World roundup: October 13 2023
Stories from Israel-Palestine, North Korea, Argentina, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
October 13, 1307: The Knights Templar order is purged.
October 13, 1943: Italy declares war on Germany. This abrupt shift of alliances was a symbolic culmination of Italy’s very chaotic late-World War II upheaval. In late July 1943, after the Allies had successfully invaded Sicily, Italy’s Grand Council of Fascism voted to oust Benito Mussolini as prime minister. Italian King Victor Emmanuel III appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as his new PM, and Badoglio entered into talks with the Allies on what would eventually be the Armistice of Cassibile, AKA Italy’s surrender, signed on September 3 and made public five days later. Germany responded by undertaking the Gran Sasso raid on September 12, which sprung Mussolini from prison, and establishing on September 23 the Italian Social Republic (RSI), AKA the Republic of Salò, which was a German puppet regime under Mussolini’s nominal leadership. This Italian declaration of war came as the Allies were moving on German-occupied/RSI-ruled Rome.
I’m reorganizing this section because the situation in Gaza is affecting the rest of the Middle East so much that we need to start there.
The seven-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza has killed over 1900 people and counting, according to Gazan health officials, while the death toll in Israel stemming from Saturday’s militant attacks has climbed beyond 1300. Casualties may be about to spike very quickly, as the Israeli military has reportedly begun making preliminary ground raids into Gaza and issued an overnight order for the evacuation of the northern half of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza city, reportedly within 24 hours. This is widely assumed to be an announcement that a full scale Israeli ground assault is about to begin. The order, and in particular the 24 hour deadline, sparked some movement of Gazan residents to the south, though I have seen conflicting claims about the size of that movement. Israeli officials later walked back the 24 hour deadline—while claiming they’d never imposed a deadline at all—but the evacuation order is still in place and they subsequently dropped flyers over northern Gaza reiterating it.
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