Connect with us

World

Gaza dead reach 78 as Israelis hint at invasion

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Gaza dead reach 78 as Israelis hint at invasion | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Gaza dead reach 78 as Israelis hint at invasion
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: At least 78 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel’s Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday as militants in the enclave kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities.

As Israeli officials seemed to hint at a possible invasion by ground forces, eight members of one family, including five children, were killed in an early morning air strike that levelled two homes at Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border, the Palestinian Health ministry said.

Israel’s military made no comment on what would be the deadliest strike since its began its assault on Tuesday. The defence minister spoke of “long days of fighting ahead”.

French President Francois Hollande voiced his concern at the civilian deaths in the Palestinian enclave and called for a truce. A spokeswoman for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who like Hollande spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said of possible escalation: “Nobody wants to see a ground invasion.”

The offensive followed a build-up in violence after three Jewish students were killed in the occupied West Bank last month and a Palestinian youth died in a suspected revenge attack.

Medical officials in Hamas-dominated Gaza said at least 60 civilians, including a four-year-old girl and a boy aged five who were killed on Thursday, were among the 78 Palestinians who have died in Israeli attacks since Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement: “So far the battle is progressing as planned but we can expect further stages in future. Up to now, we have hit Hamas and the terror organisations hard and as the battle continues we will increase strikes at them.”

Netanyahu discussed options with his security cabinet as air strikes continued and officials hinted at a possible ground offensive, there was no word on when or if this would happen.

“We have long days of fighting ahead of us,” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said.

KNIFE EDGE

Sirens sounded in and around Jerusalem in the evening and residents ran for cover as a number of rockets were launched towards the holy city. Two were intercepted and others fell in open ground. The remnants of one rocket fell on a building in an Israeli community in the hills near Jerusalem, police said.

Militants from Hamas’s Qassam Brigades and the smaller Islamic Jihad group said they had launched separate strikes.

The only Israeli casualties on Thursday were two people who had minor wounds when a mortar exploded near the Gaza border.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was to brief the Security Council on the crisis later on Thursday, condemned the rocket attacks and urged Israel to show restraint. “Gaza is on a knife edge,” he told reporters.

Israel says it has struck more than 860 targets in an offensive intended to halt persistent rocket fire at its own civilian population, which escalated after Israeli forces arrested hundreds of Hamas activists in the West Bank while hunting for the abducted teenagers.

It says Hamas Islamists put innocent Palestinians in harm’s way by placing weaponry and gunmen in residential areas. The movement has widespread support among Palestinians.

SMOKE AND RUBBLE

Across the Gaza Strip, smoke and rubble marked the aftermath of Israeli attacks in the most serious hostilities between the militants and Israel’s powerful armed forces in two years.

“The Jews say they are fighting Hamas and fighting gunmen while all the bodies we have seen on television are those of women and children,” said Khaled Ali, 45, a Gaza taxi driver.

Rocket salvoes on Israel – the military said more than 470 projectiles have been fired since Tuesday, including some 170 on Thursday alone – have caused no fatalities or serious injuries. That has been due in part to interception by Israel’s partly U.S.-funded Iron Dome aerial defence system.

The wail of air raid sirens has paralysed business in southern communities and sent hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for shelter in Tel Aviv, the commercial capital where two rockets were shot down on Thursday. But offices and shops remain open and roads are clogged with traffic.

One rocket fell in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Abbas’s administrative centre Ramallah. It landed in open ground close to a Palestinian home. Some rockets have landed more than 100 km (60 miles) from Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri sounded a defiant note, when asked about defence minister Yaalon’s remarks of further action to come. “Our backs are to the wall and we have nothing to lose,” he said. “We are ready to battle until the end.”

KNOCK ON THE DOOR

Israel’s targets in the Gaza Strip have included militant commanders’ homes, which it described as command and control centres. Palestinian officials put the number of dwellings either destroyed or damaged at more than 120. Local residents said some of the houses did not belong to fighters.

Netanyahu has accused Hamas of committing “a double war crime” by targeting Israeli civilians “while hiding behind Palestinian civilians”.

Owners of some of the targeted homes received telephoned warnings from Israel to get out. In other cases, so-called “knock-on-the-door” missiles, which do not carry explosive warheads, were first fired as a signal to evacuate. Scenes of families fleeing their homes have played out daily.

Israeli leaders, who have popular support for the Gaza offensive, have mobilised some 20,000 army reservists, giving them the means, if they choose, to mount a land offensive in one of the world’s most densely populated territories.

The last time they did that was in early 2009. Ground troops did not cross into the Strip during the last major exchange of rockets and missiles in October 2012.

U.S.-backed Palestinian President Abbas, who is based in the West Bank and entered a power-sharing deal with Hamas in April after years of feuding, has denounced the Israeli offensive.

In telephone calls with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Abbas “stressed the need to achieve a ceasefire immediately”, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

World

India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages

Avatar

Published

on

India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages | Thaiger
PHOTO: India's Covid-19 infections spread while oxygen supplies dwindle.

India is experiencing record infections and deaths due to Covid-19 and is now running dangerously low on oxygen supplies. The countries second wave of the virus includes a dangerous virus variant that is spreading quickly and has infected 3.5 million people just this month. In the last 24 hours, 295,000 new infections occurred with just over 2,000 deaths. Prime minister Narendra Modi said that India was in for a big fight and that the second wave of Covid-19 came like a storm.

India had done relatively well during the first wave of the coronavirus for a country dense with 1.3 billion inhabitants. In the last few weeks though people have let their guard down with millions attending religious festivals cricket matches huge weddings, and political rallies around the country. This coinciding with delays and even stopping of production for Covid-19 vaccines and medication along with a lack of oxygen being generated in India is leading to new levels of crisis.

With oxygen supplies dwindling throughout India, relatives of Covid-19 patients are buying black-market oxygen supplies for hyper-inflated prices. Some hospitals are said to be down to their last few hours of oxygen supplies. The health minister of New Delhi is pleading with the government to focus on the oxygen supply chain in India before it devolves into a serious crisis.

Mumbai is the centre of this most recent surge and oxygen shortages there are no better. One doctor said in the event of an oxygen shortage they would usually just relocate patients to another hospital, but now no hospital has the needed surplus. The prime minister said that the government, federal and local, along with private enterprise are working to increase oxygen supplies in India.

New Delhi is in the middle of a week-long lockdown and several other Indian States are facing shut down this weekend. Several countries are cancelling flights or moving India to advisory lists, urging their citizens not to travel there. The United Kingdom and the United States have both flagged India as unsafe to travel, while New Zealand and Hong Kong have completely banned flights.

Vaccination has been hit or miss in India, with early criticism for exporting jobs produced there while so few had been administered locally. Now India has stopped exporting AstraZeneca vaccines, and more than 130 million jabs have been given though supplies have still been limited. Data is expected in the next few weeks about the effect of the Indian Covid-19 variant. As of now, India is second to only the US in total cases with 15.6 million infections and over 180,000 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand launches Covid-19 vaccine passport for international travel

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Thailand launches Covid-19 vaccine passport for international travel | Thaiger
PHOTO: Marco Verch / Flickr

The Thai government has confirmed it is adopting a vaccine passport scheme, to provide vaccinated residents with proof of Covid-19 inoculation. The vaccine passport will be an official document which can be used by vaccinated people travelling abroad. Details of the scheme have now been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Royal Gazette has also published the format of the vaccine passport, which has been approved by Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control. The cover contains text in English and Thai, which bears the department’s name and that of the Public Health Ministry. It carries the national emblem of Thailand, the garuda, and the wording, “Covid-19 Certificate of Vaccination”.

The vaccine passport also contains the owner’s name, as well as his or her national identification or passport number, and confirmation that the holder is vaccinated against Covid-19. It’s understood that only vaccines approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration or by the World Health Organisation, will be recognised in the vaccine passport scheme.

In order to be valid, the vaccine passport must be signed by an approved disease control official. The Royal Gazette has published an order from the Department of Disease Control authorising 6 such officials to sign the document.

Each vaccine passport is for individual use only. Parents of children under the age of 7 will be required to sign their document for them, while people who cannot write will be required to provide a fingerprint.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Tourism

World’s most travel-friendly passport list – 2021

Avatar

Published

on

World’s most travel-friendly passport list – 2021 | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Japan tops the list of most travel-friendly passports.

The Henley Passport Index, which rates which passports are the most travel-friendly, has just released the list for 2021, with Japan once again at the top of the list.

But the Index noted that this year’s international travel freedom comparison is mostly theoretical as the current Covid-19 situation continues to limit most international travel.

