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VP Kamala Harris publicly mourns Palestinians killed in hostage rescue operation

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Vice President Kamala Harris mourned the Palestinians in Gaza who were killed in the successful Israeli hostage rescue operation this weekend during an address delivered over the weekend.

Israeli forces say Hamas intentionally kept the hostages in a “civilian environment.” They also said even the Palestinians who were holding the hostages were also “civilians.”

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari of the IDF said Hamas has been holding hostages inside civilian buildings, including the locations where Israeli forces rescued Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Shlomi Ziv, 41, and Andrey Kozlov, 27.

“Before I begin, I just say a few words about the morning which I know weighs heavily on all of our hearts,” she said.

“On Oct. 7, Hamas committed a brutal massacre of 1,200 innocent people and abducted 250 hostages,” she continued. “Thankfully, four of those hostages were reunited with their families tonight. And we mourn all of the innocent lives that have been lost in Gaza, including those tragically killed today.”

The Israeli operation retrieved four hostages who were taken into Gaza by Hamas on Oct. 7. Harris, speaking before the Michigan Democratic Party, celebrated their retrieval but spent more time lamenting the deaths of Palestinians killed in the operation, many of whom Israel has described as terrorists.

“We have been working every day to bring an end to this conflict in a way that ensures Israel is secure, brings home all hostages, ends ongoing suffering for Palestinian people and ensures that Palestinians can enjoy their right to self-determination, dignity and freedom,” Harris added. “As President Biden said last week, it is time for this war to end.”

Fox News reports that Hamas-run authorities in Gaza claim over 270 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli operation, though they make no distinction between militants and innocents. Israeli forces claim the number was fewer than 100.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also confirmed reports on Sunday that some number of innocents appeared to have been killed in the operation.

“We the United States are not in a position today to make a definitive statement about [the death toll],” Sullivan said in a Sunday interview with CNN. “But we do know this: innocent people were tragically killed in this operation. The exact number we don’t know, but innocent people were killed.”

“Every day that we see more innocent people lost is another horrible, awful, tragic day,” he added.

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International

Israel’s Northern Command Chief ready for war with Hezbollah

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hezbollah flag uk banned

“We have been doing this for eight months, with the understanding that this time too, like 18 years ago, we have no choice but to continue fighting together until the mission is completed,” said Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, the head of the Israeli military’s Northern Command.

His forces are prepared to take the fight straight to Hezbollah terrorists if lawmakers in Jerusalem give him the go-ahead, reports Foreign Desk News.

Speaking at a commemoration ceremony marking the 2006 Lebanon War, Gordin told the audience that the IDF finished a major training exercise targeting the allies of the regime in Iran and assured those in attendance that “we are prepared and ready, and when given the command, the enemy will meet a strong and prepared army.”

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the IDF’s Chief of Staff, informed Golani Brigade commanders on Tuesday that the Jewish state was close to reaching a decision on operational matters concerning a potential offensive into southern Lebanon.

Halevi’s statements were echoed by several government officials, including war cabinet member Benny Gantz, who decided that it was necessary to resolve the local security situation by September 1.

Axios reported on Thursday that there are concerns from the White House that any escalation could draw the Islamic Republic into the war. Terror group Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Naim Qassem, told Al Jazeera this week that any actions taken against them would be met “with devastation.”

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