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Borrell slams US for deploring Gaza deaths while giving arms to Israel

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Borrell slams US for deploring Gaza deaths while giving arms to Israel

Josep Borrell has sharply criticised the Biden administration for lamenting the growing death toll in Gaza while, at the same time, providing Israel with weapons to prop up its military campaign.

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Speaking in Brussels on Monday, hours after Israeli forces bombarded the southern Gazan town of Rafah, the EU’s foreign policy chief called on Washington to stop pleading with Israel to cease the killing of civilians and to start “doing something” instead.

“How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying: ‘Too many people are being killed’? President Biden said:  ‘This is (over) the top’,” Borrell said, referring to Biden’s recent remarks.

“Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed.”

“It is a little bit contradictory to continue saying that there are too many people being killed, please take care of people, please don’t kill so many,” he went on. “Stop saying please and (start) doing something.”

The reproach came hours after an appeals court in the Netherlands ordered the government to halt deliveries of parts of F-35 fighter jets to Israel for fears Dutch exports could be contributing to violations of international law in light of the ICJ ruling.

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The US administration has in recent months bypassed Congress to continue sending weapons to Israel, whilst also calling for restraint in its war in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of some 28,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Senate Democrats have in recent days pushed on the White House to consult Congress before any future arms sales to Tel Aviv, fearing American complicity in the devastation and humanitarian crisis wrecked on Gaza.

President Biden responded to those calls last Thursday with an executive order authorising the cut-off of military aid to foreign governments that do not abide by international law. The memorandum claims to “strengthen” US national security by “reinforcing respect for human rights, international humanitarian law, democratic governance, and the rule of law,” and hopes to “reduce the risk of civilian harm.”

It is estimated that Israel has received more military aid from the US than any other nation since the 1950s owing to a long-standing, bipartisan policy of support.

“If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe they have to think about the provision of arms,” Borrell said.

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Data shared with Euronews suggests many more EU countries – including Italy and Germany – have also provided Israel with some of the military equipment and components used in its offensives.

The Delas research centre claims Europeans are together “one of Israel’s main suppliers of military systems and equipment” behind the US, and that member states have licensed military contracts worth over €2 billion to Israel, including for ammunition, weapon firing equipment and components for military aircraft and vehicles. 

Organisations like Amnesty International and the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) have long called for a comprehensive arms embargo on both Israel and Hamas.

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US Man Gets Prison for Tokyo Olympics Doping Charge

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US Man Gets Prison for Tokyo Olympics Doping Charge
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Texas man who pleaded guilty to involvement in providing banned performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison, U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan said. Eric Lira, 44, of El …
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US conducts four 'self-defense strikes' against Houthi weapons preparing to launch: CENTCOM

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US conducts four 'self-defense strikes' against Houthi weapons preparing to launch: CENTCOM

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The U.S. military conducted “self-defense strikes” against Houthi missiles and a launcher prepared to fire from Yemen toward the Red Sea on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command announced.

Between 12 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday, four self-defense strikes were launched in response to seven mobile Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles and one mobile anti-ship ballistic missile launcher aimed at the Red Sea, the agency said.

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Also, in an act of self-defense, CENTCOM said its forces shot down a one-way attack unmanned aircraft system.

US CARRIES OUT ‘SELF-DEFENSE’ STRIKE AGAINST HOUTHI ANTI-SHIP MISSILE: CENTCOM

U.S. Central Command announced more “self-defense strikes” against Houthi terrorists in Yemen after American forces located missiles and a launcher prepared to fire toward the Red Sea. (Mass Communications Spc. 2nd Class Moises Sandoval/U.S. Navy via AP)

The missiles, launchers and the unmanned aircraft system were all determined to have originated from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

CENTCOM said they “presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and to the U.S. Navy ships in the region” and were destroyed.

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HOUTHIS DEMAND US, UK AID WORKERS LEAVE YEMEN WITHIN 30 DAYS FOLLOWING 2ND COALITION STRIKE

“These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels,” CENTCOM concluded.

CENTCOM and the State Department have been adamant in recent days about condemning Houthi aggression in the Red Sea toward military and civilian ships.

Model of Houthi missile

A model of a Houthi missile is carried during a protest in Sanaa, Yemen, against the war in Gaza and U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Houthis on Feb. 16. (Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Prior to Wednesday’s self-defense strikes, U.S. and coalition forces have shot down 11 one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles, one anti-ship cruise missile, and one surface-to-air missile launcher located in Houthi-controlled Yemen since Feb. 19, according to CENTCOM announcements.

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Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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Three people killed in shooting near Jerusalem

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Three people killed in shooting near Jerusalem

Israeli police say officers shoot two of the gunmen, and a third tries to escape but is found and arrested

At least three people have been killed and eight wounded when Palestinian gunmen opened fire at motorists near an Israeli checkpoint near occupied East Jerusalem.

The head of Israel’s ambulance service, Eli Bean, told the public broadcaster Kan that two women were seriously wounded on Thursday.

Israeli police said the attackers took advantage of slow morning traffic on the central highway east of Jerusalem near the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank and opened fire with automatic weapons at cars waiting near a checkpoint.

A spokesperson said the gunmen were Palestinians but gave no further details.

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Israeli police said two gunmen were killed and a third was arrested.

In response to the attack, far-right Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir said freedom of movement for Palestinians should be restricted.

“Our right to life overrides the Palestinians’ freedom of movement,” the official said, according to Israeli media reports.

“I will fight for barriers around the villages that will limit the freedom of movement of the residents of the Palestinian Authority.”

Tensions in the occupied West Bank have been exacerbated since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7 following a Hamas attack that killed 1,139 people, according to Israeli figures.

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Israel’s retaliation on Gaza for the attack has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians and wounded close to 70,000 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and has reduced much of the enclave to rubble.

Reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Willem Marx said the attack is an “indication of the frustration that many people inside the occupied West Bank and those facing challenges around access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque are feeling at this very, very fraught time”.

“This is something that reflects a period in history, decades ago, when these kinds of attacks were incredibly frequent in and around Jerusalem,” Marx said, adding that there have been “several similar incidents” recently in the West Bank and around illegal settlements.

The shooting “so close to Jerusalem at a busy time in the morning next to a major checkpoint where there’d be a huge security presence is an indication of that frustration”, Marx reported.

Last week, two people were killed by gunmen who police suspect to be Palestinians at a bus stop in southern Israel.

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