White House vows to continue military support for Israel despite Rafah carnage

News Network
May 29, 2024

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In yet another brazen act of support for Israel’s months-long genocide against the besieged Gaza Strip, the administration of US President Joe Biden has hinted that the regime’s deadly strikes targeting displaced Palestinians in the southern city of Rafah did not cross a “red line” and would not lead to a change in Washington’s policy towards Tel Aviv.

In press briefings on Tuesday, multiple administration officials described the Israeli massacre in Rafah as “heartbreaking” but claimed that the assault, which left dozens of Palestinians dead, was an airstrike and not a major ground operation.

“We still don’t believe that a major ground operation in Rafah is warranted. We still don’t want to see the Israelis, as we say, smash into Rafah with large units over large pieces of territory. We still believe that, and we haven’t seen that at this point,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

“As a result of this strike on Sunday, I have no policy changes to speak to,” Kirby added. “It just happened. The Israelis are going to investigate it. We’re going to be taking great interest in what they find in that investigation. And we’ll see where it goes from there.”

The White House spokesperson said that “no civilian casualties is the right number of civilian casualties,” but he acknowledged innocent people are often killed in war.

“There’s not like a measuring stick here or a quota,” he said, when asked if there were a number of civilian deaths that would prompt action from the US. “As we’ve said many times, the right number of civilian casualties is zero.”

Despite providing Israel with untrammeled support over the past eight months, the White House claims to have urged Israel against sending forces into Rafah without a clear plan to evacuate civilians safely.

In another presser on Tuesday, a Pentagon official said Sunday’s airstrike, which was the deadliest incident in Rafah since Israel launched an offensive there, did not amount to what the White House has warned against.

“It is still our assessment that what is happening in Rafah and what the [Israeli military] are doing, it is limited in scope.” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan last week told reporters there was “no mathematical formula” for assessing Israel’s conduct in Rafah, but officials would look at “whether there is a lot of death and destruction from this operation or if it is more precise and proportional.”

Israel's three-week-old Rafah offensive stirred renewed outrage after an airstrike on Sunday set ablaze a tent camp in the west of the city.

Some 50 people, including many children, were killed in Israel’s attack on the tent camp in Rafah late, prompting global condemnations and calls for the implementation of a World Court order to halt Israel's assault on Gaza.  

The attack came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its US-backed aggression on Gaza that has killed more than 36,000 people since it started in October last year.

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News Network
June 13,2024

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New Delhi: As he embarks on a visit to Italy to attend an Outreach session at the G7 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said its focus would be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

Modi said this in a departure statement before leaving for the European nation in his first foreign trip after becoming prime minister for a third term.

The prime minister said issues crucial for the Global South will also be deliberated upon at the Outreach session.

The G7 summit, to be held in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy's Apulia region from June 13 to 15, is expected to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.

"At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach summit on June 14," Modi said.

The prime minister said he was glad that his first visit in the third consecutive term is to Italy for the G-7 Summit.

"During the discussions at the Outreach session, the focus will be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean," Modi said.

"It will be an opportunity to bring greater synergy between the outcomes of the G20 Summit held under India's Presidency and the forthcoming G7 Summit, and deliberate on issues which are crucial for the Global South," he said.

Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Meloni.

"Prime Minister Meloni's two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda," he said.

"We remain committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership, and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Mediterranean regions," he said.

The prime minister is likely to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. "I am also looking forward to meeting other leaders participating in the Summit," he said.

The G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Italy is holding the current presidency of the G7 (Group of Seven) and is hosting the summit in that capacity.

A key focus of the Italian presidency has been to defend the rules-based international system.

According to Italy, Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide. The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for the global agenda, it says.

The bloc expanded into the G8 between 1997 and 2013, with the inclusion of Russia. However, Russia's participation was suspended in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

In line with the grouping's tradition, representatives of a number of countries and international organisations are invited to the summit by the host nation that holds the chair.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit. Though the European Union is not a member of the G7, it attends the annual summit.

