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Netanyahu declares ‘time for war’ as Israeli troops push deeper into Gaza City

Netanyahu claims Israel will ‘resign Hamas to the dustbin of history’

Israeli ground forces pushed deeper into Gaza, advancing in tanks and other armoured vehicles on the territory’s main city and freeing a soldier held captive by Hamas militants.

This comes as Israeli prime minister rejected calls for a ceasefire, declaring a “time for war” amid continuing calls for a humanitarian pause in the conflict from the UK and other allies.

“Calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas,” Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference. “That will not happen.”

Meanwhile, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told a UN emergency meeting yesterday that “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” accusing Israel of “collective punishment” of Palestinians and the forced displacement of civilians.

More than 8,300 people have been killed in Gaza – 66 per cent of them women and children – and tens of thousands injured, the UN humanitarian office said, citing Gaza’s ministry of health.


Israel declares ‘time for war’ amid global pressure for humanitarian ceasefire

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire in Gaza, declaring a “time for war” amid continuing calls for a humanitarian pause in the conflict from the UK and other allies.

UK political leaders have called for the pause in the fighting to allow Palestinians to flee Gaza and for aid to be distributed.

Similar appeals have been made by the USA and other countries, but Mr Netanyahu told Israel’s allies it would not heed calls for ceasefire.

“The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war,” he said in a press conference, claiming that laying down arms would be akin to America doing the same after the 9/11 attacks.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 02:39


Japan announces sanctions on Hamas-related individuals, company

Japan has imposed a fresh set of sanctions on individuals and a company connected to the Gaza-based militant group Hamas, according to a statement released by the Japanese foreign ministry today.

The sanctions consist of freezing the assets of individuals and a company that have helped fund Hamas, and is in line with new sanctions announced by the United States government earlier this month.

It is the first set of sanctions Japan has imposed on Hamas since its deadly rampage on 7 October that Israeli authorities say killed over 1,400 people.

Individuals including Hamas operatives Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah and Ayman Nofal were newly added to the list of people and organisations deemed as terrorists by Japan.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 05:08


An Israeli ministry, in a ‘concept paper’, proposes transferring Gaza civilians to Egypt’s Sinal

An Israeli government ministry has drafted a wartime proposal to transfer the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, drawing condemnation from the Palestinians and worsening tensions with Cairo.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office played down the report compiled by the Intelligence Ministry as a hypothetical exercise – a “concept paper.” But its conclusions deepened long-standing Egyptian fears that Israel wants to make Gaza into Egypt’s problem, and revived for Palestinians memories of their greatest trauma – the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of people who fled or were forced from their homes during the fighting surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.

Flames rise during an Israeli air strike on west Gaza, 30 October 2023


“We are against transfer to any place, in any form, and we consider it a red line that we will not allow to be crossed,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, said of the report. “What happened in 1948 will not be allowed to happen again.”

A mass displacement, Abu Rudeineh said, would be “tantamount to declaring a new war.”

So far more than 8,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed since Israel went to war against Hamas after its 7 October attack.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 04:54


Tennessee governor and congressman discuss safety on visit to Jewish school that foiled armed intrusion

Tennessee governor Bill Lee and US representative David Kustoff praised security measures at a Memphis Jewish school where a former student with a gun was stopped from entering the building in July, declaring strong safety procedures have become even more critical in light of the Israel-Hamas war.

Mr Lee and Mr Kustoff, both Republicans, spoke with students at Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South during a visit to the suburban school. Kustoff, who is Jewish and attended the school from kindergarten through 2nd grade, expressed support with Lee for Israel in the war that began when it was attacked by Hamas on 7 October.

Inside the one-story Memphis school, a sign saying “we stand with Israel” hangs on a hallway wall. Nearby, a bulletin board features names and photos of Israeli hostages as another sign of solidarity from the school’s students and staff.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 04:52


Israel pushes deeper into Gaza

Israeli ground forces pushed deeper into Gaza on Monday, advancing in tanks and other armored vehicles on the territory’s main city and freeing a soldier held captive by Hamas militants.

The Israeli prime minister rejected calls for a cease-fire as airstrikes landed near hospitals where thousands of Palestinians are sheltering beside the wounded.

The military said a soldier captured during Hamas’ brutal 7 October incursion was rescued in Gaza — the first rescue since the weekslong war began.

Military officials provided few details but said in a statement that Pvt Ori Megidish, 19, was “doing well” and had met with her family.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed her home, saying the “achievement” by Israel’s security forces “illustrates our commitment to free all the hostages.”

