Connect with us

World

Live updates | Mediators try to extend Gaza truce, which could expire within a day

Published

on

Live updates | Mediators try to extend Gaza truce, which could expire within a day

With hours left to go before a truce in Gaza expires, international mediators worked to extend it in order to facilitate the release of militant-held hostages and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The cease-fire has paused the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinians in decades.

Israel has agreed to extend the truce, which was originally set to expire on Monday, by one day for every 10 hostages freed, and Hamas is expected to release another group of hostages later Wednesday. Twelve hostages, including 10 Israelis, were released Tuesday, bringing the total number of people freed during the truce to 81.

Israel has vowed to resume the war in an effort to end Hamas’ 16-year rule of Gaza, but it’s facing mounting international pressure to extend the truce and to spare south Gaza a devastating ground offensive like the one that has demolished much of the north.

Hamas’ ability to negotiate and implement the cease-fire suggests that Israel’s air and ground campaigns have not seriously challenged the group’s control of Gaza, despite killing thousands of Palestinians and driving three out of four people in the territory from their homes.

Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that ignited the war. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza. About 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial incursion by Hamas.

Advertisement

Currently:

— Mediators seek to extend the truce as Hamas’ rule shows resilience

— U.S. tells Israel any ground campaign in southern Gaza must limit further civilian displacement

— The family of an infant hostage pleads for his release as truce winds down

Freed Israeli hostage describes deteriorating conditions while being held by Hamas

Advertisement

— Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here’s what’s happening in the war:

4-YEAR-OLD DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL AFTER 50 DAYS AS HOSTAGE

TEL AVIV — Four-year-old Abigail Edan was discharged from the hospital late on Tuesday night, following her release after more than 50 days as a hostage in Gaza, a spokesperson for Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikvah said.

The Israeli-American dual citizen was the first U.S. hostage to be released under the cease-fire. Abigail marked her fourth birthday in captivity.

Both of her parents were killed in the Hamas attack that started the war on Oct. 7. During the rampage, she ran to a neighbor’s home for shelter, and the Brodutch family took her in before militants took the family to Gaza.

Advertisement

Hagar Brodutch and her three children were also released on Sunday. President Joe Biden celebrated her release, telling reporters, “I wish I were there to hold her.”

MANILA WELCOMES RELEASE OF SECOND FILIPINO HOSTAGE

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino-Israeli woman arrived in Israel after being released by Hamas Tuesday night as part of a group of 12 hostages, the president of the Philippines announced on social media early Wednesday.

Noralin Babadilla was the second of two Filipinos released from captivity in Gaza during the truce in the Israel-Hamas war. With her release, “all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” wrote President Ferdinand Marcos.

Babadilla, who lived in Israel and worked as a caregiver, was visiting friends in Kibbutz Nirim with her husband during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, the Israeli embassy in Manila said in a statement. Her husband, Gideon Babani, was killed during the attack, and Babadilla was taken hostage.

Marcos thanked Israel for facilitating Babadilla’s release, and thanked Egypt and Qatar “for their crucial role in this process over the past several weeks.”

Advertisement

G7 URGES RELEASE OF ALL HOSTAGES AND FACILITATED DEPARTURE OF FOREIGN NATIONALS

WASHINGTON — The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the U.S. as well as the High Representative of the European Union are calling for the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and the facilitated departure of foreign nationals from Gaza, according to a statement released by the U.S. State Department.

The G7 also said it supports the further extension of the current pause in fighting.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to work with all partners in the region to prevent the conflict from escalating further,” the statement said.

SEVERAL TONS OF MEDICAL ITEMS AND FOOD FOR GAZA FLOWN INTO EGYPT

WASHINGTON — White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that the U.S. has airlifted over 54,000 pounds of Gaza-bound medical items and food aid to a staging area in Egypt.

Two more airlifts are planned in the coming days, Sullivan said. Since Oct. 21, more than 2,000 trucks have delivered aid to Gaza, he said.

