Connect with us

World

Israeli delegation expected in Qatar for more Gaza talks

Published

on

Israeli delegation expected in Qatar for more Gaza talks

Framework of the agreement includes a six-week pause in fighting that could see an exchange of captives and increase in aid.

An Israeli delegation is soon expected in Qatar to continue talks on securing a pause in the war on Gaza that could see captives released.

The talks began last week in Paris and were attended by the chiefs of Israel’s spy agency Mossad and domestic security service Shin Bet, along with mediators from the United States, Qatar and Egypt.

The Israeli delegation returned from the French capital, with Israeli national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, saying during a televised interview late on Saturday that “there is probably room to move towards an agreement”.

According to Israeli media, negotiators had a meeting with the Israeli cabinet, which agreed to send a delegation to Qatar in the coming days to continue negotiations.

Advertisement

Al Jazeera’s Willem Marx, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said Israeli media are talking about the details of a framework for talks, which could potentially see a pause in fighting for up to six weeks if a captive is released each day from Gaza.

“It looks like there will be around 40 Israeli hostages being released – that would be women civilians, female soldiers, older men with serious medical conditions – in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently held in detention or Israeli jails.”

Marx said an agreement could also lead to a considerable increase in humanitarian aid going into the Gaza Strip and a potential return of Palestinians to the heavily bombarded and attacked areas in the northern part of the enclave.

“Hamas, crucially, has not commented on any of this,” he said.

Prior to the latest round of talks, Hamas had said it would accept nothing less than a complete cessation of fighting and an end to the siege of Gaza, something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had dismissed while emphasising “total victory” over the armed group.

Advertisement

Close to 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been confirmed killed by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, with thousands more missing and presumably still under the rubble.

More than 100 captives, including Israelis and other nationals, were released as part of a one-week pause in fighting in November, which also saw hundreds of Palestinians released from Israeli prisons.

‘We need a new government’

In Israel, pressure has been steadily building on Netanyahu and his war cabinet to strike a deal to secure the release of the captives.

Thousands of protesters once more gathered at what has become known as “hostages square” in Tel Aviv on Saturday to demand swifter action and new elections, with police using water cannon to disperse the crowds.

Al Jazeera’s Hamdah Salhut, reporting from Tel Aviv, said Saturday’s gathering was the “biggest show of force since the war began”.

Advertisement

“Antigovernment protesters say they will continue coming out every Saturday in full force until their message is received by the Israeli government.”

Neria Bar, a protester, told Al Jazeera that the government has failed and needs to be replaced.

“We need a new government, new people, new leadership, someone that counts us in and thinks about us, not just about themselves,” she said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

World

Reggie Bush reinstated as 2005 Heisman Trophy winner. Changes in NCAA rules led to the decision

Published

on

Reggie Bush reinstated as 2005 Heisman Trophy winner. Changes in NCAA rules led to the decision

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Bush has been reinstated as the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner more than a decade after Southern California returned the award following an NCAA investigation that found he received what were impermissible benefits during his time with the Trojans, the Heisman Trust announced Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggie Bush back to the Heisman family in recognition of his collegiate accomplishments,” said Michael Comerford, president of The Heisman Trophy Trust. “We considered the enormous changes in college athletics over the last several years in deciding that now is the right time to reinstate the Trophy for Reggie. We are so happy to welcome him back.”

Bush had won the trophy awarded to the top player in college football after amassing more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 18 touchdowns in 2005. His 784 first-place votes were the fifth most in Heisman history.

The Heisman Trust has returned the trophy to Bush and the replica to USC. Bush will be invited to all future Heisman Trophy ceremonies.

The Trust said in a statement that its decision followed a “deliberative process” in which it closely monitored changes in the college football landscape. That included the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021 decision that questioned the legality of the NCAA’s amateurism model and opened the door to athlete compensation; the ability of college football players to be paid for their name, image, and likeness; and the NCAA’s recent proposal to remove the cap on education-related payments.

Advertisement

“Recognizing that the compensation of student athletes is an accepted practice and appears here to stay, these fundamental changes in college athletics led the Trust to decide that now is the right time to return the Trophy to Bush, who unquestionably was the most outstanding college football player of 2005,” the Trust said.

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

United Nations demands investigation after mass graves discovered at 2 Gaza hospitals raided by Israel

Published

on

United Nations demands investigation after mass graves discovered at 2 Gaza hospitals raided by Israel

Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having trouble? Click here.

The United Nations called Tuesday for “a clear, transparent and credible investigation” of mass graves uncovered at two major hospitals in war-torn Gaza that were raided by Israeli troops.

Credible investigators must have access to the sites, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, and added that more journalists need to be able to work safely in Gaza to report on the facts.

Advertisement

Earlier Tuesday, U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said he was “horrified” by the destruction of the Shifa medical center in Gaza City and Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis as well as the reported discovery of mass graves in and around the facilities after the Israelis left.

