Israel hits mosque in West Bank’s Jenin – DW – 10/22/2023

Skip next section India despatches 38.5 tons of aid to Gaza

India’s foreign ministry said it has sent 38.5 tons of humanitarian aid to help Palestinians in Gaza.

Foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi posted pictures of supplies being loaded onto an Indian air force transport aircraft, ahead of its departure to El-Arish airport in Egypt.

“The material includes essential life-saving medicines, surgical items, tents, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, sanitary utilities, water purification tablets among other necessary items”, Bagchi posted on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

On Saturday, the first humanitarian aid convoy was allowed to enter at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The Palestinian territory had been sealed off following the Hamas terror attack in southern Israel on October 7.

Skip next section US steps up military readiness in Middle East

October 22, 2023

US steps up military readiness in Middle East

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Saturday said that “additional steps” had been taken “to further strengthen the Department of Defense posture,” in the Middle East.

Austin said that this had been due to “recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces,” across the region.

The US chief of defense said that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group — one of two deployed to the region — would be redirected, in order to bolster military presence and “ability to respond to a range of contingencies.”

Austin also ordered the activation of air defense systems including a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery along with Patriot battalions “throughtout the region.”

Additional forces have also been placed on “prepare to deploy orders.” 

The measures come amid escalating tensions following the Hamas terror attack on southern Israel on October 7.

Iranian backed factions have previously threatened to attack US interests over its support of Israel.

Skip next section Israel’s military says Hezbollah is ‘dragging Lebanon into a war’

October 22, 2023

Israel’s military says Hezbollah is ‘dragging Lebanon into a war’

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Sunday that there had been an escalation of attacks on Israeli military positions around the northern border by the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon.

In a morning briefing, IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Hezbollah was “playing a very very dangerous game. They’re escalating the situation. We see more and more attacks every day.”

“Hezbollah… is dragging Lebanon into a war that it will gain nothing from, but stands to lose a lot,” Conricus said after pointing out areas where he said the group had been attacking.

Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Shiite political party and militant group and is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Germany, and a number of Sunni Arab countries.

Conricus said the attacks around the northern border had resulted in civilian and military casualties and that authorities had evacuated communities in the area.

Israel’s defense ministry said that the evacuation of 14 more settlements in the north had been approved.

Skip next section Israeli jets strike West Bank’s Jenin

October 22, 2023

Israeli jets strike West Bank’s Jenin

Israeli aircraft struck the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank early on Sunday, killing two Palestinians and wounding several others, Palestinian medics said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said the strike hit an area near al-Ansar Mosque in Jenin refugee camp, a Palestinian militant stronghold in the territory. Jenin was the focus of major Israeli military operations earlier this year.

According to Israel, “terror operatives” from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were planning attacks were killed in an air strike.

The Israeli military said al-Ansar mosque “was used by the terrorists as a command center to plan the attacks and as a base for their execution.”

Violence in the West Bank has flared since Hamas gunmen carried out terror attacks on Israel on October 7. Israel has since then carried out retaliatory airstrikes on Hamas in Gaza.

Skip next section Gaza-based journalist to DW: ‘What people need is a cease-fire’

October 22, 2023

Gaza-based journalist to DW: ‘What people need is a cease-fire’

As aid trucks enter Gaza and Israeli airstrikes on the enclave intensify ahead of a seemingly imminent ground offensive, DW spoke by phone with Gaza-based journalist Hazem Balousha about the situation on the ground.

According to Balousha, the aid that arrived in Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing is not enough to help.

“Gaza needs more fuel, needs electricity. The fuel is needed for the hospitals according to the officials, and for water wells, and to pump the water to the houses in Gaza Strip,” he said.

The journalist also mentioned that people need drinking water which is “very limited” and “hard to get.”

Balousha added that another problem in Gaza is the lack of shelters where people can hide from the airstrikes. The people “stay in their cars or literally in the streets,” he said.

But what people in Gaza need most is a cease-fire, the journalist said. “Whenever I talk to people, they ask me when it’s going to be over. Or is there a talk about a cease-fire, or a truce, or talks, or pressure or anything that will put an end to all of this,” Balousha said.

First emergency convoy reaches Gaza

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Skip next section Italy’s Meloni holds talks with Netanyahu

October 22, 2023

Italy’s Meloni holds talks with Netanyahu

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has made a trip to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, her office said.

The meeting Saturday came after Meloni participated in a summit in Cairo focused on ways to de-escalate the raging Israel-Hamas war.

Meloni’s office said that during the meeting she reiterated “the right of Israel to defend itself under international law and to live in peace” while also underlining “the importance of guaranteeing humanitarian access to Gaza and a prospect of peace for the region.”

Her office said she brought “a message of solidarity and Italy’s closeness” following Hamas’ unprecedented attack on October 7

Meanwhile, Netanyahu told Meloni that Israel has to defeat “the barbarism” of Hamas.

“And we expect all the countries that lined up to fight ISIS, to line up and fight Hamas, because Hamas is the new ISIS,” he said, referring to the so-called “Islamic State” (IS).

Skip next section Israel to ramp up airstrikes on Hamas in Gaza

October 22, 2023

Israel to ramp up airstrikes on Hamas in Gaza

The spokesman for Israel’s military said the country planned to step up its air attacks as preparation for the next stage of its war on Hamas.

Asked about a possible ground invasion, IDF Spokesperson’s Head Daniel Hagari told reporters the military was trying to create optimal conditions before launching one.

“We will deepen our attacks to minimize the dangers to our forces in the next stages of the war. We are going to increase the attacks, from today,” Hagari said.

Israel strikes southern Gaza

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Israel has ordered residents of northern Gaza to evacuate to the south to avoid being caught up in the conflict with the Islamist military group that launched an attack on Israel on October 7.

On Saturday, Israel’s military said some 700,000 people had moved to southern areas of the territory.

jsi, dh/wd (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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