Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Nearly 8m Displaced by Sudan War, UN Says


A general view of the Ourang refugee camp in Adre, Ethiopia where refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan live on December 7, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


The number of people uprooted by the war between rival generals in Sudan is almost eight million, the United Nations said Wednesday.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who is on a visit to Ethiopia, called for "urgent and additional support to meet their needs", his agency said in a statement disclosing the numbers.

The conflict between Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), erupted in mid-April last year.

Diplomatic efforts to end the violence continue but have failed to bear fruit, and numerous ceasefires have been broken.

Nearly eight million people have been displaced internally or fled to other countries by the "brutal conflict", the UN said.

"I heard stories of heartbreaking loss of family, friends, homes and livelihoods," Grandi said in the statement.

Over 100,000 people have fled into Ethiopia, one of the six neighbouring countries sheltering the refugees, according to UN estimates. 

The number of people who have gone to Chad since the war began crossed 500,000 last week, and an average of 1,500 flee into South Sudan each day, the UN statement said.

"Without further donor support, it will be extremely difficult to deliver much-needed help to those who need it most," Grandi said.

The Sudan war has killed at least 13,000 people, according to a conservative estimate by the Conflict Location and Event Data project.

Both sides have been accused of war crimes, including the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, torture and arbitrary detention of civilians.

Senegal Readies for February Presidential Polls


People wait to cast their ballot at a polling station in Thies, Senegal on February 24, 2019. PHOTO | AFP


Since 2021, Senegal has witnessed often deadly unrest caused by the bitter stand-off between the state and opposition firebrand Ousmane Sonko.

Sonko's Pan-Africanist rhetoric and tough stance on former colonial power France has also struck a chord with the nation's disaffected youth.

The massive infrastructure projects undertaken by Sall's government have not benefitted everyone in society.


Under the watchful eye of the international community, Senegal — often held up as a bastion of stability in coup-hit West Africa — is preparing for a potentially fraught presidential election.

No clear frontrunner has yet emerged in the February 25 vote, with an unprecedented 20 candidates in the running including an imprisoned anti-establishment contender.

Fears of pre-election violence have not materialised, despite a turbulent candidate validation process and the elimination from the race of prominent opposition figures Ousmane Sonko and Karim Wade.

But tensions persist just days before campaigning officially begins on February 4.

"I think I'll be elected in the first round on February 25," Prime Minister Amadou Ba told French news networks France 24 and RFI.

Ba was chosen by President Macky Sall as his successor.

In July 2023, Sall said he would not seek a third term — making this the first Senegalese election without an incumbent standing.

Analysts agree that neither Ba, a continuity candidate, nor any other of the hopefuls are guaranteed a place in the second round.

"This is the most open election" of the 12 presidential votes held under universal suffrage since Senegal gained independence from France in 1960, said Sidy Diop, deputy editor of Le Soleil daily.

The eventual outcome is just one of the unknowns in a keenly watched election at home and abroad.

Senegal — home to approximately 18 million people — is among the bottom 30 countries in the world on the UN Human Development Index but is due to start producing hydrocarbons this year.

Despite a growing trend in the surrounding region, the nation has never experienced a military coup, leading Western powers to praise its stability, democracy and history of peaceful power transfers.

But since 2021, the nation has witnessed often deadly unrest caused by the bitter stand-off between the state and opposition firebrand Ousmane Sonko.

The violent episodes have led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests.

Human Rights Watch and others have denounced Senegal's repression of opposition leaders, media and civil society — to which the government has responded that "all freedoms are exercised without hindrance".

Sall has maintained strong ties with the West at a time when Russia's influence is growing in the Sahel and nearby countries are battling militia insurgencies.

But he has called for a diversification of partnerships and proclaimed that Africa's place as Europe's "private turf" is over.

Sonko's Pan-Africanist rhetoric and tough stance on former colonial power France has also struck a chord with the nation's disaffected youth.

The 49-year-old, who came third in the 2019 presidential election, has been jailed since the end of July on a string of charges.

The Constitutional Council rejected his bid to run in February's election but along with his dissolved party, Pastef, he has put forward a substitute candidate — Bassirou Diomaye Faye.

Faye is also detained but his candidacy was approved by authorities, making him the first imprisoned hopeful to run in a Senegalese election.

Analyst Sidy Diop listed Faye as among the favorites to win, along with Amadou Ba, Khalifa Sall and others.

But he said that the turbulence brought about by the pro-Sonko camp might put voters off.

"One of the problems with Pastef is that it is frightening" voters, Diop said, adding that "elections are won by the working classes" whose days are focused on finding work and income.

"These classes need stability," he said.

Amadou Ba has lauded incumbent Sall's achievements in office but said he needs to "do even better and even faster".

The massive infrastructure projects undertaken by Sall's government have not benefitted everyone in society.

His successor would inherit the legacy of the last few difficult years of Sall's presidency, marked by Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, and the departure of tens of thousands of Senegalese to Europe.

Ba also faces significant challenges and rivals from within his own camp.

Doubts about his ability to win have even prompted speculation that those in power may wish to postpone the election.

It comes as Karim Wade, who was excluded from the presidential race, has called for an inquiry into the workings of Senegal's Constitutional Council — the body which announces the winner.

Against all odds, MPs from the president's party supported the move.

Working-class Senegalese voters told AFP anonymously that they would not accept a postponement.

Gilles Yabi, executive director of the Wathi think tank, instead anticipates possible "points of tension" when the results are announced.

Kenya Outlaws Church Linked to Shakahola Massacre


Pastor Paul Mackenzie holds his heal during a court session at Mombasa Law Courts in Mombasa County, Kenya on January 23, 2024. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG


Kenya has outlawed the church linked to the Shakahola cult massacre that claimed more than 430 lives.

In a gazette notice issued on Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs and National Administration Kithure Kindiki designated the Kilifi-based Good News International Ministries as an organised criminal group, a fortnight after its leader, controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie with others were charged with engaging in organised criminal activity, radicalisation, murder and terrorism, among other offences.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 22(1) of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration declares Good News International Ministries to be an organised criminal group for the purposes of the Act,” reads the notice.

Organised crime is a category of transnational, national or local groupings of centralised enterprises engaging in illegal activities, usually for profit.

Good News International Ministries joins 28 other listed gangs in the country, including Al Shabaab, Mungiki, Sokoni Youth, Shymbo 12, criminal groups of boda boda transporters, Chinkororo, Gaza, Young Turks, Wakali Kwanza, Wakali Wao, Wakali Kabisa, Sungusungu and others.

Mackenzie has been charged in the Malindi, Shanzu, Mombasa and Tononoka courts with more than 400 different offences, including murder, terrorism and child neglect.

The suspected cult leader was arrested in April 2023 following the discovery of bodies in mass graves in Shakahola, some of which were said to have starved to death, but he denied the claims.

By the time he was charged on January 16, the bodies of 429 people, including children, had been exhumed in the forest in Malindi, Kilifi County.

Signs of starvation

The bodies showed signs of starvation. However, the court was informed that the children may have been strangled.

The Director of Public Prosecutions told the court that Mackenzie allegedly encouraged his congregants to move to the forest and prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ.

On January 25, Mackenzie and 38 other defendants denied charges of child cruelty and child rights violations in the Tononoka courts.

Mackenzie and his co-accused, appearing before Principal Magistrate Nelly Chepchirchir, denied 16 counts, including child torture, allegedly committed on various dates between 2020 and 2023 in the Shakahola forest.

The State also accused Mackenzie and the co-accused of beating children as young as 8 and 14 years old with sticks on their legs, causing them bodily harm.

