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Over 1,000 Pilgrims Died During This Year’s Hajj Pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, Officials Say

More than 1,000 people died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia as they faced extreme high temperatures at Islamic holy sites in the desert kingdom, officials said Sunday. More than half of the fatalities were people from Egypt, according to two officials in Cairo. Egypt revoked the licenses of 16 travel agencies that helped unauthorized pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia, authorities said. Saudi Arabia has not commented on the deaths during the pilgrimage, which is required of every able Muslim once in their life. The Egyptian government announced the death of 31 authorized pilgrims due to chronic diseases during this year’s Hajj, but didn’t offer an official tally for other pilgrims. Egypt sent more than 50,000 authorized pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year, the government said. However, a Cabinet official said that at least 630 other Egyptians died during the pilgrimage, with most reported at the Emergency Complex in Mecca’s Al-Muaisem neighborhood. Confirming the tally, an Egyptian diplomat said most of the dead have been buried in Saudi Arabia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists. Saudi authorities cracked down on unauthorized pilgrims, expelling tens of thousands of people. But many, mostly Egyptians, managed to reach holy sites in and around Mecca, some on foot. Unlike authorized pilgrims, they had no hotels to escape from the scorching heat. In its statement, the government said the 16 travel agencies failed to provide adequate services for pilgrims. It said these agencies illegally facilitated the travel of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia using visas that don’t allow holders to travel to Mecca. The government also said officials from the companies have been referred to the public prosecutor for investigations. According to the state-owned Al-Ahram daily, some travel agencies and Hajj trip operators sold Saudi tourist visas to Egyptian Hajj hopefuls, violating Saudi regulations which require exclusive visas for pilgrims. Those agencies left pilgrims in limbo in Mecca and the holy sites amid scorching heat, the newspaper said. The fatalities also included 165 pilgrims from Indonesia, 98 from India and dozens more from Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Malaysia, according to an Associated Press tally. Two U.S. pilgrims were also reported dead. The AP could not independently confirm the causes of death, but some countries like Jordan and Tunisia blamed the soaring heat. Saudi officials did not respond to questions seeking more information. Associated Press journalists saw pilgrims fainting from the scorching heat during the Hajj, especially on the second and third days. Some vomited and collapsed. Deaths are not uncommon at the Hajj, which has seen at times over 2 million people travel to Saudi Arabia for a five-day pilgrimage. The pilgrimage’s history has also seen deadly stampedes and epidemics. But this year’s tally was unusually high, suggesting exceptional circumstances. In 2015 a stampede in Mina killed over 2,400 pilgrims, the deadliest incident ever to strike the pilgrimage, according to an AP count. Saudi Arabia has never acknowledged the full toll of the stampede. A separate crane collapse at Mecca’s Grand Mosque earlier the same year killed 111. The second-deadliest incident at the Hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people. During this year’s Hajj period, daily high temperatures ranged between 46 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) and 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees […]
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WATCH: IDF Raids And Demolishes Hamas Training Complex In Rafah [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]

In a series of precise and intelligence-based operations, the soldiers of the 162nd Division have continued to target and eliminate armed terrorists and destroy terrorist infrastructure in the Rafah area. In a recent raid, the 401st Brigade Combat Team targeted the ‘Abu Said’ Compound, a training facility for the Hamas Tel al-Sultan Battalion. The operation resulted in the discovery of the office of Commander Mahmoud Hamdan, as well as weapons storage facilities and multiple tunnel shafts. The tunnel shafts are currently being examined and destroyed. The IDF also dismantled the compound, and in the surrounding area, soldiers raided the office of Yasser Nett, the Commander of Rocket and Missile Fire in Hamas’ Rafah Brigade. Nett has been responsible for numerous projectiles fired into Israeli territory and against IDF troops. In a parallel operation, the soldiers targeted a military compound used for training Hamas terrorist operatives. The raid yielded large quantities of weapons, several tunnel shafts used to carry out attacks against IDF troops, and valuable intelligence documents. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
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Thousands Of Iran-Backed Jihadists Ready To Join Hezbollah In Its War Against Israel

