News ID : 154403
Publish Date : 11/2/2023 8:00:03 AM
Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on November 2

Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on November 2

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

NOURNEWS- The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Thursday, November 2, 2023.


-- Exports growth to narrow trade deficit in H2: MPs

Economic experts believe that although the reasons for the deficit in Iran’s trade balance in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (starting March 21) should be probed from various aspects, the trade deficit can be compensated in the second half of the current year.
Released figures by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) show that the country’s foreign trade reached $64.4 billion in the seven months to October 22 with a deficit of $7.7 billion. The country’s seven-month non-oil trade stands at 100.4 million tons, with a 23.7% rise in weight terms and a 6.2% increase in value terms, year on year.
Iran exported 79.5 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $28.3 billion from March 21 to October 22, IRICA data showed. The seven-month non-oil export indicates a rise of over 29% in terms of weight, and a drop of less than 1% in terms of value, year on year.
A sum of 20.9 million tons of non-oil goods worth $36 billion were imported to the country during the period, with a 6.2% growth in weight terms and a 12.6% increase in value, compared to the same period in the previous year. The latest figures suggest a gap of more than 27% between exports and imports.
Liquefied natural gas, liquefied propane, and liquefied butane were the top exported commodities to various countries, especially China, Iraq, the UAE, Turkey, and India as the main destinations of Iran’s non-oil exports.
In the meantime, what has been questionable for economic experts and been met with reactions is the several billion dollars of discrepancy in the value of exports and imports and the country’s trade balance deficit of $7.7 billion.
Hojatollah Firouzi, a member of the Industries and Mines Committee of the Iranian Parliament, told Iran Daily reporter that the figures calculated by the government for the current year’s budget bill regarding the sale price of oil and oil derivatives were seemingly not achieved, which were also influential in reducing the country’s exports value.
On the other hand, if we look at the country’s trade statistics in the past years, we will notice that the government’s export revenues in the second half of the year have always been higher than that of the first half, he said.
“In the countries that have been successful in the field of export, the private sector has a greater role. I think we do not have the proper view of the private sector of the country. In words, we emphasize the private sector a lot, but in practice, our support of it is not good.”
The MP noted: “Our regulations concerning import and export change every year, and therefore, our private sector cannot ground its plans for production and export on it. The export of some products may even be stopped at once with the introduction of new regulations. This harms the private sector and, in turn, the country’s exports and forex earnings.”
Talking to Iran Daily, Shahbaz Hasanpour Biglari, another member of the Parliament’s Plan and Budget Committee, described the country’s trade balance deficit as unfortunate and said a number of lawmakers have asked the speaker of the Parliament to invite the relevant officials to discuss the problem.
“We should first listen to whatever the officials have to say to the Parliament, and then, after holding detailed talks with experts, we lawmakers should inform the people,” he said.
Ramezanali Sangdovini, another MP, also maintained: We need to expand our economic diplomacy to develop our trade and export, which have been given priority by the incumbent government.
That is why we joined the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Union and planned economic cooperation with regional, Latin American, and even African countries, but some other mechanisms are needed to achieve better results, he explained.
“Another thing that confined our exports is that the consumption of some products, including oil products and gasoline, is high in our country, and therefore we could not export as needed.”
The next point of great importance is that Iranian traders and producers have done their job, added the lawmaker, but “part of their export income has not yet returned due to sanctions and banking problems.” If we take these calculations into account, the country’s trade balance will certainly be positive, he stressed.
Rahim Zare, yet another member of the Plan and Budget Committee, told Iran Daily that in addition to the amount of exports and imports, the amount of smuggling should also be taken into account.
“If we add the amount of goods smuggled into the country to the amount of imports, the trade deficit will increase,” he said, describing this as the first point that should be considered.
Iran’s target is to claim one percent of the total world trade, a quarter of which, according to the current figures, has been achieved due to various obstacles to export, economic and trade sanctions, and difficulty in transferring forex to the country, the MP noted.

