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Forums - Politics Discussion - Israel-Hamas war, Gaza genocide

‘We’ll make our decisions ourselves’, Israeli PM says

Fresh out of meetings with foreign envoys, Netanyahu says he appreciates the support and counsel of Israel’s allies but the country will ultimately make its own decisions after the attack by archenemy Iran.

“I thank our friends for their support in defending Israel … support both in words and support in actions,” said Netanyahu, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“They also have all sorts of suggestions and advice, which I appreciate. But I want to make it clear – we will make our decisions ourselves, and the state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself.”

Netanyahu rejects foreign pressure on Iran response

In a seeming rejection of all of the international pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his weekly cabinet meeting that he told both the German foreign minister and the British foreign secretary that Israel will act in a way that works for Israel at a time and place of their choosing.

All of this comes amid a lot of talk about what’s going to come next – if Israel is going to respond to Iran and how, when and where it is going to attack.

The general consensus is that Israel is going to respond. That is the inclination from all of the Israeli officials we’ve been hearing from, including the prime minister, the defence minister and the Israeli army chief of staff.


Potential Israel strike ‘not perceived as retaliation in Iran’

An analyst says Israel’s threat of a response to Iran’s strike will likely be met with “direct retaliation”.

“After the hit on the Iranian consulate, the Iranians could not take it any more. They had to respond by re-establishing their deterrence credibility,” said Hassan Ahmadian, a professor at the University of Tehran.

“Now the Israelis are talking about retaliation. This is not perceived as retaliation in Iran – it is perceived as another attack on Iran,” he told Al Jazeera.

He said the Supreme National Security Council – the main Iranian body that would decide on any more strikes against Israel – has noted “any hit on Iran will be retaliated against directly”.


Pentagon chief hails ‘success’ in confronting Iranian attack on Israel

Lloyd Austin has lauded what he called the “exceptional skill and professionalism” of US forces in helping shoot down Iranian drones and missiles directed at Israel over the weekend.

“Alongside Israel and our allies, we had enormous success in defeating Iran attack,” Austin told US legislators during a briefing.

“We will continue to stand ready to protect our troops in the region and to support the defence of Israel from attacks by Iran or its proxies,” he said.

Austin reiterated that the US commitment to Israel’s security is “ironclad”. US officials have repeatedly sent that message in the wake of the attack, while urging Israel to avoid a response that could lead to wider escalation.


Response to Iran attack likely cost over $1bn: Report

Israel and its allies hailed their success in stopping a barrage of Iranian missiles and drones in a historic attack over the weekend. However, that response likely came with a price tag topping over one billion dollars, according to a Bloomberg report.

Reem Aminoach, a former brigadier general and chief financial adviser to the head of the Israeli military, gave the estimated figure.

He cited calculations he’d done for the number of interceptor missiles Israel would have had to fire. Israel has said Iran fired 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles.

The US, UK, France and Jordan were also involved in shooting down the Iranian weapons.

‘Israel is the provocateur’ in the standoff with Iran

Hassan Ahmadian, a professor of Middle East and North Africa studies at the University of Tehran, says the threat of more sanctions against Iran’s military sector won’t concern authorities because there’s nothing left to sanction.

He also highlighted the hypocrisy of Western diplomats’ scorn after the attack on Israel, noting those same officials had failed to denounce the deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1.

“The Global South nations are critical of Israel – of what it does in Gaza, of what it did against the Iranian consulate – and there’s no change there even in terms of public opinion, including in the West,” said Ahmadian.

“Israel is the provocateur and it’s trying to drag other countries into a different narrative other than the genocide it’s conducted in Gaza.”


Israel warns Iranian attacks ‘coming to a city near you’

Even as its closest allies are urging restraint in the wake of an unprecedented Iranian attack on Israel, Israeli officials are turning to social media to drum up support – and fear.

Israel’s official account posted a video on X with clips from this weekend’s attack. An image of London in the United Kingdom is then shown with with the message “coming to a city near you”.

“Stop Iran now, before it’s too late!” said the post, which came the same day UK foreign minister David Cameron met with Israeli officials in an effort to avoid wider escalation.

Last edited by SvennoJ - on 17 April 2024

Around the Network

Muslim group in US condemns Washington’s backing for ‘Israeli crimes’

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has denounced the continuing US government acquiescence of Israel’s bloody war on Gaza. “These Israeli crimes against humanity are being committed daily – even hourly – with the active support of the Biden administration,” said CAIR communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, in a statement.

