Admin Mugtama

Admin Mugtama

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Palestine

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On the 133rd day of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, significant developments unfolded. Palestinian resistance operations persisted, encompassing rocket launches and ground skirmishes. Abu Ubaida, spokesperson for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, declared that their fighters were successfully engaging the Israeli occupation forces, marking a historic achievement for the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, the Israeli forces continued to threaten a potential incursion into Rafah, as US President Joe Biden called for a temporary ceasefire to release the civilians caught in the crossfire.

The Al-Quds Brigades, affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Movement, retaliated by launching missiles at Ashkelon and other targets in response to the Zionist aggression against Palestinians.

Simultaneously, the Al-Qassam Brigades reported intense clashes with Israeli forces in Khan Yunis, with ongoing attacks using various munitions to target enemy personnel and vehicles. The situation remains volatile as both sides escalate their military actions in the region.

Losses incurred during the occupation

In a tragic turn of events, the Israeli occupation army reported on Friday morning that one of its soldiers had been killed and another seriously injured in battles in the Gaza Strip. This brings the total number of officers and soldiers announced by the occupation forces to 572 since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and the war on Gaza began on October 7th, with 241 casualties since the start of the ground operation on the 27th of the same month.

In a concerning development, Minister in the Israeli Military Council, Benny Gantz, issued a threat on Friday to continue the war on Gaza even during the holy month of Ramadan and to expand it to the city of Rafah, located in the south of the Gaza Strip, if Israeli detainees are not returned from Gaza.

Warnings against storming Rafah

International voices have strongly advised against the Israeli occupation launching a ground attack on Rafah, located in the south of the Gaza Strip. French President Emmanuel Macron cautioned that an Israeli assault on Rafah would result in an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and mark a significant turning point in the conflict. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that any attack on Rafah would have devastating consequences for the 1.5 million Palestinians residing in the city.

Kiryat Malachi Operation

Turning our attention away from Gaza, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation reported that two Israelis were killed and four others were left in moderate to serious condition following a shooting attack at a bus station north of the city of Kiryat Malachi. In response, the Hamas movement stated that the commando operation in Kiryat Malachi was a natural reaction to the genocidal actions of the occupation army against the Palestinian people, as well as the ongoing crimes committed by terrorist settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

On a different note, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir announced on Friday his intention to expand the policy of allowing Israelis to arm themselves.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah issued a stern warning to Israel following the recent attacks on Lebanese civilians in Nabatieh and Al-Sowanah. Nasrallah emphasized that Israel would face consequences for its actions, including the threat of bombing Eilat in retaliation for Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant's aggressive statements towards Beirut.

Nasrallah made it clear that Israel would pay a heavy price for its attacks on civilians, stressing that the targeting of innocent people in southern Lebanon must come to an end. He emphasized that the repercussions would not be limited to military equipment and surveillance devices.

In response to the escalating tensions, Hezbollah carried out strikes on Israeli military sites, including Al-Malikiyah and Ruwaisat Al-Alam in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms. These attacks resulted in direct hits, demonstrating Hezbollah's capability to defend Lebanese territory.

Simultaneously, reports from the Lebanese News Agency indicated that Israeli aircraft had targeted several towns in southern Lebanon, including Aita al-Shaab, Barkat Bint Jbeil, Yater, and Beit Lev. The Israeli army also fired heavy machine-gun shells towards the town of Kafr Kila from the Metulla settlement, near the border with Lebanon.

The situation remains volatile as both sides engage in retaliatory actions, raising concerns about further escalation in the region.

Source: Agencies

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Muslims around the World

  The Economist magazine has identified five reasons why these elections are crucial for the country. Indonesia has the potential to become one of the most influential countries in Asia, but its current president, Joko Widodo, has followed a tradition of non-alignment in foreign policy and closed policies.

The Candidates

The third largest democracy in the world will vote on February 14 to choose a new leader. According to opinion polls, the preferred candidate is former General Prabowo Subianto, who has a troubling record in human rights. The other two candidates, Anis Baswedan and Ganjar Prano, are trailing behind him.

