Palestinian PM Shtayyeh hands resignation to Abbas over Gaza ‘genocide’ – Newstrends
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Palestinian PM Shtayyeh hands resignation to Abbas over Gaza ‘genocide’

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh

Palestinian PM Shtayyeh hands resignation to Abbas over Gaza ‘genocide’

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, due to the escalating violence in the occupied territory and the war on Gaza.

“The decision to resign came in light of the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank and Jerusalem and the war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” said Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday.

“I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity and the extension of unity of authority over the land of Palestine,” he said.

Abbas accepted Shtayyeh’s resignation and asked him to stay on as caretaker until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Shtayyeh’s comments come as US pressure grows on Abbas to shake up the PA and begin work on a political structure that can govern a Palestinian state following the war.

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However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has on numerous occasions rejected calls for the PA under Abbas to take control of a Palestinian state and govern Gaza.

Last week, Israeli lawmakers backed Netanyahu’s rejection of any “unilateral” recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The Knesset came together in an overwhelming majority against the attempt to impose on us the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would not only fail to bring peace but would endanger the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

But the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs slammed the vote and accused Israel of holding the rights of Palestinians hostage due to the occupation of Palestinian territories.

“The ministry reaffirms that the State of Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and its recognition by other nations does not require permission from Netanyahu,” it said in a statement.

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, little progress has been made towards achieving a two-state solution.

Palestinian PM Shtayyeh hands resignation to Abbas over Gaza ‘genocide’

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Stormy flood: Dubai airports return to operations after flights cancellation

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Stormy flood: Dubai airports return to operations after flights cancellation

Emirates Airlines, in conjunction with FlyDubai, has resumed its regular flight operations from Dubai International Airport, marking a pivotal moment in the restoration of normalcy following the recent disruptions.

The decision on flight resurgence was finalised on Saturday, April 20, 2024, after the unprecedented rainfall, resulting in significant flooding across the city, inflicted substantial challenges on Dubai International Airport, disrupting flight schedules and causing numerous cancellations and delays.

Emirates Airlines, the largest carrier at the airport, bore the brunt of the impact, with approximately 400 flights cancelled, exerting strain on passengers and airport infrastructure.

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Tim Clark, President of Emirates, acknowledged the gravity of the situation, highlighting the formidable obstacles presented by the adverse weather conditions. The inundation prompted Emirates and FlyDubai to temporarily halt check-in and transit services at Dubai International Airport, leaving thousands of travelers stranded amidst the chaos.

Speaking via a statement in his open letter addressed to passengers, Clark recognized the frustration stemming from congestion, lack of information, and confusion within the terminals.

“Most sincere apologies to every customer who has had their travel plans disrupted.” With the airport struggling to manage the aftermath of the flooding, hundreds of thousands of passengers found themselves stranded, exacerbating the challenges faced by Emirates, the world’s busiest international aviation hub.

Stormy flood: Dubai airports return to operations after flights cancellation

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Netanyahu vows to increase military pressure on Hamas

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Netanyahu vows to increase military pressure on Hamas

Israel will increase ‘military pressure’ on Hamas in a bid to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed.

Netanyahu threatened action ‘in the coming days’ and promised Israeli forces would ‘deliver additional and painful blows’ without specifying further.

Despite an international outcry, Netanyahu has repeatedly said that the army will launch a ground assault on Rafah, a southern Gaza city so far spared an Israeli invasion where more than 1.5 million Palestinians have taken refuge.

Israeli strikes on Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said Sunday.

The premier’s latest remarks came a day after US lawmakers approved $13 billion in new military aid to close ally Israel, even as global criticism mounts over the dire humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas, whose October 7 attack triggered the Gaza war, said the US aid was a ‘green light’ for Israel to ‘continue the brutal aggression against our people’.

Netanyahu, in a video statement on Sunday, the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, said Israel ‘will deliver additional and painful blows’ to Hamas.

‘In the coming days we will increase the military and political pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages,’ he said.

‘We will land more and painful blows on Hamas – soon.’

Israel estimates 129 captives remain in Gaza after the October 7 Hamas attack, including 34 who the military says are dead.

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The army has said at least some of the hostages are held in Rafah, which has so far been spared an Israeli invasion and is where most of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have sought shelter.

