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Biden asks Netayahu to send team to Washington for talks on Rafah



Biden asks Netayahu to send team to Washington for talks on Rafah

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday that President Joe Biden has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone call to send a team of representatives from the military, intelligence services and humanitarian aid specialists to Washington in the coming days.

Biden wants to explain his government’s reservations about the planned offensive in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip and discuss possible alternatives.

Netanyahu agreed to send such a team.

“We have every expectation that they’re not going to proceed with a major military operation in Rafah until we have that conversation,” Sullivan said, referring to the Israelis.

A meeting is planned for the end of this week or the beginning of next week, but a specific date has not yet been set.

Sullivan said a major Israeli offensive in Rafah would be a mistake, but that Hamas should not use the city or anywhere else as a safe haven.

The national security adviser rejected reports that the tone between Biden and Netanyahu was tense and that the phone call ended abruptly. The conversation was “business-like,” he said.

Meanwhile, David Barnea, the head of Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, met with mediators in Qatar, Israeli TV station N12 reported.

The Israeli security cabinet had authorized the departure of a delegation led by Barnea to the Gulf state late on Sunday evening.

Mediators from Qatar, Egypt, and the United States are attempting to make progress in the recently stalled talks on a temporary ceasefire and an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas recently submitted a new proposal to the mediators.

In it, Hamas no longer demands that Israel end the war before the first hostages are exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

According to the proposal, Hamas would only make a non-temporary cessation of hostilities by Israel a prerequisite for a second phase of hostage releases.

This means that Hamas has come closer to the contents of a multi-stage plan that the mediators had presented several weeks ago and which Israel had accepted.

Now that Hamas has made some progress, Israel is prepared to take part in the indirect mediation talks in Qatar for the first time in a fortnight. Israeli television reported that the talks are expected to last at least two weeks.

On the ground in Gaza, Israel concentrated its military activities on Monday on al-Shifa Hospital, where it said it had killed a senior official of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which was behind the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel.

The man was Faik al-Mabhouh, head of Hamas’ internal security department, which is also responsible for operational missions, according to a joint statement by the military and the Shin Bet domestic intelligence service.

Al-Mabhouh was also “responsible for coordinating Hamas terror activities in the Gaza Strip,” the statement said.

Hamas initially gave no official confirmation of al-Mabhouh’s death.

Al-Mabhouh was killed after intelligence information was received about the presence of senior Hamas members in the al-Shifa hospital, the army said.

He had been hiding armed in a building of the hospital complex and was killed in a confrontation with the troops, the statement said.

Several weapons were found in the room next to his hiding place.

Eyewitnesses reported heavy gunfire inside the hospital. There were reports that a journalist from Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera was among dozens of people detained in the hospital.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a briefing on Monday evening that “we apprehended over two hundred terror suspects who are currently under investigation, eliminated more than twenty terrorists within the hospital area.”

Hagari added that IDF forces would “continue to operate in the hospital area tonight.”

According to reports from Gaza, the man killed was a brother of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was murdered in Dubai in 2010. At the time, Dubai police accused the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad of being behind the crime.

One accusation against Mahmud al-Mabhouh was that he had procured weapons for Hamas.

The case caused quite a stir internationally.

Prior to the operation, the IDF urged Palestinians sheltering in Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital to leave the conflict zone.

“You should leave the area to the west immediately to ensure your safety and then … to the humanitarian zone in al-Mawasi,” an IDF spokesman wrote in Arabic on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday morning.

He was referring to a town on the coast of the Gaza Strip in the far south. The IDF also dropped flyers.

Hagari in the morning had said that the operation followed “concrete intelligence that demanded immediate action.”

The military said it would “continue to act in accordance with international law and against the Hamas terrorist organisation – which operates from hospitals and civilian infrastructure in a systematic and cynical way.”

The U.S. government had also supported the Israeli claim that Hamas had used the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip as a command centre and weapons depot.

