A civil liberties organisation in New York is suing US President Joe Biden for allegedly failing in his duties under international and US law to prevent Israel from committing genocide in Gaza. The case filed by the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of multiple Palestinian groups and individuals said that Israel's acts, including "mass killings," targeting of civilian infrastructure, and forced expulsions, amount to genocide, reports The Guardian. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib accuses Biden of supporting genocide in Gaza, says colleagues more focused on silencing her According to the CCR, the 1948 international treaty against genocide demands the United States and other countries to utilise their strength and influence to put an end to the killings, it said. “As Israel’s closest ally and strongest supporter, being its biggest provider of military assistance by a large margin and with Israel being the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II, the United States has the means available to have a deterrent effect on Israeli officials now pursuing genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” mentioned the complaint. Biden calls for humanitarian 'pause' in Israel-Hamas war The complaint, filed in federal court in California, seeks the court to prevent the United States from providing Israel with weapons, money, and diplomatic support. It also demands the president, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin “to take all measures within their power to prevent Israel’s commission of genocidal acts against the Palestinian people of Gaza.” These include putting pressure on Israel to stop bombing Gaza, ease its siege, and prevent the forceful deportation of Palestinians, the report said. The CCR, which won a landmark case in the US Supreme Court in 2004 establishing the rights of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay, stated that the Hamas cross-border attack on October 7, in which approximately 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were abducted, does not provide legal justification for the scale of Israel's assault on Gaza, which has killed over 11,000 Palestinians, including 4,600 children, and displaced 1.5 million people, it added. Biden wraps up his visit to wartime Israel with a warning against being 'consumed' by rage The case is being filed at the same time that the International Criminal Court is investigating Israel and Hamas for suspected war crimes. However, legal academics argue that genocide is a more difficult crime to establish and question whether the US president can be forced to conclude that Israel is committing genocide and so must intervene.
Israel has to stop killing children and women in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron has told the BBC.During an exclusive interview, Macron said that there was "no justification" for the attack, adding that Israel would gain from a ceasefire. While acknowledging Israel's right to self-defense, he said, "We do urge them to stop this bombing" in Gaza.However, he also emphasised that France "clearly condemns" Hamas' "terrorist" activities, the report said. Thousands who were sheltering at Gaza City’s hospitals flee as Israel-Hamas war closes inLike Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries, France views Hamas as a terrorist group.When asked about whether he wanted other world leaders to support his demands for a ceasefire, including those in the US and the UK, Macron said, "I hope they will." Civilians flee north Gaza or shelter at a hospital as Israel and Hamas battle in the cityFollowing almost two weeks of main ground incursion into the territory and a month of Israeli shelling, the health ministry headed by Hamas in Gaza said on Friday that 11,078 Palestinians had died and 1.5 million had left their homes.Israel claimed that it followed international law when attacking military targets and that it takes precautions to lessen the number of civilian deaths by alerting civilians in advance and urging them to flee.Speaking a day after a conference in Paris on humanitarian aid related to the Gaza conflict, Macron stated that all participating governments and agencies had reached the "clear conclusion" that there is “no other solution than first a humanitarian pause, going to a ceasefire, which will allow [us] to protect... all civilians having nothing to do with terrorists.""De facto — today, civilians are bombed — de facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop," the French president said.Macron, however, stated it was not for him to determine whether or not international law had been breached. Fights in bread lines, despair in shelters: War threatens to unravel Gaza's close-knit society
Israeli forces severed northern Gaza from the rest of the besieged territory and pounded it with intense airstrikes overnight into Monday, setting the stage for an expected push into the dense confines of Gaza City and an even bloodier phase of the month-old war. Already, the Palestinian death toll passed 10,000, the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Monday. The ministry does not distinguish between fighters and civilians. Some 1,400 Israelis have died, mostly civilians killed in the Oct. 7 incursion by Hamas that started the war. The figures mark a grim milestone in what has quickly become the deadliest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence since Israel's establishment 75 years ago, with no end in sight as Israel vows to remove Hamas from power and crush its military capabilities. Jordan airdrops medical supplies to Gaza hospital Casualties are only likely to rise as the war turns to close urban combat. Troops are expected to enter Gaza City soon, Israeli media reported, and Palestinian militants who have had years to prepare are likely to fight street by street, launching ambushes from a vast network of tunnels. "We're closing in on them," said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman. "We've