First Reason: Space

Indonesia is a massive country with thousands of islands. If you were to draw a map of the country, it would stretch from Ireland to Turkmenistan! This vast size has encouraged the growth of digital services, and the capital city, Jakarta, has become a hub for new technology companies in Southeast Asia. Almost four-fifths of Indonesians own smartphones, connecting the country like never before.

Second Reason: Infrastructure and Demographics

The current president, Jokowi, has been known for his focus on infrastructure development. He has built airports, ports, dams, and hundreds of kilometers of toll roads. Indonesia's demographics also play a crucial role. With a population of about 276 million people, it is the fourth largest country in the world. A quarter of the population is under the age of 15, making it a huge consumer market.

Third Reason: Strong Economy

Indonesia has been one of the best-performing economies in the world. Although the promised 7% annual economic growth was not achieved, it is still the sixth largest emerging market in terms of GDP. Its GDP per capita is higher than that of India and Vietnam. If Indonesia continues on this path, it could become one of the top 10 largest economies in the world.

Fourth Reason: Green Goods

Indonesia's economy heavily relies on commodities. It is a major producer of nickel, which is used in electric car batteries. In fact, Indonesia's nickel production surpasses that of the rest of the world. The country has the potential to become the fourth largest producer of green goods, such as renewable energy, by 2030. It aims to manufacture electric vehicle batteries with a capacity equivalent to global production in 2020.

Fifth Reason: Great Power Competition

Due to its location, size, and resources, Indonesia is becoming a major arena for great power competitions. Both America and China are investing in the country. However, the next Indonesian president may face challenges if tensions between China and America escalate. Additionally, policies that benefit certain sectors, like the energy industry, may have unintended consequences in other areas.

These elections are crucial for Indonesia's future. The country has the potential to become a major player in Asia and the world. The outcome of the elections will shape its path forward.

Source: Economist

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Israeli Soldiers Killed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad

On the 129th day of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, announced their successful attacks on Israeli soldiers. The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed to have killed 10 Israeli soldiers at close range. Meanwhile, the Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of Islamic Jihad, ambushed an Israeli force, resulting in casualties. Israel also admitted to the killing of one of its battalion commanders.

Concerns for Civilians in Rafah

Amnesty International expressed worry about the situation in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip. They warned of a potential genocide, as civilians have no safe place to escape from Israeli bombings. The International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Karim Khan, also expressed concern about the bombing and the possibility of an Israeli ground incursion into Rafah.

American Position

The White House stated that it does not support a general ceasefire in Gaza at the moment. They believe that the crisis will only end when Hamas releases all Israeli hostages. However, they emphasized the importance of protecting civilians and having a well-planned military operation in Rafah, urging Israel to exercise caution when pursuing Hamas.

Israeli Losses

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades reported that they killed 10 Israeli occupation soldiers in the Abasan al-Kabira area. They also successfully detonated an anti-personnel device, causing casualties among the Israeli forces. The Israeli army confirmed the death of two soldiers and the injury of nine others in battles in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli media sources also confirmed that the Palestinian resistance ambushed the occupation army, resulting in the deaths of more than 11 soldiers.

The Issue of Prisoners

Hamas leader Osama Hamdan denied the Israeli claim of freeing two prisoners from the Shaboura camp in Rafah. He stated that the prisoners were actually in the possession of a civilian family, and the resistance's account of the incident should be awaited. CNN reported that the rescue operation of two hostages in Rafah may have led to the deaths of about 100 Palestinians, which raised concerns in the United States. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades announced the killing of three Israeli prisoners in the Gaza Strip, and they will reveal more details once the fate of the remaining wounded is clear.

Egypt and Israel

Extremist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich criticized Egypt's opposition to Israel's plan for a large-scale ground operation in Rafah. He blamed Egypt for arming Hamas and called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ignore American pressure and not send a delegation to Cairo for talks on a prisoner exchange deal. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry responded by reaffirming Egypt's commitment to the peace agreement and condemning Smotrich's statements.

Qatari Involvement

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, discussed the latest developments in Gaza with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They talked about efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire and end the division among Palestinians. The Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also discussed the situation in Gaza with the Iranian Foreign Minister, emphasizing the need for an immediate ceasefire.

