Six In The Morning Tuesday 31 October 2023

Dozens of deaths reported in Gaza refugee camp blast

Israeli military yet to comment on explosion in refugee camp

The Israeli military has not yet commented on the blast at the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has blamed an Israeli air strike for the blast, saying at least 50 people were killed.

Photos filed by by a Reuters photographer at the scene show levelled buildings and bodies being carried out of rubble.

BBC News has contacted the IDF for comment.

More on the Jabalia refugee camp

Located north of Gaza City, the Jabalia camp is the largest of Gaza’s eight refugee camps.

Just over 116,000 Palestinian refugees were registered there by the UN as of July 2023.

Refugees began settling in the camp after the 1948 war. It’s a small but densely populated area, only covering 1.4 sq km, and is largely made up of residential buildings.

Jabalia has 26 schools in 16 school buildings, a food distribution centre, two health centres, a library and seven water wells.

Along with the Shati camp, Jabalia lies in area that Israel has declared an evacuation zone.

Hong Kong leader defends elections after largest pro-democracy party shut out

The Democratic party, the city’s largest pro-democracy party, failed to secure enough nominations under new rules introduced by authorities

Hong Kong’s leader has defended the rules for upcoming local elections as open and fair, even though an electoral overhaul means the city’s remaining pro-democracy activists won’t be part of the race.

The city’s largest pro-democracy party, the Democratic party, will be absent in December’s district council election for the first time since its establishment in 1994.


Israel UN envoy draws criticism for donning yellow star

Israel’s UN envoy attended a Security Council meeting wearing a yellow star, a symbol of the Nazi persecution of Jews. The head of Israel’s Vad Yashem Holocaust Memorial says the act “belittles” victims of the Holocaust.

Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, has criticized Israel’s UN ambassador for wearing a yellow Star of David patch during his address to the Security Council.

“This act belittles the victims of the Holocaust as well as the state of Israel,” Yad Vashem chairperson Dani Dayan said in a Hebrew-language post on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday.

“The yellow star symbolizes the helplessness of the Jewish people and their being at the mercy of others,” he said. “We now have an independent state and a strong army. We are the masters of our own fate.”

During the Holocaust, the Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow Star of David patches as part of a system of persecution.

Paris police fire on woman making ‘threats’ at train station

 French police on Tuesday shot and seriously wounded an unarmed woman who was making threats at a train station in Paris during morning rush hour.


The incident came with the country on its maximum alert for potential attacks but with the police also under scrutiny over recent fatal shootings of suspects.

Witnesses said the 38-year-old woman, who was completely veiled, shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is Greatest”) and made threats including “you will all die”, a police source said, adding that “police fired because they feared for their safety”.

After passengers on a suburban train travelling from the eastern suburbs to Paris alerted police, agents managed to “isolate” the woman at the Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand station on the capital’s south bank which was evacuated, the source said.

They ordered her to sit on the ground and stop moving, Paris police chief Laurent Nunez told reporters.

But instead, he said, she moved towards them and ignored an order to show her hands.


MSDF member forced to meet, hear apology of sexual harasser


October 31, 2023 at 16:03 JST


A sexually harassed Maritime Self-Defense Force member quit the service after a superior forced her to meet her assailant and listen to his apology, The Asahi Shimbun has learned.

The meeting was held at an MSDF department in western Japan late last year when the government was conducting a sweeping investigation into the extent of sexual harassment and abuse at the Self-Defense Forces.

“I felt devastated realizing that awareness of the problem at the top level has not reached the front lines,” the former MSDF member in her 20s told The Asahi Shimbun.

Defense Minister Minoru Kihara condemned the handling of her harassment complaint as “outrageous.”


Ukrainian family of nine shot dead in their sleep in Russian-occupied Donetsk

A family of nine, including two young children, were found shot dead in their home in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian town of Volnovakha in a slaying that has sparked outrage in Ukraine and triggered investigations by both nations.

Images from the Ukrainian Donetsk Region Prosecutor’s Office showed a horrific murder scene of multiple family members shot while in their beds, still tucked in each others arms, with blood spatters visible on the walls.

Ukraine alleges the family were slain by Russian occupying forces following an argument, while Russian authorities say two Russian soldiers have been arrested over the killings.