-- Minister puts daily crude output at 3.4m barrels

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji on Wednesday announced that Iran’s oil production has reached 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd).
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the weekly cabinet session, the minister said the country’s oil output amounted to 2.2m bpd when the incumbent administration took office two years ago, according to Shana.
The figure has now soared to 3.4m bpd thanks to the Oil Ministry’s measures over the past 24 months, he mentioned.
Given the ministry’s plans and investments in onshore and offshore fields, domestic oil output will hopefully increase, Owji added.
Statistics showed a 19.8 percent economic growth for the oil and gas industry in the spring of 2023, recalled the minister, harboring hope that the upward trend will continue.
Rise in OPEC output
OPEC oil output has risen for a third straight month in October, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, led by increases in Nigeria and Angola and despite ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 27.9 million barrels per day (bpd), the survey found, up by 180,000 bpd from September. Production in August had risen for the first time since February.
The steady rise in OPEC output is largely being driven by a small number of producers managing to overcome internal or external factors that have curbed supply.
Nigeria boosted exports in October without any major disruption to shipments, according to shipping data and sources in the survey, increasing output by 50,000 bpd. The country is targeting a further recovery by next year. Angola also boosted exports in October, the survey found.
Highest production of Iran
Smaller increases came from Iraq and Iran. Tehran’s output edged up to 3.17 million bpd, the survey found. This is the highest since 2018, the year Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran, according to Reuters’ surveys and OPEC figures. Analysts have said the higher Iranian exports appear to be the result of Iran’s success in evading US sanctions.
There was no immediate boost in Venezuela’s production, sources in the survey said. OPEC+ sources expect the production recovery to be gradual. Output from the 10 OPEC members that are subject to OPEC+ supply cut agreements rose by 150,000 bpd, the survey found. Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf members maintained strong compliance with agreed cutbacks and extra voluntary reductions.
Saudi Arabia kept the October and September output close to nine million bpd, the survey found. The country in September extended a voluntary one million bpd output cut until the end of the year to provide extra support for the market.

-- Iran to improve rank in Oman exports

In the first specialized meeting of the Agriculture and Food Industries Commission of the Iran-Oman Joint Chamber of Commerce, which was held with the participation of managers from more than 60 active companies in the field of exports and imports to Oman, Iran will enhance its export ranking to Oman by the end of the Iranian calendar year (March 19).
Oman’s import value in recent years has exceeded $30 billion and, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO) statistics, despite Iran’s geographical proximity, the country holds the tenth position in exports to Oman, according to ISNA.
Food product exports are among the items that have the highest value and profitability for Oman, and soft customs regulations in Oman and the freedom of currency exchange have made exports to the country appealing for traders and merchants, said Neseredin Eslami-fard, the head of the Agriculture and Food Industries Commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Iran and Oman.
Oman serves as a bridge between the Arabian Peninsula, East Asia, India, and the Persian Gulf, and due to the favorable political, economic, and religious and cultural ties between the two countries, which have a deep historical background, Iranian traders can seize the golden opportunity in Oman for exports to the country and to African and Arab nations.

-- Global trade preparing for de-dollarization

The US dollar has enjoyed a privileged status since the end of World War II when the Bretton Woods system established it as the anchor of the international monetary system. However, in recent years, some countries have challenged the dollar’s dominance and sought to diversify their currency reserves and trade settlements. De-dollarization refers to the process of reducing the reliance on the US dollar as the dominant reserve currency and medium of exchange in the global economy.
One of the main drivers of de-dollarization is the BRICS bloc, which originally consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. These five emerging economies account for about 40% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s GDP. They have expressed their dissatisfaction with the US dollar’s role in the global financial system and its use as a tool for exerting economic and political pressure by the US government.
The BRICS countries have taken various steps to reduce their dependence on the dollar and promote their own currencies. For example, they have established the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement to provide alternative sources of financing and liquidity for their members.
They have also increased their bilateral and multilateral trade and investment in local currencies, especially between China and Russia. They have advocated for the inclusion of their currencies in the Special Drawing Rights basket of the International Monetary Fund, which is a supplementary reserve asset that can be exchanged for hard currencies.
In addition, some BRICS leaders have proposed the creation of a common currency for the bloc, as a way to further enhance their economic integration and cooperation. However, this idea faces many challenges and obstacles, such as the different levels of development, inflation, exchange rates, fiscal policies, monetary policies, and political systems among the BRICS countries.
Another factor that has contributed to de-dollarization is the failure of sanctions against Iran, as a new member of the BRICS, in achieving their intended objectives. The US has imposed various sanctions on Iran since 1979, mainly over its nuclear program. However, Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful and has refused to comply with the demands of the UN Security Council to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.
The restrictions have pushed Iran to seek alternative ways to circumvent the sanctions and preserve its economic ties with other countries. For instance, Iran has resorted to bartering oil for goods and services, using intermediaries and front companies, conducting transactions in local currencies or cryptocurrencies, and developing its domestic industries and technologies.
Moreover, Iran has found support from some of its allies and partners, such as China, Russia, Turkey, and India, who have continued to trade with Iran despite the US sanctions.
These countries have also opposed the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was a multilateral agreement that lifted some sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. They have also tried to salvage the deal by creating a mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran without using the US dollar or US-controlled financial institutions.