Biden asks Netayahu to send team to Washington for talks on Rafah

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Rwanda Warns that Allowing Hatred, Disunity to Fester Could Lead to Genocide



Rwanda Warns that Allowing Hatred, Disunity to Fester Could Lead to Genocide

By: Michael Mike

Rwanda has warned of the dangers of allowing hatred and disunity to fester, insisting that this could lead to genocide like it witnessed over 30 years ago where a million people were killed in the spate of 100 days.

The Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Christophe Bazivamo, stated this at the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Abuja.

The commemoration is observed under the multi-year theme, “Remember – Unite – Renew”.

Bazivamo stated that the path to lasting peace demands constant vigilance, adding that “As we renew, we restate our unbreakable pledge to fight intolerance, discrimination, ethnic hatred, hate speeches, genocide revisionism, and denial in all their forms.

“Unfortunately, this is happening today just beyond Rwanda’s borders in the Great Lakes region. We should never allow the embers of hatred to reignite.”

The High Commissioner further said: stated: “On this Kwibuka 30, together, we can ensure that the memory of the victims becomes a powerful force for good, inspiring future generations to choose peace over hate, unity over division, and hope over despair.

“This can be achieved in different ways including putting course lessons about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in schools and the establishment of memory symbols in remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to educate the young and the next generation on the need to fight hate ideologies and stand against any form of discrimination and divisionism. Let us work together to build a world where such atrocities never happen again.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar conveyed the condolences of the Nigerian government to the survivors of the genocide.

Tuggar represented by a former ambassador to Sudan, Safiu Olaniyan said: “Genocide should not be allowed to raise its head ever again.”

The Secretary General, United Nations, Antonio Guterres urged the world to stand as one against all forms of hatred and discrimination.

Guterres whose speech was read at the occasion by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mohamed Malick Fall noted that: “To those who would seek to divide us, we must deliver a clear, unequivocal and urgent message: never again.

“We can draw a straight line between the senseless slaughter of one million Tutsi — as well as some Hutu and others who opposed the genocide — and the decades of hate speech that preceded it, enflamed by ethnic tensions and the long shadow of colonialism.

“Today, around the world, the darkest impulses of humanity are being awakened once more by the voices of extremism, division and hate.

“On this solemn day of remembrance, let’s pledge to stand as one against all forms of hatred and discrimination.

In his remarks, a retired Nigerian Navy admiral, Samuel Alade who witnessed the genocide while in Rwanda said, “I commend the tenacity of purpose and the commitment of the Rwandans to make their nation an example of relevance.”

Rwanda Warns that Allowing Hatred, Disunity to Fester Could Lead to Genocide

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Earthquake: Emergency agency warns about aftershocks in New York



Earthquake: Emergency agency warns about aftershocks in New York

New York State Emergency Management has warned that  residents might experience aftershocks of the 4.8 magnitude  earthquake, which occurred in the city and New Jersey on Friday.

The North American correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the earthquake, which occurred at 10:23a.m. local time ,eight miles northwest of Bridgewater, New Jersey ,affected some areas in New York.

It rattled skyscrapers and buildings across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

The  emergency agency, in a safety alert issued , urged the public to call 911 if they were experiencing an emergency.

“ An earthquake occurred in New Jersey. The earthquake has been felt throughout New York State. Aftershocks may occur. Call 9-1-1 only if you or others are injured or have  an emergency’’

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8 is generally considered moderate, though it appears to be among the biggest earthquakes to ever affect New York City.

In addition to New York and New Jersey, the quake was felt in parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts .

New York governor Kathy Hochul said that the impact of the earthquake was being assessed.

“My team is assessing impacts and any damage that may have occurred, and we will update the public throughout the day.” she wrote on X .

Earthquake: Emergency agency warns about aftershocks in New York

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Gaza: US Failed Resolution at UN was Biased- Envoy



Gaza: US Failed Resolution at UN was Biased- Envoy

By: Michael Mike

The Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Shawesh has described as biased the failed United States resolution on Gaza.