With a Japanese passport, travellers can enter 193 countries without a visa or with a visa-on-arrival. On the other end of the list, an Afghanistan passport can only get into 26 countries. The gap of 167 countries is the widest gap since the Henley Passport Index began tracking this data 15 years ago in 2006.

Singapore kept its second-place this year standing with just one less destination than Japan, followed by Germany and South Korea tied for 3rd place with 191 destinations. The rest of the top 10 are mainly European countries, with the exception of New Zealand and the US as part of the 5-way tie for 7th place with 187 destinations, and Australia and Canada tied for 9th place with 185 destinations.

The US and UK passports took a tumble, once tied for the most travel-friendly passport back in 2014, now losing ground slipping to 7th place. On the other hand, United Arab Emirates strengthened diplomatic ties worldwide and jumped 50 spots this year from 65th all the way to 15th. Over the decade, the climb is even more dramatic, with the Emirates exploding from 67 destinations 10 years ago up 107 destinations to 174 this year. China did well also, climbing 22 places since 2011, up to number 68 on the list.

Thailand’s passport is tied with Saudi Arabia at 66th with 79 destinations available without an advance visa.

The full list of most travel-friendly passports…
1. Japan (193 destinations)
2. Singapore (192)
3. Germany, South Korea (191)
4. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain (190)
5. Austria, Denmark (189)
6. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden (188)
7. Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (187)
8. Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Norway (186)
9. Australia, Canada (185)
10. Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia (183)

Henley and Partners predict that the spread in passport access will mirror Covid-19 affected travel. Rich and mobile regions like the US, UK, EU and UAE are getting access to vaccination, hastening their ability to travel, while poorer and developing economies are experiencing a much slower vaccine roll-out.

Experts from Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Migration Policy Centre predict this trend will continue with potentially devastating long-term effects.

Countries that can afford and facilitate vaccination for their citizens quickly will be able to welcome travellers in for tourism and business and be able to travel more themselves. Conversely, countries that can’t afford the storage and distribution of vaccines will be less able to travel or welcome tourism income, widening a global wealth gap.

Remote working and the digital nomad lifestyle has been booming in recent years and with Covid-19 forcing businesses to adapt to telecommuting, the post-pandemic world will see more remote working, and countries falling behind with vaccinations will suffer the long-term loss in tourism dollars too.

SOURCE: CNN

World's most travel-friendly passport list - 2021 | News by Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
CCSA Update: 1,458 new Covid-19 cases, provincial totals | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

CCSA Update: 1,458 new Covid-19 cases, provincial totals

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

Phuket requires Covid paperwork to enter from red zone provinces from Wednesday (April 21) | Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Phuket requires Covid paperwork to enter from red zone provinces from Wednesday (April 21)

Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday | Thaiger
Songkran6 days ago

Bangkok sees 7.87 million vehicles over Songkran holiday

Alcohol sales may be banned in restaurants, but no lockdown for now | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Alcohol sales may be banned in restaurants, but no lockdown for now

Denmark becomes first country in Europe to ditch AstraZeneca vaccine | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Denmark becomes first country in Europe to ditch AstraZeneca vaccine

Officials investigating woman’s alleged attempt to sell national parkland for 350 million baht | Thaiger
Eastern Thailand6 days ago

Officials investigating woman’s alleged attempt to sell national parkland for 350 million baht

Burmese prisoners granted amnesty on first day of Myanmar’s New Year | Thaiger
Crime3 days ago

Burmese prisoners granted amnesty on first day of Myanmar’s New Year

New restrictions for domestic flights effective along with other nationwide restrictions today | Thaiger
Transport3 days ago

New restrictions for domestic flights effective along with other nationwide restrictions today

Teen crashes motorbike into parked car while looking at phone | Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Teen crashes motorbike into parked car while looking at phone

Bangkok is now a red zone. Government gives people today to get back from Songkran break. | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

Bangkok is now a red zone. Government gives people today to get back from Songkran break.

Thai Health Ministry predicts 5 likely Covid outcomes post-Songkran, warns of risks posed by partying | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thai Health Ministry predicts 5 likely Covid outcomes post-Songkran, warns of risks posed by partying

Survey underway as experts attempt to save James Bond island from erosion | Thaiger
Environment2 days ago

Survey underway as experts attempt to save James Bond island from erosion

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws | Thaiger
Entertainment5 days ago

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws

Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now | Thaiger
Pattaya7 days ago

Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending