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Israel-Gaza war live: Israel-Hezbollah escalation puts ceasefire at risk, UN says

Israel-Hezbollah escalation puts efforts to find solution at risk, UN says

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon said the recent escalation between Israel and Hezbollah has the potential to jeopardise efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.

“Over the past days we have seen a concerning shift in the exchanges of fire … recent events have the potential to put at risk a political solution to this conflict,” the force said on Tuesday on social media platform X.

It urged all parties “to halt hostilities to prevent further escalation and leave space to a political and diplomatic solution that can bring back stability and ensure the safety of the people in this region”.

US sanctions IRGC deputy commander and Houthi member

Sara Ruthven reports from Washington:

The US Treasury Department, in co-ordination with the UK, announced sanctions on Tuesday against a deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force as well as a Houthi group member.

It has also designated the owner and operator of a vessel used to ship Iranian commodities that were sold to support both the Houthis and the IRGC-QF.

“The revenue generated through these illicit networks enables the Houthis’ militant efforts, including numerous terrorist attacks in the region using advanced unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles,” a statement from the Treasury said.

The action follows the US State Department’s relisting of the Houthis as a specially designated terrorist organisation.

“Today’s action underscores our resolve to target efforts by the IRGC-QF and the Houthis to evade US sanctions and fund further attacks in the region,” said Brian E Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Impact of Red Sea crisis still ‘moderate’, WTO chief economist

Attacks by Yemeni rebels on commercial ships in the Red Sea have had only a “moderate” impact on global trade, Ralph Ossa, the World Trade Organization’s chief economist told AFP.

Speaking on the sidelines of the WTO’s 13th ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi, Ossa said the flurry of strikes on vessels is “clearly something we have to watch.”

But “I think for now, the macroeconomic impact seems to be moderate,” largely because of relatively weak demand in Europe and sufficient shipping capacities, he said.


Qatar ‘hopeful’ of Gaza ceasefire before Ramadan

Qatar is “hopeful” of a Gaza war ceasefire and is pushing for an agreement before Ramadan, a Foreign Ministry representative said on Tuesday.

The gas-rich Gulf state, home of Hamas’s political bureau, has been a key mediator in negotiations involving the Palestinian militants, Israel, the US and Egypt.

“We remain hopeful, not necessarily optimistic, that we can announce something today or tomorrow, but we remain hopeful that we can get to some kind of agreement,” Majed Al Ansari told a regular briefing.

“Obviously, we said that Ramadan is going to be a point of contention, it’s going to be a point of confrontation, that we are going to push for a pause before the beginning of Ramadan.

“We are all aiming towards that target but the situation is still fluid on the ground.”


Israel ‘systematically’ blocking access to people in need in Gaza, UN says

Israeli forces are “systematically” blocking access to people in need in Gaza, complicating the task of delivering aid in what has become a lawless war zone, the UN said on Tuesday.

It has become nearly impossible to carry out medical evacuations and aid deliveries in northern Gaza and increasingly difficult in the south, said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA.

Mr Laerke highlighted an incident last Sunday when a convoy, jointly organised by the World Health Organisation and the Palestinian Red Crescent, to evacuate patients from the besieged Al Amal Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis, was blocked for hours and paramedics detained.

“Despite prior co-ordination for all staff members and vehicles with the Israeli side, the Israeli forces blocked the WHO-led convoy for many hours the moment it left the hospital,” Mr Laerke said.


Yellen expresses concern about West Bank economy in letter to Netanyahu

Kyle Fitzgerald reports from Washington:

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her “concerns” on Tuesday about actions Israel has taken that have hurt the economy in the occupied West Bank in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking at a press conference before the G20 summit in Brazil, Ms Yellen said the US was pressing Israel to reinstate work permissions for Palestinians and reduce barriers to commerce within the West Bank.

“These actions are vital for the economic well-being of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” she said.

Ms Yellen said the letter was sent “a day or two ago”.

US says Israel has agreed to resume handover of tax revenue to Palestinian Authority

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday said Israel had agreed to resume the handover of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority.

The transfer of money has begun to flow, she said.

The funds are set to bolster the economy of the occupied West Bank and support basic services.

“This must continue,” Ms Yellen said in remarks prepared for a news conference, noting that Washington had been urging the Israeli government to release the so-called “clearance revenue” to the Palestinian Authority for some time.

Egypt accuses some states of ‘intentionally thwarting’ ceasefire efforts

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry said the crisis in Gaza had “laid bare double standards” in the world’s response to crises.

Speaking to the UN’s human rights council in Geneva, he accused some states of “intentionally thwarting” attempts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, thereby “giving Israel carte blanche to continue their operations”.

He said a lack of condemnation of events in Gaza, from countries who had expressed a view on other conflicts, could lead to the “collapse of the international system”.

“It seems that life in Gaza is not worthy enough of their attention, that the massacre of tens of thousands of children fails to shake their otherwise all too sensitive conscience, for the lives of Gaza’s children are seemingly less valuable than others,” he said.

Mr Shoukry also described the UN Palestinian aid agency, UNRWA, as “irreplaceable and indispensable” after some donors paused funding over allegations that staff were involved in Hamas violence.