“Without concrete action to end the genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced starvation in Gaza, our nation’s reputation on the world stage will be irreparably harmed.” The group highlighted the “massacre of children” in the Maghazi refugee camp on Tuesday.

Too late for that, the US' reputation is already down the drain.

‘Constant bombardment’ in Nuseirat refugee camp

The Israeli military has intensified attacks across the Gaza Strip. The situation is dire in many areas, in particular, Nuseirat refugee camp. Attacks and confrontations are still raging in the vicinity of the recently established corridor [bordering the camp].

Residents tell us they have been hearing constant bombardment as residential houses come under attack and agricultural land is targeted.


UN appeals for $2.8bn for Gaza, occupied West Bank aid

The United Nations has asked for $2.8bn in funding to assist more than three million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank until the end of the year to prevent looming famine in the war-torn territory.

A flash appeal published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the sum was needed to help 3.1 million people and “reduce human suffering and prevent further loss of life”.

A major chunk of funding – $782.1m – will be destined for food aid for 2.3 million people in Gaza and 400,000 people in the West Bank, the appeal said. More than six months of war have created critical food shortages among Gaza’s Palestinians that in some areas now exceed famine levels, according to the UN.


Netanyahu rejects ‘claims about famine’ in Gaza

Israel’s leader has denounced suggestions that areas in Gaza are facing famine after six months of war. Netanyahu “rejected the claims by international organisations about famine in Gaza”, his office said.

A United Nations-backed report last month said northern Gaza could be hit by famine any time between mid-March and May, and more than 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million population face “catastrophic hunger”.

Last week, Samantha Power, the director of the US Agency for International Development, said famine was already occurring in northern Gaza.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees defines famine as a situation where a substantial proportion of the population of an area is unable to access adequate food, which results in widespread acute malnutrition and loss of life by starvation and disease.

Spain leads European push to recognise Palestine

Spain is on a mission. As Israel’s war on Gaza rages on, Madrid wants to recognise Palestine as a state by July and is encouraging its neighbours to follow in its footsteps.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, a longtime supporter of Palestinian rights, sees recognition as a way of reaching a two-state solution and a possible key to ending the devastating conflict that began in October.

“The time has come for the international community to once and for all recognise the State of Palestine,” he said in November. “It is something that many EU countries believe we have to do jointly, but if this is not the case, Spain will adopt its own decision.”

In all, 139 out of 193 United Nations member states consider Palestine as a state. Those which do include European nations such as Iceland, Poland and Romania, as well as countries like Russia, China and Nigeria.

Top USC graduate cancelled over Gaza speaks out

A Muslim graduate in the US has condemned a decision by the University of Southern California to cancel her graduation speech after complaints over the support she showed for Palestinians.

Why is Columbia University’s president testifying before US Congress?

Nemat “Minouche” Shafik is the latest leader of an elite US university to be called to testify before members of the US Congress on how her institution has responded to protests amid the Israel-Gaza war.

Her testimony comes four months after the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were also called to testify on the subject. That contentious, Republican-led hearing led to the resignation of Penn President Liz Magill and Harvard President Claudine Gay.

Protests since October 7 have forced private higher education institutions to grapple with their free speech policies. Pro-Palestine protesters have alleged that they have been unjustly stifled by university authorities on trumped-up allegations of hate speech. In turn, several university leaders have been accused of not doing enough to counter anti-Semitism on campus.

Read more about the stakes of the hearing, here.

Activists from antiwar group disrupt US defense secretary’s testimony

Activists from the antiwar group Code Pink have disrupted congressional testimony by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, denouncing the US position on Israel’s war on Gaza.

The activists accused Austin of supporting Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

On X, the group posted videos, verified by Al Jazeera, showing police arresting one of the activists at a committee hearing in the House of Representatives dedicated to discussing the Pentagon budget.

US trying to ignore more reports of abuse with the good old "we asked Israel to investigate itself"

US says will press Israel for probe after UNRWA report

State Department spokesman Vedant Patel’s words come after the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) released a report detailing abuses committed against those held in Israeli detention.

The report detailed the testimonies of more than 100 Palestinians released from Israeli detention. Abuses included being denied food, water or toilet access for hours while detainees hands and legs were bound. Others said they had been inappropriately searched, beaten and groped.

The report said the actions may amount to “sexual violence and harassment”.

