Israel-Hamas war | Strike on Gaza hospital kills 500; Hamas, Israel trade blame as Biden heads to Israel

Hamas called hospital blast ‘a horrific massacre,’ saying it was caused by an Israeli strike. The Israeli military blamed Islamic Jihad

October 17, 2023 06:10 am | Updated October 18, 2023 07:24 am IST

Bodies of Palestinians killed by an Israeli airstrike that hit the Ahli Arab hospital are seen gathered at the front yard of the al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, on October 17, 2023.

Bodies of Palestinians killed by an Israeli airstrike that hit the Ahli Arab hospital are seen gathered at the front yard of the al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, on October 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

Amassive blast rocked a Gaza City hospital packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter Tuesday, killing hundreds of people, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said.

Hamas blamed an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military said the hospital was hit by a rocket misfired by Palestinian militants. The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 500 people were killed.

As rage spread through the region because of the hospital carnage, and with President Joe Biden heading to the Mideast in hopes of stopping the war from spreading, Jordan’s foreign minister said his country cancelled a regional summit scheduled for Wednesday in Amman, where Mr. Biden was to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Nearly 3,000 people have been killed and 9,700 wounded in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry there. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, the vast majority civilians massacred in Hamas’ October 7 assault.

(With inputs from agencies)

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  • October 18, 2023 05:19
    Palestinian militant group says Israel Army accusation for Gaza hospital strike is ‘lies’

    Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad on Wednesday described as “lies” the Israel army’s accusations that it was responsible for a strike on a Gaza hospital that left hundreds dead.

    “The Zionist enemy is trying hard to evade its responsibility for the brutal massacre he committed by bombing the Baptist Arab National Hospital in Gaza through his usual fabrication of lies, and through pointing the finger of blame at the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine,” it said in a statement. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 05:18
    Biden postpones visit to Jordan after Gaza hospital blast

    President Joe Biden on Tuesday cancelled a planned stop in Jordan following a visit to Israel in the aftermath of a blast at a Gaza hospital that killed about 500 Palestinians.

    “After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt,” a White House official said. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 04:57
    Biden expresses outrage over Gaza hospital attack, directs team to investigate

    U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was “outraged” by the explosion at a Gaza hospital that killed about 500 people and said he had directed his national security team to gather information about exactly what had happened.

    “I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted,” Mr. Biden, who is traveling to Israel, said in a statement. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 04:06
    EU leaders paper over differences after a cacophony mars their response to the Israel-Hamas war

    European Union leaders struggled Tuesday to paper over their differences as a cacophony of opinions and reactions marred the bloc’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.

    But they did claim to be united behind Israel’s right to defend itself within the bounds of international law. - AP

  • October 18, 2023 02:24
    Gulf states pledge $100m in ‘urgent’ aid for Gaza

    The Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday announced $100 million in emergency aid for the Gaza Strip, as Israel bombards targets in the enclave during its war against Hamas militants.

    After an extraordinary meeting in Muscat, the bloc’s foreign ministers pledged “an urgent humanitarian relief operation” with “relief aid worth $100 million”. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 01:25
    Israel’s military blames hospital strike on Gaza militants

    Israel’s military denied responsibility for an attack on a Gaza hospital on Tuesday, saying military intelligence suggested the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the enclave’s militant group.

    “An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit,” a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 01:13
    Protesters and Palestinian forces clash in West Bank

    Palestinian forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank clashed on Tuesday with protesters opposed to Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, an AFP journalist said.

    Palestinian forces in Ramallah fired tear gas at demonstrators who had gathered, calling for Abbas to step down, apparently over his conciliatory tone since war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began earlier this month. - AFP

  • October 18, 2023 01:02
    Turkey’s foreign ministry says it condemns Israel’s ‘barbaric attack’ on Gaza hospital

    Turkey’s foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned in the strongest terms Israel’s “barbaric attack” on a Gaza hospital, it said in a statement.

