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'Did you already forget Oct 7': Netanyahu slams int'l community amid pressure over war

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'Did you already forget Oct 7': Netanyahu slams int'l community amid pressure over war

Tel Aviv, March 17 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting criticised those “in the international community who are trying to stop the war now, before all its goals are achieved,” media reported.

Netanyahu’s comments are likely a reference to calls last week for elections in Israel from US Senator Chuck Schumer, and growing criticism from the White House over Netanyahu’s conduct of the war, The Times of Israel reported.

The Prime Minister added that those who want to stop the war do so “by making false accusations against the IDF, against the Israeli government and against the Prime Minister of Israel. They do this by trying to bring about elections now, in the midst of the war”.

Turning to Israel’s “friends in the international community,” Netanyahu asked pointedly: “Is your memory so short? Did you forget so quickly October 7, the most terrible massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust? Are you so quickly ready to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the monsters of Hamas? Did you lose your moral conscience so quickly?”

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He called for international pressure to be put on Hamas and Iran, rather than Israel, The Times of Israel reported.

“No amount of international pressure will stop us from realising all the goals of the war: eliminating Hamas, releasing all our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will no longer pose a threat against Israel,” insists Netanyahu.

“We must not give in to these pressures, and we will not give in to them,” Netanyahu stressed.

He also promised that the IDF will operate in Rafah, “carefully”.

“It will take a few weeks, and it will happen,” he said.

“Those who say that the operation in Rafah will not happen are the same ones who said that we will not enter Gaza, that we will not operate in Shifa, that we will not operate in Khan Younis and that we will not resume fighting after the (weeklong November) ceasefire,” Netanyahu added.

–IANS

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Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

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Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

Faizabad (Afghanistan), July 20 (IANS) The police of north Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province on Saturday warned that local drivers will face legal action if they do not obey traffic laws.

A total of 13 people were killed and 36 others injured in road accidents in the province over the past month, the provincial police office said in a statement, adding that the deadly accidents occurred in Faizabad city, the provincial capital, and some districts of the province due to reckless driving on congested roads.

Earlier this week, 17 persons were killed with 34 others injured as a passenger bus plunged into a ravine in north Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, Xinhua news agency reported.

Poor conditions on roads, reckless driving and lack of safety measures during travel, according to officials, are among the major causes of deadly road accidents in the war-ravaged Asian country.

–IANS

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Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

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Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

Amman, July 20 (IANS) Jordan announced that 83 new trucks of humanitarian aid crossed into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, carrying food parcels, blankets, clothes, and health materials for the war-torn territory that has been haunted by a humanitarian crisis.

“The aid was dispatched by the Jordanian Armed Forces and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, in cooperation with the World Food Program, and supported by Helping Hands Association, Human Appeal, and several popular campaigns,” the state-run Petra news agency reported.

Hussein Shibli, secretary-general of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation, said Jordan’s efforts in aiding the people in Gaza are substantial, and the support and donations that reach Jordan’s warehouses from various local, regional, and international organizations indicate the trust that Jordan gains from different countries, and its ability to deliver humanitarian aid to the Strip.

Shibli added that the total number of land trucks that have entered the Gaza Strip to date has reached 2,694, and 53 aid planes have been dispatched via Egypt’s Al Arish International Airport, Xinhua news agency reported.

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–IANS

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Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

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Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

Kabul, July 20 (IANS) A total of 858,170 Afghan refugees returned home from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran from April to June, according to the Afghanistan office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The IOM Afghanistan also said in a post on its X account on Friday that more than 5,30,000 people also made outbound trips from Afghanistan during the second quarter of this year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Over 2.5 million Afghan refugees have reportedly been living in Pakistan.

Additionally, about the same number of refugees are residing in Iran.

–IANS

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12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

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12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

Beijing, July 20 (IANS) At least 12 people were killed and 31 others injured after a highway bridge collapsed in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, local authorities said on Saturday.

The bridge, located in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, partially collapsed around 8.40 p.m. on Friday due to a sudden downpour and flash floods, according to the provincial publicity department, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 17 cars and eight trucks plunged into the Jinqian River below the bridge based on initial investigation.

As of Saturday noon, rescue workers had recovered seven of them and found 12 people dead, with one person rescued, said the provincial Party committee.

Thirty-one people remain unaccounted for, and search efforts are ongoing.

–IANS

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South Korea blares propaganda broadcasts for 3rd day against North Korea balloons

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South Korea blares propaganda broadcasts for 3rd day against North Korea balloons

South Korea blares propaganda broadcasts for 3rd day against North Korea balloons

Seoul, July 20 (IANS) South Korea’s military on Saturday continued to send propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts toward North Korea in response to the North’s repeated launch of trash-carrying balloons across the border, sources said.

The anti-Pyongyang broadcasts started from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the sources said.

The South Korean military had warned it could increase the number of loudspeakers and switch to a full-scale broadcast if the North stages further provocations, which includes sending trash balloons across the border, Yonhap news agency reported.

The first round of broadcasts reportedly involved speakers installed near the western section of the heavily fortified border and continued for approximately 10 hours. The broadcasts were also blared on Friday.

On June 9, South Korea resumed blaring such broadcasts for the first time in six years in response to the North’s balloon campaigns.

Since late May, North Korea has sent more than 2,000 trash-carrying balloons into the South on eight occasions in retaliation for North Korean defectors’ sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets toward the North.

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The JCS said it has detected around 200 trash-carrying balloons sent by the North since Thursday, with some 40 balloons landing in the northern area of Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul.

South Korea turned on loudspeaker broadcasts last month after it fully suspended the 2018 inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement in response to the North’s massive sending of trash-carrying balloons.

The accord, signed under the former liberal Moon Jae-in administration, bans live-fire artillery drills near the border and other acts deemed hostile against each other.

North Korea has bristled against the loudspeaker campaigns, as well as anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent by South Korean activists, on fears that an influx of outside information could pose a threat to the Kim Jong-un regime.

Following the June 9 broadcast, North Korea warned of “new responses” against such psychological warfare, calling it a “prelude to a very dangerous situation.”

Earlier this week, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North’s leader, threatened that South Korea would face “gruesome and dear” consequences if it lets North Korean defectors continue to send leaflets critical of North Korea.

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–IANS

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