-- Carbon pricing could help Iran reduce greenhouse gas emission: Expert

In the past few decades, the surge in greenhouse gas emissions has triggered noticeable changes in our planet’s climate. These changes have now emerged as one of the most pressing global challenges, as they pose severe threats to human life and the environment all over the globe.
Greenhouse gases are a collection of gases that trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere. The primary gases in this group are carbon dioxide, ozone, water vapor, and methane. Certain human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal, industrial processes, transportation, and agricultural practices, contribute to the growing presence of these gases in our atmosphere.
Our country stands as a significant energy consumer and one of the leading contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. According to Dariush Gol’alizadeh, director of the National Center for Weather and Climate Change at the Department of the Environment (DoE), our country witnessed an upward trajectory in greenhouse gas emissions from 1994 to 2010. This worrisome situation is further compounded by the continuous growth in both population and energy consumption, which are key contributing factors.
Iran is first in global energy intensity and ranks sixth in terms of carbon emissions. Also, when it comes to per capita emissions, we find ourselves positioned at the ninth spot worldwide. This situation calls for attention and action to address our carbon footprint and strive for a more favorable standing.

An ailing environment
In an online meeting titled ‘Climate Change, Industries, and Greenhouse Gas Emission Policy in Iran,’ Gol’alizadeh addressed the issue of climate change in Iran. He highlighted that while people may not fully comprehend the causes of climate change, they are experiencing its impacts in their daily lives.
“For instance, mismanagement and a lack of timely action have rendered forests in the northern part of the country less effective in preventing floods and soil erosion, despite their crucial role,” he said.
Despite setting a target to reduce our current energy consumption levels by half by the end of the Sixth Development Plan, we have unfortunately fallen short of achieving this goal. Over the course of the Fourth to Seventh Development Plans, the country established various environmental objectives. The 20-Year Vision Document aimed to create a favorable environment by 2025. However, our current trajectory is leading us in a different direction, resulting in an unsatisfactory state of the environment.

Challenges abound
Climate change in our country presents numerous challenges, as emphasized by Gol’alizadeh. One significant hurdle is the absence of a cohesive database concerning the sources and quantities of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Regrettably, climate change has not received adequate attention in our nation’s Development Plans and policies. Furthermore, our macro plans and policies have yet to adapt to the realities of climate change,” he said, adding, “Compounding these difficulties, the imposition of sanctions and limited access to technology diminishes our ability to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement necessary adaptations.”
As per Gol’alizadeh, the deterioration of infrastructure and an alarming surge in energy consumption within our country are among an abundance of challenges related to climate change. Additionally, the legal, technical, and operational frameworks required to facilitate private sector involvement are lacking.
“To tackle some of these challenges head-on, we are diligently working towards the approval of a comprehensive climate change management plan as part of the Seventh Development Plan Bill,” he said.
He went on, “Simultaneously, we are revising our national strategy plan, compiling an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and formulating a robust national plan to adapt to the effects of climate change. These efforts are aimed at addressing the pressing issues we face and charting a more sustainable and resilient path forward.”

Accumulation of unimplemented laws
Gol’alizadeh brought attention to the issue of unfulfilled tasks despite the existence of numerous climate change laws. Notably, the Leader’s general policies on reforming consumption patterns, which aim to save energy and reduce energy intensity, have not been fully realized. The target is to achieve at least two-thirds reduction by the end of the Fifth Development Plan and one-half reduction by the end of the Sixth.
In addition, the Leader announced general environmental policies in 2015, emphasizing the development of a green economy. This includes promoting low-carbon industries, utilizing clean energy, enhancing public transportation systems, and encouraging green and non-fossil fuel transportation.
Iran has also implemented the low-carbon economy program, a national strategic energy document approved in 2017. This program aims to increase productivity, reduce energy intensity, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a culture of energy conservation. It also seeks to expand the use of clean and renewable energies, aligning with Article 19 of the Clean Air Law.
Gol’alizadeh highlighted Iran’s international commitments, such as its membership in the Climate Change Convention since 1996. Over the years, Iran has taken significant measures, including developing methodologies for calculating greenhouse gas emissions, establishing the Green Climate Fund secretariat, improving fuel and vehicle production standards, reorganizing waste disposal centers, and promoting combined cycle power generation.
“However, while these actions are noteworthy, they are still considered insufficient, necessitating continued and expanded efforts,” he noted.