“We strongly denounce the attempts to target UNRWA and suspend its operations, because of the negative impacts on the enjoyment by the Palestinian of their human rights,” he said.

Gaza’s humanitarian crisis threatens lives of all residents, says UAE

The UAE on Tuesday said the humanitarian crisis caused by continued Israeli attacks on Gaza “threatens the lives of all residents” in the besieged enclave.

Minister of State Khalifa Al Marar told the UN’s human rights council in Geneva that collective action towards a ceasefire in Gaza was needed to “put an end to the ongoing machinery of destruction”.

He said the UAE had “spared no effort” in supporting Palestinians as he told the UN body of efforts to deliver medical aid, provide drinking water and treat injured people.

Israel’s ongoing offensive has “led to a catastrophic humanitarian situation which is extremely sensitive and dangerous, and threatens the lives of all residents of Gaza”, he said.

“In order to spare the region from confrontation and violence, we stress the need to find a political solution to a just and comprehensive outcome to the Palestinian question, on the basis of a two-state solution,” he added.

Israel says it struck Hezbollah sites after cross-border rocket attack

The Israeli army said it struck a military site and Hezbollah infrastructure in the Hanniyeh, Jibchit, Baisariyeh and Mansouri areas of Lebanon in response to rockets launched from the country on Tuesday.

The army said 35 rockets were fired from Lebanon into the area of Mount Meron, in northern Israel.

There were no injuries or damage to an aerial surveillance base in the area, the army said.

The Israeli army said its artillery also struck in the area of Yaroun to remove a threat. 

Earlier in the day, Hezbollah said it launched a “large salvo of rockets” at Israel’s Meron base, on top of Al Jarmaq mountain, in response to Monday’s Baalbek attack.

Israeli settlers storm Al Aqsa Mosque compound

Dozens of settlers have stormed Al Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of Israeli forces, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Local sources said that that the settlers “stormed the compound from the direction of the Mughariba gate, carried out provocative tours, and performed rituals”.

The compound, in Jerusalem’s Old City, is revered by Muslims and Jews. It is a frequent flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is monitored especially closely by authorities during religious holidays.

Israeli forces arrest more than a dozen Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli forces have arrested at least 15 Palestinians, including children, in the occupied West Bank since last night, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said.

A girl who returned recently from Jordan and former Palestinian detainees were among those arrested, the group said.

It brings to 7,270 the number of Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank since October 7, it added.

Gaza death toll nears 30,000, Health Ministry says

The death toll in Gaza has increased to 29,878, the enclave’s Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

It added that 70,215 had been injured since the war began on October 7.

At least 96 people were killed and 172 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.

Hezbollah says it launched rockets at Israeli aerial surveillance base

Hezbollah said on Tuesday that it launched a “large salvo of rockets” at Israel’s Meron aerial surveillance base, on top of Al Jarmaq Mountain, in response to Monday’s Baalbek attack.

Israeli army says it detained 200 suspects during last week’s operation at Nasser Hospital

The Israeli army said it arrested 200 suspects during its “precise and limited operation” at Nasser Hospital, in Khan Younis, last week.

The military claimed boxes of sealed medicine were found in the hospital with the names of Israeli hostages on them, while several weapons were also seized.

Hamas studying Paris truce proposal involving 40-day pause and hostage exchange, source says

Palestinian militant group Hamas has received a draft proposal from the Gaza truce talks in Paris that includes a 40-day pause in all military operations and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages at a ratio of 10 to one, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Under the proposed ceasefire, hospitals and bakeries in Gaza would be repaired and 500 aid lorry would enter the besieged enclave each day, the source said.

Biden says Israel will halt Gaza ‘activities’ during Ramadan under ceasefire deal

US President Joe Biden said Israel agreed to halt its Gaza offensive during Ramadan under a ceasefire deal that is being negotiated.

“Ramadan’s coming up and there’s been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out,” Mr Biden said on Monday in an interview with late-night comedian Seth Meyers on the US network NBC.

Mr Biden expressed hope on Monday that there would be a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war in place by “the end of the weekend”.

“My National Security Adviser [Jake Sullivan] tells me that we’re close … we’re not done yet,” he said during a visit to New York.

The US has been working with Egypt and Qatar to broker an agreement that would lead to Hamas releasing the remaining hostages in exchange for an extended pause in fighting.

An earlier proposal by the three sides was rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Hamas made a counter-offer that he called “delusional”.

The US earlier vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, tabled by Algeria, that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Washington cited the continuing negotiations with Cairo and Doha as its reason for the veto.

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Saudi Arabia denies report of meeting between Commerce Minister and Israeli official

Saudi Arabia has denied reports that a meeting was held between its Commerce Minister Dr Majid Al Qasabi and an Israeli official after a video went viral on social media.

“The video was taken while the Saudi minister stood alongside the Nigerian Minister of Commerce before the commencement of the World Trade Organisation’s 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi,” a source was quoted by the Saudi Press Agency as saying.

The source added that “an unknown individual approached the minister to offer greetings and later identified himself as the Minister of Economy in the Israeli government”.

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank violence

At least three Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

Three others were injured in the violence early on Tuesday, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

At least 400 Palestinians have been killed in violence with Israeli soldiers and settlers since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants.

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