Israel and Hamas begin ceasefire after deadliest conflict in years


The National

Palestinians in Gaza whistled and cheered as the ceasefire came into effect, while celebratory gunfire was also heard moments after 2am on Friday.

In East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, a focal point of Palestinian protests in recent weeks, drivers honked car horns to mark the moment.

Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas on Thursday committed to a ceasefire to go into force within hours, aimed at ending 11 days of deadly cross-border fire.

The deal brokered by Egypt was announced by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a meeting of security officials.

The security cabinet "unanimously accepted the recommendation of all of the security officials ... to accept the Egyptian initiative for a mutual ceasefire without pre-conditions", Mr Netanyahu's office said.

Abu Obida, the spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, said the group had prepared to launch rockets into Israel before the deal was reached.

"But we agreed to the ceasefire and we will watch the behaviour of the enemy until 2am," when the ceasefire is expected to come into effect, Abu Obida said.

Shortly after the announcement was made, Israeli sirens warned of incoming fire from Gaza.

A journalist for The National  in Gaza City said Israeli shelling was continuing.

"The reality on the ground will determine how we move forward," Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said.

The conflict broke out on May 10 when Hamas fired rockets towards Jerusalem, after weeks of violence in the ancient city left hundreds of Palestinians wounded.

Israeli police were accused of heavy-handed tactics across occupied East Jerusalem, particularly in Al Aqsa Mosque compound, which is the third-holiest site in Islam.

Tension was further inflamed by eviction orders hanging over Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, as well as police banning people from gathering at the Old City's Damascus Gate during Ramadan.

After rockets were fired towards Gaza, Israel launched a blistering attack on the enclave.

The country's military struck hundreds of targets it says were Hamas infrastructure, including a tunnel network.

Hamas and other militant groups in residential areas fired more than 4,000 rockets, according to the Israeli military, although hundreds fell short and most of the rest were intercepted.

At least 232 Gazans were killed, including 65 children, with 1,710 people wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Two children were among 10 people killed in Israel by rocket fire, while 118 were wounded, the Magen David Adom emergency services said.

Since the fighting began, Gaza’s infrastructure, already weakened by a 14-year blockade, has rapidly deteriorated.

Medical supplies and fuel for electricity are running low in the territory, which was put under a blockade by Israel and Egypt after Hamas seized power in 2007.

Israeli bombing damaged more than 50 schools across the territory, according to advocacy group Save the Children, completely destroying at least six.

About 91,000 Gazans fled their homes, two thirds of whom sought shelter in schools, the UN said.

Israeli attacks also damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics and destroyed one, the World Health Organisation said.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

How to get exposure to gold

Although you can buy gold easily on the Dubai markets, the problem with buying physical bars, coins or jewellery is that you then have storage, security and insurance issues.

A far easier option is to invest in a low-cost exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in the precious metal instead, for example, ETFS Physical Gold (PHAU) and iShares Physical Gold (SGLN) both track physical gold. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF invests directly in mining companies.

Alternatively, BlackRock Gold & General seeks to achieve long-term capital growth primarily through an actively managed portfolio of gold mining, commodity and precious-metal related shares. Its largest portfolio holdings include gold miners Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold Corp, Agnico Eagle Mines and the NewMont Goldcorp.

Brave investors could take on the added risk of buying individual gold mining stocks, many of which have performed wonderfully well lately.

London-listed Centamin is up more than 70 per cent in just three months, although in a sign of its volatility, it is down 5 per cent on two years ago. Trans-Siberian Gold, listed on London's alternative investment market (AIM) for small stocks, has seen its share price almost quadruple from 34p to 124p over the same period, but do not assume this kind of runaway growth can continue for long

However, buying individual equities like these is highly risky, as their share prices can crash just as quickly, which isn't what what you want from a supposedly safe haven.

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Essentials

The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 
 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 


In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories

Frida

Director: Carla Gutierrez

Starring: Frida Kahlo

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

WEST ASIA RUGBY 2017/18 SEASON ROLL OF HONOUR

Western Clubs Champions League
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Bahrain

Dubai Rugby Sevens
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

West Asia Premiership
Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Premiership Cup
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

GOODBYE JULIA

Director: Mohamed Kordofani

Starring: Siran Riak, Eiman Yousif, Nazar Goma

Rating: 5/5

Arrogate's winning run

1. Maiden Special Weight, Santa Anita Park, June 5, 2016

2. Allowance Optional Claiming, Santa Anita Park, June 24, 2016

3. Allowance Optional Claiming, Del Mar, August 4, 2016

4. Travers Stakes, Saratoga, August 27, 2016

5. Breeders' Cup Classic, Santa Anita Park, November 5, 2016

6. Pegasus World Cup, Gulfstream Park, January 28, 2017

7. Dubai World Cup, Meydan Racecourse, March 25, 2017

Final round

25 under -  Antoine Rozner (FRA)

23 - Francesco Laporta (ITA), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Matt Wallace (ENG)

21 - Grant Forrest (SCO)

20 - Ross Fisher (ENG)

19 - Steven Brown (ENG), Joakim Lagergren (SWE), Niklas Lemke (SWE), Marc Warren (SCO), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT)

MATCH INFO

UAE Division 1

Abu Dhabi Harlequins 12-24 Abu Dhabi Saracens

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)


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