Weak performance
Climate change and sustainability expert, Seyyed Shayan Seif, emphasizes the importance of addressing the environment and climate change within the framework of sustainable development. These two interconnected sectors necessitate the formulation of sound policies, enactment of appropriate laws, allocation of sufficient resources, and implementation of effective actions.
“While numerous countries have made commendable strides in these domains, Iran has yet to take decisive action, resulting in a backlog of unfinished tasks that demand immediate attention,” he said.
Seif highlights the disconcerting fact that Iran is among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
“It is arguable that our industrial activities, encompassing sectors such as iron, steel, oil, and gas, significantly contribute to these alarming emissions. However, it is crucial to note that when considering emissions per GDP dollar, our nation is ranked first globally,” he said, adding, “This imbalance leaves much to be desired, and it is unlikely that the global community will remain indifferent to our predicament. Even if they were to do so, it is our moral obligation to fulfill our duty.”
With regards to emissions, Seif raises pertinent questions regarding the annual emissions amount, which continues to rise. He elucidates that the industry accounts for approximately 20 percent of emissions, the domestic and commercial sectors contribute roughly 25 percent, transportation constitutes around 21 percent, while power plants responsible for electricity production contribute to approximately 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Notably, the agricultural sector exhibits relatively low emissions in comparison,” he said.

Consequences of climate change
Addressing the future trajectory of climate change in Iran, the head of the National Center for Weather and Climate Change of the DoE shed light on several potential outcomes.
“Looking ahead, Iran is poised to witness a shift in weather patterns, characterized by hotter and drier summers, fluctuating rainfall during colder seasons, prolonged periods of aridity, and a gradual decrease in annual precipitation as time progresses,” said Gol’alizadeh, adding, “Furthermore, in the wake of global warming, the southern coasts of Iran may undergo rising water levels and temperatures.”
In light of this situation, a pertinent question arises: What can we anticipate in the near future?
According to environmental expert, anticipated effects include an upsurge in summer heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures, more frequent and intense droughts, an elevated occurrence of heavy rainfall leading to potential floods, a decline in the number of freezing days and snowfall, and diminished snow reserves in mountainous regions. These outcomes are direct manifestations of the climate change that is already underway in the country.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally, various policy tools can be employed, including economic and regulatory measures. Economic tools include carbon pricing, financial incentives, and the reduction of fossil fuel subsidies. Carbon pricing tools include emission trading systems, carbon markets, and carbon taxes.
“Most countries use one or both of these tools. The carbon market provides incentives, while the carbon tax serves as a penalty and deterrent,” Seif said.
According to him, it is essential to remember that the decision on which tools to use should involve consultation at the national level, considering the input of all relevant stakeholders.
“Failure to do so will likely result in ineffective actions. This is not my opinion, but rather the experience of the world,” he said.
“Currently, nearly 60 percent of the world’s economy operates under the carbon pricing mechanism, which is a significant number. In 2021, the turnover of the emissions trading system and carbon tax reached $84 billion,” he said.