Patel called the accounts deeply disturbing and said that Washington will press Israel, its close ally, on the need for a full investigation. Rights groups have repeatedly said that past US appeals for such investigations have proven inadequate.


Gaza media office calls for release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails

Gaza’s media office says more than 5,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces since the assault on the enclave began in October. In a statement marking Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, the office said prisoners are being subjected to “vengeful policies” that aim to strip them of their most basic rights.

The statement comes a day after the Government Media Office called on rights groups to act after hearing testimonies from a large number of freed Palestinians who were recently detained by Israeli forces. These include testimonies and accounts from children younger than 12 years old.

“We call on the international community to uphold its moral and legal obligations and intervene to end the grave mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners,” it said.

The office also called for the immediate release of some 10,000 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli jails.

Qatar ‘re-evaluating’ role as mediator: Prime minister

Qatar has been working for months as a mediator in negotiations aimed at bringing about a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli captives. But Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, said Doha is re-evaluating that role, adding that some parties have used the mediation for “narrow political interest”.

He made the comments during a joint news conference with Tukey’s foreign minister in Doha. He added that while Qatar remains committed to mediation on a “humanitarian basis”, there has been “abuse and harm” done related to Qatar’s role.

Some parties have made “destructive” statements against Qatar, he said, without saying to whom he was referring.

On Tuesday, Qatar’s embassy in Washington, DC, denounced comments from US lawmaker Steny Hoyer, who said the US would re-evaluate its ties with Qatar if it does not pressure Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal advanced by the Israelis and accused Qatar of siding with Hamas.


Last edited by SvennoJ - on 17 April 2024

UN Security Council to vote on Palestinian membership on Friday

The vote has been scheduled in the 15-member council on Friday, diplomats tell the Reuters news agency. It is set to happen at 3pm (19:00 GMT). A draft resolution put forth by Algeria recommends to the 193-member UN General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership of the United Nations”, diplomats said.

The resolution needs at least nine votes in favour to pass the Security Council and no vetoes from the US, Britain, France, Russia or China. Diplomats told Reuters the measure could have the support of up to 13 council members, but the US is expected to block the effort because it would effectively recognise a Palestinian state.

The US, Israel’s top ally, has long maintained that establishing an independent Palestinian state should happen through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel and not at the UN.

Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state at the UN.

No not the UN, USA decides who gets to be a state

Israel’s ambassador to UN condemns vote on Palestinian membership

Gilad Erdan, in a post on X, says the scheduled vote shows the UN Security Council is “investing its time in establishing a Palestinian terrorist state, at a time that is a huge reward for terrorism”.

He said any country that votes in favour of Palestinian membership “will prove that it only has foreign political considerations in mind and not any security or moral consideration”.

The Reuters news agency has reported that a draft resolution on full Palestinian membership will go to a vote on Friday. Palestinian officials have said full UN membership is needed to assure Palestinians are treated as “equals to other nations and states”.

The US is expected to use its veto to block the draft resolution.

Leaked memo highlights NYT’s ‘deference to Israeli narratives’: Report

A report by US news outlet The Intercept claims that editors at The New York Times have sent directives to reporters covering Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza, asking them to restrict the use of certain terms.

These terms include “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and “occupied territory”, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by The Intercept.

The memo reportedly also instructs journalists not to use the word Palestine “except in very rare cases” and to stay away from using the term “refugee camps” to describe certain areas of Gaza.

According to the report, several staffers told The Intercept that some of the memo’s contents “show evidence of the paper’s deference to Israeli narratives”.

Times spokesman Charlie Stadtlander told The Intercept that memos such as these are “standard practice” and provide guidance “to ensure accuracy, consistency and nuance”. “Across all our reporting, including complex events like this, we take care to ensure our language choices are sensitive, current and clear to our audiences.”


Around the Network

Israeli army attacks on Gaza City continue

Video obtained by Al Jazeera’s cameras shows the moment Israeli army bombs struck a residential home on al-Jalaa Street in the north of Gaza City.

Local sources told Al Jazeera that the house belonged to the Arbeed family, and was evacuated before it was hit by the Israeli attack. The video, from which the screengrabs were captured, shows the utter destruction of the house, as panicked residents flee the area.

Additional video posted on Instagram shows another shelling in Gaza City, near Shujayea junction. This video has been verified by Al Jazeera’s fact-checking unit.

Hezbollah claims strikes on northern Israel, seven injured

Hezbollah says it fired missiles and drones at Israel’s northern Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe, targeting an “Israeli military facility” there.

