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Ukraine war: Kyiv's plea for Patriots falls short in Greece and Spain

Spain and Greece refuse Patriot missiles to Kyiv

Greece has rejected pressure from European allies to help Ukraine boost its air defences, arguing that Athens needs the systems for itself.

Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed for at least seven more Patriots or similar defence batteries to protect its cities and power plants from Russian attack.

But Greece has said it cannot spare any of its Patriot or S-300 systems.

Reports say Spain will supply some Patriot missiles but not a full system.

Spain and Greece have come under pressure to help Ukraine from both Nato and European Union allies, in response to attacks on vulnerable cities including Chernihiv and power facilities in Kharkiv and close to Kyiv.

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Israel rebukes US calls for investigation into mass graves in Gaza

Israel rebukes US call for investigation of mass graves in GazaIsrael’s military says it already looked into reports of mass graves and found no wrongdoing by its forces, even as the Biden administration calls for an investigation into the matter.

Over the past few days, U.S. officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have called for Israel to “thoroughly and transparently” investigate reports of mass graves at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which Israeli forces last raided in February. The State Department came under fire from advocates for refusing to call for an independent investigation, instead saying the U.S. will press Israel for information.

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An American hostage is seen alive for the first time since Oct. 7 in a Hamas video

Hersh Goldberg

A hostage video released Wednesday by the military wing of Hamas appears to show a statement by an American-Israeli man who was kidnapped on Oct. 7, marking the first time the militant group has released a video showing one of the five Americans it is holding captive.

The video is also the first time that Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 24, has been seen alive since the day of the Hamas-led attack on Israel, during which some 1,200 people were killed.

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Ukraine war briefing: Kyiv pulls back Abrams tanks due to drone raids and losses, says US

Abram tanks pulled back in Ukraine
  • Ukraine has taken American Abrams M1A1 battle tanks off the frontline, partly because of Russian drone tactics, Pentagon officials have said. The US agreed to send 31 Abrams to Ukraine in January 2023. Five have been lost to Russian attacks.

  • The proliferation of drones means “there isn’t open ground that you can just drive across without fear of detection”, a senior defence official said on Thursday. “Now, there is a way to do it,” he said. “We’ll work with our Ukrainian partners, and other partners on the ground, to help them think through how they might use that, in that kind of changed environment now, where everything is seen immediately.”

  • The Ukrainians have not adopted tactics that could have made the tanks more effective, one of the US defence officials said, such as in combined-arms warfare, training for which was provided by the US in Germany. Russian forces have sustained heavy losses of their own tanks and armoured equipment due to highly effective surveillance and attacks by Ukrainian drone warfare units.

Ukraine uses long-range ATACMS against Russia for the first time

Ukraine uses ATACMS against Russia

The U.S. provided Ukraine with powerful long-range ballistic missiles for the first time earlier this month, and its military has already used them twice in the last week against Russian forces, according to three U.S. officials.

The first strike was about 100 miles inside Crimea’s border on the morning of April 17, targeting a Russian military airfield, according to the officials. The Ukrainian military used the U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, for the second time Tuesday night, targeting Russian forces east of the southeastern Ukrainian town of Berdyansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, officials said.

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Shot by Israeli troops while getting aid, a boy in Gaza fights for his life

12 yr. old Gaza boy shotNimer Saddy al-Nimer is 12. His first name means "Tiger" in Arabic. Wavy locks of sandy brown hair rest just above his large brown eyes. He's skinny and tall for his age. He calls himself a "soccer addict," he's a fan of FC Barcelona, and Lionel Messi is his hero. He'd pretend to be the Argentine superstar when he played pickup games with his friends in the alleys behind the mosque near his home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City.

But that was before the war.

Nimer now lies inside a makeshift tent propped up by two-by-fours. The roof is a sheet of transparent plastic. The walls, old billboards and other scrap found here among the refugee camps of Rafah, on the opposite side of the Gaza Strip from his home.

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UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by reports of mass graves at two Gaza hospitals

Mass Graves found near Gaza hospital

The UN human rights chief, Volker Türk, has said he was “horrified” by reports of mass graves containing hundreds of bodies at two of Gaza’s largest hospitals.

Palestinian civil defence teams began exhuming bodies from a mass grave outside the Nasser hospital complex in Khan Younis last week after Israeli troops withdrew. A total of 310 bodies have been found in the last week, including 35 in the past day, Palestinian officials have said.

“We feel the need to raise the alarm because clearly there have been multiple bodies discovered,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights.

She described bodies “buried deep in the ground and covered with waste”, adding that “among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded”, including some bound and stripped of their clothes.

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