Developments in the West Bank

In the West Bank, a 16-year-old boy named Muhammad Tariq Abu Sneina was martyred inside a prison due to injuries sustained from Israeli bullets in Jerusalem. Israeli forces continue to carry out raids in various cities of the West Bank. The occupation forces arrested the boy on Sunday, accusing him of attempting a stabbing attack. Several Palestinians were injured, and others were arrested during these raids and incursions.

 

The occupation forces stormed multiple areas, including the village of Madama, south of Nablus, resulting in clashes with Palestinian youths. Settlers also attacked the village of Asira al-Qibliya, burning cars and property and injuring two Palestinians with gunfire.

Confrontations in South Lebanon

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah reported the killing of two of its members in clashes with the Israeli occupation army in southern Lebanon. This brings the total number of Hezbollah casualties to 190 since October 8, 2023. Additionally, four people were killed and others injured in Israeli raids on two homes in the towns of Tayr Harfa and Maroun al-Ras, according to the Civil Defense in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah targeted Israeli radar sites, barracks, and a building with guided missiles, achieving direct hits. An Israeli drone also targeted a car near Bint Jbeil Governmental Hospital, injuring a local Hezbollah official.

Israeli Security Breach

An Israeli reserve officer was recently arrested and charged with espionage and impersonation after a major security breach. The officer had unauthorized access to military bases for weeks, gathering highly sensitive information, including troop deployments, which he shared with military and civilian personnel. The chaos in the Southern Command of the Israeli occupation army during the early days of the war on Gaza was revealed.

British Sanctions on Extremist Settlers

The British Foreign Office imposed sanctions on four extremist Israeli settlers for their involvement in violence and human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The ministry cited an increase in violence by extremist settlers in the past year. These sanctions include financial restrictions and a travel ban on the individuals. The United States had previously imposed similar sanctions on four Israelis.

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir criticized Britain's decision, considering it a moral confusion without a legal basis.

Source: Al Jazeera

 

Italian Jews Call for an End to the War on Gaza

A group of 54 Italian Jews have written an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to stop the war on the Gaza Strip. They also want Jews around the world to understand the serious consequences of this tragedy for the future. The letter was published in Italian newspapers, including "Il Fatto Quotidiano," on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Expressing Concern over Netanyahu's Actions

In their letter titled "What is the value of memory if it does not stop in Gaza and the West Bank?", the authors, who describe themselves as secular Jews involved in the Jewish Voices for Peace organization, express their deep concern. They believe that Netanyahu is prolonging the war to maintain his power and accuse him of lacking a political solution. They are disappointed that some Israelis and Jews worldwide fail to recognize the tragedy and its long-term effects.

Discussion on War Crimes and Genocide

The signatories argue that debating whether Israel's actions in Gaza constitute genocide will not alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian victims and their families. They emphasize that International Holocaust Remembrance Day should not be reduced to a mere ritual. Instead, it should serve as an opportunity to reflect on preventing such atrocities from happening again to any people.

Rejecting Victim Rhetoric and Anti-Semitism

The letter criticizes Israel's use of victim rhetoric and the manipulation of anti-Semitism to justify its actions. The signatories firmly believe that the resistance attack cannot be an excuse to ignore the pain of others, dehumanize the weak, or resort to violence against them. They distance themselves from the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, which labels any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, stating that they understand the true meaning of anti-Semitism and will not tolerate its misuse.

Source: Italian press

 

The Boycott's Effect on Company Finances

The boycott against companies supporting Israel in the aftermath of the Gaza Strip war has had significant financial consequences. Many international companies targeted by the boycott are experiencing a decline in their financial conditions.

McDonald's: A Major Victim

One of the companies hit hard by the global boycott is McDonald's, the American fast food giant. Although they saw a nominal increase in revenue of 8 percent to $6.41 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, it fell short of market expectations set at $6.45 billion. McDonald's attributed this setback to a slow 0.7% increase in sales in its International Development Markets division, which mainly covers the Middle East, China, and India. The company aimed for a 5.5% increase in this division between December and January. McDonald's CEO, Chris Kempczinski, acknowledged the decline in sales in Muslim-majority countries, including the Middle East, Malaysia, and Indonesia, but hopes for a recovery after the conflict in Gaza stops. It's worth noting that McDonald's Turkey took a different stance by pledging $1 million in humanitarian aid to support war victims in Gaza, especially women, children, and the elderly.

