Israel-Hamas war, Day 14 | Israel vows to ‘fight until victory’ after Hamas releases two U.S. hostages

Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Friday that 4,137 Palestinians have been killed and more than 13,000 others wounded

October 20, 2023 06:28 am | Updated October 22, 2023 10:36 am IST

Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan, U.S. citizens who were taken as hostages by Palestinian Hamas militants, walk while holding hands with Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Gal Hirsch, Israel’s Coordinator for the Captives and Missing, after they were released by the militants, in response to Qatari mediation efforts, on October 20, 2023.  Photo: Government of Israel via Reuters

Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan, U.S. citizens who were taken as hostages by Palestinian Hamas militants, walk while holding hands with Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Gal Hirsch, Israel’s Coordinator for the Captives and Missing, after they were released by the militants, in response to Qatari mediation efforts, on October 20, 2023. Photo: Government of Israel via Reuters

Israel says Hamas has freed two American hostages who had been held in Gaza since militants rampaged through southern Israel October 7. The hostage release Friday came even as Israeli airstrikes continued to hit southern Gaza, an area swelled by civilians who fled there from the north on Israeli instructions.

Israel was also evacuating a sizable town near the Lebanese border in the latest sign of a potential ground invasion of Gaza that could trigger regional turmoil.

Israel Hamas War news live update

The U.N. secretary general is at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza trying to find a way to get badly needed aid into the enclave.

The war, which is in its 14th day on Friday, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Friday that 4,137 Palestinians have been killed and more than 13,000 others wounded.

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  • October 21, 2023 10:19
    Iraqi PM leaves for Cairo to attend peace summit

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani left Baghdad for Cairo early on Saturday to attend a peace conference over the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza, the prime minister’s media office said.


  • October 21, 2023 10:05
    CM Pinarayi Vijayan speaks to Kerala University students from Gaza after airstrike killed their relatives

    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday called and spoke to two Gazan students enrolled for M.A. Linguistics at Kerala University.

    A statement issued by the CMO said they lost their home and relatives to an Israeli air strike on Friday afternoon.

    Read the story here.

  • October 21, 2023 09:57
    Thousands in Australia join pro-Palestinian march over Gaza

    Thousands took part in a pro-Palestinian march in Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, on Saturday, getting last-minute approval amid concerns after some protesters at an earlier rally had chanted anti-Jewish slogans.

    In Sydney, around 15,000 people attended Saturday’s march, organiser Palestine Action Group said, with demonstrators chanting “Palestine will never die” and waving Palestine flags. Police, including officers on horseback, patrolled the event that closed city streets, and a police helicopter circled overhead.

    Police said no arrests had been made, and Palestine Action Group spokesperson Amal Naser said the march was peaceful.

    A rally outside the Sydney Opera House two days after the Hamas attack had ignited heated debate after a small group were filmed chanting “Gas the Jews”.

    Pro-Palestine rallies were also scheduled on Saturday in state capitals Brisbane, Perth and Hobart, Palestine Action Group said, after thousands attended largely well behaved rallies around Australia last weekend.


  • October 21, 2023 09:17
    Justin Trudeau booed in Canada mosque over Israel-Hamas war response

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was booed during his visit to a mosque in Toronto over his response to the Israel-Hamas war

  • October 21, 2023 08:41
    Nobel laureates’ petition urges Hamas to free child hostages

    A petition signed by 86 Nobel peace laureates demands that Hamas release all children taken hostage, saying holding them in captivity “constitutes a war crime, a grievous offense against humanity itself.”

    The petition noted that the Geneva Convention on safeguarding civilians in war mentions children 19 times, stressing that the “current plight of the kidnapped children far exceeds any scenario envisioned by the accord.”

    “Children should never be regarded as pawns in the theater of war,” it said. “It is our sacred duty to protect the innocent and shield the vulnerable.”