completed our encirclement, separating Hamas strongholds in the north from the south." The military said it struck 450 targets overnight and ground troops took over a Hamas compound. A one-way corridor for residents to flee south remains available for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who remain in Gaza City and other parts of the north, according to the military. Some 1.5 million Palestinians, or around 70% of Gaza's population, have fled their homes since the war began. Food, medicine, fuel and water are running low, and U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters are beyond capacity. Many people are sleeping on the streets outside. Mobile phone and internet service went down overnight, the third territory-wide outage since the start of the war, but was gradually restored on Monday. Aid workers say the outages make it even harder for civilians to seek safety or call ambulances. Israel has so far rejected U.S. suggestions for a pause in fighting to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries and the release of some of the estimated 240 hostages seized by Hamas in its raid. Israel has also dismissed calls for a broader cease-fire from increasingly alarmed Arab countries — including Jordan and Egypt, which made peace with it decades ago. After days of intense diplomacy around the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his tour of the region on Monday, saying efforts to secure a humanitarian pause, negotiate the release of hostages and plan for a post-Hamas Gaza were still "a work in progress" without pointing to any concrete achievements. Israeli warplanes hit refugee camps in Gaza while UN agencies call siege an 'outrage' The war has also stoked wider tensions, with Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group trading fire along the border. In another sign of growing unrest, a Palestinian man stabbed and wounded two members of Israel's paramilitary Border Police in east Jerusalem before being shot dead, according to police and an Associated Press reporter at the scene. Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with Gaza and the West Bank, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for a future state. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized by most of the international community and considers the entire city its capital. In northern Gaza, a Jordanian military cargo plane air-dropped medical aid to a field hospital, King Abdullah II said early Monday. It appeared to be the first such airdrop of the war, raising the possibility of another avenue for aid delivery besides Egypt's Rafah crossing, which has so far been the only entry point. Over 450 trucks carrying aid have been allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt since Oct. 21. But humanitarian workers say the aid that has come through the Rafah crossing is insufficient to meet mounting needs in the territory, which is home to some 2.3 million Palestinians. The crossing was closed on Saturday and Sunday because of a dispute among Israel, Egypt and Hamas. But it reopened Monday for the evacuation of patients and foreign passport holders, according to Wael Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority. Northern Gaza is facing a severe water shortage, as there is no fuel to pump from municipal wells and Israel shut off the region's main line. The U.N. office for humanitarian affairs said seven water facilities across Gaza were struck over the last two days and sustained "major damage," raising the risk of sewage flooding. Israel has restored two water pipelines in central and southern Gaza, the U.N. said. Protest marches from US to Berlin call for immediate halt to Israeli bombing of Gaza Some 800,000 people have heeded Israeli military orders to flee to southern Gaza. Some 2,000 people, many carrying only what they could hold in their arms, walked down Gaza's main north-south highway on Sunday. "The children saw tanks for the first time. Oh world, have mercy on us," said one Palestinian man, who declined to give his name. But Israeli bombardments have continued across the territory, and strikes in central and southern Gaza — the purported safe zone — killed dozens of people on Sunday. Israel blames civilian casualties on Hamas, accusing the militants of operating in residential neighborhoods. After another strike Monday, in the southern town of Khan Younis, men dug through the rubble with sledgehammers and their bare hands. A young boy caked in dust screamed as he was rolled onto a stretcher and carried away. At least two people were killed, according to an AP reporter at the scene. Earlier Monday, Palestinians held a mass funeral for 66 people outside a hospital in the central town of Deir al-Balah. The bodies were wrapped in white sheets on the ground outside the hospital morgue. A man with bandages wrapped around his head placed his hand on a child's body and wept. The Health Ministry said that 10,022 people have been killed in Gaza, including over 4,100 children and 2,600 women. Meanwhile, four civilians were killed by an Israeli airstrike on a vehicle in south Lebanon late Sunday, including three children, a local civil defense official and state-run media reported. The Israeli military said it was reviewing the strike, after initially saying it had struck Hezbollah targets following anti-tank fire that killed an Israeli civilian. Hezbollah said it fired Grad rockets into Israel in response. In the overnight strikes in Gaza, the Israeli military said it had killed a senior Hamas militant, identified as Jamal Mussa, who had allegedly carried out a shooting attack against Israeli soldiers in Gaza in 1993. It said 30 Israeli troops have been killed since the ground offensive began over a week ago. Hamas and other militants have continued firing rockets into Israel, disrupting daily life even as most are intercepted or fall in open areas. Tens of thousands of Israelis have evacuated from communities near the volatile borders with Gaza and Lebanon.
