Conflict between Israel and Hamas, war in Ukraine and shots from North Korea… The five things to remember from the weekend

Without any sign of respite, the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas entered its fourth month on Sunday

Conflict between Israel and Hamas, war in Ukraine and shots from North Korea… The five things to remember from the weekend

Without any sign of respite, the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas entered its fourth month on Sunday. Despite international pressure and calls for a ceasefire, Israel remains inflexible. “I have a clear message for our enemies: what happened on October 7 will never happen again,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The Hamas health ministry in the Gaza Strip said Sunday that an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian journalists in Rafah, Moustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer working with AFP since 2019, and Hamza Waël Dahdouh, a journalist with the Al-Jazeera channel.

On Saturday, the army, which launched its ground offensive on October 27 in the Palestinian territory, announced that it had “completed the dismantling of the Hamas military structure in the North.” “We are now focusing on the center and the south,” said army spokesperson Daniel Hagari, specifying however that Hamas elements were still operating in the North “without structure and without a commander”.

In this context, Antony Blinken, who began a new tour in Arab countries and Israel in Amman, called for avoiding at all costs a flare-up of the conflict and preventing “an endless cycle of violence”. Since October 7, there have been almost daily exchanges of fire between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israeli forces on the Israeli-Lebanese border. In Syria and Iraq, attacks on US military bases have also increased, while the Houthis in Yemen are disrupting global maritime traffic in the Red Sea by attacking ships there, in support of the Palestinians.

“We see that Russia's aggressive ambitions can only stop where there is sufficient force to contain them (…),” declared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday at the conference of the annual Society and Defense conference, held in Sweden. The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, for his part, met several families of soldiers who died in the war he is waging against Ukraine, the Kremlin announced, on the eve of Orthodox Christmas.

The head of Japanese diplomacy, Yoko Kamikawa, on a surprise visit to Kiev, declared, during a joint press conference held in an air raid shelter as a security measure, that Japan remained "determined" to continue to help Ukraine confront Russia “so that peace returns to this country.”

On the front, one person died and another was injured in Kherson, eastern Ukraine, in several Russian bombings, the head of the city's military administration wrote on Telegram on Sunday. The Ukrainian air force says it destroyed, during the night from Saturday to Sunday, 21 of the 28 Shahed drones sent by Russia from the Primorsko-Akhtarsk region, in Russia, on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov. On Saturday, at least eleven people were killed, including five children, during a Russian strike targeting the town of Pokrovsk and its surroundings, also in the Donetsk oblast.

North Korea held new live ammunition artillery drills on Sunday for the third day in a row on its west coast, near the maritime border with South Korea, the news agency said. South Korean Yonhap. According to her, these shells fell just north of the maritime border between the two countries, near Yeonpyeong, a remote South Korean island in the Yellow Sea near the North Korean coast, but no projectiles fell on the southern side. -Korean maritime demarcation line.

On Friday, residents of Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong, another South Korean island located very close to North Korea, were ordered to evacuate to shelters due to North Korean artillery fire in the surrounding waters . More than two hundred shells were fired, according to Seoul, whose army responded with a live ammunition exercise a few hours later in Yeonpyeong. And on Saturday, the South Korean military announced that North Korea had fired sixty shells into the waters near Yeonpyeong, near the maritime demarcation line.

This military escalation in the Yellow Sea is one of the most serious on the peninsula since 2010, when the North bombed Yeonpyeong, killing four people, including two civilians. It comes after a burst of belligerent statements from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has notably threatened in recent days to “annihilate” South Korea and the United States.

According to the latest count published on Sunday by local authorities, the earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale (which goes up to 9) which devastated the Noto peninsula in the center of the country on January 1 , left at least 128 dead and 560 injured, while 195 people remain missing. On Saturday, a nonagenarian woman was found alive after spending five days under the debris of her collapsed house in Suzu, at the tip of the peninsula bordering the Sea of ​​Japan.

Rescuers are continuing their efforts to search for people missing or isolated due to roads damaged by the earthquake, and to deliver food and equipment to the victims. Some 29,000 people were sheltering in 404 government shelters on Sunday, according to the Ishikawa department.

The situation further worsened with the deterioration of weather conditions on Sunday, which is expected to continue on Monday, with rain and heavy snowfall expected locally. The Japanese weather agency has warned of the risks of hypothermia. New landslides due to precipitation are also feared, and icy conditions are expected to further complicate traffic on roads damaged by the earthquake.

Already injured just a week after his return, Rafael Nadal will not play the Australian Open. The Spaniard withdrew on Sunday from the first Grand Slam of the season, which begins in a week in Melbourne, because of a "muscle microtear" suffered two days earlier in Brisbane during his comeback tournament, his first since almost a year.

“I'm sad not to be able to play in front of the incredible crowd in Melbourne,” he said, winner in Australia of two of his twenty-two Grand Slam titles, in 2009 and 2022. But to immediately add that the setback was “not very bad news” and that he and his team remained “all positive about how the season is going.”

Friday in Brisbane, the Majorcan was beaten in the third round by the Australian Jordan Thomson (55th in the world) in a three-set match lasting almost three and a half hours, which he finished with a sore left thigh.

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