Connect with us

International

Hamas Economy Minister killed in Israeli strike as secret negotiations continue over hostages

Published

on

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the Yassin Mosque destroyed after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, early Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Two senior Hamas officials including the group’s economy minister have been killed in air strikes in Gaza, the Israeli military has said.

The death of the two came as death figures from the Saturday attack on Israel surpassed 1,000 and the fatalities in the Gaza Strip from Israeli air strikes crossed 800.

Zakaria Abu Muammar and Jawad Abu Shamal, members of the Hamas political bureau, died after a raid in Khan Yunis early this morning, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) say.

An IDF spokesman says Shamal was Hamas’s economy minister, and was involving in the “funding of terrorism inside and outside the Gaza Strip” as well as leading operations targeting Israeli citizens.

Muammar was the head of Hamas’s international relations office, and was involved in the planning of “numerous terrorist activities”, the IDF alleges.

Hamas has not confirmed the two men’s deaths, and the BBC has not been able to independently verify the Israeli claims.

Meanwhile, besides the news of the Hamas economy minister that was killed, diplomatic efforts are said to be intensifying to try to free some of the more than 100 hostages reportedly being held by Hamas.

The focus appears to be on a swap involving women and children – including Israelis and other nationals – in an exchange for Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails.

Advertisement

A diplomat briefed on the talks told the BBC that discussions were under way involving mediation by the Gulf state of Qatar, where some of Hamas’s political leaders are based.

The US was described as co-ordinating the process. It doesn’t include the Islamic Jihad group (PIJ) which has reportedly seized about 30 hostages.

SEE ALSO:  520 killed in 6 months of violent attacks in Myanmar

Both Israel and Hamas have publicly denied any hostage negotiations are taking place. But a diplomatic source said the talks were gathering pace.

It’s unfolding in a highly fluid situation fraught with risk. One source said he was hopeful but admitted neither side was ready for mediation on any of the wider issues as this war worsens.

Advertisements
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

International

Guinea’s military junta dissolves government, seals borders

Published

on

Guinea, which is currently led by transitional President Mamady Doumbouya, is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule in 10 months

Guinea’s military junta, which seized power in a coup in September 2021, has dissolved the government.

The announcement was made through a presidential decree read on state TV on Monday by the presidency’s Secretary General, Brig Gen Amara Camara.

Mr Camara did not disclose the reason for the dissolution or say when a new government will be put in place.

Ministers in the dissolved government were ordered to surrender their passports and official vehicles.

Their bank accounts have additionally been frozen.

The junta also instructed security agencies to “seal” all the country’s borders until government ministries have been fully handed over to the junta.

Lower-level officials will temporarily manage state ministries until a new government is appointed, Mr Camara said.

Advertisement

The dissolved government was led by Bernard Goumou, who had been appointed prime minister by coup leader Mamady Doumbouya.

In September 2021, Col Doumbouya led Guinea’s armed forces to overthrow elected President Alpha Condé, after a series of protests over Mr Conde’s controversial bid for a third term.

Guinea and several other countries in West and central Africa have been hit by coups in recent years.

Others include Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon.

The coups have been strongly condemned by the West African regional bloc Ecowas, as well as the African Union and the UN.

Guinea is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule in 10 months, when the 24-month transition period set by the junta and Ecowas expires.

Advertisements
SEE ALSO:  Family Dispute: Man guns down father, brother, 10 other relatives
Continue Reading

International

Family Dispute: Man guns down father, brother, 10 other relatives

Published

on

Family Dispute: Man guns down father, brother, 10 other relatives
• A man with a gun
A 30-year-old man killed 12 relatives, including his father and brother in Iran, official media reported on Saturday, in a rare mass shooting in the country.

They said the man, who was not identified, used a Kalashnikov assault rifle and was later shot and killed by security forces in the south-central province of Kerman.

They said the cause of the shooting, in a remote rural village, was a family dispute. They did not elaborate.

Mass killings are rare in Iran, where hunting rifles are the only weapons people are allowed to possess. Two years ago, a dismissed employee of a state institution in western Iran shot and killed three people and injured five before killing himself.

Reuters

Advertisements
SEE ALSO:  UK economy slips into recession
Continue Reading

International

Trump ordered to pay $355m for lying about his wealth in staggering civil fraud ruling

Published

on

Trump ordered to pay $355m for lying about his wealth in staggering civil fraud ruling
 • Ex-US President Trump
A New York judge ordered Donald Trump on Friday to pay $355 million in penalties, finding that the former president lied about his wealth for years in a sweeping civil fraud verdict that pierces his billionaire image but stops short of putting his real estate empire out of business.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s decision after a trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit punishes Trump, his company and executives, including his two eldest sons, for scheming to dupe banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements. It forces a shakeup at the top of his Trump Organization, putting the company under court supervision and curtailing how it does business.

The decision is a staggering setback for the Republican presidential front-runner, the latest and costliest consequence of his recent legal troubles. The magnitude of the verdict on top of penalties in other cases could dramatically dent Trump’s financial resources and damage his identity as a savvy businessman who parlayed his fame as a real estate developer into reality TV stardom and the presidency. He has vowed to appeal and won’t have to pay immediately.

Trump’s true punishment could be far costlier because under state law he is also required to pay interest on the penalties, which James said puts him on the hook for a total of more than $450 million. The amount, which would be paid to the state, will grow until he pays.

The judge made clear, however, that the Trump Organization will continue to operate, backing away from an earlier ruling that would have dissolved Trump’s companies.

SEE ALSO:  Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso withdraw from ECOWAS over suspension

Engoron, a Democrat, concluded that Trump and his company were “likely to continue their fraudulent ways” without the penalties and controls he imposed. Engoron concluded that Trump and his co-defendants “failed to accept responsibility” and that experts who testified on his behalf “simply denied reality.”

“This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin,” Engoron wrote in a searing 92-page opinion. “They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

He said their “complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological” and “the frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience.”

Trump said the decision was “election inference” and “weaponization against a political opponent,” complaining to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that he was being penalized for “having built a perfect company, great cash, great buildings, great everything.”

Advertisement

James, a Democrat, told reporters “justice has been served” and called the ruling “a tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules — even former presidents.”

“Now, Donald Trump is finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating, and staggering fraud. Because no matter how big, rich or powerful you think you are, no one is above the law,” James said.

Trump still owns the Trump Organization, but he put his assets into a revocable trust and relinquished a leadership role when he became president in 2017, putting his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. in charge of day-to-day operations. Engoron’s ruling imposes a three-year ban on Trump serving as an officer or director of any New York company and bars his sons for two years, effectively requiring the company to find new leadership, at least temporarily.

SEE ALSO:  Japa: Canadian Province bans new colleges from enrolling international students

The monetary penalties involve what Engoron said were “ill-gotten gains” that Trump attained by making himself seem richer. They include money Trump saved by securing lower loan interest rates and profits from the sale of properties that he might not have been able to develop without that financing.

AP

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Trending