The attack injured at least seven people, two severely, according to Israel’s Arutz Sheva media, adding they were being treated at Israel’s Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. Hezbollah launched “a combined attack with guided missiles and explosive drones on a military reconnaissance command centre” in northern Israel.

The strikes came “in response to the enemy assassinating a number of resistance fighters in Ain Baal and Shehabiya” on Tuesday, the armed group said.

Injury toll in northern Israel rises to 13

At least 13 people are confirmed to be injured from an air attack claimed by Hezbollah on Israel’s northern village of Arab al-Aramshe, with four in a serious condition, according to The Times of Israel, citing Israel’s national ambulance service.

Israel’s military says it has identified the “source of the fire” and later launched air strikes at a Hezbollah military compound near the southern Lebanese village of Ayta ash Shab.

Israel’s military carries out more raids in southern Lebanon

In addition to striking the southern Lebanese town of Aita al-Shaabb, Israel’s military carried out air raids on the southern towns of Yarin and Naquora, reports Lebanon’s an-Nahar media.

The attacks follow a spate of cross-border bombing between Israel’s military and Hezbollah this morning, with each claiming to hit military sites on opposite sides of the border.

Israel says warplanes struck northeast Lebanon target

The military said it struck Hezbollah infrastructure north of the city of Baalbek in Lebanon’s northeast. It said the site was used by Hezbollah’s “air defense system”.

The announcement came as Hezbollah released video of its attack on Arab al-Aramshe in northern Israel earlier today. Israeli media has reported that 13 military reservists, two security officers and three civilians were wounded in the attack.

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UNRWA is ‘beacon of hope’: Donor countries tell Security Council briefing

Eight European countries have given a joint statement to the UN Security Council explaining why they have continued their funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

“UNRWA is a pillar of regional stability and a beacon of hope for millions of Palestinian children, women and men,” Luxembourg’s UN ambassador, Olivier Maes, said as he delivered the joint statement.

UNRWA “must be maintained and deserves our continued collective support until there is a political solution,” Maes added. The statement also offered “sincere condolences” to the UNRWA staff who have “paid the ultimate price while carrying out its lifesaving work”.

The UN says 178 UNRWA staff members have been killed in Gaza since October.

The countries that joined the joint statement were: Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

Lazzarini sends message that ‘besides UNRWA, there is nothing else’

Earlier, the head of the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, Philippe Lazzarini, told the UN Security Council that no organisation can replace UNRWA in Gaza when it comes to aiding the victims of Israel’s assault.

Jordan says saving UNRWA means ‘saving lives’ after UNSC briefing

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said saving UNRWA is “saving lives” during remarks at the UN Security Council. He spoke as Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of UNRWA, briefed the council at a meeting requested by Jordan earlier today.

“Supporting UNRWA is supporting regional stability. Saving UNRWA is saving lives, saving hope and standing on the side of justice,” Safadi said.

Lazzarini warned that dismantling the agency will have major implications during a time of “seismic change” in the region.

Shortly after the briefing, Algerian state TV said Algeria gave UNRWA a $15m exceptional fund.


Israel’s attack on UNRWA ‘based on a lie’

A former spokesman for the UN’s agency for Palestinians says Israel’s criticism of the UNRWA is politically motivated and based on false accusations.

“This attack is based on a lie. It’s dishonest,” Chris Gunness told Al Jazeera. “If you get rid of UNRWA you suddenly get rid of the 5.9 million refugees registered with UNRWA.”

He said if the agency is disbanded, Palestinians would lose “inalienable rights” such as healthcare, education, and the right to self-determination. Gunness accused Israel of working to eradicate the organisation to the detriment of the Palestinian people.

“In Gaza, we’re seeing since March 22 UNRWA aid convoys blocked to the north. The implications of that are the 300,000 people there will slip further into starvation,” he said.


Last edited by SvennoJ - on 18 April 2024

25,000 tonnes of explosives dropped on Gaza, ‘largely’ using AI: UN expert

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory, has said that 25,000 tonnes of explosives have been dropped on Gaza, “largely identified as targets by artificial intelligence [AI]”.

Albanese added that 250 people were killed per day during the first weeks of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip when she says 2,000-pound “bunker buster bombs” were “launched on densely populated areas”.

