Middle East latest: Six children killed in Israeli airstrike in Rafah, hospital says; Iraq military base explosion was 'attack' (2024)

Key points
  • Airstrike on Iraqi base from 'unknown source'
  • Iraqi security force claims explosion was result of attack
  • Iranian minister compares 'drones' in attack to 'children's toys'
  • Six children among nine killed in Israeli airstrike, hospital says
  • What we know so far about Israel's apparent attack on Iran
  • Iran has 'no plan for immediate retaliation'
  • Analysis: Iran isn't biggest threat to the coalition right now
  • Live reporting by Bhvishya Patel andNarbeh Minassian


Funeral held for 'wonderful' World Central Kitchen aid worker killed in Israeli strike

Mourners in Poland have gathered for the funeral of Damian Sobol, one of the seven aid workers for the World Central Kitchen killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza earlier this month.

Dariusz Dudek, an adviser for Polish President Andrzej Duda, attended to pay his respects for the aid worker described as "pure joy" by the WCK.

"We're saying farewell to a wonderful young man, courageous and generous activist, who followed the idea of solidarity," he said, reading a letter written by the president.

"A man who couldn't ignore the fate of those who suffer, those in need… I'd like to honour the sacrifice he made to help civilians affected by the war in Gaza."

Mr Sobol, 35, had previously worked in Greece following wildfires and in Turkey after the earthquakes there.

On "day one" of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the WCK says he volunteered to help refugees arriving in his native country.


Erdogan meets Hamas chief in Istanbul

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh for talks in Istanbul today.

During the meeting, the pair discussed efforts to reach a ceasefire and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, state broadcaster TRT says.

The meeting took place at the Dolmabahce Palace.


Israeli raid in West Bank kills 10 militants, IDF says

The Palestinian health ministry reported earlier on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank (see post at 12.10pm).

The raid, which began on Friday, took place in the Nur Shams area of Tulkarm

Now, the IDF has said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and the surrounding areas since it began its raid.

In a statement, it said the Israel army and the country's border police arrested eight Palestinian suspects from the area.

Nine of its officers and soldiers have been injured during the ongoing raid, it said.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, only four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in camp since Friday.

The two day raid appears to be one of the largest that has taken place at Tulkarem's refugee camp since the Israel-Hamas war began.


Palestinian president says he will reconsider US relations after Washington's UN veto

The Palestinian Authority will reconsider bilateral relations with the US after Washington vetoed a motion to make Palestine a full UN member, President Mahmoud Abbas has told WAFA news agency.

The move by the US yesterday essentially denied Palestine's recognition as a state in the eyes of the UN.

A spokesman for the US state department had described the motion as "premature".

"Specifically, there are unresolved questions as to whether the applicant can meet criteria to be considered as a state," he added.

Earlier today, China's foreign minister Wang Yi said efforts to admit a Palestinian state into the UN were a move to "rectify a prolonged injustice", according to state media Xinhua.


Backlash after US university cancels Muslim student's ceremony farewell speech

Over in the US, one of California's most prestigious universities has announced it will have no outside speakers after cancelling a traditional student's farewell speech over security concerns.

The University of Southern California is due to hold its annual commencement ceremony - which honours outgoing students - next month.

Controversy has surrounded the event since the university moved to cancel a valedictory speech from a Muslim student, Asna Tabassum, earlier this week.

USC head Andrew Guzman said that decision was made to protect campus security, but Ms Tabassum says the university is "caving to fear and rewarding hatred", which she says is directed by "anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian voices".

The valedictorian - the student chosen to give the speech - is typically the highest-achieving student from those set to graduate from the university.

The Council on American Islamic Relations advocacy group and anti-war group Jewish Voice for Peace supported Ms Tabassum.

On Thursday, about 500 demonstrators marched at the USC campus in her support.

USC's ceremony, scheduled for 10 May, will honour a class of 19,000 graduates and is expected to draw 65,000 people to the downtown Los Angeles campus.

Tensions have risen at universities across the US since the war in Gaza began.

Two days ago, more than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested at Columbia University in New York after its president authorised police to clear an encampment set up by students demonstrating against Israel's actions in Gaza.

Those protests continued for a third successive day yesterday.


In pictures: The Iranian sites believed to be targets of Israeli attack

The attack on Iran was believed to have targeted the area of the city of Isfahan and are thought to have been from Israel.

New satellite images show two potential sites of the attack - Isfahan Airport andShahid Vatanpour army air base.

The images do not appear to show any obvious damage.


Watch: Iran-Israel tensions analysed

The Middle East appears to have stepped back from the brink after fears of escalation between Iran and Israel.

But analysts believe the rules in the region have now changed.

While the two countries have fought each other in the shadows for years, some believe something fundamental has shifted the dynamic.

Sky's international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn reports...


In pictures: Devastation in Rafah after overnight attack

As we reported earlier, an Israeli air strike in the southern Gazan city of Rafah has killed nine people, according to authorities (see our 11.22am post).

Here is a look at the latest images from the city after the attack yesterday.


Show restraint, Egyptian minister tells Iran and Israel

Egypt's foreign minister has urged Iran and Israel to show restraint as tensions rise in the Middle East.

Sameh Shoukry spoke after meeting Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan, who said the pair discussed a "grave situation" in Gaza during in a meeting in Istanbul today.

Mr Fidan said they looked into how to increase humanitarian aid to the besieged territory.

"We have discussed what more we can do to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, and what can be done in the long run for a two-state solution," he said at a joint news conference with Mr Shoukry.


Schoolboy among two dead in ongoing Israeli raid in West Bank

Two people have died during a raid in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israeli forces launched the raid on Friday and say they killed a number of militants and arrested more, with four of its own soldiers wounded.

The raid is in the Nur Shams area, where 1948 war refugees and their descendants are housed near the Palestinian city of Tulkarm.

One of the dead was identified by Palestinian sources as a gunman, while officials say the second was a 16-year-old schoolboy.

Tulkarm Brigades group, which includes militants from numerous Palestinian factions, said its fighters are still exchanging fire with Israeli forces today.

At least three drones were seen hovering above Nur Shams, where Israeli military vehicles were gathered and bursts of gunfire were heard.

There are regular clashes and riots in the West Bank, aggravated by Israeli settlers both threatening and inflicting violence on Palestinians if they do not give up their land - which has been condemned by even the strongest international supporters of Israel, like the US.

Middle East latest: Six children killed in Israeli airstrike in Rafah, hospital says; Iraq military base explosion was 'attack' (2024)


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