'Most cruel abomination': UN blasts Rafah carnage as EU mulls sanctions on Israel

News Network
May 28, 2024

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The United Nations humanitarian chief has hit out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for claiming that the recent deadly aerial assault in the southern Gaza Strip was a “mistake,” saying the carnage was possibly the “most cruel abomination.”

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths made the remarks on Monday, one day after the Israeli strike hit a camp for displaced Palestinians in the city of Rafah and killed at least 50 people and wounded 200 others.

Terrifying scenes of tents in flames and burned victims, many of whom were women and children, sparked an international outcry. 

However, Netanyahu called the air raid a "tragic mistake" and claimed that Israel was investigating the incident.

“Whether the attack was a war crime or a “tragic mistake,” for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination,” Griffiths said in a statement.

“To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.”

The UN relief chief also pointed to the widespread warnings of a slaughter ahead of Israel's incursion into Rafah, saying, "We've seen the consequences in last night's utterly unacceptable attack."

He further noted that no shelters, hospitals and so-called humanitarian zones are safe in Gaza.

The Rafah carnage came two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its military offensive in Rafah.

The occupying regime began a ground offensive in the overcrowded Palestinian city on May 7, defying calls from the international community, including the United States, not to proceed.

Rafah, situated on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, is home to about a million displaced Palestinians who have fled from the rest of the besieged territory amid a genocidal Israeli war.

EU ministers discuss anti-Israel sanctions

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, meanwhile, said the European Union has for the first time engaged in a “significant” discussion on sanctioning Israel over its Gaza onslaught.

He said the imposition of EU sanctions was discussed as a possible measure to be taken if Israel does not comply with the ICJ’s ruling to halt its attack on Rafah, Irish public broadcaster RTE reported.

“Certainly, if compliance isn’t forthcoming, then we have to consider all options,” he added.

Martin also said that a number of EU foreign ministers had raised the prospect of bans against Israeli officials who were aiding and abetting violent settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Israel unleashed its US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a surprise operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 36,050 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 81,026 others.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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At least 30 workers were among dozens killed in a massive fire that broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in southern Kuwait early Wednesday. According to the Health Ministry, the blaze also injured nearly 50 workers.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of those killed in the fire. "The fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected," he said.

Condoling the deaths, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was "deeply shocked" and that the Indian ambassador had gone to the camp.

"Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalised. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information," he said in a post on X.

Jaishankar further expressed condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured people early and full recovery.

Meanwhile, the Indian ambassador in Kuwait Adarsh Swaika met a number of injured workers and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy, the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

The Indian embassy has also put out an emergency helpline number and has people to connect over the helpline for updates.

"In connection with the tragic fire accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance," the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

Action against owner

The building, which accommodates over 195 labourers from the nearby commercial area, housed people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North India. The building belongs to NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. Employees at NBTC's supermarket also lived in the building.

Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered a police inquiry in the matter. He has instructed the police to detain the owner of the building, its janitor, and the employer of the workers living there until the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the fire. 

He has also directed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to address similar violations, where a large number of workers are crowded into residential buildings. 

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News Network
June 4,2024

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Bengaluru: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday won the Mandya seat in Karnataka with a margin of 2,84,620 votes.

The former Chief Minister defeated Venkataramane Gowda (also known as Star Chandru) of the Congress.

According to the Election Commission, Kumaraswamy secured 8,51,881 votes, while Gowda got 5,67,261.

JD(S) fought the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with BJP in the State.

The 64-year-old son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has made no secret of his desire to become Agriculture Minister, if the Modi government comes back to power.

Kumaraswamy, who is also the state JD(S) President, is a five time MLA, and currently represents Channapatna Assembly seat.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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New Delhi: The Congress is on course to win over 100 Lok Sabha seats - after winning just 44 in 2014 and 52 in the 2019 election. In 2009 the party - then heading the United Progressive Alliance - won 206 seats.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc - formed in June last year to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP - led National Democratic Alliance from claiming a third consecutive term in power.

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