UN chief defends comments on Hamas attack

UN distributes support to displaced Palestinians in Khan Younis in Gaza Strip

Food and different provides have been delivered to about 150 displaced Palestinian households sheltering at an encampment in southern Gaza. (Oct. 25) (AP Video: Hassan Shurafa)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday defended comments he made earlier than the Security Council the day past that prompted Israel to name for his ouster.

Guterres issued an announcement saying he was “shocked by the misinterpretations” after Israeli officers accused him of justifying terrorism when he mentioned the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians Oct. 7 “didn’t occur in a vacuum.” Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan rapidly known as for Guterres’ resignation.

Guterres had additionally “condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented” attack by Hamas, he mentioned, and famous he particularly had mentioned legit grievances of the Palestinians didn’t justify the assaults.

“Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians − or the launching of rockets towards civilian targets,” he mentioned. “I believe it was necessary to set the record straight – especially out of respect to the victims and to their families.”

Israel has been bombarding Gaza because the Hamas attack killed greater than 1,400 folks on Israeli soil and ignited a conflict that has left hundreds of Palestinians useless − 6,546 in response to the newest rely by the Hamas-run Health Ministry − and swaths of the Gaza Strip in ruins. The U.N. has struggled to fulfill the humanitarian wants of Palestinians in Gaza.

President Joe Biden mentioned he has “no confidence” the death toll numbers Hamas is reporting are accurate. “I’m positive innocents have been killed, and it is a value of waging a conflict,” he said. “I believe the Israelis must be extremely cautious to make sure that they’re focusing on going after the parents which might be propagating this conflict towards Israel. And it is towards their curiosity when that does not occur.”

Blinken urges ‘humanitarian pauses’: But US will not again cease-fire in Gaza


∎ Biden mentioned he believes one of many causes for the Hamas attack was “the progress we’re making toward regional integration for Israel and regional integration overall.” He also expressed alarm about extremist settlers attacking Palestinians in the West Bank. “It has to cease now,” Biden mentioned.

∎ China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council decision from the U.S. that might have reaffirmed Israel’s proper to self-defense, urged respect for worldwide legal guidelines – particularly safety of civilians – and known as for “humanitarian pauses” to ship support to Gaza.

∎ French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned his nation will ship a ship with support for hospitals within the Gaza Strip, along with a aircraft with medical gear to come back into the territory via Egypt. “Others will follow,” Macron mentioned from Cairo, a day after a go to to Israel that included stops in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.

∎ The Al Jazeera media outlet mentioned the spouse, son and daughter of correspondent Wael Dahdouh had been killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Another son was significantly wounded and a grandson was additionally killed, the community mentioned. “They take vengeance on us through our children?” Dahdouh mentioned amid tears.

∎ The Israeli military said it killed senior Hamas commander Taysir Mubasher, a battalion chief and former commander of Hamas’ naval forces. Mubasher was an in depth confidant of Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ navy wing, the Israeli navy mentioned.

At least two dozen Americans have been injured in assaults on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria this month, and Biden mentioned Wednesday he warned Iran’s ayatollah about repercussions if that continues.

“He should be prepared,” Biden mentioned at a Rose Garden information convention.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. and coalition forces have been attacked not less than 10 instances in Iraq and not less than 3 times in Syria by a mixture of drones and rockets. The U.S. has deployed two plane service strike teams to the area to discourage hostile actors.

U.S. officers have repeatedly warned about makes an attempt by Iran and its proxies to broaden the Israel-Hamas conflict. On Wednesday, the Iranian-supported Islamic Resistance group in Iraq mentioned its rockets hit the Kharab al-Jir navy base in jap Syria, which homes U.S. forces.

− Joey Garrison and Francesca Chambers

The Florida authorities is attempting to get a pro-Palestinian scholar group banned from state universities, arguing it helps a “terrorist group.”

Students for Justice in Palestine, which says it has greater than 200 U.S. chapters, has for many years led campus protests and boycott makes an attempt towards Israel over its remedy of Palestinians. The administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, says the group is linked to Hamas and desires it disbanded.

At DeSantis’ urging, state college system Chancellor Ray Rodrigues wrote to college presidents Tuesday and advised them to dissolve the SJP chapters. He additionally reminded them that Florida regulation prohibits offering “materials help … to a delegated overseas terrorist group.’”

Palestine Legal, which provides authorized help to pro-Palestinian teams, mentioned the ban was DeSantis’ newest effort at quelling free expression on campuses.

“Florida, notably underneath the management of Governor Ron DeSantis, has been actively undermining training, freedom of speech and social justice actions, together with by banning anti-racist programs and attempting to criminalize protests,” Palestine Legal mentioned in an announcement.

Iran’s supreme chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday accused the United States of orchestrating navy strikes in Gaza and accused Israel of taking revenge on defenseless Palestinians as a result of it was incapable of confronting Muslim fighters.

“Palestine will definitely be victorious in this current situation and in the future,” he wrote on social media.

Khamenei warned Muslim governments to not observe the lead of the U.S. and different Western nations labeling “people defending their homes and country” as terrorists.

“The terrorist is that fake government that has occupied Palestine,” Khamenei wrote, referencing Israel. His comments got here a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken, talking on the U.N., mentioned the U.S. doesn’t need the conflict to widen however that “if Iran or its proxies attack U.S. personnel anywhere, make no mistake, we will defend our people, we will defend our security swiftly and decisively.”

Iran supplied Hamas with essential technical information, weapons and funding forward of the militant group’s Oct. 7 rampage and has backed militant assaults in different nations in current days, an Israeli navy spokesman charged Wednesday. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari accused Tehran of ordering current assaults by militias in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. 

“Iran immediately aided Hamas earlier than the conflict, with coaching, supplying weapons, cash and technological know-how,” Hagari mentioned. “Even now, Iranian aid to Hamas continues in the form of intelligence and online incitement against the State of Israel.”

The Biden administration has repeatedly mentioned there is no such thing as a proof of direct Iranian involvement within the Hamas rampage in Israel, and even prior information. The administration has been laboring to maintain Iran and different regional actors from fueling an enlargement of the conflict into Lebanon and elsewhere.

The U.N. company charged with shuttling humanitarian support into Gaza says it might want to considerably cut back and presumably halt operations if gasoline doesn’t get to Gaza instantly.

“The coming 24 hours are very critical,” the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees mentioned in an update Wednesday.

More than 613,000 persons are sheltering in 150 company amenities throughout Gaza. Three extra company workers members had been killed Tuesday, bringing the full to 38 workers killed because the conflict started, the U.N. mentioned.

Inside the tunnels: As Israel preps for attainable floor invasion, a take a look at the tunnels in Gaza

Hamas militants are utilizing lots of of miles of secret tunnels underneath Gaza and into Israel to attack Israeli targets, transfer weapons and, most lately, maintain hostages. Hamas has used the tunnels, estimated from 150 to 300 miles in length, for many years in its conflict towards Israel. The militant group claimed the underground community was 311 miles in 2021, however that has not been independently verified. The community, consisting of about 1,300 tunnels, will current special problems for Israel Defense Force members in the event that they invade with floor troops.

Hamas leaders use elements of the community as command centers to information navy operations, Israeli specialists say. The Israeli navy says Hamas has used tens of millions of {dollars} in support to pay for constructing the tunnels. Read extra right here.

George Petras, Janet Loehrke

Contributing: Francesca Chambers, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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