Bail application

“This is subjecting children to torture, and it is contrary to the law under the Children Act,” read the magistrate.

They were also charged with violating the children's right to education contrary to Section 30 (1) (2) read with Section 30 (3) of the Basic Education Act 2013.

The case will come up for mention on February 15 when their bail application will be heard.

Kenya to Buy Back Eurobond in February or March


Kenya's President William Ruto. PHOTO | PCS

Kenya is looking to buy back in February or March at least some of its $2 billion Eurobond, President William Ruto told Reuters on Tuesday, dismissing any risk the country would default.

Falling hard currency reserves, a steep weakening of the local currency and revenue challenges have raised questions about Kenya's ability to pay off the bond, which matures in June.

President Ruto had told Parliament in November that Kenya would buy back $300 million of the Eurobond before the end of 2023, but he said the government's transaction advisers ultimately recommended against doing so.

"What they have recommended is we do a buyback in February, March, and then we go to the market," he said in an interview in Rome, on the sidelines of the Italy-Africa summit.

"Thank God they were right. In fact, the markets have opened for Kenya, as it has for most other countries," Dr Ruto said.

After surging over the past two years due to concerns about heavy indebtedness and high interest rates in advanced economies, yields on dollar bonds issued by frontier economies have started to come off in recent months.

Cote d'Ivoire successfully raised $2.6 billion this month through two bonds that were both oversubscribed.

Dr Ruto also said the government was no longer counting on the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), an African development finance institution, to organise a $1 billion syndicated loan for Kenya, as initially planned.

Treasury said earlier this month that TDB had lent Kenya $210 million of that total, but that the remaining funds had not been delivered.

"Because of the situation that we now see in the market, we believe that it would be a lot easier even for us to raise that money in the market, rather than through syndication," President Ruto said.

Ruto Backs Summit Trips He Faulted for ‘Summoning African Leaders’


President William Ruto gestures while giving a speech at state house in Nairobi, Kenya on October 21, 2023. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG



Kenya's President William Ruto has defended his attendance at this week's Italy-Africa summit, months after he heavily criticised the habit of summoning African leaders to foreign capitals.

In a statement issued after the meeting in Rome, the Kenyan leader walked back some of the criticism, saying instead he supported the pragmatic arrangement of selecting a group of leaders to represent the continent.

“I have previously noted that an invitation extended by one country to all 54 African nations did not necessarily serve Africa’s best interests,” he said in a statement after the meeting in the Madama Palace in Rome.

“But those of us present at this conference, representing our colleagues, find it different and inspiring due to the pragmatic approach you have taken, Madam Prime Minister.”

Ruto joined several other African leaders gathered for Italy's Africa Summit. But Rome is only the latest capital to host such summits after Beijing, London, Moscow, Brussels, New Delhi, Riyadh and Washington. 

As far back as April last year, Ruto said he hated being herded into halls or buses like schoolchildren.

He said he supported the idea of being represented by the African Union. It is the same reason he gave when he skipped the Russia-Africa Summit in July last year.

“It is not intelligent for 54 African Presidents to go and sit before one president from another country for a summit. Sometimes, we are mistreated. We are loaded onto buses like school kids. It is not right,” he argued at the Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend in Nairobi in April 2023.

“The decision we have made as AU is that going forward, if there is going to be a discussion between Africa and any other country, we would send the chair and the bureau. That is the position I am taking as the president of Kenya.”

In Rome, however, the Nation understands that Ruto travelled as chairman of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

His statement defended Africa's right to extract fossil fuels, although he argued that local economies shouldn't be dependent on them.

“I firmly believe that no African country can be asked to halt the exploration of its natural resources, including fossil fuels," Ruto said.

“But that does not mean that it makes economic sense to build a dependency on fossil fuels in our economies…true non-predatory cooperation should ensure that African countries are not left with a stranded asset.”

Other leaders attending the Italy-Africa Summit include Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Comoros leader and African Union Chairperson Azali Assoumani, Tunisia’s Kais Saied, Senegal's Macky Sall and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Congo-Brazzaville.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, keen to reduce the burden of illegal immigrants from Africa, had rallied the continent's leaders with an offer, pledging an initial €5.5 billion (Ksh965 billion) and calling it cooperation among equals.

But Italy is also the biggest carrier of migrants from Africa, taking in some 157,000 last year, according to the European Commission. They arrived on risky boats off the coast of North Africa.

2 Perish in Separatist Raid in Cameroon

By Xinhua 

February 1, 2024

At least two civilians have been killed after separatist fighters raided Cameroon’s war-torn English-speaking region of Southwest, a local security source has said.

In the attack Monday night in Buea, the capital of the region, separatist fighters attacked three neighborhoods, shooting indiscriminately at vehicles and people, a local security official said late Tuesday.

“The separatist terrorists burned several cars, removed passengers from the vehicles, and shot at close range. The casualties could be more than two. We have initiated an operation to hunt them down,” the official, who asked not to be named, told Xinhua.

Since 2016, separatists in the country’s Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest have imposed a so-called “ghost town” policy every Monday, during which no activities are operational in the regions.

A video clip of the attack was posted on social media early Tuesday by separatist leaders, who claimed that the attack was a response to “stubborn” locals that continue to disobey “ghost town.”

Separatists have been clashing with government forces in the two regions since 2017.

Cameroonian President, Chadian Delegation Discuss Cooperation

By Xinhua 

February 1, 2024

Cameroonian President Paul Biya on Tuesday met with a Chadian delegation made up of three ministers. The two sides discussed ways to enhance their historical, friendly relations.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, the Cameroonian Presidency said that Cameroon is a strategic trade partner to Chad, and that the establishment of a safe corridor for the transportation of goods via the Cameroonian seaports of Douala and Kribi and the Chad-Cameroon pipeline has significantly boosted bilateral ties.

The Chadian delegation was headed by Minister of State Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo.

Alhabo told reporters after the meeting in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde that they were mandated by Chadian leader Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno “to come and meet his elder (Biya), to explain to him the good relations of friendship and cooperation between our countries, and in return to receive his wise advice so that relations between the two countries are even better.”

BRICS Won’t be Needing Global Dictatorship Mechanism

By Xinhua 

February 1, 2024

The expansion of BRICS does not aim at establishing a “global dictatorship” mechanism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday during his speech at the first BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas meeting.

“Let me emphasize once again that (the expansion of BRICS) was not intended to create a new dictatorship mechanism of the global majority,” the foreign ministry cited Lavrov as saying in a statement.

Lavrov stressed that within all its statements and declarations, as well as in practice, the BRICS countries have always expressed that they welcome open and honest dialogues and will never attempt to impose anything on anyone.

Lavrov said the accession of new BRICS members will also strengthen the strategic partnership within the organization and the international position of the bloc as a whole.

“We view BRICS as a stronghold, a prototype of the multipolar world,” Lavrov said.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

US Threats Via Omani Backchannels Will Not Deter Yemen: al-Houthi

By Al Mayadeen English

30 Jan 2024 23:28

In a post on X, the Ansar Allah official reiterated the Yemeni people's steadfast position in support of the Palestinian people.

Member of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, said that the United States had threatened to mobilize "fronts" against Yemen via Omani backchannels.

In a post on X, Al-Houthi said that expanding the scope of engagement in the region is one among many other threats made by the US against the Yemeni people via Omani officials.

The official said that any American "endeavors or folly" will end in failure, adding that the Yemeni people who took the morally and ideologically-driven decision of supporting the Palestinian people, "will not be deterred" from "their mission [of supporting] Gaza."

In this context, the Minister of Defense in the Sanaa government, Major General Mohammed Nasser al-Atifi, warned the United States and Britain on Tuesday against attempting to militarize the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Aden.

