US will not give up on release of hostages – DW – 01/15/2024


Skip next section Turkey briefly detains Israeli footballer over hostage solidarity

January 15, 2024

Turkey briefly detains Israeli footballer over hostage solidarity

Turkish police have detained Israeli football player Sagiv Jehezkel and questioned him on Monday over his gesture, alluding to the passage of 100 days since the Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel.

Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said Jehezkel was being investigated on a charge of “inciting people to hatred and hostility” with his gesture, which he displayed on his wrist after scoring in a top-tier match between his team, the southern Turkish club Antalyaspor and Trabzonspor.

Tunc said the probe was “due to his ugly gesture supporting Israel’s massacre in Gaza after scoring a goal.”

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency cited an Antalyaspor spokesman as saying lawyers were in the process of annulling the Israeli player’s contract.

Israel lambasted the Turkish reaction to Jehezkel’s gesture. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant accused Ankara of serving as a “de facto executive arm of Hamas” in a social media post.

He reminded Turkey of Israel’s swift aid to it following last year’s earthquake, calling the treatment of their footballer by Ankara “a manifestation of hypocrisy and ingratitude.”

Israeli former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet also condemned Jehezkel’s detention.

“Shame on you, Turkish government,” he said on social media.

Jehezkel denied accusations that he engaged in a provocative act during his questioning, the private DHA news agency said.

“I am not pro-war,” DHA quoted him as telling police. “I want this 100-day process to come to an end. I want the war to end.”

Turkish media said Jehezkel was later released after questioning.

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Skip next section Gaza deaths top 24,000 as war drags on

January 15, 2024

Gaza deaths top 24,000 as war drags on

The total number confirmed to have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war has increased to more than 24,000, with 132 people having been killed the previous day, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

“A number of casualties remain under the rubble and on the roads, with ambulance crews and civil defense forces unable to reach them,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it had recorded nearly 61,000 wounded in Gaza since fighting erupted following Hamas’ October 7 terror attack on Israel.

The Health Ministry does not distinguish between civilian and combatant casualties. A majority of the dead are women and children.

Last week a report published by Oxfam found the average number of deaths per day in Gaza far exceeds recent wars like those in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.

Israel-Hamas war: 100 days and no end in sight

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Skip next section Dozens reported dead in overnight strikes across Gaza

January 15, 2024

Dozens reported dead in overnight strikes across Gaza

The Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has reported that at least 60 people were killed in overnight Israeli military strikes across the Palestinian territory.

The ministry added that dozens of others were wounded in what the militant group’s media office described as “intense” Israeli strikes and artillery bombardments.

Strikes hit Gaza’s southern cities of Khan Younis and Rafah, as well as areas around Gaza City in the northern part of the territory. 

The ministry said two hospitals, a girls’ school and “dozens” of homes had been among the targets.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli Defense Forces. 

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Skip next section Australia says ‘conditional’ cease-fire is needed

January 15, 2024

Australia says ‘conditional’ cease-fire is needed

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has said a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip would be desirable.

“Our position is that we want to see a sustainable cease-fire and that we see an international humanitarian, immediate humanitarian cease-fire as a step towards that,” Wong said.

Her comments came before she departed for a trip to Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, and the United Arab Emirates. 

However, Wong added that conditions would need to be in place before any cease-fire could become a reality. 

“No ceasefire can be one-sided and no cease-fire can be unconditional,” she said.

The minister also called for there to be safe, unhindered and permanent access for humanitarian aid and better protection for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. 

Officials say Wong plans to use her trip to campaign for a way out of the current conflict and toward a two-state solution.

She also plans to meet relatives of the hostages and survivors of the October 7 attacks on Israel committed by the Islamist militant organization Hamas and other extremists.
 

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Skip next section US intercepts missile fired from Yemen at American warship

January 15, 2024

US intercepts missile fired from Yemen at American warship

The US military said its forces shot down a cruise missile fired at an American destroyer warship from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, the latest clash over attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

“On January 14 at approximately 4:45 p.m. (Sanaa time) an anti-ship cruise missile fired from Iranian-backed Houthi militant areas of Yemen toward USS Laboon (DDG 58), which was operating in the Southern Red Sea,” the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

US fighter aircraft shot down the missile near Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah and there were no injuries or damage reported, according to CENTCOM.

The midair interception follows a series of American and British airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen that have drawn threats of a “strong” response from the Iranian-backed militia.

US launches strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen

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Skip next section Turkey launches probe into Israeli footballer over October 7 reference

January 15, 2024

Turkey launches probe into Israeli footballer over October 7 reference

Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel shows a bandage referencing the October 7 terror attacks
Jehezkel’s message in reference to the October 7 Hamas terror attacks has drawn backlash from Turkey Image: Depo Photos/IMAGO

Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation against Israeli football player Sagiv Jehezkel on charges of “inciting people to hatred and hostility” over a gesture, Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said.

“A judicial investigation has been initiated by Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against Israeli football player Sagiv Jehezkel for ‘inciting people to hatred and hostility’ due to his ugly gesture supporting Israel’s massacre in Gaza after scoring a goal in the Antalyaspor-Trabzonspor Super Lig match,” Tunc said on social media platform X.

Jehezkel showed his bandaged hand after scoring a goal against Trabzonspor on Sunday. “100 days, 7.10” was written on his bandage, referring to the Hamas attack on October 7.

Several Turkish news outlets reported late Sunday that Jehezkel had been arrested, but this has not been officially confirmed.

https://p.dw.com/p/4bETh

Skip next section Biden to hostages in Gaza: ‘We are with you’

January 15, 2024

Biden to hostages in Gaza: ‘We are with you’

US President Joe Biden issued a statement marking 100 days of captivity for the more than 130 people, including up to 6 Americans, still held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

Biden said that for each of those 100 days, the hostages and their families have been at the forefront of his mind, and his national security team and he have worked nonstop to try to secure their freedom.

“On this terrible day, I again reaffirm my pledge to all the hostages and their families—we are with you. We will never stop working to bring Americans home,” Biden said.

However, Republican Senator Senator Rick Scott slammed President Biden for allowing “innocent Americans, Israelis and others to hit the 100-day mark as hostages in Gaza.”

Scott criticized “Biden’s unprecedented weakness” and accused him of funneling “American tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority which is paying terrorists and sending money to Gaza which only helps Hamas.”

Israel-Hamas war: 100 days and no end in sight

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Meanwhile, Hamas broadcast a video of three Israeli hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip. The hostages urged their government to stop the offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group and secure their release.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist group by the US, Germany and several other countries. Israel has described videos released of hostages as Hamas propaganda. 

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

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