    “We are deeply indignant that hundreds of Palestinians lost their lives and many more were injured as a result of the targeting of a hospital in Gaza today, and we condemn these barbaric attacks in the strongest terms,” the statement said. - Reuters

  • October 18, 2023 01:00
    WHO condemns deadly strike on Gaza hospital

    The World Health Organization condemned a deadly strike Tuesday on a hospital in the Gaza Strip and demanded the immediate protection of civilians and health care in the Palestinian enclave.

    “WHO strongly condemns the attack on Al Ahli Arab Hospital”, the UN health agency’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

  • October 18, 2023 00:39
    Attacking civilian infrastructure in Gaza outside ‘international law’: EU chief

    EU chief Charles Michel said on October 17 that targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza breaks international law after a deadly strike on a hospital.

    “We got this information when we were together during this virtual meeting with the leaders. It seems to be to be confirmed and an attack against a civilian infrastructure is not in line with international law,” Michel said after a videoconference of EU leaders. -- AFP

  • October 18, 2023 00:37
    Egypt calls on Israel to ‘stop targeting’ Gaza crossing and allow aid

    Egypt’s foreign ministry said Tuesday world leaders must “call on Israel to stop targeting the area of the Rafah crossing” to enable the delivery of aid into the beseiged Gaza Strip.

    Convoys of aid have been stuck in Egypt for days, after four strikes over the past week on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing -- the only passage in and out of Gaza not controlled by Israel. -- AFP

  • October 18, 2023 00:34
    Mahmoud Abbas cancels planned meeting with President Biden on October 18

    A senior Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled his participation in a meeting scheduled on October 18 with President Joe Biden and other Mideast leaders.

    Mr. Abbas was scheduled to join Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at Wednesday’s summit in Amman, Jordan, where they are to discuss the latest Israel-Hamas war with Mr. Biden.

    But the senior official said Abbas was withdrawing to protest an alleged Israeli airstrike on a hospital in Gaza that Hamas health officials say has killed over 500 people.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the cancellation has not been formally announced.

  • October 18, 2023 00:30
    UN chief to meet Egypt’s Sisi for talks on Gaza aid

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Thursday in Egypt with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss how to get humanitarian aid into Gaza as it endures steady attacks from Israel, the UN said.

    Mr. Guterres, who is now in China, will confer with Egypt’s leader and other officials in Cairo to talk about Israel’s war on Hamas in retaliation for the militant Palestinian group’s surprise attacks on October 7, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. - AFP

  • October 17, 2023 23:55
    At least 500 killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza City hospital

    The Gaza Health Ministry said an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday hit a Gaza City hospital packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter, killing hundreds. If confirmed, the attack would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008.

    Photos from al-Ahli Hospital showed fire engulfing the hospital halls, shattered glass and body parts scattered across the area. The ministry said at least 500 people had been killed. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 23:53
    Silence is no longer acceptable: Palestinian president

    “What is taking place is genocide. We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop this massacre. Silence is no longer acceptable,” a statement issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation said in response to the attack. - Reuters

  • October 17, 2023 23:52
    Palestinian president declares 3-days of mourning following air strike on Gaza hospital

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning following a deadly air strike on a hospital in Gaza, killing at least 500 Palestinians on Tuesday, state media reported. - Reuters

  • October 17, 2023 23:51
    Strike kills hundreds at Gaza hospital on eve of Biden visit

    Israeli air strikes on a hospital compound in the Gaza Strip killed at least 200 people, officials in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said on Tuesday, on the eve of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East. - AFP

  • October 17, 2023 23:25
    200 killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza hospital complex: Palestinian Health Ministry

    Israeli air strikes on a Gaza hospital compound Tuesday killed at least 200 people, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory said.

    “Two hundred to 300 displaced people killed in occupation (Israeli) strikes on the yard” of the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza, the ministry said. - AFP

  • October 17, 2023 22:46
    5 Hezbollah fighters are killed as tensions flare along the border

    Clashes erupted Tuesday along the Lebanon-Israel border that left five Hezbollah fighters dead, marking the largest number of casualties for the militant group in a single day as tensions with Israel escalate.

    Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon have engaged in a series of low-level skirmishes since the outbreak of the latest war in Gaza between the Israeli military and the Hamas militant group. Hezbollah has announced the death of 10 militants since skirmishes began.

    Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi threatened that Israel would retaliate aggressively should Hezbollah escalate.

    “This is a war on the home,” Halevi said after meeting with Israeli troops near the northern border with Lebanon. “If Hezbollah makes a mistake, it will be annihilated.” - AP

  • October 17, 2023 22:44
    Indian nationals, 18 Nepalese fly out of Israel under ‘Operation Ajay’

    A special flight carrying Indian nationals and 18 Nepalese citizens wanting to leave Israel amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict left for India on Tuesday as part of ‘Operation Ajay’.

    In a post on X, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “Operation Ajay moves forward. 286 more passengers are coming back to India. Also carrying 18 Nepalese citizens.” The Indian Embassy in Israel said Operation Ajay continues with the fifth flight having taken off from Tel Aviv to Delhi.

    Nepalese Ambassador to Israel Kanta Rizal told PTI that some of these 18 Nepalese were living in difficult zones while others wanted to go back. They include four students, 13 labourers and one tourist.

    “We sent 254 Nepalese citizens on the Nepal Airlines on October 12 and may look to arrange more flights to take them out,” she said.

    Nepalese Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel Arjun Dhimire told PTI, “The two embassies (Indian and Nepalese) were in touch and always cooperate with each other. This time also, considering the limited flights, the Embassy of Nepal asked to accommodate its 18 citizens.” Nepal’s embassy in New Delhi is making arrangements to bring home the rescued citizens after they reach Delhi.

    The special flights are part of Operation Ajay launched on October 12 to facilitate the return of those Indian nationals who wish to return home following the brazen attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas militants from Gaza on October 7. - PTI

  • October 17, 2023 21:57
    Olaf Scholz meets Netanyahu

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he discussed ways to quickly get humanitarian help to civilians in Gaza during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    “In contrast with Hamas, which wants to hold Gaza’s citizens as human shields, we are concerned about them too,” said Scholz, who visited Israel on Tuesday. “We want to protect civilians and prevent civilian victims.”

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speak to the media after their meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, Pool)

    Scholz said he discussed “the possibility of improved humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip” with Netanyahu and that he planned to discuss the same issue with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo on Wednesday.

    Scholz reiterated that Israel’s security is a core element of German policy, calling it a “responsibility that arises from the Holocaust.” - AP

  • October 17, 2023 21:05
    Egypt still negotiating with Israel on the delivery of humanitarian assistance and fuel to Gaza

    Egypt is still negotiating with Israel on the delivery of humanitarian assistance and fuel to Gaza from its crossing points, Rafah and Kerem Shalom, a senior Egyptian official said as trucks loaded with aid waited for permission to cross into the besieged territory.

    The official said Israel is searching all aid deliveries and wants to “ensure that such aid won’t benefit Hamas.” The official requested anonymity because he does not have permission to discuss the negotiations.

    He said they’re also negotiating a compromise that would allow foreign passport holders to cross into Egypt. Egypt has proposed that the United Nations oversee the process with help from Egyptian forces, the official said. Israel has yet to respond to the proposal.

    The U.S., Qatar, the U.N. and several European countries are involved in the talks, which are led by security agencies in Egypt and Israel, the official said. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 20:53
    Israel PM says world must unite to ‘defeat Hamas’

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday for broad international support in the country’s war against Gaza rulers Hamas.

    “The world must stand united behind Israel to defeat Hamas,” Netanyahu said alongside visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. - AFP

  • October 17, 2023 20:02
    Hospital staff in Gaza’s Rafah say they will not evacuate

    A hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah says it has received two Israeli warnings to evacuate even though it is in the area where Israel told civilians to take refuge.

    Sohaib al-Hams, director of the Kuwaiti Specialist Hospital, said staff will not abandon the facility, which continues to receive patients amid relentless Israeli airstrikes.

    “We will not leave our places and we will not let our people down,” al-Hams said in a video on the hospital’s official Facebook page, adding that Gazan hospitals are the final red line after Israel crossed all the others. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 19:13
    Israeli airstrike in central Gaza kills one of Hamas’ top militant commanders

    Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, says that an Israeli airstrike in the central Gaza Strip has killed one of its top militant commanders.

    Ayman Nofal is the most high-profile Hamas militant to be killed so far in Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip.

    Nofal, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mohammed, was killed on Tuesday in Israeli strikes that targeted the Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip, the militant group said in a statement. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 18:41
    Palestinian medics in Gaza struggle to save lives

    For hours and hours, Moen bu Aish digs through the rubble of demolished homes to find survivors of Israeli airstrikes, toiling in a vast and desperate search complicated by the shortage of critical supplies and the sheer scope of destruction across the Gaza Strip.

    Even as rescue worker Abu Aish, 58, and his colleagues struggle to pry lifeless bodies from the concrete and twisted metal where residential towers once stood, the death toll keeps rising.

    “So many times medics say they hear victims scream, but they cannot do anything about it,” said Mohammed Abu Selmia, general director of Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s biggest medical centre.

    “The destruction is so intense, there are hundreds of dead under the rubble as we speak,” said Mahmoud Basal, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Civil Defence, which provides emergency service, his voice cracking as he fought back tears.

    “Where are the Arab countries? Where is the rest of the world? We are begging you, please, save us from this madness.” - AP

  • October 17, 2023 18:25
    Clashes erupt again on the Lebanon-Israel border after an anti-tank missile is fired from Lebanon

    Clashes erupted again on the border between Lebanon and Israel, where Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon have engaged in a series of low-level skirmishes since the outbreak of the latest war in Gaza.

    An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon landed in the town of Metula in northern Israel Tuesday morning, injuring three people, according to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.

    No group in Lebanon has immediately claimed responsibility. It was not clear if the injured were civilians or soldiers, but Israel has ordered civilians to evacuate the area near the border with Lebanon. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 17:47
    UN warns Israel against ‘forcible transfer’ of Gazans

    The United Nations warned Israel against the “forcible transfer of civilians” in the Gaza Strip, which could be in breach of international law.

    The UN human rights office said that a legal temporary evacuation of civilians came with obligations on Israel, which, the Geneva-based agency said, it appears to have made no attempt to fulfil.

    “We have grave fears about the toll on civilians in the coming days. Military operations show no signs of abating,” UN rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a media briefing.

    “International law requires that any lawful temporary evacuation by Israel, as the occupying power, of an area on the basis of the security of the population or imperative military reasons must be accompanied by the provision of proper accommodation for all evacuees, undertaken under satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition.

    “There appears to have been no attempt by Israel to ensure this for the 1.1 million civilians ordered to move.

    “We are concerned that this order combined with the imposition of a ‘complete siege’ on Gaza may not be considered as lawful temporary evacuation and would therefore amount to a forcible transfer of civilians -- in breach of international law.” - AFP

  • October 17, 2023 17:20
    Gaza is running out of food stocks: WFP

    In addition to dire water shortages, Gaza is running out of food stocks with only a few days worth of supplies remaining in shops, the World Food Program says.

    Shops only have four or five days’ worth of essential food stocks available, said spokeswoman Abeer Etefa. There is enough food in warehouses to last about two weeks, but these are difficult to access because they are located in Gaza City, where Israel has ordered residents to evacuate.

    Out of five mills in Gaza, only one is operating due to security concerns and the unavailability of fuel and electricity. Etefa said the primary challenge for WFP is being able to get food to shops amid the constant bombardment. Long lines have formed outside the few bakeries that are still able to operate. - AP

  • October 17, 2023 16:41
    Spain to ramp up aid to Gaza by 1 million euros, ready to send more

    Spain will increase its humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip with a package worth 1 million euros ($1.06 million) and is prepared to send more, the country’s acting foreign minister told a news conference on Tuesday.

    “The aid must reach the civilian population of Gaza, and Spain is ready and willing to participate” in humanitarian efforts, Jose Manuel Albares said, adding that more packages “will come, because everything points to the need for more (aid)“.


  • October 17, 2023 16:40
    Iran’s Guards commander warns of another shockwave if Israel does not end “atrocities”

    Israel will face another shockwave by the resistance front if its “atrocities” do not stop in Gaza, a deputy commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying by Iranian state media on Tuesday.