He reiterated that navigation in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea is "secured and stable" for all destinations around the world, except for those ships heading to Israeli-occupied ports in Palestine and Israeli-owned, US-owned, and UK-owned ships.

He confirmed that the Yemeni people "will not be intimidated by internationally prohibited American missiles and bombs," and fleets, aircraft carriers, and destroyers will not deter them from fulfilling their duties towards Palestine, especially in the face of the ongoing aggression.

Earlier, the Commander of the US Fifth Fleet, Charles Bradford Cooper, highlighted, on Monday, that once Ansar Allah's missiles and drones are launched, they could reach their target in the Red Sea within 75 seconds. In response, US forces have only a brief window of 9 to 15 seconds to decide and take action to intercept and shoot down a missile or drone launched by Ansar Allah, as per Cooper.

Cooper affirmed, during an interview for the US CBS, that there has never been an instance of targeting commercial ships or US Navy vessels with ballistic missiles before, in reference to one of the operations by the Yemeni Armed Forces whereby they targeted a US warship with a number of ballistic missiles.

It is worth noting that the US Fifth Fleet, is part of the US Navy fleets stationed in the waters surrounding Bahrain. 

This comes shortly after the spokesperson of the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree announced that Yemen targeted US Navy warship Lewis B Puller sailing through the Gulf of Aden.

Saree specified that the warship was involved in providing logistical support for the US forces waging aggression against Yemen, among other missions. 

"The operation is part of the military measures taken by the Yemeni Armed Forces in defense of the Yemeni people and as part of the commitment to support the oppressed Palestinian people," Saree added.

Concluding his statement, Saree reaffirmed the YAF's commitment to enforce a blockade on Israeli navigation in the Red Sea until a ceasefire is achieved in Gaza and the siege enforced on the people of Gaza is lifted. 

Iraqi Hezbollah's Suspension of Operations Followed Talks with PM

By Al Mayadeen English

The Iraqi PM's Advisor for Foreign Affairs says the Iraqi Hezbollah brigades announced suspending their operations due to extensive talks with the Iraqi government.

The Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah's decision to suspend the operations against the US occupation forces in the region came in the wake of days of extensive talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani regarding the issue, the premier's Advisor for Foreign Affairs, Farhad Alaadin, said on Tuesday.

"All sides need to support the efforts of Iraq's Prime Minister to prevent any possible escalation," Alaadin added.

Commenting on the Iraqi Hezbollah's decision to suspend its operations, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder said "actions speak louder than words."

"When I say 'actions speak louder than words,' you know, there have been three attacks to my knowledge since the 28th of January, and I'll just leave it there," he added.

Iraqi Hezbollah Secretary-General Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi announced earlier in the day that the Islamic Resistance "has taken the decision to support the people of Gaza without any intervention from foreign parties."

He added that the Iraqi Resistance faction would continue defending Gaza through means other than armed struggle.

"Our brothers in the Axis [of Resistance], especially in Iran, do not know the specifics of our jihadist work, and they have repeatedly declared opposition to our escalation against the US forces in Iraq and Syria," he added.

The Secretary-General also commanded the fighters of Kataib Hezbollah to "adopt passive defense (temporarily) if any hostile US action occurs against them."

Just one week ago, the Iraqi Resistance announced that it had transited to the second phase of its operations in which it will work on enforcing blockading Mediterranean maritime routes to the Israeli-occupied ports in occupied Palestine, the Secretary General of the Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Abu Alaa al-Walai, said in a post on X.

The announcement came after US President Joe Biden revealed that he had reached a decision on how to respond to the recent drone strike that killed three American troops in Jordan as part of the ongoing operations against US the US occupation forces in the region for its complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

Despite pledging a response against what was claimed by his administration to be the Iraqi Resistance faction, Kataib Hezbollah, he emphasized his reluctance to escalate the situation into a broader conflict in the region.

Addressing reporters at the White House, President Biden placed blame on Iran for supplying the weapons used in the first fatal attack on a US military base since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza on October 7.

The White House issued a warning, stating that "multiple actions" were likely but offered no further information on the nature of the response.

While on the campaign trail in Florida, the 81-year-old president reiterated his commitment to avoiding a wider war in the region despite attacking Yemen, Syria, and Iraq within the span of a few days. When asked about the fear of exacerbating tensions with Iran, Biden affirmed that he was not seeking an escalation and emphasized his preference for a more measured approach.

"Yes," Biden responded when questioned about his decision on the response, but he chose not to disclose the specifics. "I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for," he added.

Especially in Khan Yunis – Resistance Roundup – Day 116

January 30, 2024

Abu Hamza, the spokesperson for Al-Quds Brigades. (Photo: Video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

As ceasefire negotiations continue, Palestinian Resistance groups have intensified their attacks against advancing Israeli troops in several areas, including northern Gaza. 

The fighting on the southern front, however, remains to be the most intense, with all major Palestinian Resistance groups reporting many operations targeting Israeli tanks, military bulldozers and gatherings of soldiers. 

Below are the latest statements by the two main Resistance forces in Gaza, and the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah.

The statements below were communicated via their Telegram channels and are published here in their original form.

Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas)

“Al-Qassam Brigades target a Zionist Merkava tank with a tandem shell in the Al-Amal neighborhood, west of the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

“Al-Qassam Brigades destroy a Zionist Merkava tank and a D9 military bulldozer near the industrial intersection in central Gaza City.

“Al-Qassam mujahideen target a Zionist tank with an Al-Yassin 105 shell, clash with the soldiers surrounding it, and leave them dead and wounded on the axis west of Gaza City.

“Al-Qassam Brigades target a Zionist tank with an Al-Yassin 105 shell on the axis northwest of Gaza City”.

Al-Quds Brigades (Palestinian Islamic Jihad)

“We targeted two Zionist Merkava tanks and a D9 military bulldozer with RPG shells in the axis of advancement, southwest of the city of Khan Yunis.

“We are engaged in fierce clashes with soldiers and vehicles of the Zionist enemy in the axes of advancement west and south of Gaza City.

“We bombed a gathering of enemy soldiers and vehicles east of Al-Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip with mortar shells.

“Our fighters successfully sniped a Zionist soldier aboard his tank that was infiltrating in the vicinity of the Austrian neighborhood southwest of Khan Yunis. 

“We targeted 4 Zionist tanks with RPG shells in the Al-Arayshiyah and Jourat Al-Aqqada areas, west of the city of Khan Yunis.

“We engaged in fierce clashes with Zionist enemy soldiers using machine guns and heavy weapons in the New Abasan area, east of Khan Yunis.

“We bombed with 60-caliber mortar shells a gathering of Zionist enemy vehicles and soldiers in the vicinity of the Al-Qal’a Towers and the Khaled bin Al-Walid Mosque, west of Khan Yunis.”


“In support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their brave and honorable resistance, the fighters of the Islamic Resistance, at 11:35 AM on Tuesday, 30-01-2024, targeted a gathering of Israeli enemy soldiers in the vicinity of the Hadab Yarin site with rocket weapons, and achieved direct hits.

“A sniper unit of the Islamic Resistance  targeted espionage equipment across the village of Al-Wazani, achieving direct hits.

“The fighters of the Islamic Resistance, at 6:03 PM on Tuesday, 30-01-2024, targeted a gathering of Israeli enemy soldiers in Hadab Aita with rocket weapons, and achieved a direct hit.

“The fighters of the Islamic Resistance, at 08:10 pm on Tuesday 30-01-2024, targeted a building in which Israeli enemy soldiers were positioned in the Metulla settlement, hitting it directly.