  • October 21, 2023 08:06
    French president hopes release of U.S. hostages leads to freedom for others

    French President Emmanuel Macron said the release of two Americans who were held hostage in Gaza is “a very good result” and expressed hope it could help pave the way for others to be freed, including French-Israelis.

    So far, France has one confirmed hostage, 21-year-old Mia Schem, who was shown dazed and injured in a video that Hamas’ military wing released Monday.

    Six other French citizens also are missing and Mr. Macron said Friday that they’re presumed to be hostages “but without certainty.”

    French contacts with Israeli authorities and other contacts via Qatar “keep up our hope that we will be able to find solutions to get the maximum number of hostages out,” he said. “We are confident: the channels we have are the good ones and are useful,” he said.

    Mr. Macron said he is still weighing the possibility of traveling to the Middle East but that it would be dependent on more talks with leaders in the region.

    - AP

  • October 21, 2023 07:47
    Egypt official says aid trucks crossed Rafah crossing but haven’t passed into Gaza Strip

    An Egypt official said two aid-packed trucks entered the Egyptian side of the border crossing early Saturday, but that they have not passed through into the Gaza Strip.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not briefed to speak with the media.

    Israel announced Wednesday that aid would be allowed into Gaza from Egypt, via the Rafah crossing, but the border into the besieged territory has remained closed. Egypt says the crossing has been damaged by Israeli air strikes.


  • October 21, 2023 05:27
    Israel vows to ‘fight until victory’ after Hamas releases two U.S. hostages

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “fight until victory” in Gaza, signaling no pause in his military’s bombardment and expected invasion of the enclave after Hamas released two U.S. hostages.

    The Islamist group Hamas on Friday released U.S. mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan who were kidnapped in its attack on southern Israel on October 7.

    “Two of our abductees are at home. We are not giving up on the effort to return all abducted and missing people,” Netanyahu said in a statement released late Friday night. - Reuters

  • October 21, 2023 04:08
    ‘History is watching:’ Hollywood stars urge Biden to press for Israel, Gaza ceasefire

    Dozens of Hollywood actors and artists, including comedian Jon Stewart and Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix, wrote on Friday to U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to press for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.

    “We urge your administration, and all world leaders, to honor all of the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay – an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages,” the celebrities wrote to Mr. Biden.

    “We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing. As (UN) Emergency Relief Chief Martin Griffiths told UN News, “History is watching”“, they said in the letter, citing Griffiths’ comment on Monday. - Reuters

  • October 21, 2023 03:53
    Hamas releases two U.S. hostages as Israel readies Gaza invasion

    Gaza’s Hamas rulers released two Americans on Friday among some 200 hostages they abducted in October 7 attacks in Israel and indicated that more could follow.

    Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan were back in Israel late Friday, the Israeli government said.

    Click here to
  • October 21, 2023 01:49
    French military intel says no indication Gaza hospital blast was ‘Israeli strike’

    France’s DRM military intelligence agency said Friday that there was no evidence that an Israeli strike had caused the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of people.

    “The most probable hypothesis is that a Palestinian rocket exploded with a charge of about five kilos,” on Tuesday, the Directorate of Military Intelligence said, adding there was “nothing to indicate... an Israeli strike”. - AFP

  • October 21, 2023 01:35
    Kannur garment company takes stand for peace amid Israel-Hamas conflict

    Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, a garment manufacturing company in Kannur has taken a principled stand against providing uniforms that could potentially be used in the midst of war and violence. This ethical decision stems from the loss of thousands of innocent lives due to the escalating conflict.

    The Kannur-based Maryan Apparels Company has declared that it will no longer accept orders to produce Israeli police uniforms until peace is restored. This decision to withhold further orders for Israeli forces has gained attention on social media and reflects a commitment to peace and a concern for the human toll of ongoing conflicts.

    Click here to
  • October 21, 2023 01:26
    Israel orders evacuation of Gaza hospital, five schools

    Israel warned humanitarian groups in the Gaza Strip on Friday to evacuate a major hospital and five schools ahead of a potential strike, aid agencies said.