    “The resistance front’s shocks against the Zionist regimes (Israel) will continue until this ‘cancerous tumour’ is eradicated from the world map,” said Ali Fadavi.


  • October 17, 2023 16:22
    Turkey in touch with Hamas over hostages it holds in Gaza: FM

    urkey’s top diplomat said Tuesday his country had been in touch with Hamas over some 200 Israeli and foreign hostages it is holding in Gaza, following requests from several governments.

    “So far, we have received requests from various countries for the release of their citizens. As a result, we started to discuss these issues, especially with the political wing of Hamas,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told a news conference in Beirut alongside his Lebanese counterpart, Abdallah Bou Habib.


  • October 17, 2023 15:39
    WHO says it needs urgent access to Gaza to deliver aid, medical supplies

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it needs urgent access to Gaza to deliver aid and medical supplies, as the U.N. agency warned of a long-term humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave.


  • October 17, 2023 15:29
    Israel’s Gaza evacuation order could breach international law: UN

    The United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday that Israel’s siege of Gaza and its evacuation order for the north of the enclave could amount to a forcible transfer of civilians and be in breach of international law.

    Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office, said Israel seemed to have made no effort to ensure the civilians temporarily evacuated in Gaza were provided with proper accommodation, as well as satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health, safety and nutrition.

    “We are concerned that this order, combined with the imposition of a complete siege of Gaza, may not be considered as lawful temporary evacuation and would therefore amount to a forcible transfer of civilians in breach of international law,” she said.


  • October 17, 2023 15:27
    Chinese envoy heads to Middle East in bid to contain war

    China will this week weigh into the Israel-Hamas war by sending its special envoy to the Middle East, after the United States asked it to use its influence to stop the conflict from spreading.

    Washington says it hopes China’s friendship with Hamas backer Iran could help calm the conflict, particularly after Beijing brokered a detente between long-time foes Tehran and Riyadh earlier this year.


  • October 17, 2023 15:27
    Iran says ‘no one can stop resistance’ if Israel keeps bombing Gaza

    Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that “no one can stop resistance forces” if Israel keeps up its bombardment of Gaza in response to the shock October 7 attack by Hamas.

    “If the crimes of the Zionist (Israeli) regime continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them,” Mr. Khamenei said.


  • October 17, 2023 14:56
    UNSC rejects Russian-drafted resolution on Israel-Hamas war

    The UN Security Council has rejected a draft resolution proposed by Russia that called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza but made no mention of Hamas’ attack on Israel, while a vote on a rival Brazilian text will be held on Tuesday.

    The 15-nation Council met on Monday evening to vote on the Russian-led draft resolution, the first such text that was considered by the powerful UN body, amid an escalating war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.


  • October 17, 2023 14:55
    ‘Get us out of this hellhole’: SOS messages by UNRWA staff in Gaza detail desperation, fear

    The 13,000-strong staff working with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is “terrified and tired” and described the situation in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as a “hellhole”, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the largest UN agency working in the Gaza Strip, both in terms of the size of its operations as well as the number of staff.

    The 13,000-strong UNRWA staff in Gaza includes teachers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, warehouse workers, logisticians, technicians and drivers.


  • October 17, 2023 14:28
    Trucks carrying aid for Gaza Strip arrive at Rafah crossing

    Trucks carrying aid for the Gaza Strip arrived on Tuesday at the only border crossing into the territory not controlled by Israel, a witness and Egyptian security sources said, after the U.S. said it was developing with Israel a plan for aid delivery.

    Egypt says the Rafah crossing, a vital artery before the fighting and now a key route for desperately needed supplies into the Israeli-besieged Palestinian enclave, had not been officially closed but was made inoperable due to Israeli air strikes on the Gaza side.


  • October 17, 2023 14:27
    Iran’s Khamenei says no one can stop ‘resistance forces’ if Israel’s crimes continue

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that no one will be able to stop Muslims around the world and resistance forces if Israel’s crimes in Gaza continue, Iranian state TV reported.