-- Leader: Final Victory is With Palestinian Nation

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei urged Muslim countries Wednesday to halt trade with the occupying regime of Israel, including oil exports.
“Islamic governments must insist on quickly ending the crimes,” Ayatollah Khamenei told a gathering of students in Tehran. “Muslim countries should not cooperate economically with the Zionist regime (Israel),” he said, calling for a “block on oil and food exports”.
Ayatollah Khamenei lambasted Western governments who “stood against Palestine”, naming Britain, France and the United States.
“The Muslim world must not forget who is putting pressure on the population of Gaza. It’s not just about the Zionist regime,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Zionist regime will be crippled within days without the help of the U.S.
“If it were not for the support of the United States and its arms support, the corrupt, fake, and fictitious Zionist government would have collapsed that very first week. Thus, the atrocities in Gaza today by the Zionists have in fact been created with the support of and at the hands of the U.S.”
The Leader said the patience and resistance of the people of Gaza have inflicted humiliating blows to the reputation of the fake usurping regime and its arrogant supporters.
He said Muslim communities should fulfill their important duties in this confrontation between the front of truth and the front of falsehood by projecting their voice loudly and insisting on “the immediate cessation of the bombings and crimes that are taking place in Gaza.”
The Leader said the Zionist regime’s massacre of 4,000 children in three weeks is an unprecedented crime in history.
“The power of the world arrogance is attained through the use of bombs, military pressure, atrocities and crimes, whereas the power of faith will overcome all of these by God’s grace.”
The Leader said, “Our hearts are bleeding because of the suffering of the Palestinian people, especially the people of Gaza. However, when you take a closer look at what is taking place, you realize that the winners of this battle are the people of Gaza and Palestine as they have been able to do great things.”
He said one of the outcomes of the patience and resilience of the Gaza people and their refusal to give in to the demands of the Zionist regime was removing the false mask of human rights from the faces of the Westerners.
“The people of Gaza were able to shake the human conscience with their patience. You can see today that people are coming out in large numbers even in the U.S. and other Western countries to chant slogans against Israel and in many cases against America,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader said when Western politicians and the Western media label the Palestinian fighters as terrorists, it is a sign of how truly disgraceful they are.
“When a person defends their own home or country, does that make them a terrorist? When the French fought the Germans in Paris
 in World War II, did that make them terrorists? How come they were considered fighters and a source of pride for France, yet you consider the youth of the [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad and Hamas as terrorists?”
Ayatollah Khamenei said the great lesson of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was that a small group, with little supplies and provisions, can overcome the enemy with their faith and determination. “This faithful group was able to extinguish and put an end to the fruition of many years of the criminal efforts in a matter of hours.”
He said the Palestinians have also humiliated the usurping regime and the arrogant powers supporting it through their actions, their courage and their patience.
The Leader said the blow inflicted on the Zionist regime by the resistance front is “irreparable”, which even the occupying regime’s authorities have acknowledged.
“The Zionist regime has become desperate and confused. It’s lying to its own people. The Zionist regime’s expressions of concern about their own captives are also a lie. The bombings are carrying out are killing their captives too,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei called on the Muslim world to pay attention to the fact that it is not just the Zionist regime, but the U.S., France, and Britain, that have stood against Islam and the oppressed Palestinian nation. He said Muslims should not disregard this fact in their dealings, calculations and analyses.
Referring to the Holy Qur’an that God’s promise is undoubtedly true, and do not let those who do not believe in it shake and weaken you with their defeatism, the Leader said the final, not so distant victory will be for the Palestinian nation.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks ahead of the anniversary of the Iranian students’ takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
“The claim by the Americans and those who naively or with other motives keep on saying that the hostility and conspiracies of the U.S. began after the takeover of the embassy of that country is a sheer lie,” the Leader said.
Historical facts, the Leader said, demonstrate that U.S. enmity with the Iranian nation began 26 years before the embassy takeover with the 1953 coup against the national government of Dr. Mossadegh.
He touched on documents seized from the American embassy, saying they showed that the embassy had become a center of conspiracy and espionage, planning coups and civil wars, and managing counter-revolutionary media outlets shortly after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Khamenei said “Down with the U.S.” chanted by Iranians is not merely a slogan; rather, it is a policy rooted in the conspiracies and endless hostilities of the U.S. toward the Iranian nation during the last seven decades.

-- Minister: Iran to Unveil New Defense System Soon

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said Wednesday the Martyr Aliverdi defense system will be unveiled soon.
He also warned “certain European countries which help” the occupying regime of Israel to “be careful not to anger Muslims”. The minister said the Zionist regime is showing signs of collapse after being caught off guard by the Palestinian resistance.

-- Russian Envoy Delivers Putin’s Message to Raisi

Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev handed over President Vladimir Putin’s message to his Iranian counterpart through the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
During his trip to Tehran, Lavrentiev met and held talks with Ali Akbar Ahmadian on Wednesday and discussed the latest developments in the region and cooperation between the two countries. He also delivered the message of the Russian president to the Iranian president.