“The fighters of the Islamic Resistance, at 08:50 PM on Tuesday 30-01-2024, targeted Al-Dhuhaira site with Burkan missiles, hitting it directly.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Dying of Thirst

Khuloud Rabah Sulaiman and Salma Yaseen 

The Electronic Intifada 

29 January 2024

Palestinians fill their jerry cans with water from a public water collection point in October. (Naaman Omar / APA Images) 

Finding clean and safe drinking water in Gaza has become nearly impossible.

Aref Abed, 60, lives in Gaza City’s al-Yarmouk neighborhood. Typically, Abed would fill his 1,500-liter barrel with desalinated water from a desalination truck.

Yet this is no longer an option.

The desalination plants are closed entirely or operating at extremely limited capacity due to a lack of electricity and fuel. Israel has also destroyed much of Gaza’s sanitation and water infrastructure or deliberately cut off the piping in of water.

Abed’s options for safe drinking water were nonexistent, so he went to a nearby well. Abed knew that such wells do not provide safe drinking water and instead are used for irrigation or other water needs, but he was desperate.

When he arrived at the well, he was so thirsty that he drank without thinking.

He knew the water was dirty by its taste. Then, when he washed his hands, he saw they were covered in sediment.

“I saw the water was not pure and had some dirt,” he said. “I think it is untreated from sewage and unsuitable for using to wash, to clean or even to bathe.”

He vomited from the water. Still, he forced himself to continue drinking.

Then, in mid-January, Abed went to the hospital because he had a high fever and constant diarrhea. He was severely dehydrated.

Doctors diagnosed him with typhoid, a life-threatening bacterial infection. If left untreated, he could experience kidney failure.

Clean water is expensive

The vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza do not have adequate access to clean water.

Abed was given antibiotics to treat his typhoid, but since he was continuously drinking contaminated water, his condition was not improving.

“My brother always buys bottled water for me, just so I can be healed and for him to avoid the illness,” he said.

Yet this is an option that the brothers can barely afford. The cost of a small bottle of water, about 500 milliliters worth, now costs nearly $3, which is 10 times its cost before October.

“Bottled water is not always available in the city, and if it exists, is it sufficient? How will I save my life when there is no clean water in the city?”

How can I provide water when even UNRWA can’t?

Most of the nearly 2 million people who have been displaced in Gaza are now in the south. The lack of clean drinking water is especially acute there.

Kanz Sulaiman, 7, is sheltering in an UNRWA school in the southern city of Khan Younis. Her family was displaced two months ago from Gaza City.

Kanz received bottled water from her parents to drink, but when that was not available, she would drink from the tap at the UNRWA school.

“I was thirsty to death,” she said. “Everytime I didn’t find [water] in our gallons, I drank from [the tap].”

Earlier this month, Kanz came down with a fever and was vomiting and having severe diarrhea for several days. At the school’s health center, she was diagnosed with intestinal catarrh.

The doctor advised her father to try and provide clean drinking water, since the school’s tap is polluted. The doctor said that ingesting the water could lead to something more serious, like cholera or typhoid.

Hamza Sulaiman, Kanz’s father, said that he asked the doctor, “How can I provide clean water for her if [UNRWA] is unable to provide it for us in the school?”

The doctor had no response. He instructed Hamza to head to the main UNRWA clinic in Khan Younis for medications since the school had run out. Unfortunately, the main clinic – as well as seven pharmacies Hamza visited – had also run out of medications.

Within the week, the entire family, including Hamza’s 11-year-old son Yazan, was sick.

Fortunately, a relative had the necessary medication, and Kanz improved after a week of illness.

“I was grateful for my relative who saved my daughter’s life when he gave us the medication,” Hamza said. “I feared losing her as I couldn’t do anything for her.”

Still, accessing clean water is a daily struggle. Hamza fills up their water containers at UNRWA, when water is available, but it is often not.

“The desalinated water is not 100 percent clean like before the war,” he said. “There is some saltiness to its taste. I think it is half desalinated because of the lack of fuel.”

Turning to seawater

Fadia Waleed and her five children have turned to the sea for water, even though they know it is polluted with sewage.

She washes their dishes and cleans their clothes with seawater, and her children bathe in the ocean. They have no other alternative, as the UNRWA school where they are sheltering is no longer providing water from the taps.

Yet this month, Fadia’s son Yaseen got sick with a fever and abdominal pain. They went to the hospital and he was diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

He took medications for two weeks, and his condition gradually improved.

“During those 14 days, I was scared to lose him,” Fadia said. “I stayed all night awake over him to watch his health.”

“I borrowed some bottled water from my neighbors in the school,” she said. This clean water helped save his life.

The family has stopped using seawater for daily chores after Yaseen’s illness, but they still don’t have regular access to water.

“If they drink from the sea, they will die, and if they keep thirsty without clean water, they will die as well. So what’s the solution?”

Khuloud Rabah Sulaiman is a journalist living in Gaza.

Salma Yaseen is a student of English literature at the Islamic University of Gaza.

SACP Statement on the Genocide Case Against the Apartheid Israeli Settler State

Friday, 26 January 2024: The South African Communist Party commends the South African government for referring Israel to the International Court of Justice to stop the genocide on the Palestinian people. On Friday, 26 January 2024, the court in The Hague, Netherlands, handed down an interim order, intervening within the framework of the United Nations genocide convention.    

We reiterate our strong condemnation of the apartheid Israeli settler state genocide on the Palestinian people. Since 7 October last year, the Israeli apartheid state has killed over 26,000 Palestinians, including whole families, through indiscriminate bombardment. 75 per cent of the causalities are children, women and elderly people. In terms of headcount, the casualties include over 11,000 children, 7,500 women and 1,049 elderly people.

The SACP further reiterates its call for an immediate ceasefire and its unwavering support for the Palestinian people’s just struggle for freedom and the return of their entire occupied land.

Issued by the South African Communist Party,

Founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa.

Media & Communication Work Department: MCW Department

Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Central Committee Member

National Spokesperson & Political Bureau Secretary for Policy and Research


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Media Liaison Officer & Digital Platforms Manager

Mobile: +27 66 473 4819


Office: +2711 339 3621/2


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

Twitter: SACP1921

SACP Mourns the Passing of Cde Ownita Simpson Passing: ANC PEC and PWC Member

25 January 2024

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Western Cape is saddened by the devastating news of the untimely passing on of the African National Congress Provincial Executive Committee and Provincial Working Committee member, comrade Ownita Simpson. We convey our heartfelt condolences to her family, relatives, friends and comrades with the ANC headed revolutionary alliance in the Western Cape.

Comrade Simpson espoused distinct qualities of a disciplined and committed revolutionary whose selfless contribution leaves an indelible mark in the archives of the history of the liberation movement. She served the movement with dedication and highest commitment as a Provincial Working Committee and Provincial Executive Committee member, respectively.

Her passing is a great loss to the province and in particular the community of Robertson where her contribution to social transformation leaves a remarkable mark and rich history.

In her memory, the SACP in the province calls on the workers and the poor across the province to register on the 3-4 February 2024 to vote ANC at the upcoming general elections. The people of the Western Cape deserve better and a better government capable of prioritising the interests of the majority people, the working-class. This will be the best form to preserve the legacy and inspiration of Comrade Simpson.




Lizwi Gegula

Media Liaison 

Mobile: 078 827 2274


Issued by the South African Communist Party,

Founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa.

