Child among a dozen killed, over 80 wounded as Israel hits Gaza with deadly air strikes

News Network
August 6, 2022

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Gaza City, Aug 6: Israel hit Gaza with deadly air strikes on Saturday and a Palestinian group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year.

Israel has said it was forced to launch a "pre-emptive" operation against Islamic Jihad, insisting the group was planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.

Health authorities in Gaza, a Palestinian enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, said a five-year-old girl was among 12 people killed by the Israeli bombardment. More than 80 others have been wounded.

The Israeli military warned Saturday it was "preparing for the operation to last a week," while the sole power station in Gaza ground to a halt due to a lack of fuel after Israel closed border crossings.

Israel and Islamic Jihad have both confirmed the killing of Taysir al-Jabari, a key leader of Islamic Jihad, in a Friday strike on a building in the west of Gaza city.

Islamic Jihad is aligned with Hamas, but often acts independently. It said the initial Israeli bombardment amounted to a "declaration of war" and unleashed a barrage of rockets towards Israel.

Sources within the group ruled out a ceasefire soon, with one saying: "for the movement the focus is on the battlefield," while an Israeli military spokesman told AFP that the army is "not currently holding ceasefire negotiations".

The rocket fire and Israeli strikes were continuing on Saturday, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that devastated Gaza and forced countless Israelis to rush to bomb shelters.

Daily life in the Palestinian enclave has come to a standstill, with streets largely deserted and most shops closed.

Israel's closure of a key goods crossing four days ago resulted in Gaza's power plant shutting down on Saturday, due to a "fuel shortage," a spokesman for the enclave's electricity distributor said.

Diesel for the plant is usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel, which closed its two border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday citing security concerns.

"Israel isn't interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday.

Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

Officials in border areas urged people to stay close to shelters, which have also been opened in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are considered terrorist organisations by much of the West.

A flare up with Islamic Jihad came in 2019, following Israel's killing of Baha Abu al-Ata, Jabari's predecessor. Hamas did not join the fray in that episode.

Hamas's moves now could prove crucial, with the group facing pressure from some to restore calm in order to improve economic conditions in Gaza.

Mohammed Abu Salameh, the director of Shifa, Gaza City's main hospital, said medics are facing "acute shortages of medical supplies".

On Friday, the health ministry reported "a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation" was among those killed.

The girl, Alaa Kaddum, had a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead, as her body was carried by her father at her funeral.

Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said Friday "we are assuming about 15 killed in action" in Gaza, referring to Palestinian combatants.

Israeli tanks were lined up along the border, after the military said Thursday it was reinforcing its troops.

The measures followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, who Israel accuses of orchestrating recent attacks.

Israel on Saturday broadened its operation against Islamic Jihad, announcing the arrest of 19 people it said were members of the group in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has conducted a near relentless wave of often deadly raids inside the West Bank since mid-March in response to lethal attacks on Israeli citizens.

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News Network
September 28,2022

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Bengaluru, Sept 28: Following the Union government imposing a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and several of its associates for their alleged terror activities, Karnataka police chief Praveen Sood on Wednesday warned strict action on any protests or activities against the decision and in favour of the banned organisations.

The state's Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG and IGP) said the police and district authorities will be taking necessary action to implement the ban, as per the government orders.

"Following the Centre's ban, the action to be taken by the state government has been delegated through a notification, and an order has been issued. Now, the state government will be issuing an order shortly on action to be taken by the District Magistrates and Commissioner of Police on the ground," Sood said.

Speaking to reporters, he said the police department and deputy commissioners of various districts will accordingly be taking actions against the banned organisation.

Suggesting that considerable information and evidence gathered by the Centre led to the PFI being outlawed, the DGP said the state police is keeping a strict vigil and is gathering information to take strict action against those who oppose the ban.

"If anyone protests against the government decision on the ban and in favour of the banned organisation, they will have to face the consequences, because they too can be considered legally as part of the banned outfit," he added.

Sood said the police will be taking action against the banned organisation and its affiliates that are active in the state, as per law, and some of which have already been initiated.

