Italy Pledges Additional 35 Million Euros of Aid for Palestinians

Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani (L) shakes hands with State of Palestine Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa (R) after their meeting at Farnesina Palace, in Rome, Italy 25 May 2024. EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani (L) shakes hands with State of Palestine Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa (R) after their meeting at Farnesina Palace, in Rome, Italy 25 May 2024. EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
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Italy Pledges Additional 35 Million Euros of Aid for Palestinians

Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani (L) shakes hands with State of Palestine Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa (R) after their meeting at Farnesina Palace, in Rome, Italy 25 May 2024. EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani (L) shakes hands with State of Palestine Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa (R) after their meeting at Farnesina Palace, in Rome, Italy 25 May 2024. EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

Italy will resume funding for the United Nations' Palestinian relief organization UNRWA as part of a 35 million euro ($38 million) aid package, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Saturday.
Tajani made the commitment during a meeting in Rome with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa.
The Italian minister said five million euros would go to UNRWA projects, with the remainder destined for its "Food for Gaza" initiative.
Italy was one of a number of countries to block aid for UNRWA following accusations by Israel that some of the agency's staff were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that triggered the Gaza war.
"Italy has decided to resume financing specific projects destined to help Palestinian refugees but only after rigorous checks that guarantee that not one cent risks ending up supporting terrorism," Reuters quoted Tajani as saying.
UNRWA employs 13,000 people in Gaza, running the enclave's schools, its primary healthcare clinics and other social services, and distributing humanitarian aid.
In recent weeks, several countries have resumed funding the agency. Germany said last month it would resume cooperation with UNRWA following a report led by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna into UNRWA's procedures for ensuring adherence to principles of neutrality.



Israeli Strike Kills ‘al-Jamaa al-Islamiya’ Leader in Eastern Lebanon

Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
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Israeli Strike Kills ‘al-Jamaa al-Islamiya’ Leader in Eastern Lebanon

Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)

A security source said a leader of the Lebanese militant group al-Jamaa al-Islamiya was killed Saturday in an Israeli strike on a vehicle in eastern Lebanon.
Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7, Hezbollah and other groups allied with the Palestinian Hamas group have traded near-daily fire with Israel across the southern border.
"A leader of the al-Fajr Forces of the al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, Ayman Ghotmeh, was killed in an Israeli strike in Khiara in the western Bekaa," 10 kilometers (six miles) from the border with Syria, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Fajr Forces, al-Jamaa al-Islamiya's armed wing, was established in 1982 to fight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
The group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks against Israel, including joint operations with Hamas in Lebanon. It is estimated to number around 500 men.
Lebanon's state-run ANI news agency reported one person killed when a car was targeted in Khiara, and that the victim was from the nearby village of Lala, without giving further details.
Israel's military said an aircraft carried out a "precise strike in the Beqaa area in Lebanon in order to eliminate the terrorist" Ayman Ghotmeh, who they said supplied weapons to Hamas and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya in Lebanon.
He was targeted for his "involvement in the promotion and execution of terrorist activities against Israel", the Israeli statement added.
Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, which has had seven fighters killed in Lebanon since October 7, did not immediately announce any deaths.
On April 26, the group said two of their leaders were killed in an Israeli strike in eastern Lebanon.
More than eight months of violence on the Israel-Lebanon border has left at least 480 people dead in Lebanon, mostly fighters but including at least 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.
Heightened tensions in recent days on the Israel-Lebanon border have raised fears of an expanded regional conflict.