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 News Review: 22/11/2023

‘Israel’-Hamas Close to Hostage Deal

A Hamas leader and Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both signalled that they might be close to reaching an agreement on Hamas releasing hostages in exchange for a short ceasefire. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s senior political leader based in Qatar, said Hamas officials are “approaching a truce agreement” with Israel. Netanyahu said Israel was working on a hostage deal and that he hoped “we will have good news soon.” The Israeli government announced that Netanyahu would be holding a cabinet meeting “in light of developments on the issue of the release of our hostages.” Over in Washington, President Biden said he believed a deal was “very close.”

According to The New York Times, the outline of the deal involves Hamas immediately releasing about 50 women and children in exchange for the Jewish entity releasing 100 Palestinian women and children it has arbitrarily detained and a five-day ceasefire. Other reports have said Hamas would release more hostages throughout the five-day pause in fighting. ‘Israel’ and Hamas have been engaged in Qatari-brokered negotiations for weeks now, and the Jewish entity has rejected previous potential hostage deals.

Influential ‘Israeli’ National Security Leader Makes the Case for Genocide in Gaza

Since October 7, there has been no shortage of genocidal calls from the Jewish entity’s leaders, as well as clear plans, from ministers. While the usage of Biblical euphemisms like Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “Amalek” reference may appear too vague for some, even if the story suggests killing infants, ret. Major General Giora Eiland, former head of the National Security Council and current advisor to the Defense Minister has spelled out genocide more explicitly. In a Hebrew article on the printed edition of the centrist Yedioth Ahronoth titled “Let’s not be intimidated by the world,” Eiland clarified that the whole Gazan civilian population was a legitimate target and that even “severe epidemics in the south of the Gaza Strip will bring victory closer.”. In 2004, then as head of the National Security Council, he regarded the Gaza Strip as “a huge concentration camp” as he advocated for the U.S. to force Palestinians into the Sinai Desert as part of a “two-state solution.”

Houthi’s Hijack ‘Israeli’-Linked Cargo Vessel

Yemen-based Houthi rebels hijacked an Israeli-owned, Bahamas-flagged cargo vessel called the Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea off the Yemeni coast on Nov. 19. The hijacking comes less than a week after Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi threatened attacks on ‘Israeli’ ships in the Red Sea, and it comes amid frequent Houthi missile and drone attacks on southern ‘Israel’. Additionally, the Houthis reportedly dropped troops on the ship via helicopter and pulled up alongside using boats in a manner similar to other hijackings by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The tactics, along with the fact that an IRGC vessel was reportedly nearby during the hijacking, suggest that the IRGC may have at least provided support for the operation. While the Houthi rebels have a history of attacking vessels using missiles, explosives-laden drones and explosives-laden boats, hijackings have occurred more sporadically.

India Bans Halal-Certified Products

The BJP led government of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, banned the manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of halal-certified products, including food products and medicines on Nov. 18. The ban, which the government implemented with immediate effect, did not include products for export. The ban as illustrative of worsening Hindu nationalism in India, not only because it comes in the run-up to the 2024 general elections, but also because it was issued by a government led by BJP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a particularly controversial Hindu nationalist with a reputation for holding anti-Muslim views. The ban came a day after state authorities registered cases against a handful of companies and organizations involved in certifying goods as halal. Authorities accused the companies of issuing forged or otherwise illegitimate halal certificates to some products, and they also claimed the potential existence of a "larger-scale conspiracy" to reduce sales of non-halal-certified products. Authorities further alleged some individuals involved were using profits to "[support] terrorist organisations and anti-national endeavours."

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