Thousands of jihadists from Iran-backed groups in the Middle East are ready to come to Lebanon to join with the Hezbollah terror group in its battle with Israel if the simmering conflict escalates into a full-blown war, officials with Iran-backed factions and analysts say. Over the past decade, Iran-backed terrorists from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan fought together in Syria’s 13-year conflict, helping tip the balance in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Officials from Iran-backed groups say they could also join together again against Israel. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech Wednesday that terror leaders from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries have previously offered to send tens of thousands of terrorists to help Hezbollah, but he said the group already has more than 100,000 terrorists. “We told them, thank you, but we are overwhelmed by the numbers we have,” Nasrallah said. Nasrallah said the battle in its current form is using only a portion of Hezbollah’s manpower, an apparent reference to the specialized terrorists who fire missiles and drones. But that could change in the event of an all-out war. Nasrallah hinted at that possibility in a speech in 2017 in which he said terrorists from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan “will be partners” of such a war. Officials from Lebanese and Iraqi groups backed by Iran say Iran-backed fighters from around the region will join in if war erupts on the Lebanon-Israel border. Thousands of such fighters are already deployed in Syria and could easily slip through the porous and unmarked border. Some of the groups have already staged attacks on Israel and its allies since the Israel-Hamas war started Oct. 7. The groups from the so-called “axis of resistance” say they are using a “unity of arenas strategy” and they will only stop fighting when Israel ends its offensive in Gaza against their ally, Hamas. “We will be (fighting) shoulder to shoulder with Hezbollah” if an all-out war breaks out, one official with an Iran-backed group in Iraq told The Associated Press in Baghdad, insisting on speaking anonymously to discuss military matters. He refused to give further details. The official, along with another from Iraq, said some advisers from Iraq are already in Lebanon. An official with a Lebanese Iran-backed group, also insisting on anonymity, said fighters from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Afghanistan’s Fatimiyoun, Pakistan Zeinabiyoun and the Iran-backed rebel group in Yemen known as Houthis could come to Lebanon to take part in a war. Qassim Qassir, an expert on Hezbollah, agreed the current fighting is mostly based on high technology such as firing missiles and does not need a large number of fighters. But if a war broke out and lasted for a long period, Hezbollah might need support from outside Lebanon, he said. “Hinting to this matter could be (a message) that these are cards that could be used,” he said. Israel is also aware of the possible influx of foreign fighters. Eran Etzion, former head of policy planning for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a panel discussion hosted by the Washington-based Middle East Institute on Thursday that he sees “a high probability” of a “multi-front war.” He said there could be intervention by the Houthis and Iraqi militias and a “massive flow of jihadists from […]
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BROOKLYN: Jewish Family Assaulted By Arabic-Speaking Family At Elementary School Graduation

A joyful graduation ceremony at PS 682 in Gravesend, Brooklyn, turned into a violent and traumatic experience for a Jewish family when they were attacked by an Arabic-speaking family, who taunted them with anti-Semitic slurs and death threats. The incident occurred just after the fifth-grade graduation, which ironically had a theme of “All you need is love.” The Jewish mother, Lana, and her husband Johan, were assaulted by members of the other family, who targeted them because of their Jewish faith. The attackers shouted “Free Palestine!”, “Gaza is Ours!”, and “Death to Israel!” as they punched, kicked, and choked Johan, leaving him with scrapes, bruises, and swelling on his head, face, and body. Lana was also assaulted, suffering a gash on her leg, while their 16-year-old son was punched in the face. The NYPD initially failed to classify the incident as a hate crime, but after the couple urged them to reconsider, the Hate Crimes Task Force is now investigating. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
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How Does Heat Kill? It Confuses Your Brain, Shuts Down Your Organs, And Overworks Your Heart

As temperatures and humidity soar outside, what’s happening inside the human body can become a life-or-death battle decided by just a few degrees. The critical danger point outdoors for illness and death from relentless heat is several degrees lower than experts once thought, say researchers who put people in hot boxes to see what happens to them. With much of the United States, Mexico, India and the Middle East suffering through blistering heat waves, worsened by human-caused climate change, several doctors, physiologists and other experts explained to The Associated Press what happens to the human body in such heat. Key body temperature The body’s resting core temperature is typically about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). That’s only 7 degrees (4 Celsius) away from catastrophe in the form of heatstroke, said Ollie Jay, a professor of heat and health at the University of Sydney in Australia, where he runs the thermoergonomics laboratory. Dr. Neil Gandhi, emergency medicine director at Houston Methodist Hospital, said during heat waves anyone who comes in with a fever of 102 or higher and no clear source of infection will be looked at for heat exhaustion or the more severe heatstroke. “We routinely will see core temperatures greater than 104, 105 degrees during some of the heat episodes,” Gandhi said. Another degree or three and such a patient is at high risk of death, he said. How heat kills Heat kills in three main ways, Jay said. The usual first suspect is heatstroke — critical increases in body temperature that cause organs to fail. When inner body temperature gets too hot, the body redirects blood flow toward the skin to cool down, Jay said. But that diverts blood and oxygen away from the stomach and intestines, and can allow toxins normally confined to the gut area to leak into circulation. “That sets off a cascade of effects,” Jay said. “Clotting around the body and multiple organ failure and, ultimately, death.” But the bigger killer in heat is the strain on the heart, especially for people who have cardiovascular disease, Jay said. It again starts with blood rushing to the skin to help shed core heat. That causes blood pressure to drop. The heart responds by trying to pump more blood to keep you from passing out. “You’re asking the heart to do a lot more work than it usually has to do,” Jay said. For someone with a heart condition “it’s like running for a bus with dodgy (hamstring). Something’s going to give.” The third main way is dangerous dehydration. As people sweat, they lose liquids to a point that can severely stress kidneys, Jay said. Many people may not realize their danger, Houston’s Gandhi said. Dehydration can progress into shock, causing organs to shut down from lack of blood, oxygen and nutrients, leading to seizures and death, said Dr. Renee Salas, a Harvard University professor of public health and an emergency room physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Dehydration can be very dangerous and even deadly for everyone if it gets bad enough — but it is especially dangerous for those with medical conditions and on certain medications,” Salas said. Dehydration also reduces blood flow and magnifies cardiac problems, Jay said. Attacking the brain Heat also affects the brain. It can cause a person to have […]
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