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News Network
June 9,2024

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Deir al-Balah, Jun 9: At least 274 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more were wounded in the Israeli raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas, Gaza's Health Ministry said Sunday. 

Hamas fighters chose not to execute the hostages when the Israeli occupation army carried out the complex daytime operation deep inside the territory.

The killing of so many Palestinians, including babies, children and women, in a raid that Israelis celebrated as a stunning success because all four hostages were rescued alive, showed the heavy cost of such operations on top of the already soaring toll of the 8-month-long war ignited by Hamas' October 7 attack.

Scores of hostages are believed to be held in densely populated areas or inside Hamas' labyrinth of tunnels, making rescue attempts extremely complex and risky. A similar raid in February rescued two hostages while leaving 74 Palestinians dead.

The operation deep into Nuseirat, a built-up refugee camp in central Gaza dating back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was the largest rescue since October 7.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 36,801 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 83,680 others in the Gaza Strip. 

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News Network
June 5,2024

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Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unanimously elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the ruling bloc's leader on Wednesday. The decision was made during a meeting at Modi's residence in New Delhi, a day after the NDA secured a majority in the Lok Sabha election, paving the way for Modi to take the oath for a third consecutive term, a first for any ruling alliance since 1962.

The meeting, attended by prominent leaders such as TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, LJP(R) leader Chirag Paswan, and NCP leader Praful Patel, also saw the passing of a resolution reaffirming the government's commitment to serving the poor, women, youth, farmers, and deprived sections of society.

The resolution said the NDA government will continue working to lift people's living standards for the country's all-round development while conserving its heritage.

"Over the past 10 years, 1.4 billion Indians have witnessed the country develop in every sector under the leadership of the esteemed Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, through the welfare policies of the NDA government. After a long interval of nearly six decades, the people of India have chosen a strong leadership with an absolute majority for the third consecutive time."

"We all take pride in the fact that the 2024 Lok Sabha elections were fought and won by the NDA under the esteemed leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi. All of us NDA leaders unanimously choose the esteemed Mr. Narendra Modi as our leader."

"Under Mr. Modi's leadership, the NDA government is committed to serving India's poor, women, youth, farmers, and the oppressed, deprived, and suffering citizens. By preserving India's heritage, the NDA government will continue to work towards comprehensive development and improving the standard of living for every citizen of India. This proposal was unanimously passed on June 5, 2024, in New Delhi," read the proposal letter passed by the leaders of the NDA in Delhi.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, in a significant move, passed a resolution emphasizing the alliance government's commitment to serving the marginalized sections of society. The resolution, passed during a meeting in New Delhi, highlighted the NDA's dedication to the welfare and empowerment of the poor, women, youth, farmers, and other deprived segments of the population.

The NDA is set to meet President Droupadi Murmu to stake claim to form the government under Modi's leadership. JD(U) MP Sanjay Kumar Jha stated, "The government under the leadership of Narendra Modi will soon be formed, and very soon a meeting of all the MPs will take place." Eknath Shinde expressed his support for Modi, stating, "Modiji has got a majority. The NDA will form the government under Modiji's leadership."

According to the sources, discussions were held on the government formation by the NDA. According to sources, PM Modi will take the oath for the third time on June 8. Discussions are ongoing regarding the allocation of key portfolios to alliance members.

Despite the BJP falling short of the magic number for the first time since 2014, the NDA is comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. This victory paves the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third term in office.

Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu dissolved the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday after the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.

"The President accepted the advice of the Cabinet on June 5, 2024, and signed the Order dissolving the 17th Lok Sabha in the exercise of the powers conferred upon her by Sub-Clause (2) of Article 85 of the Constitution," a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi tendered his resignation along with his Council of Ministers to President Murmu. The President accepted the resignation and requested that the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers continue until the new government assumes office.

Also, a meeting of the opposition coalition, INDIA bloc, is convened in Delhi on Wednesday evening. INC president Mallikarjun Kharge said that leaders of the alliance will be meeting to discuss the election results and strategy thereafter.

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