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Kenya Red Cross rescues people marooned by floodwaters in Tana River County. Photo: Kenya Red Cross

Occupied Palestinian Territory

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, warned yesterday that a ground operation in Rafah will be nothing short of a tragedy beyond words.

In a statement, Griffiths said a ground invasion in Gaza’s southernmost point would spell even more trauma and death for the hundreds of thousands of people who have fled there to escape disease, famine, mass graves and direct fighting.

Griffiths said a ground operation would also strike a disastrous blow to agencies struggling to provide humanitarian aid despite active hostilities, impassable roads, unexploded ordnance, fuel shortages, delays at checkpoints, and Israeli restrictions.

The Under-Secretary-General noted recent improvements in bringing more aid into Gaza, but he said they cannot be used to prepare for or justify a full-blown military assault on Rafah. Civilians must be protected, and their needs must be met.

OCHA reports that aid organizations continue to face a number of access constraints in reaching people in need of assistance across Gaza, including denials of planned missions or prolonged delays at Israeli military checkpoints on the roads used to move between northern and southern Gaza.

OCHA says more than a quarter of humanitarian missions to northern Gaza in April were impeded by Israeli authorities – and 10 per cent were denied.

We and our humanitarian partners continue our efforts to scale up aid operations whenever and wherever possible.

Today, the World Food Programme said it reached Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, which had been inaccessible for months. WFP says setting up storage space there will allow it to bring more food to Gaza city and other areas. The agency said it is ready to scale up food assistance in northern Gaza – but stressed that rolling back six months of starvation will require steady flows of food supplies.

Meanwhile, OCHA warns that the situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is escalating. Our humanitarian colleagues report that there have been at least 800 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians there that resulted in casualties or property damage since the 7th of October. This included the killing of more than 30 Palestinians by Israeli forces or settlers, the injury of nearly 500 others, and damage to dozens of homes, and nearly 12,000 trees and saplings. 

Kenya

In Kenya, the UN and our partners continue to support the Government-led response to the heavy rains and flash flooding. As of April 29th, we and our partners have provided emergency assistance to more than 124,000 people, including water sanitation and hygiene supplies, food, health and psycho-social support.

Our partners are also supporting rescue operations and the establishment of camps to host people displaced by the floods.

According to national authorities, the floods have affected more than 190,000 people and displaced over 150,000 people across the country.

The agricultural sector has also been impacted, with more than 4,800 livestock lost and more than 27,000 acres of cropland damaged. Ocha

 The Iranian minister of information technology has referred to the space industry and IT as new chapters in enhancing bilateral cooperation with Tanzania.

Issa Zarepour made the remarks in a meeting held in Tehran on Wednesday with the visiting Tanzanian Minister of Trade and Industrial Development Omar Said Shaaban.

Zarepour said development of relations with African countries including Tanzania is the Islamic Republic’s strategy as the country has expressed readiness to take step towards this goal.

In his remarks, the minister called for formation of a joint working group to follow up finalization of mutual agreements.

For his part, Shaaban appreciated the Islamic Republic government’s hospitality and thanked for preparing the ground for his meeting with the Iranian president.

Such a hospitality and meeting indicated how much the Islamic Republic attaches importance to its ties with the African states, the Tanzanian minister said expressing readiness to expand cooperation with Iran.

He further promised to pave the way for fostering bilateral ties.

Senior officials from some African countries including Central African Republic and Tanzania are in Tehran to attend the Iran-Africa meeting. MNA/IRN

IEA News

We are delighted to announce the imminent release of the historical novel " My Soul is a Witness,” written by Gabriel Souleyka. This captivating novel plunges readers into the turbulent history of Awa and Ibrahim, a couple confronted with the tragedies of WWII.

The story takes place in 1939, when Awa and Ibrahim celebrate their wedding. However, their happiness is short-lived when war breaks out, and Ibrahim is sent to fight in France. In the tumult of war, he disappeared in 1940, leaving Awa deeply saddened.

Determined to find her husband at all costs, Awa decided to follow the rector of the Paris mosque on his visit to Dakar. She arrived in Paris in January 1942, determined to discover Ibrahim's fate. Sheltered by a Jewish family, she joined the active resistance at the Paris Mosque. For months, she took part in efforts to rescue and shelter Jews hiding at the mosque.

However, on July 16, 1942, their world was turned upside down when Awa was arrested along with the other Jews of Paris for wearing a yellow star. Interned at Drancy, she was then deported to Auschwitz with a thousand other people. There, in the horror of the camps, Awa miraculously discovered Ibrahim, who has been interned for a year. Together, they will do everything in their power to survive and share their testimony to the horror of the Shoah.

"My Soul is a Witness" is much more than a simple historical novel; it's a poignant tale of courage, love and resilience in the face of adversity. We are convinced that this story will touch you and captivate your readers. The storyline deals with the brotherhood between Jews, Muslims and, Christians in the face of Nazi barbarism.

We invite you to discover this unforgettable novel. If you would like to arrange an interview with the author or obtain press copies, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are convinced that this unique story will help build bridges between communities, reminding us that in the face of this genocide, resistance fighters rose up and that witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust must remain constant so that we never forget. We thank you in advance for your attention to our publication and for your support in this endeavour. 

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