Six killed in Israeli raid on West Bank, Palestinian health ministry says
Six Palestinians have been killed today during an Israeli raid on Jenin in the north of the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.
A statement from the ministry said the current death toll in Jenin stood at six, up from five announced in a previous statement. The Israeli army said its forces were operating in Jenin but did not provide further details.
Since the beginning of the war triggered by attacks on October 7 by Gaza-based Hamas militants, which Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people, more than 150 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Israeli forces have arrested more than 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank in that time, the army said, most of them affiliated with Hamas.
Clashes have often erupted during such operations.
WHO warns of ‘worrying trends’ in disease spread in Gaza
The Gaza Strip faces an increased risk of disease spreading due to Israeli air bombardments that have disrupted the health system, access to clean water and caused people to crowd in shelters, the World Health Organization warned on Wednesday.
- ‘As deaths and injuries in Gaza continue to rise due to intensified hostilities, intense overcrowding and disrupted health, water, and sanitation systems pose an added danger: the rapid spread of infectious diseases,’ WHO said. ‘Some worrying trends are already emerging.’
- It said that the lack of fuel in the densely populated enclave had caused desalination plants to shut down, which increased the risk of bacterial infections like diarrhoea spreading.
- While there have been extremely limited deliveries of food, water and medicine to Gaza, Israel has refused to let fuel in due to concerns about its possible diversion by Hamas despite calls from the United Nations and humanitarian aid groups.
- WHO said that more than 33,551 cases of diarrhoea had been reported since mid-October, the bulk of which among children under five.
- It said the number of children affected marked a significant increase compared to an average of 2,000 cases monthly in that age group throughout 2021 and 2022.
Top US general cautions over risks of a long Gaza war
A faster resolution to the fighting in Gaza could help limit civilian strife that might spur people to join the ranks of Palestinian militants, US President Joe Biden’s top military adviser said.
General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Israel’s stated aim for its military campaign in Gaza – the complete destruction of the Hamas terrorist group that runs the territory – was ‘a pretty large order’.
But he also said Israel was focused on targeting the senior leadership of Hamas, which might be achieved more quickly.
‘I think the longer this goes, the harder it can become,’ Brown told reporters before arriving in Japan on Thursday, in his first detailed remarks on the month-old conflict.
Asked whether he was concerned a high Palestinian civilian death toll could push people to join the ranks of the militants, Brown said: ‘Yes, very much so. And I think that’s something we have to pay attention to.’
WATCH: Israeli airstrikes kill Hamas head of anti-tank missile system
The IDF said its airstrikes ‘eliminated’ the terrorist Ibrahim Abu Ma’zib, head of the anti-tank missile system of the Central Camps Brigade of Hamas.
‘As part of his role, he directed and carried out many anti-tank attacks Towards the citizens of Israel and the IDF forces,’ the Israeli military said.
Aid groups call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, say there are no safe zones
Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told a conference in Paris on Thursday that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza was an absolute necessity.
‘We cannot wait a minute more for a humanitarian ceasefire or lifting of siege which is collective punishment,’ he said.
‘Without a ceasefire, lifting of the siege and indiscriminate bombarding and warfare, the haemorrhage of human lives will continue.’
Medecins Sans Frontieres chief Isabelle Defourny called southern Gaza safe-zones ‘fake zones’.
IDF official claims there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza as UN calls for more aid
An Israeli military official has claimed there is ‘no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,’ according to France’s AFP news agency, even as he acknowledged the Palestinian territory faces several challenges amid the ongoing war.
‘We know the civil situation in the Gaza Strip is not an easy one,’ said Colonel Moshe Tetro, head of coordination and liason at COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body handling civil affairs in Gaza.
‘But I can say that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip,’ he told reporters.
Tetro said the Israeli military was facilitating aid transfer to Gaza in sectors such as ‘water, food, medical supplies and humanitarian aid for shelters’.
The official’s comments came after UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said there was need for a meaningful continuous humanitarian aid to Gaza including fuel.
He said aid coming in through Rafah was inadequate for Gaza’s 2.3 million people, adding that all crossings into Gaza should be opened.
Lazzarini also said he was concerned about the spillover risk of the situation in Gaza, adding that the West Bank ‘is boiling’.
The UN and other aid agencies have been warning of a deepening humanitarian crisis since the Israel-Gaza conflict began on October 7.
They say tens of thousands of people have been forces to flee their homes, and vital supplies are either running dangerously low or have run out entirely.
Health officials in Hamas-run Gaza say more than 10,500 people have been killed in the coastal strip since the outbreak of the war. Israel says more than 1,400 people were killed in the October 7 attack.
Breaking: Macron calls for ‘ceasefire’ in Gaza
France’s president Emmanuel Macron has called for a ‘ceasefire’ in Gaza.
He said this morning that there must be a humanitarian pause very quickly in the coastal strip and that countries must also work for a ceasefire.