Albanese made the comments after Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, told the UK broadcaster Sky News to “just imagine how things would have looked” if a huge missile fell “in the middle of a city like Jerusalem”.“Just think about it hitting neighbourhoods and people and children,” Hotovely said.

Hotovely made the comments in an interview about the missiles and drones Iran launched on Israel on Saturday night, which she acknowledged caused “barely no damage”.

Israel hits neighborhoods, people and children every single day

And that's a lower estimate as well

Israel has dropped more than 45,000 bombs on Gaza weighing more than 65,000 tonnes, the Gaza Media Office has said.

“Occupation aircraft dropped over 45,000 missiles and giant bombs, some of them weighing 2,000 pounds of explosives, during the comprehensive genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, deliberately targeting entire residential areas,” it said.

“The weight of the explosives dropped by the army on the Gaza Strip exceeded 65,000 tonnes, which is more than the weight and power of three nuclear bombs like those dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.”

The office said about “two-thirds of the bombs and missiles … are unguided and imprecise, commonly known as dumb bombs.”

It pointed out that the use of such bombs indicates “the deliberate targeting of indiscriminate and unjustified killing by the occupation, a clear and explicit violation of international law and various international conventions.”


48 countries ‘unequivocally condemn’ Iran’s ‘large-scale attack’ on Israel

The United States, Israel and 46 other countries have issued a joint statement “unequivocally” condemning Iran’s “large-scale attack” on Israel on Saturday night. The statement said, “Several hundred ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and attack drones … could have caused significant damage and loss of life.”

The countries also said Iran “violated the airspace of several” other countries, putting “at risk the lives of innocent people” and “appeared to traverse airspace near holy sites in Jerusalem”.

More than half of the countries that signed the joint statement were from Europe, with other signatories including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Japan, New Zealand, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea and South Korea.

The 48 countries that signed the joint statement also welcomed efforts to avert a “further immediate escalation of violence in the region” and said there had been “successful coordinated to defend against Iran’s attack”, although it did not mention the countries involved specifically.

The statement also said “Iran’s escalatory attack” was “the latest in a pattern of dangerous and destabilising actions by Iran and its militant partners that pose a grave threat to international peace and security”.

It noted Iran seized a Portuguese-flagged ship in the Red Sea on Saturday and called for the ship’s crew to be released immediately.

The ship was the first to be directly seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and reportedly had ties to Israel via billionaire Eyal Ofer.

Only the West can seize ships and assets, silly Iran.

The hypocrisy of the West. The lives of Israelis that could have been in danger far outweigh the 34,000 people actually blown up in Gaza while slowly being starved to death.

UN Security Council yet to issue statement on attacks on Iran’s consulate or Israel

The new joint letter from 48 countries condemning Iran’s attacks on Israel comes after the UN Security Council (UNSC) failed to issue a joint statement following an emergency meeting called for by Israel.

The Security Council has also yet to adopt a statement condemning the earlier attack by Israel on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria, after the United States, Britain and France blocked a Russian-drafted statement on April 2.

It is worth noting that the new letter of condemnation from the US, Israel and 46 other countries “demand[s] that all Council resolutions be fully implemented”, but does not specify which resolutions it is referring to.

Israel has historically ignored UN resolutions and has consistently criticised the United Nations and its agencies in recent months, while senior Israeli officials have called for the resignation of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

On March 25, the UNSC passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the release of all captives.

The White House says it will soon announce a new round of sanctions against Iran

Professor Mohamad Elmasry, of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, said it has been “fascinating” to watch as the US and allied countries refuse to condemn, or even acknowledge, Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus.

“They are turning a blind eye to Israeli aggression and they are throwing all of the blame on Iran, which was just retaliating,” Elmasry said. “This is what US foreign policy does, and I think we can expect more of that unfortunately,” he told Al Jazeera.

Europe’s Iran sanctions will target drone, missile producers: EC chief

European Union leaders have agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran’s drone and missile producers, European Council chief Charles Michel has said at an EU summit in Brussels.

“The idea is to target the companies that are needed for the drones, for the missiles,” the council president told reporters, adding the sanctions were “a clear signal that we wanted to send”.

How about target the companies that make mass killing AI programs and other tools of oppression and illegal surveillance. Target companies that make Israeli drones that kill women and children on a daily basis. Target companies sending more bombs and missiles that kill innocent civilians on a daily basis. Target companies investing in Settler movement and other Zionist development projects.

You're sending a very clear signal that genocide is OK, while retaliating against genocide is not OK. Disgusting.