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Netanyahu: Israel in existential struggle against 'Hamas monsters'

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Tel Aviv, May 13 (IANS/DPA) As Israel marks Memorial Day on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war in Gaza is a battle for Israel’s continuing existence.

“The war is about: it’s either us, Israel, or them, the Hamas monsters,” he said during the Memorial Day ceremony on Mount Herzl, where Israel’s main military cemetery is located.

“Either existence, freedom, security and prosperity or extinction, massacre, rape and subjugation.”

Seven months on from Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel and Israel’s ferocious military response in Gaza, Netanyahu vowed that Israel was “determined to win this battle” and that the enemy will “continue to pay a high price for its evil deeds.”

A victory over Hamas would mean bringing all the hostages home, Netanyahu continued. Such a victory would “secure our existence and our future.”

–IANS/DPA

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Nikki Haley blames Iran, China & Russia for Oct 7 Hamas attack in Israel

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Tel Aviv, May 28 (IANS) Republican party leader and former US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has blamed Iran, China and Russia for the October 7 attack in southern Israel in which 1,200 people were brutally killed and 250 taken as hostages by the Hamas terror organisation.

The top US leader, who is on a tour of Israel, in a statement on Monday said that Iran orchestrated the attack with the support of Russian intelligence and China funded the entire operation. Haley said that Russians provided the intelligence on the locations and China has been funding Iran.

Nikki Haley in the statement said, “They are all murderers and accomplices. If we really mean it is not going to happen again, we have to be honest and truthful to ourselves about who did this.”

She also said, “if America became complacent and arrogant the same thing would happen in the US also”.

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Nikki Haley, however, did not present any proof of the involvement of the superpowers China and Russia.

However, it may be recalled that the Russian president, Vladamir Putin had hosted Hamas leaders in Moscow after the October 7 massacre. Hamas leaders Moosa Abu Marzouk, head of Hamas’ International Relations Office, and Basem Naim, former health minister of Hamas. The Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov had met the visiting Hamas leaders along with Iran deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani.

The Republican leader, who is likely to become the running mate to the party’s Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, visited the southern Israel region. She also visited the Sderot police station that was destroyed in the October 7 massacre of Hamas.

–IANS

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UAE President to make state visit to S. Korea

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Seoul, May 28 (IANS) United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will make a state visit to South Korea on Tuesday to discuss ways to expand cooperation in energy, defence and other areas.

Mohamed will visit South Korea for a summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol and meetings with business leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday. It marks the first state visit to the country by a UAE President, Yonhap news agency reported.

Four Air Force fighter jets will escort the UAE’s presidential jet, and Yoon will host a welcome dinner.

On Wednesday, an official welcome ceremony will feature an air show by the Air Force’s Black Eagles aerobatic team and traditional performances.

Yoon and Mohamed will then hold a summit to discuss cooperation in sectors that include energy, defence and investment.

During the two-day visit, the UAE President is expected to meet business leaders, including Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Euisun Chung of Hyundai Motor Group and Chey Tae-won of SK Group, according to industry sources.

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Yoon made a state visit to the UAE in January 2023, the first such visit by a South Korean leader since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1980.

During the summit, Mohamed announced his country’s plan to invest $30 billion in South Korea and signed 13 memorandums of understanding covering energy, arms and climate change, among other sectors.

–IANS

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Australia, NZ pledge millions to Papua New Guinea after deadly landslide

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Wellington, May 28 (IANS/DPA) Australia and New Zealand have pledged millions of dollars of aid to Papua New Guinea in the wake of a deadly landslide.

Several villages in the province of Enga were hit when part of a mountain collapsed in the early hours of Friday in the remote central highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea’s disaster agency has said more than 2,000 people could be buried under the rubble.

New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday the government had approved an offer of practical and financial assistance, worth about New Zealand $1.5 million (US $923,000), to help with the response.

“The landslide in Enga Province in Papua New Guinea is an absolute tragedy. Our thoughts remain with all of those directly affected and the people and government of Papua New Guinea,” Peters wrote on social media platform X.

“The precise nature of our assistance will be shaped by the needs of affected communities, as determined through ongoing discussions with PNG [Papua New Guinea] authorities,” Peters added.

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Overnight, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said it would provide an initial Australian $2.5 million (US $1.6 million) in humanitarian assistance.

“As a close neighbour and friend, we will be doing all we can to provide support,” he wrote on X.

The Australian Defence Force was working closely with its counterparts in Papua New Guinea, Marles said. “This work is yet another demonstration of the close partnership between our nations and militaries.”

–IANS/DPA

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Mideast countries, EU condemn Israel's strikes on Rafah camp

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Cairo, May 28 (IANS) Countries in the Middle East and the European Union have condemned Israel’s airstrike on tents housing displaced civilians in northwestern Rafah of the Gaza Strip, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least 45 Palestinians and injuries to numerous others.

The Israeli airstrike targeted on Sunday evening the tents in a newly established camp for the displaced civilians in the southernmost Gazan city, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported. Local security sources said the area was supposed to be safe based on the classification by the Israeli army.

In response to the attack, Hamas has informed mediators that it will not participate in any negotiation for a ceasefire in Gaza or a prisoner exchange deal, a source in the movement said on Monday.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a strong-worded statement condemning the attack as a severe violation of international laws that would worsen the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Palestinian enclave, Xinhua news agency reported.

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It also expressed deep concern that the operation would complicate ongoing mediation efforts and hinder progress toward an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The ministry called on the Israeli authorities to comply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s decision to end military attacks on Rafah, urging the international community to take immediate action to prevent further atrocities and protect civilians.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the Israeli attack has led to another “horrendous” killing of Palestinian civilians, especially women and children.

In a post on social media platform X, he said the strike was a flagrant instance of “war crimes” and “in conspicuous violation” of the ruling by the ICJ ordering Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.

Kanaani said whenever Israel faced “humiliating defeats” in the field, it would resort to committing such “insane war crimes” against Palestinian civilians.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called the deadly strike in Rafah a “massacre.”

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The operation, which took place amid the ICJ’s call for a halt to the attacks in Gaza, “once again exposed the bloody and treacherous nature of the terrorist state,” he said on social media platform X.

The Turkish leader also accused the Israeli government of resorting to further bloodshed in a desperate bid to extend its political tenure. “We will do everything in our power to hold these murderers accountable,” he said.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said that “the attack was a crime against humanity and systemized state terrorism requiring accountability by international criminal law”, according to WAFA.

The OIC reiterated its call for the international community to assume its responsibilities in obliging Israel to implement the ICJ orders to immediately stop the Rafah offensive.

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also issued a stern condemnation. “Horrified by news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children. I condemn this in the strongest terms,” the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, expressed through social media platform X.

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“There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said, urging the immediate stop of the attacks and adherence to the orders of the International Court of Justice and international humanitarian law by all parties involved.

The targeted displacement camp in Rafah is located near the warehouses of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

–IANS

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EU imposes new sanctions on Russia over Navalny

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Brussels, May 28 (IANS) The Council of the European Union (EU) has announced a new framework for restrictive measures against Russia over the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The sanctions regime involves trade restrictions on equipment, technology and software intended primarily for use in information security and the monitoring or interception of telecommunications, the Council said in a statement on Monday.

It also sanctioned one entity and 19 individuals alleged to have played key roles in the imprisonment and ultimate death of Navalny, Xinhua news agency reported.

–IANS

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