    The Palestine Red Crescent launched an “urgent appeal” saying it had “received a threat from the occupying authorities to bombard Al-Quds Hospital”.

    The Israeli warning “demanded” the hospital’s evacuation, which would affect more than 400 patients and 12,000 displaced people who have sought “safe haven”, the group said. - AFP

  • October 21, 2023 01:25
    Meta, Google quit tech summit over organizer’s Israel remarks

    Meta and Google have pulled out of the Web Summit, one of the tech sector’s biggest annual events, after the organizer criticized Israel’s actions following the Hamas attacks, the companies said on Friday.

    Irish entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder of the Web Summit, wrote on social media platform X last week that he was “shocked at the rhetoric and actions of so many Western leaders & governments.”

    “War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and should be called out for what they are,” Mr. Cosgrave wrote on October 13. -

  • October 21, 2023 00:42
    Two U.S. hostages released by Hamas in Israel: PM office

    Two U.S. hostages kidnapped by Hamas have been released and are in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Friday after the militant group announced it had freed the Americans.

    The premier’s office named the women released as Judith Tai Raanan and Natalie Shoshana Raanan, who were abducted from Nahal Oz kibbutz during the Islamists’ shock cross-border attacks on October 7 and taken to nearby Gaza. - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 23:53
    Israel evacuates town near Lebanese border

    Israeli airstrikes are hitting southern Gaza, an area swelled by civilians who fled there from the north on Israeli instructions. Meanwhile, Israel is evacuating a sizable town near the Lebanese border in the latest sign of a potential ground invasion of Gaza that could trigger regional turmoil.

    Palestinians in Gaza reported heavy airstrikes in the southern city of Khan Younis, where civilians had been told to seek safety amid Israel’s bombardment of areas closer to the Israeli border. - AP

  • October 20, 2023 23:51
    Israel eyes end to ‘responsibility’ for Gaza: Defence Minister

    Israel intends to end all responsibility for Gaza as part of a “new regional reality” it expects to emerge after its war with Hamas militants, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Friday.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 before soon afterwards imposing a land, sea and air blockade on the enclave that was intensified in 2007, when Hamas took power. - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 22:52
    Aid ‘a lifeline’ for war-torn Gaza, UN chief says at Rafah border

    Aid trucks waiting to cross from Egypt into Gaza are “a lifeline” which need to move into the war-torn Palestinian enclave as soon as possible, the UN chief said Friday.

    “These trucks are not just trucks, they are a lifeline. They are the difference between life and death for so many people in Gaza,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he visited the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing to oversee preparations for the delivery of aid.

    The UN chief said it must be “a sustained effort” with not just one convoy crossing but for many “to be authorised in a meaningful number to have enough trucks to provide support to Gaza’s people”.

    “It is essential to have fuel on the other side... to be able to distribute humanitarian aid for the population in Gaza,” Guterres said, warning against the use of aid deliveries as “bargaining chips”.

    The United Nations, he said, was “actively engaging with all the parties”, including Egypt, Israel and the United States, to get the trucks moving as quickly as possible.


  • October 20, 2023 22:40
    Ruins and memories of a paradise lost in an Israeli village where attackers killed, kidnapped dozens

    Nearly two weeks after Hamas militants left his village scorched and shattered, Shachar Butler returned to bury a friend who was slain. But it was the town itself, a quarter of its residents dead or missing, that he eulogized.

    “It was the happiest place alive. It was a green place, with animals and birds and kids running around,” Butler said Thursday, standing in a landscape of ransacked homes and bullet-riddled cars, the heat thick with the odor of death.

    “They burned the houses while the people were inside,” said Butler, a father of three who spent hours trading gunfire with militants on Oct. 7. “The people who came out are the people who got kidnapped, killed, executed, slaughtered. ... It’s unimaginable. It’s just unimaginable.”

