32 minutes ago
Israel resists US calls to suspend war
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu (right) in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 3, 2023.
Amos Ben-Gershom | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Israel continues to reject US calls for a pause in fighting to allow more aid to Gaza, saying there will be no temporary ceasefire until around 240 hostages held by the Hamas militant group are released.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with the top U.S. diplomat on Friday, reiterating President Joe Biden’s calls for a brief halt in fighting to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Strip from Gaza.
Netanyahu resisted US pressure, issuing a televised statement after his meeting with Blinken in which he said: “I made it clear that we maintain all our forces and that Israel rejects a temporary ceasefire that does not did not include the release of our hostages,” Reuters reported.
More than 9,200 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the conflict, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, run by Hamas. Israel said more than 1,400 Israelis were killed – the majority in the Hamas terror attack on October 7.
Blinken is expected to meet with leaders and officials of Arab countries, including King Abdullah II of Jordan, on Saturday.
An hour ago
‘There is currently no safe place in Gaza,’ says UN
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned on Friday that even a UN flag cannot ensure the safety or protection of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.
“Let’s be very clear, there is no safe place in Gaza right now,” Thomas White, UNRWA’s director of affairs, said Friday, calling the enclave a “scene of death and destruction.”
A view of the destroyed area after Israeli attacks on the Nasirat refugee camp continue on the 28th day in Gaza City, Gaza, November 3, 2023.
Doaa Albaz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Even if people shelter under the UN flag, “the reality is that we cannot even provide them with security under the UN flag,” he said, speaking from the Rafah logistics base of the UN agency.
“More than 50 of our facilities have been affected by the conflict, including five directly affected. I believe at last count 38 people have died in our shelters. I fear that with the ongoing fighting in the north right now , this number will increase considerably,” he added.
UNRWA, the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees, said Friday that more than 1.5 million people are now displaced and nearly 600,000 people are crowded into shelters run by the agency. .
UNRWA itself lost 72 personnel during the conflict. White believed it to be the greatest loss ever recorded by UN personnel in a conflict.
4 hours ago
Israel expels thousands of Palestinian workers to Gaza war zone
Israel expelled thousands of Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip to the besieged territory on Friday, Palestinian authorities said, ending what many described as harrowing weeks trapped in legal limbo since their detention during Israel’s war and Hamas broke up.
Some workers, walking through an Israeli crossing that had been closed since Hamas launched its brutal attack on southern Israel on October 7, described violent mistreatment by Israeli authorities in detention centers. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.
“We sacrificed ourselves and they treated us like cattle there,” one of the workers, Wael al-Sajda, said from the border, showing his ankle with an identification bracelet.
Al-Sajda was among approximately 18,000 Palestinians from Gaza allowed to take menial jobs in Israel. These permits are coveted in Gaza, where the unemployment rate approaches 50%. Israel has begun issuing permits in recent years, a move it says has helped stabilize Gaza and moderate Hamas, despite a broader blockade aimed at weakening the Islamist militant group.
On Thursday evening, Israel announced it was revoking the workers’ permits and would deport them.
— Associated Press
4 hours ago
Palestinian Red Crescent receives 47 trucks of humanitarian aid
The Palestinian Red Crescent humanitarian organization said it received 47 trucks of humanitarian aid from the Egyptian Red Crescent through the Rafah border post on Friday.
Trucks delivered water, blankets, medical supplies, food, tents and mattresses. The group said it had received 421 trucks so far, but noted that fuel was still not being allowed into Gaza.
4 hours ago
17 injured Palestinians arrive in Egypt
Egypt received and treated 17 injured Palestinians, of the 28 expected to arrive, an Egyptian Health Ministry spokesperson told NBC News.
In its summary of the third day of entry of wounded and foreign nationals, the ministry said that 11 of the expected injured Palestinians did not arrive due to unspecified “events in Gaza.”
Egypt said it had carried out medical examinations on 448 foreign nationals received, including 96 vaccinated children.
—Christine Wang, NBC News
5 hours ago
UN agencies warn women and children most affected by Gaza conflict
Women, children and newborns have been disproportionately affected by the conflict in the Gaza Strip, both as victims and in terms of reduced access to health care, UN agencies have warned United.
As of Friday, at least 2,300 women and 3,700 children were killed in the territory, accounting for 67 percent of all victims, while thousands more were injured, the statement said, citing Health Ministry data.
The joint statement was issued by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ( UNRWA).
Agencies have warned that the bombings have further reduced access to health care in Gaza and could lead to more deaths. They estimate that more than half of Gaza’s population is now sheltering in UNRWA facilities with limited supplies of water and food.
“An immediate humanitarian pause is needed to alleviate suffering and prevent a desperate situation from becoming catastrophic,” the agencies said.
7 hours ago
Blinken arrives in Jordan, will meet King Abdullah II and others on Saturday
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken disembarks at the airport during his visit to Jordan after arriving from Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Amman, Jordan, on 3 November 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Jordan to continue his latest diplomatic mission aimed at increasing humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza and preventing Palestinian civilian casualties as Israel escalates its war against Hamas.
Blinken, whose call for Israel to temporarily suspend some military operations to allow the entry of aid and the exit of foreign nationals appeared to have been rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after their meeting in Tel Aviv earlier Friday , will meet King Abdullah II of Jordan and Jordan’s foreign ministers. Jordan and perhaps other Arab countries on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel and told him not to return to Amman at least until conditions in Gaza improved, further complicating Blinken’s efforts.
In addition to distributing aid, allowing foreigners to leave Gaza and securing the release of hostages held by Hamas, Blinken is seeking to persuade Jordan and other Arab states to start thinking about the future of Gaza – if and when Israel succeeds in eradicating Hamas.
— Associated Press
12 hours ago
Gaza health officials say 15 people killed in Israeli airstrike on ambulance
People gather around an ambulance damaged in a suspected Israeli strike outside Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 3, 2023, as fighting continues between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.
Momen Al-halabi | AFP | Getty Images
An Israeli airstrike on an ambulance used to evacuate the wounded from besieged northern Gaza killed 15 people and injured 60 others on Friday, the Hamas-controlled enclave’s health ministry said.
The Israeli army said it had identified and struck an ambulance “used by a Hamas terrorist cell.” He said Hamas fighters were killed in the attack and accused the group of transferring militants and weapons into ambulances.
Hamas official Izzat El Reshiq said allegations that his fighters were present were “unfounded.” Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry, said the ambulance was part of a convoy targeted by Israel near al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
Qidra said Israel targeted the ambulance convoy in several locations, including at the gate of al-Shifa Hospital and in Ansar Square, a kilometer (0.6 miles) away.
In a statement on the incident, the Israeli military provided no evidence to support its claim that the ambulance was linked to Hamas, but said it intended to release additional information.
“We emphasize that this area is a combat zone. Civilians in the region are repeatedly called upon to evacuate to the south for their own safety,” the army said.
Reuters was unable to independently verify both sides’ versions.
A video shared on social media, and verified by Reuters, showed people lying in blood next to an ambulance with flashing lights on a city street as people rushed to help.
Another video showed three ambulances lined up, with a dozen people standing still or barely moving next to them. Blood was pooling nearby.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “completely shocked by reports of attacks on ambulances evacuating patients”, adding that patients, health workers and medical facilities must be protected.