‘Civilians must be protected, that’s indispensable and non negotiable and is an immediate necessity,’ Macron said at the start of a humanitarian conference on Gaza that is being held today in Paris.
‘In the immediate term, we need to work on protecting civilians. To do that, we need a humanitarian pause very quickly and we must work towards a ceasefire,’ Macron told delegates in Paris.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said there will be no fuel delivered to Gaza and no ceasefire with Hamas unless the hostages are freed.
Macron spoke to Netanyahu on Tuesday and the pair will talk again once Thursday’s aid conference is over, the Elysee Palace said.
Defective drone strike on US airbase may have prevented escalation
A defective drone in Iraq may have helped keep America from being dragged deeper into a widening Middle East conflict, Reuters reports.
The drone was was launched at the Erbil air base by an Iranian-backed militia on October 26, according to the news agency, citing official familiar with the matter.
They say it then penetrated US air defences and crashed into the second floor of the barracks housing American troops at about 5am.
But the device laden with explosives failed to detonate and in the end only one service member suffered a concussion from the impact, said the officials, who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely about the attack. The US had got lucky, they added, as the drone could have caused carnage had it exploded.
The incident was among at least 40 separate drone and rocket attacks that have been launched at US forces by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria over the past three weeks, in response to America’s support of Israel.
David Schenker, a former US assistant secretary of state at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think-tank, cautioned that while neither Iran and its allied groups nor the US appeared to want a direct confrontation, the risks were growing.
The possibility of a major strike that draws America into a conflict is ‘a very realistic concern,’ he told Reuters.
Family of Palestinian activist arrested over online post say her account was hacked
The family of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi insists she didn’t write the words for which she now sits in an Israeli jail, AP reports
Israeli authorities burst into the Tamimi home in the occupied West Bank on Monday and arrested the 22-year old for ‘inciting terrorism’ on her Instagram account.
Tamimi gained worldwide fame in 2017 after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral on social media. She later said the soldiers had shot her cousin in the head just before the video was taken. After being released from prison, she wrote a book and crisscrossed Europe and the Middle East on tour.
Tamimi’s recent arrest has prompted criticism of an Israeli crackdown on Palestinian online speech in the wake of the Hamas attack October 7. Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli authorities, fired by Israeli employers and expelled from Israeli schools for online speech deemed incendiary, rights groups say.
The Israeli military alleges Tamimi posted a statement reading ‘we are waiting for you in all the West Bank cities from Hebron to Jenin – we will slaughter you and you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke, we will drink your blood and eat your skulls, come on, we are waiting for you.’
But Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, says the account was hacked – a common occurrence for the fiery and divisive activist.
Videos showed fights between protestors outside the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance, where actress Gal Gadot organized a screening of footage of the brutal Hamas terror attack atrocities committed during the October 7 invasion of Israel.
The 47-minute video, provided by the Israeli Defence forces, was aired to a select audience of celebrities and influential personalities in LA and New York last night.
About 200 people attended the screening, though Gadot was not in attendance, nor were any major Hollywood stars, according to the LA Times.
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Israel opens evacuation corridor
The IDF has announced it has again opened the north-south evacuation corridor in Gaza. It will remain open from 10am to 4pm local time (0800GMT-1400GMT).
Avijaa Adraei, the IDF’s Arab media spokesperson, said 50,000 people fled from northern Gaza to the south yesterday. Tuesday saw 15,000 flee, Monday say 5,000 and Sunday 2,000, showing that the pace is picking up.
Israel has now for weeks urged Palestinians in northern Gaza to move south, which is considered slightly safer.
However, aid groups have said many in the north are unable to make the journey.
Western and Arab officials are gathering in Paris to find ways to provide aid to civilians in Gaza
Officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations are gathering Thursday in Paris for a conference on how to provide aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s war with Hamas, including proposals for a humanitarian maritime corridor and floating field hospitals.
- French President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for a ‘humanitarian pause’ in the war, wants the conference to address the besieged Palestinian enclave’s growing needs including food, water, health supplies, electricity and fuel.
- Over 50 nations are expected to attend, including several European countries, the United States and regional powers such as Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf countries, the French presidency said. Also attending is Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
- Israeli authorities won’t participate in Thursday’s conference, the Elysee said.
- The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, the U.N.’s top aid official and the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross are expected to provide details about urgent needs in the Gaza Strip.
- Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides will present his plan for a humanitarian sea corridor to Gaza which he has said aims for a “sustained, secure high-volume flow of humanitarian assistance to Gaza in the immediate, medium and long term.” Ships would deliver the aid from Cyprus’ main port of Limassol, about 255 miles away.
- French officials said they are also considering evacuating injured people to hospital ships in the Mediterranean off the Gaza coast. Paris sent a helicopter carrier off the Cyprus coast and is preparing another with medical capacities on board for that purpose.
