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IDF begins ‘air and ground’ operations against Gaza to quell ongoing terror attacks

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IDF begins ‘air and ground’ operations against Gaza to quell ongoing terror attacks

… As Senior Hamas official says: ‘We can continue fighting for many months’***

Anticipating a response by Hamas, the military ordered Israelis living within four kilometers of the border to remain in their bomb shelters.

The Israeli Defense Forces began a heavy bombardment against Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip late Thursday evening.

“IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking,” the IDF wrote on Twitter, without providing more details on the scope of the operation.

It does not appear that the military has launched a full ground operation or yet entered Gaza, though earlier in the day, it called up thousands of reserve troops.

Anticipating a heavy response by Hamas, the IDF ordered all Israelis living within four kilometers of the Gaza border to remain in their bomb shelters until further notice.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas will pay a heavy price.

Also read: Heavy rocket barrage on central Israel, hitting Tel Aviv, causes fatalities and injures dozens

“I said that we would exact a very heavy price on Hamas, we are doing this and we will continue with great force. The final word has not been said, and this operation will continue for as long as needed,” declared the Israeli leader, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Earlier on Thursday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved the call-up of 9,000 reservists after the previous approval of 7,000 reservists.

The military personnel will enter combat units and support headquarters as part of “Operation Guardian of the Walls,” Gantz’s office said in a statement, adding that they will be stationed in the IDF’s Southern, Central and Northern Command in place of other units mobilized to other missions.

In another development, Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau said in an interview on Gaza’s Al-Aqsa TV on Wednesday that Jewish immigration to Palestine was based on myths and so is the claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, reported MEMRI.

“The Jews’ immigration to Palestine from all corners of the world, in order to establish their state, was based on the myth that Jerusalem had been their capital and that they had a temple there, that Jerusalem belongs to them, and that it is their Promised Land. These are the myths that they have invented out of thin air,” said Arouri.

He also said, according to the report, that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and commander of the ‘Izz al-Din al-Qasam Brigades Mohammad Deif have said that Hamas is ready to fight for many months.

“The resistance was designed to last for a long while. The commanders of the resistance in Gaza have said—brother Abu Ibrahim [Al-Sinwar] said it clearly more than once, and [Mohammed] ‘Abu Khaled’ Deif also talked about it. … They said that we are ready for a war that would last months. Months!”

Arouri continued: “The resistance will not allow [Israel] to create an image of victory.

In the 2014 war, the image of victory was of the [Israeli] soldier under the boots of the mujahideen. In this war, the bombing of the streets and towers will not be the image of victory.

The image of victory will be painted by our jihadi Brigades.”

 

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Yemen’s Houthis Claim Fresh Attack Against Lobivia Ship, In Gulf Of Aden

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Yemen’s Houthis Claim Fresh Attack Against Lobivia Ship, In Gulf Of Aden

…As 2 killed by Russian artillery fire on Ukrainian village

 Yemen’s Houthi group on Friday claimed responsibility for launching a drone and missile attack against a ship in the Gulf of Aden.

“The Lobivia ship was hit accurately by several missiles and drones,” Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a televised statement aired by the group’s al-Masirah TV.

Earlier in the day, Sarea in another televised statement claimed responsibility for launching a drone attack against what he said was a vital target in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

He didn’t identify the target. 

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported the attack killed a person and injured 10 others.

The Houthi group, which controls much of northern Yemen, has been targeting ships linked to Israel since November 2023, in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The group threatens to escalate its attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden until the conflict stops in the besieged Palestinian territory. 

In another development, two women were killed and several others injured by Russian artillery fire that travelled across the Dnipro River and hit a village in southern Ukraine, local authorities said on Friday.

One of the injured is a doctor, Alexander Prokudin, military governor of the Kherson region, announced on Telegram.

Where he posted that Russian troops fired 40 shells from a rocket artillery launcher at the village of Biloserka on the north bank of the Dnipro during the night.

Meanwhile, around 60 houses were damaged.

And one woman was killed in her house.

The body of a second woman was later discovered under the rubble.

Russia occupied Biloserka, along with the rest of the Kherson region, in the spring of 2022, shortly after it launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February of that year.

However, Russian forces were driven from the area in late autumn of 2022.

Since then, the wide lower reaches of the Dnipro have formed the front line in most places.