    Iran refers to its aligned armed groups around the Middle East as being part of the Resistance Axis.


  • October 17, 2023 14:26
    Middle East ‘on the brink of abyss’: Jordanian king

    Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday warned of a dire situation in the Middle East if the conflict between Israel and Hamas is allowed to spread to other countries.

    “The whole region is on the brink of falling into the abyss,” Abdullah said after meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

    “All our efforts are needed to make sure we don’t get there,” he said.


  • October 17, 2023 14:00
    Macron condemns Hamas hostage video

    French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday condemned Hamas for airing a video of a Franco-Israeli woman the Islamist militant group has taken hostage and demanded her unconditional release.

    “It is an ignominy to take innocent people hostage and put them on show in this odious way,” the Elysee presidential palace quoted Mr. Macron as saying.

    It said Mr. Macron was aware of the video of Franco-Israeli Mia Shem and called for her “immediate and unconditional release”.

    France was “working with its partners to free French hostages held by Hamas”, it added.


  • October 17, 2023 13:45
    Israel’s military says status of post-war Gaza will be ‘global issue’

    An Israeli military spokesman said on Tuesday that the status of the Gaza Strip after Israel’s planned assault on the Palestinian enclave would be a “global issue” for international discussion.

    “We’ve had all kinds of end games,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told media during a news briefing, in response to a question about whether Israel would fully occupy the territory.


  • October 17, 2023 13:20
    We are against violence of any kind: Rahul Gandhi on Israel-Hamas war
  • October 17, 2023 13:15
    Germany’s Scholz warns Iran, Hezbollah not to enter Middle East conflict

    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday called for preventing an escalation in the Middle East and warned Hezbollah and Iran against intervening in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    “I expressly warn Hezbollah and Iran not to intervene in the conflict,” Scholz told a news conference after a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Berlin.


  • October 17, 2023 12:52
    Trucks carrying aid for Gaza Strip arrive at Rafah crossing

    Trucks carrying aid for the Gaza Strip arrived on Tuesday at the only border crossing into the territory not controlled by Israel, a witness and Egyptian security sources said, after the U.S. said it was developing with Israel a plan for aid delivery.

    Egypt says the Rafah crossing, a vital artery before the fighting and now a key route for desperately needed supplies into the Israeli-besieged Palestinian enclave, had not been officially closed but was made inoperable due to Israeli air strikes on the Gaza side.

    - Reuters

  • October 17, 2023 12:36
    European Commission vows to triple aid to Gaza

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that the European Union will increase humanitarian aid to Gaza starting with two flights this week via Egypt.

    She said the Commission has tripled humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza to 75 million euros ($79 million) and would “keep working with our partners in the region to assess and address the needs on the ground.”

    Von der Leyen denounced the “heinous” Hamas attacks and said “Israel has the right to defend itself in line with humanitarian international law.”

    The Commission head was speaking in Tirana at the end of a summit with Western Balkan leaders.


  • October 17, 2023 12:20
    Iran warns of possible preemptive action as Gaza ground offensive nears Jerusalem

    Iran’s foreign minister has warned that “preemptive action is possible” if Israel moves closer to its looming ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

    The comments by Hossein Amirabdollahian follow a pattern of escalating rhetoric from Iran, whose theocracy provides support to Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    Israel cannot “do whatever it wants in Gaza and then go after other resistance groups after it’s done with Gaza,” he told state television. “Therefore any preemptive action is possible in the coming hours.”

    He did not elaborate on what form any action might take.

    “If the limited and extremely tight windows of opportunity available to the United Nations and political actors are not used over the coming hours, opening new fronts against the Zionist regime is inevitable,” he said.


  • October 17, 2023 11:49
    A least 49 Palestinians killed in overnight Israeli strikes in Khan Younis and Rafah - Gaza interior minister

    At least 49 Palestinians were killed in an overnight Israeli strike that hit homes in Khan Younis and Rafah, Gaza’s interior ministry said on Tuesday.


  • October 17, 2023 11:36
    Palestinians report heavy shelling in south Gaza towns where civilians are seeking refuge

    Palestinians in Gaza reported intense bombardments near the southern towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, where Israel ordered civilians to seek refuge, early on Tuesday.

