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Israeli military ‘faked casualties’ in Hezbollah attack | World News

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Israel’s military faked casualties in a skirmish with Lebanese militant group Hezbollah during the weekend, according to Israeli media.

The staged injuries and evacuation of an army base were part of a plan to trick Hezbollah into thinking it had inflicted damage and Israeli casualties, media reports said on Monday.

Hezbollah claimed it had destroyed an Israeli military vehicle near the border during Sunday’s battle, killing and wounding those inside.

Israel said it had retaliated, using a helicopter gunship and artillery fire.

Fire started after retaliatory strikes by Israel on Lebanon
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Late on Sunday, Israel’s military said there were no casualties

Israeli TV stations had broadcast video of soldiers unloading what appeared to be a bloody, bandaged comrade who had been evacuated in a helicopter.

But the army’s apparent aim was to let Hezbollah claim victory for a few hours until the situation calmed down.

Late on Sunday, the Israeli military said there were no casualties.

In a televised speech on Monday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said the episode had launched a “new phase” in which the Iran-backed movement no longer has red lines.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the new focus, now in the hands of fighters in the field, would be on targeting Israeli drones entering Lebanon’s airspace.

He added: “The message is clear. If you launch an aggression, then all your border, soldiers and deep inside (Israel) will be part of our retaliation.”

Lebanese Hezbollah movement leader Hasan Nasrallah said the flare-up with Israel launched 'new phase'
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The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said the flare-up launched ‘new phase’

Shells were fired at the Lebanese side of the border during Sunday’s clash, including in the village of Maroun al-Ras, sparking fires.

“Hezbollah executed the attack, however [it] failed to cause casualties,” an Israeli military spokesman said.

“The tactical event on the ground appears to be behind us, however the strategic situation is still on, and the Israel Defence Forces maintains an elevated level of readiness.”

An Israeli self-propelled artillery gun near the Lebanese border on 1 September
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The army’s apparent aim was to let Hezbollah claim victory for a few hours

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said future action would depend on how events developed.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he had called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a French diplomat about the developments.

Israel has been on high alert over the risk of confrontation with the armed wing of Hezbollah, which is widely-recognised as a terror group.

Fierce enemies Israel and Hezbollah fought a four-week war in 2006 that killed hundreds of people but ended in stalemate.

Despite their entrenched animosity, there has been no direct fighting between them for the past 13 years.

Last week, Lebanon hit out at Israel after two drones crashed over Beirut, hours after Israel claimed to have struck Iranian forces in Syria.

The two drones crashed separately in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, with Lebanon saying the group had not fired on the drones.

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Tsunami warning after 7.7-magnitude quake hits Jamaica | World News

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A tsunami warning has been issued for Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean.

The powerful tremor struck 72 miles (117 km) northwest of the coastal town of Lucea at a depth of around six miles (10 km), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The International Tsunami Information Center warned that “hazardous tsunami waves” could occur “within 186 miles (300 km) of the epicenter along the coasts of Jamaica… Cayman Islands and Cuba,”

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Coronavirus outbreak: Britons set to be evacuated from Wuhan | World News

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UK officials will try to evacuate all Britons from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday – as the Foreign Office warns against all but essential travel to mainland China.

Hong Kong and Macau are not affected by the new travel advice.

There are believed to be about 300 UK citizens still in the city of Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province.

China said a total of 106 people have now died in the country following the crisis, with more than 4,515 confirmed cases across the nation.

Both numbers rose dramatically in the latest update from the National Health Commission, with most of those affected hailing from Wuhan – the centre of the outbreak.

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Trump unveils Middle East peace plan which is ‘win-win’ for Israel and Palestinians | World News

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Donald Trump has unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, saying the “realistic” two-state solution is a “win-win opportunity” for both Israel and the Palestinians.

Speaking at the White House, the US president said his administration’s vision would form the basis of direct negotiations between the two sides which was a “historic breakthrough”.

The proposal calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in parts of east Jerusalem and it more than doubles the territory currently under Palestinian control.

But it also recognises Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank, something to which the Palestinians will almost certainly object.

The Palestinians have already rejected the proposal, accusing Mr Trump of being biased in favour of Israel as he has adopted policies that boost Israel at their expense.

Mr Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together for Mr Trump's announcement
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Mr Trump was joined by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the announcement

However, the US president, speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel was taking a “giant step toward peace” and Palestinians deserved the chance for a better life.

Mr Trump said the deal was a “historic opportunity” for Palestinians to achieve an independent state of their own.

He said his vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependence on charity and foreign aid, as he urged peaceful co-existence between the two sides.

The American leader said he told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that if he chooses peace then the US and other countries “will be there every step of the way to help”.

And urging peace in the region, Mr Trump said it was time for “this sad chapter in history to end”.

Mr Netanyahu said he has agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians because the peace plan “strikes a balance”.

However, an official with the ruling Hamas group in Gaza called Mr Trump’s statement “aggressive” and said the Jerusalem plan was “nonsense”.

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