War in the Middle East: USA threatens retaliation after attack

While talks about a ceasefire in the Gaza war have been "constructive" according to Israel, a deadly attack on US soldiers in Jordan has fueled new fears of a widening crisis in the Middle East.

War in the Middle East: USA threatens retaliation after attack

While talks about a ceasefire in the Gaza war have been "constructive" according to Israel, a deadly attack on US soldiers in Jordan has fueled new fears of a widening crisis in the Middle East.

US President Joe Biden threatened retaliation after three US soldiers were killed in a drone strike in Jordan near the Syrian border. “Have no doubt - we will hold all those responsible accountable, at a time and in a manner of our choosing,” Biden said.

According to CNN, pro-Iranian fighters in Syria are said to be responsible for the drone attack on the small Tower 22 base in Jordan on the Syrian border. US Central Command said at least 34 soldiers were injured.

After the deadly attack, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called on Iran to de-escalate. "We strongly condemn the attacks on US forces by Iran-aligned militias. We continue to urge Iran to de-escalate the situation in the region," Cameron wrote on the X (formerly Twitter) platform.

Iran denies involvement

After the deadly attack on US soldiers in Jordan, Iran denied involvement. This was reported by the Iranian news agency Irna. "Iran has nothing to do with these attacks and the conflict is between the United States Army and the resistance groups in the region," the Islamic Republic's representative to the United Nations said, according to Irna.

Germany condemns the deadly attack “in the strongest possible terms.” Given the already tense situation in the region, such an approach would be “completely irresponsible,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Office. "We expect Iran to finally use its influence on its allies in the region to prevent an uncontrolled conflagration in which no one can have an interest."

The Iraqi government also strongly condemns the drone attack. Government spokesman Basim Alawadi also expressed concern about the “alarming security developments in the region” on the X platform (formerly Twitter). The government in Baghdad is calling for an end to the spiral of violence and is still prepared to help contain the conflict.

Hamas authority: More than 550 more dead in the Gaza Strip since Friday

According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, 554 more people were killed in the Gaza Strip as a result of attacks by the Israeli army from Friday to Monday. The number of deaths in the coastal strip since the bloody attack on Israel by the Islamist Hamas and other extremists on October 7th has risen to 26,637. Since then, 65,387 people have been injured. This means that 900 people have been injured since Friday.

The numbers cannot be independently verified.

Israeli Minister: Half of Hamas fighters incapacitated

According to Israel, at least half of the Hamas fighters were killed or wounded in the Gaza war. "We have already eliminated at least a quarter of Hamas terrorists, and there are a similar number of wounded terrorists," Defense Minister Joav Galant said during a visit to Israeli reservists near the Gaza Strip. His information cannot currently be independently verified.

In Israel it is assumed that the Islamist Hamas had around 30,000 armed people in the Gaza Strip when the war began. The fighting must continue until Hamas is destroyed as a military organization with the ability to attack Israel, Galant said. "This is a long war, but in the end we will break Hamas," he added.

Rocket alarm in Tel Aviv - Hamas arm claims responsibility for attacks

For the first time in more than a month there was a rocket alarm in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv. Dull explosions could be heard in the city center. According to media reports, around a dozen rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. The armed wing of the Islamist Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks on Tel Aviv. This is a reaction to “the massacres of civilians” in the Gaza war.

According to the Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom, there were initially no reports of possible injuries. According to the military, more than 14,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli towns since the Gaza war began almost four months ago.

Hezbollah: Several places in Israel hit - army fires back

The Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is allied with Iran, said it shelled at least seven different locations in northern Israel on Monday. The militia said Burkan and Falaq-type rockets had hit targets, as they did after almost every one of their attacks. The barracks in the area of ​​Biranit and Zarit as well as the town of Birket Rischa and the town of Metulla, which is located on the Golan Heights annexed by Israel, were among those attacked.

According to information from Lebanese security circles, Israeli artillery retaliated by shelling the area of ​​the Lebanese border town of Kfarkela, only about two kilometers west of Metulla. Residents of the town also reported machine gun fire, as if there were clashes on the outskirts of the town. Israeli fighter jets later attacked targets in the area of ​​the southern Lebanese village of Jarun.

