Israel’s name disappears from digital maps in China, says report


Israel said its forces fought Hamas gunmen inside the militants’ vast tunnel network beneath Gaza as a hospital director said more than 50 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike on a refugee camp in the besieged enclave.

As the battle inside the tiny Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory intensified, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed international calls for a halt to the fighting.

But UN and other aid officials warned that a public health catastrophe was engulfing civilians in Gaza, with hospitals struggling to cope with mounting casualties and food, medicine, drinking water and fuel running short.

The director of Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital told Al Jazeera that more than 50 Palestinians were killed and 150 wounded in Israeli air strikes on a densely populated area of the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military. The tunnels under the cramped enclave are a prime objective for Israel as it expands a four-day-old ground offensive — after three weeks of aerial bombardment into Gaza from the north to hit Hamas in retaliation for the Islamist group’s deadly surprise attack into southern Israel on October 7.

Some of the 240 hostages that Israel says were seized by Hamas that day are believed to be held in the tunnel complex, adding a further complication for the Israelis on top of the difficulties of fighting in an urban setting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that recovering the hostages was an “integral” part of the military’s goal in Gaza. Hamas, an armed Islamist group that governs Gaza, has so far released four civilians among the 239 believed to be held, many in a deep network of tunnels. He also called  United Nations General Assembly resolution a ‘humanitarian truce’ deeply flawed. While answering on India’s abstention in the UN vote as it did not condemn the Hamas attacks, Netanyahu said, “I think that resolution was deeply flawed and I am sorry to say that even many of our friends did not even insist that there could be a flaw or a powerful condemnation of the horrors that were committed here that there are horrors that no civilised country, including your country and so many others would tolerate,” the ANI reported. 

“Over the last day, combined IDF (Israel Defence Forces) struck approximately 300 targets, including anti-tank missile and rocket launch posts below shafts, as well as military compounds inside underground tunnels belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation,” an Israeli military statement said.

Militants responded with anti-tank missiles and machine gun fire, it said. A number of militants were killed, it said, without specifying a number.

Hamas said in a statement its fighters were engaging in fierce battles with Israeli ground forces, who were taking losses. “The occupation is pushing its soldiers into proud Gaza, which will always be the cemetery of invaders,” Hamas said. Israeli forces also bombed the narrow coastal enclave overnight in air, sea and ground attacks, hitting northwestern areas, witnesses said on Tuesday. Gaza health authorities say that 8,525 people, including 3,542 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since October.

Ground fighting spreads to south Gaza

The al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, said militants also clashed early on Tuesday with Israeli forces invading Gaza’s south, hitting four Israeli vehicles with missiles. Militants also fired at two Israeli tanks as well as bulldozers in northwest Gaza, al-Qassam said. In Beit Hanoun, in the northeast, they “liquidated” an Israeli unit which was ambushed as it entered a building.

Israel goes unnamed as state from China online maps

As the Israel-Hama war intensifies, The name ‘Israel’ is reportedly missing from online digital maps provided by companies like Baidu and Alibaba in China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. According to the US media outlet, while Baidu’s Chinese language online maps have Israel and the Palestinian territories delineated, the name of the country is not explicitly mentioned.  The report added that the same situation is observed on Alibaba’s Amap platform. 

Some Cornell University Jewish students leave campus after threats

Students at Cornell University  have been left shaken, following several antisemitic messages targetting the Jewish community of the school. The messages were reportedly posted on a public forum dedicated to discussions about fraternities and sororities. The incident is fuelled by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas that began on October 7.  The threats, which emerged over the weekend, have forced some students to leave the Ithaca campus of the Ivy League institution. They expressed concerns about their safety, with many too apprehensive to sleep in their dormitories and conveyed the fear among students.  


No ceasefire in Gaza, no votes, Muslim Americans tell Biden

Muslim Americans and some Democratic Party activists say they will work to mobilise millions of Muslim voters to withhold donations and votes towards President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection unless he takes immediate steps to secure a Gaza ceasefire. The National Muslim Democratic Council, which includes Democratic Party leaders from hotly contested states likely to decide the election, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, called on Biden to use his influence with Israel to broker a ceasefire by 5 pm  on Tues- day. In an open letter entitled “ 2023 Ceasefire Ulti- matum,” the Muslim leaders pledged to mobilise Muslim voters to “withhold endorsement”.


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