The Associated Press reports strong condemnation from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and others as Israel carried out airstrikes and ground operations Tuesday in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, targeting what it called a Hamas “terrorist stronghold”. The Israeli military also said Ebrahim Biari, whom it identified as Hamas’ commander of the Jabaliya centre battalion, was killed in the recent strikes – one of at least 55 Hamas leaders Israel says it has killed in the war so far. Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told CNN Hamas terrorists were “hiding, as they do, behind civilians”. Israel’s military said Hamas had built terrorist infrastructure under residences
‘400 killed, 150 wounded’ reports
Palestinian officials said civilians were killed in the strikes in the Jabaliya refugee camp that leveled several apartment buildings in the densely-built-up area on the outskirts of Gaza City. The director of Gaza’s Indonesian hospital told Al Jazeera that at least 400 people were killed and 150 were wounded in the bombardment, Reuters reported. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said apartment blocks were destroyed and there were a large number of casualties, but it did not immediately provide details.
‘Double shock in oil and food prices if Israel–Hamas war intensifies’
Oil prices could face a shock and jump to as high as $157 (€147) a barrel if the Middle East crisis escalates, the World Bank has warned in its quarterly report about the commodity market. Euronews says the bank also warns that the war could mean higher food prices if sustained. It also noted that oil prices have risen only about six per cent since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, while prices of agricultural commodities, most metals, and other commodities “have barely budged”.
EU opposes pushing people out of Gaza
The European Union is against civilians being pushed out of Gaza, a senior EU official told The National on Tuesday, as the battle inside the enclave intensified. After telling Gazans to move south, Israel has been asking western leaders to lobby Egypt to accept Palestinian refugees but the idea has been rejected by Egyptian President El Sisi and European officials. “The EU opposes pushing anyone out of Gaza, if anyone had that idea,” said Sven Koopmans, the EU’s special representative for the Middle East peace process. So far, people are not allowed out of Gaza as the Rafah crossing with Egypt remains closed. As of Monday, only 117 aid lorries carrying humanitarian aid had been allowed to cross into the enclave since October 21. Before the conflict, an average of about 450 lorries were arriving daily in Gaza. Food, medicine, and fuel are running low and aid officials warn of a public health crisis and of infant deaths due to dehydration. People have started raiding UN warehouses in search of food.
‘Putin will win if Israel funding split from Ukraine’
The Herald reports the heads of the US State Department and Pentagon on Tuesday warned senators that should lawmakers approve funding for Israel but not Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin would win. Speaking during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin urged senators to keep intact the Biden administration’s $106 billion (€99.6 billion) supplemental request for Israel, Ukraine, and the Asia-Pacific. Though many lawmakers in both parties support a joint package, House Republicans, skeptical of additional Ukraine aid, have threatened to sink the plan. Speaker Mike Johnson is pushing an Israel-only package that would also cut billions in funding to the Internal Revenue Service. Austin and Blinken warned that, without continued US funding for Ukraine, Russian forces would be sure to defeat Kyiv, with wider consequences for the globe.
‘Biden will meet Xi in San Francisco’ report
US President Joe Biden will meet face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “constructive conversation” in San Francisco this November, the White House said Tuesday, but the details of the meeting were still being finalised. Global News observes a meeting between Biden and Xi will mark the latest and most high-profile effort to stabilise relations between the two global superpowers amid growing international conflicts while also fostering economic competition.
AI is Collins Dictionary’s “word of the year”
The Collins Word of the Year 2023 has been revealed as the abbreviation of artificial intelligence, AI, which the dictionary said means the “modelling of human mental functions by computer programmes”. The word has dominated conversations in 2023. Edinburgh Evening News says lexicographers at Collins Dictionary put “AI” at the top of the list after looking at media sources, including social content, because the term has “accelerated at such a fast pace”. Collins managing director Alex Beecroft said lexicographers at Collins Dictionary monitor their 18-billion-word database to create the annual list of new and notable words that reflect the ever-evolving English language and the preoccupations of those who use it.
Main photo credit: Mohammed Dahman/AP