    Details of causalities were not immediately available.

    Israeli bombs hit areas west and southeast of Khan Younis and west of Rafah, according to local reports.

    - AP

  • October 17, 2023 11:23
    Israeli military says killed four people who tried to infiltrate from Lebanon

    Israel’s military said it killed four people who had tried to cross the fence bordering Lebanon and plant an explosive device on Tuesday.


  • October 17, 2023 11:06
    Relief convoys in Egypt head towards Gaza border crossing: aid groups

    Relief convoys which had been waiting in the Egyptian city of El Arish Tuesday headed towards the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, aid officials said.

    “We have arrived at the terminal and are now waiting for the next step,” said Heba Rashed, who runs the aid group Mersal. Hundreds more lorries were headed along the coast road for the 40 kilometre (25 mile) journey to Rafah, other aid officials said.


  • October 17, 2023 10:43
    EU leaders to focus on fallout from Hamas attack on Israel

    European Union leaders aim on Tuesday to settle on a united approach to the Israel crisis after days of confusion, infighting and mixed messaging.

    In an emergency video conference at 1530 GMT, the European Council, which brings together the leaders of the EU’s 27 member countries, will also tackle potentially grave consequences for the continent arising from the crisis.

    While the EU and its member governments all condemned the Hamas assault from Gaza, they diverged on other political statements and policy implications.


  • October 17, 2023 10:18
    ‘Get us out of this hellhole’: SOS messages by UNRWA staff in Gaza detail desperation, fear

    The 13,000-strong staff working with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is “terrified and tired” and described the situation in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as a “hellhole”, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the largest UN agency working in the Gaza Strip, both in terms of the size of its operations as well as the number of staff.

    The 13,000-strong UNRWA staff in Gaza includes teachers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, warehouse workers, logisticians, technicians and drivers.

    “We have a very, very big operation in the Gaza Strip. What we hear from our staff is that… they are terrified and they’re tired. They want all of this to come to an end and the message that we’re getting is: ‘Get us out of this hellhole. This has become hell’,” UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma told reporters here through video conference on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.


  • October 17, 2023 10:03
    Israeli video compilation shows the savagery and ease of Hamas’ attack

    A grisly montage of video and photographs of Hamas’s massacre of hundreds of civilians across southern Israel last week highlights the savagery of the attack and the ease with which the militant group appeared to operate inside Israel.

    The footage that the Israeli military showed foreign correspondents Monday included a photo of a burnt baby. It showed gunmen shooting the dead bodies of civilians in cars, militants in the process of beheading a body with a hoe, burnt corpses thrown in a dumpster.


  • October 17, 2023 09:35
    Japan’s foreign minister arranging call with Iranian counterpart to discuss Middle East tensions

    Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa is in the final process of arranging a telephone discussion with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Tuesday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.

    Japan maintains a friendly relationship with Iran. In September, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in New York and told that Japan will continue its diplomatic efforts toward easing tensions and stabilizing the situation in the middle east.


  • October 17, 2023 08:49
    Biden, Sisi discussed efforts to ease humanitarian crisis in Gaza - White House

    U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed the need to preserve stability in the Middle East during a phone call on Monday, the White House said.

    Biden and Sisi also discussed ongoing efforts to alleviate the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the White House said.


  • October 17, 2023 08:32
    Focused on avoiding expansion of conflict: U.S. General

    U.S. General Kurilla said his visit aims to ‘ensure Israel has what it needs to defend itself,’ ‘Focused on avoiding expansion of conflict.’


  • October 17, 2023 08:27
    U.S. General flies to Israel on unannounced trip

    U.S. General Kurilla, Head of Central Command, flies to Israel on unannounced trip for talks with Israel military leaders.


  • October 17, 2023 08:23
    With humanitarian aid blocked at Egyptian border, Gaza draws closer to total collapse

    Truckloads of aid idled at Egypt’s border with Gaza as residents and humanitarian groups pleaded Monday for water, food and fuel for dying generators, saying the tiny Palestinian territory sealed off by Israel after last week’s rampage by Hamas was near total collapse.