Since Israel activated the Iron Dome in 2011, the cutting-edge rocket-defense system has intercepted thousands of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The system has given residents a sense of security, and Israelis can often be seen watching the projectiles flying through the skies and destroying their targets overhead. But the current war with Gaza's militant Hamas group might be its stiffest challenge yet. Pro-Palestinian activists occupy international court entry, demanding action against Israeli leader In just two weeks, Hamas has fired 7,000 rockets toward Israel, according to the Israeli military. That is more than any of the previous four wars fought between Israel and Hamas since the militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007. On Oct. 7 alone, the first day of fighting, Hamas launched at least 2,000 rockets, according to data from West Point. Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group has also fired hundreds of rockets along Israel's northern front since the fighting began. Most of the rockets have been intercepted. But some have managed to get through, killing at least 11 people and hitting buildings as far away as Tel Aviv, according to Israeli officials. Here is a look at the accomplishments — and limitations — of the Iron Dome. Second aid convoy reaches Gaza as Israel attacks targets in Syria and occupied West Bank HOW DOES THE IRON DOME WORK? The Iron Dome is a series of batteries that use radars to detect incoming short-range rockets and intercept them. Each battery has three or four launchers, 20 missiles, and a radar, according to Raytheon, the U.S. defense giant that co-produces the system with Israel's Rafael Defense Systems. Once the radar detects a rocket, the system determines whether the rocket is headed toward a populated area. If so, it launches a missile to intercept and destroy the rocket. If the system determines the rocket is headed to an open area or into the sea, it is allowed to land, thus conserving missiles. According to the military, all interceptions occur in Israeli airspace. The military declined to comment on how many Iron Dome batteries are currently deployed. But as of 2021, Israel had 10 batteries scattered around the country, each able to defend a territory of 60 square miles (155 square kilometers), according to Raytheon. Little light, no beds, not enough anesthesia: A view from the 'nightmare' of Gaza's hospitals The Iron Dome is part of a larger multi-layer air-defense system that includes the Arrow, which intercepts long-range ballistic missiles, and also David's Sling, which intercepts medium-range missiles such as those believed to be possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both systems, like the Iron Dome, were jointly developed with the United States. Israel is also developing a laser-based system called the Iron Beam that it says will be able to intercept rockets and other short-range threats at a fraction of the cost of the Iron Dome. Israel says that system, developed with U.S. funding, has not yet been deployed. HOW ACCURATE IS THE IRON DOME? It is roughly 90% effective, according to Rafael. But it can get overwhelmed if a mass barrage of rockets is fired, allowing some to slip through. While it has performed well so far, the risk could be raised if Hezbollah enters the war. Hezbollah has an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles. HOW EXPENSIVE IS THE SYSTEM? Each missile costs an estimated $40,000 to $50,000, according to the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank. The U.S. has invested heavily in the system, helping with development costs and replenishing it during times of fighting. Israel plans to step up attacks on the Gaza Strip President Joe Biden has said he will ask Congress for $14.3 billion in military aid for Israel. The majority of that would help with air and missile defense systems, according to the White House. "We're surging additional military assistance, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome," Biden said. Journalists in Gaza wrestle with issues of survival in addition to getting stories out
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has called for immediate action to create a Palestinian state. In a statement released from the Yunus Centre on Sunday (October 22, 2023), he said: "The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a very old problem which has become much more complicated now because of the treatment that the people of Palestine have been receiving from Israel.” It has been brewing over time and suddenly recently it became very explosive and unacceptable against any civilised standard, added the statement. Read: Blinken, Austin say US is ready to respond if US personnel become targets of Israel-Hamas war “The solution right now is the creation of two states, something which the United Nations has a resolution on but which remains unimplemented. There is no way to escape from this resolution if we want to bring peace to the region. The top-most priority right now is to implement the long ignored UN resolution on creating two states. Otherwise we don't know where this conflict will lead us to. It has the potential to set the whole region on fire and suck in a larger part of the world into that fire,” it further reads. "We must create the state of Palestine with extreme urgency. The key actor in bringing this to