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HeadlinesJanuary 30, 2024

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Israeli Forces Storm West Bank Hospital Disguised as Civilians, Kill 3 Palestinians

Jan 30, 2024

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers raided Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital earlier today disguised as civilian women and medical staff and killed three Palestinians. Shocking hospital surveillance footage shows the Israeli forces storming the hospital with guns raised as they searched for the three militants they said were using the facility as a hideout. Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed more than 370 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7, while more than 6,300 people have been arrested.

Hamas Reviewing New Internationally Mediated Truce Proposal as Deadly Gaza Assault Continues

Jan 30, 2024

Deadly attacks continue in Gaza, where reports say Israeli strikes killed large numbers of civilians in residential areas of Gaza City. The death toll has now topped 26,700 since the start of Israel’s assault.

Hamas said it is reviewing a new truce proposal negotiated during weekend talks between Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the U.S. Hamas’s political chief, Ismail Haniyeh, said he will visit Cairo soon as part of the ongoing negotiations. Hamas has demanded an end to Israel’s attacks and a “complete withdrawal of occupation forces.”

Displaced Palestinians continue to flee as Israeli attacks target every part of the besieged territory. This is Suleiman, a young boy who fled Khan Younis by wheelchair, after he lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike.

Suleiman Abusari: “My dream was to play football, but the occupation army did not let me play. They cut off my legs. Thank God it wasn’t worse. They stole my dream.”

An average of over 10 children have lost one or both legs each day since Israel’s assault started on October 7. Many amputations have been performed without anesthesia due to the shortage in medical supplies.

U.N. Chief Meeting UNRWA Donors in Bid to Keep Life-Saving Agency Running

Jan 30, 2024

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is meeting with key donors to UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, after the U.S. and a dozen other countries halted funding for the agency after Israel accused 12 UNRWA employees of helping Hamas stage the October 7 attack. A group of at least 20 aid organizations, including ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children, issued a statement condemning the decision to suspend funding, warning it could lead to a “complete collapse” of the humanitarian response in Gaza. UNRWA has fired nine staffers in response to the allegations, and the matter is being investigated. On Monday, the U.N. said Israeli authorities have not directly shared any evidence to substantiate their claims.

Stéphane Dujarric: “You know, we’ve seen this reference to a dossier. We saw it in the Times, in The Wall Street Journal, in CBS. I’m not going to name all the media organizations, but we respect them all. That information has not been given to us officially by the Israeli authorities.”

UNRWA reported today that Israel has attacked its facilities in Gaza at least 260 times, killing at least 360 Palestinians since October 7.

Pentagon IDs Soldiers Killed in Jordan as Reports Indicate Mix-Up Led to Access for Enemy Drone

Jan 30, 2024

The Pentagon on Monday identified the three U.S. soldiers killed in a drone attack at a base in Jordan over the weekend. Sergeant William Rivers, Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Specialist Breonna Moffett were all reservists from Georgia. All three of them were African American.

Meanwhile, early reports say the drone was able to bypass U.S. air defenses because troops had mistaken it for a U.S. drone returning to the base. A group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the attack. Iran denies any involvement. President Biden has vowed to retaliate. While the White House has said it is not seeking war with Iran, Republican lawmakers are urging the president to bomb Iran directly.

Palestinian, Muslim Students Sue Harvard for Failing to Respond to Harassment, Abuse on Campus

Jan 30, 2024

Over a dozen Palestinian and Muslim students at Harvard filed a federal civil rights complaint with the Department of Education, accusing Harvard of discrimination and failing to protect them from racism and harassment. The students, who are represented by the Muslim Legal Fund of America, say they have been repeatedly targeted for attacks, including doxxing, stalking and physical assaults, in some cases simply for wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh on campus.

This comes as the City Council of Cambridge, which is home to Harvard, passed a resolution Monday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of remaining hostages.

In related news, the University of Michigan Faculty Senate Assembly passed a resolution to demand the school divest from any company profiting from Israel’s war on Gaza.

Pakistani Court Sentences Imran Khan to 10 More Years in Prison

Jan 30, 2024

In Pakistan, a court has sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan to 10 years in prison, accusing him of leaking state secrets. Khan has rejected the charges against him as politically motivated. He is already serving a three-year prison sentence on corruption charges. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former foreign minister and a top official in Imran Khan’s PTI party, has also been sentenced to 10 years. This all comes one week ahead of February 8 elections, which Khan has been barred from. Khan was ousted as prime minister in 2022, blaming the military and rival parties for plotting against him.