The Israeli army announced that it had opened fire on the launch sites in the neighboring country. The air alarm sirens sounded repeatedly in northern Israel. Initially, nothing was reported about possible victims on both sides of the border.

Israel calls talks on new hostage deal "constructive"

Meanwhile, Israel described talks in Paris about a possible new ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of more hostages as "constructive." But there is still a "significant gap" between the different positions, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office after a meeting between CIA intelligence chief William Burns and representatives of Israel, Egypt and Qatar. Those involved wanted to meet again this week to continue discussions.

According to information from the New York Times, a draft text from the US government was discussed in Paris, which is based on suggestions from Israel and the Islamist Hamas. According to the plan, the Palestinian extremists would release more than 100 hostages and Israel would halt its military operation in the Gaza Strip for about two months.

According to the draft, fighting should be paused for 30 days in a first phase. During this time, Hamas should release female, elderly and injured hostages. In parallel, both sides should negotiate a second phase in which Israeli men and soldiers taken hostage would be released in return for a further 30 days of ceasefire.

Criticism of calls for Israeli repopulation of Gaza

Calls for Israeli repopulation of the Gaza Strip by government ministers at a conference in Jerusalem have been strongly condemned by the Palestinian side. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Ramallah spoke of a “meeting of colonialist terrorist organizations.”

At the "Victory Conference", the right-wing extremist Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called for Israeli settlers to return to the coastal strip and towns in the northern West Bank and to "encourage an exodus (of Palestinians)". Only this could prevent another massacre like the one on October 7th, he argued.

The federal government has clearly distanced itself from calls for Israeli repopulation of the Gaza Strip. Considerations about expelling Palestinians from the area are “completely unacceptable,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Office in Berlin. "They are contributing to aggravation of the situation in the current conflict and are clearly violating international law."

After Hamas atrocities: UN representative on sexual violence in Israel

A good three and a half months after the terrorist attack by the Islamist Hamas and other extremists from the Gaza Strip, the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflicts, Pramila Patten, has started talks in Israel under attack. Patten was invited by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to gain a first-hand impression of the extent of the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 and to pass on this information to the relevant international authorities, the ministry said in Jerusalem. The background to the invitation is that UN bodies such as UN Women have long ignored reports of sexual violence against women during the Hamas attack.

During her visit to Israel, Patten will meet survivors of the massacres, witnesses, experts in victim assistance and representatives of the police and security forces who will tell her about Hamas' sexual violence against women and men, the ministry emphasized. The reports should be reflected in the United Nations' next annual report on sexual violence in conflict zones, the Israeli Foreign Ministry emphasized.

France and Japan suspend payments to UNRWA

Following other Western states, France and Japan are also suspending their payments to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). No new payment is planned for the first half of 2024 and will decide in due course, together with the United Nations and major donors, what measures should be taken to ensure that all transparency and security requirements are met, the French Foreign Ministry said .

Financial support will not be continued until further notice, the Japanese Foreign Ministry also said in a statement. UNRWA plays an important role in providing vital humanitarian assistance. Against this background, Japan is "extremely concerned" about the alleged involvement of UNRWA employees in the terrorist attack on Israel.

The UN aid agency is suspected that twelve of its employees may have been involved in the major attack by the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas against Israel on October 7th. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced consequences and a review.

Several countries, including Germany, the USA, Great Britain, Italy and Australia, had already decided to suspend their payments until further notice. The attack killed 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage to the Gaza Strip.

Israel cancels meeting with UNRWA: terrorist supporters unwelcome

Israel canceled a planned meeting with the head of the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, at short notice. “I have just canceled the meeting of ministry employees with Lazzarini on Wednesday in Israel,” wrote Foreign Minister Israel Katz on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. Katz added that the reason for the disinvitation was the participation of UNRWA employees in the massacres by the Islamist Hamas in Israel on October 7th. "Lazzarini should draw conclusions and resign. Supporters of terrorism are not welcome here," Katz added on X.

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