Media & Communication Work Department: MCW Department

Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Central Committee Member

National Spokesperson & Political Bureau Secretary for Policy and Research


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Media Liaison Officer & Digital Platforms Manager

Mobile: +27 66 473 4819


Office: +2711 339 3621/2


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

Twitter: SACP1921

SACP Western Cape Response on the Provincial Powers Bill - History Repeats Itself, First as a Tragedy Then as a Farce

24 January 2024

The colonial apartheid imagination is ever present in the political DNA of the DA. After 14 years of electoral dominance and armed with an annual fiscal budget of R303,36 billion, managed respectively by Legislature and City of Cape Town, there comes a claim that National Government is unwilling to provide services to the people of the Western Cape. With almost 14 years of uninterrupted governance in Western Cape and an average of R2,5 trillion to work with over said period, yet the Gini coefficient in Western Cape remains at 0.62. The Western Cape is characterised by asset and income inequality and spatial segregation that perpetuates the tale of two cities. The 16 per cent White demographic enjoys the lion’s share of the Western Cape’s R654 billion Gross Domestic Product.

Compared with the annual budget of the National Government of Namibia which stands at R83,754 billion, the DA, Cape Independence Party, the Capexit alliance dream of creating an independent state by introducing their Western Cape Powers Bill. And why not? With a Western Cape GDP of that magnitude you can imagine creating two Namibia(s) on the Southern tip of Africa.

The farce that this is about service delivery fools no one. This ruse is about capturing the GDP after they already control the Western Cape fiscal.

When history repeats itself first as a tragedy then as a farce, is what the intent of this Provincial Powers Bill is. That is, to divide the populations nationally and create enclaves of privilege and misery for the people in the Western Cape. If the sprawling squatter camps and homelessness in the Cape flats is not evidence of the deteriorated material conditions of the poor and working-class, then the farce concocted by the DA Capexit alliance is the perilous future.

The colonial apartheid mind-set is evident in the Provincial Powers Bill. After 30 years of democratic breakthrough, the vestiges of apartheid privilege are as real today as they were then. The inequality and the indignity of poverty is deepening and widening. If the DA’s 14 years of uninterrupted governance cannot address this intergenerational material condition of the Western Cape populace, what would make us believe they can eradicate the crisis of social reproduction, conditions of colonial and apartheid vestiges in the future? It did not take the white dominated DA’s anti-majoritarian (only when it favours them) protagonist long enough to show their true colours.

As is the case of genocide perpetrated on the Palestinians supported by the DA, we wonder what an apartheid Zionist Western Cape future would look like in their imagination. The DA-Capexit Alliance is once again on the wrong side of history.  Their politics has no place in a unitary democratic national building project.

Today we remember the historical words of the founding president of our nation, President Nelson Mandela, when he said, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination”, and we should add fight against racist secession.

It is against this background that the SACP in the Western Cape condemns the Provincial Powers Bill and calls on the Western Cape populace to reject this Bill. We, further, call upon the National Government to use all its powers to oppose the separatists occupying the corridors of power in the Western Cape Province.

Therefore, the task of the SACP, if this Bill is not legally stopped, will once again be called upon to render the DA Capexit nexus in Western Cape ungovernable to prevent reincarnation of the modern day apartheid system.


Benson Ngqentsu

SACP Provincial Secretary


Issued by the South African Communist Party,

Founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa.

Media & Communication Work Department: MCW Department

Dr Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, Central Committee Member

National Spokesperson & Political Bureau Secretary for Policy and Research


Hlengiwe Nkonyane

Media Liaison Officer & Digital Platforms Manager

Mobile: +27 66 473 4819


Office: +2711 339 3621/2


Facebook Page: South African Communist Party

Twitter: SACP1921

COSATU Welcomes ANC Decision to Suspend Zuma Saying It Should Have Been Settled Sooner

On Monday, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) resolved to suspend Zuma’s membership of the party, making him the party’s first former president to suffer such a fate

JOHANNESBURG - COSATU has welcomed the decision by the African National Congress (ANC) to suspend Jacob Zuma, however, it said the matter should have been settled sooner. 

On 16 December last year, Zuma announced at a media briefing that he would be supporting the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party. 

This was in open violation of the ANC’s constitution, which prohibits any of its members from campaigning for any other party outside of the alliance.

 On Monday, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) resolved to suspend Zuma’s membership of the party, making him the party’s first former president to suffer such a fate. 

COSATU deputy president, Michael Shingane, said there was a lot of uncertainty in the period between Zuma's announcement and his suspension. 

"Well, we think it was about time the ANC NEC guides all of us on how to conduct ourselves or to handle this matter. Obviously, it’s been a difficult matter, it’s not been an easy situation, many people, including ourselves, would have thought the ANC spoke quite earlier about what to do with the situation. However, we think the time they took to think through and thoroughly discuss and take a decision they have taken, which still presents an opportunity for the former president Zuma to appear before the ANC’s DC. We think it’s the best and we will leave it at that."

Fikile Mbalula, ANC Secretary General said Jacob Zuma has been “summarily and temporarily” suspended by the party.

He said there’s no truth to media reports that Zuma has 48-hours to respond.

Mbalula said there’s no need to elicit a response from Zuma. TCG

— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) January 29, 2024

SA's Score Slides Down on International Corruption Index

Moreover, African countries continue to be the poorest performers on the index, with 90% of countries in sub-Saharan Africa scoring under 50

Image: ©stockphotorbl/

CAPE TOWN - Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) continues to paint a grim picture of graft in Africa. 

South Africa ranks 83 out of 180 countries - with a corruption score of 41 - sliding two points lower than in 2022. 

African countries continue to be the poorest performers on the index - with 90% of countries in sub-Saharan Africa scoring under 50. 

In addition, most of these African countries are experiencing stagnation in dealing with corruption. 

It’s been a mixed review for the CPI in Africa.

While there have been some significant improvements in some countries - South Africa is not among them - despite scoring above the 33-point average for the region. 

The top scorers in the region are Seychelles with a score of 71 and Cabo Verde with 64.

With scores below 20 - Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (11) scored the lowest. 

Corruption Watch’s Melusi Ncala said instead of South Africa having fallen into a new minimum along with Gabon and Liberia - it should be the gold standard for the region. 

“There’s no way that 30 years later in this new democracy we are dealing with crooked politicians who are always looking to steal, and they are stealing from the most vulnerable.” 

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, the region’s persistent corruption challenges stem from decades of severe underfunding in public sectors - exacerbated by stealing money intended for the provision of basic services.

Ramaphosa Throws Weight Behind Bafana Bafana as They Take on Morocco

A giant killing cannot be ruled out for Bafana as the likes of Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal and Egypt have exited the tournament earlier than expected.

Bafana Bafana players pose for a picture before the start of a friendly against Lesotho on 10 January 2024. Picture: @BafanaBafana/X

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has backed Bafana Bafana to cause an upset at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and beat Morocco.

South Africa faces the FIFA World Cup semi-finalists in the round of 16 at 10pm on Monday night, after reaching the knockout rounds despite winning just one of their three group games in Ivory Coast.

A giant killing cannot be ruled out for Bafana as the likes of Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal and Egypt have exited the tournament earlier than expected.

Speaking on the sidelines of the African National Congress lekgotla in Boksburg, Ramaphosa sent this good luck message.

"I expect them to win, the whole nation is behind them we want them to play their hearts out and make sure that they win today. And once they win tonight, it basically means that they will be able to bring the cup home so good luck to the boys."

A Howard University Professor’s Strategies for Researching Black History

by Kelly R. Taylor

Jan 30, 2024

While writing books focused on 19th-century African American subjects, historian Nikki M. Taylor says, “The main challenge I encounter is the scarcity of historical resources about my subjects.”

The Howard University professor, whose research focuses on enslaved women’s resistance, draws motivation from the observation that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” a quote from the late astronomer Carl Sagan.

Taylor’s research challenges are often shared by children’s book creators focusing on aspects of Black history.

To help tell accurate stories, authors often turn to scholarly journals, along with books, digital archives, films, documentaries, and university collections. Much can be found in the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Educational institutions like Howard, Fisk, Emory, and Pittsburgh Universities, among others, have archives on African American history. Additionally, slave narratives written in the early to mid-1800s can shed light on African American historical experiences.

Taylor says that she “never gives up on the quest to find sources.” While writing books including Driven Toward Madness: The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner, Taylor explains that not giving up “means sometimes looking in some unsavory historical sources for glimpses of these women.”

Such sources might include enslaver journals, which might contain deeply racist writings. Other documents like wills and property or other plantation records may contain errors and intentionally false information about African Americans’ ages, education, life events, and more. Still, some documentation, such as teacher reports, applications for land, labor contracts, and marriage records, for example, might be found in Freedman Bureau records or those from the American Colonization Society.

During slavery, enslavers did not keep proper records of enslaved people whom they treated as property rather than human beings. Throughout history, continued systemic marginalization meant the lives and experiences of African Americans have been left out of official documentation related to everything from education and property ownership to marriage and other legal rights. Additionally, many records about African American communities were either lost or intentionally destroyed, resulting in a scarcity of written historical documentation on their lives and experiences.

For those writing American historical fiction or nonfiction, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture offers useful research suggestions on its website.

Meanwhile, people often tell Taylor that African American history, particularly the history of slavery, is depressing due to the magnitude of oppression across many centuries. However, Taylor believes writers should not be afraid to tell difficult stories. “We must have the courage to face the hardest part of our history and to tell it in ways that affirm our humanity,” she says, adding, “If told that way, the history is more empowering and powerful.”

Monday, January 29, 2024

UNRWA Funding Suspension Shows Donor Nations Complicit in War: Hamdan

By Al Mayadeen English

29 Jan 2024 23:46

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan says the international community is obliged to compel the Israeli occupation to implement the decisions of the ICJ.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan pointed to several massacres carried out by the Israeli occupation in Gaza, 48 hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered "Israel" to halt genocidal acts.

This, Hamdan said, "confirms the enemy's determination to continue its crime."

During a press conference on Monday evening, Hamdan emphasized that Israeli massacres will remain "a stain of shame" on the supporters of this entity and those who fail to stop it.

He indicated that the continued escalation of the Israeli occupation's aggression, the prevention of the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the repeated shelling of UNRWA centers protected under international law "raise big question marks" on the duty of the international community.

Regarding the recent UNRWA crisis, the Hamas official condemned the decision taken by the agency to dismiss employees and considered that it distorts the agency's aim.

A couple of days ago, several donor countries suspended funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees after the Israeli occupation claimed that some UNRWA staff took part in the Palestinian Resistance's Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. The agency has fired several staff following the Israeli accusations and promised a thorough investigation into these claims.

Hamdan recalled that the UNRWA director did not condemn the Israeli shelling that directly targeted the agency's warehouses, pointing out that the suspension of funding by the United States and eight other countries "confirms the complicity of these countries in the genocide war" and called on UNRWA to reverse its decision.

He stressed that the international community is obliged to compel the Zionist enemy to implement the decisions of the ICJ, adding that by continuing to provide an entity accused of genocide with military and political support, the Biden administration is challenging the court.

In addition, the Palestinian official emphasized the need to unequivocally condemn the occupation and its backers and bring "its fascist leaders to trial."

In a related context, Hamdan praised the efforts of the Yemeni Armed Forces and the resistance in Lebanon and Iraq, in support of Gaza, by targeting Zionist and American interests, holding the US administration responsible for the escalation in the region.

Elsewhere, he concluded by affirming that the key to calm in the region is to end the Israeli aggression and the occupation of land and holy sites.

Drone Attack on Tower 22 Escaped Detection by Trailing Behind US Drone

By Al Mayadeen English

An informed source briefed by Politico said that the resistance in Iraq saw an "opportunity" and "exploited" it.

A report by Politico on Monday detailed how the drone that killed three US soldiers on Sunday managed to evade detection by trailing behind a US drone that was returning to the base in Jordan at the same time. 

The attack which occurred at the Tower 22 occupation base, located on the border between Syria and Jordan, resulted in the death of three US military personnel and left numerous others, at least 34, injured.

The Washington Post reported that the drone struck the living quarters at the base, causing injuries ranging from cuts, bruises, and brain injuries, some of which required medical evacuation.

CNN described the operation as "a major escalation," noting that it is not clear why the air defenses had failed to intercept the drone.

Jordan, a staunch US ally, condemned what it referred to as a "terrorist attack" and expressed its commitment to working closely with Washington to enhance security along its frontier.

An informed source briefed by Politico said that the resistance in Iraq saw an "opportunity" and "exploited" it.

Shortly after the operation on Tower 22 had taken place, a Pentagon official and a second US official informed Politico that the resistance launched another drone at Al-Tanf US occupation base.

US troops managed to shoot it down using an RTX Coyote uncrewed aerial system. 

As of Friday, there had been more than 158 attacks on US and US-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.

But this particular operation sparked a wave of outrage in the US, with some high-ranking officials calling on US President Joe Biden to nuke Iran. 

Biden has blamed "radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq," referring to the Resistance in Iraq which announced earlier this month that they would escalate their attacks after the US conducted several raids in Iraq and assassinated a military official in central Baghdad.

The US President also reaffirmed that the US forces are now "still gathering the facts of this attack," stressing "We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt -- we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing."

Hezbollah Launches 13 Attacks, Shuts Down Israeli Claims

By Al Mayadeen English

29 Jan 2024 23:42

Hezbollah continues to pound Israeli sites with recently deployed weapons, confirming multiple direct hits on Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah's operations against Israeli occupation forces and military sites carried on through Monday night, using a wide array of weapons, including anti-tank guided missiles, Burkan heavy rockets, and Falaq-1 rockets.

In following six operations that were launched between Monday midnight and morning, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon launched a series of attacks on various targets near the entirety of the Lebanese-Palestinian border.

To kick off their operations on Monday afternoon, Hezbollah fighters launched an attack, at 1:30 pm, on a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers positioned in the Honin Castle, which has been repurposed by the Israeli occupation for military use. The site is located in the occupied Lebanese town of Honin, on the western side of the occupied al-Jalil Panhandle.

Forty minutes later Resistance fighters attacked the "Zar'it" Barracks located in the western district of operations, to the southwest of the aforementioned site. The site is built on the usurped Lebanese town of Tarabikha.

At 3:55 pm the Resistance targeted a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers positioned in al-Sumaqa military site in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms and Kfar Chouba hilltops.

After an hour of calm from South Lebanon, Hezbollah fighters launched two Falaq-1 rockets at the "Biranit" Barracks, opposite the Lebanese town of Rmeish, confirming direct hits on the intended target.

At 6:00 pm the group battered Talat al-Taihat, located to the south of the Honin Castle, in al-Jalil Panhandle, with a number of ATGMs. The target was a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers who were directly hit by Hezbollah's missiles.

Half an hour later, Hezbollah fighters launched several large caliber Burkan rockets, which carry at least 300 kg of explosives, toward al-Jurdah military site. The site is located in the western district of operations, opposite the town of al-Dhayrah.

Later at 8:20 pm, Islamic Resistance fighters launched several Falaq-1 rockets toward the vicity of the "Ramim" Barracks which is also located in the occupied Lebanese town of Honin. The Resistance confirmed direct hits to several groupings of Israeli soldiers positioned in the vicinity of the site.

Up until 11:00 pm on Monday, Hezbollah announced a total of 13 operations, targeting a flurry of targets, including Israeli troops all over the Lebanese-Palestinian border.

Earlier operations

Here is a list of operations launched by the group prior to the aforementioned operations on Monday:

At 12:20 am, the Resistance fighters targeted the Birket Risha military site using Burkan rockets resulting in a direct hit.

Concurrently, at 12:20 am, the Resistance targeted the Hadab al-Bustan military site using Burkan rockets resulting in a direct hit.

At 8:00 am, the Resistance targeted the "Biranit" Barracks also using Burkan rockets and resulting in a direct hit.

At 10:00 am, the Resistance fighters targeted a gathering of Israeli soldiers stationed behind the Jal al-Allam site with a Falaq missile, achieving a direct hit.

Later at 11:15 am, the group launched an attack on a grouping of Israeli occupation soldiers in the "Mitat" Barracks.

Just half an hour later, Hezbollah fighters attacked the "Metula" military site with the appropriate weapons, confirming direct hits to the intended targets.

The Islamic Resistance also published a video debunking Israeli media claims, that its newly deployed ATGM had not targeted the Israeli Naval site in Ras al-Naqqoura.

Israeli mouthpieces said that they did not spot a large tower, used to deploy spyware and other equipment, in the original video, claiming that the video of the attack published by Hezbollah is fake.

On Monday, Hezbollah's military media released footage from a wider angle captured by another camera, in which the tower was clearly seen, providing indisputable evidence of the attack's success. 

The attack was carried out by a recently revealed ATGM system, whose full specifications and name are still unknown. In short, the new system is capable of direct and top attacks, it relays real-time footage of its flight to its operator via Television camera and could be redirected to lock on to targets mid-flight. The system itself is similar to the Iranian Almas ATGM, although no official confirmation has been made of this claim.

Hezbollah's Falaq-1 rockets have also reverberated across Israeli media talking points, as the unguided short-range rockets have been more readily deployed in the Resistance's operations in recent weeks. In some cases, the Resistance launched 10 of these rockets at once when targeting Israeli sites. Each 240 mm Falaq-1 munition carries 50 kg of explosives, meaning that a full barrage would deliver a payload of 500 kg spread throughout a targeted site.

Al-Qassam Rockets Put off Sirens in 'Tel Aviv', Amid Ground Operations

By Al Mayadeen English

29 Jan 2024 21:50

Multiple Resistance factions announced successful operations targeting stationed and invading forces all over the Gaza Strip on the 115th day.

Hamas' military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, fired a barrage of rockets toward "Tel Aviv" and surrounding areas on Monday afternoon.

Al-Qassam's military media made the announcement, saying that the operation came in response to the Israeli occupation crimes against Palestinians.

Israeli media outlets reported on the rocket attack, emphasizing the recurrence of such operations, despite the continued Israeli ground invasion. The last rocket attack on "Tel Aviv" was launched on January 8 this year, following another that took place at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Al-Qassam Brigades released footage detailing their newly developed M-90 rockets, which have allowed the Resistance to launch long-range attacks on "Tel Aviv" from southern territories.

After the months-long invasion of the Gaza Strip, which initially focused on the northern areas of the Gaza Strip, the Resistance launched a barrage from Khan Younis toward "Tel Aviv", showcasing the versatility of their arsenal.

Monday's attack reportedly consisted of 10 rockets launched toward the central occupation city. Sirens went off in the vicinity of Ben-Guiron Airport, "Rishon LeTsiyon", "Holon", "Bat Yam", and "Tel Aviv".

Explosions were also heard in the aforementioned areas, while two large shrapnels impacted the occupation's city.

January 29 operations

The Palestinian Resistance conducted multiple other operations in the Gaza Strip, according to statements released by multiple factions.

Al-Qassam Brigades targeted an Israeli armored D9 bulldozer in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, marking the group's only announcement of ground operations on Monday. In the northern Gaza Strip, al-Mujahideen Brigades fighters launched a barrage of rockets toward Israeli military positions in the northwest of Gaza City. 

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) al-Quds Brigades launched multiple ground operations on Monday, including a large-scale dual rocket and mortar attack on Israeli occupation positions.

Al-Brigades fighters launched large caliber mortar rounds and Badr 1 rocket artillery shells on the main logistical support camp set up by Israeli occupation soldiers in the northwest of Gaza City. The site has been used by Israeli forces to maintain and repair armored vehicles and military vehicles, as well as a storage point for basic necessities, including fuel.

The group also announced that their fighters engaged Israeli occupation forces in Khan Younis. They also launched an anti-tank guided missile at an Israeli sniper team positioned in a residential building to the west of Khan Younis.

In the same area, al-Quds Brigades fighters set up an Explosively Formed Penetrator, the "Thaqeb barrel bomb," targeting an Israeli tank that was completely destroyed as a result of the attack.

The Palestinian Resistance continues to launch attacks on Israeli positions all over the Gaza Strip, while engaging invading troops on multiple axes, showcasing their continued ability to command and control operations all over the besieged territory.

Israeli Violence Spreads to All of West Bank – Five More Palestinians Killed

January 29, 2024

Israeli occupation forces stormed several Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Five Palestinians, including a child, were killed by Israeli forces during their military raids across several areas of the occupied West Bank.


A young Palestinian man was killed on Monday by Israeli occupation forces during confrontations that broke out in the town of Silwad, east of Ramallah.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Obaida Hassan Abdel Rahman Hamed, 18, was killed after being shot in the chest with live bullets.

The slain Palestinian’s body was transferred to the Ramallah Medical Complex.


Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian child in the town of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem, on Monday morning. 

WAFA reported that Rani Yasser Khalaf al-Shaer, 16, was killed by live bullets following confrontations that broke out in the Khirbet Al-Deir area during an Israeli military raid. 

According to the director of the municipality of Tuqu’, Tayseer Abu Mufarreh, Israeli occupation forces did not allow ambulance crews to reach al-Shaer’s body.


A Palestinian young man was killed on Monday by Israeli occupation forces in the town of Al-Yamoun, west of Jenin.

WAFA correspondent said that Thaer Naeem Hamo, 21, died after being shot in the abdomen with live bullets.

Moreover, Israeli occupation forces raided several homes, searched them, and assaulted their residents, amid violent confrontations with Palestinian Resistance groups.

Two Killed in Dura

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on Monday that a Palestinian youth has succumbed to the wounds he sustained from Israeli gunfire in the town of Dura, south of Hebron (Al-Khalil).

The ministry said in a statement that Muhannad Ismail Al-Fasfous, 18, died as a result of critical wounds he sustained after Israeli occupation forces shot him in the chest.

Earlier on Monday, Moataz Mahmoud Atbeish, 30, was killed as a result of serious head injuries. 

According to WAFA, Israeli forces had stormed the town with military reinforcements, sparking confrontations.

The Israeli military reportedly fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, stun grenades, and gas towards the citizens.


New Deal in the Making? – What’s the Latest on the Gaza Ceasefire Talk

January 29, 2024 

CIA Director William J. Burns (R) Mossad chief David Barnea (L), and Qatari PM Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hamas said that the release of detainees is linked to the end of the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the withdrawal of all occupation forces from the Strip.

The Israeli government is expected to meet on Monday to discuss proposals for a prisoner exchange deal, while the Palestinian movement Hamas has stressed that the release of any detainees must take place within a larger plan to end the Israeli genocide and war in Gaza.

The meeting of the Israeli cabinet comes a day after a quadripartite meeting was held in Paris to discuss a new exchange deal.

