x

WORLD

Israel Acted in ‘Spirit Of Revenge’ When It Killed 3 Sons in Strike, Hamas Leader Says

An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, according to Israel’s army and the militant group’s official media, with Haniyeh accusing Israel of acting in “the spirit of revenge and murder.”

The Israeli military confirmed it carried out the attack Wednesday, saying the men conducted militant activity in central Gaza, without elaborating. Hamas said four of the leader’s grandchildren were also killed.

In an interview with the Al Jazeera satellite channel, Haniyeh said the killings would not pressure Hamas into softening its positions amid ongoing cease-fire negotiations with Israel, brokered by international mediators.

Haniyeh left Gaza in 2019 and lives in exile in Qatar. The top Hamas leader in Gaza is Yehya Sinwar, who masterminded the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that sparked the war. Some 1,200 people were killed in the attack, mostly civilians, and Palestinian militants took around 250 people hostage.

Israel’s six-month war against Hamas has devastated the Gaza Strip and pushed the tiny Palestinian territory into a humanitarian crisis, leaving more than 1 million people on the brink of starvation.

Israeli bombardments and ground offensives have killed at least 33,360 Palestinians and wounded 74,993, Gaza’s Health Ministry says. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

Currently:

— An Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills 3 sons and 4 grandchildren of top Hamas leader

— Trump renews criticism of Jewish voters who back Biden: ‘Should have their head examined’

— Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the shadow of Gaza’s misery

— Israel threatens to strike Iran directly if Iran launches attack from its territory

— At U.N. court, Germany rejects allegations that it’s facilitating acts of genocide in Gaza

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

Here’s the latest:

GERMAN FM CALLS IRANIAN COUNTERPART AS TENSIONS BETWEEN IRAN AND ISRAEL ESCALATE
BERLIN — Germany’s foreign minister has spoken with her Iranian counterpart as tensions between Iran and Israel escalate.

The Foreign Ministry wrote on social network X that Annalena Baerbock spoke by phone on Thursday with Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian.

It didn’t give details of the call but said “no one can have an interest in a further regional escalation.”

The ministry called on all in the region “to act responsibly and exercise restraint.”

Germany is a staunch ally of Israel, which is at war in Gaza with the militant Hamas group, a proxy of Iran.

USAID CHIEF: ‘CREDIBLE’ REPORTS OF FAMINE IN NORTHERN GAZA
WASHINGTON — USAID administrator Samantha Power said she accepted “credible” reports that famine was now occurring in northern Gaza and urged Israel to take further steps to surge humanitarian aid shipments.

Power told lawmakers on Wednesday that short of famine, civilians in all parts of Gaza, particularly children, are suffering from extreme malnutrition.

Her comments, in reply to a lawmaker’s question, did not include using the word “famine” but she responded affirmatively when asked whether she believes famine had begun in the north.

Power is not the first senior U.S. official to describe the hunger and malnutrition situation in Gaza. Last week in Brussels, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said all Gazans were suffering from acute food insecurity.

“Despite important steps that Israel has taken to allow assistance into Gaza, the results on the ground are woefully insufficient and unacceptable,” he told reporters at a news conference at NATO headquarters.

“A hundred percent of the population in Gaza knows acute levels of food insecurity. A hundred percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance,” he said.

CYPRUS FM SAYS HUMANITARIAN AID FOR GAZA STILL ARRIVING DESPITE HALT IN SHIPBORNE DELIVERIES
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ foreign minister says additional quantities of humanitarian aid continue to arrive in the east Mediterranean island nation for eventual transfer by ship to Gaza. That’s despite the suspension of shipborne aid deliveries to the Palestinian territory.

Constantinos Kombos told reporters Thursday that Cypriot authorities in cooperation with U.S. military officials continue preparations for a resumption of aid shipments. They will resume once the sea corridor to Gaza is reactivated after a U.S.-built floating dock designed to receive 1,500 tons or more of aid weekly is completed around May 1.

He said shipments will resume once security protocols are revised in the Palestinian territory to ensure the safe distribution of aid in the wake of the April 1 Israeli airstrikes that killed seven workers with U.S. charity World Central Kitchen.

Once that happens, Kombos said he doesn’t exclude the possibility that some shipments could reach Gaza through the WCK-built pier, where more than 300 tons of aid have already been offloaded.

Israel says the deaths were a tragic error but WCK laid the blame squarely on Israel’s military. The charity said the Israeli army had coordinated over the movement of the cars carrying the workers as they left northern Gaza.

KIBBUTZ RESIDENTS HIT HARD BY HAMAS-LED ATTACK HOLD SPECIAL PASSOVER CELEBRATION
KIBBUTZ NIR OZ, Israel — Residents of a hard-hit kibbutz in southern Israel held a special Passover celebration Thursday ahead of the Jewish holiday in less than two weeks.

On April 22, Jews around the world will celebrate one of the most important holidays recounting the biblical story of their exodus from Egypt after hundreds of years of slavery. But for many Israelis it’s hard to fathom honoring an occasion focused on freedom, when friends and family are still in captivity.

Around 250 hostages were taken when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel more than six months ago. While some were released in a week-long cease-fire in November, about 130 remain, with approximately a quarter of those believed to be dead.

Kibbutz Nir Oz, the host of Thursday’s event was one of the hardest hit. Its residents comprised a third of the hostages.

On Thursday, photos of those abducted lined the empty chairs around the traditional Seder table, with flyers citing the names of those who had been killed or taken beside commemorative candles.

“Six months have passed, six months of them being there in hell. It can’t be that they are going through hell just in order to be murdered in captivity. There has to be hope, we have to free them now,” said Ofri Bibas-Levy.

Her sister, her sister’s husband and their two small boys were taken and are still held. The youngest was just 9-months old at the time he was abducted.

GERMAN AIRLINE LUFTHANSA EXTENDS FLIGHT SUSPENSIONS TO AND FROM TEHRAN
BERLIN – German airline Lufthansa says its flights to and from Tehran will remain suspended through Saturday “due to the current situation in the Middle East.”

Lufthansa, which usually has five flights per week from Frankfurt to Tehran, suspended its flights on Saturday, initially until Thursday.

In an emailed response to a query about the flights on Thursday, the company didn’t elaborate on its concerns about the situation. Iran has vowed to retaliate against Israel over an attack on its consulate in Damascus earlier this month.

Lufthansa said that flights by its Austrian Airlines subsidiary to Tehran continue because, due to the shorter flight time from Vienna, it can run the flights as “daylight operations,” with the plane returning immediately after arrival in Tehran.

It said that flights to and from Frankfurt had to be canceled “as Lufthansa has decided not to let the crew disembark in Tehran.”

BIDEN VOWS ‘IRONCLAD’ SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL AS IRAN THREATENS TO STRIKE
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden emphasized his country’s “ironclad” support for Israel on Wednesday as Iran vows to retaliate for this month’s deadly strike on the Iranian Consulate in Syria.

The U.S. military believes Israel carried out the airstrike on Iran’s diplomatic station, which killed two top generals and others. Israel has not commented on the attack, however Tehran says it holds Israel responsible. The White House says it had no prior knowledge of the operation, but has repeatedly promised to back Israel in the face of Iranian threats.

Biden spoke Wednesday alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is in Washington for an official visit.

“We also want to address the Iranian threat — to launch a significant attack on Israel,” Biden said during a joint news conference.

“Our commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad. We say it again, ironclad, and we’re going to do all we can to protect Israel’s security,” Biden said.

Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader repeated a promise to retaliate against Israel. And Israel’s foreign minister threatened Wednesday that his country’s forces would strike Iran directly if the Islamic Republic launched an attack from its territory against Israel.

Since the Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas began six months ago, there have been near-daily exchanges of fire along the Israel-Lebanon border between Israeli forces and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.

Tehran also backs an umbrella group of Iraqi militias that have attacked U.S. military bases and positions in Syria and Iraq.

FOOD AID CHARITY SAYS ISRAELI STRIKE WOUNDED PALESTINIAN STAFFER ON SAME DAY AS DEADLY CONVOY ATTACKS
JERUSALEM — A off-duty Palestinian staff member with the food aid charity World Central Kitchen was badly wounded by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on April 1, the same day seven other staffers were killed in a separate Israeli attack.

