Here’s What Happened Around The World In February 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in February 2024.

Here’s What Happened Around The World In February 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in February 2024.

1. Israel started bombing Rafah in the south of Gaza, where 1.4 million Palestinians are trapped with nowhere to go

Israel has started bombing Rafah in southern Gaza, where 1.4 million Palestinians are trapped with nowhere to go.

Since Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7, it has pushed 1.7 million Palestinians from their homes – that’s about 75% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million.

About 1.4 million of them are now crammed into makeshift tents in Rafah at the border with Egypt, after Israel ordered them to evacuate there for their safety.

On Feb. 7, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel was going to invade Rafah, which he claimed was the “last stronghold of Hamas”.

It is unclear where 1.4 million Palestinians are supposed to go.

Israel has been intensely bombing the north of Gaza, and Palestinians can’t just enter Egypt.

2. Hind, a six-year-old Palestinian girl, was found killed after she went missing when Israeli forces attacked her family’s car

A six-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza has been killed after she went missing when Israeli forces attacked her family’s car.

Hind Rajab and her extended family had been fleeing Gaza on Monday Jan. 20, when Israeli forces started shooting at their car.

Her older cousin, 15-year-old Layan Hamadeh, then called the Palestinian Red Crescent for help.

In a recording of the call shared by the Red Crescent, Layan says Israeli tanks are shooting at them, before she starts screaming as gunfire breaks out.

The line then goes silent before Hind can be heard asking Red Crescent workers to get her, because she was scared.

For three hours, Hind remained on the call, trapped in the car among the bodies of her dead relatives, as Israeli forces continued to shoot around her.

After the Red Crescent pinpointed her location, they sent an ambulance to rescue her, but then lost contact with the ambulance crew.

After 12 days, Hind’s family said on Feb. 10 that they had found her body decomposing in the car, which was peppered with bullet holes.

3. The US blocked a UN resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the third time

The US has blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, despite increasing pressure on president Joe Biden to reduce support for Israel.

This is the third time that the US has blocked a Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza from passing.

13 out of the 15 members of the UN Security Council voted in favor of the draft, with the UK abstaining and the US voting against.

The resolution failed to pass as the US – which is a permanent member of the Security Council alongside China, France, Russia, and the UK – vetoed it.

The US representative said that the resolution draft would jeopardize ongoing negotiations for releasing hostages held in Gaza.

4. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his first official plan for Gaza after the war

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has presented his first official plan for Gaza after the war.

Under the proposal, Israel will maintain security and military control over the Palestinian territories indefinitely after the war.

This includes both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which Israel already occupies, which would effectively prevent Palestinians from creating an independent state.

The plan says that Gaza will be run by “local officials” with no affiliations to “countries or entities that support terrorism” and that the strip would also be “demilitarized” and “deradicalized”.

5. Ireland’s women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with the Israeli team before their match

The Ireland women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with Israel’s team before their EuroBasket 2025 qualifier match after an Israeli player accused them of anti-Semitism.

Israeli player Dor Saar had said the Irish team was anti-Semitic in an interview with the Israeli Basketball Association.

“It’s known that they are quite antisemitic, and it’s no secret; maybe that’s why a strong game is expected,” Saar said in the interview, according to Anadolu Agency.

Ahead of the game, Basketball Ireland announced that Saar’s comments were “inflammatory and wholly inaccurate”.

It also added players would not take part in pre-match arrangements including “exchanging gifts, formal handshakes before or after the game.”

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki delivered a powerful opening statement about Israel’s colonialism and apartheid against Palestinians as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) opened a landmark hearing on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.⁠

Six days of hearings happened at the ICJ, the world’s top court, in the Hague in the Netherlands, where 52 countries and three organizations will present their arguments on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip since 1967.

The hearing comes after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2022 to ask the court to issue a legal opinion on the occupation and is separate from South Africa’s case against Israel committing genocide in Gaza since Oct. 7.

“For over a century, the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination has been denied and violated,” Maliki said on Monday, Feb. 19.

He presented five maps of Palestine throughout history, showing Israel’s gradual erosion of Palestinian land and forced expulsion of the local population.

Maliki called on the ICJ to declare Israel’s occupation illegal and order it to stop immediately.

“[Palestinians] have a right to live in freedom and dignity in their ancestral land,” he said. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and the Palestinian people have been denied justice for far too long.”

7. Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in prison

Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died in prison, according to Russian state media.

The 47-year-old, who was Russian president Vladimir Putin’s biggest critic, was serving a 19-year sentence in a remote Arctic prison for “promoting extremism”.

Prison authorities said Navalny died on Friday Feb. 16 after he collapsed and lost consciousness following a morning walk.