    Nir Oz is one of more than 20 towns and villages in southern Israel that were ambushed in the sweeping assault by Hamas launched from the embattled Gaza Strip. In many, the devastation left behind is shocking. But even in that company, it is clear that this kibbutz, set on a low rise overlooking the border fence with Gaza, suffered a particularly harsh toll.


  • October 20, 2023 22:20
    In Lebanon, thousands are displaced from border towns by clashes, stretching state resources

    More than 4,200 people have been displaced from villages in south Lebanon by clashes on the border with Israel, and local officials said Friday that they are ill-prepared for the much larger exodus that would ensue if the limited conflict escalates to an all-out war.

    Some 1,500 of the displaced are staying in three schools in the coastal city of Tyre, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the border.

    The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and allied Palestinian groups in Lebanon have launched daily missile strikes on northern Israel since the outbreak of the latest Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, while Israel has responded by shelling border areas in south Lebanon. To date, the clashes have killed at least 22 people in Lebanon, four of them civilians.


  • October 20, 2023 22:02
    Israeli father waiting, terrified, for news of abducted family

    With his wife and daughter presumed to be Hamas hostages in Gaza, where Israel is planning a ground offensive against Palestinian militants after a pounding bombardment, Moshe Leimberg can barely read or watch the news.

    The 59-year-old has had no firm news about his wife Gabriela, daughter Mia, 17, or other relatives since Hamas fighters tore through security barriers to kill at least 1,400 civilians and soldiers in a massacre on Oct. 7 and take about 200 hostages.

    “I want my family back. I want my daughter and I want my wife. I want my brother-in-law, and I want my sister-in-law and my sister-in-law’s life partner, and I want my dog back,” he said.

    The last contact he had with them was during the morning of the attack, while they were staying with relatives at Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on a family trip he had decided to duck because he had flu.

    After days fearing the worst, the military told Leimberg the phones of his wife, daughter, and three other relatives were last traced to the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, and he believes they are all being held hostage there.

    Aware that hostages from some previous abductions had their heads shaved, something he believes would particularly upset Mia, Leimberg has decided to shave his too.

    “If she comes back like that, I’ll be able to say to her, ‘Look, you know, we’re both in the same boat. We’ll regrow our hair together’,” he said.


  • October 20, 2023 21:55
    Israel-Hamas conflict discussed by top Army Commanders

    Amid the ongoing turbulence in the Middle East, top Indian Army commanders discussed the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict to draw lessons and chart the path for future-ready Indian Army at the Army Commanders’ Conference 2023.

    The issues of geopolitical importance including the Russia-Ukraine war along with other security matters came up for discussion during the Army Commanders Conference held this week.

    “Geo-strategic issues including the Russia-Ukraine War and the Israel-Hamas Conflict were discussed by the military leadership with the aim of drawing out relevant lessons for the Indian Army,” the Indian Army said in a statement.


  • October 20, 2023 21:18
    Muslims protest around world to demand end to Israel’s Gaza campaign

    Protesters from Jakarta to Tunis on Friday demanded an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza after nearly two weeks of intense air and artillery strikes that authorities there say have killed 4,100 people.

    In Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994, but where much of the population also holds Palestinian citizenship, more than 6,000 protesters marched in the centre of the capital while thousands more rallied near the Israeli embassy.

    Protesters voiced support for Hamas, urging it to attack Israel with rocket strikes and suicide bombings, and addressing the Palestinian group with the chant: “We are your army.”

    Thousands of demonstrators also gathered in each of Turkey and Egypt, two other countries that have long had full diplomatic relations with Israel, demanding an end to the bombing.

    About 2,000 people gathered in front of Istanbul’s Beyazit Mosque, burning an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and waved Palestinian flags. Some held placards reading: “Stop the genocide” and “Terrorist Israel”.


  • October 20, 2023 20:40
    Egypt peace summit may struggle to foster unity on Gaza conflict

    Egypt holds a summit on the Gaza crisis on Saturday amid growing fears of a wider Middle East war but the absence of a top official from Israel’s main ally the U.S. and some other leaders has dampened expectations for what it can achieve.

