Israeli troops violate ceasefire; shoot and kill Gazans returning home

News Network
November 24, 2023

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There are reports of "intense shooting" by Israeli forces east of Khan Younis and Rafah after a four-day ceasefire went into effect on Friday morning.

Al-Jazeera reported that two Palestinians were killed and another was wounded by Israeli soldiers shooting at hundreds of people who tried to return to the north of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Some of those wounded have been evacuated to a hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The Israeli military also warned Palestinians that the "war is not over", telling them not to try to return to homes in the northern part of Gaza, which it described as a "dangerous war zone".

Gaza residents said the Israelis had dropped leaflets warning people not to travel north and have fired over the heads of some people who were trying to get back into Gaza City.

Israeli attacks had raged in the hours leading up to the truce, with officials inside the enclave saying a hospital in Gaza City was among the targets bombed.

Sirens sounded in two Israeli villages outside the southern Gaza Strip, warning of possible incoming Palestinian rockets. The Israeli military also said fighting would resume soon.

"This will be a short pause, at the conclusion of which the war and fighting will continue with great might and will generate pressure for the return of more hostages," Israeli minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant said.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Occupied Territories confirmed the death of one of its aid workers who had worked for more than 20 years for them.

"We are devastated by the killing of our valued colleague Abdellatif Ali Moussa, along with several of his family, in northern Gaza," they said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Israel launched the war on Gaza after Hamas launched Operation al-Aqsa Storm inside the occupied territories on Oct. 7.

At least 14,854 Palestinians, including more than 6,150 children and 4,000 women, have been killed and over 36,000 others injured in the Israeli strikes.

Some 207 health workers and 65 Palestinians are among those killed, while 7,000 Palestinians are still missing.

According to the report, 60 percent of homes in Gaza have either been destroyed or damaged due to the aggression. 

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News Network
February 23,2024

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Bengaluru: The BJP has reportedly offered five Lok Sabha segments to the JD(S) as part of a seat-sharing deal that may also feature candidate-swapping, sources close to the party's legislature leader H D Kumaraswamy said, as the two parties get battle-ready to take on the Congress.

The JD(S) is free to choose from Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, Bangalore Rural and Tumkur, sources said. 

Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil airdashed to New Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to discuss the nuts and bolts of the agreement. 

The seat-sharing deal is also likely to involve swapping of candidates.

"It will be a JD(S) candidate in Hassan, Mandya and Kolar. From Bangalore Rural, the JD(S) candidate is likely to contest on the BJP's symbol. In Tumkur, it might be a BJP candidate on the JD(S) symbol," a source explained. 

If the candidate-swapping happens, then the JD(S) will effectively get four seats where its symbol will be on the ballot. 

Facing an existential threat after getting routed in the Assembly polls, the JD(S) formally joined the BJP-led NDA in September 2023 and forged an alliance with the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. 

The JD(S) already has its MP in Hassan, considered to be its stronghold. In Vokkaliga heartland Mandya, BJP-backed Independent Sumalatha Ambareesh is the MP. Kolar has a BJP MP. 

According to sources, the BJP top brass wants noted cardiac surgeon Dr C N Manjunath to contest. Speculation is rife that Dr Manjunath, who is JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda's son-in-law, will contest on the BJP's symbol from Bangalore Rural, which is currently held by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar's brother, DK Suresh.

In Tumkur, there is speculation that senior BJP leader V Somanna will be the candidate on the JD(S) symbol.

The thinking is based on caste calculations and other poll math involving caste-wise and party-wise vote share in the previous elections, winnability and individual identity of the candidate. 

Kumaraswamy left for New Delhi on Wednesday all of a sudden with his son. Initially, the visit was to pay tributes to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman. On Thursday, the father-son duo met Shah and discussed seat-sharing modalities. 

Sources also said the BJP was slated to hold talks with JD(S) towards the end of this month. But Kumaraswamy expedited this to meet Shah following reports that the BJP wanted to keep Mandya.

"JD(S) workers in Mandya are upset with reports that BJP will keep Mandya with Sumalatha as the candidate. Our leaders are firm about the Mandya seat," the JD(S) source said. 

There is speculation that Kumaraswamy will contest from Mandya but he said that he has "not decided yet on contesting the Lok Sabha polls".

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News Network
February 19,2024

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The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has denounced Israel’s plan to restrict Palestinians’ entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, warning that the measure will explode the whole situation.

“An outburst of anger is waiting to go off in the face of the occupying regime in response to any restrictions on worship at the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan,” Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, said on Sunday.

Earlier, Hamas had roundly condemned Israel’s plan to restrict Palestinians’ access to the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, stating that the decision is a reflection of the Zionist crimes and the religious war waged by hardliner elements in the Israeli administration against the Palestinian people.

In a statement, the Gaza-based group said the restrictions would be a “violation of the freedom of worship” in the holy site, adding that the plan showed Israel’s intention to increase its attacks on the mosque during the Muslim fasting month.

The statement called on Palestinians in occupied East al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and the 1948-occupied territories to reject and resist this “criminal decision”, urging them to “take action and flock to al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday gave his green light to the recommendations of so-called national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and approved the restriction of Palestinians’ entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

A limited number of Palestinians will reportedly be allowed to enter the mosque during the month.

Several Hebrew-language media outlets, including Keshet 12 television channel, reported in the last two days that Israel’s so-called internal security service, Shin Bet, had warned the Tel Aviv regime that prohibiting Palestinians from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan “could lead to major disturbances.”

The agency warned that this decision could cause more “dangerous” disruption than the eruption of tensions in al-Quds, the West Bank, and the 1948-occupied territories.

Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have restricted Palestinian Muslims’ access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, particularly on Fridays.

Last Friday, despite Israeli restrictions, approximately 25,000 Palestinian worshippers were able to enter the mosque in the Old City of al-Quds to perform Friday prayers for the first time since the war.

Ramadan is expected to begin this year on or around March 10.

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News Network
February 20,2024

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United Nation's (UN) experts have raised concern over reports of human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza and the occupied West Bank since Israel launched its war on Gaza on October 7.

In a statement on Monday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it had received information that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault at the hands of Israeli army officers, reported Al Jazeera.

"We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence," the UN experts said.

The experts also said that the OHCHR has received reports of 'arbitrary execution' of Palestinian women and girls, often with their families.

"We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces", they said.

Israel waged a brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 29,092 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 69,028 others.

In the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem too, Israeli forces intensified raids, killing hundreds of Palestinians and detaining thousand others.

UN experts raised alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers in Gaza and West Bank.

Many women have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment, denied menstrual pads, medicine and food. The OHCHR said that they have also suffered severe beatings and on at least one occasion. Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.

UN experts noted that photos of the detainees in 'degrading circumstances' were taken by Israeli forces and then posted online.

An unknown number of Palestinian women and children have gone missing since Israel began its war on Gaza, the experts said.

“There are disturbing reports of at least one female infant forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel, and of children being separated from their parents, whose whereabouts remain unknown,” they said.

The experts have called for an 'impartial, independent and effective' investigation into the allegations and for Israel to cooperate.

The experts further expressed, "taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute."

"Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice."

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