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Israel said to be setting up pumps in Gaza to flood Hamas tunnels with seawater

idf hamas tunnel gaza
IDF troops operate in northern Gaza near the mouth of an alleged Hamas tunnel in this handout photo released on November 23, 2023. (IDF)
Wall Street Journal says IDF has yet to decide on whether to go ahead with plan to flood terror group's subterranean passages and hideaways, with opinions mixed in US

Israel has readied plans to flood Hamas's system of tunnels under the Gaza Strip with water pumped from the Mediterranean Sea, a move aimed at destroying the terror group's subterranean network of passages and hideaways and driving its fighters above ground, according to a report Monday.

Quoting US officials, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Israel Defense Forces last month set up five large water pumps near the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, which are capable of flooding the tunnels within weeks by pumping thousands of cubic meters of water per hour into them.

The officials said Israel alerted the US about the plan last month, but has not yet decided on whether to implement it.


Trump appeals New York gag order to state's highest court

Allison Greenfield Judge Arthur F. Engoron
© The New York Sun
Former President Donald Trump appealed a gag order on Monday that bars him from speaking about a judge's law clerk to the New York Court of Appeals, less than a week after a lower court reinstated the order.

Ever since the first weeks of Trump's civil business fraud trial in October, the former president has been under a limited gag order due to his social media posts referencing Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron's staff. A filing appeared on the New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department docket on Monday, showing Trump's intent to appeal the lower court's decision to the state's highest court.

Engoron contends his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, has sustained harassing and antisemitic messages ever since Trump posted a picture of her with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and referred to her as his "girlfriend" on Oct. 4, the second day of the civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization.

Russian Flag

Migrants must learn Russian and respect the law - Putin

© Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Moscow favors immigration but must safeguard the interests of Russia first, the president has said...

Immigrants who come to work and live in Russia must comply with its laws and respect its customs and traditions, including learning the language, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Putin addressed the issue at a meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, traditionally held in early December.
"We need to attract such labor resources that meet the interests of the Russian economy. This means that [these] people must be prepared from a linguistic, ethnocultural point of view. They must know our traditions and so on.

"The interest of Russia and its citizens 'must be put first'. All immigrants and visitors also must comply with Russian laws. And, of course, we, as a civilized country, must also ensure their rights."
Russia is opening schools in several countries of the former Soviet Union - part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to assist with Russian language instruction and cultural events, the president informed the council.


Netanyahu must be charged by ICC - Erdogan

© TUR Presidency/Mural Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Turkish House in New York City • September 19, 2023
The Turkish leader also rebuked Western nations for giving Israel "unconditional support to kill babies"...

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has predicted that Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu will eventually face war crimes charges in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his country's offensive in Gaza, as he condemned Western inaction throughout Israel's ongoing military action in the besieged enclave.

More than 15,800 people, mostly women and children, have so far been killed in Israeli air and ground attacks in Gaza after Netanyahu vowed to "eliminate Hamas" in response to the Palestinian militant group's October 7 cross-border attack, which killed about 1,200 people and saw 240 hostages seized.

The two warring sides engaged in a truce to facilitate the deployment of international aid in Gaza last week, as well as to oversee the release of Hamas-held hostages in exchange for prisoners held in Israeli jails.

But with the brief accord having ended on Friday as Israel amped up its military action once again, Erdogan said in a speech to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Monday that he expected Netanyahu to one day face a war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Comment: Israel and the US are not members of the ICC, thus power to hold them to account from this vehicle is virtually non-existent. Israel has been a prime topic for decades. The Hague is a different story.


'Russia will not lose': Orban outlines the future of Europe

© Ludovic Marin/AFP
Viktor Orban • October 6, 2023
In the heart of Zurich, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivered a speech that resonated not only through the grand halls but across the European political landscape.

Orban's address at the jubilee event of the Swiss Magazine Die Weltwoche at the end of November was a profound exploration of geopolitics, an ode to Hungary's economic resilience, and a pragmatic take on global alliances, particularly with Russia. This narrative, often overshadowed by mainstream discourse, deserves meticulous dissection for its potential to reshape the contours of European politics.

Orban's assertion that Europe has relinquished its self-determination struck a resonant chord in the corridors, where the future of the European Union is being debated. His critique of the European Commission's evolution into a political body lacking the necessary governance acumen echoes the sentiments of those yearning for decisive leadership.

The prime minister's call for the return of robust, capable politicians harkens back to an era when leaders like Helmut Kohl and Jacques Chirac commanded European politics. Their absence, as Orban rightly notes, has left a void in leadership and decision-making that bureaucrats cannot fill.


Border surveillance footage from 7 October 'disappears': Israeli officers

Army vehicle patrols border with Gaza Strip near Nahal Oz
Israeli reserve officers say surveillance video and audio recordings from the Gaza border during the Hamas attack have been deleted, potentially to prevent an investigation into what happened that day...

Israeli military surveillance video from the Gaza border from 7 October, the day of Hamas' surprise attack, has disappeared, Israeli news site Walla reported on 3 December.

During a visit by a senior female officer from the Israeli army general staff to the various division headquarters, senior officers in the reserves commented that "an invisible hand" had deleted videos from the various military surveillance cameras showing the events of that day, the Hebrew language outlet stated.


Moscow still ready for talks with Kiev - Kremlin

© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
Moscow is ready to resolve the ongoing conflict with Kiev through diplomatic means at any moment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the news media outlet RTVI on Tuesday. Russia has never rejected such an option, and it was Kiev that withdrew from the talks in spring 2022, he noted.

Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 to protect the Russian-speaking population of the two Donbass republics. The former Ukrainian territories declared independence from Kiev in the wake of the 2014 Maidan coup, leading to years of conflict.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is ready to talk with Kiev as long as the situation on the ground is considered. In autumn 2022, the two republics, alongside two other Ukrainian territories, officially joined Russia following a series of referendums.


WaPo complains Ukraine ignored US 'counter-offensive' strategy

destroyed bradley and leopard tanks ukraine
© Russian Defence Ministry/TASS
Tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles destroyed in Ukraine, the first week of June, 2023
Washington reportedly wanted a single focused advance sooner, but Kiev disagreed

US and British officers helped plan the Ukrainian spring-summer campaign and provided all the asked-for vehicles, but Kiev decided to divide its forces in three directions, according to a Washington Post feature published on Monday.

Over a dozen Post employees interviewed "more than 30 senior officials" from Ukraine, the US and the EU, only a handful identified by name. The outlet's conclusion was that "a counteroffensive born in optimism has failed to deliver its expected punch, generating friction and second-guessing between Washington and Kiev."

A series of eight tabletop wargames at the US base in Wiesbaden, Germany reportedly developed a "viable, detailed campaign plan" for the attack. The Pentagon wanted the offensive to start mid-April and focus on cutting the "land bridge" to Crimea by driving to Melitopol.

Comment: The whole debacle comes down to the West not listening to what Russia clearly stated as its goals: demilitarization of Ukraine, de-nazification of its government, security agreements it can live with, and defending the Russian people it considers to be under its protection. That may mean reincorporation of Russian-majority territories with the population's consent. Other than that, Russia has never expressed territorial ambitions.

This is not a land grab. This is a war of attrition meant to defang the NATO proxy on Russia's western doorstep. Does anyone serious think they would want Bandarite-infested Galicia?


Palestinian-American student shot in Vermont is paralysed

palestinian shot vermont paralyzed
© Reuters
(From left) Hisham Awartani was walking with his friends Kinnan Abdel Hamid and Tahseen Ahmed when they were shot.
One of the three college students of Palestinian descent who were shot in Vermont in November is paralysed from the chest down after a bullet lodged in his spine, the student's family said.

Hisham Awartani, a 20-year-old student at Brown University who grew up in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was walking with two friends near the University of Vermont campus in Burlington on Nov 25, when the police say 48-year-old Jason Eaton shot them with a handgun in a suspected hate crime. Eaton has pleaded not guilty.

Tahseen Aliahmad, who attends Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and Kinnan Abdalhamid, who attends Trinity College in Connecticut, were expected to make a full recovery. But Awartani - whose grandmother the three 20-year-olds had been visiting over Thanksgiving break from school - received a much graver prognosis, according to a statement his family wrote for a fundraiser to offset his medical expenses.

Comment: 3 Palestinian students shot on university campus in Vermont, US

Star of David

Hasbara lies: Israeli maps and AI targeting do not save Palestinian lives

Avichay Adraee

IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee
Israel's narrative of 'evacuation warnings' and 'precision strikes' serves as a cover for its AI-assisted genocide in Gaza.

On December 2, the Israeli army's Arabic-language spokesperson Avichay Adraee posted a map of Gaza, broken up into a grid of numbered blocks with instructions that Palestinians living in certain areas evacuate to Rafah. Leaflets containing a QR code linking to the map on the Israeli army's website were also dropped over Gaza.

This move came as Israeli fighter jets bombarded the south of the Strip - previously designated as a "safe zone" - killing hundreds of Palestinians in 24 hours. The Israeli army proudly announced that it had hit "400 targets".

Meanwhile, media reports revealed that the Israeli army's ability to intensify what it calls "precision" air strikes has been boosted by an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that generates "targets".


'The Gospel': how Israel uses AI to select bombing targets in Gaza