of terrorists", Netanyahu said his war cabinet and the military would determine the timing of a "ground offensive" to "eliminate Hamas" and "bring our captives home." "I will not detail when, how, or how many," he said. 'It's a massacre' Gaza's Hamas-controlled health ministry puts the number of Palestinian deaths at 6,500, including many children and 700 people killed in a single 24-hour window this week.  AFP could not independently verify the ministry's claims, and US President Biden has stated he has "no confidence" in the Hamas ministry figures. While the exact toll from the war in Gaza is unclear, the depth of the suffering is not in question. Entire neighborhoods have been razed, overflowing hospitals carry out procedures without anesthetic, and residents have been forced to use ice cream trucks as makeshift morgues. "They're not waging war on Hamas, they're waging war on children," raged Abu Ali Zaarab, after his family home was bombed in the southern town of Rafah. "It's a massacre."  About 1.4 million people -- more than half the population -- have been displaced, according to the United Nations. The UN says 12 of the territory's 35 hospitals have closed due to damage or insufficient fuel, and a key UN aid agency serving almost 600,000 Palestinians "began to significantly reduce its operations." Israel has cut off Gaza's normal supply corridors for water, food, and other necessities, and fewer than 70 relief trucks have entered the impoverished territory since the war began. None contained fuel, which Israel fears Hamas will use for rockets and explosives. Aid agencies have warned that more people will die if medical equipment, water desalination plants, and ambulances stop operating because of a lack of fuel.  Once the generators stop, hospitals will "turn into morgues", the Red Cross has warned. Hospitals are also struggling with a shortage of medicines and equipment. "There's not enough anesthetic," said Ahmad Abdul Hadi, an orthopedic surgeon working at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. "The wounded are in severe pain but we can't wait for the procedure, so we're forced to do the operation. We performed a number of surgeries without anesthetic. It's tough and painful, but with the lack of resources, what can we do?" A regional 'explosion' The war has sparked fears of a regional conflagration if it draws in more of Israel's enemies. Since October 7, Israel has launched thousands of reprisal strikes in Gaza, but it has also hit targets in Lebanon and Syria. Late Wednesday, Lebanon-based Hezbollah fired what Israel said was a surface-to-air missile at an Israeli drone. Israel's military said it had intercepted the missile and "struck the source of the launch" in retaliation. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria's government are backed by Iran, which denies Israel's right to exist. Tehran's top diplomat on Wednesday accused Israel of carrying out "genocide" in Gaza. Jordan's King Abdullah became the latest leader to warn that ongoing violence could "lead to an explosion" in the region. His wife Queen Rania accused Western leaders of a "glaring double standard" for not condemning Israel's killing of Palestinian civilians in its bombardment of Gaza. Violence has also risen sharply in the occupied West Bank, where health officials said more than 100 Palestinians had been killed, mostly in raids by Israeli troops or in clashes with Israeli settlers. The post Netanyahu says Israel ‘preparing’ Gaza ground war appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

US rejects Mideast ceasefire calls, says would benefit Hamas

The United States warned Monday that any Gaza ceasefire by Israel would benefit Hamas, as the European Union considers a call for a humanitarian pause. A ceasefire would "give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters. "You can understand perfectly clearly why that's an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack and continues to see the terrorist threat right on its border," he said. Miller said that the United States was separately working to ensure a flow of humanitarian relief into Gaza, with a US envoy, David Satterfield, on the ground working "intensively" on aid. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier Monday that he expected the bloc's leaders to back a call for a pause in fighting to let in aid. "I believe that the idea of a humanitarian pause to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid, which would allow displaced persons to find shelter, is something that the leaders will support," Borrell said after talks with EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. The post US rejects Mideast ceasefire calls, says would benefit Hamas appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

‘Hands off our war!’

Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Fluss, stressed yesterday that his country does not want the United Nations to interfere in its war against the extremist group Hamas, which killed at least 1,400 people, mostly Israeli civilians, in an unprecedented attack last 7 October. In a roundtable discussion with DAILY TRIBUNE editors and reporters, Fluss accused the UN of having a long-standing anti-Israel bias as he brushed aside a UN Security Council call for a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict. The UN was founded 78 years ago to the day today, on 24 October 1945. “We’re in a war against Hamas, which is like the war in Afghanistan (following the 11 September 2001 or 9/11 terror attacks against the United States),” said Fluss, describing the attack by Hamas as second only in barbarity to what Israelis faced during the holocaust. Hitler’s Nazi Germany exterminated about six million European Jews from 1941 to 1945 during the Holocaust in World War 2. The genocide would spur the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. “We will make sure that there’s no humanitarian crisis as much as possible, and we are trying hard to minimize the casualties there,” he said, explaining that the airstrikes in the Gaza Strip are targeting well-known Hamas enclaves. Israel, with about 300,000 soldiers and armor massed at its border with Gaza, has expressed an intent to launch a ground offensive to rout Hamas, without occupying the territory it left in 2005. Fluss pointed out that civilians in Gaza are being warned in advance of the attacks, with pleas made for them to relocate to its south, away from the fighting.   War on terror “Our objective in this war is to ensure that Hamas will no longer be able to attack Israel like it did. We will remove their capability in a war that is solely against Hamas and not the Palestinians,” Fluss said. The envoy stressed that Israel is not against delivering humanitarian aid to the civilians in Gaza, while stressing Israel’s right to protect its citizens against terrorist groups like Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Fluss said that nobody, not even the UN, can stop Israel from a war that it did not start, one that was “forced on us” by Hamas with the latter’s massacre of innocent Israelis, including women and children.   Enemies of Israel He explained that while the Philippines enjoys recognition by all countries, Israel has for decades, if not centuries, been trying to be recognized as a state with the right to exist peacefully. But Fluss lamented that the UN has been passing resolutions — at least 20 every year — “which are anti-Israel, (resolutions) that take the Palestinian narrative.” “There is no recognition of the Israeli narrative. The bias against Israel in the UN is well-known,” he said. He said that the UN and its agencies, like the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, otherwise referred to as the UN Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA, have allowed themselves to be used by the enemies of Israel. Fluss cited as an example the use by Hamas of UNRWA facilities, supplies and even marked vehicles in attacking Israel. UNRWA had been accused in the past of perpetuating destabilizing events in order to have a perpetual supply of refugees to justify its existence and funding. It has over 18,900 staff working in 138 countries. Israel, as the lone Jewish state in the UN, is ranged against an automatic majority of countries that support the Palestinian initiatives. The Arab League has 22 members in the UN, while the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has 57 members. It may be recalled that a number of Arab countries had banded together to wage wars against Israel, including in 1948 during its founding. The UN has also accommodated Palestinians many times in the past. In October 1974, or 14 years before the Palestine Liberation Organization nominally forswore terrorism, the UN General Assembly voted to invite it to send a spokesperson to take part in its deliberations. No one who was not a representative of a government — except the Pope, and even he was the head of a quasi-state — had ever before been granted such a privilege. The vote to extend the invitation was overwhelming, 105 to 4, with only the United States, Israel, and two Latin American governments opposed. The assembled delegates heard Yasser Arafat proclaim the necessity of getting at the “historical roots” of the issue, namely, “the Jewish invasion of Palestine [that] began in 1881,” and addressing it with a “radical antidote,” rather than “a slavish obeisance to the present.”   Expulsion try In 1975, the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference were determined to have Israel expelled from the UN. The PLO lined up support for this move at a meeting of the African states while training its sights on a ministerial meeting of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) scheduled a month later, in August 1975, in Lima, Peru. Washington then objected. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delivered a major speech on the subject, with a thinly veiled warning that the United States might turn its back on the United Nations. In addition to Washington’s hard line, the drive to expel Israel was also slowed by disarray within the Arab’s ranks. The most decisive factor that disrupted the expulsion move was the surprising position of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who announced his opposition to it because “Israel must be present at the United Nations if it is expected to comply with its resolutions.” Israel’s enemies soon came up with an alternative that again targeted Israel through a resolution of the General Assembly, echoing Arafat and Soviet propagandists who declared Zionism to be “a form of racism.” In 1982, the body declared that Israel “is not a peace-loving member state and that it has not carried out its obligations under the Charter.” Likewise, the UN General Assembly has voted each year on 70 to 100 resolutions, including from 15 to 20 resolutions pejorative to Israel. Of all General Assembly resolutions that criticize a particular country, three-quarters apply to Israel. The relentless recitation of UN declarations reinforces the conviction in the Arab world that all right lies on the Arab side and that Israel is irredeemably evil. The post ‘Hands off our war!’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Biden discusses Mideast war with Western allies — White House