-- Zionist Troops Suffer Heavy Losses Amid Gaza Invasion

Palestinians reported another widespread outage of internet and phone service in Gaza early Wednesday, hours after Israeli airstrikes leveled apartment buildings near Gaza City and as Hamas fighters battled Zionist ground troops inside the besieged territory.
Humanitarian aid agencies have warned that such blackouts severely disrupt their work in an already dire situation in Gaza, where more than half of the population of 2.3 million Palestinians has been displaced and basic supplies are running low more than three weeks into the war.
The Palestinian telecoms company Paltel reported a “complete disruption” of internet and mobile phone services in Gaza, marking the second time residents were largely cut off from the world. Communications also went down over the weekend, as Israeli troops made incursions into Gaza in larger numbers.
Attempts to reach Gaza residents by phone were unsuccessful early Wednesday. Internet-access advocacy group confirmed that Gaza “is in the midst of a total or near-total telecoms blackout consistent with” the weekend blackout.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the communication blackout would disrupt the work of first responders and make it harder for civilians to seek safety. “Even the potentially life-saving act of calling an ambulance becomes impossible,” said Jessica Moussan, an ICRC spokesperson.
The Israeli army has martyred and wounded scores of people in a new “massacre” targeting the crowded Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, the Palestinian ministry of health said on Wednesday.
It is the second attack on the camp in less than 24 hours. Several airstrikes hit the residential area of Faluja in the camp on Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera.
Scores of people killed or wounded were arriving at the Indonesian hospital in Gaza City.
Jabalia is the largest of the Gaza Strip’s UN refugee camps housing people forcibly expelled by Zionist militia and Israel in 1948.
On Tuesday, a barrage of airstrikes leveled apartment buildings in the refugee camp near Gaza City. Rescuers frantically dug through the destruction to pull men, women and children from the rubble. The director of a nearby hospital where casualties were taken, Dr. Atef Al-Kahlot, said hundreds of people were wounded or killed, but the exact toll was not yet known.
The occupying regime of Israel has been vague about its invasions of Gaza, but residents and spokesmen for resistance groups say troops appear to be trying to take control of the two main north-south roads.
An estimated 800,000 Palestinians have fled south from Gaza City and other northern areas, but hundreds of thousands remain in the north, including many who left and later returned because the occupying regime is also carrying out airstrikes in the south.
Gaza has been sealed off since the start of the war, causing shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel.
Israel has barred fuel imports, leading to a territory-wide blackout and warnings from hospitals that their emergency generators may soon shut down, putting patients on life support at risk.
Palestinian fighters have killed 15 Israeli soldiers in Gaza since Tuesday, the military said Wednesday.
Four troops were confirmed dead on Wednesday while the death of 11 others was announced on Tuesday.
At least 14 more soldiers have been wounded, including seven in critical condition, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.
A prominent union of Muslim scholars issued a decree calling upon Muslim armies to “urgently intervene” to stop the “genocide” in Gaza.
In a statement, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) said it was a religious obligation for Muslim armies to protect Palestinians.
“The ruling regimes and official armies are required by the Islamic Sharia [Islamic law] to intervene urgently to save Gaza from genocide and mass destruction,” the statement said. “Leaving Gaza and Palestine to be annihilated and destroyed is a betrayal of God and His Messenger.”
The union added that countries bordering Palestine - Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - have a greater obligation to act, saying that it was one of the “greatest sins before God Almighty” to leave Palestinians to fend for themselves.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said at least 8,796 people have been martyred since October 7, including 3,648 children and 2,290 women.
Around 2,000 people are still missing, including 1,100 children. The vast majority of these people are believed to be dead and buried under rubble. At least 22,219 people have been wounded.
The war has threatened to ignite fighting on other fronts. Israel and Hezbollah have traded fire
daily along the Lebanese border, and Israel and the U.S. have struck targets in Syria.
A U.S. military base in Syria was struck by two drones launched by militias in Iraq, according to Syrian state media.
Two drones hit Al-Tanf base, a U.S. military outpost located at the intersection of the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq. The base has come under attack recently by militias.

