Withdrawal of the Israeli army from Al-Shifa, disappearance of Emile, floods in France…, the five things to remember from the weekend

After two weeks of operations, Israeli soldiers withdrew on Monday from the Al-Shifa complex in Gaza, the largest hospital in the Palestinian enclave

Withdrawal of the Israeli army from Al-Shifa, disappearance of Emile, floods in France…, the five things to remember from the weekend

After two weeks of operations, Israeli soldiers withdrew on Monday from the Al-Shifa complex in Gaza, the largest hospital in the Palestinian enclave. The Israeli army says it has killed more than 200 “terrorists.” Images from Agence France-Presse (AFP) show a landscape of devastation, as the army accused Hamas leaders of hiding there. According to a press release from the latter, 500 “terrorists identified as being affiliated with terrorist organizations” were also arrested.

The Islamist organization “apologies” to Gazans for the suffering caused by the war, in a long statement published Sunday evening on its Telegram channel. But she also reiterates her desire to continue this war, which, according to her, must achieve “victory and freedom” for the Palestinians.

The same day, families of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and thousands of demonstrators demanding the departure of the government gathered in front of the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Their organizations have warned that they will take to the streets in Jerusalem every evening over the coming days.

On Monday, a raid attributed to Israel also targeted an annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus. According to an NGO, a provisional report shows at least eight deaths, in an extremely tense regional context. This is the fifth raid in eight days targeting Syria, where Iran and its allies support the power of Bashar Al-Assad.

On Saturday, some bones, including the skull, of Emile Soleil, a 2 and a half year old child who disappeared on July 8, 2023, were found by a hiker, not far from the hamlet attached to the village of Vernet (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence ), “in an area surrounded by nature, steep and not always easy to access”, which had nevertheless been inspected “several times” since July, according to gendarmerie spokesperson Marie-Laure Pezant, on Franceinfo, who recognizes that there is "a tiny chance" that investigators missed the body during this summer's searches.

Although the death of little Emile was confirmed on Sunday, “we are not certain of discovering the cause or the circumstances,” warned Ms. Pezant. The objective of the gendarmes, around a hundred were still mobilized on site on Monday, will first be to try to find new elements. The objective will be to determine scientifically whether the body was indeed in this place as soon as the child disappeared: “When you have a body which is placed on a ground, you have elements in the ground which allow us to know that the body stayed for some time on this ground,” explained the gendarmerie spokesperson.

Russia launches its spring military conscription campaign on Monday, April 1, which involves tens of thousands of young people aged 18 to 30, Vice Admiral Vladimir Tsimlianski announced on Friday. They “are not going to participate in the Russian special military operation”, he clarified, assuring that all the conscripts will carry out their service, lasting one year, in Russia, without being “sent to the deployment posts of the armed forces in the new Russian regions [Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia]”. The number of conscripts has not been communicated. In 2023, the spring military conscription campaign involved some 147,000 men in Russia, the autumn campaign saw 130,000 conscripts join the Russian army, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said during a trip to kyiv that Russian and Belarusian “athletes” were “not welcome” at the Paris Olympics (July 26-August 11), but said, in front of the press, "to the Ukrainian athletes and to all the Ukrainian people that we support them very actively, very strongly", in a video published by the Ukrainian YouTube channel United News. Even if Anne Hidalgo is not a decision-maker on this subject, her statements have upset Moscow. The Russians will participate in the Olympics under a neutral banner and will not join the parade of national teams during the opening ceremony. Russia has accused the IOC of “sloping into racism and neo-Nazism” and of being guilty of “discrimination” and “intimidation”.

Météo-France placed two departments on red alert at midday on Monday: Côte-d'Or and Yonne, due to the risk of flooding. The water rose quickly on the Armançon, a tributary of the Yonne, which crosses these two departments.

In Indre-et-Loire, where residents were evacuated during the weekend due to rising waters, the alert returned to orange in the afternoon.

In Haute-Vienne, the search continued on Monday to find a kayaker, several witnesses who had seen the man "in difficulty" having raised the alarm on Saturday from the town of Aixe-sur-Vienne, 10 kilometers to the west of Limoges.

The municipal elections in Turkey on Sunday constitute the worst electoral setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since his Islamo-conservative AKP party came to power in 2002. Passed into the hands of the main opposition party there five years ago, Turkey's two largest cities, held by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) and its Islamist predecessors between 1994 and 2019, saw their two outgoing mayors triumphantly re-elected on Sunday.

In Istanbul, the Republican People's Party (CHP, social-democrat) of Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu won 26 of the 39 districts (compared to 14 in 2019), some of which were until now considered conservative strongholds, in particular the district of 'Üsküdar, where the head of state has his residence. In Ankara, the capital, the CHP won 16 of 25 districts, including Keçiören, the second most populous, which had been ruled by the AKP and its Islamist predecessors since 1994. From his party headquarters in Ankara, and in front of a dejected, unusually silent crowd, the Turkish president promised to “respect the decision of the nation.”

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