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October 28, 2023

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Newsflash
Newsflash

, 28.10.2023, 13:55

ISRAEL
The Israeli Army has today announced it entered the
north of Gaza Strip and expanded military operations in the Palestinian
enclave, while stepping up attacks against Hamas. For the 3rd
consecutive night, tanks entered the area, supported by 100 aircraft. According
to the latest information available, clashes are on-going and Israeli troops
are still on site. The Army has avoided official announcements regarding the
land attacks, so as not to jeopardise the lives of the over 220 hostages taken
by Hamas, Israeli media report. Israel
had only made brief raids in Gaza during the 3 weeks of strikes designed to
eliminate the Hamas fighters, who killed over 1,400 Israelis on October 7. Telephone
and internet connections with Gaza have been cut in what the media describe as
the largest strikes so far. An Israeli military spokesman said that today
Israel will allow access to Gaza for trucks carrying food, water and medicines.
In fresh talks with the Israeli defence minister, the Pentagon chief called for
the protection of civilians during the operation. On Friday night, the UN
General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. The
resolution is not compulsory, but it has political weight. Israel and the US
voted against, while Romania abstained.


DIPLOMACY
The Romanian foreign minister Luminiţa Odobescu Friday had a telephone
conversation with the British foreign secretary James Cleverly, to discuss the
security situation in Israel and Gaza Strip, focusing on the need to ensure
close coordination in order to avoid regional spill-over. According to the
Romanian foreign ministry, the 2 officials emphasised the importance of
continued humanitarian aid to the population in Gaza and of the immediate and
unconditional release of all hostages.


POPULATION The population of Romania on July 1 was
approx. 21.9 million, down 0.3% since the corresponding month of last year. Almost
3 million of them are currently living abroad. Romania is also facing
population ageing, with 125 elderly citizens for each 100 youth. The average
age is 42.4 years, 0.3 years more than on July 1, 2022. The number of citizens
in urban communities is nearly 3 million higher than the number of rural
inhabitants, however urban population dropped by 0.8% over the past year while
the rural population grew by 0.3%.


UKRAINE Ukraine is seeking international support for its peace plan,
in a 2-day meeting held as of today in Malta. As many as 50 countries are
taking part, but Russia is not among them. According to AFP, this is the 3rd
meeting of this kind, and organisers hope it would result in a joint
declaration. The 10-point plan proposed by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr
Zelenskyy includes, among other things, the pull out of Russian troops from the
occupied Ukrainian territories, including Donbas, part of which is under
separatist control since 2014, and Crimea, occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Last year, Moscow annexed 4 Ukrainian regions, partly occupied by its troops
after the large-scale invasion of February 24.


DST
On Saturday night, Romania switches to winter time, setting clocks back one
hour from 4 AM to 3 AM. Sunday will thus be 25-hour long. Daylight saving time,
first suggested by the scientist Benjamin Franklin in 1784, is currently used
in 70 countries. The concept has come under debate in recent years, with the EU
asking member states to end seasonal clock changes and choose either winter
time or summer time, but a decision in this respect is yet to be made. (AMP)

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