    The hastily-convened Cairo Peace Summit as the conflict still rages will bring together several Arab and European heads of state and government, alongside foreign ministers.


  • October 20, 2023 20:16
    Iraqis stage sit-in at Iraq-Jordan border calling for end to Gaza blockade

    Hundreds of supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups gathered on Friday at Iraq’s main border crossing with Jordan to express solidarity with Gaza and call for an end to the blockade imposed by Israel.

    Some 800 supporters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an umbrella group of mainly Shi’ite militia, departed from Baghdad late on Thursday in buses and arrived at the Iraqi-Jordanian border crossing in the early hours of Friday in the western Anbar province, which is the closest access point from Iraq to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    Amid heavy security presence at the crossing, protesters set up tents and staged a sit-in, demanding Israel lift its blockade on Gaza and allow aid to flow in.

    “No to Israel and normalization,” protesters chanted while waving Palestinian flags.


  • October 20, 2023 19:52
    German interior minister calls for deportation of Hamas supporters

    Germany’s interior minister said Hamas supporters should be deported from the country where possible, adding that authorities would keep a close eye on potential Islamist attackers.

    “If we are able to deport Hamas supporters, we must do this,” Nancy Faeser told reporters following talks with officials at the Federal Criminal Police Office.

    “Our security authorities have currently placed an even stronger focus on the Islamist scene,” Faeser added, pointing to a recent attack in Brussels as an indication of the threat relating to tensions over the Israel-Hamas conflict.


  • October 20, 2023 19:43
    Nepal urges ‘negotiated settlement’ of Israel-Palestine issue as it condemns attack on hospital in Gaza

    The Nepal government on Friday urged for a “peaceful and negotiated settlement” of the Israel-Palestine issue as it condemned the attack on a hospital in Gaza in which hundreds of people were killed.

    In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Nepal government is deeply shocked by the killing of innocent civilians in the hospital attack in Gaza.

    “We condemn this attack against the hospital, medical personnel, patients, and civilians and convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. We offer prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured people,” it said.

    “We believe in peace and urge for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the dispute,” the ministry said.


  • October 20, 2023 19:26
    Biden declares support for Israel and Ukraine is ‘vital’ for U.S. security

    President Joe Biden declared it is “vital for America’s national security” for Israel and Ukraine to succeed in their wars, making the case Thursday night for deepening U.S. involvement in two unpredictable foreign conflicts as he prepared to ask for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries.

    If international aggression is allowed to continue, Biden said in a rare Oval Office address, “conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world.”

    “Hamas and Putin represent different threats,” Biden said. “But they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.”


  • October 20, 2023 19:12
    Russia is in contact with Hamas to free hostages - envoy

    Russia is in contact with Hamas to free hostages seized by the Palestinian militant group during its attack on Israel and now being held in the Gaza Strip, the Russian ambassador to Israel said.

    Izvestia newspaper quoted envoy Anatoly Viktorov as saying: “Of course, we have contacts with representatives of Hamas, and first of all they are aimed at rescuing the hostages from the places where they are now, captured by Hamas militants on the first day of the - frankly speaking - terrorist attack on Israeli civilians.”


  • October 20, 2023 19:00
    Saudi Arabia, UAE leaders meet as Israel-Hamas war threatens to spill over

    The Saudi crown prince and president of the United Arab Emirates met on Friday, state media reported, as the two Gulf states worked to overcome their differences amid a conflict between Israel and Hamas that threatens to engulf the Middle East.

    Saudi state news agency SPA showed footage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, receiving UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Riyadh’s airport.

    Public meetings between the crown prince and Sheikh Mohammed have been rare in recent years as the close allies competed for investment and regional influence.

    GCC and ASEAN countries called for a durable ceasefire, the immediate release of civilian hostages and detainees, and a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a joint statement, published after the summit, said.


