Israel has reportedly failed to prove its claims against the UN agency

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday accepted an independent review of the UN's Palestinian relief agency that he ordered after Israel accused the agency's employees of helping in the attack on Israel that sparked the war between Hamas and Israel.

More than a dozen countries, including the United States, stopped funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees when the allegations became public. The full review, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, is due to be published later on Monday. Reuters reported that the review says Israel has not yet provided evidence to support its claim that a large number of UNRWA employees were members of armed organizations.

The review calls for stronger safeguards to ensure neutrality, but says the agency already has an important system in place to ensure compliance with “humanitarian principles.”

The review was prompted by Israeli claims that at least 12 UNRWA employees were directly involved in the Hamas-led attack on October 7, that 30 others supported the attack in some way, and that up to 12% of the organization's staff were affiliated with the militants. group. UNRWA has more than 13,000 aid workers in Gaza. “Going forward, the Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to provide effective support to UNRWA, as the lifeline for Palestine refugees in the region,” his office said in a statement.

Six months after the war: Pregnant women in the Gaza Strip face starvation and no anesthesia

Developments:

∎ The Israeli army announced that it is on high alert on the occasion of the Passover holiday, and continues “operational activity and full readiness in all arenas.” It is the first major Jewish holiday since the Simchat Torah festival on October 7, the day of the Hamas attack that sparked the current war.

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∎ Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised Iran on Monday for taking a strong stance on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. In a press conference alongside visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Islamabad, Sharif called on Islamic countries to unite and raise their voices in order to end the conflict.

The head of Israel's military intelligence resigned on Monday and said he would retire, citing his role in contributing to the failure to stop Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7.

Major General Aharon Haliva appears to be the first senior official from the Israeli military or political establishment to resign over the surprise attack by Hamas, which killed an estimated 1,200 people. This was the largest loss of life in a single day in Israel's history. The militants also took 253 hostages to Gaza, where Israel believes more than 130 may remain.

Haleva, who made the announcement in a message shared by the Israel Defense Forces, was vacationing in the Israeli resort of Eilat on October 7. He was alerted to suspicious armed activity hours before the attack but did not participate in subsequent deliberations that went wrong. He decided the activity was most likely exercise.

Haleva previously accepted responsibility for intelligence failures that led to the worst security failure in Israel's 76-year history.

“The Military Intelligence Directorate under my command did not live up to our mission,” Haliva wrote in the letter. “And I have carried that black day ever since, day and night. I will live with the terrible pain every day.”

Haleva said he will retire as soon as a successor is found.

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“Antisemitism and anarchy”: Rabbi urges Jewish students to leave Colombia for their safety

The Iraq-based militant group Kataib Hezbollah denied issuing a statement saying it had resumed attacks on US forces. This denial came hours after missiles were fired at a US base in Syria, and hours after a social media post linked to the Iran-backed group announced the resumption of attacks after a three-month hiatus.

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani visited the United States last week, and a group affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah said that armed factions in Iraq decided to resume attacks after seeing little progress in talks aimed at ending the US-led military alliance in the country. In January, three US service members were killed were killed At least 34 others were injured in a drone attack launched by Kataib Hezbollah in Northeastern Jordan Near the Syrian border.

Several missiles were launched on Sunday from a car in Iraq, targeting an American base in the northeast of the country SyriaThe Iraqi army said. The army said the car was destroyed. US Central Command did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for information about the attack.

“Crisis” at Columbia University: forced online classes; Yale arrests: live updates

Columbia University announced Monday that all classes will be held virtually and asked students who do not live on campus to stay home after protests over the war between Israel and Hamas led to arrests and prompted a rabbi to urge Jewish students to stay away from school a day before the start of Eid. Easter.

The announcement comes days after protests at the school, which raised concerns about the safety of Jewish students at the university and sparked a national debate over student demonstrations as campuses across the country grapple with growing unrest over the war in Gaza. Yale police arrested dozens of students on Monday after they refused to vacate an encampment, and Harvard University closed its main park area to the public in anticipation of protests.

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Christopher Kahn

The Israeli media has been talking for months that the country Military and intelligence officials got it wrong or completely ignored it Multiple warnings that Hamas is planning an operation on Israel's border with Gaza. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not acknowledge direct responsibility for the events of October 7. He also indicated that he does not intend to resign despite the growing protests over his handling of the war, especially regarding the issue of the Israeli hostages. Negotiations with Hamas aimed at their return have faltered, and the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, now in its seventh month, has been unable to release them either.

“In the coming days, we will increase political and military pressure on Hamas,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “This is the only way to return our hostages and achieve victory. We will deal more painful blows to Hamas soon.”

In Gaza, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed since the outbreak of war, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health. The ministry says that the majority of those killed were women and children.

Contributing: Reuters

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