Starbucks: Feeling the Impact

The famous American coffee chain Starbucks also felt the repercussions of the boycott, particularly in the Middle East. CEO Laxman Narasimhan mentioned weak sales and decreased traffic at their cafes in the United States due to the boycott. Despite an 8 percent increase in revenue to $9.4 billion in the last quarter of 2023, Starbucks did not meet expectations. The market prompted the company to revise its annual sales growth goals downward by about 4-6 percent.

Dominos Pizza: Sales Decline

Dominos Pizza, another American giant, faced the boycott directly, especially in Asia, where store sales fell by 8.9 percent in the second half of last year. The company received major backlash on social media after pictures circulated showing them distributing free meals to Israeli soldiers. Donald Jeffrey Meig, the company's general manager, acknowledged the boycott's impact on sales in Asia.

KFC and Pizza Hut: Feeling the Effects

Yum, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, also experienced lower-than-expected revenues in the fourth quarter of 2023. With total revenues reaching $2.04 billion, an increase of 1 percent year over year, it fell short of market expectations set at $2.1 billion. KFC and Pizza Hut sales in the Middle East witnessed a decline during the last quarter of 2023, with KFC's sales falling by 5 percent and Pizza Hut's by 3 percent. Yum's CEO, David Gibbs, attributed the sales decline to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

The Ongoing Impact

The effects of the boycott are evident across various global companies, and their financial situations continue to unravel. The international community is closely watching these companies as they navigate the complexities of geopolitical tensions amid the ongoing war in the Middle East.

Source: Anadolu Agency

 

A Heroic Act

There is a video circulating on social media that shows a remarkable act of bravery. Dr. Amira Al-Assouli, a Palestinian doctor, risked her life to save an injured young man in Khan Yunis, a city in the Gaza Strip. The video captures the moment when Dr. Al-Assouli, with bullets flying around her, rushed to rescue the wounded man lying on the ground.

Working Against All Odds

Despite being displaced from her own home, which was destroyed by the Israeli army, Dr. Al-Assouli continues her important work at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis. This dedicated doctor did not hesitate to help the injured man, even though the Israeli army has previously targeted paramedics.

International Support Needed

The Nasser Medical Complex and Al-Amal Hospital, both vital healthcare facilities, have been under siege by the Israeli army for 20 days. Gunfire and constant targeting have put the lives of medical personnel and patients at risk. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has called on international organizations to intervene and protect the complex and everyone inside it.

A Devastating Situation

Since January 22, the Israeli army has been conducting intense raids in Khan Yunis, including near hospitals. This has forced thousands of Palestinians to flee the area. The ongoing conflict, which began on October 7, 2023, has resulted in numerous civilian casualties, including many children and women. The destruction of infrastructure has led to a humanitarian crisis, and Israel is facing charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

Source: Anadolu Agency

 

Israeli Soldiers Brave Danger to Retrieve Palestinian Funds

Last week, the Israeli army took control of 200 million shekels (around $54.3 million) from the Bank of Palestine in Gaza City, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv. The soldiers risked their lives to extract the money, which was meant to be sent to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Why Did the Israeli Army Take Such a Risk?

The Israeli army officials questioned why soldiers would put themselves in danger to retrieve money that was destined for the Palestinian Authority. However, an Israeli army spokesperson explained that the operation was carried out to prevent the funds from reaching Hamas, a decision made at the political level.

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

The ongoing Israeli war on Gaza has resulted in devastating consequences. According to Palestinian authorities, the conflict has caused the loss of 28,176 lives and left 67,784 people injured, with a majority being children and women. Additionally, thousands of Palestinians are missing, and the destruction has led to a severe humanitarian crisis. The United Nations reports that food, water, and medicine are scarce, and over two million Palestinians, which is more than 85% of the population, have been displaced.

Source: Anadolu Agency

 

A new poll conducted by Ipsos in cooperation with ABC News reveals that a whopping 86% of Americans believe that Biden, who is 81 years old, is too old to be president again. That's a big number!

Out of this 86%, 59% of Americans think both Biden and former President Donald Trump, who is the most likely Republican candidate, are too old. On the other hand, 27% believe that only Biden is older.

