SPECIAL BRIEFING DAY 179: Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron: “Hamas should release all hostages now, unconditionally, it is a war crime”

By April 02 2024, 18:33 Latest News No Comments

Note to reader: We wanted to give you a trigger warning on what you may read below. We have chosen, as with every one of these briefings, to not share horrific images, however we want to alert you as sensitively as we can to the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza. 

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron: “Hamas should release all hostages now, unconditionally, it is a war crime”

“Hamas should release all hostages now, unconditionally, it is a war crime. It is against international humanitarian law”, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron shared on X.

“Hostages brutally taken by Hamas on October 7 have been in captivity for over 170 days. We’re talking to our regional partners to keep the pressure on and keep the profile of hostages high. We want to see the safe release of all hostages unconditionally”, Lord Cameron said.

Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman KC MP: “Hamas must be eliminated”

“Hamas must be eliminated. They must be totally degraded. If we don’t destroy these evil forces of terrorism, which are not just here but presenting themselves in many forms around the world, then Western civilisation faces a real threat itself”, former Home Secretary and Attorney General, Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman KC MP has said in an interview with The Telegraph during a visit to Israel.

“I want peace, and any civilian death is a tragedy. But we cannot have any form of ceasefire unless the hostages are released and unless and until Hamas releases itself from controlling Gaza”, Braverman stated.

“Being here meeting survivors, meeting heroes, has been very powerful for me. It has reinforced in my mind that this is not about Arabs versus Jews or Palestinians versus Israelis… This is about right versus wrong. This is about Western civilisation fighting terrorism in the form of Hamas”, Braverman said.

Braverman met with survivors from the Nova Festival and the several Kibbutzim that were attacked by Hamas.

Braverman wrote in the visitors’ book of a bullet-riddled kibbutz house, pledging to “never forget the pain you have endured, and we work to support Israel and the Jewish peoples around the world”, and told Nira Shpak, a 57-year-old grandmother who spent 22 hours in Kfar Aza hiding from Hamas terrorists, that “you have friends, you have allies around the world, and we will not forget you”.

Passport Office has personally apologised to a Jewish family after “Israel” defaced by contractors on baby’s birth certificate

The Director General of the Passport Office, Jo Rowland has personally apologised to a family after the word “Israel” on their baby’s birth certificate was defaced by contractors.

The Immigration Minister, Tom Pursglove, told former Attorney General, Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Ellis KC MP that Rowland “apologised unreservedly [and] directly” to the family and provided them with a replacement certificate.

“I remain firm that the Home Office does not tolerate antisemitism or other types of discrimination”, Pursglove told Sir Michael.

“I continue to take this incident extremely seriously and, while I cannot preempt the outcome of the investigation, my officials are in no doubt of the need to ensure that such an issue must not be repeated in the future. Please be assured that the appropriate action is being taken”, Pursglove continued.

The baby’s father told The Telegraph, “the baby isn’t even six months and is already suffering discrimination… It’s like going back to the Nazi 1930s when Jewish documents had notes on the side. This baby did nothing wrong and was just born to Jewish parents, that’s all”.

Aid to Gaza on 1 April (COGAT on X)

Three British nationals killed in Israel’s “tragic, unintentional” strike

Israel has acknowledged a “tragic, unintentional” incident which killed seven aid workers, including three British nationals on Monday evening.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked and saddened”. Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has spoken to Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz to “urgently” explain the “deeply distressing” strike.

Foreign Minister Andrew Mitchell outlined his meeting with the Israeli Ambassador, where he highlighted the Government’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the strike and the need for “an effective deconfliction mechanism”.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will “do everything” it can to make sure that the “tragic” event is not repeated.

The IDF promised an investigation into the tragedy “at the highest levels” and to “share our findings transparently”.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari had spoken to World Central Kitchen (WCK) founder Chef Jose Anders to express the military’s “deepest condolences”, and “sincere sorrow to our allied nations who have been doing and continue to do so much to assist those in need”.

The convoy of three vehicles was reportedly hit by three missiles in quick succession after communicating their location to the IDF and having dropped off 100 tonnes of humanitarian food brought to Gaza via maritime routes.

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said they “worked closely” with WCK and that their efforts are a “noble mission”. COGAT also emphasised their aim to “ensure the safety of humanitarian workers”… “at the forefront of humanity”, saying that it is an “honour” to work alongside the charity organisation.

According to reports in Israeli media, a Hermes 450 UAV fired three missiles at the convoy after a decision was made by an IDF unit guarding the aid transport route. The unit had reportedly spotted what appeared to be an armed figure riding a truck that entered an aid storage area with three WCK cars. The attack happened moments after the three cars left the storage area.

New Palestinian Authority ministers have made statements supporting terrorism

Two ministers in the new Palestinian Authority, sworn in on Sunday, have made statements in the past that incited to violence against Jews or expressed support for terrorists.

The new Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, Mohammad Mustafa Najem, delivered a sermon in which he demonized Jews as “apes and pigs”, quoting a Quranic verse, at the height of the Second Intifada in 2002.

“O servants of Allah, be the ones through which Allah will afflict the Jews with the worst torments”, Najem said, to further incite violence against Israelis.

The new Minister of Women’s Affairs, Mona al-Khalili, manages the General Union of Palestinian Women which held a vigil on 17 October 2023, 10 days after the Hamas massacre and days before the IDF launched ground operations. On the General Union’s Facebook page, Al-Khalili is photographed holding placards with the faces of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails, among them Ibrahim Hamed, who is considered the most dangerous prisoner currently held by Israel. Hamed was responsible for the death of at least 46 Israeli civilians in various bombings.

Al-Khalili was also holding the picture of Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for planning three terror attacks during the Second Intifada that killed five Israelis and is viewed as a top future candidate to lead the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Media Watch also uncovered a speech made by Al-Khalili in March 2018, on the 40th anniversary of the “martyrdom” of Palestinian terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi, who participated in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in Israel, during which Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 38 Israelis, including 13 children.

IDF ends Shifa Hospital operation as 200 terrorists killed and 500 terror operatives arrested

“Hamas is collapsing from within”, said Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday as the IDF’s two-week operation at Shifa Hospital concluded. 200 terrorists have been killed in firefights during the operation and 500 further terror operatives were arrested. Among those arrested and killed were top commanders in Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“No hospital in the world looks like this. This is what a house of terrorists looks like,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Sunday news conference as the IDF released footage of the cache of weapons seized by the IDF in Shifa Hospital’s maternity ward.

Seized weapons such as explosive devices, sniper rifles, assault rifles, handguns, and other military equipment were found hidden inside patient pillows and beds, and in the drop ceilings and walls of the building, according to the IDF.

Valuable intelligence was also seized in what the IDF described as one of the most successful operations of the nearly six-month war.

Approximately 350 patients and medical staff at Shifa Hospital were evacuated by the IDF to a different part of the complex, where the military provided them with humanitarian aid and supplies. 6,200 civilians sheltering at the medical centre were evacuated from the premises, the IDF said.

Weapons seized in the maternity ward of the Shifa hospital, Gaza (IDF)

Seven IRGC members killed in Damascus strike, including two generals

An airstrike on a building next to Iran’s embassy in Damascus has reportedly killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its senior-most official in Syria, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, and his deputy Mohammad Haj Rahimi.

Israel has not commented on the reports.

“The evil Zionist regime [Israel] will be punished at the hands of our brave men. We will make them regret this crime and the other ones,” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a message published on his official website.

Zahedi was reportedly responsible for the IRGC’s operations in Syria and Lebanon, for Iranian militias there, and for ties with Iran-backed Hezbollah. He was the most senior commander of Iranian forces in the two countries.

His death was the most significant killing of an IRGC leader since the U.S. assassinated Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in January, 2020.

The IRGC also listed officers Hossein Aminullah, Seyyed Mahdi Jalalati, Mohsen Sadaqat, Ali Agha Babaei, and Seyyed Ali Salehi Rouzbahani among the dead.