PELOSI CALLS ON NETANYAHU TO RESIGN, CONDEMNS HIM AS ‘OBSTACLE’ TO PEACE

He called for independent and transparent investigations into the deaths, saying that “given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law,” Türk said. “And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees and others who are ‘hors de combat’ (incapable of engaging in combat) is a war crime.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Vedant Patel on Tuesday called the reports of mass graves at the hospitals “incredibly troubling” and said U.S. officials have asked the Israeli government for information.

Advertisement

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, speaks during a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

The Israeli military said its forces exhumed bodies that Palestinians had buried earlier as part of its search for the remains of hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack that triggered the war. The military said bodies were examined in a respectful manner and those not belonging to Israeli hostages were returned to their place.

The Israeli military says it killed or detained hundreds of militants who had taken shelter inside the two hospital complexes, claims that could not be independently verified.

The Palestinian civil defense in the Gaza Strip said Monday that it had uncovered 283 bodies from a temporary burial ground inside the main hospital in Khan Younis that was built when Israeli forces were besieging the facility last month. At the time, people were not able to bury the dead in a cemetery and dug graves in the hospital yard, the group said.

The civil defense said some of the bodies were of people killed during the hospital siege. Others were killed when Israeli forces raided the hospital.

Advertisement

Palestinian health officials say the hospital raids have destroyed Gaza’s health sector as it tries to cope with the mounting toll from over six months of war.

The issue of who could or should conduct an investigation remains in question.

For the United Nations to conduct an investigation, one of its major bodies would have to authorize it, Dujarric said.

“I think it’s not for anyone to prejudge the results or who would do it,” he said. “I think it needs to be an investigation where there is access and there is credibility.”

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said after visiting Israel and the West Bank in December that a probe by the court into possible crimes by Hamas militants and Israeli forces “is a priority for my office.”

Advertisement

The discovery of the graves “is another reason why we need a cease-fire, why we need to see an end to this conflict, why we need to see greater access for humanitarians, for humanitarian goods, greater protection for hospitals” and for the release of Israeli hostages, Dujarric said Monday.

In the Hamas attack that launched the war, militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says the militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

In response, Israel’s air and ground offensive in Gaza, aimed at eliminating Hamas, has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, around two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities, created a humanitarian crisis and led around 80% of the territory’s population to flee to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

North Macedonia votes in presidential polls as EU membership bid looms

Published

on

North Macedonia votes in presidential polls as EU membership bid looms

The vote is the first in a series of polls that could decide whether the diverse Balkan country will ever join the EU.

Voting is under way in North Macedonia to elect a president ahead of an upcoming parliamentary election as the Balkan country continues to ponder its European Union membership bid.

The results of Wednesday’s polls are due later in the day, shortly after the polling stations close at 18:00 GMT.

The country has 1.8 million registered voters in a population of 2.3 million, and the turnout must be at least 40 percent for the result to be valid.

The 61-year-old incumbent President Stevo Pendarovski is a candidate of the pro-European Social Democrats running for a second five-year term and is challenged by the 70-year-old Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova from the opposition VMRO DPMNE coalition.

Advertisement

The two offer different views on how to deal with neighbouring Bulgaria’s condition of securing a recognition of a Bulgarian ethnic minority in the constitution of North Macedonia, in exchange for its backing of Skopje’s EU bid.

Pendarovski and the ruling centre-left Social Democrats (SDSM) are prepared to make the amendments but lack the numbers to win a parliamentary vote.

The opposition coalition refuses to budge, saying any constitutional changes can come after North Macedonia joins the EU, a stance the government says is unrealistic.

EU membership talks for the Balkan state began in 2022 as part of a process expected to take years, and its candidacy for the 27-nation bloc dates back to 2005.

The country had already cleared another resistance to its membership bid from Greece in a 2019 move to change its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia. The Balkan state joined NATO in 2020.

Advertisement
About 1.8 million registered voters can cast ballots on Wednesday for one of seven candidates who are competing for the largely ceremonial president’s post [Boris Grdanoski/AP Photo]

Voter Stavre Temelkovski told The Associated Press news agency that he had high expectations that North Macedonia would become a full-fledged EU member soon.

“I expect a civic movement to win, for us to be a part of all those pro-Western systems, and to start a process of healing for a state which has waited for almost three decades,” he said. “Many generations are exhausted.”

Parliamentary vote

The election on Wednesday comes ahead of a parliamentary vote on May 8.

If the presidential vote goes to a second round of voting, a possibility indicated by the results of state-released polls, a run-off vote will also be held on May 8.

The opposition’s Siljanovska-Davkova is expected to take 19.2 percent of the votes and Pendarovski 9.7 percent, according to state television. Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, a candidate for the DUI party, is forecast to come third with 6.6 percent of votes.

Advertisement

In total, seven candidates are running for the largely ceremonial position after less than a month of campaigning, with discussions also ranging from the rule of law, fighting corruption to reducing poverty.

North Macedonia
Ruling Social Democratic Union of Macedonia’s presidential candidate and North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski votes during the presidential election [Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters]
Continue Reading

Trending