reality is the United States. If the US moves fast others will follow. The Biden administration must lead the world on this vital and urgent issue without delay. Read: Stop Israel-Palestine war, save women and children: PM Hasina urges world leaders "I urgently call upon all parties engaged in the conflict to immediately cease hostilities, ensure the safety and well-being of the innocent children and civilians caught in the midst of this crisis. It is imperative to facilitate and expedite the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to the suffering population. It is time to focus on saving human lives, protect dignity and get to work on a permanent solution," he said. "Let us join hands to put an end to the suffering, ensure uninterrupted humanitarian access, and foster an environment conducive to meaningful peace negotiations and work out the modalities to create Palestine state at the fastest pace. In this day and age, we should collectively recognize that war and bloodshed are inconsistent with the values and progress of our modern civilization. The world is watching and it is our shared responsibility to work towards a future where both Palestine and Israel can co-exist in harmony and peace together with friendly collaboration,” the statement concluded. Read: Israel has right to statehood, so does Palestine: Chinese Ambassador
A limited number of journalists in Gaza are trying to report on the war with Israel while facing the same problems as the besieged Palestinian population there — wondering where to live, where to get food and water, and how to stay safe. The aftermath of Tuesday's explosion that killed hundreds at a Gaza City hospital is the latest example of how that reality hinders the world's ability to get a full picture of what is happening to the Palestinian population In Gaza. Outside journalists have been unable to enter Gaza since the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7. The sole entry point for journalists, Israel's Erez crossing, was attacked in the rampage and remains closed. A handful of news organizations had maintained a regular presence with bureaus there, including The Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Al-Jazeera, with a network of stringers helping others. Israel's order to Palestinians to evacuate the northern part of Gaza led journalists at AP and AFP, for example, to abandon bureaus in Gaza City and head south. As Israel readies troops for ground assault, Gaza awaits urgently needed aid from Egypt "Working in Gaza right now is extremely difficult and that's in large part because our staff are both covering the story and worrying about their own safety and the safety of their families," said Julie Pace, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press. AP staff stocked up on bottled water and other supplies before abandoning their Gaza City bureau, which replaced an office destroyed by Israeli bombs in 2021. Even with power supplies limited, AP staff members have provided photos, video and other reporting each day since the war's start, Pace said. No such luck for a camera left behind on the bureau's balcony that provided a live stream of the skyline; the generator likely ran out of fuel. The nine Agence France-Presse journalists in Gaza feel caught in a squeeze between wanting to work and also take care of their families, said Phil Chetwynd, global news director. Managers are stressing the importance of safety first, he said. "This is a population that over the years has been used to fairly extreme situations, but I think they would all say that this is on a much, much bigger scale," Chetwynd said, referring to the previous four wars between Israel and Hamas. At least 19 journalists have been killed since the start of the war, 15 of them in Gaza, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday. Already, more journalists have been killed in Gaza during the past two weeks than in the territory since 2001, said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa coordinator. On CNN, journalist Ibrahim Dahman reported on the journey to find safety that he took with his wife and two sons, ages 7 and 11. One son plaintively asked when they found a room: "They don't strike hotels, right?" "I feel intense fear," Dahman said. "I am worried about myself, my wife and my children." Gazans find nowhere is safe during Israel’s relentless bombing AP photojournalist Adel Hana's family fled to the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, below the evacuation line, to shelter in a cousin's home near the local hospital. But a series of blasts rocked the building, killing at least seven family members and burying women and children in the rubble, he said. "It doesn't make sense," Hana said. "We went to Deir al-Balah because we thought we would be safe." Marwan al-Ghoul, working for CBS News, was similarly heading south with his family in Gaza. When he came upon the aftermath of a bombing in a residential area, he got out to film scenes of bodies buried in rubble and crying children walking through the bombing site. The need to bear witness, the journalists said, came after a week of intense focus on the attacks in Israel, where news media have been working freely. News organizations are conscious of the need to show that there is suffering on both sides. Even with fewer news organizations operating in Gaza, there is a rich journalism tradition