  • October 20, 2023 18:50
    7 hospitals, 21 health care centres in Gaza “out of service”: Palestinian Health Ministry

    The ongoing Israeli airstrikes have forced seven hospitals and 21 primary healthcare centers in Gaza to become “out of service.” Additionally, 64 medical staff members have lost their lives in the ongoing conflict, CNN quoted a spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health as saying on Friday.

    “Due to the Israeli violations, seven hospitals are out of service and 21 Primary Health care centers as well. 64 medical staff were killed and 23 ambulances were destroyed,” said the health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra.

    CNN has not independently verified the extent of the casualties.


  • October 20, 2023 18:44
    Rushdie urges end to fighting between Israel and Hamas

    Author Salman Rushdie on Friday called for a “cessation” in fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas, saying he was filled with “horror” and “foreboding”.

    Making a rare public appearance since a near-fatal stabbing attack in the United States last year, Rushdie said he was horrified at the escalating conflict.

    “I am filled with horror about the attack by Hamas,” the British writer told a press conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s biggest publishing trade event.

    “I’m filled with foreboding about what (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu might do in return.

    “I just hope that there can be a cessation in hostilities at the earliest point.”


  • October 20, 2023 18:36
    UK Foreign Minister Cleverly to attend Cairo peace summit

    British foreign minister James Cleverly will attend a summit in Egypt on Saturday on the Gaza crisis and the future of the Palestinian issue.

  • October 20, 2023 18:28
    Most Israelis think Netanyahu responsible for failing to prevent Hamas attack, poll shows

    As many as 80% of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must take responsibility for the security failures exposed by the devastating Oct. 7 assault on Israeli by Hamas, a poll in the Ma’ariv newspaper showed on Friday.

    Even among voters of Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, 69% said he should accept responsibility.

    The survey showed Netanyahu lagging far behind former Defence Minister Benny Gantz, head of an opposition centrist party who joined a unity government last week. It said 48% of respondents thought Gantz would make a better prime minister, compared with only 28% for Netanyahu.

    The poll indicated that 65% of Israelis were in support of the expected ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli troops.

    The poll was conducted on Oct. 18 and 19 among 510 respondents and had a 4.3% margin of error, Ma’ariv said.


  • October 20, 2023 18:16
    Gaza war death toll rises to 4,137: Hamas health ministry

    At least 4,137 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel began bombarding the Palestinian enclave, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said Friday.

    The ministry said another 13,162 people have been wounded in the Israeli strikes, which have been ongoing since October 7.


  • October 20, 2023 18:01
    China sends envoy to Middle East in sign of its ambition to play larger role

    China has sent an envoy to the Middle East to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the latest sign of its ambition to play a larger role in the region.

    Envoy Zhai Jun’s first meetings included one in Qatar with a Russian counterpart on Thursday as the two countries stake out a position at odds with the American approach.

    The two sides confirmed their “unwavering focus on closely coordinating efforts for the political settlement of this and other crises in the Middle East and North Africa region,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, according to the country’s Tass state news agency.


  • October 20, 2023 17:48
    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appeals for aid to be allowed into Gaza
  • October 20, 2023 17:40
    Israel aims to end its responsibility for Gaza Strip -minister

    Israel’s defense minister on Friday said that one objective in the military campaign in the Gaza Strip is to end Israel’s responsibility over the Palestinian coastal enclave.

    Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made the remarks during a briefing to parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, his office said.

    “Gallant detailed the objectives of the campaign including the elimination of Hamas and destruction of both its military and governing capabilities, the complete removal of Israeli responsibility from the Gaza strip, and the creation of a new security reality in the region,” the statement said.


  • October 20, 2023 17:30
    Protesters in Iraq, Indonesia, South Korea demonstrate over Israeli airstrikes

    Protesters gathered at Iraq’s border crossing with Jordan on Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and call for an end to Israel’s blockade, while in Indonesia’s capital, demonstrators marched from several mosques to the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to denounce American support for Israel and demand an end to Israeli airstrikes.

