Al Joumhouria” News Summary”
Al Joumhouria” News Summary”
Monday, 12-Feb-2024 21:58

Prime Minister Najib Mikati warmly welcomed President Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail, where Mikati expressed his hope that "the anniversary of the martyrdom of President Rafik Hariri would be a unifying occasion affirming the unity of the Lebanese people in the face of the looming dangers surrounding Lebanon." Mikati also discussed the current situation in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories with the former leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, during their meeting.


From the Serail to the south, where Israeli aggression continues against border towns, the country is poised for a busy political week that may offer important indications about the upcoming phase, awaiting developments and positions in the hours ahead.


Regarding the latest security developments in the south, Israeli warplanes targeted the outskirts of Aytroun, Blida, Al-Khiyam, Tal Al-Awaida, the town of Al-Jbayneh, Maroun Al-Ras, and the vicinity of Majdal Zun. An Israeli drone also targeted a car near the Bint Jbeil Governmental Hospital, resulting in injuries. Additionally, two people were injured in an airstrike on the town of Tair Harfa, which targeted a house. Hezbollah retaliated against these attacks by targeting Israeli fortifications, gatherings, and surveillance devices, including radar sites, barracks in Brannit and Zreiteh, buildings in the settlements of Yaroun and Avivim, and a site in Zabdin in the occupied Shebaa Farms, as well as the vicinity of Risha Pond.


Regionally, the war in Gaza entered its 129th day, marked by intense shelling and clashes in the densely populated and displaced city of Rafah, amid international and UN warnings and concerns of a humanitarian catastrophe.


Palestinians woke up to another Israeli massacre resulting in the deaths of about 100 citizens, including children and women, and hundreds of others injured, as a result of intense Israeli airstrikes, estimated at about 40 airstrikes, targeting homes and mosques housing displaced persons, accompanied by heavy artillery shelling and naval bombardment on Rafah.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed coordination with Qatar to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and end the occupation in accordance with international legitimacy and law, during his meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in Doha. They discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and efforts to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression in Gaza.


The Palestinian presidency also called on the US administration "not to remain hostage to Israeli policy," especially as the region stands at a crossroads, warning that the continuation of the war on the Palestinian people would lead to its regional expansion.


Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to engage in an irresponsible deal, while Minister of Defense Benny Gantz affirmed the necessity of extensive action in Rafah to ensure military operational freedom.


UAE Ambassador to the United Nations Lana Nusseibeh stressed the need for irreversible progress towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to ensure regional commitment to rebuilding Gaza.


In another development, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, Volker Türk, described the possibility of full Israeli incursion into Rafah in southern Gaza as "terrifying."


Furthermore, Amnesty International reported new evidence of unlawful Israeli attacks in Gaza resulting in mass civilian casualties.


In a statement, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Israeli operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, is part of a plan to displace Gaza residents from their lands.


On the Egyptian front, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated that there is a peace agreement between his country and Israel that has been in effect for the past 40 years and will continue.


He added that Egypt will continue its efforts with Israel and Hamas to reach an agreement leading to the release of prisoners and detainees, cessation of hostilities in Gaza, and ensuring the entry of aid into the sector.


In a different turn, a spokesperson for the Houthi group "Ansar Allah" announced the targeting of the US ship "Star Iris" with a number of precision naval missiles.


Additionally, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported that a ship had been targeted with two missiles 40 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen.


Internationally, a woman opened fire with a long rifle inside a major renowned church in Houston, Texas, before being subdued by police.


In a significant development, the British government announced sanctions against four Israelis under a global human rights sanctions regime.


Vice President Kamala Harris assured readiness to assume the duties of the President of the United States amid concerns from voters about President Joe Biden's age.


Diplomatic sources claimed that France uncovered a "coordinated and organized network of Russian propaganda" directed against European countries and the United States.


Furthermore, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades stated that the European Union will not be able to address its own affairs unless it works to secure safe zones in Syria to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees and migrants to their country.


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that his country "is not fully free until Palestine achieves freedom," affirming that the majority of his country's people and government follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela and support the Palestinians.