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Fuel flows back into Gaza after Israeli war cabinet decision

The first delivery of fuel arrived in Gaza Friday after Israel’s war cabinet bowed to diplomatic pressure to let diesel back into the war-torn Palestinian territory, where aid schemes are shut down amid critical shortages.

As fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers rages for six weeks, the United Nations has warned hospitals, drinking water and sewage facilities are grinding to a halt as fuel reserves run dry.

Tzachi Hanegbi, national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel’s war cabinet agreed ‘to provide two tankers of fuel a day’ after a ‘special request’ from Washington.

Hanegbi said the fuel would be used to ‘operate the sewage and water systems run by UNRWA’, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

‘We took that decision to prevent the spread of epidemics. We don’t need epidemics that will harm civilians or our fighters. If there are epidemics, the fighting will stop,’ he said.

Late Friday, a Palestinian border official said the first shipment of 17,000 litres of fuel had entered through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Hundreds of pupils at a Wimbledon girls’ school rated outstanding took part in a banned march in support of Palestine – leaving some feeling ‘isolated and threatened’.

Footage posted on TikToks shows how streams of uniformed girls aged 11-16 defied a ban on any political event within the school campus on Wednesday afternoon this week – leaving some girls, including some of Jewish backgrounds, feeling unsafe.

As febrile demonstrations have swept the country in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7 – and the subsequent hardline Israeli military response in Gaza – there have been attempts to keep them from spilling over into schools.

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Pope to meet relatives of Hamas hostages and Palestinians

Pope Francis will meet next week a group of relatives of Israelis held hostage by Hamas and another of relatives of Palestinians in Gaza, the Vatican said Friday.

The 86-year-old pontiff wants to demonstrate his ‘spiritual closeness’ during the two meetings, which will take place on the margins of his weekly audience at the Vatican, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

‘On the morning of Wednesday, November 22, on the sidelines of the general audience, Pope Francis will meet at separate times with a group of relatives of Israelis held hostage in Gaza and a group of relatives of Palestinians suffering from the conflict in Gaza,’ he said.

‘With these meetings of exclusively humanitarian nature, Pope Francis wants to demonstrate his spiritual closeness to the suffering of each one.

Bruni cited the pontiff’s comments last Sunday that ‘Every human being, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, of any people or religion, every human being is sacred, is precious in the eyes of God and has the right to live in peace’.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis gestures as he leaves after the weekly general audience, in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has hit 12,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The new figure includes 5,000 children, according to Hamas, and comes hours after Israeli soldiers found the remains of another hostage taken by terrorists in the October 7 attacks.

Israel’s military said troops recovered the remains of kidnapped female soldier Noa Marciano, 19, ‘from a structure adjacent to Al-Shifa hospital’ in Gaza city.

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US President Joe Biden and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the Hamas hostage situation

US President Joe Biden and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the Hamas hostage situation and other developments in Gaza in a phone call on Friday, the leaders’ offices said.

‘The two leaders discussed the urgent need for all hostages held by Hamas to be released without further delay,’ the White House said in a statement.

‘The leaders also discussed ongoing efforts to increase the flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza and Israel’s decision to resume fuel deliveries for life-saving aid.’

The White House said they agreed to remain in close touch on these issues.

Qatar has been working to negotiate a deal between Hamas and Israel on releasing some of the hostages.

(pictured below during a meeting in January 2022)

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Erdogan says he is leading fight against anti-Semitism

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on a visit to Germany Friday that he saw all faiths as equal and rejected suggestions that his attacks on Israel had anti-Semitic undertones.

‘For us, there should be no discrimination between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the region. I have fought against anti-Semitism.

‘I am a leader who is leading this fight,’ Erdogan said during a joint media appearance with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 17: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speak to the media before talks at the Chancellery on November 17, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. Erdogan is on a one-day visit to meet with German leaders that is taking place following his recent vocal support of Hamas and his labelling of Israel as a "terror state", which is complicating his relation with Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As he declared that Mr Corbyn wi

ll never again represent Labour in the House of Commons, Sir Keir said: ‘He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election.’

Sir Keir suspended Mr Corbyn as a Labour MP in 2020 over his predecessor’s claim that the scale of antisemitism in the party had been ‘overstated for political reasons’.

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Breaking: Hamas-run government in Gaza says more than 12,000 killed in Israeli strikes

At least 12,000 Palestinians, including 5,000 children, have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, the government media office in the Hamas-controlled enclave said today.

WATCH: Why the IDF is the world’s most effective video

The IDF used tanks to mark the Star of David onto the floor of Hamas a training ground in Gaza City where the terror group has trained fighters.

The tanks can be seen roaming across the soil on a battle-worn strip of land with Israel flags displayed before they are shown in a line pumping out blue and white smoke as the finished product is displayed.

The formation, performed by fighters from the Golani Brigade in the Kativa outpost, formed part of a ceremony in memory of comrades who had fallen since the start of the war, according to IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, who posted the video on X.

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Breaking: Bahrain Crown Prince calls on Hamas and Israel to release hostages

Bahrain’s Crown Prince on Friday called on the Palestinian militant group Hamas to release Israeli women and children taken hostage in Gaza and for Israel in exchange to release Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

‘Gaza now has no functioning hospital’: British-Palestinian doctor describes ‘living nightmare’ of working in Al Ahli hospital and leaving behind ‘500 wounded’

British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta told his team it was time to leave the last fully functioning hospital in Gaza City yesterday.

He said he did so as the Al Ahli hospital was shaking from Israeli tank fire and after it was found there were no more anaesthetics left for operations.

‘It has been a living nightmare – leaving 500 wounded knowing that there’s nothing left for you to be able to do for them, it’s just the most heartbreaking thing I ever had to do,’ Abu Sitta told Reuters news agency on Friday, a day after leaving the hospital and walking to Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

In a post on X (Twitter), he wrote: ‘No longer able to provide surgeries at Ahli Hosp. The hospital is now effectively a first aid station. Hundreds of wounded now at hospital with no access to surgery. They will die from their wounds.’

Abu Sitta said in a call with Retuers: ‘Al Ahli was completely inundated with wounded. And we were operating all through the night (on Wednesday). And by the early hours (of Thursday)… we realised that we have basically run out of medication for the anaesthetic machines and we had to stop the operating room.’

On the five-hour walk from Al Ahli to the refugee camp, Abu Sitta said he saw ‘scenes of destruction’ and bodies lying on the street.

He said patients needing treatment remained at Al Ahli, and that another hospital in northern Gaza had been unable to take them.

‘Basically, the whole of northern Gaza now has no functioning hospital,’ he said.

GAZA CITY, GAZA - NOVEMBER 15: Health workers treat injured Palestinians including children, under difficult conditions at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital after Israeli airstrikes that continue on its 40th day in Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023. (Photo by Montaser alswaf/Anadolu via Getty Images)
A satellite image shows Al-Ahli hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Gaza November 7, 2023. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MUST NOT OBSCURE LOGO.

Intense footage has shown Israeli troops storming the ruins of a hotel while hunting down Hamas terrorists as the IDF continues its operation in the Gaza Strip.

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Israeli air strikes kill two pro-Iranian fighters near Damascus, war monitor says

Israeli air strikes killed two pro-Iranian fighters near the Syrian capital Damascus in the early hours of this morning during raids targeting a Hezbollah arms depot and other sites near Syria’s capital, a war monitor has said, AFP reports.

Citing a military source, Syria’s state news agency SANA earlier reported ‘material damage’ from the strikes.

‘At around 2:25 am (2325 GMT Thursday), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights targeting several positions in the vicinity of Damascus,’ SANA said.