there, said Andrew Roy, CBS News' London bureau chief. With advances in technology, many people are able to tote cameras to noteworthy scenes, he said. That was the case after Tuesday's explosion at al-Ahli hospital. "You can often show people things that in the past you would not have been able to show," Roy said. Even without a full-time staff member in Gaza, The New York Times offered on its website Wednesday a graphic that detailed the hospital grounds, an overhead still picture of the blast scene that showed burnt-out cars and video that depicted the fiery aftermath of the explosion , taken at some distance through a fence. The Times said it had independently verified the video's accuracy. Still, the material doesn't replace professional journalists able to quickly reach the scene and interview people there. "Eyewitness reporting is the best, being able to report what you see," said Luke Baker, Jerusalem bureau chief for Reuters between 2014-2017. Experienced journalists are also more apt to know sources they can depend upon for truthful information, he said. OIC calls for immediate end to Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza In the aftermath of the al-Ahli hospital explosion, journalists were left to sift through the competing finger-pointing over which side was to blame. "The truth does matter," Rachel Maddow said on MSNBC's overage. "It's the only thing we have here." In past Gaza conflicts, the Internet was a useful source of information and videos. But the spread of disinformation online this time has made it much less reliable, and verifying material that can be trusted is enormously time-consuming, Chetwynd said. As the story moves forward, news organizations are looking for ways to compensate for the barriers faced by journalists in Gaza. The AP, for example, has assigned a team of Arabic-speaking journalists to conduct interviews and monitor online activity. For those left in Gaza, Pace said there's a concern about when supplies are going to run out without reinforcements, including power. "It's not constant and it's not reliable," she said. CPJ's Mansour said that he hopes the United Nations keeps the welfare of journalists on its agenda, including safe passage out of the country for those who need it. "The people who live in this place didn't make the decision to live in a war zone," Chetwynd said.
Bangladesh will observe one-day state mourning on Saturday (October 21, 2023) for the Palestinians killed in recent Israeli attacks, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced. She also called for offering prayers for the Palestinian victims in all mosques after jumma and other places of worship across the country on Friday. The victims of the brutal Israeli attacks are not only Muslims, but also Christian and Jews, she said. The premier made the announcements on Thursday (October 19, 2023) while addressing a programme arranged in Sarak Bhaban in the city’s Tejgaon area to open 150 newly constructed bridges in 39 districts and 14 newly constructed overpasses of the Roads and Highways Department simultaneously. Also read: PM Hasina opens 150 bridges in 39 districts in a single day She said Bangladesh will be in the fight to establish the rights of Palestinian people as repeated attacks on the Palestine can never be accepted. “Our stance is that this war will have to be stopped soon. The Palestinian people should get back their due lands occupied by Israel. The lands will have to be given back the lands to the people of Palestine,” she said. Referring to the her Wednesday’s meeting with envoys of OIC member countries based in Dhaka, Sheikh Hasina said she told the envoys that all have to fight unitedly for establishing the rights of Palestinian people. Also read: PM Hasina urges OIC neighbours to resolve their problems through dialogue “We’re also with them. We’ll have to fight. The repeated attacks on them can never be accepted. We can’t accept it,” she said. She said Bangladesh has already condemned the way Israel killed Palestinians – innocent people including women and children by attacking a hospital and other places in Palestine. “It is unbearable to see blood stained faces of children who were killed or injured in bombing attacks by Israel,” she said. She said Bangladesh will send medicines, dry foods and other necessary items for the people of war-torn Palestine. “We will send medicines, dry food and necessary commodities for women and children. We’ve taken this step. We’re always beside the dressed people with whatever resources we have,” she added. Also read: Resolving Palestine crisis depends on ‘united efforts’ by Muslim Ummah: PM The PM already asked the health ministry to take steps for sending medicines to the Palestinians. In an oblique reference to BNP, Hasina said it was noticed that many still remain silent here on this issue fearing that those behind such incidents would be displeased. “Those who don’t have courage to raise voice for the oppressed people wage movement demanding the resignation (of the government), which is unfortunate,” she said. In the function, she also unveiled the foundation stones of 1,100-metre Kewatkhali Bridge and 1,471-metre Rahmatpur Bridge over Brahmaputra river in Mymensingh, opened newly constructed DTCA Bhaban for Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority, BRTA Automated Motor Vehicle Fitness Test Centre of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, BRTC Bus Depot and Training Centre of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation as well as conferred the financial assistance to the road accident victims. The PM inaugurated the infrastructures through a virtual platform from a programme,while the audiences were also connected virtually from Mymensingh Circuit House Ground and BRTA Office in Mirpur.