Russia’s Defence Ministry in Moscow announced, without specifying the exact location that Russian artillery had knocked out the command centre of a Ukrainian battalion on the other bank of the river.

Separately, nine people were injured by Russian shelling in the city of Chuhuiv in the eastern region of Kharkiv, according to military governor Oleh Synyehubov.

Several buildings were damaged, while some cars were burnt.

The governor did not specify which weapons were used to fire on the city.

Chuhuiv is an important transport hub for supplying Ukrainian units on the front east of Kharkiv.

– Xinhua

– With additional information from DPA/NAN

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Israeli Defence Minister Reports Death Of Hamas Terrorists

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…As Norway is to deliver six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

 Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed a majority of Hamas terrorists and most of the Islamist organisation’s battalions smashed.

Gallant commented on parliament on Wednesday, according to Israeli media.

Israel announced the destruction of Hamas as a war objective after the massacres carried out by Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7.

“As long as Hamas retains a hold in the Gaza Strip, it can rebuild and strengthen itself, “Israeli officials have said.

So the IDF would then have to return and fight in areas where it had already been deployed.

Gallant has called for the creation of a political alternative to Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far refused to present a plan for the administration and reconstruction of Gaza after the end of the war.

Observers say this is likely because he is trying to avoid conflict with his far-right coalition partners who favour the building of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, a proposition. 

In another developmnet, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member, Norway, will supply six F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

The first is due to arrive by the end of the year, the government in Oslo confirmed on Wednesday.

“Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against air attacks is crucial in its battle against Russia,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

It has been known for some time that Norway intends to send F-16s to Ukraine as part of an international coalition.

However, the timing has so far been as unclear as the exact number of aircraft.

Even though several countries have pledged to deliver the US-built fighters, none are known to have yet arrived in Ukraine.

On the fringes of the NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country hopes to receive its first F-16s this summer.

Ukraine, which has been under attack from Russia since February 2022, needs at least 128 fighter jets, Zelensky said.

According to the government, Norway decommissioned its F-16s in 2021 as part of the introduction of new F-35 fighter jets. Of the fighters withdrawn from service, 32 were sold to Romania.

– dpa

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Sunak Insists Predictions Of Defeat Not Going To Stop Him

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Sunak Insists Predictions Of Defeat Are Not Going To Stop Him

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has insisted that predictions of a Conservative defeat are not going to stop him after the likelihood of his return to Downing Street.

He said this was put at less than “lightning striking twice in the same place” by a polling expert.

He was asked during a “BBC Breakfast’’ interview whether he accepted the analysis by-elections guru Professor John Curtice, the prime minister said: “That’s his view.

“That’s not going to stop me from working as hard as I can over these final few days to talk to as many people as possible about the choice.”

“And I was up at 4 this morning talking to workers at a distribution facility.

“I’m here talking to you. I’ll be out till the last moment of this campaign because I think it’s an important choice for the country.”

Sunak kicked off a final push for votes on the last two days of the campaign with an early morning visit to an Ocado packing plant in Bedfordshire.

Then he stopped at a Morrisons near Witney the former Oxfordshire seat of Foreign Secretary, David Cameron where the conservatives won with a 15,200 majority in 2019.

In a last-ditch attempt to rally conservative voters, the Tory leader claimed in a speech on Tuesday that just 130,000 voters could prevent a Labour “supermajority.”

He denied that his switch from talking about his policy plans to warnings about a landslide for Keir Starmer and his Labour Party was the language of defeat.

“No, I’m much still talking to people about our plan,” he said.

Sunak also defended the conservative campaign, in spite of it having failed to narrow the opinion poll gap with Labour.

It was asked if he had got the campaign wrong after it was hit by debacles including his early D-day departure and the gambling row, the prime minister said

“No, actually everywhere I’ve been going, people are waking up to the dangers of what a labour government would mean for them, particularly when it comes to taxes.”

He said under the conservatives, things were undeniably better than they were a few years ago.

“When it comes to the things that we want to do, people can see that we have turned a corner,” he said.

Meanwhile, Starmer said a big Labour majority would be better for the country.

The Labour leader hammered home his get-out-the-vote message on a whistlestop campaign tour to Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire on Tuesday.

In an interview with The Times, he said he needed a strong mandate to reform the planning system and improve the economy.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is continuing his action-packed campaign tour to the South-West of England where he will call on voters to end the sewage scandal. 

– dpa

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