Israel ready to “wipe Iran off the face of the earth”

Today's top world news, in a nutshell - Monday, 23rd October 2023

Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, Nir Barkat, has warned Iran his country was ready to “go to the head of the snake”, as fears the conflict between Hamas and Israel may expand into a regional war grow further. Speaking with the Mail on Sunday, the Israeli minister said: “Israel has a very clear message to our enemies. We are saying to them: look what’s happening in Gaza – you are going to get the same treatment if you attack us. We are going to wipe you off the face of the Earth.” As clashes between Hezbollah and Israel continue on the northern border of the country, Barkat said Tel Aviv was ready not just to have the terror group and Lebanon “pay a heavy price” should it believe they are opening a northern front, but also to “go after the heads of Iran”.

Netanyahu issues warning to Hezbollah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Hezbollah on Sunday not to open a second war front with his country. Doing so, he warned, would bring Israel to carry out counterstrikes of “unimaginable” magnitude. Times of Israel reported the politician told troops stationed near the northern border: “If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will long for the second Lebanon war. It will be making the mistake of its life. We will strike it with strength that it cannot even imagine and the significance to it and to the country of Lebanon will be devastating. I know that you lost friends, and it’s a very difficult thing, but we are in the fight of our life, a fight for our home. That’s not an exaggeration, it’s not an overstatement, that’s this war. It is kill or be killed, and they need to be killed.” The Israeli military has been dealing with a number of attacks from Hezbollah militants in recent days.

Photo credit: AP/Hassan Ammar

Scores killed in Gaza strikes

Scores of Palestinians were killed in central Gaza on Sunday after Israel stepped up its strikes on the war-torn enclave as another convoy of 17 aid trucks arrived as the Hamas-run territory faces “catastrophic” shortages, Deutsche Welle reports. With the violence raging unchecked, Iran said the region could spiral “out of control” and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stark warning to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, saying getting involved would be “the mistake of its life”. The Hamas government has meanwhile said 165,000 housing units – half of those in the entire Gaza Strip – had been destroyed in the raids.

Photo credit: EPA

Pope urges end to Hamas-Israel conflict

Pope Francis pleaded Sunday for an end to the Hamas-Israeli conflict amid fears it could widen, and called for more humanitarian aid to be allowed into to the Gaza Strip, according to Vatican Radio. “War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human fraternity. Brothers, stop! Stop!” Francis said after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square. “I renew my call for spaces to be opened, for humanitarian aid to continue to arrive and for hostages to be freed,” the 86-year-old pontiff said.

Photo credit: Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Iran’s Armita Geravand Critical

Sixteen-year-old Iranian girl, Armita Geravand, lies in an irreversible coma, Teheran’s State media reports. Human rights groups, including Kurdish-Iranian Hengaw, contend she was beaten by morality police officers for not wearing a hijab – an allegation the authorities vehemently deny, insisting she collapsed due to a fainting spell. This incident, following the death of Mahsa ‘Jina’ Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd arrested for poorly wearing her hijab, has ignited a fresh wave of protests against Iran’s strict morality laws and the brutal enforcement by the country’s moral police.

Photo credit: Iranian state TV/AP/picture alliance

Swiss right is the big winner of Sunday’s legislative elections

According to Europa Press, the Swiss right-wing Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC) party has consolidated its position as the country’s leading party by advancing by 3.4%, moving to 29% of the votes, at the level of the National Council (lower house). The party advocates anti-European, anti-immigration and defence of neutrality positions. Second political force in the Confederation, the Socialists (PS) would gain a slight progress (+0.6%) to 17.4% compared to the 2019 legislative elections. On the contrary, the Green Party fell below the 10% threshold, to 9.2% (minus 4 points).

Photo credit: Fabrice COFFRINI/AFP

All UK seaside towns at risk of being under water by 2050

The Daily Express reports that by 2050, some of the seaside towns up and down the UK could be hit by rising sea levels. There have been repeated warnings of the potentially-dire consequences of climate change, including for the likes of the UK and US as well. This, scientists warn, could manifest in the likes of more extreme weather events but also in rising sea levels that would impact all nations. Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are already locked in to a guaranteed sea level rise of between 17.5mm to 52.4mm by 2100. But consequences will be felt for many nations long before then because it is a “threat multiplier”, as said by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in an UN Security Council session earlier this year. Rising sea levels complicate and exacerbate problems like access to drinkable water, land, food, medicine, and other resources.

Credit: Daily Express

Main photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS

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