• Israeli attacks kill 13 Palestinians in Khan Younis

    Israeli attacks kill 13 Palestinians in Khan Younis File Photo Israeli attacks kill 13 Palestinians in Khan Younis

    Israel's brutal war on Gaza — now in its 103rd day — has killed some 24,285 Palestinians and wounded 61,154, Palestinian authorities say, as chaotic wave of attacks, reprisals in Middle East fuel worries of a broader regional war.


    At least 13 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, a report has said. Dozens of Palestinians were also injured in air and land attacks, said the Palestinian news agency.

    Israeli jets also targeted Palestinian homes west of Khan Younis with air strikes and artillery fire, it added.

    Israel's bombardment of the surroundings of Nasser Hospital and Al Amal Hospital affiliated with the Palestine Red Crescent Society resulted in critical damage to the medical facilities.

    Preventing new forced displacement is 'absolute priority': Borrell

    European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said the absolute priority now is to prevent a "new de facto forced displacement" out of Gaza.

    Noting that over 80 percent of the population has already been displaced within the besieged enclave, Borrell said "in humanitarian terms, the situation is horrific" in an op-ed published Monday in the French daily Le Monde.

    "Now the absolute priority is to prevent a new de facto forced displacement out of Gaza, which is legally forbidden and morally unacceptable," he said.

    Borrell said that preventing at all costs an extension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Lebanon, to alleviate the catastrophic situation in Gaza, and to pave the way for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the three priorities.

    "While these three issues obviously have their own dynamics, in reality, they are totally intertwined," he added.

    US Senate rejects measure to force human rights report on Israel

    The US Senate has rejected a resolution that would have forced the State Department to produce a report within 30 days examining whether Israel committed human rights violations in its invasion of Gaza.

    As voting continued, 54 senators voted to set the resolution aside, thus meaning it cannot move ahead in the 100-member Senate.

    The vote was forced by Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. While the measure was handily defeated, it reflected growing concern among some of President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats, especially on the left, over the supply of US weapons to Israel despite the war's steep toll on Palestinian civilians.

    "We must ensure that US aid is being used in accordance with human rights and our own laws," Sanders said in a speech before the vote urging support for the resolution, lamenting what he described as the Senate's failure to consider any measure looking at the war's effect on civilians.

    The White House had said it opposed the resolution, which could have paved the way toward the imposition of conditions on security assistance to Israel.

    The United States gives Israel $3.8 billion in such assistance each year, ranging from fighter jets to powerful bombs. Biden has asked Congress to approve an additional $14 billion.

    Palestinian envoy says there is no way ICJ would rule in favour of Israel

    The Palestinian ambassador to Britain has said "there is no way" that the International Court of Justice [ICJ] would rule in favour of Israel, and for the first time in history, the "genocide" has been recorded and transmitted live by the people who were executed.

    Husam Zomlot's remarks came during a news conference in London on the ongoing Israeli attacks and genocide case filed by South Africa against Israel before the ICJ in the Hague in the Netherlands.

    Touching on the Israeli attacks, Zomlot said the destruction of Gaza is a "deliberate genocide and ethnic cleansing...deliberate in its intent and execution."

    "Despite this unprecedented manmade humanitarian disaster, we see no serious efforts by the most important international actors to bring about an immediate, sustainable, com prehensive and permanent cease-fire," he noted.

    "Without that immediate ceasefire, we see no hope of addressing the apocalyptic situation," he said, asserting that all those who want to discuss other issues are missing the point.

    "This remains our top priority," he stressed, adding that in addition, there also has to be "massive international humanitarian efforts" to address Gaza's acute needs.

    Israel confirms Gaza aid deal as concerns grow of widening war

    Israel has pummelled Gaza and confirmed reaching a deal with Hamas resistance group to deliver medicines to captives and desperately needed aid to civilians in the war-torn Palestinian territory following Qatari mediation.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed the deal and said: "The medicines will be forwarded by Qatari representatives in the Gaza Strip to their final destination."

    Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on Gaza since a cross-fence attack by Hamas on October 7 which Tel Aviv says killed more than 1,100 people.

    Israel has so far killed at least 24,285 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 61,154, Palestinian health authorities say.

    According to the UN, 85 percent of the population of Gaza is already internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave’s infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

    Jordan says economy hit by Israel's war on Gaza

    Jordan's Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh has said the Gaza war's negative impact on the country's aid-dependent economy had put the brakes on a promising performance last year that had seen a surge in tourism revenues and higher growth.

    "Last year (2023) before October 7 economically was an extremely, extremely promising year," Khasawneh said.

    Khasawneh said disruptions to Red Sea shipping on the main East-West route caused by Houthi attacks was the latest hit alongside the plunge in tourism that had prior to the October 7 blitz by Hamas on Israel seen a boom that outstripped levels nearly five years ago

    "Tourism took a major hit and other sectors are still suffering," Khasawneh said in Davos, according to state media.

    France's Macron says 'priority is ceasefire' in besieged Gaza

    French president has said that a ceasefire in besieged Gaza is "a priority."

    "All lives matter," the president reiterated, but blamed the Palestinian resistance group Hamas for the current situation in the region.

    He recalled that France has delivered humanitarian aid to those in need in Gaza but stressed that the "priority is a ceasefire."

    After 100 days of Israel's brutal war on the blockaded enclave, "targeted operations" by Israel's defence forces must be combined with respect for humanitarian law, said Macron, who also noted the importance of preventing the war from spreading in the entire region.

    "France is attached to peace and stability in Lebanon," the president said.

    US to relist Yemen's Houthis as specially designated global terrorists: reports

    The Biden administration is expected to soon announce plans to redesignate Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen as specially designated global terrorists, an international news agencies reported.

    The decision comes as the Houthis have launched dozens of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. The group says it has attacked Israel-linked or Israel-bound ships in response to Israel's harsh siege and brutal invasion of Gaza.

    The administration is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday, a US official said.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken delisted the Houthis as both foreign terrorist organisations and as specially designated global terrorists in February 2021.

    In its waning days, the Trump administration designated the Houthis a Foreign Terrorist Organization over the strong objections of human rights and humanitarian aid groups.

    The foreign terrorist designation barred Americans and people and organisations subject to US jurisdiction from providing "material support" to the Houthis, which the groups said would result in an even greater humanitarian catastrophe than what was already happening in Yemen.

    Bernie Sanders forces US senators into test vote on military aid to Israel

    In a notable test, Senator Bernie Sanders is forcing colleagues to vote on record whether to investigate human rights abuses in Israel's brutal war on besieged Gaza, a step toward potentially limiting US military aid to Israel.

    The Senate vote, a first of its kind tapping into a decades-old law, would require the US State Department to, within 30 days, produce a report on whether Israel's war in Gaza is violating human rights and international accords. If so, US military aid to Israel, long assured without question, could be quickly halted.

    While the Senate is unlikely to approve the measure, the vote by senators will begin to reveal the depth of unease among US lawmakers over Israel's prosecution of the war.

    "What Israel does not have a right to do — using military assistance from the United States — does not have the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people," Sanders told to an international news agency during an interview on Monday ahead of the vote. "And in my view, that’s what has been happening."

    Heading toward the vote, Sanders said senators are nervous because what he's trying to do is unprecedented in procedure and essentially practice.

    "The Congress has always been supportive of Israel in general, and this begins to question the nature of the military campaign," Sanders said. "And I think that makes some other people quite nervous."