The military source did not provide details on the targets but added that Syria’s air defence intercepted some of the Israeli missiles.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources in Syria, said ‘two foreign fighters’ from pro-Iran groups were killed.

Several others were wounded, it added.

The strikes ‘destroyed an arms depot belonging to Hezbollah’, the Iran-backed Lebanese group fighting alongside Syria’s regime, the Observatory said, adding the bombardment occurred along the road to Damascus airport.

The Observatory said that ‘sites linked to Hezbollah and pro-Iran militias’ near the airport were also targeted.

Israel has hit targets in Syria several times in the past weeks as regional tensions rise over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Breaking: Hamas claims ‘Zionist’ hostages were not held in hospitals

Hamas’ armed wing has claimed ‘Zionist’ hostages were not held in hospitals but were transferred to the medical centres for treatment due to the seriousness of their condition.

They claimed their aim was to ‘save their lives’.

It comes as Israeli troops continue to search Al-Shifa hospital, where Israeli forces claim Hamas terrorists were holding hostages.

‘More than 20 patients’ die in Al-Shifa hospital in last two days due to power cuts

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Friday that 24 patients have died in the past two days at Al-Shifa hospital owing to power cuts, as Israeli forces search the facility for Hamas hideouts.

‘Twenty-four patients in different departments have died over the last 48 hours as vital medical equipment has stopped functioning because of the power outage,’ said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

Israel’s war cabinet approves small fuel shipments into Gaza

Israel’s national security adviser says the country’s War Cabinet has agreed to allow two tanker trucks of fuel to enter the Gaza Strip each day, a quantity he described as ‘very minimal.’

  • Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Tzachi Hanegbi said the fuel would be allowed for Gaza’s communications system and water and sewage services. He said the deliveries are intended to prevent the spread of disease without disrupting Israel’s ability to continue its war against the Hamas militant group.
  • ‘We don’t want diseases that could harm the civilians who are there and our forces. If there are diseases, the fighting would be halted. We cannot continue fighting in the event of a humanitarian crisis or an international outcry,’ Hanegbi said.
  • Hanegbi said the fuel amounted to roughly 2% to 4% of the normal quantities of fuel that entered Gaza before the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7.
  • The office of Israeli lawmaker and former defence minister Benny Gantz, a member of the three-person War Cabinet, said the agreement would allow 60,000 litres of fuel to enter Gaza over the next 48 hours.
  • Hanegbit said the War Cabinet ‘agreed to a special request by the United States to supply two tankers per day’ for Gaza.
  • The War Cabinet says it agreed to the U.S. request on the recommendation of the Shin Bet internal security agency and the army.

WATCH: Israeli forces create Star of David with tanks in Gaza in battle ceremony

Israeli forces have staged a battle ceremony in Gaza City in memory of brothers-in-arms who have been killed since the beginning of the fighting.

Footage shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, appeared to show columns of Namer infantry battle vehicles carving out a Star of David with their tracks in the dirt.

Vehicles were also seen from above purging white and blue smoke in the colours of the Israeli flag.

Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, said: ‘Deep in the Gaza Strip, in the parade ground of the Hamas post, the fighters of the Golani Brigade held a battle ceremony in memory of their comrades who fell in the battles since the beginning of the fighting.’

First responder gives first-hand account of October 7 attack aftermath

A first responder who was among the first rescuers to reach reach kibbutz Be’eri after Hamas gunmen rampaged through the community in southern Israel on October 7 has spoken to Reuters news agency about his experience.

He says the sight of slaughtered families and children is still seared into his memory, and remains visibly shaken as he recounts his rush to the community in an ambulance and the bodies lying in the streets along the way.

Unlike most emergency workers called out that day, Warraqi is a Muslim Israeli Arab. He found his experience profoundly distressing, but also says it strengthened his belief that human beings must ‘stop hatred’ and learn to live together.

I saw families, they were slaughtered, a lot of families. I saw a father and mom with three kids, they were tied hands up, hands back … as they were put on their knees in front of each other, then they got shot in the head. When you see such a thing… you just start imagining what happened in there, what, how did they react, who was got killed first, the kids or the parents. Our religion, as a proud Arabic Muslim Israeli guy, I’m saying that has nothing to do with our religion.

EXCLUSIVE: October 28, 2023 - Be'eri, Israel: 21 days after the fatal attack on Be'eri Kibbutz, when more than 100 Hamas terrorists entered the Kibbutz and brutally murdered at least 130 members of the Kibbutz. Several members of the Kibbutz were abducted by Hamas to Gaza. Starting early in the morning of October 7th, missiles were shot to Israel from Gaza while Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli settlements around Gaza, murdering and kidnapping hundreds, including hundreds of young participants at the outdoor party Nova. Casualties count thus far is more than 1,400, injured - more than 3,800, abducted - 229 soldiers and civilians, missing more than 100 people. (Ziv Koren/Polaris)Credit: Ziv Koren / Polaris / eyevineFor further information please contact eyevinetel: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709e-mail: info@eyevine.comwww.eyevine.com

Warraqi said many Muslims were also killed in the assault, recalling how he took care of two Arab women wearing hijab, shot by the attackers, and three Arab bus drivers from East Jerusalem who got shot in the head.

‘That means that they’re (Hamas) not doing this for the country or for religion, they’re just doing this for the hatred,’ he said.

Warraqi is still hopeful that Jews, Arabs, Christians and Muslims can learn to live together in Israel, saying ‘we are all the same’.

I think Israel learned today how to die together. Now it’s time to learn how to live together … We have to take care of this and we have to stop hatred and start living together.

Be’eri was among the hardest hit communities by the Hamas assault on Oct. 7, which Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians gunned down in their own homes, on the streets or at a dance festival.

The attack was the deadliest in Israel’s 75-year-old history.

Surviving residents were eventually evacuated and Israel has since launched a devastating bombardment and ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza that has killed more than 11,500 people.

EXCLUSIVE: October 28, 2023 - Be'eri, Israel: 21 days after the fatal attack on Be'eri Kibbutz, when more than 100 Hamas terrorists entered the Kibbutz and brutally murdered at least 130 members of the Kibbutz. Several members of the Kibbutz were abducted by Hamas to Gaza. Starting early in the morning of October 7th, missiles were shot to Israel from Gaza while Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli settlements around Gaza, murdering and kidnapping hundreds, including hundreds of young participants at the outdoor party Nova. Casualties count thus far is more than 1,400, injured - more than 3,800, abducted - 229 soldiers and civilians, missing more than 100 people. (Ziv Koren/Polaris)Credit: Ziv Koren / Polaris / eyevineFor further information please contact eyevinetel: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709e-mail: info@eyevine.comwww.eyevine.com

Agreement to open aid corridor between Cyprus and Gaza close, Nicosia says

Cyprus and Israel are close to reaching an agreement to open a humanitarian aid corridor from the Mediterranean island to war-torn Gaza, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides has said today.

Under the plan put forward by Nicosia, aid would be collected, inspected and stored in Cyprus and then sent to the Gaza Strip on ships checked daily by a joint committee that would include Israeli officials.

The vessels would be accompanied by warships to a designated spot identified on the coast of Gaza, from where it would be sent to a safe, neutral area.

‘We are in contact with Israel to implement some final arrangements,’ Christodoulides told reporters, adding details are still under discussion with the UN.

The Cypriot proposal aims to bolster humanitarian relief provided to the Gaza Strip by importing large volumes on ships rather than the limited deliveries of trucks through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. The UN warned today that aid deliveries to Gaza had been halted due to a lack of fuel and a communications blackout.