Interestingly, 62% of Americans also think that Trump, who is 77 years old, is too old to serve as president.

Different Views

Now, here's where things get interesting. The poll shows that Democrats and Republicans have different opinions about their candidates' ages.

Among Democrats, a whopping 73% believe that Biden is too old to be president. However, only 35% of Republicans think that Trump is too old to assume the presidency.

Independents, who don't belong to any political party, also have concerns about the candidates' ages. A staggering 91% of independents think Biden is too old, and 71% say the same about Trump.

Increasing Concerns

Since September, worries about the candidates' ages have been growing. In a previous poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, 74% of Americans thought Biden was too old for another term, while 49% felt the same about Trump.

It's worth noting that President Biden is the oldest president the United States has ever had, and he will turn 81 next November. That's quite impressive!

Looking Ahead

As of now, Trump is considered the most likely Republican candidate to face Biden in the upcoming presidential elections. The United States is eagerly waiting for the crucial date in November, but there is also some fear and anticipation surrounding these elections. Many observers believe that this election is different from previous ones and carries various risks.

 

Israel's Aggressions

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) recently reported that Israel has taken control of an aid shipment that could have helped one million people. The shipment, which was supposed to be delivered to the port of Ashdod, was seized by Israeli authorities. This is a big problem because UNRWA relies on these supplies to provide assistance to those in need.

Challenges Faced by UNRWA

UNRWA is facing increasing difficulties in carrying out its work due to administrative obstacles imposed by Israel. The agency operates in a hostile environment where decisions made by Israeli authorities are starting to impact its ability to function effectively.

Contractor's Decision

One of the contractors responsible for providing administrative services at the port of Ashdod informed UNRWA that they could no longer work with the agency. This decision was made under orders from Israeli authorities. As a result, a shipment from Turkey containing essential supplies like flour, chickpeas, sugar, and cooking oil is now stuck at the port. These supplies would have been enough to meet the needs of over a million people for a whole month.

No Comment from Turkish Authorities

So far, there has been no response from the Turkish authorities regarding Israel's detention of the aid shipment they sent. It is unclear how this situation will be resolved and when the supplies will reach those who need them.

Israeli Ministry of Finance's Response

The Israeli Ministry of Finance has not provided any comments on the matter. They have stated that the issue is being handled by the government's legal advisor. It remains to be seen what actions will be taken to address this situation.

Efforts to Stop UNRWA's Work

The Constitution and Judiciary Committee in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, has approved a draft law to halt UNRWA's work in occupied Jerusalem. This decision adds to the challenges faced by the agency and raises concerns about the future of their operations in the region.

 

Accusations and Funding Cuts

UNRWA has also faced accusations from Israel that some of its employees were involved in an attack. As a result, several countries have decided to cut funding for the agency. This is a significant blow to UNRWA's efforts to provide life-saving assistance in the besieged Strip, where people are already struggling to receive sufficient aid.

Source: Agencies

 

Preparing for War

The Chief of Staff of the German Army, Carsten Breuer, recently stated that Germany needs to be prepared for war within the next 5 years. In an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Breuer explained that preparing for war is a step-by-step process.

A Potential Threat

Breuer emphasized that time is of the essence because, for the first time since the Cold War, there is a potential war looming from outside forces. He expressed concern about the possibility of a military threat from Russia and estimated that Germany would need 5 to 8 years to prepare for such a scenario.

Putin's Intentions

When asked about the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin expanding the war beyond Ukraine, Breuer pointed out that intentions matter. He observed Putin's statements and actions in Ukraine and concluded that there is a real possibility of further aggression.

Military Capabilities

Breuer also highlighted Russia's military capabilities. He mentioned that Russia has shifted towards a war economy, as evidenced by the decision of the Duma. This development increases the likelihood of a potential conflict.

Germany's Response

In response to the Russian-Ukrainian war, Germany has decided to increase its defense spending. The government has established a special fund worth 100 billion euros (equivalent to 100 billion and 78 million dollars) to purchase advanced weapons systems and modernize its armed forces.

Arms Purchase Contracts

As part of this effort, Germany has signed several arms purchase contracts. Notably, they have acquired F-35 fighters, American Chinook transport helicopters, and an Israeli-made Arrow 3 missile defense system.

Source: Anadolu Agency