    Similar protests also took place in front of the United Nations mission, a few kilometers (miles) from the embassy, and in the compound of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Authorities estimated that about 1,000 people participated in the rallies across Jakarta following Friday prayers in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.


  • October 20, 2023 17:20
    Bayern Munich decides not to sanction Noussair Mazraoui for pro-Palestinian social media posts

    Bayern Munich has decided not to sanction Noussair Mazraoui after the Morocco right back expressed support for Palestinians on social media.

    The German club said Friday that it had a “detailed and clarifying conversation with Noussair Mazraoui this week” after the 25-year-old player reportedly shared several posts on Instagram in support of Palestinians and against terrorism, hate and violence.

    “Mazraoui has credibly assured us that as a peace-loving person he resolutely rejects terror and war and he never meant to cause any irritation with his posts,” Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen said. “FC Bayern condemns Hamas’ attack on Israel.”

    Bayern quoted Mazraoui as saying, “I condemn all terrorism and terrorist organizations.”


  • October 20, 2023 17:12
    Orthodox church says it was hit by Israeli air strike in Gaza

    A Greek Orthodox church in the Gaza Strip which was sheltering hundreds of displaced Palestinians was hit overnight by an Israeli air strike, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Palestinian health officials said.

    Gaza health officials said the attack on the church claimed lives and wounded many others.

    The Israeli military said a part of the church was damaged in a strike on a militant command centre and it was reviewing the incident.

    The Orthodox Church said in a statement: “The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem expresses its strongest condemnation of the Israeli air strike that has struck its church compound in the city of Gaza.”


  • October 20, 2023 17:04
    After crushing Hamas, the military does not plan to control ‘life in the Gaza Strip’: Israel Defence Minister - AP
  • October 20, 2023 16:40
    Israeli air strike targets Hezbollah cell near Lebanon border: military

    An Israeli air strike on Friday targeted three Hezbollah militants near the Lebanese border, Israel’s military said.

    “Three Hezbollah terrorists were identified in the area of the border with Lebanon. IDF (Israel Defense Forces) aircraft struck the terrorists,” it said.

    “In addition, a short while ago, IDF snipers opened fire toward gunmen that were identified operating in the area of the border with Lebanon.”

    - Reuters

  • October 20, 2023 16:00
    U.N. chief visits Egypt’s Rafah crossing ahead of Gaza aid delivery

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid a visit to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Friday to oversee preparations for the delivery of aid to the war-torn enclave.

    Cargo planes and trucks have been bringing aid to the crossing for days, but so far none has been delivered to Gaza, which Israel has besieged and bombed for 13 days in response to a deadly cross-border attack by Hamas militants on October 7.

    - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 15:59
    U.S. issues caution for Americans travelling overseas amid Israel-Gaza war

    Amid the Israel-Gaza war, increasing anti-U.S. protests and potential terrorist attacks, the United States has issued a worldwide caution for Americans travelling overseas.

    The U.S. State Department on Thursday issued a ‘worldwide caution’ alert as Middle East tensions soar.

    “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises US citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” the travel advisory said.

    - PTI

  • October 20, 2023 15:57
    Protesters march to U.S. Embassy in Indonesia over Israeli airstrikes

    Protesters marched from several mosques to the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in Indonesia’s capital Friday to denounce the staunch American support for Israel and demand an end to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

    Similar protests also took place in front of the United Nations mission, a few kilometers (miles) from the embassy, and in the compound of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Authorities estimated that about 1,000 people participated in the rallies across Jakarta following Friday prayers in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

    - AP

  • October 20, 2023 15:36
    Palestinian President to participate in Cairo peace summit, source says

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will participate in the Cairo summit for peace on Saturday, said an official source.

    - Reuters

  • October 20, 2023 15:35
    Air Arabia launches flights between Sharjah, Egypt’s Sphinx airport

    Middle East’s low-cost carrier Air Arabia is launching a new route operating between Sharjah and Giza city in Egypt, the UAE state news agency reported on Friday.

