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News And Features Articles

How Houthis are using war in Gaza to tighten grip on Yemen

Houthis are seizing on Yemen’s humanitarian disaster to drive up recruitment and strengthen their iron grip on the country, aid workers have warned. The Iran-backed group behind the attacks on Red Sea shipping has been weaponising poverty, famine and popular support for Gaza to draw civilians to its cause, they said. So successful has their recruitment drive been, that the Houthis are now thought to number as many as 100,000 – over half of the total regional militia run by Iran.

Israeli hostages at risk from deadly fungus with ‘no treatment’ in Hamas tunnel network

A mysterious deadly fungus in the Hamas tunnel network poses a new threat to the 136 hostages being held in Gaza, Israeli officials have claimed. A member of the hostage team in Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “There is a deadly fungus in the tunnels with no treatment. Hamas members there are now more immune to it but there is a high chance many of the hostages are sick and deteriorating due to this fungus."

‘None of us are really alive’: displaced Israelis cling to hopes of normality

Across Israel, almost a quarter of a million people displaced from their homes by the war with Hamas are clinging to any semblance of normality. In hotels from Eilat and Tel Aviv to Tiberias, the rituals of Jewish life, like weekly sabbath prayers and dinners, are taking place in lobbies, while usually joyous celebrations continue amid the backdrop of mourning for the victims of the October 7 attacks, all far from home in strange surroundings.

Iran offers $100 a month to recruit Houthi rebels in war-torn Yemen

Iran is offering $100 (£79) a month to desperate Yemenis if they join the Houthi rebels in their war on Israel and commercial shipping in the Red Sea. Thousands of fighters have joined the ranks in recent weeks, according to sources in opposition-held territories, amid an aggressive recruitment drive. Yemen, where more than 80 per cent of the country lives below the poverty line, has proved a fertile recruiting ground, with more than 100,000 militiamen thought to be now backed by Iran.

Houthi rebels who attacked British ship trained at elite Iranian academy

A section is dedicated to the six-month training course for foreign mercenaries under the command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s (IRGC) Quds Force, including the Houthis. The academy was established in 2013 and within four years, all IRGC naval training, including that of Iran’s proxies, was transferred there. The first course for Houthis in naval science and technology was launched in January 2020, and the Houthis were housed separately from other students ...

Hamas ‘using massive stockpile of Chinese weaponry’ in Gaza

Chinese weaponry including assault rifles and grenade launchers is being used by Hamas to wage war in Gaza, Israeli investigations have revealed. Stockpiles of hi-tech supplies uncovered by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) contained telescopic sights for rifles and cartridges for M16s as well as an array of communications equipment such as listening devices and tactical military radios. Israeli investigators are now working to determine how the equipment made it into Hamas’s hands.

‘Child bride’ hanged in Iran for murdering abusive husband

A former child bride has been executed in Iran after poisoning her husband in an attempt to escape a life of domestic violence. Samira Sabzian was hanged in the early hours of Wednesday at Ghezel Hesar prison after ten years of incarceration, leaving behind three children. She was married at 15 and was arrested four years later, charged with murdering her husband, when her youngest child was still a baby. She was subsquently sentenced to death.

Iran launches wave of executions with world fixated on Gaza

Iran has launched a spree of executions targeting activists and ethnic minorities since the war in Gaza broke out, rights groups and campaigners say. With the world’s attention diverted by the Israel-Hamas war, Iran has executed at least 229 people, they said, as the regime in Tehran clamps down in the wake of the uprising after the death of Mahsa Amini. Iran on Saturday said it had executed a man who was sentenced to death after being convicted of working with Israel’s intelligence services.

Israel planning to flood labyrinth of Hamas terror tunnels

Erik Prince, the controversial US security contractor who once controlled the military company Blackwater, persuaded Israel only days after the terrorist attacks of October 7 to buy his sophisticated mining equipment to flood Hamas’s 300 miles of tunnels in Gaza. The Times has learnt that Prince, a former US Navy Seal, flew into Israel just after Hamas attacked the country, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping at least another 240.

Qatar fears Mossad assassinations in Doha

Israel has promised Qatar that it will not try to assassinate Hamas leaders living in the Gulf state — but only for now. After the October 7 attacks, Israeli leaders promised vengeance against the whole leadership of Hamas, which is split between Gaza and overseas capitals, including Istanbul and Beirut. The group’s top political leaders are based in Doha, the capital of Qatar, by historic agreement with the country’s western allies which favour it as a venue for negotiations when necessary.

Hamas chief ‘back from dead’ to lead attack

A Hamas leader specialising in kidnappings and cross-border infiltration who was pronounced dead in 2014, is alive and masterminded the Oct 7 attacks, Israeli spies believe. Sources close to Israeli intelligence said Mohammed Sinwar, the younger brother of Yahya Sinwa, Hamas’s leader in Gaza and Israel’s most-wanted terrorist, has been living under a shroud of secrecy in the tunnels beneath the Strip for years.

Killing of gay IDF soldier by Hamas prompts new equal rights law

Israel’s right-wing, religious coalition government has passed a landmark ruling to give equal rights to the same-sex partners of dead soldiers.vThe Families of Fallen Soldiers Law was amended to allow the partners to be recognised for the first time as Israel Defence Forces (IDF) widows, meaning they can now access benefits including pensions, financial and educational support for children, medical, funeral, wake and convalescence costs, as well as psychological support.

Families urge hostage envoy Gal Hirsch to resign

The families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas have called for the country’s chief envoy for captives and the missing to resign, after weeks of failing to secure their loved ones’ release. Security officials have also privately criticised Gal Hirsch, a former general in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) who left the army in 2006 amid controversy over his part in failing to prevent the kidnapping of soldiers by Hezbollah, an incident that prompted Israel’s invasion of Lebanon that year.

Ultra-orthodox Jews break with tradition and join the IDF to take up arms against Hamas

He’s one of eight children and the first in his family to serve, but he will not be the last. In spite of his breaking a historic cultural norm, he says his family are “happy and proud” of his joining and his older brother, who is 32 with two young daughters, is now following him. “We’re seeing there is a big need for the Haredi people and that’s why we’re here,” he said.

Israeli hostage task force fears repeating past mistakes

The shadow of the “disastrous” deal that freed the soldier Gilad Shalit after he was held for five years by Hamas looms over Israeli officials, a member of the task force trying to release 239 hostages has admitted. As families demand a deal from Binyamin Netanyahu to free the captives at any price, the negotiator told The Times that officials are fearful of making the same mistake that they did in the Shalit case.
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