Iran-backed Islamic Resistance of Iraq hit an IDF naval base in Eilat

The Iran-backed Islamic Resistance of Iraq terrorist group claimed an attack on the IDF naval base in Eilat on Monday morning.

The IDF said it had identified a “suspicious aerial target”, “made in Iran”, that entered Israeli airspace “from the east” and then impacted “in the Eilat Bay area.”

The IDF later confirmed that the impacted building was a hangar. The incident is under investigation.

In a separate incident on Sunday, the IDF said “a suspicious aerial target” was intercepted on its way toward Israel from Syria. The target was not detected as having crossed into Israeli territory. Large blasts were reported over southern Syria’s Daraa amid the incident.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq have also claimed this attack, in an attempt to reach the northern Israeli town of Eilabun.

The Iran-backed militia has claimed to have launched numerous drones at Israel amid the war in the Gaza Strip, most of which have failed to cross Israel’s border or were intercepted by air defences.

Eilat has come under attack by other Iran-backed groups amid the war in the Gaza Strip, including Yemen’s Houthis and a group in Syria linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

In November, a school in Eilat was hit by a drone launched from Syria, and last month a cruise missile fired from Yemen struck an open area north of Eilat.

Palestinian terrorist leaves three seriously wounded in stabbing spree at Gan Yavne mall

Three people were seriously wounded in a terror knifing attack by a Palestinian at a mall in the southern Israeli city of Gan Yavne on Sunday, authorities said.

Following the Gan Yavne attack, Hamas released a statement praising it as a “heroic operation”, and calling on Palestinians to “escalate” attacks on Israelis.

The 19-year-old Palestinian assailant, resident from the town of Dura, outside of Hebron, was killed by security officers.

Southern district police commander Amir Cohen said the suspected attacker had entered Israel from the southern West Bank via a hole in the security barrier.

The three victims were identified by the Magen David Adom ambulance service as two men aged 25 and 20, and a 17-year-old boy. They were all rushed to Assuta Hospital in nearby Ashdod with multiple stab wounds. All victims have undergone surgery.

MDA said the medics had fought to save the 25-year-old man from dying of his wounds on the way to the hospital.

Earlier Sunday, an off-duty IDF officer was stabbed and lightly wounded in a terror attack at Beersheba’s central bus station. The terrorist was then shot by another soldier, and was later pronounced dead, the IDF said.

The stabber was identified as Naji Abu Freh, a 28-year-old resident of the nearby Bedouin city of Rahat.

Separately, a gunman who carried out a terror shooting attack on school buses and cars on the West Bank’s Route 90 on 28 March, wounding three Israelis, turned himself in to the IDF.

The suspect, Abu Rida al-Saadi, 27, and member of the Palestinian Authority security forces, gave himself up to troops who were searching for him in the Jericho area, the IDF said.

Sister of Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, arrested in southern Israel

Sabah Avad al-Salam Haniyeh, an Israeli citizen and sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, has been arrested on suspicion of contact with Hamas operatives and supporting acts of terror, Israel Police said on Monday.

Evidence reportedly shows her support for the 7 October massacre and encouragement for terror operatives in the Gaza Strip to continue their activities. Police also found hundreds of thousands of shekels in cash at the premises.

Israel Police said that during a raid on the suspect’s home in the southern town Tel Sheva they found documents, media, telephones, and other evidence linking her to “serious security offences”.

Southern District commander Superintendent Amir Cohen said in a statement, his forces “will use all the means and tools at its disposal, everywhere, in order to create deterrence at the same time as thwarting terrorist attacks, with the aim of ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of Israel”.

Whilst Haniyeh, the Hamas political leader, lives in exile in Doha, Qatar, his three sisters live in Tel Sheva, Israel and were married to Arab Israelis. Two are now widowed and have gotten into trouble with Israeli authorities in the past by making illegal trips to Gaza in 2013 via Egypt.

All three sisters have Israeli citizenship and according to a 2006 report from the Daily Telegraph, some of their children have served in the IDF.

Family members of Hamas leaders, including that of Haniyeh, have received medical treatments in Israel. Haniyeh’s niece, mother-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter have all been treated in Israeli hospitals.

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