-- US-Israeli Complicity in Gaza Genocide Fully Exposed
So miserably the senile US president is trapped in the tentacles of his Ukrainian Zionist secretary of state while endorsing the continued carnage of Palestinians in Gaza and sending more lethal weapons to the illegal Zionist entity to complete the genocide, he even turned a blind eye to Tuesday’s protest in the Senate where US citizens waving blood-coloured palms demanded immediate ceasefire and shouted at the culprit Antony Blinken: “You have blood on your hands, murderer!” 
Joe Biden is blind to realities because of his intense hatred for Muslims, but what makes him totally unconcerned of Israel’s bombing to death of Palestinian Christians in Gaza and the destruction of their churches and hospitals, is his own criminal confession a couple of weeks ago of shamelessly calling himself a Zionist.
Resentment is growing amongst the Christian majority of the US on the support of their regime for Israel’s worsening war crimes that over the past three weeks have killed over 9,000 civilians including 4,000 children.
Hopefully, conscientious Americans will soon take care of their terrorism-backing president and mete out the deserving fate to the murderous Blinken, in view of the fact that their country has become a pariah state worldwide with only a few criminal-minded regimes supporting US-Zionist crimes against humanity.
Recently senior director of the state department, Josh Paul, resigned in protest to the US criminal support for the Zionist entity, while Congressman Justin Amash publicly mourned the killing of several family members in Gaza in the ongoing Israeli bombing.
The conscience of the criminals who rule the roost in Washington is so frozen that neither the mass rallies throughout the US in protest to the carnage in Gaza has made them reconsider their self-destructive policies nor the tearing down of posters on college campuses and streets placed by Zionists depicting the pictures of the so-called hostages being held by Hamas – the Palestinian liberation movement.
Even the UN Secretary General’s rightful criticism of Israel by citing some of the ghastly events of the past 56 years has failed to move Biden’s regime from the suicidal course it has taken, for which it will definitely suffer the consequences of opposing democracy, human rights, freedom, and justice. 
The latest public blow to the US-Zionist crimes against humanity was delivered by the long-serving director of the New York office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights who quit on Tuesday in protest to weak response to the “genocide” of Palestinians and “grave humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.
Craig Mokhiber, in his resignation letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, wrote: “The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life.”
In his 4-page protest statement he outlined a 10-point plan to end the violence, including establishing “a single, democratic, secular state with equal rights for Christians, Muslims, and Jews” as well as dismantling Israel’s arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
Mokhiber added: “This is text book case of genocide” and “the US, UK and much of Europe are wholly complicit in the horrific assault”, since they were not only “refusing to meet their treaty obligations” under the Geneva Conventions but “were also arming Israel’s assault and providing political and diplomatic cover for its atrocities against thousands of innocent civilians and refugees.”

-- First Foreigners Leave Gaza Through Rafah, WHO Says ‘Not Enough’

Scores of foreign passport holders trapped in Gaza started leaving the war-torn territory on Wednesday as the Rafah crossing to Egypt opened for the first time since the October 7 Hamas attacks, AFP correspondents reported.
Convoys of desperately needed aid have passed between Egypt and Gaza but no people have been allowed to cross. Some 400 foreigners and dual nationals along with some 90 sick and wounded were expected to leave.
Qatar earlier mediated an agreement between Egypt, the Zionist regime and Hamas, in coordination with the U.S., to allow for the movement of foreign passport holders and some critically injured people out of besieged Gaza, a source briefed on deal told Reuters on Wednesday.
The agreement would allow the movement of foreign passport holders and some critically injured people through the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, though there is no timeline for how long the Rafah crossing will remain open for evacuation, the source added.
An Egyptian security source had said earlier that up to 500 foreign passport holders will pass the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday. About 200 people were waiting at the Palestinian side of the border on Wednesday morning, the source said.
Two Filipino doctors with medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are among the first group of foreigners selected to leave Gaza and cross into Egypt, a Philippine foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.
The World Health Organization welcomed Wednesday’s first evacuations of wounded patients out of the Gaza Strip, but stressed that thousands of injured civilians and people with chronic illnesses also needed treatment.
Ambulances transported wounded residents out of the Palestinian enclave for urgent medical care in neighboring Egypt.
The occupying regime has heavily bombarded Gaza since October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping at least 240 others, including children, according to Zionist regime officials.
The health ministry in Gaza says nearly 8,800 people have been killed since the war with the occupying regime erupted.