US President Joe Biden discussed the Israel-Hamas war Sunday with leaders of major Western powers, the White House said, as Israel intensified its attacks on Gaza. Biden spoke with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy, the White House said. "The leaders reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians," a White House readout of the discussions said. It said the leaders discussed their own citizens trapped in the Israel-Hamas war, "in particular those wishing to leave Gaza." Fighting raged unchecked and scores more were killed in air strikes by Israel in Gaza as the humanitarian situation in the enclave worsened. Another convoy of 17 aid trucks arrived in Gaza as the Hamas-run territory faced "catastrophic" shortages. Hamas militants stormed across the border into Israel on 7 October, launching a raid that killed at least 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials. They also seized more than 200 hostages in the worst attack in Israel's history. Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign that has so far killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza's health ministry. The readout said the Western leaders voiced commitment to coordinate "to ensure sustained and safe access to food, water, medical care, and other assistance required to meet humanitarian needs." They also pledged close diplomatic coordination "to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace." In addition to Biden, those on the call included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the White House said. The post Biden discusses Mideast war with Western allies — White House appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Shun mass protests in Egypt

Filipinos in Egypt have been advised to avoid joining any protests following the mass demonstrations, denouncing the bombing of a hospital in the Gaza Strip that reportedly killed at least 500 civilians. In an advisory, the Philippine Embassy in Egypt cautioned Filipinos against joining the random demonstrations and planned mass actions. “The Philippine Embassy in Cairo advises everyone to exercise caution, keep away from mass congregations, and stay home unless necessary,” it said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 1,990 Filipinos in Egypt. Egyptians took to the streets to express their anger over the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, which left hundreds of Palestinians dead. In one of the demonstrations, a Palestinian flag was raised while an Israeli flag was burned. The demonstrations came after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called on Egyptians to express solidarity with the Palestinians amid the Israel-Hamas war. This developed as top diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Friday denounced the ongoing war in the Middle East.   End bloodshed In a statement, the foreign ministers of the 10-member regional bloc called for an immediate end to the bloodshed. “We strongly condemn the acts of violence which have led to the deaths and injuries of civilians, including ASEAN nationals,” the foreign ministers said. “We urge the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties and call for the full respect of international humanitarian law,” it added. Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas are engaged in armed conflict following the surprise attack launched by the terror group on Israel last 7 October. The attack by Hamas has left more than 1,400 dead, most of them massacred on the first day of the assault. Meanwhile, the widespread airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have reportedly left at least 3,478 dead. ASEAN also called on “all parties to create safe, rapid and unimpeded passages of human corridors.” Last week, Israel imposed a 24-hour deadline for 1.1 million civilians to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of its ground offensive in the Palestinian territory. Since then, millions of civilians, including foreign nationals, have scrambled to move from northern Gaza to southern Gaza in hopes of exiting the war-torn territory. The bulk of civilians are swarming to the Rafah border in an attempt to enter Egypt despite the border remaining closed and the restricted availability of food, water and electricity.   Two-state solution Meanwhile, ASEAN reaffirmed its support for a “negotiated two-state solution that allows Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace and security consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.” “This will be the only viable path to resolving the root cause of the conflict,” it said. The regional bloc also called on the “international community to support the peace process in order to ensure long-lasting peace and stability in the region.” “We have issued our respective national statements on the escalation of armed conflicts in the Middle East,” it said. On Wednesday, the Philippines, one of the founding members of ASEAN, expressed its “profound sadness” over the bombing of a hospital in the Gaza Strip, which reportedly killed at least 500 civilians. Israel and Hamas denied being behind the attack and blamed each other for the bombing. The Philippines said all parties should “do their utmost to protect civilians in times of war and armed conflict.” “We support efforts of the United Nations to provide humanitarian relief in the conflict areas,” it said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 135 Filipinos in the Hamas-controlled Gaza.   Deep concern In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is attending the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, the Chief Executive expressed deep concern over the rising number of victims and the safety of those affected by the conflict. In his intervention during the 1st ASEAN-GCC Summit here on Friday, Marcos said, “All parties (should) exert their utmost efforts to de-escalate the situation, stop all violence, and engage in dialogue and diplomacy.” He called on the members of the GCC and ASEAN to work together to promote peace, security, and stability in the South China Sea and the Arabian Sea. Marcos also underscored the importance of cooperation between member countries of the two regional groups to ensure their continued prosperity. “As the two regional organizations located astride the major sea gates and vital corridors of the world’s commerce and communications, it is imperative that we work together to promote peace, security, and stability in both our regions, the South China Sea and the Arabian Sea, grounded on the rules-based international order to ensure the stability and prosperity of our countries and the rest of the world,” Marcos said. “Peace and stability are indispensable to ensuring continued prosperity in our respective regions and the world,” he added. The six GCC member countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while the 10 ASEAN member countries are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. President Marcos attended the ASEAN-GCC Summit, where he discussed business opportunities in the Philippines and urged investors to invest in the Maharlika Investment Fund, among other significant opportunities in the Philippines. The post Shun mass protests in Egypt appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

