Israel’s Health Ministry has ordered hospitals in the north of the country to prepare for the possibility of receiving “thousands of injured” people as tensions with the Lebanon’s Hezbollah group increase, Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported.
KAN said the ministry has asked medical centres in the north to prepare for the possibility of going into “deserted island mode,” that is being left without medical supplies, medicine and food for days.
The ministry also asked hospitals to go into emergency mode within a few hours and requested that they maintain a 50 percent occupancy rate.
Tensions have flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah in the deadliest clashes since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.
Allies shoot down Houthi missiles, drones in Red Sea — US military
US and UK forces have shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Yemen-based Houthis into the Southern Red Sea towards international shipping lanes, the US military’s Central Command said.
US Central Command said 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile were shot down by US and British forces. It said there were no injuries or damage reported, adding that this was the 26th Houthi attack on commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea since November 19.
Houthis have stepped up attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea in protest against Israel’s war in Gaza. Various shipping lines have suspended operations, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.
The Houthis have vowed to continue attacks until Israel halts its brutal war on Gaza, and warned that it would attack US warships if it was targeted.
Israel kills 15 more civilians in Gaza’s south — Palestine media
Israel has killed at least 15 civilians and wounded many others in an air strike that targeted an apartment located in a building west of Rafah city, in southern Gaza, official WAFA news agency reported.
Citing medical sources, WAFA said 15 bodies arrived at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah after Israeli shelling of the residential building, adding the building is owned by the Nofal family in of the Tel al Sultan neighbourhood.
Saudi-Israel deal won’t sacrifice Palestine’s interests: envoy
Saudi Arabia is interested in normalising ties with Israel after its brutal war on besieged Gaza, but any deal must lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK has said.
A normalisation deal was “close,” but Saudi Arabia paused US-brokered talks after October 7, Prince Khalid bin Bandar told the BBC in a radio interview.
Saudi Arabia still believes in establishing ties with Israel despite the “deplorable” casualty figures in Gaza caused by Israel, but it would not “come at the cost of the Palestinian people,” the ambassador said.
A deal “was close, there is no question. For us, the final endpoint definitely included nothing less than an independent state of Palestine.
So, while we still — going forward after 7 October — believe in normalisation, it does not come at the cost of the Palestinian people,” he was quoted as saying.
He added that “absolutely there is interest” among Saudi Arabia’s leaders for an agreement.
“We were close to normalisation, therefore close to a Palestinian state. One doesn’t come without the other. The sequencing, how it is managed, that is what was being discussed,” the ambassador said.
Türkiye slams inaction over Gaza, says use of veto ‘a detrimental tool’
The use of the veto at the United Nations Security Council has become an “arbitrary and detrimental tool,” Türkiye’s deputy UN representative has said.
Speaking at a General Assembly meeting, Asli Guven said the need for Security Council reform is “indisputable and undeferrable” and the reform process needs to address and eliminate the current shortcomings of the use of the veto.
“The use of the veto has become an arbitrary and detrimental tool, whereby the common good is sacrificed over individual interests,” said Guven. “The inaction over Gaza has been another case in point.”
“The pursuit of self-interests in this body not only undermines multilateralism but also weakens the credibility of the whole UN system,” she added.
She said the Security Council was unable to adopt a single resolution on Gaza for over a month, despite calls by the international community and millions of people who took to the streets around the world.
“And the two resolutions that were eventually adopted failed to call for what is fundamentally needed to stop the bloodshed in Gaza: an immediate ceasefire,” she added.
Israel denies talking with African countries on Gaza expulsions
An Israeli official has denied reports that Israel is talking with African countries about expelling Palestinians to the continent.
“In response to publications regarding this issue, it should be noted that Israel is not engaged in examining the feasibility of transferring Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to countries in Africa,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said on X.
His remarks came as many Israeli officials called for the expulsion of Palestinians from besieged Gaza, annexation of the enclave and return of illegal Jewish settlements there.
Last week, the Times of Israel newspaper reported that Israel is in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] and other countries about the so-called “voluntary migration” plan.
Muslim groups urge Canada to support investigation into Israeli ‘war crimes’
Muslim organisations have issued a call for Canada to support an investigation into “Israeli war crimes.”
The appeal came in the form of a letter under the umbrella of the National Council of Canadian Muslims [NCCM] to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“250 Canadian civil society groups and community organisations are issuing a joint open letter to the Prime Minister, asking Canada to back the proceedings at the International Court of Justice [ICJ] regarding Israel’s conduct in the Gaza Strip,” the NCCM said in a post on X.
Five countries – South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros and Djibouti – have asked the court to look into alleged Israeli war crimes. The NCCM and signatory organisations to the letter want Canada to add its voice.
“Canada must support an impartial investigation into possible war crimes committed in Gaza,” the NCCM post said. “Canada must support accountability. It is time to recognise ICJ jurisdiction on this issue.”
“Thousands upon thousands of civilians, including children, have been killed by the bombardment and invasion by the military of Israel,” the letter to Trudeau states. “This is why you must support the latest case in the International Court of Justice [ICJ], which holds states accountable according to international law, that looks into the mass violence in Gaza.”