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Israel-Gaza War Updates

October 19, 2023

Sunak Expresses UK Support: ‘Proud’ to Stand with Israel in Its ‘Darkest Hour






Rishi Sunak promised Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu that Britain would stand by Israel in “its darkest hour” as he welcomed the decision to allow aid into Gaza and said Israel was doing all it could to limit civilian deaths.

“I know that you are taking every precaution to avoid harming civilians in direct contrast to the terrorists of Hamas which seeks to put civilians in harm’s way,” Sunak said alongside Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Continuing his statement at a press conference in Israel, Sunak said: “Can I also say that we have seen the scenes over the past day that have shocked all of us, particularly at the hospital and we mourn the loss of every innocent life – civilians of every faith, every nationality who have been killed.

“And we also recognise that the Palestinian people are victims of Hamas too.

“And that is why I welcome your decision yesterday that you took to ensure that routes into Gaza will be opened for humanitarian aid to enter.”

He added: “I’m proud to stand here with you. In Israel’s darkest hour as your friend. We will stand with you in solidarity. We will stand with your people and we also want you to win.”

Explosion goes off in ancient Gaza church

A explosion tore through Gaza’s ancient St Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church campus on Thursday.

An estimated 500 people have been sheltering on the campus of the church, one of the oldest in the world.

Majdy Jildah, one of those seeking refuge there, told The Wall Street Journal about 80 people were sheltering in the council building on the campus where the explosion took place, and that he believed a child was killed in the blast.

The Israeli military told the paper it is investigating the incident.

Armed guards to accompany US students to Shabbat events on campus

Hillel International, a Jewish campus life organisation, is hiring armed guards to accompany US students to Shabbat services on university campuses across America, Haartez reports.

The decision comes as tensions on campus rise amid the Hamas-Israel war, and antisemitic incidents have been reported across the globe.

Israel joins US visa-waiver regime ahead of schedule

Israelis can now travel to the US and stay for 90 days or less without a visa as part of the American visa waiver programme, joining a select group of other US allies, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday.

Though Israel’s participation in the programme was announced in September, the new privileges originally weren’t scheduled to begin until the end of November.

The country had previously struggled to qualify for the programme, which requires reciprocal treatment of US travelers into partner countries.

Israel has long imposed extensive and unique travel restrictions on Palestinians, including Palestinian-Americans, according to Human Rights Watch.

US Navy warship intercepted missiles potentially headed to Israel, Pentagon says

A U.S. Navy warship on Thursday intercepted three cruise missiles and several drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement from Yemen potentially toward Israel, the Pentagon said.

Washington is on heightened alert for activity by Iran-backed groups as regional tensions soar during the Israel-Hamas war.

The Pentagon said the destroyer USS Carney was operating in the northern Red Sea on Thursday when it brought down the projectiles and there were no injuries. “We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially towards targets in Israel,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it did not appear that the warship was the target.

Netanyahu visits soldiers at Gaza Border

The Israeli prime minister has told his troops Israel “stands behind” them and the country will “win with all our might”.

Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to the Gaza Border today to meet combat soldiers, ahead of an expected ground invasion.

When he asked if they were ready , they replied: “Yes, until victory.”

Earlier, Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant told troops they would soon see Gaza “from inside”.

Mr Netanyahu posted this video to X, with the message: “The warriors are ready.”

Lebanese civilian killed near border with Israel

A Lebanese civilian was killed on Thursday near the border with Israel, Lebanese security sources and the U.N. peacekeeping force UNIFIL said, in an area of the border where Israeli forces and Lebanese group Hezbollah had a heavy exchange of fire.

Earlier in the day, Iran-backed Hezbollah said it had fired rockets at an Israeli position in the village of Manara and Israel had responded with shelling, the latest exchange in the worst bout of violence on the border in 17 years.

“The Lebanese Armed Forces requested UNIFIL’s assistance for seven individuals stranded near the Blue Line, close to Sheikh Abad’s tomb, during a significant exchange of fire across the Blue Line,” UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said.

He said UNIFIL contacted the Israeli army to request it cease fire in order to rescue the group. “Tragically, one person lost his life during this incident and the others were successfully rescued,” Tenenti said.

A Lebanese security source said the Lebanese civilian was killed by Israeli fire and another person was wounded. The incident was around Hula, which lies in an area across the border from Manara, the source said.
















Culled from Independent.co.uk

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