- Thursday’s discussions will also include financial support and other ways to help Gaza’s civilians.
IN PICTURES: Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip
IDF says Israeli soldiers uncover stockpile of drones and weapons belonging to Hamas in north Gaza strip
The IDF said Israeli troops uncovered a site for the production and storage of drones and weapons belonging to Hamas in the heart of the Sheik Radwan residential neighbourhood in the north of the Gaza Strip and near schools.
UN human rights chief accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes
The UN human rights chief has said collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians and their forced evacuation amount to war crimes.
He also said atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 and their continued holding of hostages were also war crimes.
Volker Türk, standing in front of Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza, told reporters Wednesday: ‘These are the gates to a living nightmare.’
‘We have fallen off a precipice. This cannot continue,’ he said later in Cairo.
Türk said international human rights and humanitarian law must be respected to help protect civilians and allow desperately needed aid to reach Gaza’s beleaguered population of some 2.3 million people.
He said the UN rights office received reports in recent days about an unspecified orphanage in northern Gaza with 300 children who need urgent help.
However, he said communications were down and access was impassable and unsafe, so ‘we cannot get to them.’
‘I feel, in my innermost being, the pain, the immense suffering of every person whose loved one has been killed in a kibbutz, in a Palestinian refugee camp, hiding in a building or as they were fleeing,’ Türk said.
‘We all must feel this shared pain – and end this nightmare.’
IDF claims capture of key Hamas stronghold in Gaza City after 10-hour battle
The IDF has claimed it has captured a key Hamas stronghold after a 10-hour battle in Jabalia, Gaza City.
Israel’s military said it took ’10 hours of fighting, during which they eliminated terrorists, captured many weapons, uncovered terrorist tunnel shafts, including a shaft located near a kindergarten and leading to an extensive underground route’.
The IDF shared footage on social media, saying: ‘The fighters of the Nahal Brigade’s combat team completed an operation to take over Outpost 17, a military stronghold of the terrorist organization Hamas in western Jabaliya’.
Palestinian news agency Wafa reporters earlier that Israeli war planes had bombed and destroyed a house in Jabalia refugee camp.
Israel-Hamas war day 34: Here’s what you need to know
Good morning and welcome to MailOnline’s live blog covering the on-going war between Israel and Hamas, which today enters its 34th day.
After more than a month of intense bombardment, hundreds of thousands of people remain trapped in a ‘dire humanitarian situation’ in battle zones without enough food and water, the United Nations has said.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said yesterday that his forces were ‘tightening the stranglehold’ around Gaza City, as they pressed an offensive launched in response to the Hamas attacks on October 7 that killed 1,400 people in Israel. More than 240 people were also taken hostage, among them babies and elderly people.
Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel retaliated with a relentless bombardment and ground invasion that the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says has killed more than 10,500 people, many of them children.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected a ceasefire unless the hostages Hamas holds in Gaza are released.
Today, here’s what you need to know:
- Israeli forces have been operating in the very heart of Gaza City, fighting Hamas terrorists and clearing the extensive tunnel network.
- According to a source close to Hamas, talks are underway for the release of 12 hostages, including six Americans, in return for a three-day ceasefire.
- National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said US has ‘a way to communicate with Hamas’, but giving details could jeopardise process.
- The US has backed Israel’s rejection of a ceasefire, and G7 foreign ministers in Japan said Wednesday they supported ‘humanitarian pauses and corridors’.
- Discussions on the possible future of Gaza once conflict ends have grown, after Netanyahu said Israel would assume ‘overall security’ of the territory.
- Kirby said Wednesday that it was plausible that ‘for at least some period of time’ Israeli forces would remain in Gaza in a transition period.
- The Israeli army said 50,000 people had fled their homes in the main battle zone of northern Gaza on Wednesday, a sharp increase in numbers.
- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed the figure, and warned that conditions were ‘dire’ in battle zones north of the central Wadi Gaza district. OCHA said ‘hundreds of thousands’ remain.
- UN rights chief Volker Turk – on a visit to the region – condemned Israel over its bombardment and its orders for Gazans to flee.
- ‘The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians,’ he told reporters in Egypt. He also accused Hamas war war crimes.
- Efforts continue to resume the crossing into Egypt of wounded Palestinians and dual nationals after departures were stalled Wednesday.
- More than 100 trucks carrying aid crossed into Gaza from Egypt yesterday, OCHA said, taking the total to 756 since fighting began last month, fewer than what would normally have entered Gaza in two days before the war.
- Macron calls for ‘ceasefire’ in Gaza
- Israel opens evacuation corridor
- IN PICTURES: Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip
- UN human rights chief accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes
- IDF claims capture of key Hamas stronghold in Gaza City after 10-hour battle
- Israel-Hamas war day 34: Here’s what you need to know