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Hamas had command tunnel underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza, Israel says

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Hamas had command tunnel underneath UNRWA’s headquarters in Gaza, Israel says

The Israeli military revealed a network of tunnels underneath Gaza City that they said extended below the United Nations’ headquarters in the region on Sunday.

The IDF escorted foreign reporters through the tunnels, entering through a shaft that pierced the surface next to a school. Israel argues that the tunnels are even more evidence that the U.N.’s mission in Gaza was compromised by Hamas terrorists.

“Everything is conducted from here. All the energy for the tunnels, which you walked through them, are powered from here,” an Israeli officer told reporters during the tour.”This is one of the central commands of the intelligence. This place is one of the Hamas intelligence units, where they commanded most of the combat.”

UNRWA denied knowledge of the tunnels and said it vacated the headquarters on the surface as early as Oct. 12.

UN APPOINTS INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF UNRWA AMID ALLEGATIONS ITS WORKERS JOINED HAMAS-LED ATTACK ON ISRAEL

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The Israeli military revealed a network of tunnels underneath Gaza City that extended below the United Nations’ headquarters in the region on Sunday.

“UNRWA does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises,” the organization said in a statement.

ISRAEL’S EVACUATION ORDERS COVER MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF THE GAZA STRIP AS WAR WITH HAMAS CONTINUES

“In the past, whenever a suspicious cavity was found close to or under UNRWA premises, protest letters were promptly filed to parties to the conflict, including both the de facto authorities in Gaza and the Israeli authorities,” the statement continued.

The IDF escorted foreign reporters through the tunnels, entering through a shaft that pierced the surface next to a school.

Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri argued that Israel’s claims of a connection between the UNRWA and the tunnels were “lies.”

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News of the tunnels comes amid Israeli allegations that hundreds of UNRWA employees expressed support for or were complicit in Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel.

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Several Western nations have paused funding for UNRWA, which overseas aid for Gazans, amid the allegations.

News of the tunnel comes amid Israeli allegations that hundreds of UNRWA employees expressed support for or were complicit in Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called UNRWA “Hamas with a facelift” this weekend. He argued on Saturday that it was time for the world to “dismantle UNRWA” and create an alternative mechanism for providing aid to civilians in the war-stricken Gaza Strip.

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“I think the world needs to wake up and address this issue in a different way, while also addressing Gaza’s needs,” Gallant told Fox News Digital. “UNRWA is a group of terrorists who receive salaries from many countries – these countries gave money to people who raped, murdered and took people into captivity.”

Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash and Reuters 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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Video: U.S. Defends Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories

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Video: U.S. Defends Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories

new video loaded: U.S. Defends Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories

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transcript

U.S. Defends Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories

The United States urged the International Court of Justice not to call for immediate withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories, and to consider the country’s security needs.

Any movement towards Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza requires consideration of Israel’s very real security needs. We were all reminded of those security needs on Oct. 7, and they persist. Regrettably, those needs have been ignored by many of the participants in asserting how the court should consider the questions before it. It is more urgent than ever to proceed to a Palestinian state, one that also ensures the security of Israel and makes the necessary commitments to do so. In light of these considerations, the court should not find that Israel is legally obligated to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from occupied territory. Others have asked you to broadly construe the questions and the law. They have asked you to try to resolve the whole of the dispute between the parties through an advisory opinion addressed to questions, focusing on the acts of only one party. The United States disagrees with that, that this approach would be consistent with the court’s role within the United Nations or the established U.N. framework for achieving peace through negotiations.

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Haiti orphanage founder accused of sex abuse to be sent to Florida for trial

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Haiti orphanage founder accused of sex abuse to be sent to Florida for trial

An American founder of a Haitian orphanage who is accused of sexually abusing four boys there more than a decade ago has been ordered to be sent from Colorado to Florida to face prosecution.

Michael Geilenfeld, 71, was arrested in Colorado on Jan. 20 after being indicted in Florida, accused of traveling from Miami to Haiti between 2010 and 2016 “for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person under 18.” The charge he faces carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison in the event of a conviction.

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In a court order signed Tuesday and released Wednesday, a federal magistrate judge in Denver said U.S. marshals should take Geilenfeld to authorities in federal court in Florida’s southern district. The order did not explain why.

Earlier this month, the magistrate judge, Scott Varholak, ruled that Geilenfeld could be released from a suburban Denver federal prison to live in a halfway house in Colorado while he is prosecuted. But federal prosecutors appealed his decision in Florida. Varholak stopped his order from taking effect until a judge in Florida ruled on the matter.

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Geilenfeld’s attorney in Colorado, Brian Leedy, was out of the office and did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the order or the allegations against Geilenfeld. A Massachusetts attorney who also has represented Geilenfeld, Robert Oberkoetter, did not immediately return a telephone call or an email seeking comment.

Geilenfeld, who has faced past accusations of abusing boys, told Varholak at one court hearing that he was being held in isolation and only allowed out of his cell for two hours each morning.

Michael Geilenfeld arrives at U.S. Bankruptcy Court, July 9, 2015, in Portland, Maine. Geilenfeld, an American founder of a Haitian orphanage who is accused of sexually abusing four boys there more than a decade ago, has been ordered to be sent from Colorado to Florida to face prosecution. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

At Geilenfeld’s most recent hearing, Leedy said Geilenfeld had the support of a “large community of individuals” who have supported him for 20 years and would help him get back and forth to court dates in Florida.

Prosecutors argued that Geilenfeld, who they say allegedly abused about 20 children over decades, could try to intimidate his victims if he is freed. They also said he poses a flight risk since, given his age, any conviction could put him behind bars for the rest of his life.

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Varholak called the allegations against Geilenfeld “beyond troubling” but said the government had not provided enough details to show he had actually threatened anyone or that he commited any abuse since the time alleged in the indictment.

Haitian authorities arrested Geilenfeld in September 2014 based on allegations brought by Paul Kendrick, a child advocate in Maine. Kendrick accused him of being a serial pedophile after speaking to young men who said they were abused by Geilenfeld as boys in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital where he founded the orphanage in 1985.

Geilenfeld called the claims “vicious, vile lies,” and his case was dismissed in 2015 after he spent 237 days in prison in Haiti.

He and a charity associated with the orphanage, Hearts for Haiti, sued Kendrick in federal court in Maine, blaming Kendrick for Geilenfeld’s imprisonment, damage to his reputation and the loss of millions of dollars in donations.

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Kendrick’s insurance companies ended the lawsuit in 2019 by paying $3 million to Hearts with Haiti, but nothing to Geilenfeld.

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