Advertisement

World

Trump Urges Judge Not to Impose Gag Order in NY Criminal Hush Money Case

Published

on

Trump Urges Judge Not to Impose Gag Order in NY Criminal Hush Money Case
By Luc Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump on Monday asked a judge to reject a gag order request from prosecutors in the former president’s upcoming New York criminal trial involving hush money paid to a porn star, arguing such an order would infringe on his right to free speech. Manhattan …
Continue Reading

World

Greek authorities rescue 100 migrants found in vessel off southern mainland

Published

on

Greek authorities rescue 100 migrants found in vessel off southern mainland

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities on Monday rescued 100 migrants found on a smuggling vessel in distress off the country’s southern mainland, officials said.

GREECE LEGALIZES SAME-SEX CIVIL MARRIAGE DESPITE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH OPPOSITION

The coast guard said the migrants were taken off their vessel by a tugboat that had been ordered to the area and safely carried them to the southeastern village of Monemvasia. No injuries were reported.

The Greek flag as seen on a flagpole waving in the blue sky during a summer sunny day at the Greek capital city Athens. July 2022  (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The smuggling vessel was located off Cape Maleas, at the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese region, the coast guard said.

Advertisement

No further detail was immediately known on the nationalities of the migrants, the type of vessel they were on or where they had sailed from.

The area where the incident occurred is on a route used by smugglers to send migrants in overcrowded sailing yachts from Turkey to Italy, skirting southern Greece and avoiding the heavily patrolled waters off the eastern Aegean Sea islands.

Continue Reading

World

India’s unrealistic demands sank WTO agri talks, claims commissioner

Published

on

India’s unrealistic demands sank WTO agri talks, claims commissioner

EU executive blamed India’s hard stance on food stockpiling for lack of breakthrough at World Trade Organisation’s biennial agriculture ministerial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite an eleventh-hour attempt, the more than 1000 WTO delegates gathered in Abu Dhabi last week failed to agree to a major reform of the global trade rules for food subsidies.

“We did not progress on an agriculture package, to the detriment of most vulnerable countries, despite our pragmatic engagement. Divergences were too large to be solved,” said Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis in a statement.

The bloc’s Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski went further, saying the reason WTO members could not finally agree fell to “to unrealistic demands, in particular on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes”.

Throughout the negotiations, India played hardball on the matter and led countries seeking to find a permanent solution to the so-called public stockholding (PSH).

This is a policy tool used to stockpile and distribute food, such as providing quantities of grain at subsidised prices to vulnerable population groups to lower the price of food for the most exposed.

Advertisement

Current WTO rules set a limit to the percentage of a country’s production that can be used for this form of agricultural subsidy – a threshold that India and other less-developed countries want to see raised.

Experts backing these countries argue that stricter WTO rules on PHS will not allow governments to build and manage public food reserves.

Such stockpiling is seen as running counter to free trade principles, however, particularly during crises, and has always been a red line in EU trade talks involving global food security.

“While public stockholding programs may be essential to contribute to domestic food security, if implemented as support to producers’ prices, they may negatively affect agricultural trade and impact food security of other countries,” the Commission said in a note.

The topic received renewed attention after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which severely impacted food commodity markets.

Advertisement

In the aftermath of Ukraine’s war, the EU and other Western countries stressed the need for trade flow to continue for all stocks, while India and its allies defended their right to safeguard food stocks for their populations.

During the talks, India argued that a permanent solution on food stockpiling has been pending for 11 years since 2013.

A source close to the negotiations told Euronews that the most likely outcome at the beginning of the talks was a commitment to a new deadline for a PHS agreement without any substantial decision on the matter.

Contrary to expectations India’s Trade Minister Piyush Goyal stood firm on its negotiating mandate and refused to compromise on the matter.

The issue was sensitive for the Indian government as country’s farmers have been protesting for more than 12 months and Indian premier Narendra Modi is seeking re-election in a national poll slated for this April and May.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending