RT News - January 27th 2023

1 year ago

Hungarians are being killed in the Ukraine conflict, even though it isn't their fight. Budapest slams Kiev for forcing ethnic Hungarians to fight and die in Ukraine's conflict, as new images appear to show Kiev's military violently recruiting fresh blood for its ranks. Hungary insists that peace negotiations are the only way forward (QS - he's right; it's the only way to stop any war, even a proxy war like the Ukraine conflict)
Croatian Pres. Milanovic says someone should have told him "we are at war with Russia"
Britain's ex prime minister Boris Johnson was in Kiev and said on national TV that sanctions against Pres. Putin should have been imposed on Russia in 2014 (QS he didn't say whether they should have been imposed before or after the deadly U.S. coup which overthrew a democratically elected .gov in Ukraine) Johnson went on to say that the Minsk protocols were a charade. (NB Johnson failed to mention that Russia along with France and Germany were not signatories of the Minsk protocols, which were between the two Donbass republics and Kiev. The Minsk protocols were mandated by the United Nations, meaning technically it was UN's responsibility to ensure they were adhered to). Note Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko have all admitted they had no intention of ensuring the Minsk accords were to be kept/upheld. 14,000 people died after the U.S. coup in 2014 and up to February 2022, most by trench warfare waged against the citizens of Donbass by Kiev and it's nationalists; some 4,800 civilians, mostly from Donbass have died February 2022-December 2022. Joe Oltmann comments.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, condemns Western countries for what he calls their attempts to re-colonize Africa and sever the continent's relations with Moscow. Donald Courter reports on FM Lavrov's scheduled trip ahead of South Africa taking the chair of BRICS; today he was in Eritrea.
Paris recalls its ambassador from Burkina Faso, after agreeing to withdraw 400 military officers from the African country, as locals want the French gone.
DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo): The M23 rebel group have been seen celebrating an apparent take-over of Kichanga. The video isn't verified. If this is true it's a setback for the DRC army as Kichanga is on a major supply route. Please catch up on this channel or visit RT.com website for background and details.
Pfizer COVID19 vaccine scandal: Representatives at Pfizer admit they wanted to benefit from mutating strains of the Covid-19 virus, viewing them as 'new vaccine opportunities'. Project Veritas has produced a documentary showing an executive of Pfizer saying they had considered mutating the COVID19 virus for business opportunities. Rachel Marsden reports, also on the the serious nature of high percentages of excess deaths. Godfrey Bloom says "Big pharma is a Mafia that siphons off money without a moral compass"
Haiti: Police protest police killings by gangs in the country with 18 killed in the past month.
Peru: Fresh protests have started as Peruvian lawmakers seek to impeach "puppet president" Boluarte
In France, mass anti-government protests have continued as the pension aged is increased from 62 to 64
RT previews their new show, episode 2 "Inland Visions" (QS which I hope RT will put on Rumble for general viewing later)

Below, via RT website A) --- The Kiev Purge: What has spurred a wave of resignations among senior Ukrainian officials? FEATURE
B) --- US and NATO on path to full-fledged military conflict in Europe – Moscow
1) --- UN report labels China ‘a bright spot’
2) --- Joining Russia sanctions would be ‘inappropriate’ – Serbia
2a) --- Ukraine conflict ‘will soon spread’ – Serbian president
3) --- Nuland reveals what Russia 'must do' for sanctions relief
4) --- Israel bombs Gaza following deadly raid

If you are in a country which doesn't censor Russian media, www.rt.com has amazing content, news, features, reports which could keep you interested likely forever

26 Jan, 2023 20:03

A) --- The Kiev Purge: What has spurred a wave of resignations among senior Ukrainian officials?

Turmoil in the capital and the regions may be a result of the West’s dissatisfaction with how things are unfolding

On January 23, in the course of his customary evening video address, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced major personnel changes in his government. The decision is linked both to his wish to demonstrate anti-corruption measures to the West and a rise in domestic political conflicts.

The resignations affected not only representatives of the Ukrainian elite, such as the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kirill Tymoshenko, but also governors of regions near the front line. RT explores what led to the scandal, and the consequences of Ukraine's domestic policy changes in the middle of an armed conflict.

On the way out

The Kiev government has once again been shaken by staffing dramas. On January 24, three high-ranking officials resigned in one day: Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kirill Tymoshenko, Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, and Deputy Prosecutor General Alexey Symonenko.

Four bosses of regional administrations were also dismissed -- in Dnepropetrovsk (Valentin Reznichenko), Zaporozhye (Alexander Starukh), Kherson (Yaroslav Yanushevich) and Sumy (Dmitry Zhivitsky). It’s worth noting that all these areas are in close proximity to the front and the Russian border, which may indicate that the Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a new stage of hostilities.

According to local media, the list is not limited to the above-mentioned names. Resignations may affect other senior officials, including Prime Minister Denis Shmigal.

The personnel changes were preceded by a series of corruption scandals involving senior officials. This led to a sharp escalation of conflict in Ukraine’s domestic politics and talk of major reform in the leadership of the Office of the President of Ukraine, the government, and certain law enforcement agencies.

Accused of purchasing food supplies for the army at allegedly inflated prices (the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine called these claims manipulative), Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov resigned. The situation also threatened the current Minister of Defense Alexei Reznikov, but for now, the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has decided to keep him in office.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) also conducted raids, detaining Vasiliy Lozinsky, Deputy Minister for the Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure (a protege of Shmigal), while another colleague of Lozinsky’s, Ivan Lukerya, resigned.

Meanwhile, another political scandal resounded across Ukraine. Pavel Khalimon, a deputy from the President’s Servant of the People party was accused of buying an estate worth 10 million Grivna ($273,000) in the center of Kiev during wartime and will be dismissed from his post as the deputy head of the parliamentary faction. The situation was made public by journalists from “Ukrainska Pravda.” The outlet, according to experts at the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, is under the patronage of Americans and the team of former president Pyotr Poroshenko.

Another scandal centers on former Zelensky adviser Aleksey Arestovich, who has become a popular blogger since the beginning of the armed conflict. Arestovich claimed a missile which fell on a residential building in Dnepropetrovsk (Dnepr), earlier this month, had been shot down by Ukrainian air defense. This caused a major political scandal, and he was fired. The dispute was used to discredit the popular Arestovich and lower his political rating, a favorable turn of events for certain members of Zelensky's team and Ukraine’s political system.

These aren’t the first scandals and corruption accusations that Ukraine has dealt with since Russia's military operation began, but up to now, they have not led to resignations. On the contrary, government opponents and corruption whistleblowers were instead said to “work for the enemy”, sowing confusion among the people in difficult times. Now, the situation has changed dramatically. In his recent address, President Vladimir Zelensky stressed that any evidence of corruption will elicit “a powerful response”.

The front is getting closer

The anti-graft stories are being driven by media outlets connected with Ukraine's Western partners and Poroshenko, who has become Zelensky's main competitor, since the latter had opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk jailed. For example, on January 23, a number of pro-Western journalists launched a direct attack on Andrey Yermak – the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and a key player in the system.

The Bihus.Info project published an investigation into his ties with “pro-Russian” deputies Vadim Stolar and Medvedchuk from the Opposition Bloc - For Life party. Popular Ukrainska Pravda journalist, Mikhail Tkach, appealed to President Vladimir Zelensky to dismiss and punish the politicians.

There are suggestions that Washington and its allies want to limit Zelensky's power. Western media occasionally expresses dissatisfaction with his dominant position in domestic politics, and it follows that, as the Ukrainian outlet ‘Strana.ua’ [banned by Zelenksy] claims, limiting Zelensky thus demonstrates that the US and EU intend to retain control over how the multibillion-dollar aid that goes to Ukraine (presently, about 50% of the national budget) is spent. Under such circumstances, the Kiev authorities would be forced to respond to accusations of corruption under pressure from the West.

The US was able to convince the Office of the President of Ukraine to fill the post of the director of NABU, according to the chairman of the Servant of the People party, David Arahamiya. This means that Ukraine could soon establish a power structure independent of the decision-making center.

For his part, Zelensky is trying to ease the pressure from his Western backers by dismissing a number of deputies. However, he likely plans on keeping the main figures in office – at least the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrei Yermak and Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov. Any damage to their reputations would seriously weaken the position of the President.

At the same time, Zelensky has already dismissed an important member of his team, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kirill Timoshenko. Authorities reportedly received information that NABU considers him a suspect in a number of corruption cases. For example, he met with a wave of criticism for personally using an American SUV which General Motors provided for humanitarian missions to rescue Ukrainian citizens from combat zones. Timoshenko claims he used the vehicle for official trips.

An alternative version of events also exists. Ukraine’s corruption scandals are not favorable for the Biden Administration. They fuel Republican criticism of the Democrats over uncontrolled assistance to Ukraine and support accusations that the plundering of funds allocated to Ukraine is ongoing.

According to this version, the scandals are highlighted by activists and journalists for their own purposes, such as gaining additional influence over the decision-making process in Kiev. Amidst the military hostilities, such scandals may cause a rise in distrust of the authorities. Political struggles create tension in society and open a second, internal front. Put together, these factors may lead to a severe internal political crisis in Ukraine.

What’s next?

Against the background of Ukraine’s high-profile political scandals, staff changes in the government are being actively discussed. Among the officials considered next in line for dismissal are Minister of Energy German Galushchenko, Minister of Youth and Sports Vadim Gutzeit (who recently headed the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine), as well as Minister of Strategic Industries Pavel Ryabikin. However, none of these officials have been involved in corruption scandals, so these resignations, should they happen, would likely be for different reasons.

All of this leads some journalists to ponder possible large-scale shifts in the government. Lozinsky and Shmigal worked together in the Department of Economic Development in the Lviv Regional State Administration. After Shmigal was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in February 2020, he appointed Lozinsky as his first deputy.

The Prime Minister’s resignation, which would entail the resignation of the entire government, would indeed look like a powerful Zelensky response to corruption scandals. However, this course of events carries serious risks for the authorities, and their are enough to ruin such an intention.

For one, the resignation of the government amid corruption scandals creates risks of a political split in the Verkhovna Rada. Furthermore, if the government were to resign, Western countries could set strict conditions on coordinating candidates for the new government. This happened in 2014, when US citizen Natalia Yaresko was appointed Finance Minister to Arseniy Yatsenyuk's government, and Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius was made Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

All this can shake up the system of power and lead to the President’s administration having much less influence over political processes. The current political system is clearly biased towards a single structure: the Office of the President of Ukraine. Following the early parliamentary elections in 2019 and the formation of a majority in the Verkhovna Rada, the entire vertical alignment of power was structured around Zelensky and Yermak, the influence of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine was eliminated, and the information space cleared.

The combat operations in Ukraine merely accelerated these processes. In fact, only three powers can now speak out against the Zelensky-Yermak team— Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko and his cabinet, the army led by Valery Zaluzhny, and US-controlled structures such as NABU and media affiliated with them. At the same time, decisions regarding resignations are made exclusively by Zelensky and Yermak, who by all means wish to hush up the scandals.

Changes are imminent. The Ukrainian President is being pushed towards structural reform from several sides, including his own officials, the government, the power structures, and particularly, foreign benefactors. Major corruption scandals may lead to fall in the Western public's support of Kiev.

After all, Ukraine is a very expensive project, regardless of its geopolitical value. In addition to risky investments and painful costs, its financiers need clarity in terms of internal management control. The US government regularly says that it will finance Ukraine until its victory, but it also has to account for the money it's splurging.

Of course, the quality of work is evaluated by the employer, not the employee, and this case the Americans are the undoubted bosses.

By Petr Lavrenin, political journalist and expert on Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.


26 Jan, 2023 21:28

B) --- US and NATO on path to full-fledged military conflict in Europe – Moscow

Washington and its allies are putting the world at risk, Russia’s deputy envoy to the OSCE has warned

America’s "reckless neo-colonialist expansionist policy" has put Europe and possibly the world on the brink of a devastating conflict, Russia’s deputy envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has warned. Continued escalation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could spiral into an all-out war that would see no victors, Maksim Buyakevich told the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday.

"The leaders of the US and their NATO client states have come close to a red line," the diplomat warned, citing the US and other western nations’ plans to send dozens of modern battle tanks to Kiev. Buyakevich accused Washington and its allies of "deliberately escalating the military standoff" in Ukraine and of provoking Kiev into "military action against the Russian population."

"This is a straight path into a full-blown conflict in Europe, which absolutely all people living on our continent definitely stand to lose from," the Russian diplomat warned. He also said that the US and the UK, which he described as the "puppet masters" of the ongoing escalation, would hardly be able to "sit it out" either.

The latest decisions on new armed deliveries for Ukraine taken by Western nations only mire them "deeper involved in the armed standoff with Russian troops," Buyakevich said. These decisions could result in further escalation and more intense warfare, which would only lead to more civilian victims and further destruction, he added.

The diplomat also accused the "collective West" of turning Ukraine into an "instrument for realizing their geopolitical plans," adding that the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev was a result of the Western-backed 2014 Maidan coup.

Buyakevich also blamed the US and its "longstanding ambitions for global domination" for the current European security crisis. "The logic of the OSCE principle of indivisibility of security consistently dictates that either there is security for all [OSCE] member states or there is no security for any of them," the diplomat said, adding that the principle had been violated and this collective security had been lost.

Earlier this week, both the US and Germany announced plans to send modern Western tanks to Ukraine. Other NATO nations have already voiced similar intentions. Russia responded by saying that NATO’s "direct involvement" in the conflict in Ukraine was "growing." Moscow previously warned that the West’s continued arms supplies to Kiev risked a direct military conflict between Russia and NATO.

26 Jan, 2023 14:23

1) --- UN report labels China ‘a bright spot’

The economic forecast for Beijing is moderate, but better than the “sharply deteriorated” outlook for the EU

China will outpace Western economies this year, having abandoned its zero-Covid rules and eased monetary and fiscal policy, a United Nations’ report has predicted.

Growth in the world’s second-largest economy is projected to “moderately” improve in 2023 after a weaker-than-expected performance last year, hampered by severe lockdowns.

Beijing’s GDP growth is projected to pick up from 3% last year to 4.8% in 2023, The World Economic Situation and Prospects report, published on Wednesday, predicts. The UN expects the reopening of the Chinese economy to be “bumpy” as growth is likely to “remain below the pre-crisis” rate of 6% to 6.5%.

Meanwhile, the outlook for the EU in 2023 has “sharply deteriorated” as the energy and cost-of-living crises push member states into a “mild” recession during winter. The report finds that gross domestic product in the EU will grow by a mere 0.2%, sharply down from 3.3% in 2022.

The US economy is projected to expand by only 0.4% in 2023, compared to estimated growth of 1.8% in 2022.

Overall global economic growth will decline from 3% in 2022 to 1.9% in 2023, marking one of the lowest rates in recent decades.

“The near-term economic outlook remains highly uncertain, however, as myriad economic, financial, geopolitical and environmental risks persist,” the report said, adding that global growth will “moderately” recover to 2.7% in 2024 if “macroeconomic headwinds begin to subside next year.”

Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that a “severe slowdown” of the global economy looms large amid high inflation, aggressive monetary tightening and “heightened uncertainties”. He added that many economies “are at risk of falling into recession, having barely recovered from the shock of the pandemic.”

26 Jan, 2023 22:03

1) --- Nobody told me we’re at war – NATO state's president

The US and Germany might be at war with Russia, but that is news to Croatia, said Zoran Milanovic

Commenting on the German foreign minister’s declaration that Europe is “fighting a war against Russia,” Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Thursday that this was news to him, and wished Berlin better luck than in WWII.

Croatia “should in no way help” Ukraine militarily, Milanovic said while visiting the port city of Split. “Do you want us to enter the war?”

Framing the Ukraine conflict as one between Washington and Moscow, he reminded reporters that he was criticized for merely echoing the words of Kiev’s defense minister, about the current conflict being a “proxy war” between NATO and Russia.

“Now the German foreign minister says we must be united, because I quote, we are at war with Russia. I didn’t know that,” Milanovic said. “Maybe Germany is at war with Russia, but then, good luck, maybe this time it turns out better than 70-odd years ago.”

The Croatian president was baffled to hear such a claim from the leader of the German Greens, which he said used to be a pacifist party equally against the US and the USSR, and not from Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“If we are at war with Russia, then let’s see what we need to do. But we won’t ask Germany for its opinion,” Milanovic added. “Let them figure out who is the actual chancellor over there. I’ve been in politics for a long time, and our country has been through a lot, but I’ve never seen this kind of madness before.”

When it comes to tanks, “Russian or American, they burn just the same,” Milanovic said, noting that deliveries of armor to Ukraine – announced by the US and Germany this week – will only prolong the fighting,

“Those tanks may burn, or they may reach Crimea, but Croatia will have nothing to do with it,” he insisted. The social-democrat president has frequently clashed with the nationalist parliamentary majority over Croatia’s Ukraine policy. Just last month, Milanovic opposed Zagreb’s participation in the EU program to train Ukrainian troops, saying it clashed with Croatia’s constitution.

Unless the US and Russia are holding some kind of talks, the world is “slowly sliding into World War Three,” Milanovic added. “Some people think it has already begun, but I have my reservations.”

26 Jan, 2023 16:23

2) --- Joining Russia sanctions would be ‘inappropriate’ – Serbia

Foreign minister Ivica Dacic said the embargo on Moscow would harm Belgrade

Serbia's reasons for not joining the US-EU sanctions against Russia remain entirely valid, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic insisted on Thursday. He was speaking in Ankara after meeting his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The European Parliament last week demanded Belgrade's “full alignment” with the bloc’s foreign and security policy – including the embargo against Moscow. Dacic explained that his government has not joined the anti-Russian embargo out of “national and state interests, economic cooperation, as well as problems Serbia has with Kosovo,” referring to the NATO-backed breakaway province.

“It would be inappropriate for Serbia to sanction Russia now, and it would be harmful to our interests,” Dacic said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t do everything to clearly say we don’t support the infringement of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and help as much as we can.”

Dacic has sought the support of Türkiye in helping Serbia deal with US and EU pressure over Kosovo. He also indirectly reminded reporters that Ankara has not joined the sanctions against Russia either.

“I think Serbia and Türkiye want to be constructive factors of peace and stability,” the Serbian FM said. “Our interest is not to be on anybody’s side in some conflict, we advocate the respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of every UN member state.”

While insisting that Serbia must sanction Russia because of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the EU and the US also demand Belgrade recognize Kosovo, or face economic and political “consequences.”

Belgrade insists on the principle of territorial integrity because the US and the EU have been pressuring it to recognize Kosovo as an independent state since 2008. NATO troops took control of the province in 1999, after months of bombing Serbia on behalf of ethnic Albanian insurgents.

Serbia’s position on Kosovo has received support from Russia, China and many other countries – including Ukraine – on grounds of international law. This is one of the reasons Serbia officially does not recognize Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, or even Crimea, as parts of Russia.

23 Jan, 2023 22:17

2a) --- Ukraine conflict ‘will soon spread’ – Serbian president

Belgrade is under pressure because the West wants to focus on Russia, says Aleksandar Vucic

Belgrade is facing pressure from the US, EU and NATO over Kosovo because of the conflict in Ukraine, which is likely to escalate soon, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the nation on Monday evening. He said the West was rewarding the ethnic Albanian authorities in the breakaway province for their campaign of violence against the Serbs.

Vucic spoke after meeting with the leadership of his ruling party, addressing the “proposal” by the West requiring Serbia to accept the breakaway province’s membership in international organizations – such as the UN, EU and NATO – or else. He said the document “hardly contains anything we would be happy about.”

The Serbian president explained that the EU is de facto at war in Ukraine, so it wants its “back yard” – including Serbia – to be brought to heel. His feeling, however, was that the conflict “won’t calm down, but will only spread.”

“You see it now, it’s not just Russia versus Ukraine. Soon it will spread to other territories. It is up to us that our country isn’t among them,” he said.

Vucic lamented the unwillingness of the West to listen to reason, even after it was clear that all recent incidents in Kosovo were caused by the ethnic Albanian authorities in Pristina. Even when the EU acknowledged this, they kept rewarding Kosovo, accepting its membership application and granting it visa-free entry, he added.

While Belgrade intends to defend its interests, Vucic explained it will be difficult to stop Kosovo’s admission to the Council of Europe or NATO. The document does not require Belgrade to explicitly recognize Kosovo as independent, but implicitly demands Serbia not to oppose its UN membership, he explained.

If Serbia refuses, the EU will halt all integration processes, reimpose a visa regime, stop all new investments, and withdraw all the current ones, Vucic warned. That would be worse than any sanctions, and he would prefer a compromise to “accepting everything right away,” he said.

“You know what it would mean for Serbia to be isolated in any way,” Vucic said, referring to the sanctions imposed in the 1990s during the Yugoslav Wars. He also noted that this is his last term as president, and he would not be loath to resign if that would mean protecting the country or buying time.

NATO troops took control of Kosovo in 1999, after nearly three months of bombing Serbia on behalf of ethnic Albanian insurgents. The province’s provisional government declared independence in 2008, but Belgrade has so far resisted US and EU pressure to recognize it, relying on support from Russia and China

26 Jan, 2023 18:07

3) --- Nuland reveals what Russia 'must do' for sanctions relief

State Department official with ties to Ukraine laid out the unlikely scenario to the US Senate

Washington might consider lifting sanctions if Moscow withdraws troops from Ukraine and hands over all territory claimed by Kiev, US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. She added that in her opinion Russian President Vladimir Putin is guilty of war crimes.

During the hearing on the ongoing conflict, Nuland said she believed Ukraine could defeat Russia, noting that “Ukraine will define what winning is.”

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul asked Nuland at one point if she favored lifting some sanctions against Russian officials in the interest of diplomacy. Paul reminded Nuland she had been sanctioned by Russia herself, which was resolved before her 2021 visit to Moscow.

“In the context of a Russian decision to negotiate seriously and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and return territory, I would certainly favor – and I believe Secretary [Antony] Blinken would also favor – sanctions relief,” Nuland replied, misunderstanding Paul’s point.

When Paul explained he was talking about limited sanctions relief for the sake of diplomacy, the State Department’s number four official said Washington should “look hard” at what can be done “if it is in the US interest for there to be conversations with Russians.”

Nuland also insisted that Putin is “certainly guilty of prosecuting war crimes,” prompting Paul to ask how serious the State Department was about peace, if it insisted on what amounted to unconditional surrender.

“I would cite the precedent of Kosovo, of Bosnia, of Rwanda, where we have successfully supported wars winding down through diplomatic means while also pursuing justice,” Nuland replied.

The US led military interventions in both Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, with NATO troops physically occupying both territories and serving as enforcers for a Washington-funded ad-hoc tribunal. The US and its allies have been looking for ways to apply the Yugoslav precedent to Russia, though Washington itself rejects the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Nuland first came into the spotlight in December 2013, when she endorsed nationalist protesters at Kiev’s Maidan square by delivering them snacks. Two months later, in February 2014, a recording emerged of her discussing who should run Ukraine with the US ambassador in Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt. Nuland was famously dismissive of the EU and talked about then-VP Joe Biden helping “midwife this thing” with the UN.

Three weeks later, Ukrainian nationalists would overthrow the elected government and put in charge the very people Nuland had discussed with Pyatt.

27 Jan, 2023 04:10

4) --- Israel bombs Gaza following deadly raid

The violent flare-up came after nine Palestinians were killed during a raid on a refugee camp in Jenin

Israel has carried out airstrikes on an alleged “military site” in the Gaza Strip, claiming the mission was a response to rockets fired from the area. Palestinian officials accused Israeli troops of a “massacre” in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day, with militant groups vowing to retaliate.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the strikes early on Friday morning, saying it targeted an “underground” facility used to produce rockets for Hamas, the political party and armed faction that has ruled Gaza since 2007.

“The attack was carried out in response to the launch of rockets earlier tonight from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which were intercepted by air defense fighters,” the military said, adding that the strikes resulted in “significant damage to the strengthening and arming of Hamas.”

At least five rockets were fired toward Israel overnight, according to the IDF, with three intercepted, one landing in an open area and another falling short inside Gaza. The launches prompted air raid sirens in settlements bordering the Palestinian enclave, including the city of Ashkelon just north of Gaza.

The rocket salvo followed an Israeli special forces raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank on Thursday, which ended in a shootout with militants and left nine Palestinians dead, among them a 61-year-old woman, according to the Palestinian Authority. The IDF said the operation targeted an Islamic Jihad terrorist faction active in Jenin and shared footage purporting to show gunmen firing rifles and throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops, claiming the terror cell was a “ticking time bomb.”

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited control in the occupied West Bank, denounced the operation as a “massacre,” saying it would halt all security cooperation with Israel in response.

“Security coordination with the occupation government no longer exists as of now,” Palestinian Authority Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, adding that the decision was made in light of “the repeated aggression against our people, and the undermining of signed agreements, in reference to commitments from the Oslo peace process in the 1990s.”

Video clips circulating in local media showed the aftermath of the refugee camp raid, with residents seen picking through rubble and burned out buildings in Jenin. According to the Associated Press, the attack was the single deadliest raid in the West Bank in more than two decades.


Hamas declared that its retaliation would “not be delayed” soon after the Israeli operation, while Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan accused IDF troops of “field executions” and said “the Palestinian resistance will do everything in its power to defend our people.”

The last major breakout of violence in Gaza came in May 2021 following an Israeli raid on the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a venerated holy site for Muslims. For more than two weeks, IDF warplanes battered the Palestinian territory while militants fired off countless rockets, leaving hundreds dead in Gaza and more than a dozen killed in Israel. Though the IDF vacated Gaza in 2005, the Israeli government maintains a tight blockade on the territory and continues to occupy the West Bank, stoking periodic clashes between the two sides.

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