The staffer, identified only as Amro, was pulled from the rubble of a residence after an Israeli strike hit a nearby mosque, in the vicinity of a WCK warehouse and kitchen, the charity said Wednesday. He spent time in a coma, and WCK said is still recovering in a hospital from head and hand injuries.

Amro had joined WCK at the start of the year, the charity said in a statement, and before the war had owned a sweet shop that was destroyed by Israeli bombardments.

The statement said Amro turned down chances to leave Gaza several times: “He always says, ‘I am here serving people hot food every day. I will not leave my job and let them suffer.’”

On April 1, Israeli airstrikes on an aid convoy killed seven WCK workers — six foreigners and one Palestinian. Israel says the deaths were a tragic error. WCK laid the blame squarely on Israel’s military, saying the army had coordinated over the movement of the cars carrying the workers as they left northern Gaza.

Nearly every day, strikes level buildings with Palestinian families inside, killing men, women and children, with no explanation of the target or independent accountability over the proportionality of the strike. Israel blames the large number of civilian casualties on militants, saying they operate among the population.

ISRAEL PLANS TO OPEN A NEW ENTRY POINT FOR AID INTO NORTHERN GAZA INSTEAD OF THE DAMAGED EREZ CROSSING
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel will soon open a new crossing to deliver humanitarian aid into the hard-hit northern Gaza Strip, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday.

Gallant’s announcement comes at a time of heavy U.S. pressure to increase the flow of desperately needed aid into Gaza. Earlier Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said Israel’s efforts are still “not enough.”

Israeli officials say the new crossing will be built instead of using the damaged Erez crossing, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged last week to open. Erez was destroyed by Hamas militants during their Oct. 7 attack and was designed for pedestrians, not cargo, according to COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs.

An official from COGAT said the new crossing would be close to the beachfront on Gaza’s northern tip. It was not clear exactly when the crossing will be opened. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

At a briefing with reporters, Gallant said Israel plans a number of additional steps to improve the humanitarian situation – including using its port in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod to accept aid shipments for the Palestinians. It was not clear when the port would open.

He also says Israel will allow Jordan to deliver more aid to Gaza, and that Israel is working with the U.S. on infrastructure projects such as new water lines.

Israel faces pressure from the U.S. to increase aid into Gaza, where its offensive has wreaked an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Aid groups say supplies are not reaching people quickly enough, blaming Israeli restrictions and noting that thousands of trucks are waiting to enter Gaza.

___

Associated Press writer Julia Frankel contributed.

BIDEN SAYS ISRAEL STILL NOT DOING ENOUGH TO GET AID INTO GAZA
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not doing enough to increase humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“We’ll see what he does in terms of meeting the commitments that he made to me,” Biden said at the White House.

Biden has warned Netanyahu that future U.S. support for the war depends on swift implementation of new steps to protect civilians and aid workers. Although the flow of trucks has increased since Biden spoke with Netanyahu last week, the U.S. president said Israel should open another access point in Gaza’s north.

Israel halted aid deliveries to Gaza in the early days of the war, but under U.S. pressure has slowly increased the number of trucks allowed to enter the territory.

Still, aid groups say supplies are not reaching desperate people quickly enough, blaming Israeli restrictions and noting that thousands of trucks are waiting to enter Gaza. Countries have attempted less efficient ways to deliver aid, including airdrops and by sea.

RELATED

ISLAMABAD  — Doctors treated hundreds of victims of heatstroke at hospitals across Pakistan on Thursday after an intense heatwave sent temperatures above normal levels due to climate change, officials said.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Three Little Piggies at a Yoga Class = Maximum Happiness

SPENCER, Mass. (AP) — Three little piggies went to a yoga class.

C. Dean Metropoulos has made what Babson College is calling a “transformational gift to launch the C.

ISLAMABAD  — Doctors treated hundreds of victims of heatstroke at hospitals across Pakistan on Thursday after an intense heatwave sent temperatures above normal levels due to climate change, officials said.

You didn’t think summer travel would be easy, did you? Highways and airports are likely to be jammed the next few days as Americans head out for Memorial Day weekend getaways and then return home.

Leave it to New Orleans' Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral festival to come up with something you won’t find at any others around the United States - including goat burgers, baklava sundaes and ouzo jello shots.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.