More Irish citizens leaving Gaza today

More Irish citizens are leaving the Gaza Strip via the southern Rafah crossing into Egypt today, Press Association reports.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that 26 citizens had left the enclave on Wednesday and Thursday. A DFA spokesman said a number of citizens and their families were in the process of crossing today.

Irish-Palestinian man Khalid El Estal, who lives in Co Kildare, has said his two young children Ali, four, and Sara, one, crossed into Egypt on Friday. Mr El Estal’s wife and the children’s mother Ashwak was killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

Mr El Estal told RTE News on Friday: ‘They are at the Egyptian side of the border with an Irish official. They are being processed there now. This is great news’.

Palestinians and dual nationality holders fleeing from Gaza are pictured on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on November 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli troops have claimed they found a tunnel shaft used by Hamas terrorists at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital along with the bodies of two hostages held in a building close by.

The IDF released a video it said showed a tunnel entrance in an outdoor area of Al-Shifa hospital, two days after Israeli troops entered its grounds to hunt for a Hamas command centre they say is beneath the medical facility.

Follow the link below to read our full story…

Pope to meet with relatives of Israeli hostages next week, source says

Pope Francis will meet next week with relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza, a source has said today.

The source, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss papal plans, said 12 relatives would meet the pope early on Wednesday morning before his weekly general audience.

The source said they would be a mix of relatives who met with Italian leaders last month and others who were not among the first group.

The Vatican’s number two, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said today that the Holy See believed the release of the hostages and a ceasefire – which Israel has so far ruled out – were two ‘fundamental points’ to resolve the crisis.

WATCH: Smoke billows from Gaza as Israel continues operation

Goodbye, my brave daughter: Heartbroken mother weeps over the coffin of Noa Marciano after she and another hostage were found dead in hospital complex where Israel is searching for Hamas HQ

The heartbroken mother of a soldier held captive by Hamas terrorists today wept over her daughter’s coffin after the 19-year-old and another hostage were found dead in Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital complex.

Overcome with grief, Adi Marciano broke down in tears as she placed her hand on her daughter Noa’s coffin during an emotional service for the soldier in the central Israeli city of Modiin.

Adi, crumpling under the weight of her grief, collapsed on top of the wooden coffin where her daughter lay. Noa’s friends and fellow comrades sobbed and held each other as they watched the coffin, covered with an Israeli flag, pass through the large crowd of devastated mourners.

The heartbroken mother had been told earlier this week that Noa, of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, had been killed after Hamas released a horrific video showing what appeared to be the 19-year-old’s dead body.

Read the full report here:

Syria accuses Israeli military of attacking posts near Damascus

Syria’s state news agency says Israel’s military has carried out strikes that hit several posts near the capital, Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties.

SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles before they reached their targets early Friday.

There has been no confirmation from the Israeli military.

In the weeks since the latest war between Israel and Hamas broke out, Syria reported Israeli airstrikes that hit the international airports in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, damaging their runways and putting them out of service.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.

Taliban denounces ongoing Israeli strikes

Afghanistan’s Taliban-led administration has denounced the ongoing Israeli strikes in Gaza, including the raid on Shifa Hospital.

In an overnight statement, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Israeli forces were continually breaking all rules of war.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan called on the United Nations and other human rights bodies in a statement.

‘If they genuinely believe in their stated values, they must prevent the ongoing brutalities by adopting an honest, transparent & just position vis-a-vis crimes against humanity carried out by the zionists against the people of Gaza,’ the statement read, referring to Jews who seek to regain and retain their biblical homeland.

It also asked Arab and Islamic countries ‘to respond to the cries of the oppressed Muslims of Gaza, & to fulfill their religious & human responsibility through effective & meaningful positions & steps.’

The Taliban-led administration seized power in 2021, and since then the UN and other human rights groups have blamed it for human rights violations. The UN says it has documents more than 1,600 cases of rights violations by the Taliban.

Israeli army kills five Hamas terrorists in West Bank, IDF says

The Israeli army has said it killed at least five militants in the West Bank, as Hamas admitted a number of its terrorists were killed in the overnight raid.

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel, there has been a dramatic rise in violence in the West Bank, where the Israeli army has stepped up incursions targeting militant groups.

Israeli forces carried out an operation overnight Thursday-Friday in a refugee camp in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank long considered a centre of militant activity.

‘An armed terrorist cell that fired at Israeli security forces was struck by a (military) aircraft,’ an army statement said. ‘Terrorists who fired and hurled explosive devices at the security forces were neutralised. In total, at least five terrorists were killed.’

The military said ‘terrorists and gunmen fled the area in vehicles and ambulances toward the area of the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin in order to hide there’, and that a vehicle was stopped at the hospital entrance.

It released footage which appeared to show weapons being removed from a vehicle outside a hospital.

epa10980290 Palestinians inspect the damage after an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin , 17 November 2023. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, three Palestinans were killed and 8 others were injured during clashes with Israeli troops at the camp. EPA/ALAA BADARNEH
Palestinian gunman shoots in the air during the funeral of three Palestinians killed in an overnight Israeli army raid at the Jenin refugee camp, West Bank Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Israeli forces killed the three men in an overnight raid, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Friday. The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group claimed the three, including local commander Jamal Lahlouh, 23, as members. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

UN aid deliveries to Gaza suspended again

UN aid deliveries to Gaza have again been suspended due to shortages of fuel and a communications shutdown, deepening the misery of thousands of hungry and homeless Palestinians as Israeli troops battled Hamas militants in the enclave.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) said civilians faced the ‘immediate possibility of starvation’ due to the lack of food supplies.

Palestinian news agency WAFA said a number of Palestinians were killed and others injured in an Israeli strike that hit a group of displaced people near the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt – the transit point for aid.

Al Jazeera TV cited sources as saying that nine people were killed in the strike.

Without a post-war plan, Israel risks a bloody insurgency in Gaza

Israel risks facing a long and bloody insurgency if it defeats Hamas and occupies Gaza without a credible post-war plan to withdraw its troops and move toward the creation of a Palestinian state, U.S. and Arab officials, diplomats and analysts said.

None of the ideas floated so far by Israel, the United States and Arab nations for the post-war administration of Gaza have managed to gain traction, according to two U.S. and four regional officials as well as four diplomats familiar with the discussions, raising fears the Israeli military may become mired in a prolonged security operation.

As Israel tightens its control over northern Gaza, some officials in Washington and Arab capitals fear it is ignoring lessons from the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan when swift military victories were followed by years of violent militancy.

If Gaza’s Hamas-run government is toppled, its infrastructure destroyed and its economy ruined, the radicalization of an enraged population could fuel an uprising targeting Israeli troops in the enclave’s narrow streets, diplomats and officials say.

Israel, the U.S. and many Arab states agree that Hamas should be ousted after it launched a cross-border raid on Oct. 7 that killed some 1,200 people and took around 240 hostages. But there is no consensus on what should replace it.

Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli strike on Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
epa10980249 Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on the city of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli city of Sderot, southern Israel, 17 November 2023. More than 11,000 Palestinians and at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian health authority, since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October, and the Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank which followed it. EPA/ATEF SAFADI

Arab countries and Western allies have said a revitalized Palestinian Authority (PA).which partially governs the West Bank, is a natural candidate to play a greater role in Gaza, home to some 2.3 million people.

But the credibility of the Authority – run by 87-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party – has been undermined by its loss of control over Gaza to Hamas in a 2007 conflict, its failure to halt the spread of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and accusations of widespread corruption and incompetence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekend that the PA in its current form should not take charge of Gaza. He said the Israeli military was the only force capable of eliminating Hamas and ensuring that terrorism did not reappear. In the wake of Netanyahu’s comments, Israeli officials have insisted that Israel does not intend to occupy the Gaza Strip.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned Netanyahu on Wednesday that occupying Gaza would be ‘a big mistake’. So far, the U.S. and its allies have not seen any clear roadmap from Israel for its exit strategy from Gaza beyond the declared aim of eradicating Hamas, diplomats say. U.S. officials are pressing Israel for realistic objectives and a plan for how to achieve them.

Washington’s discussions of a post-war plan for Gaza are still in the very initial stages with the PA, other Palestinian stakeholders, and allies including Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

‘We’re certainly not there yet in terms of any effort to sell that vision to our regional partners who ultimately will have to live with it, and or implement it,’ one senior U.S. official said.

While Biden has insisted the war must end with a ‘vision’ for a two-state solution – which would unify the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into a Palestinian state – he and his senior aides have neither offered specifics on how they expect to achieve this nor proposed a restart of talks.

War having devastating socio-economic impact on Gaza, international organisations say

Israel’s land, sea and air assault on the Gaza Strip, triggered by Hamas’s cross-border attack on October 7, has brought upheaval and destruction to the Palestinian territory on a scale never before seen in the enclave.

Here are latest estimates from international organisations on the socio-economic impact of the conflict:

  • UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said Israeli attacks have destroyed more than 41,000 housing units and damaged more than 222,000. At least 45 percent in Gaza have either been damaged to destroyed, it said, quoting data from the Palestinian public works and housing department.
  • OCHA said 279 educational facilities had reportedly been damaged, more than 51% of the total, with none of Gaza’s 625,000 students able to access education.
  • Gaza’s Ministry of Health said, as of November 16, only nine of the enclave’s 35 hospitals in Gaza were partially functioning. The rest have shut down formal medical services. OCHA said 55 ambulances in Gaza had been damaged.
  • The U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on November 16 that due to an absence of fuel, 70% of the people in southern Gaza had no access to clean water.
  • Most of Gaza’s 65 sewage pumps were out of service, OCHA said.
TOPSHOT - A picture taken from the border between Israel and Gaza shows buildings heavily destroyed by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, on November 17, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
  • OCHA said in the north of Gaza, no bakeries had been active since Nov. 7 due to the lack of fuel, water, wheat flour, and structural damage.
  • All imports were halted after October 7 and only resumed on Octtober 21. Between then and Nov. 14 a total of 1,139 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had crossed into Gaza, when an average of 500 would enter per-day before the war.
  • On November 16, Gaza’s telecommunications services shut down after fuel used to run generators ran out, making communication extremely difficult.
  • UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the UN’s Development Programme (UNDP) said on November 5 that around 390,000 jobs had been lost since the start of the war.
  • UN agencies said poverty was expected to rise by between 20% and 45%, depending on the duration of the war.
  • The war could cost Gaza between 4% and 12% of GDP in 2023, they say.
Palestinians inspect the damage at the site of Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 17, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

IN PICTURES: Palestinians search for survivors after Israeli bombardment in southern Gaza

IDF says fighter jets attacked ‘number of Hezbollah terrorist targets’ in Lebanon

The IDF said on Twitter that fighter jets have attacked a ‘number of terrorist targets’ belonging to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The military said among the targets that were attacked, was a ‘terrorist infrastructure, a weapons warehouse and a military building’.

The IDF added: ‘In addition, the IDF attacked a terrorist cell identified on Lebanese territory in the Arab al-Aramsha area. Also, a number of launches were detected towards the areas of Malkia and Menara, the IDF is attacking the sources of the fire.’

WHO raises alarm over spread of disease in Gaza as thousands crowd in shelters

The World Health Organization has said it is very concerned about the spread of disease of Gaza as weeks of Israeli bombardments have caused the population to crowd in shelters with scarce food and clean water.

‘We are extremely concerned about the spread of the disease when the winter season arrives,’ said Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

He said that more than 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and over 44,000 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded in the densely populated enclave, figures higher significantly higher than expected.

PM Netanyahu admits efforts to prevent civilian casualties were ‘not successful’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said efforts to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties were ‘not successful’ because Hamas stopped people moving to safer places.

  • Netanyahu was asked by U.S. television’s CBS News on Thursday whether Israel’s killing of thousands of Palestinians in its almost six week war against Hamas militants would fuel hatred among a new generation.
  • Israel’s attempts to minimise civilian casualties were ‘not successful’, Netanyahu said, accusing Hamas of preventing civilians from moving to safer locations.
  • ‘Any civilian death is a tragedy. And we shouldn’t have any because we’re doing everything we can to get the civilians out of harm’s way, while Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,’ Netanyahu said.
  • ‘So we send leaflets, call them on their cell phones, and we say: ‘leave’. And many have left,’ he said.

Body of Israeli soldier, 19, recovered from building close to Al-Shifa hospital, IDF says

WATCH: Israeli troops continue with ground assault of Gaza

Israeli army says ‘at least five terrorists’ killed in Jenin raid

The Israeli army said Friday it had killed ‘at least five terrorists’ during an operation in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces carried out an operation in a refugee camp in the city overnight, and the military said in a statement that, ‘In total, at least five terrorists were killed.’

UN warns it cannot distribute aid in Gaza amid communications blackout

The two telecoms companies in Gaza said all services in the territory were down as energy supplies had run out. Israel refuses to allow fuel imports into Gaza, saying Hamas could use them for military purposes.

With communications out and in the absence of fuel, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said it was impossible to coordinate humanitarian aid truck convoys.

‘If the fuel does not come in, people will start to die because of the lack of fuel. Exactly as from when, I dont know. But it will be sooner rather than later,’ said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

‘When you have a blackout and you cannot communicate with anyone anymore… that triggers and fuels even more the anxiety and the panic.’

Israeli military's Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) manoeuvres near Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A Palestinian walks near a destroyed vehicle at the site of an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment on the Palestinian enclave on November 17, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims hostages may have been held at Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged hostages may even have been held at the medical facility.

‘We had strong indications that they were held in the Shifa Hospital, which is one of the reasons we entered the hospital,’ he told ‘CBS Evening News’.

‘If they were (there), they were taken out,’ he said.

Allegations about the hospital have not been verified, and on Friday communications with the Gaza Strip were severed once again.

Israeli troops continue search of Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli troops for a second day searched Al-Shifa Hospital in the north for traces of Hamas.

They displayed what they said were a tunnel entrance and weapons found in a truck inside the compound. But the military has yet to release evidence of a central Hamas command centre that Israel has said is concealed beneath the complex. Hamas and staff at the hospital, Gaza’s largest, deny the allegations.

Key Updates

  • Fuel flows back into Gaza after Israeli war cabinet decision
  • Hamas-run government in Gaza says more than 12,000 killed in Israeli strikes
  • WATCH: Why the IDF is the world’s most effective video
  • Bahrain Crown Prince calls on Hamas and Israel to release hostages
  • Israeli air strikes kill two pro-Iranian fighters near Damascus, war monitor says
  • Israel’s war cabinet approves small fuel shipments into Gaza
  • WATCH: Israeli forces create Star of David with tanks in Gaza in battle ceremony
  • UN aid deliveries to Gaza suspended again
  • WHO raises alarm over spread of disease in Gaza as thousands crowd in shelters
  • UN warns it cannot distribute aid in Gaza amid communications blackout
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims hostages may have been held at Al-Shifa hospital
  • Israeli troops continue search of Al-Shifa hospital

TOP STORIES

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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Fuel flows back into Gaza after Israeli war cabinet decision

The first delivery of fuel arrived in Gaza Friday after Israel’s war cabinet bowed to diplomatic pressure to let diesel back into the war-torn Palestinian territory, where aid schemes are shut down amid critical shortages.

As fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers rages for six weeks, the United Nations has warned hospitals, drinking water and sewage facilities are grinding to a halt as fuel reserves run dry.

Tzachi Hanegbi, national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel’s war cabinet agreed ‘to provide two tankers of fuel a day’ after a ‘special request’ from Washington.

Hanegbi said the fuel would be used to ‘operate the sewage and water systems run by UNRWA’, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

‘We took that decision to prevent the spread of epidemics. We don’t need epidemics that will harm civilians or our fighters. If there are epidemics, the fighting will stop,’ he said.

Late Friday, a Palestinian border official said the first shipment of 17,000 litres of fuel had entered through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Hundreds of pupils at a Wimbledon girls’ school rated outstanding took part in a banned march in support of Palestine – leaving some feeling ‘isolated and threatened’.

Footage posted on TikToks shows how streams of uniformed girls aged 11-16 defied a ban on any political event within the school campus on Wednesday afternoon this week – leaving some girls, including some of Jewish backgrounds, feeling unsafe.

As febrile demonstrations have swept the country in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7 – and the subsequent hardline Israeli military response in Gaza – there have been attempts to keep them from spilling over into schools.

READ MORE HERE:

Pope to meet relatives of Hamas hostages and Palestinians

Pope Francis will meet next week a group of relatives of Israelis held hostage by Hamas and another of relatives of Palestinians in Gaza, the Vatican said Friday.

The 86-year-old pontiff wants to demonstrate his ‘spiritual closeness’ during the two meetings, which will take place on the margins of his weekly audience at the Vatican, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

‘On the morning of Wednesday, November 22, on the sidelines of the general audience, Pope Francis will meet at separate times with a group of relatives of Israelis held hostage in Gaza and a group of relatives of Palestinians suffering from the conflict in Gaza,’ he said.

‘With these meetings of exclusively humanitarian nature, Pope Francis wants to demonstrate his spiritual closeness to the suffering of each one.

Bruni cited the pontiff’s comments last Sunday that ‘Every human being, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, of any people or religion, every human being is sacred, is precious in the eyes of God and has the right to live in peace’.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis gestures as he leaves after the weekly general audience, in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has hit 12,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The new figure includes 5,000 children, according to Hamas, and comes hours after Israeli soldiers found the remains of another hostage taken by terrorists in the October 7 attacks.

Israel’s military said troops recovered the remains of kidnapped female soldier Noa Marciano, 19, ‘from a structure adjacent to Al-Shifa hospital’ in Gaza city.

READ MORE HERE:

US President Joe Biden and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the Hamas hostage situation

US President Joe Biden and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the Hamas hostage situation and other developments in Gaza in a phone call on Friday, the leaders’ offices said.

‘The two leaders discussed the urgent need for all hostages held by Hamas to be released without further delay,’ the White House said in a statement.

‘The leaders also discussed ongoing efforts to increase the flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza and Israel’s decision to resume fuel deliveries for life-saving aid.’

The White House said they agreed to remain in close touch on these issues.

Qatar has been working to negotiate a deal between Hamas and Israel on releasing some of the hostages.

(pictured below during a meeting in January 2022)

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Erdogan says he is leading fight against anti-Semitism

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on a visit to Germany Friday that he saw all faiths as equal and rejected suggestions that his attacks on Israel had anti-Semitic undertones.

‘For us, there should be no discrimination between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the region. I have fought against anti-Semitism.

‘I am a leader who is leading this fight,’ Erdogan said during a joint media appearance with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 17: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speak to the media before talks at the Chancellery on November 17, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. Erdogan is on a one-day visit to meet with German leaders that is taking place following his recent vocal support of Hamas and his labelling of Israel as a "terror state", which is complicating his relation with Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As he declared that Mr Corbyn wi

ll never again represent Labour in the House of Commons, Sir Keir said: ‘He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election.’

Sir Keir suspended Mr Corbyn as a Labour MP in 2020 over his predecessor’s claim that the scale of antisemitism in the party had been ‘overstated for political reasons’.

READ MORE HERE:

Breaking: Hamas-run government in Gaza says more than 12,000 killed in Israeli strikes

At least 12,000 Palestinians, including 5,000 children, have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, the government media office in the Hamas-controlled enclave said today.

WATCH: Why the IDF is the world’s most effective video

The IDF used tanks to mark the Star of David onto the floor of Hamas a training ground in Gaza City where the terror group has trained fighters.

The tanks can be seen roaming across the soil on a battle-worn strip of land with Israel flags displayed before they are shown in a line pumping out blue and white smoke as the finished product is displayed.

The formation, performed by fighters from the Golani Brigade in the Kativa outpost, formed part of a ceremony in memory of comrades who had fallen since the start of the war, according to IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, who posted the video on X.

READ MORE HERE:

Breaking: Bahrain Crown Prince calls on Hamas and Israel to release hostages

Bahrain’s Crown Prince on Friday called on the Palestinian militant group Hamas to release Israeli women and children taken hostage in Gaza and for Israel in exchange to release Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

‘Gaza now has no functioning hospital’: British-Palestinian doctor describes ‘living nightmare’ of working in Al Ahli hospital and leaving behind ‘500 wounded’

British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta told his team it was time to leave the last fully functioning hospital in Gaza City yesterday.

He said he did so as the Al Ahli hospital was shaking from Israeli tank fire and after it was found there were no more anaesthetics left for operations.

‘It has been a living nightmare – leaving 500 wounded knowing that there’s nothing left for you to be able to do for them, it’s just the most heartbreaking thing I ever had to do,’ Abu Sitta told Reuters news agency on Friday, a day after leaving the hospital and walking to Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

In a post on X (Twitter), he wrote: ‘No longer able to provide surgeries at Ahli Hosp. The hospital is now effectively a first aid station. Hundreds of wounded now at hospital with no access to surgery. They will die from their wounds.’

Abu Sitta said in a call with Retuers: ‘Al Ahli was completely inundated with wounded. And we were operating all through the night (on Wednesday). And by the early hours (of Thursday)… we realised that we have basically run out of medication for the anaesthetic machines and we had to stop the operating room.’

On the five-hour walk from Al Ahli to the refugee camp, Abu Sitta said he saw ‘scenes of destruction’ and bodies lying on the street.

He said patients needing treatment remained at Al Ahli, and that another hospital in northern Gaza had been unable to take them.

‘Basically, the whole of northern Gaza now has no functioning hospital,’ he said.

GAZA CITY, GAZA - NOVEMBER 15: Health workers treat injured Palestinians including children, under difficult conditions at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital after Israeli airstrikes that continue on its 40th day in Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023. (Photo by Montaser alswaf/Anadolu via Getty Images)
A satellite image shows Al-Ahli hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Gaza November 7, 2023. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MUST NOT OBSCURE LOGO.

Intense footage has shown Israeli troops storming the ruins of a hotel while hunting down Hamas terrorists as the IDF continues its operation in the Gaza Strip.

Follow the link below to read the full story…

Israeli air strikes kill two pro-Iranian fighters near Damascus, war monitor says

Israeli air strikes killed two pro-Iranian fighters near the Syrian capital Damascus in the early hours of this morning during raids targeting a Hezbollah arms depot and other sites near Syria’s capital, a war monitor has said, AFP reports.

Citing a military source, Syria’s state news agency SANA earlier reported ‘material damage’ from the strikes.

‘At around 2:25 am (2325 GMT Thursday), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights targeting several positions in the vicinity of Damascus,’ SANA said.

The military source did not provide details on the targets but added that Syria’s air defence intercepted some of the Israeli missiles.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources in Syria, said ‘two foreign fighters’ from pro-Iran groups were killed.

Several others were wounded, it added.

The strikes ‘destroyed an arms depot belonging to Hezbollah’, the Iran-backed Lebanese group fighting alongside Syria’s regime, the Observatory said, adding the bombardment occurred along the road to Damascus airport.

The Observatory said that ‘sites linked to Hezbollah and pro-Iran militias’ near the airport were also targeted.

Israel has hit targets in Syria several times in the past weeks as regional tensions rise over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Breaking: Hamas claims ‘Zionist’ hostages were not held in hospitals

Hamas’ armed wing has claimed ‘Zionist’ hostages were not held in hospitals but were transferred to the medical centres for treatment due to the seriousness of their condition.

They claimed their aim was to ‘save their lives’.

It comes as Israeli troops continue to search Al-Shifa hospital, where Israeli forces claim Hamas terrorists were holding hostages.

‘More than 20 patients’ die in Al-Shifa hospital in last two days due to power cuts

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Friday that 24 patients have died in the past two days at Al-Shifa hospital owing to power cuts, as Israeli forces search the facility for Hamas hideouts.

‘Twenty-four patients in different departments have died over the last 48 hours as vital medical equipment has stopped functioning because of the power outage,’ said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

Israel’s war cabinet approves small fuel shipments into Gaza

Israel’s national security adviser says the country’s War Cabinet has agreed to allow two tanker trucks of fuel to enter the Gaza Strip each day, a quantity he described as ‘very minimal.’

  • Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Tzachi Hanegbi said the fuel would be allowed for Gaza’s communications system and water and sewage services. He said the deliveries are intended to prevent the spread of disease without disrupting Israel’s ability to continue its war against the Hamas militant group.
  • ‘We don’t want diseases that could harm the civilians who are there and our forces. If there are diseases, the fighting would be halted. We cannot continue fighting in the event of a humanitarian crisis or an international outcry,’ Hanegbi said.
  • Hanegbi said the fuel amounted to roughly 2% to 4% of the normal quantities of fuel that entered Gaza before the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7.
  • The office of Israeli lawmaker and former defence minister Benny Gantz, a member of the three-person War Cabinet, said the agreement would allow 60,000 litres of fuel to enter Gaza over the next 48 hours.
  • Hanegbit said the War Cabinet ‘agreed to a special request by the United States to supply two tankers per day’ for Gaza.
  • The War Cabinet says it agreed to the U.S. request on the recommendation of the Shin Bet internal security agency and the army.

WATCH: Israeli forces create Star of David with tanks in Gaza in battle ceremony

Israeli forces have staged a battle ceremony in Gaza City in memory of brothers-in-arms who have been killed since the beginning of the fighting.

Footage shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, appeared to show columns of Namer infantry battle vehicles carving out a Star of David with their tracks in the dirt.

Vehicles were also seen from above purging white and blue smoke in the colours of the Israeli flag.

Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, said: ‘Deep in the Gaza Strip, in the parade ground of the Hamas post, the fighters of the Golani Brigade held a battle ceremony in memory of their comrades who fell in the battles since the beginning of the fighting.’

First responder gives first-hand account of October 7 attack aftermath

A first responder who was among the first rescuers to reach reach kibbutz Be’eri after Hamas gunmen rampaged through the community in southern Israel on October 7 has spoken to Reuters news agency about his experience.

He says the sight of slaughtered families and children is still seared into his memory, and remains visibly shaken as he recounts his rush to the community in an ambulance and the bodies lying in the streets along the way.

Unlike most emergency workers called out that day, Warraqi is a Muslim Israeli Arab. He found his experience profoundly distressing, but also says it strengthened his belief that human beings must ‘stop hatred’ and learn to live together.

I saw families, they were slaughtered, a lot of families. I saw a father and mom with three kids, they were tied hands up, hands back … as they were put on their knees in front of each other, then they got shot in the head. When you see such a thing… you just start imagining what happened in there, what, how did they react, who was got killed first, the kids or the parents. Our religion, as a proud Arabic Muslim Israeli guy, I’m saying that has nothing to do with our religion.

EXCLUSIVE: October 28, 2023 - Be'eri, Israel: 21 days after the fatal attack on Be'eri Kibbutz, when more than 100 Hamas terrorists entered the Kibbutz and brutally murdered at least 130 members of the Kibbutz. Several members of the Kibbutz were abducted by Hamas to Gaza. Starting early in the morning of October 7th, missiles were shot to Israel from Gaza while Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli settlements around Gaza, murdering and kidnapping hundreds, including hundreds of young participants at the outdoor party Nova. Casualties count thus far is more than 1,400, injured - more than 3,800, abducted - 229 soldiers and civilians, missing more than 100 people. (Ziv Koren/Polaris)Credit: Ziv Koren / Polaris / eyevineFor further information please contact eyevinetel: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709e-mail: info@eyevine.comwww.eyevine.com

Warraqi said many Muslims were also killed in the assault, recalling how he took care of two Arab women wearing hijab, shot by the attackers, and three Arab bus drivers from East Jerusalem who got shot in the head.

‘That means that they’re (Hamas) not doing this for the country or for religion, they’re just doing this for the hatred,’ he said.

Warraqi is still hopeful that Jews, Arabs, Christians and Muslims can learn to live together in Israel, saying ‘we are all the same’.

I think Israel learned today how to die together. Now it’s time to learn how to live together … We have to take care of this and we have to stop hatred and start living together.

Be’eri was among the hardest hit communities by the Hamas assault on Oct. 7, which Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians gunned down in their own homes, on the streets or at a dance festival.

The attack was the deadliest in Israel’s 75-year-old history.

Surviving residents were eventually evacuated and Israel has since launched a devastating bombardment and ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza that has killed more than 11,500 people.

EXCLUSIVE: October 28, 2023 - Be'eri, Israel: 21 days after the fatal attack on Be'eri Kibbutz, when more than 100 Hamas terrorists entered the Kibbutz and brutally murdered at least 130 members of the Kibbutz. Several members of the Kibbutz were abducted by Hamas to Gaza. Starting early in the morning of October 7th, missiles were shot to Israel from Gaza while Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli settlements around Gaza, murdering and kidnapping hundreds, including hundreds of young participants at the outdoor party Nova. Casualties count thus far is more than 1,400, injured - more than 3,800, abducted - 229 soldiers and civilians, missing more than 100 people. (Ziv Koren/Polaris)Credit: Ziv Koren / Polaris / eyevineFor further information please contact eyevinetel: +44 (0) 20 8709 8709e-mail: info@eyevine.comwww.eyevine.com

Agreement to open aid corridor between Cyprus and Gaza close, Nicosia says

Cyprus and Israel are close to reaching an agreement to open a humanitarian aid corridor from the Mediterranean island to war-torn Gaza, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides has said today.

Under the plan put forward by Nicosia, aid would be collected, inspected and stored in Cyprus and then sent to the Gaza Strip on ships checked daily by a joint committee that would include Israeli officials.

The vessels would be accompanied by warships to a designated spot identified on the coast of Gaza, from where it would be sent to a safe, neutral area.

‘We are in contact with Israel to implement some final arrangements,’ Christodoulides told reporters, adding details are still under discussion with the UN.

The Cypriot proposal aims to bolster humanitarian relief provided to the Gaza Strip by importing large volumes on ships rather than the limited deliveries of trucks through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. The UN warned today that aid deliveries to Gaza had been halted due to a lack of fuel and a communications blackout.

More Irish citizens leaving Gaza today

More Irish citizens are leaving the Gaza Strip via the southern Rafah crossing into Egypt today, Press Association reports.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that 26 citizens had left the enclave on Wednesday and Thursday. A DFA spokesman said a number of citizens and their families were in the process of crossing today.

Irish-Palestinian man Khalid El Estal, who lives in Co Kildare, has said his two young children Ali, four, and Sara, one, crossed into Egypt on Friday. Mr El Estal’s wife and the children’s mother Ashwak was killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

Mr El Estal told RTE News on Friday: ‘They are at the Egyptian side of the border with an Irish official. They are being processed there now. This is great news’.

Palestinians and dual nationality holders fleeing from Gaza are pictured on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on November 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli troops have claimed they found a tunnel shaft used by Hamas terrorists at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital along with the bodies of two hostages held in a building close by.

The IDF released a video it said showed a tunnel entrance in an outdoor area of Al-Shifa hospital, two days after Israeli troops entered its grounds to hunt for a Hamas command centre they say is beneath the medical facility.

Follow the link below to read our full story…

Pope to meet with relatives of Israeli hostages next week, source says

Pope Francis will meet next week with relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza, a source has said today.

The source, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss papal plans, said 12 relatives would meet the pope early on Wednesday morning before his weekly general audience.

The source said they would be a mix of relatives who met with Italian leaders last month and others who were not among the first group.

The Vatican’s number two, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said today that the Holy See believed the release of the hostages and a ceasefire – which Israel has so far ruled out – were two ‘fundamental points’ to resolve the crisis.

WATCH: Smoke billows from Gaza as Israel continues operation

Goodbye, my brave daughter: Heartbroken mother weeps over the coffin of Noa Marciano after she and another hostage were found dead in hospital complex where Israel is searching for Hamas HQ

The heartbroken mother of a soldier held captive by Hamas terrorists today wept over her daughter’s coffin after the 19-year-old and another hostage were found dead in Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital complex.

Overcome with grief, Adi Marciano broke down in tears as she placed her hand on her daughter Noa’s coffin during an emotional service for the soldier in the central Israeli city of Modiin.

Adi, crumpling under the weight of her grief, collapsed on top of the wooden coffin where her daughter lay. Noa’s friends and fellow comrades sobbed and held each other as they watched the coffin, covered with an Israeli flag, pass through the large crowd of devastated mourners.

The heartbroken mother had been told earlier this week that Noa, of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, had been killed after Hamas released a horrific video showing what appeared to be the 19-year-old’s dead body.

Read the full report here:

Syria accuses Israeli military of attacking posts near Damascus

Syria’s state news agency says Israel’s military has carried out strikes that hit several posts near the capital, Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties.

SANA quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles before they reached their targets early Friday.

There has been no confirmation from the Israeli military.

In the weeks since the latest war between Israel and Hamas broke out, Syria reported Israeli airstrikes that hit the international airports in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, damaging their runways and putting them out of service.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, including attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, but rarely acknowledges or discusses the operations.

Taliban denounces ongoing Israeli strikes

Afghanistan’s Taliban-led administration has denounced the ongoing Israeli strikes in Gaza, including the raid on Shifa Hospital.

In an overnight statement, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Israeli forces were continually breaking all rules of war.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan called on the United Nations and other human rights bodies in a statement.

‘If they genuinely believe in their stated values, they must prevent the ongoing brutalities by adopting an honest, transparent & just position vis-a-vis crimes against humanity carried out by the zionists against the people of Gaza,’ the statement read, referring to Jews who seek to regain and retain their biblical homeland.

It also asked Arab and Islamic countries ‘to respond to the cries of the oppressed Muslims of Gaza, & to fulfill their religious & human responsibility through effective & meaningful positions & steps.’

The Taliban-led administration seized power in 2021, and since then the UN and other human rights groups have blamed it for human rights violations. The UN says it has documents more than 1,600 cases of rights violations by the Taliban.

Israeli army kills five Hamas terrorists in West Bank, IDF says

The Israeli army has said it killed at least five militants in the West Bank, as Hamas admitted a number of its terrorists were killed in the overnight raid.

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel, there has been a dramatic rise in violence in the West Bank, where the Israeli army has stepped up incursions targeting militant groups.

Israeli forces carried out an operation overnight Thursday-Friday in a refugee camp in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank long considered a centre of militant activity.

‘An armed terrorist cell that fired at Israeli security forces was struck by a (military) aircraft,’ an army statement said. ‘Terrorists who fired and hurled explosive devices at the security forces were neutralised. In total, at least five terrorists were killed.’

The military said ‘terrorists and gunmen fled the area in vehicles and ambulances toward the area of the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin in order to hide there’, and that a vehicle was stopped at the hospital entrance.

It released footage which appeared to show weapons being removed from a vehicle outside a hospital.

epa10980290 Palestinians inspect the damage after an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin , 17 November 2023. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, three Palestinans were killed and 8 others were injured during clashes with Israeli troops at the camp. EPA/ALAA BADARNEH
Palestinian gunman shoots in the air during the funeral of three Palestinians killed in an overnight Israeli army raid at the Jenin refugee camp, West Bank Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Israeli forces killed the three men in an overnight raid, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Friday. The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group claimed the three, including local commander Jamal Lahlouh, 23, as members. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

UN aid deliveries to Gaza suspended again

UN aid deliveries to Gaza have again been suspended due to shortages of fuel and a communications shutdown, deepening the misery of thousands of hungry and homeless Palestinians as Israeli troops battled Hamas militants in the enclave.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) said civilians faced the ‘immediate possibility of starvation’ due to the lack of food supplies.

Palestinian news agency WAFA said a number of Palestinians were killed and others injured in an Israeli strike that hit a group of displaced people near the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt – the transit point for aid.

Al Jazeera TV cited sources as saying that nine people were killed in the strike.

Without a post-war plan, Israel risks a bloody insurgency in Gaza

Israel risks facing a long and bloody insurgency if it defeats Hamas and occupies Gaza without a credible post-war plan to withdraw its troops and move toward the creation of a Palestinian state, U.S. and Arab officials, diplomats and analysts said.

None of the ideas floated so far by Israel, the United States and Arab nations for the post-war administration of Gaza have managed to gain traction, according to two U.S. and four regional officials as well as four diplomats familiar with the discussions, raising fears the Israeli military may become mired in a prolonged security operation.

As Israel tightens its control over northern Gaza, some officials in Washington and Arab capitals fear it is ignoring lessons from the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan when swift military victories were followed by years of violent militancy.

If Gaza’s Hamas-run government is toppled, its infrastructure destroyed and its economy ruined, the radicalization of an enraged population could fuel an uprising targeting Israeli troops in the enclave’s narrow streets, diplomats and officials say.

Israel, the U.S. and many Arab states agree that Hamas should be ousted after it launched a cross-border raid on Oct. 7 that killed some 1,200 people and took around 240 hostages. But there is no consensus on what should replace it.

Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli strike on Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
epa10980249 Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on the city of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli city of Sderot, southern Israel, 17 November 2023. More than 11,000 Palestinians and at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian health authority, since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October, and the Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank which followed it. EPA/ATEF SAFADI

Arab countries and Western allies have said a revitalized Palestinian Authority (PA).which partially governs the West Bank, is a natural candidate to play a greater role in Gaza, home to some 2.3 million people.