Shawesh, who spoke to journalists at the weekend during his weekly briefing on the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, also alleged that Israel has violated Ramadan ceasefire agreement,

He said U.S was biased in its resolution as it failed to call for immediate ceasefire.

Shawesh said, “On Friday, March 22, the USA presented a resolution before the Security Council, which did not pass due to a veto. In this regard, and despite many other criticisms, I would like to highlight the following points:

“So all what you hear on the media about the ceasefire resolution is spout empty words. The US resolution fail to call for an immediate ceasefire that the secretary of state Blinken theorize for it on the media day before tabling it on the security council as the magic stack to put an end to the human suffering in Gaza.

“The US resolution fell short of condemning the ongoing Israeli massacre against the Palestinian people. Instead, it gave Israel the green light to continue its textbook genocide.

“The US resolution emprise and incubated all the Israeli claims about Oct 7 even before any independent fact finding mission or inquiry mission established by independent intergovernmental body to come with final report on what happened on that day.

“The US resolution mentioned the 132 Israeli hostages in Gaza but did not say a word about the more than 7,000 abducted and hostage Palestinians in Israeli concentration camps and prisons, all of whom are subjected to torture, degradation, and ill-treatment, resulting in the deaths of 12 of them so far.

“This is a clear form of racism and white supremacy, prioritizing the lives of Israelis over the lives of Palestinians.

“The US resolution deliberately did not mention any single words on the UN body, UNRWA, which is the most expert and capable body to tackle the humanitarian crises in Gaza, in clear complicity to support the Israeli occupation request to dismantle it. When it came to the humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian no one can deny the crucial role that the UNRWA played since Al-Nakba 1948.

“It is important to note that the US Congress voted not to resume funding for UNRWA until at least 2025, a move welcomed by Israel, which declared that the UN agency will not be part of Gaza’s future.

The US did not mention Israel as the occupation power except one time in the context of the two state solution.”

He also accused the Israeli authorities of not respecting UN resolution which called for ceasefire during the ongoing Ramadan.

He said, “On Monday, March 25, the Security Council adopted the Resolution 2728 calling for an immediate ceasefire during the month of Ramadan. While the ink on the resolution is not yet dry, Israeli cannon barrels are still firing and claiming more innocent Palestinian lives.

“On a practical level, this means Israel has turned its back on the Security Council. Israeli pushback on the UN ceasefire resolution, and the war minister Yoav Gallant said Israel has no moral right to stop the war in Gaza.

“The Israeli occupation authorities have continued their aggression, restrictions, and repressive measures in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

“They have deployed more than 24 military battalions there, imposed a comprehensive siege, cut off ties with partial sieges on all regions and towns, deployed over 750 checkpoints, installed more iron gates, and forced citizens to travel on bumpy roads that consume their time and money.”

He condemned the continue sales of weapons to Isreal, he said according Mary Lawlor – UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders: “There is no moral argument that justifies the continued sales of weapons to Israel. Over the past six months, Israel has unequivocally proven that it uses Western and foreign weapons indiscriminately against the Palestinian people. Why does the West continue to supply them?”

He also asked the everyone to pay attention to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres words that: “Palestinians in Gaza — children, women, men – remain stuck in a non-stop nightmare. Communities obliterated. Homes demolished. Entire families and generations wiped out. With hunger and starvation stalking the population. It is monstrous that after so much suffering over so many months, Palestinians in Gaza are marking Ramadan with Israeli bombs still falling, bullets still flying, artillery still pounding, and humanitarian assistance still facing obstacle upon obstacle.”

Shawesh said: “According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health as of Sunday, March 24, approximately 32,200 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli occupation forces. Among the victims, 72% were women (around 8,800) and children (approximately 13,750). Additionally, around 74,500 Palestinians have been injured, with a majority being women and children. It is estimated that more than 8,100 people are missing under the rubble.

Gaza: US Failed Resolution at UN was Biased- Envoy

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