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday that the relocation of Gaza residents from the north to the south as ordered by the Israeli military is extremely dangerous. After days of airstrikes, the Israeli military has ordered the Palestinians in Gaza City and its surroundings to move to the south of the territory, said Guterres. "Moving more than 1 million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous - and in some cases, simply not possible." Hospitals in the south of Gaza are already at capacity and will not be able to accept thousands of new patients from the north. The health system is on the brink of collapse. Morgues are overflowing; 11 healthcare staff have been killed while on duty; and there have been 34 attacks on health facilities in the past few days, he said before walking into a Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Israel's call for mass evacuation, Palestinians hear echoes of their original catastrophic exodus The entire territory of Gaza faces a water crisis as infrastructure has been damaged and there is no electricity to power pumps and desalination plants, he added. Guterres said the situation in Gaza has reached a dangerous new low. The horrific terror attacks by Hamas on Israel that killed more than 1,200 people and injured thousands more on Saturday were followed by intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza that has already killed 1,800 people and injured thousands more, he noted. Palestinians flee northern Gaza after Israel orders 1 million to evacuate as ground attack looms Guterres called for immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza so that fuel, food and water can be provided to people in need. He called for respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law, and for the protection of civilians. He also called for the immediate release of hostages in Gaza. "It is imperative that all parties - and those with influence over them - do everything possible to achieve these steps," said Guterres. The UN chief also warned against hate speech stoked by the conflict - across the Middle East and around the world. Putin calls for ex-Soviet states to expand their influence and comments on Israel-Hamas war "Dehumanizing language that incites violence is never accepted. I call on all leaders to speak out against Antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and hate speech of all kinds. This is a time for the international community to come together around protecting civilians and finding a lasting solution to this unending cycle of death and destruction," he said.
In Israel's call for mass evacuation, Palestinians hear echoes of their original catastrophic exodus
In Israel's call for the evacuation of half of Gaza's population, many Palestinians fear a repeat of the most traumatic event in their tortured history, their mass exodus from what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding its creation. Palestinians refer to it as the Nakba, or "catastrophe." An estimated 700,000 Palestinians, a majority of the prewar population, fled or were expelled from what is now Israel in the months before and during the war, in which Jewish fighters fended off an attack by several Arab states. The Palestinians packed their belongings, piling into cars, trucks and donkey carts. Many locked their doors and took their keys with them, expecting to return when the war ended. Seventy-five years later, they have not been allowed back. Emptied towns were renamed, villages were demolished, homes reclaimed by forests in Israeli nature reserves. Palestinians flee northern Gaza after Israel orders 1 million to evacuate as ground attack looms Israel refused to allow the Palestinians to return, because it would threaten the Jewish majority within the country's borders. So the refugees and their descendants, who now number nearly 6 million, settled in camps in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Those camps eventually grew into built-up neighborhoods. In Gaza, the vast majority of the population are Palestinian refugees, many of whose relatives fled from the same areas that Hamas attacked last weekend. The Palestinians insist they have the right to return, something Israel still adamantly rejects. Their fate was among the thorniest issues in the peace process, which ground to a halt more than a decade ago. Now, Palestinians fear the most painful moment from their history is repeating itself. "You look at those pictures of people without cars, on donkeys, hungry and barefoot, getting out any way they can to go to the south," said political analyst Talal Awkal, who has decided to stay in Gaza City because he doesn't think the south will be any safer. "It is a catastrophe for Palestinians, it is a Nakba," he said. "They are displacing an entire population from its homeland." Israel has vowed to crush Hamas after its bloody Oct. 7 incursion. Militants killed over 1,300 Israelis, many in brutal fashion, and captured around 150 — including soldiers and civilians, young and old. Israel has launched blistering waves of airstrikes on Gaza in response that have already killed over 1,500 Palestinians, and the war appears set to escalate further. Palestine-Israel clash won’t have any impact on Bangladesh: FM Momen On Friday, Israel called on all Palestinians living in northern Gaza, including Gaza City, to head south. The evacuation orders apply to more than a million people, about half the population of the narrow, 40-kilometer (25-mile) coastal strip. With Israel having sealed Gaza's borders, the only direction to flee is south, toward Egypt. But Israel is still carrying out airstrikes across the Gaza, and Egypt has rushed to secure its border against any mass influx of Palestinians. It too, fears another Nakba. Israeli officials say the evacuation is aimed at sparing civilians and denying Hamas the ability to use them as human shields. "The camouflage of the terrorists is the civil population," Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Friday. "We need to separate them. So those who want to save their life, please go south." The military has said those who leave can return when hostilities end, but many Palestinians are deeply suspicious. Israel's far-right government has empowered extremists who support the idea of deporting Palestinians, and in the wake of the Hamas attack some have openly called for mass expulsion. Some are West Bank settlers still angry over Israel's unilateral pullout from Gaza in 2005. "Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join!" Ariel Kallner, a member of parliament from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, wrote on social media after the Hamas attack. Israel's Netanyahu vows to 'destroy' Hamas, says Gaza offensive still in early stages Hamas, meanwhile, has told people to remain in their homes, dismissing the Israeli orders as a ploy. President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the internationally-recognized Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, also rejected the evacuation orders, saying they would lead to a "new Nakba." Abbas, 87, is a refugee from Safed, in what is now northern Israel. He wore a key-shaped lapel pin when he addressed the United Nations last month, noting the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. Palestinians have heard their relatives' stories, and have been raised on the idea that the only hope for their decades-long struggle for self-determination is steadfastness on the land. But many in Gaza may be too frightened, exhausted and desperate to make a stand. For nearly a week, they have been seeking safety under a barrage of Israeli airstrikes that have demolished entire city blocks, sometimes hitting without warning. There's a territory-wide electricity blackout and dwindling supplies of food, fuel and medicine. The south isn't safe, but if Israel launches a ground offensive in the north, as seems increasingly likely, it might be their best hope for survival, even if they never return. "The experience that happened with our families in 1948 taught us that if you leave, you will not return," said Khader Dibs, who lives in the crowded Shuafat refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem. "The Palestinian people are dying and the Gaza Strip is being wiped out."
India’s Congress Party has been criticised for its statement on the Israel-Hamas war. Over 3,000 people have been killed in the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Congress denounced the attacks on the Israeli people on Sunday (October 08, 2023), noting that violence never solves anything, reports NDTV. After Hamas fired 5,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel, a full-fledged conflict broke out. Also read: Palestinians scramble for safety as Israel pounds sealed-off Gaza Strip to punish Hamas The Congress Working Committee (CWC), voiced "dismay and anguish" over the conflict and reiterated its support for the Palestinian people's right to "land (and) self-government, and to live with dignity and respect". Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh stated that his party has always maintained that the genuine aspirations of the Palestinian people must be met through dialogue while safeguarding Israeli national security concerns, the report said. Also read: What to know on fifth day of latest Israel-Palestinian war The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the statement, claiming that Congress was “supporting Hamas”. The BJP accused the opposition of being a "hostage to minority vote bank politics" and of sponsoring terrorism, it added. "Congress' CWC resolution on the Israel war is a classic example of how Indian foreign policy was hostage to Congress' minority vote bank politics, until Modi happened," BJP MP Tejasvi Surya said, adding "A reminder of how quickly things will go back to zero if we aren't vigilant in 2024." Also read: Israel-Hamas war: Humanitarian groups scrambling to assist civilians Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly denounced the acts and stated unequivocally that India stands with Israel. The war's total death toll has surpassed 3,000, and Israel's military has announced the construction of a base for thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of reprisal. Late Monday, Hamas warned it was ready to execute captives it had captured if Israel attacked.