No untoward incidents have taken place in the state, since this morning, after the news of the ban came out, he said, adding that all precautionary measures have been taken over the last two days, and proper bandobast have been made.

The organisations which were also declared banned under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, include Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CF), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.

The Central government's action came days after a countrywide crackdown on the 16-year-old PFI, arrest of over a hundred of its activities and seizure of several dozen properties.

On September 22, the NIA along with the state police conducted raids, during which the agency had arrested seven and police 15 people, and produced them to court which granted them to 11 days police custody.

From evidences gathered and based on credible information, Sood said the police on Tuesday took 101 people under preventive detention from across the state after presenting them before the tahsildar.

"While some have been remanded for 15 (days), some are for 10 days and a few for seven. Based on their bail bond for good behaviour, they will be released," he said. 

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News Network
September 30,2022

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Mangalore University is likely to lose 24 undergraduate colleges with the setting up of a new university in Kodagu.

Decks have been cleared for the Kodagu University with the Karnataka Legislative Assembly passing a Bill last week, amending the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000 to pave way for the constitution of eight new universities, including Kodagu University, which would be bifurcated from the jurisdiction of Mangalore University. Kodagu is situated around 150 km from Mangaluru and is geographically and culturally a different territory.

Currently, the Mangalore University has colleges in Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Udupi under its purview.

The new Kodagu University would also have about 10 colleges that presently come under the University of Mysore.

The largest and oldest college in Kodagu district is the Field Marshal K M Cariappa College at Madikeri.

The Mangalore University postgraduate college and research centre on the Jnana Kaveri campus in Chikka Aluvara is proposed to be the headquarters of the Kodagu university. K S Chandrasekharaiah, director of the centre, confirmed that Kodagu University administrative office is likely to be on the Chikka Aluvara campus.

He said students in Kodagu now have to move to Mysuru or Mangaluru for post-graduate studies, which can be avoided if more job-oriented courses are provided on the Jnana Kaveri campus.

Madikeri MLA M P Appachu Ranjan has requested the government to provide 200 more acres of land to the Chikka Aluvara campus, which presently has 70 acres.

The other universities proposed by the government in the Bill are to be set up at Koppal, Mandya, Bagalkot, Chamarajanagar, Bidar, Haveri and Hassan. Mangalore University Vice-Chancellor prof P S Yadapadithaya said no official communication has been received so far on the formation of the Kodagu University.

As per the new National Educational Policy (NEP), priority is being given to local universities which can provide good education and environment to students, he said. 

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News Network
September 21,2022

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Bengaluru, Sept 21: Amidst massive corruption allegations against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka BJP government, posters with CM’s face on a QR code titled ‘PayCM’ in a few places in Bengaluru drew attention today. 

Interestingly, scanning the QR code will take users to the ‘40 per cent Sarkar’ website launched by the Congress recently.

Last week, controversial billboards targeting Bommai were seen in Hyderabad. Bommai said it was a “conspiracy” and that it could “spoil” ties between Karnataka and Telangana. 

The ‘40 per cent commission’ tagline has got on like a house on fire, putting the BJP government on the back-foot. The figure is an average of all the cuts that the Karnataka State Contractors Association said their members have to pay to officials, elected representatives and ministers. The association wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this in July last year. 

Congress, which hopes to connect with voters with its campaign, has come up with a website - www.40percentsarkara.com - and a helpline 8447704040 that citizens can use to narrate their experience with corruption. Congress said details of citizens will be kept confidential.

BJP hits back

Meanwhile, the saffron party hit back at the Congress asking them to post a QR code with Rahul Gandhi's photo to beg for the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' alongside an image of Congress workers threatening a vegetable seller in Kollam a few days ago over donations for the party.
 
"A case of Congress workers robbing a vegetable seller in Kerala's Kollam for the Bharat Jodo Yatra came to light. Congressmen, can't you post Rahul Gandhi's photo, create a QR code and beg for the yatra?," the Karnataka BJP tweeted.

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