Earlier this week, the G7 group of developed economies said that it opposed a ‘full-scale military operation’ there, fearing ‘catastrophic consequences’ for civilians.

Israeli forces had already been carrying out regular strikes on the city.

Netanyahu has faced pressure within Israel, with an anti-government rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday demanding action to secure the release of hostages.

Ofir Angrest, whose brother Matan was kidnapped on October 7, called for Jewish Israelis to leave an empty chair at their Seder meals, marking the beginning of Passover on Monday, to remember the captives.

Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere.

The first Israeli strike in Rafah killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital, which received the bodies. The woman was pregnant and the doctors saved the baby, the hospital said. The second strike killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.

‘These children were sleeping. What did they do? What was their fault?’ asked one relative, Umm Kareem. Another relative, Umm Mohammad, said the oldest killed, an 80-year-old aunt, was taken out ‘in pieces.’ Small children were zipped into body bags.

Mohammed al-Beheiri said his daughter, Rasha, and her six children, the youngest 18 months old, were among those killed. A woman and three children were still under the rubble.

The Israel-Hamas war has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women.

It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80 per cent of the territory’s population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

The $26 billion aid package approved by the US House of Representatives on Saturday includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine. The Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

The conflict, now in its seventh month, has sparked regional unrest pitting Israel and the US against Iran and allied militant groups across the Middle East. Israel and Iran traded fire directly this month, raising fears of all-out war between the longtime foes.

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Tensions have also spiked in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli troops killed two Palestinians who the military says attacked a checkpoint with a knife and a gun near the southern West Bank town of Hebron early Sunday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the two killed were 18 and 19, from the same family. No Israeli forces were wounded, the army said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said it had recovered 14 bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.

The military said it killed 14 militants in the camp and arrested eight suspects. Ten Israeli soldiers and one border police officer were wounded.

In a separate incident in the West Bank, an Israeli man was wounded in an explosion Sunday, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

A video circulating online shows a man approaching a Palestinian flag planted in a field. When he kicks it, it appears to trigger an explosive device.

At least 469 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Most have been killed during Israeli military raids, which often trigger gunbattles, or in violent protests.

The war in Gaza was sparked by an unprecedented Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to call for new elections to replace Netanyahu and a deal with Hamas to release the hostages. Netanyahu has vowed to continue the war until Hamas is destroyed and all the hostages are returned.

The war has killed at least 34,097 Palestinians and wounded another 76,980, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry does not differentiate between combatants and civilians in its count. It says the real toll is likely higher as many bodies are stuck beneath the rubble or in areas that medics cannot reach.

Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties because the militants fight in dense, residential neighborhoods. The military rarely comments on individual strikes, which often kill women and children. The military says it has killed over 13,000 Hamas fighters, without providing evidence.

Netanyahu vows to increase military pressure on Hamas

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Biden considers $1bn weapon package for Israel

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President Joe Biden

Biden considers $1bn weapon package for Israel

A report on Friday said that the US is considering more than $1 billion in new weapons deals for Israel, including tank ammunition, military vehicles, and mortar rounds, amid escalating Middle Eastern tensions.

According to the Wall Street Journal and US officials, the Biden administration’s proposed deal includes transfers of $700 million in 120 mm tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and less than $100 million in 120 mm mortar rounds.

This package, reportedly one of the largest given to Israel since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which killed 1,200 people, would be in addition to those in a military aid deal currently before Congress, according to the report.

The sale would require approval from the US Congress, which could take months or years.

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The State Department did not immediately respond to Anadolu’s request for comment.

The US is facing a barrage of criticism for providing military aid to Israel amid reports of Tel Aviv targeting civilians — with more than 34,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, killed in Gaza, and credible reports of violations of international law and US law, including the blocking of American aid.

The report also came amid heightened tension between Iran and Israel after Tehran launched a drone and missile attack in response to the April 1 attack on its consulate in Syria, which killed seven Iranian military officers, including two top-ranking commanders.

Last month, a half-dozen Democratic senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to halt arms sales to Israel because it is currently in violation of a 1961 law that prohibits arms sales to nations that obstruct the delivery of American aid.

Biden considers $1bn weapon package for Israel

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