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Israel Orders Palestinians to Evacuate from More Areas of Gaza’s Rafah

A man carries belongings, as Palestinians prepare to evacuate, after Israeli forces launched a ground and air operation in the eastern part of Rafah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 11, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Hatem Khaled

Israel called on Saturday for Palestinians in more areas of Gaza’s southern city of Rafah to evacuate and head to what it calls an expanded humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi, in a further indication that the military is pressing ahead with its plans for a ground attack on Rafah.

In a post on social media site X, a military spokesperson also called on residents and displaced people in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza, and 11 other neighborhoods in the enclave to go immediately to places west of Gaza City.

The Hamas-controlled Palestinian health ministry claimed at least 37 Palestinians, 24 of them from central Gaza areas, were killed in overnight airstrikes across the enclave, including in Rafah.

“They threw fliers on Rafah and said, from Rafah to al-Zawayda is safe, people should evacuate there, and they did, and what has become of them? Dismembered bodies? There is no safe place in Gaza,” Khitam Al-Khatib, who said she had lost at least 10 of her relatives in an airstrike on a family house earlier on Saturday, told Reuters.

Al-Zawayda is a small town in central Gaza Strip that has been crowded by thousands of displaced people from across the enclave.

The Israeli military said its aircraft struck tens of targets across the Strip over the past day, adding its ground troops had eliminated fighters in Zeitoun in recent hours.

An Israeli airstrike killed at least seven people in a house in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip, all from the same family, medics said.

In Rafah, residents told Reuters the new evacuation orders by the Israeli military covered areas in the center of the city and left little doubt Israel planned to expand its ground offensive there.

“The situation is very difficult, people are leaving their homes in panic,” said Khaled, 35, a resident of the Shaboura neighborhood, an area where the new orders to leave have been issued.

The Israeli military said it was continuing operational activity against Hamas fighters in eastern Rafah and on the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing.

Despite heavy U.S. pressure and alarm expressed by residents and humanitarian groups, Israel has said it will proceed with an incursion into Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced people have sought refuge during the seven-month-old war.

Israeli tanks captured the main road dividing Rafah’s eastern and western sections on Friday, effectively encircling the eastern side in an assault that has caused Washington to hold up the delivery of some military aid to its ally.

Israel says it cannot win the war without rooting out thousands of Hamas fighters it believes are deployed in Rafah.

About 300,000 Gazans have so far moved towards Al-Mawasi, according to Israeli military estimates released on Saturday.

The war was triggered by a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7 in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 people taken hostage.

Two crossing points vital for delivery of aid to Gaza were still closed on Saturday: the Palestinian WAFA news agency said the Rafah crossing was closed for a fifth day, while another crossing, Kerem Shalom, has been shut for around a week.

The latest evacuation orders came hours after internationally mediated ceasefire talks appeared to be faltering, with Hamas saying Israel’s rejection of the truce offer it had accepted returned things to square one.

The Palestinian terrorist group also hinted it was reconsidering its negotiation policy. It did not elaborate on whether a review meant it would harden its terms for reaching a deal, but said it would consult with other allied factions.

Israel says it wants to reach a deal under which hostages would be released in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, but that it is not prepared to end the military offensive.

‘EXHAUSTED’

In Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands were sheltering, Palestinians mourned relatives during funerals on Saturday.

“Here they are, in pieces, here is my sister-in-law, without a head, my aunt is without a head, what is this injustice? Until when will this go on? We are exhausted, by God we are exhausted, I have lived in tents for the past seven months,” said Khatib, sitting near bodies wrapped in white shrouds bearing the names of the dead men and women.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is under increasing pressure over its military campaign, including from longtime ally the United States.

The Biden administration said on Friday Israel’s use of U.S.-supplied weapons may have violated international humanitarian law during its Gaza operation, in its strongest criticism to date of Israel.

But the administration stopped short of a definitive assessment, saying that due to the chaos of the war it could not verify specific instances where use of those weapons might have been involved in alleged breaches.

The post Israel Orders Palestinians to Evacuate from More Areas of Gaza’s Rafah first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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