But the credibility of the Authority – run by 87-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party – has been undermined by its loss of control over Gaza to Hamas in a 2007 conflict, its failure to halt the spread of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and accusations of widespread corruption and incompetence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekend that the PA in its current form should not take charge of Gaza. He said the Israeli military was the only force capable of eliminating Hamas and ensuring that terrorism did not reappear. In the wake of Netanyahu’s comments, Israeli officials have insisted that Israel does not intend to occupy the Gaza Strip.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned Netanyahu on Wednesday that occupying Gaza would be ‘a big mistake’. So far, the U.S. and its allies have not seen any clear roadmap from Israel for its exit strategy from Gaza beyond the declared aim of eradicating Hamas, diplomats say. U.S. officials are pressing Israel for realistic objectives and a plan for how to achieve them.

Washington’s discussions of a post-war plan for Gaza are still in the very initial stages with the PA, other Palestinian stakeholders, and allies including Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

‘We’re certainly not there yet in terms of any effort to sell that vision to our regional partners who ultimately will have to live with it, and or implement it,’ one senior U.S. official said.

While Biden has insisted the war must end with a ‘vision’ for a two-state solution – which would unify the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into a Palestinian state – he and his senior aides have neither offered specifics on how they expect to achieve this nor proposed a restart of talks.

War having devastating socio-economic impact on Gaza, international organisations say

Israel’s land, sea and air assault on the Gaza Strip, triggered by Hamas’s cross-border attack on October 7, has brought upheaval and destruction to the Palestinian territory on a scale never before seen in the enclave.

Here are latest estimates from international organisations on the socio-economic impact of the conflict:

  • UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said Israeli attacks have destroyed more than 41,000 housing units and damaged more than 222,000. At least 45 percent in Gaza have either been damaged to destroyed, it said, quoting data from the Palestinian public works and housing department.
  • OCHA said 279 educational facilities had reportedly been damaged, more than 51% of the total, with none of Gaza’s 625,000 students able to access education.
  • Gaza’s Ministry of Health said, as of November 16, only nine of the enclave’s 35 hospitals in Gaza were partially functioning. The rest have shut down formal medical services. OCHA said 55 ambulances in Gaza had been damaged.
  • The U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on November 16 that due to an absence of fuel, 70% of the people in southern Gaza had no access to clean water.
  • Most of Gaza’s 65 sewage pumps were out of service, OCHA said.
TOPSHOT - A picture taken from the border between Israel and Gaza shows buildings heavily destroyed by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, on November 17, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
  • OCHA said in the north of Gaza, no bakeries had been active since Nov. 7 due to the lack of fuel, water, wheat flour, and structural damage.
  • All imports were halted after October 7 and only resumed on Octtober 21. Between then and Nov. 14 a total of 1,139 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had crossed into Gaza, when an average of 500 would enter per-day before the war.
  • On November 16, Gaza’s telecommunications services shut down after fuel used to run generators ran out, making communication extremely difficult.
  • UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the UN’s Development Programme (UNDP) said on November 5 that around 390,000 jobs had been lost since the start of the war.
  • UN agencies said poverty was expected to rise by between 20% and 45%, depending on the duration of the war.
  • The war could cost Gaza between 4% and 12% of GDP in 2023, they say.
Palestinians inspect the damage at the site of Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 17, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

IN PICTURES: Palestinians search for survivors after Israeli bombardment in southern Gaza

IDF says fighter jets attacked ‘number of Hezbollah terrorist targets’ in Lebanon

The IDF said on Twitter that fighter jets have attacked a ‘number of terrorist targets’ belonging to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The military said among the targets that were attacked, was a ‘terrorist infrastructure, a weapons warehouse and a military building’.

The IDF added: ‘In addition, the IDF attacked a terrorist cell identified on Lebanese territory in the Arab al-Aramsha area. Also, a number of launches were detected towards the areas of Malkia and Menara, the IDF is attacking the sources of the fire.’

WHO raises alarm over spread of disease in Gaza as thousands crowd in shelters

The World Health Organization has said it is very concerned about the spread of disease of Gaza as weeks of Israeli bombardments have caused the population to crowd in shelters with scarce food and clean water.

‘We are extremely concerned about the spread of the disease when the winter season arrives,’ said Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

He said that more than 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and over 44,000 cases of diarrhoea had been recorded in the densely populated enclave, figures higher significantly higher than expected.

PM Netanyahu admits efforts to prevent civilian casualties were ‘not successful’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said efforts to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties were ‘not successful’ because Hamas stopped people moving to safer places.

  • Netanyahu was asked by U.S. television’s CBS News on Thursday whether Israel’s killing of thousands of Palestinians in its almost six week war against Hamas militants would fuel hatred among a new generation.
  • Israel’s attempts to minimise civilian casualties were ‘not successful’, Netanyahu said, accusing Hamas of preventing civilians from moving to safer locations.
  • ‘Any civilian death is a tragedy. And we shouldn’t have any because we’re doing everything we can to get the civilians out of harm’s way, while Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,’ Netanyahu said.
  • ‘So we send leaflets, call them on their cell phones, and we say: ‘leave’. And many have left,’ he said.

Body of Israeli soldier, 19, recovered from building close to Al-Shifa hospital, IDF says

WATCH: Israeli troops continue with ground assault of Gaza

Israeli army says ‘at least five terrorists’ killed in Jenin raid

The Israeli army said Friday it had killed ‘at least five terrorists’ during an operation in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces carried out an operation in a refugee camp in the city overnight, and the military said in a statement that, ‘In total, at least five terrorists were killed.’

UN warns it cannot distribute aid in Gaza amid communications blackout

The two telecoms companies in Gaza said all services in the territory were down as energy supplies had run out. Israel refuses to allow fuel imports into Gaza, saying Hamas could use them for military purposes.

With communications out and in the absence of fuel, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said it was impossible to coordinate humanitarian aid truck convoys.

‘If the fuel does not come in, people will start to die because of the lack of fuel. Exactly as from when, I dont know. But it will be sooner rather than later,’ said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

‘When you have a blackout and you cannot communicate with anyone anymore… that triggers and fuels even more the anxiety and the panic.’

Israeli military's Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) manoeuvres near Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A Palestinian walks near a destroyed vehicle at the site of an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment on the Palestinian enclave on November 17, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims hostages may have been held at Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged hostages may even have been held at the medical facility.

‘We had strong indications that they were held in the Shifa Hospital, which is one of the reasons we entered the hospital,’ he told ‘CBS Evening News’.

‘If they were (there), they were taken out,’ he said.

Allegations about the hospital have not been verified, and on Friday communications with the Gaza Strip were severed once again.

Israeli troops continue search of Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli troops for a second day searched Al-Shifa Hospital in the north for traces of Hamas.

They displayed what they said were a tunnel entrance and weapons found in a truck inside the compound. But the military has yet to release evidence of a central Hamas command centre that Israel has said is concealed beneath the complex. Hamas and staff at the hospital, Gaza’s largest, deny the allegations.

Key Updates

  • Fuel flows back into Gaza after Israeli war cabinet decision
  • Hamas-run government in Gaza says more than 12,000 killed in Israeli strikes
  • WATCH: Why the IDF is the world’s most effective video
  • Bahrain Crown Prince calls on Hamas and Israel to release hostages
  • Israeli air strikes kill two pro-Iranian fighters near Damascus, war monitor says
  • Israel’s war cabinet approves small fuel shipments into Gaza
  • WATCH: Israeli forces create Star of David with tanks in Gaza in battle ceremony
  • UN aid deliveries to Gaza suspended again
  • WHO raises alarm over spread of disease in Gaza as thousands crowd in shelters
  • UN warns it cannot distribute aid in Gaza amid communications blackout
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims hostages may have been held at Al-Shifa hospital
  • Israeli troops continue search of Al-Shifa hospital

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Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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