8. Navalny’s wife, Yulia, vowed to continue his fight for a free Russia

Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has shared a video on social media, vowing to continue the work of her husband after his reported death.

On Feb. 19, she shared a new video on Navalny’s social media accounts, saying she will continue her husband’s fight for a free Russia.

“Putin killed the father of my children, Putin took away the most precious thing I had, the closest and most beloved person. But Putin has also taken Navalny away from you,” she said. “All these years, I was happy to stand by Alexei’s side and support him. But today I want to be by your side. Because I know that you have lost as much as I have."

“By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul,” she said.

“But I still have the other half. And it tells me that I have no right to give up,” Navalnaya said, pledging to fight for the “the free, peaceful, happy, beautiful Russia of the future” that he dreamed about.

She concluded her video by echoing Navalny message to the Russian people in the case he is killed.

“It is not shameful to do little; it is shameful to do nothing. It is shameful to be intimidated,” she said.

“I want to build [this Russia] together with you. Exactly as Alexei Navalny envisioned it. Full of dignity, justice and love.”

“Keep fighting and do not give up,” Navalnaya said. “I am not afraid and I urge you not to be afraid of anything as well.”

9. People around the world took to the streets to show their support for Ukraine on the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion

On Saturday Feb. 24, on the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of people in Taiwan marched across the streets of the capital, Taipei, to stand with Ukraine and to call for an end to the war.

We asked some of the demonstrators – who came from all around the world – why it was important for them to take part in the protest for peace.

10. Greece legalized same-sex marriage

In a landmark moment, Greece became the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

This comes after a majority of lawmakers voted in favor of a bill on Thursday, February 15 after decades of campaigning by LGBTQ rights activists.

Same-sex partnerships have been legal in Greece since 2015, but now same-sex couples can get married as well as legally adopt children.

However, the law still bans gay couples from becoming parents through surrogacy, which is allowed for women who can’t have children due to medical reasons.

11. King Charles was diagnosed with cancer

75-year-old King Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement on Monday Feb. 5.

The palace did not specify the type of cancer – which was discovered during his treatment for an enlarged prostate in January – but said it is not prostate cancer.

The King has postponed public duties and started regular treatments on Monday, but will continue his daily duties including paperwork and holding weekly meetings with the prime minister.

12. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s football team protested the silence over the massacre in their country ahead of their Africa Cup match

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s national football team protested the armed violence and massacre happening in the country before their semifinal match at the Africa Cup.

DRC players covered their mouth and put two fingers to their temple while singing the national anthem before the match against Ivory Coast on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The team, nicknamed the Leopards, also wore black armbands to the match.

For decades, more than 100 military groups have been fighting for territory and natural resources in eastern DRC, which has forced more than 6.5 million people from their homes and killed another six million.

The resurgence of a military group, M23, in late 2021 has led to a spike in violence that has displaced millions more and worsened the humanitarian crisis in the area.

The DRC team’s French coach, Sébastien Desabre, said in a press conference following the match that the players wanted to bring attention to the crisis happening in their country.

13. This feared general who rebranded himself as a cuddly TikTok grandpa is set to become Indonesia’s new president

Indonesians have elected a once feared general, Prabowo Subianto, as the country’s next president after he rebranded himself as a cute dancing grandfather.

The 72-year-old politician declared himself winner along with his running mate, current President Joko Widodo’s son Gibran Rakabuming Raka, when unofficial results showed he had received about 58% of the votes on Wednesday Feb. 14.

Official preliminary results from the electoral committee appeared to suggest he had a winning lead to his opponents, with Subianto receiving 57.7% of votes with only 6% counted.

Subianto was a general under Indonesia’s most brutal and corrupt dictatorship, led by the country’s longest serving president Suharto, who was also Prabowo’s father-in-law.

During his time as a general, Prabowo was involved with kidnapping and torturing pro-democracy activists, many of whom are still missing and feared dead.

He has also been accused of committing other human rights abuses in East Timor and Papua during the dictatorship, which he has denied.

Prabowo was dishonorably discharged from the military over the violations.

14. El Salvador re-elected “the world’s coolest dictator”

El Salvador has re-elected “the world’s coolest dictator” for a second consecutive term and people didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Right from the beginning, the election was contentious because it was the first time a president sought reelection since the 1930s.

Technically, El Salvador’s constitution bans presidents from running for consecutive terms, but the country’s top court allowed the current president, 42-year-old Nayib Bukele to run again.

Its only condition was that he has to leave the presidency six months before the start of the next term, before Dec. 1.

Bukele, who is perhaps best known for introducing Bitcoin as an official currency, is undeniably popular in El Salvador for having tackled the country’s gang problem.

