LONDON: On Oct. 6, 1973, Israel was taken completely unawares by an attack by a coalition of Middle East states, led by Egypt, that came very close to wiping it off the map.
In the end Israel, backed by a massive airlift of advanced weaponry and other support from the US, survived the Yom Kippur War, albeit at great cost — more than 2,600 of its soldiers were killed, and thousands more wounded.
But “it was a massive intelligence failure,” said Ahron Bregman, a UK-based Israeli historian, author and political scientist.
BEIRUT: Three Lebanese soldiers were lightly injured Friday by Israeli shelling in southern Lebanon, medical sources said, while the Lebanese army reported no casualties in a second attack on a hospital.
Hezbollah also announced the death of four of its fighters on Friday.
“Israeli artillery fire targeted the vicinity of a Lebanese army post in Ras el-Naqura, lightly injuring three soldiers,” a medical source told AFP.
An AFP photographer at the scene saw the soldiers lying on stretchers, exhibiting signs of breathing difficulties but with no open wounds.
RAMALLAH: Israeli forces shot dead six Palestinians on Friday in a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as the army confirmed it conducted a “counterterrorism” operation.
GENEVA: Gaza’s health system is on its knees and cannot afford to lose another ambulance or a single hospital bed, the World Health Organization has warned, “The situation is getting more and more horrible by the day … beyond belief, literally,” WHO spokeperson Christian Lindmeier told a press briefing in Geneva.
“The health system is on its knees. Gaza cannot afford to lose any more health facilities, another single ambulance, any more hospitals … or even a single hospital bed more.”
DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas said an Israeli soldier who had been held hostage was killed early on Friday in a clash between the militants and an Israeli special forces unit that was conducting a rescue operation.
Al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters had discovered the rescue operation and confronted the unit which led to the death and injury of a number of the Israeli forces involved in the operation, without specifying a number.
The Palestinian Authority is working with US officials on a plan to run Gaza after the war is over, Bloomberg News reported, citing Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
The preferred outcome of the conflict would be for the Hamas militant group which controls Gaza to become a junior partner under the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), helping to build a new independent state that includes the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, Ramallah-based Shtayyeh said in an interview to Bloomberg News on Thursday.
CAIRO: Hamas said on Friday that Israel had bombed Gaza’s medieval Omari Mosque causing widespread destruction to the building and calling it a “heinous, barbaric crime.”
Photographs carried by Hamas-run media in Gaza that Reuters could not immediately verify showed massive damage to the mosque, with fallen walls and roofs and a huge crack at the bottom of the stone minaret.
Reuters journalists from Gaza identified the minaret in the picture as being that of the Omari Mosque.
BEIRUT: Four pro-Hezbollah fighters were killed on Friday in an Israeli drone strike on their car in the south of Syria, a war monitor said.
The four fighters “working on behalf of Hezbollah” were killed in Madinat Al-Baath town in the province of Quneitra, close to the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The monitor was unable however to confirm if the combatants were Syrian or not, but they were not part of the Syrian army, Abdel Rahman said.
BRUSSELS: EU countries on Friday put two Hamas commanders on the European Union’s terrorist list, following the group’s October military attack on Israel.
The two individuals are Mohammed Deif, Commander General of the military wing of Hamas, and his deputy Marwan Issa, the EU said.
Effective Friday, the two commanders are subject to the freezing of their funds and other financial assets in EU member states, while EU operators are prohibited from providing funds and economic resources to them.
CAIRO: A senior Hamas official accused Israeli forces on Friday of carrying out a “heinous crime against innocent civilians” after images of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear in Gaza circulated on social media.
Izzat El-Reshiq, who is in exile abroad, urged international human rights organizations to intervene to show what happened to the men and help secure their release.