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Iran says Israeli drones are ‘like children’s toys’ as Iraq investigates military base explosion – live

Iranian state television reports explosions

Iran’s foreign minister on Friday downplayed Israel’s suspected limited military strike, claiming it was “not an attack” and refusing to acknowledge Israeli involvement.

“It has not been proven to us that there is a connection between this country and Israel,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told NBC.

“They looked more like toys our children play with – not drones,” he added.

Meanwhile, an Israeli official said it was only intended to signal to Iran that Israel has the ability to hit targets in the country.

The attack appeared to target an Iranian air base near the city of Isfahan, deep in the country, but without hitting any strategic locations or causing major damage.

It comes as a man was killed at another base used by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Two security sources said it was not known who was responsible for the airstrike. A US official said there had been no US military activity in Iraq.

One PMF fighter was killed and six were injured, according to sources at the nearby hospital in Hilla.

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In photos: Students lead protest against Israel’s war at Columbia University

Hundreds of students continue their camp on the campus of Columbia University to protest Israel’s war in Gaza, despite arrests and disciplinary action from university authorities.

The majority of protesters were charged with trespassing because they refused to leave the area, thus violating school rules. In addition, suspensions have been imposed.

Pro-Palestinian activists protest outside Columbia University in New York (AFP via Getty Images)
Students hold up sheets as a person is treated for a medical emergency, during a protest in support of Palestinians at Columbia University (REUTERS)
A protester talks into a microphone as people gather outside Columbia University to demand a ceasefire and an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza (REUTERS)

Shweta SharmaApril 21, 2024 8:00 am

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Thousands of Israelis join protests against the government and call for new elections

Thousands of Israeli protesters took to the streets on Saturday to call for new elections and demand more action from the government to bring home hostages held in Gaza, in the latest round of protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protests continue as the war in Gaza enters its seventh month and there is growing anger over the government’s handling of the 133 Israeli hostages still held by the Islamist movement Hamas.

Surveys show that most Israelis blame Netanyahu for the security lapses that led to Hamas fighters’ devastating attack on communities in southern Israel on October 7.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has repeatedly ruled out early elections, which opinion polls suggest he would lose. He said going to the polls in the middle of a war would only reward Hamas.

“We are here to protest against this government that is dragging us down month after month; before October 7, after October 7. We kept spiraling downwards,” said Yalon Pikman, 58, who attended a march in Tel Aviv. .

Hamas-led gunmen captured 253 people in the October 7 attack, which killed around 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures. Some hostages were released during a ceasefire in November, but efforts to reach a new deal appear to have stalled.

Netanyahu has vowed to continue Israel’s campaign in Gaza, which local health authorities say has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, until all hostages are brought home and Hamas destroyed.

People are protesting against the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calling for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the militant group Hamas in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Saturday. (AP)

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 7:00 am

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Mapped: where is Isfahan? The target of suspected Israeli attacks on Iran

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 6:00 am

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Watch: Moment a massive explosion hits the base of an Iraqi army unit allied to Iran

A huge explosion hits the base of an Iraqi army unit affiliated with Iran

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 5:00 am

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More than fourteen Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli attack on a refugee camp, Palestinian authorities say

Israeli forces have killed 14 Palestinians during a raid on the Nur al-Shams refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Among the fatalities, an ambulance driver was killed as he went to collect injured people after a separate attack by violent Jewish settlers, it added.

Israeli forces launched an extensive attack in the early hours of Friday in the Nur Shams area, near the Palestinian town of Tulkarm, and were still exchanging fire with armed fighters well into Saturday.

Israeli military vehicles gathered and gunfire was heard, while at least three drones were seen hovering over Nur Shams, an area home to refugees and their descendants from the 1948 war that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel.

On Saturday, Palestinian health authorities said at least 14 Palestinians, two of whom were identified by Palestinian sources and officials as a gunman and a 16-year-old boy, were killed in the raid, one of the heaviest casualty figures in the West Bank. months. Another man was killed on Friday.

Shweta SharmaApril 21, 2024 04:10

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How many nuclear weapons do Israel and Iran have, amid fears of a wider conflict?

On Friday morning, Iranians walked the streets of Tehran next to posters adorning the country’s national flag with three images of missiles fired from it.

“Israel is as weak as a spider’s web,” one poster said. Just hours earlier, explosions had been heard over an airbase 200 miles south of the city in Isfahan.

Tehran’s defense forces had shot down three drones launched from more than 2,000 kilometers away in Israel – reportedly part of Netanyahu’s “response” to an earlier attack by Iran that fired more than 300 missiles and drones at the Jewish state.

Alexander Butler reports:

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 4:00 am

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The US House approves a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel

The US House of Representatives has finally passed billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and Israel, amid opposition from Republican hardliners.

A broad $95 billion legislative package providing security support to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan was passed yesterday, pledging $26 billion for Israel.

The Senate will begin considering the House-passed bill on Tuesday, with some preliminary votes expected that afternoon. Final approval was expected sometime next week, which would clear the way for Biden to sign the bill.

The House of Representatives’ actions during a rare Saturday session exposed some cracks in what is generally solid support for Israel within Congress. In recent months, progressive Democrats have expressed their anger at the Israeli government and its handling of the war in Gaza.

In Saturday’s vote, which passed Israeli aid by a vote of 366 to 58, there were 37 Democrats and 21 Republicans in opposition.

Shweta SharmaApril 21, 2024 03:57

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The US says a UN agency has agreed to help distribute aid to Gaza via the sea route

The U.N. World Food Program has agreed to provide aid to Gaza’s starving civilians once the U.S. military completes a pier to transport the humanitarian aid by sea, U.S. officials said Friday.

The UN agency’s involvement could help resolve one of the biggest obstacles facing the US-planned project: the reluctance of aid groups to take on the on-the-ground distribution of food and other desperately needed goods in Gaza , without significant changes by Israel.

An Israeli military strike on April 1 that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers intensified international criticism of Israel for its failure to provide security for humanitarian workers or allow adequate aid across land borders.

Ellen Knickmeyer And Lolita C. Baldor report:

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 3:00 am

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Summary: Watch as explosions were heard and a flash of light was seen over the city of Iran in a suspected attack on Israel

Explosions are heard as a burst of light over the city of Iran during a suspected Israeli missile attack

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 2:00 am

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What Israel’s suspected attack on Iran tells us about Netanyahu

World Affairs Editor Kim Sengupta reports:

Tara CobhamApril 21, 2024 1:00 am