But he has also been accused of consolidating power into a single party, moving the country into a dictatorship and violating human rights.

15. This Indian woman chess player called out sexism in chess and people were inspired by her bravery

This Indian woman chess player called out sexism in chess and people are inspired by her bravery.

In an Instagram post after a tournament, 18-year-old Divya Deshmukh spoke out about how women chess players often don’t get equal respect as male players.

Deshmukh said that she has been told that the audience doesn’t care about the games she’s playing but are focused on things like her appearance and accent instead.

She said that even though she’s only 18, she has already faced a lot of judgement and hatred for things that are irrelevant to her games, pointing out this is not the case for male players.

Deshmukh said she has been told to ignore the comments and focus on her games, but she didn’t want to stay quiet about the issue.

Her post inspired other women chess players to come forward to share their own stories of discrimination and harassment.

16. A man tried to mansplain golf to this professional British woman golf coach and women can’t believe she had the patience to stand him

A man tried to give unwanted advice to a professional woman golfer while she was practicing at a range, and women couldn’t believe she had the patience to stand him.

26-year-old Georgia Ball, who is from Liverpool, UK, is part of the Professional Golfer Association (PGA) and has more than 15 years of experience and teaches golf courses for beginners and professionals.

On Feb. 21, Ball posted a video to her various social media accounts showing the incident that has since received millions of views.

“You know I’ve been playing golf for 20 years. What you need to do is follow-through,” the man, who is off screen, told Ball.

Ball tried to explain that she was going through a swing change, but the man insisted that she follow his directions and “just hit one.”

She then hits another ball, but with little difference from her initial shot.

The man then tells her that it was better.

17. More than 1.4 million people in Germany held mass protests against the far-right party in the country

More than 1.4 million people in Germany are holding huge protests against the far-right party in the country.

The protests started in mid-January after an investigation revealed a secret meeting between members of the far-right Alternative for Germany – or AfD – party and neo-nazis.

According to the report, the groups had discussed a “master plan” to deport millions of refugees and immigrants, including those with citizenship, from Germany.

It also suggested deporting “unassimilated citizens” to a “model state” in Northern Africa during the meeting on Nov. 25.

18. Hungary’s president pardoned a man who covered up child sex abuse at an orphanage and people demanded justice

Hungary’s president pardoned a man who covered up child sex abuse at an orphanage and people want justice.

In 2019, the director of an orphanage was sentenced to eight years in prison for forcing at least 10 boys in his care to perform sexual acts between 2004 and 2016.

His deputy was also sentenced to more than three years for helping him to cover it up by pressuring victims to retract their testimonies.

In February, an independent local news outlet revealed that Hungarian president Katalin Novák had pardoned the deputy director in April 2023.

The revelation of the cover-up sparked an immediate uproar among the public, with dozens of influencers, including popular artist Azahriah, calling for a protest in Budapest’s iconic Heroes’ Square.

Tens of thousands of people marched to Novák’s office to demand she step down, as well as demanding increased transparency and stronger protections for victims of abuse, according to Reuters.

Faced with ongoing mass protests, Novák announced on Feb. 10 she would resign, saying she had made a mistake.

19. And finally, two restaurants in India are fighting over who invented butter chicken

Two iconic restaurants in India, Moti Mahal and Daryaganj, are fighting over who invented butter chicken and now it’s gone all the way to Delhi’s high court.

The dispute erupted after Moti Mahal sued Daryaganj, saying it had not only falsely claimed it had invented butter chicken but dal makhani – a buttery lentil dish – too.

When India and Pakistan became independent countries in 1947, two men, Kundan Lal Gujral and Kundan Lal Jaggi, migrated from Pakistan’s Peshawar to India’s Delhi and established a restaurant named Moti Mahal.

Over time, Moti Mahal became famous for introducing people to different tandoori cuisines, and in 1990s, Gujral and Jaggi sold the restaurant as a franchise.

Then, in 2019, Jaggi’s grandson opened Daryaganj to honor his grandfather’s legacy.

Moti Mahal says Gujral had invented butter chicken when he created a gravy with chopped tomatoes, cream, butter, spices and sugar so he could add it to leftover tandoori chicken every night.

On the other hand, Daryaganj says Jaggi had come up with the dish to feed a large group of refugees late one night when the kitchen was nearly out of stock except for some bits of tandoori chicken.

Moti Mahal, however, argues that the gravy for butter chicken can’t just be made on the spot.

It has sued Daryaganj for 20 million rupees or about 240,000 US dollars for unfair competition and infringing on its copyright.

The Delhi top court began its first hearing in January but has yet to pass judgement.

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