He also rejected calls for a cease-fire to facilitate the release of captives or end the war, which he has said will be long and difficult. “Calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas,” he told a news conference. “That will not happen.”

Namita Singh31 October 2023 04:08


Police arrest women suspected of wearing pictures of Hamas paragliders during pro-Palestinian rally in UK

Social media footage of a protest in Whitehall on 14 October showed two women with the image taped to their tops, while a third held a placard with it.

Two women, aged 29 and 44, came forward after recognising themselves in the pictures, which were widely shared, the Met Police said.

They were arrested on suspicion of inviting support for a proscribed organisation and are still being held in custody.

Read the details in this report:

Namita Singh31 October 2023 04:05


‘Deaths of babies will be on our hands if no ceasefire in Gaza’

A midwife holding a hunger strike for Gaza has said the potential deaths of newborn babies will be “on our hands” if calls for an immediate ceasefire are ignored.

Sharyn Lock, who lives near Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute, is holding her five-day fasting vigil outside of the Scottish Parliament as she also demands UK politicians call for the restoration of vital services to Palestine.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 04:05


How a pro-Palestine mob stormed Dagestan airport on Sunday

The group stormed into the Makhachkala airport, located in the Republic of Dagestan, and rushed onto the landing field, chanting antisemitic slogans and seeking passengers arriving on the Tel Aviv flight, Russian news agencies and social media reported.

Authorities quickly closed the airport in the capital of the predominantly Muslim region and police converged on the facility.

My colleague Tom Watling has more on the storming of airport:

Namita Singh31 October 2023 03:58


US dismisses Putin’s ‘absurd’ claim anti-Israel riot organised by West

The US dismissed as “absurd” claims by Vladimir Putin that an anti-Israel riot at a Dagestan airport on Sunday was organised by Ukraine and the West.

The Russian president had earlier sought to blame the West for the crisis in the Middle East, saying the incident was an attempt by the West to spread “chaos”.

In a televised statement to a meeting of members of his Security Council and the government and the heads of law enforcement agencies, Mr Putin said the “ruling elites of the US” and their “satellites” stood behind the killing of Gaza’s Palestinians, and behind conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

“They need constant chaos in the Middle East. Therefore (the US) does its best to discredit those countries that insist on an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, on stopping the bloodshed, and are ready to make a real contribution to resolving the crisis, and not parasitise on it.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin leads the meeting with top security and law enforcement officials in Moscow, Russia, Monday, 30 October 2023


Russia backed an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a two-state solution. It has also angered Israel by receiving a Hamas delegation in Moscow.

Mr Putin said Russia was fighting the shadowy US forces he blamed for the Middle East crisis on the battlefields of Ukraine.

“Palestine can only be helped by fighting those who are behind this tragedy. We are Russia and we are fighting them in the context of the ‘special military operation’. Both for ourselves and for those who strive for real true freedom,” he said.

“The key to resolving the conflict is in the creation of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state,” Mr Putin said, implying that this was not Washington’s stated aim.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 03:45


Graphic pro-Israel ads make their way in children’s video games

Maria Julia Assis was sitting down to a meal in her terraced home in north London when her six-year-old son ran into the dining room, his face pale.

The puzzle game on his Android phone had been interrupted by a video showing Hamas militants, terrified Israeli families and blurred graphic footage. Over a black screen, a message from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the first grader: “WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THOSE WHO HARM US PAY A HEAVY PRICE.”

Ms Assis, a 28-year-old barista from Brazil, told Reuters that the ad left her son shaken and she quickly deleted the game.

“He was shocked,” she said in a telephone interview last week. “He literally said, ‘What is this bloody ad doing in my game?’”

Reuters has not been able to establish how the ad came to her son’s video game, but her family isn’t alone. The news agency has documented at least five other cases across Europe where the same pro-Israel video, which carried footage of rocket attacks, a fiery explosion, and masked gunmen, was shown to gamers, including several children.

In at least one case, the ads were played inside the popular “Angry Birds” game made by SEGA-owned developer Rovio.

Rovio confirmed that “somehow these ads with disturbing content have in error made it through to our game” and were now being blocked manually. Spokesperson Lotta Backlund did not provide details on which of its “dozen or so ad partners” had supplied it with the ad.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ head of digital, David Saranga, confirmed that the video was a government-promoted ad but said he had “no idea” how it ended up inside various games.

Namita Singh31 October 2023 03:20

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