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Israel Hamas: Two hostages confirmed dead, US rejects bid to curb war, Yemen strikes

The sun sets behind the buildings in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.
The sun sets behind the buildings in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Copyright Leo Correa/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Leo Correa/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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The latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.

US Senators reject Bernie Sanders' effort to curb war

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US Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday forced colleagues to decide whether to investigate human rights abuses in the Israel-Hamas war, a step toward potentially limiting US military aid to Israel.

Senators overwhelmingly rejected the effort, a first of its kind that would have required the US State Department to produce a report within 30 days on whether the Israeli war effort in Gaza is violating human rights and international accords. 

Had the vote passed and the administration failed to do so, US military aid to Israel, long assured without question, could have been quickly halted.

In all, 11 senators joined Sanders in the vote, while 72 opposed. 

The White House rejected Sanders' approach as “unworkable.”

France didn't join Yemen strikes to avoid escalating tensions

French President Emmanuel Macron said his country decided not to join US-led strikes against Houthis to avoid heightening tensions in the Middle East.

The Yemen rebel group has been attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea in support of the Palestinian cause, prompting Washington and London to strike back. 

French warships in the zone will continue to help defend shipping corridors and the freedom of navigation, Macron said. 

He noted that the French Navy has already intercepted missiles and drones targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea in recent weeks.

Asked at a news conference in Paris why France didn’t join US-led military operations, Macron said: ‘’France decided not to join a coalition that carried out preventive strikes against others on their soil. Why? Because we have a posture that seeks to avoid any escalation. ... It’s a diplomatic issue, because we are vigilant and attentive about balance in the region.’’

Two Israeli hostages confirmed dead in Gaza

Two Israeli men who were captured in Hamas’ 7 October attack have been confirmed dead after the militant group released a video saying they were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

A forum for families of hostages released statements Tuesday confirming that Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itai Svirsky, 38, had died in captivity in Gaza. 

They did not say how the men died.

The two were kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri, one of several communities near Gaza that Hamas and other militants overran after breaking through Israel’s border defences. The attack ignited the war in Gaza, which is still raging.

Hamas released a video on Monday showing Sharabi and Svirsky giving statements on camera, likely under duress, followed by images of what appeared to be their dead bodies. It said they were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

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Israel's government is coming under increased pressure to secure the release of Israeli and international hostages. 

More than 100 were released in November during a weeklong ceasefire in exchange for the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. 

Other hostages have reportedly been killed by Israeli strikes and gunfire. 

Hamas and other militants captured some 250 people in the surprise 7 October attack. 

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The militant group has said no more hostages will be released until there is a permanent ceasefire.

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