The Israel Broadcasting Corporation KAN said earlier that the Paris talks, held with the participation of Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar, ended with progress in the talks on the prisoner exchange. It cited an Israeli political source as saying that the conference dealt with the plan to release Israeli prisoners in stages.

New Deal? 

The Israeli source said that the parties discussed a two-month ceasefire which could lead to the release of 100 Israeli prisoners, with priority given to children (if any), women, and the sick. 

In exchange, Israel would release a large number of Palestinian prisoners. An exact number, however, was not specified. 

For its part, the Resistance Movement, Hamas, said that the release of detainees is linked to the end of the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the withdrawal of all occupation forces from the Strip.

The latest of such statements was made by Sami Abu Zuhri, who serves the role of Hamas’ political bureau abroad. He told Reuters that the “success of the Paris meeting depends on the extent of the occupation’s response to (our demand to) stop the .. aggression on Gaza.”

Israel estimates there are about 136 prisoners in Gaza. They are mostly military men detained by Hamas forces on October 7. 

On the other hand, Israel holds nearly 9,000 Palestinian captives, nearly half of whom were detained since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza.

Four-Month Ceasefire

Citing Egyptian officials, the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that a new offer to Hamas from countries playing the mediating role offers a four-month ceasefire in exchange for the release of all Israeli prisoners.

The newspaper added that the new offer includes a halt to Israeli attacks for 6 weeks as a first stage in order to release Israeli prisoners of children, women, and the elderly who need urgent medical care. In exchange, Israel would release a large number of Palestinian prisoners and increase the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

In its second phase of the deal, Hamas would release captured Israeli soldiers and would also hand over the bodies of Israelis killed in Gaza to Tel Aviv. It is believed that dozens of Israeli soldiers were killed in Israeli bombing of Gaza, or in multiple failed attempts at freeing them by force. 


According to the Wall Street Journal, the new offer also includes Hamas obtaining international guarantees, including from the United States, that a comprehensive agreement can be reached that would stop attacks on Gaza once and for all.

The New York Times quoted US officials as saying that the prisoner exchange agreement could be concluded within the next two weeks.

Following Qatari and Egyptian mediation, Hamas and Israel reached a week-long temporary humanitarian truce until the first of December, during which prisoners were exchanged and limited humanitarian aid was brought into Gaza.


Juba Refutes Claims of Fuel Delivery to Sudan Warring RSF


Members of Sudan's Rapid Support Forces on April 23, 2023 ride in the back of a technical vehicle in Khartoum. PHOTO | AFP


South Sudan has refuted claims it is ferrying fuel to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), one of the two warring parties in Sudan.

According to a leaked United Nations Panel of Experts report released on Friday, fuel trucks are moving from the capital Juba to Wau, the northwestern city and capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal State. From Wau, the oil is transported to RSF-controlled areas in South Darfur State through Raja and Kafia-Kingi.

But Foreign Affairs minister James Morgan said on Monday that the allegations are unfounded.

“It is important to note that since the eruption of conflict in the sisterly Republic of Sudan on April 15, 2023, the government of the Republic of South Sudan has maintained a position of neutrality and has kept its borders open. Our commitment to peace and stability in the region remains unwavering,” he said in a statement.

The UN report claimed that the trucks travel to Wau every week. “From Wau, fuel was transported in civilian cars such as Land Cruisers to Raja, then to RSF-controlled areas in South Darfur, through Kafia-Kingi,” the report stated.

However, the UN panel absolved the South Sudanese government, saying it played no role in the fuel transportation, attributing it rather to local South Sudanese army officers within Wau.

The Foreign ministry said the allegations do not contribute to solving the conflict in Sudan, but rather jeopardise peace efforts.

“President Salva Kiir Mayardit has consistently called upon the Sudanese parties to observe a ceasefire and create a conducive atmosphere for the cessation of hostilities,” Mr Morgan said.

RSF and the Sudan army have been fighting a vicious war since April that has left at least 13,000 people dead and displacd more than seven million, according to the UN estimates.

Kenya Oil Facilities Face Huge Losses as Uganda Shifts to Dar Port


Common user manifold pipes at Kipevu station in Mombasa County, Kenya on October 13,2023. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG


Kenya has lost $200 million worth of exports to Uganda, its largest regional market, since October 2023, new data shows.

And experts warn that it will lose more going forward, as the fight over petroleum products imports escalates, with major oil infrastructure at the risk of underuse.

Last week, Uganda announced that it was moving to Tanzania for oil imports after reaching a dead end in the quest to have its national oil marketer, Uganda National Oil company (Unoc), registered in Kenya to facilitate imports via the Mombasa port.

Ugandan Energy Minister of Energy Ruth Nankabirwa told reporters in Kampala on Tuesday that Kenya’s continuous frustration of the Unoc deal is threatening Uganda’s fuel supply stability.

“You can’t sit there and be at the mercy of one person. So far, I have met the President of Tanzania. My president sent me as an envoy and we are in discussions,” she said.

“So, we know that the alternative route could be expensive because of the logistics that are involved but we also know that there is a possibility of a negotiation with the government of Tanzania, to waive some taxes so that their sister country can be able to do business.”

According to the Daily Monitor, Ms Nankabirwa said Kenya’s President William Ruto had on several occasions shown positivity towards Uganda’s move, “but I don’t know where all this frustration is coming from”.

“The president sent me to meet President Ruto four times and he was so supportive on all the times then he sent me, my brother Chirchir [Davis], the Minister of Energy and some [Kenyan] people jumped in court, what do you do if you are sued? You wait for the ruling. So we have been talking and we are continuing to talk but now, we have a time frame because we feel the pump price in Uganda should be lower,” she said.

This decision, if it stands, threatens Kenya’s investment of $385 million Kipevu Oil Terminal 2 (KOT2) in Mombasa, which was opened last year, and $170 million fuel jetty in Kisumu.

The Kenya government put up the infrastructure, targeting to double the capacity of handling transit petroleum products from the current 35,000 tonnes to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The KOT2 can handle up to four vessels at a time, compared with the old terminal, which can handle only one.

The new terminal was developed to improve handling of petroleum products to attract more business from other regional countries to compete with Dar es Salaam.

The terminal is expected to cut the cost of petroleum products by reducing the cost of demurrage or the extra time taken to load and unload cargo, a big factor to the high cost of oil in the region.

In Kisumu, the 95-metre oil-loading jetty owned by the Kenya Pipeline Company, whose construction was completed in February 2018, was only put into use in January 2023, due to a delay to complete the construction of a corresponding facility in Uganda.

It was not until January 3, 2023 when the first consignment of petroleum products arrived at the Mahathi jetty via the MV Kabaka Mutebi II, bringing to an end the five-year wait.

Mahathi Infra (Uganda) Ltd had struck a deal with TotalEnergies and 19 other oil-marketing companies for the use of the Kisumu facility and its facility in Uganda in the project that was partly funded by Equity Bank.

But Kampala suspended its contract with Kenya, saying since the introduction of government-to-government (G2G) importation of fuel deal with the Gulf states, it has got a raw deal.

Uganda is Kenya’s top export market for imported oil products (super petrol, diesel, kerosene and Jet A 1-aviation fuel). It imports about 900 million litres of petroleum products per month through Kenya.

Now, it is counting on the 60,000 barrel-per-day refinery to process some of its crude domestically to boost employment and benefit from technology transfer and Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa says they have picked Dubai firm Alpha MBM Investments Llc to build the $4 billion facility.

Uganda has also issued a licence to China National Offshore Oil Corporation to produce liquefied petroleum gas at a plant to be constructed in the Kingfisher development area that it operates.

Kingfisher is one of Uganda's two commercial oil development fields. The second, Tilenga, is operated by TotalEnergies.