Gaza residents lose entire families, fear more destruction

'We are living the worst nightmare of our lives,' a resident in Gaza says.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 15th, 2023

Libya survivors face outbreak

Aid groups have warned of a “second humanitarian crisis” in the flood-devastated eastern Libyan city of Derna as the risk of water-borne diseases and shortages of food, shelter and medicine” is growing. “Thousands of people don’t have anywhere to sleep and don’t have food,” Salah Aboulgasem, Islamic Relief’s deputy director of partner development, said Friday. “In conditions like this, diseases can quickly spread as water systems are contaminated,” he added. “With this type of event we can really worry about water-related disease,” Doctors Without Borders medical coordinator in Derna Manoelle Carton said, adding that efforts to coordinate aid is “chaotic.” Last week’s flood submerged the port city of Derna, washing thousands of people and homes out to sea after two upstream dams burst under the pressure of torrential rains triggered by the hurricane-strength storm. Conflicting death tolls have been reported, with officials in the east of the divided country giving different estimates, and one speaking of at least 3,840 dead. The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said “over 38,640” people had been left homeless in eastern Libya, 30,000 of them in Derna alone. Teams from the Libyan Red Crescent are “still searching for possible survivors and clearing bodies from the rubble in the most damaged areas” of the city, its spokesperson Tawfik Shoukri told Agence France-Presse. Other teams were trying to deliver much-needed aid to families in the eastern part of Derna, which had been spared the worst of the flooding but was cut off by road, he added. In a Friday night news conference, Ahmed al-Mesmari, the spokesperson for east-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar pointed to “enormous needs for reconstruction.” The United Nations launched an appeal for more than $71 million to assist hundreds of thousands in need and warned the “extent of the problem” remains unclear. “We don’t know the extent of the problem,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said Friday in Geneva, as he called for coordination between Libya’s two rival administrations — the UN-backed, internationally recognized government in Tripoli, and one based in the disaster-hit east. WITH AFP The post Libya survivors face outbreak appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023