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Australian minister Ed Husic accuses Israel of systematic failure to abide by laws of war

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Australian minister Ed Husic accuses Israel of systematic failure to abide by laws of war

Canberra, April 7 (IANS) Australian government minister Ed Husic on Sunday accused Israel of a systematic failure to adhere to the laws of war in Gaza.

Husic, the minister for industry and science and a member of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s cabinet, said the deaths of nearly 200 humanitarian workers in Gaza reflect a failure by Israel to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I believe this reflects a systematic failure within the Israeli government to genuinely commit to the observance of international humanitarian law,” he told Sky News Australia.

“That’s why you’ve seen 33,000 Palestinians killed, 14,500 of which are children, and 77,000 injured – and then on top of that, 200 aid workers and 100 journalists.”

Australian citizen Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom was killed along with six colleagues from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), an aid organization, in Israeli airstrikes in central Gaza on Monday local time.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday published a summary of an initial investigation into the incident, concluding that the strike on WCK aid vehicles was a grave mistake stemming from a mistaken identification.

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Richard Marles, Australia’s deputy prime minister and minister for defence, and Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday announced Australia would appoint an independent special adviser to scrutinize the official investigation into the strikes.

Husic on Sunday said the decision to appoint the adviser was a big step that would ensure a thorough investigation.

Marles and Wong said on Friday that Israel’s response to the incident had not satisfied Australia’s expectations and asked that all evidence surrounding the strikes be preserved.

–IANS

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Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

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Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

Landslide kills at least 20 in southern Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, July 22 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed by a landslide in southern Ethiopia, local media reported on Monday.

The deadly landslide occurred on Monday morning at around 10:00 am local time in the Geze Gofa district in southern Ethiopia, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

Misikir Mitiku, chief administrator of the Geze Gofa district, said rescuers have so far recovered more than 20 bodies that were buried under the mud, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said the death toll is likely to rise as rescue operations are currently underway at the landslide area.

Ethiopia is in the midst of a rainy season which started in July and is expected to last until mid-September. Constant rains occasionally cause landslides in some parts of the East African country.

–IANS

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

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Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Iran hosts joint naval drill in Caspian Sea

Tehran, July 22 (IANS) A joint naval drill kicked off on Monday in the Caspian Sea to ensure shipping security and safety in the region, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

The exercise, codenamed 2024 Hybrid Maritime Search, Rescue and Security, was being staged off the Iranian port city of Bandar-e Anzali and involved the Iranian Navy’s maritime and aerial forces as well as Russia’s SB 45 vessel. Representatives from the Caspian Sea littoral states, including Azerbaijan, also supervised the exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hassani listed the Iranian missile cruisers taking part in the exercise as Peykan (Arrow), Joshan (Armour), Derafsh (Flag) and Separ (Shield), adding the drill also involved two AB 212 helicopters of the Iranian Navy.

He stressed that the drill was aimed at promoting interaction and cooperation between the maritime apparatuses of Iran and other countries bordering the Caspian Sea, namely Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan, adding that the littoral states do not tolerate the presence of non-regional countries in the region.

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He added that the drill would be staged over four days and involve two main phases. The coastal phase will include developing designs, ensuring coordination, and providing relevant training. The tactical phase will involve operations to contain fires, rescue shipwrecked and injured crew members, and conduct aerial photography.

–IANS

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Jerusalem, July 22 (IANS) A Canadian citizen was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday after he attempted to stab security personnel outside the Gaza Strip, in what police described as “a terror attack.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released a press statement saying the suspect arrived at the entrance of Netiv HaAsara, an Israeli community adjacent to the Gaza Strip, after entering Israel as a tourist on Sunday. He stepped out of his vehicle and “threatened with a knife members of the community’s rapid response team operating in the area.”

The team responded with fire and “neutralized” the suspect. The police later pronounced his death, Xinhua news agency reported.

The police released a photo of the kitchen knife and said the suspect used it to perpetrate the attack. Video footage on social networks showed two men opening fire at the suspect before his body was taken into an ambulance.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news reported that he was chanting “Free Palestinian!” during the attempted attack and said he was carrying it out because “Israel kills people in Gaza.”

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Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom reported that there were no other casualties.

–IANS

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Tokyo, July 22 (IANS) Japan and the United States will be holding Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (Japan-US 2+2) talks and the Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence during the two-day visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Tokyo starting July 28, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, along with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara, will also align their views on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region during the ‘2+2’ meeting.

The four ministers will take into account the outcomes of security and defence cooperation during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington in April this year besides discussing future cooperation toward realising a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific.

The talks, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, will focus on strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance, and the direction of security and defence cooperation in the region.

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“The four ministers will hold a Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence, and will discuss bilateral cooperation to continue to strengthen US extended deterrence, which is enhanced by Japan’s defence capabilities, taking into account the progress of discussions centered on the Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue,” it said.

–IANS

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Pyongyang, July 22 (IANS) In a first, Russia’s Prosecutor General is visiting North Korea as the two countries continue to bolster ties following the summit meeting between their top leaders last month.

Igor Krasnov arrived in Pyongyang on Monday and will meet with his counterpart and discuss bilateral cooperation with other officials during his visit, his office said in a statement.

Krasnov received a warm welcome from the representatives of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office upon his arrival at the airport in the North Korean capital.

A major highlight of his visit will be the signing of a cooperation programme between the Prosecutor General’s offices of Russia and North Korea for 2024-2026, along with an updated agreement.

“This visit marks a significant milestone in the relations between the prosecutors’ offices of both countries, which have maintained constructive ties over the past decade based on a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2010,” stated the Russian Prosecutor General’s office.

On Sunday, representatives from the supervisory agency and the Military University of the Russian Ministry of Defence delivered a series of lectures in Pyongyang which majorly covered the main directions and specifics of the activities of the Russian prosecutor’s office.

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Moscow believes that Krasnov’s visit also highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between Russia and North Korea in legal and prosecutorial matters.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang – his first trip to North Korea in 24 years – at the invitation of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.

–IANS

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