Six In The Morning Monday 15 January 2024

They were Israel’s ‘eyes on the border’ – but their Hamas warnings went unheard

By Alice Cuddy

They are known as Israel’s eyes on the Gaza border.

For years, units of young female conscripts had one job here. It was to sit in surveillance bases for hours, looking for signs of anything suspicious.

In the months leading up to the 7 October attacks by Hamas, they did begin to see things: practice raids, mock hostage-taking, and farmers behaving strangely on the other side of the fence.

Noa, not her real name, says they would pass information about what they were seeing to intelligence and higher-ranking officers, but were powerless to do more. “We were just the eyes,” she says.

It was clear to some of these women that Hamas was planning something big – that there was, in Noa’s words, a “balloon that was going to burst”.

‘No gree for anybody’ slang could be message of rebellion, Nigerian police claim

Pidgin English term triggers debate after going viral in new year as a motto for self-reliance and resilience

A Nigerian slang term meaning not letting anyone bully or cheat you is sparking debate after police warned the slogan could be a message of rebellion.

While not new, the pidgin English term “No gree for anybody”, and variations of it, has been going viral since the start of the year as a motto for self-reliance and resilience in the face of difficulties.

With Africa’s most populous country struggling with rising living costs and security challenges from jihadists to kidnap gangs, the phrase has collectively become a slogan for getting through tough times in 2024.

Israel-Hamas war: Footballer released after Turkey detention

Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel has been released, after being detained for a gesture made during a match in Turkey. The Antalyaspor defender seemingly showed solidarity with those held hostage by Hamas.

What’s happened?

After scoring a goal against Trabzonspor on Sunday, Israeli football player Sagiv Jehezkel held up his hand in celebration to show off a bandage that said: “100 days, 7.10”. The text was in relation to the Hamas attack on October 7, 100 days before the match, and appeared next to a Star of David.

Turkish prosecutors later launched an investigation against Jehezkel on charges of “inciting people to hatred and hostility,” according to Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc.

Reformist Arevalo sworn in as Guatemala’s president despite opponents’ efforts to derail transition

Anti-corruption crusader Bernardo Arevalo was sworn in as Guatemala’s president in the early hours of Monday after a chaotic inauguration that was delayed for hours by a last-ditch attempt by Congress opponents to weaken his authority.

The latest in a series of legislative setbacks triggered by opponents underscored the challenges Arevalo faces as leader of Central America’s most populous nation, to which he has pledged to bring sweeping reforms and tackle the rising cost of living and violence, key drivers of migration to the United States.

Arevalo won August elections by a landslide and about 9 hours after his inauguration was scheduled to start, he took the oath as president, replacing conservative politician Alejandro Giammattei whose government has been engulfed in corruption scandals.

Giammattei skipped the ceremony.

Iran lodges hijab case against journalists day after temporary release

New proceedings are launched against the two journalists for posing without the mandatory hijab upon their release after more than a year in prison.

Iran’s judiciary has opened a new case against two jailed female journalists for appearing without a hijab after their temporary release from prison, reports say.

Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi had the new case filed against them on Monday, a day after they were released on bail.

The duo had been sentenced to 13  and 12 years in prison respectively for reporting on the death in custody of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini in 2022.

The Gazan doctor whose phone call on live TV shook Israelis to the core 15 years ago

When I speak to Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish on the phone, his voice is heavy with jetlag and grief.

Abuelaish — known as the first Palestinian doctor to hold a staff position at an Israeli hospital — has just returned to his adopted home of Toronto.

For the past few days he’s been in Cairo, comforting his brother who is mourning the loss of three of his children killed in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike.

“Even if he could get back,” Abuelaish says of his brother who left Gaza for Egypt in September for health reasons, “he doesn’t have anything to go back to.”