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Iranian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers Meet to Mend Ties After Attacks in Both Countries

Jan 30, 2024

In other news from Pakistan, the Iranian foreign minister traveled to Islamabad Monday as the two countries moved to deescalate tensions following deadly airstrikes within each other’s borders earlier this month. This is Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Hossein Amirabdollahian: “If you look at the history of Iran and Pakistan, you will see that there have never been any case of the territorial differences or border problems and issues between Iran and Pakistan. So this is one of our prides, and this is one of our very clear manifestations of our good bilateral relations.”

54 Killed in Attacks on Border Between Sudan-South Sudan; ICC Warns of War Crimes in Darfur

Jan 30, 2024

In Sudan, at least 54 people were killed, including children and two U.N. peacekeepers, in attacks along the border with South Sudan. This weekend’s clashes in the oil-rich territory of Abyei, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan, is the deadliest since at least 2021.

Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said there is evidence that both the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces are committing war crimes in Darfur. This is ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.

Karim Khan: “I’m compelled to conclude and report that it’s my assessment that we are fast approaching a breaking point and that the conflict in Sudan demands your attention now more than ever.”

Nearly half of Sudan’s 49 million residents are in urgent need of aid, with about 8 million people displaced by the intensifying violence. The U.N. estimates some 12,000 people have been killed, but the true death toll is believed to be much higher.

U.S. Reinstates Venezuela Sanctions After Top Court Upholds Election Ban on Opposition Leader

Jan 30, 2024

The United States has reinstated economic sanctions on Venezuela following a decision by the Venezuelan Supreme Court to uphold a ban of leading opposition presidential candidate María Corina Machado from running. Elections are scheduled for later this year. The government of President Nicolás Maduro accuses Machado of supporting the harsh U.S. sanctions that have tanked the Venezuelan economy and of backing a U.S.-imposed, unelected interim opposition government. Machado, who won a primary election held by the opposition last October, spoke yesterday.

María Corina Machado: “I received the command of almost 3 million Venezuelans who exercised popular sovereignty on October 22nd, the opposition primary election day. I represent that popular sovereignty. They cannot have elections without me, nor the millions of Venezuelans who voted on that day.”

The White House has given Maduro’s government until April to allow Machado on the ballot. Last October, the U.S. eased some sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry under the condition Maduro allowed opposition candidates to participate in the election. Those sanctions could also be rolled back if the ban on Machado is kept in place.

Biden Touts “Toughest” Border Crackdown Plan, Vows to “Shut Down” Border If Bill Passes

Jan 30, 2024

Tension continues to mount on Capitol Hill as the Senate pushes negotiations for a bipartisan border enforcement deal attached to military aid for Ukraine. Far-right Republicans, encouraged by former President Trump, have said they’ll sabotage the deal even though it includes some of the harshest immigration restrictions yet, including granting executive authority to block people from applying for asylum once the number of apprehended migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border reaches a daily average of 5,000 in a week. President Biden has already vowed to use the new emergency authorities to “shut down” the southern border, praising the deal as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”

Immigration rights groups have condemned the deal, urging Biden to support humanitarian relief. The proposal also drew criticism from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “Well, that’s not realistic, with all due respect. How are we going to solve the migration problems with walls? How are we going to solve migration problems by closing the border? Why these proposals? Because elections are coming.”

NYC Councilmember Yusef Salaam Stopped by NYPD While Driving with Family

Jan 30, 2024

Here in New York, Harlem councilmember and exonerated “Central Park Five” member Yusef Salaam was pulled over by police Friday night while driving with his family. Dashcam video shows the officer appearing to back off after Salaam, who was sworn in less than a month ago, identifies himself as a member of the New York City Council. Salaam says the officer never responded to his request to know why he was being stopped; the NYPD later said it’s because his car windows were illegally tinted and he had an out-of-state license plate.

NYC Council to Vote on Overriding Mayor Adams Veto on Police Accountability Bill

Jan 30, 2024

The New York City Council appears poised to override Mayor Eric Adams’s veto on a police accountability bill and legislation that bans solitary confinement in prisons. Intro 586, known as the How Many Stops Act, would mandate officers record demographic information and give a reason for stopping people. Last week, councilmembers, including Yusef Salaam, faith leaders and community organizers gathered in support of the How Many Stops Act. This is activist Crystal Walthall.

Crystal Walthall: “This Intro 586 is not going to stop everything in this moment, but it will give us the data, the information. It will call on our NYPD to act differently. In the 10 years that Faith in New York has been in existence, we have stood on those City Hall steps too many times for people who have been murdered by police. One too many times. We have stood on these City Hall steps too many times demanding that the NYPD be transparent. We have stood on these steps too many times asking and demanding accountability, asking and demanding that our NYPD stop — stop killing our people.”

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