-- Resistance might opt for more surprise actions if war on Gaza continues: Iran FM

If Israel’s relentless attacks on Gaza continue, resistance forces in the region might alter the situation by making the decision to take more surprise actions, according to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. “If the Zionist regime’s war crimes and genocidal attacks against civilians in Gaza do not come to an end, the region will move towards making a big and decisive decision,” Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday during a press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara. The top Iranian diplomat warned that the situation might span out of control if Israel does not rein in its brutal bombardments of Gaza, adding that the responsibility of such crisis lies entirely with the U.S. and other countries backing Israel. “So far 50 Israeli who were being held captive by Hamas have died during the regime’s attack,” the foreign minister announced.

-- Al-Aqsa Storm heralds new era for Palestine, region, Muslim world: senior general

Mohammad Baqeri, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, has said that Al-Aqsa Storm Operation led by Palestinian resistance groups broke the Israeli regime’s illusion of invincibility and opened a new chapter for Palestine, the West Asia region, and the Muslim world. Major General made the remarks on Wednesday during a ceremony in Tehran to honor the thousands of innocent Palestinians who lost their lives as martyrs, including women and children. The ceremony took place on the 26th day of the large-scale operation led by Hamas against the occupied territories. “The valiant, surprising and unparalleled defense of Palestinian combatants in Operation Al-Aqsa Storm will be the harbinger of a new chapter for Palestine, the region and the Islamic world,” Baqeri said. Beginning on October 7, Hamas launched the largest offensive against Israel in its 75 years of history in response to the regime’s bloody violence against people in the West Bank. The surprise operation, dubbed Al-Aqsa Storm, has put the competence of the Israeli army and its intelligence bodies under serious question. In response, Israel launched an insane war on Gaza, so far killing at least 8,796 Palestinians — mostly women and children — and wounding over 23,000 more.

-- Iran, Iraq stress using national currencies in bilateral trade

Iran and Iraq have stressed the need to use the national currencies of the two countries to enhance mutual trade relations, Mehr News Agency reported. Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Abbas Ali-Abadi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani emphasized using the national currencies for bilateral trade exchanges in a meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday. In this meeting, which took place in the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office in Baghdad, the economic relations between the two countries and ways to strengthen them and strengthen exchanges and partnerships at different levels were discussed and explored. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office said, “Today, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani hosted Iran’s Minister of Industry.

-- A rider called death

For the past 17 years hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been held captive in what’s known as the world’s biggest open-air prison by Israel, an apartheid regime that has no regard for the so-called peace treaties it has imposed on the people of Palestine with the help of its Western patrons. The truth of the matter is that the current war on Gaza did not begin three weeks ago. The war has been ongoing for the past 70 years between the people of Palestine and the Israeli occupiers. Groups like Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are only natural outcomes to years of devastating crimes against a nation that has now decided that a sudden death would be better than a gradual and degrading one. Prior to the October 7 attack, Netanyahu’s cabinet made plenty of provocative moves to rile Palestinians. It slaughtered tens of Palestinians in the West Bank where the Hamas resistance group has almost no presence. Israeli politicians have also been desecrating Muslims’ holy sites, going as far as holding dance parties in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque. 

-- More than a dozen Israeli troops killed in 24 hours

The Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip has killed more than one dozen Israeli troops in less than 24 hours. In a statement, the Israeli military announced the names of eleven soldiers that it said had been killed during heavy clashes with the Palestinian resistance near the northern Gaza Strip. It added that 17 others have been injured, with four in serious condition. But it declined to reveal what rank they belonged to. In a separate statement earlier, the regime announced the names of another two troops among the rank of its Givati Brigade, who were killed during clashes with Hamas, adding that two others had sustained serious injuries. The statement failed to provide any information about the location of the casualties. It is widely believed that the Israeli army has dispatched its most elite troops to Gaza.

-- Nearly 8,800 killed in Gaza war

At least 8,796 people in Gaza have been killed and more than 22,219 have been wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said. In recent days, the Israeli army has expanded its air and ground attacks on Gaza – including houses and hospitals – which has been under relentless air raids since the surprise attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7. Residents in Gaza have flocked to hospitals and United Nations schools for safety, hoping that Israel will abide by international law and not attack those coordinates. However, places of shelter have also not been free from Israeli attacks. Every hour in Gaza: 15 people are killed - 6 are children 35 people are injured 370 people are killed every day Based on the first six days of the war 42 bombs are dropped 12 buildings are destroyed.


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