#ISRAELHAMASWAR. Houthis shoot down American drone. The ship hit on the 17th west of Mokha is on fire. Israel begins offensive on Rafah during Ramadan

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The issue of money for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan will be considered by the US Congress no earlier than March 15. Until March 8 they will negotiate state funding, after which the money for the wars will resume. However, the United States has already achieved the strategic goal of shifting war financing to European countries.

The difficulties within the US Congress and Senate are expressed in the words of Democratic US Senator Peter Francis Welch who stated: “I cannot, in good conscience, support sending additional billions of dollars from citizens’ taxpayers to Israel to Netanyahu’s military operation in the Gaza Strip”.

Irish Foreign Minister Michal Martin on the same wavelength told the press: “The world is shocked by the level of inhumanity in the Gaza Strip. We hope to reach a consensus in the European Union to impose sanctions against settlers in the West Bank.”

Norway announces that it will help transfer frozen Palestinian Authority fiscal funds held by Israel, in order to prevent an economic collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

Amnesty International has underlined the need to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, stressing that “Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the longest and one of the deadliest military occupations in the world.”

The Israeli government, meanwhile, has unanimously approved a resolution rejecting the “diktat” to recognize a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said. The Israeli prime minister also said: “I call on Qatar to put pressure on Hamas to release as many hostages as possible.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad al-Shaitei said during a security conference in Munich that Russia has invited Palestinian factions to a meeting in Moscow on April 26. The death toll has risen to 29,092 martyrs and 69,028 wounded since the start of the aggression in Gaza. Gaza Civil Defense has called on the international community, the United Nations and the Arab League to provide relief to thousands of displaced people in Rafah after many of them were exposed to infectious diseases. The displaced people of Rafah live in the cold, food shortages and fear of Zionist bombing. “We warn against the Israeli enemy committing further humanitarian crimes in Rafah, which hosts hundreds of thousands of displaced people.” We read in the Gaza Civil Protection press release.

Despite bombing Yemen by the US-British coalition, the Houthis claim to have attacked the British bulk carrier LYCAVITOS off the coast of Yemen. The attack was carried out using anti-ship ballistic missiles.

The Houthi military spokesman said on February 17: “We hit the British tanker Polluks with a large number of missiles.” The statement was confirmed by other non-Houthi media. The extent of the damage is not known. The tanker was transporting oil from Russia to India.

On February 18, another ship was hit, according to Houthi media, but from Israeli sources we learn that “no warships were damaged in the Nahariya area. And the thick black smoke coming out of the boat is caused by starting the engine and increasing speed as part of maintenance operations.”

However, the news was confirmed that during an operation in the Red Sea, the US army discovered a Houthi underwater drone for the first time, reported the press service of the US Central Command (CENTCOM). The drone was discovered on the afternoon of February 17, when the US military carried out five strikes on three Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles, an unmanned underwater vessel and an unmanned surface vessel. “This is the first observed use of an unmanned submarine by the Houthis since the attacks began on October 23,” CENTCOM said in a statement.

According to NBC, the United States carried out a cyber attack against the Iranian vessel Behshad, which serves as a reconnaissance vessel for the Houthis in the Gulf of Aden and provides them with real-time information on ship movements in the Gulf of Aden.

On February 19, a spokesman for the Houthi wing stated: “We shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper UAV in the Hodeidah area.” Ansar Allah posted a video with the American MQ-9 Reaper UAV shot down. Also on February 19, the British Maritime Operations Authority announced in a note: “the crew of the vessel targeted west of Mokha left the ship and military forces provided support to them”.

An Israeli source told the United States that Israeli threats against Hezbollah are psychological in nature and that Israel does not have the capacity to practically push Hezbollah back from the Lebanese border.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Egypt is preparing for an Israeli military operation in Rafah and is closing off an area of about 13 square kilometers of its territory with high concrete walls, near the border with the Gaza Strip. Egyptian officials say more than 100,000 people may be living in the buffer zone and large numbers of tents have been moved there. Egypt firmly denies its involvement in any steps related to the displacement of residents of the Gaza Strip to the Sinai, the country’s state television reports. On February 19, we learned from Egyptian sources that Egypt rejected the hospital ship of the Indonesian Navy Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat in its further stay in her waters, forcing her to turn back.

And now a look at the front line updated at 2.00pm on February 19th.

The Israeli war cabinet decided to enter Rafah. The invasion will take place “as the month of Ramadan approaches”.

West Bank: Israeli forces storm the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. Clashes broke out at the Shuafat refugee camp checkpoint in Jerusalem. Hit Beit Furik and Salem, east of Nablus.

In southern Gaza there are still pockets of resistance, explosion of a high explosive device and use of RPGs against Israeli vehicles near Nasser hospital, west of Khan Yunis. Israeli forces are still transforming the Nasser medical complex into a military barracks. The Al-Qassam Brigades: hit two Israeli soldiers and clashed with an Israeli infantry force, in the Al-Amal neighborhood, west of the city of Khan Yunis. Despite the fighting, Israeli forces continue to control much of the city.

In central Gaza, sporadic clashes continued in and around Gaza. Saraya al-Quds militants attacked IDF positions west of Gaza with drones. The greatest escalation is observed in coastal areas. In response to the Palestinian group’s activity, the Israeli Air Force conducts airstrikes on real estate developments. In the run-up to the IDF operation in the central part of the enclave, fighting has been increasing. Israeli artillery and airstrikes are actively targeting Deir al-Balah and the surrounding area.

To the north of the Gaza Strip, Israel bombed the Al-Shati area. There are reports of IDF advances in the Gaza Strip on all fronts, Palestinian sources say.

From inside Syria, pro-Iranian militias fired several rockets at the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. In response, the IDF struck the suspected launch sites.

IDF fighter jets hit Hezbollah infrastructure in the Dhayra area of southern Lebanon. A Hezbollah launch site in the Aitaroun area and infrastructure in the al-Adisa area were hit, as well as other areas of Lebanon.

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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