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Morning Briefing: April 19, 2024

19.04.2024 08:57

Anadolu's recap of top stories from around the globe.

Here is a rundown of all the news that you need to start your Friday with, including the US urging Israel to take concrete steps to protect the civilians in Gaza amid escalating tensions and saying it will vote "NO" on a UN Security Council resolution granting the observer state of Palestine full membership at the UN, Russia's expression that "every American veto" on Gaza costs thousands of lives and Iran's threats to "reconsider" nuclear doctrine if Israel attacks its nuke sites.


US urges Israel to take concrete steps to protect civilians in Gaza amid escalating tensions

Deputy Permanent Representative of the US to the UN Robert Wood said American policy toward the Gaza Strip would be determined on the assessment of Israel's urgent and continuous steps to reduce civilian casualties.

Emphasizing the need for Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza, Wood said at the UN Security Council session on Palestine that "(US) President Biden has called on Israel to announce and implement a series of specific concrete and measurable steps to protect civilians from harm, address humanitarian suffering and ensure the safety of aid workers. "

Claiming that Hamas and its supporters, particularly Iran, are responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Wood argued that Iran must ensure compliance with Security Council resolutions and international law.

US will vote against Palestinian bid for full UN membership: State Department

The US said it will vote against a UN Security Council resolution granting the observer state of Palestine full membership in the UN.

"It remains the US view that the most expeditious path toward statehood is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with the support of the US and other partners," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

"The United States is voting 'no' on this proposed Security Council resolution," Patel said before a Security Council vote on a draft resolution presented by Algeria.

Russia says 'every American veto' on Gaza costs thousands of lives

Russia said that each US veto on Gaza in the UN Security Council costs thousands of lives in the enclave.

"Every American veto on Gaza is not just a voting statistic in the UN Security Council. We must not forget that it also had a specific terrible price -- the lives of thousands of civilians in Gaza," Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya told a Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Expressing that the current situation in the Middle East is escalating every day and drawing in new countries in the region, Nebenzya said humanitarian resolutions by the UN on Gaza cannot be implemented without a cease-fire.

Iran threatens to 'reconsider' nuclear doctrine if Israel attacks its nuke sites

Iran threatened to "reconsider" its nuclear doctrine if Israel moved to attack any of the Iranian nuclear facilities amid heightened tensions between the two regional foes.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Haqtalab, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in charge of protection of nuclear centers, said Iran will respond if its nuclear facilities are threatened by Israel.

The warning came amid speculations that Tel Aviv is mulling a military response to IRGC's unprecedented direct attack on multiple positions in Israel on Saturday that involved hundreds of missiles and drones.


French President Emmanuel Macron was again accused of breaking royal protocol after touching the arm of Belgian King Philippe during a handshake.

The White House and Israeli representatives discussed the situation in Gaza's city of Rafah, a Pentagon spokesman announced.

Israel launched a wide-scale military operation against the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm in the northern occupied West Bank, amid clashes with Palestinian fighters, witnesses told Anadolu.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for a closer and "future-oriented" cooperation between the European Union and Türkiye.

Kenya's military chief Gen. Francis Ogolla was among 10 people killed as a military helicopter crashed, President William Ruto announced.

Asian nations demanded an immediate halt to the raging violence in Gaza, implementation of the UN Security Council cease-fire resolution, and reiterated their demand for a two-state solution to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

About two in three homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged, a UNICEF spokesperson lamented on Thursday, expressing his frustration over the devastation of families' homes.

Ukraine said comments by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze on the threat of "Ukrainization" against his country, amid consideration of a controversial "foreign agents" bill, are "disturbing."

The US announced new sanctions on 16 individuals and two entities that enable Iran's drone program after Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel last weekend.

Israel's War Cabinet is set to convene to discuss a possible hostage swap deal with Hamas, according to local media.

The UN World Food Program announced that three convoys belonging to the program crossed into northern Gaza via the Erez crossing "for the first time."

China and Indonesia pledged their support for Palestine to become a member of the UN ahead of a UN Security Council vote.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the US of profiting from the war in Ukraine, saying that for this purpose Washington pushes Kyiv to continue fighting despite enduring losses.


100-day countdown to Paris Summer Olympics has begun

There are just 100 days left until the kick-off of the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France's famed City of Light.

The 33rd edition of the Summer Olympics will officially begin on July 26 with an opening ceremony on the River Seine.

The traditional torch lighting ceremony for the 33rd Olympic Games was held in Greece's ancient city of Olympia on Tuesday.


Swiss parliament votes against joining G7 task force probing Russian oligarchs' assets

The lower chamber of Switzerland's parliament voted Wednesday to reject a proposal for the country to join a G7 task force tracking and confiscating the assets of Russian oligarchs.

The Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs task force was established in March 2022 by the EU, the G7 countries, and Australia.

In the session, 101 lawmakers voted against the Green Party's motion, while 80 voted in favor. -

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