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Israel Has No Right To Defend Itself – Russia

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Israel has no right to defend itself as it is an occupying power, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said yesterday.

 

Nebenzya pointed out, during his speech before the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, that the United Nations does not have the right to give Israel an absolute mandate to carry out a ground operation in Gaza.

 

“The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defence, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power as confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice handed down in 2004,” he explained.

He stressed his country’s call to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, to avoid expanding the scope of the crisis to the entire region, and to work on a diplomatic solution to it.

“As for Israel’s security – and we recognise its rights to ensure its security – this security can only be fully guaranteed if we resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

He added that sooner or later, a diplomatic solution will have to be taken, but the question is how many innocent people will die during this time.

Nebenzya noted that Russia cannot turn a blind eye to the flagrant violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, pointing out that entire neighbourhoods have been flattened.

He also accused the US and its allies of “hypocrisy,” saying that “in other completely different situations are issuing appeals for the respect of humanitarian law, establishing investigation committees, imposing sanctions on those who are actually genuinely only resorting to force as a last resort to put an end to years of violence,” in an apparent reference to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack

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German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

 

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

 

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

 

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

 

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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