  • October 17, 2023 08:04
    Hamas seeks Palestinian prisoners’ release, calls non-Israeli captives ‘guests’

    A top Hamas leader said on Monday the group “has what it needs” to free all Palestinians in Israel’s jails, indicating the militant group may try to use the Israelis it kidnapped as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners.

    Soon after Hamas official Khaled Meshaal made the remarks on the captives, who include Israelis and non-Israelis kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, the group’s armed wing separately said the non-Israelis were “guests” who would be released “when circumstances allow”.


  • October 17, 2023 07:47
    UN Security Council rejects Russia’s resolution on Gaza that fails to mention Hamas

    The U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian resolution Monday night that condemned violence and terrorism against civilians but made no mention of Hamas, whose surprise attack that killed 1,300 Israelis was the worst Jewish massacre since the World War II Nazi Holocaust.

    Only four countries joined Russia in voting for the resolution — China, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique and Gabon. Four countries voted against it — the United States, Britain, France and Japan. The other six countries abstained. For a resolution to be adopted it needs a minimum of nine “yes” votes in the 15-member council.


  • October 17, 2023 07:32
    Gaza’s limited water supply raises concerns for human health

    A lack of clean water in the Gaza Strip is raising major concerns for human health.

    “Gaza is running out of water, and Gaza is running out of life,” said Philippe Lazzarini, chief of the U.N. agency for Palestinians.

    Gaza normally gets its water supplies from a combination of sources, including a pipeline from Israel, desalination plants on the Mediterranean Sea and wells. Those supplies were slashed when Israel cut off water, along with the fuel and electricity that power water and sewage plants, in the wake of the Hamas attacks.


  • October 17, 2023 07:20
    Canada says humanitarian access to Gaza is imperative -PM Trudeau

    Canada is deeply concerned by the dire and worsening crisis in Gaza and wants a humanitarian corridor to be opened into the enclave, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

    “It is imperative that this happen,” Trudeau told the House of Commons lower chamber of parliament. Israel has put Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under a total blockade and pounded it with unprecedented air strikes.


  • October 17, 2023 07:03
    Putin speaks to Netanyahu about Gaza conflict, promises measures to prevent escalation

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Israel-Hamas war and briefed him on his talks with several leaders from the region and the Palestinian authority.

    During their talks, Putin highlighted the measures Russia is taking to stop the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip from escalating further during their discussions.


  • October 17, 2023 06:43
    Israel suspends military exports to Colombia over its president’s criticism of Gaza siege

    Israel has suspended security exports to Colombia in an escalating diplomatic spat over online messages by Colombia’s president comparing Israel’s siege of Gaza to the actions of Nazi Germany.

    Colombian President Gustavo Petro has doubled down on his criticism of Israel and suggested that his country may need to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel, while his foreign minister has suggested Israel’s ambassador should leave the country.

    In a statement published Sunday, Israel’s foreign ministry said that Petro’s recent statements on X, previously known as Twitter, “inflame antisemitism” and “threaten the safety of the Jewish community in Colombia.” The Israeli government said it called Colombia’s ambassador to a meeting in which she was informed that defense cooperation between the countries would be suspended.

    Colombia currently has diplomatic relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and over the past two decades it has been one of Israel’s closes partners in Latin America.


  • October 17, 2023 06:28
    Biden will head to Jordan Wednesday following visit to Israel amid concern that conflict could grow

    White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday evening that Biden would go to Jordan where he would meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    “We’ve been crystal clear about the need for humanitarian aid to be able to continue to flow into Gaza. That has been a consistent call by President Biden and certainly by this entire administration,” Kirby said.


  • October 17, 2023 06:13
    Biden will travel to Israel Wednesday amid concern that Israel-Hamas conflict could expand

    President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday to show support for the US ally as concerns increase that the raging Israel-Hamas war could expand into a larger regional conflict.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Biden’s travel to Israel as the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip grows more dire and as Israel prepares for a possible ground attack on the 141-square-mile (365-square-kilometre) territory to root out Hamas militants responsible for what US and Israeli officials say was the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust.


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