    “The non-stop flights will connect Sharjah International Airport with Sphinx International Airport with a frequency of five weekly flights starting from 6th December, 2023,” a statement said.

    - Reuters

  • October 20, 2023 15:09
    French Foreign Minister to attend Egypt meeting for peace: diplomatic source

    French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna will attend a meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue in Egypt on Saturday, a French diplomatic source said on Friday.

    Ms. Colonna had already travelled to Cairo, Beirut and Israel last week as Paris looks to reduce the risk of an escalation across the region.

    Diplomatic sources said there was still a possibility that President Emmanuel Macron would attend the meeting.

    - Reuters

  • October 20, 2023 14:58
    U.S. troops targeted in Iraq rocket attacks escape unharmed

    U.S. troops stationed at two bases in Iraq have been targeted with rockets in attacks that caused no injuries, security sources said Friday, against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war.

    Armed factions close to Iran have threatened to attack American interests in Iraq over U.S. support for Israel since militants from the Iran-backed Hamas Islamist group killed more than 1,400, according to Israeli officials, in an attack launched from the Gaza Strip on October 7.

    - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 14:49
    Zelensky hails Biden’s ‘powerful address’ in support of Ukraine

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Friday hailed Joe Biden’s “powerful address” in support of his country’s fight against Russia.

    “Ukraine is grateful for all the U.S. support and its unfaltering belief that humanism, freedom, independence, and rules-based international order must always triumph,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on social media.

    U.S. President Biden made an impassioned call for the United States to show global leadership by backing both Israel and Ukraine in a speech to the nation from the Oval Office Thursday.

    “We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen,” Mr. Biden said.

    - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 14:34
    Biden, EU leaders to meet as trade tensions, Israel-Hamas war simmer

    U.S. President Joe Biden will discuss the Israel-Hamas war and stress unity on support for Ukraine when he hosts European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Friday amid dimming hopes for resolving longstanding trade disputes.

    Trade negotiators were scrambling on Thursday to avoid the U.S. resuming import tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imposed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018 before November.

    The Israel-Hamas war, and a looming ground offensive by Israel into Gaza would likely dominate the discussions, von der Leyen said in Washington, warning about the risk of “regional spillover” from the conflict.

    - Reuters

  • October 20, 2023 14:22
    U.N. refugee chief says military escalation ‘catastrophic’ for Gaza

    Any escalation of military activities in the Gaza Strip will be “catastrophic” for people there, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees said Friday.

    “(I) can tell you with certainty that any further escalation or even continuation of military activities will just be catastrophic for the people of Gaza,” Filippo Grandi told reporters in Japan.

    While stressing that refugee agency UNHCR has no formal mandate in the Palestinian Territories or Israel, Mr. Grandi said that he “shares the extreme worry and anguish that has been expressed by many of my colleagues including the U.N. secretary general” about the conflict.

    He also called the Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7 “appalling” and said that the consequences of the conflict spreading into Lebanon and elsewhere would be “incalculable”.

    - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 13:34
    Bodies of eight Thai nationals arrived at Bangkok airport

    The bodies of eight Thai nationals who were killed in the Hamas attack on southern Israel arrived at a Bangkok airport Friday as repatriation efforts continued for thousands of Thai workers.

    Ahead of the first repatriation of the Thai dead, Thai and Israeli officials laid wreaths at a small memorial ceremony on Thursday at Tel Aviv’s airport. Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Thursday that 30 Thais are feared dead, while 16 are reportedly injured and 17 are believed to have been abducted.

    About 30,000 Thai workers are in Israel, mostly agricultural laborers, and about 5,000 were working in the area attacked. Two evacuation flights on Friday brought more than 500 Thais back to the country, with more flights set to arrive daily. Officials say more than 8,000 of the Thais remaining in Israel have expressed their wish to return home.

    - AP

  • October 20, 2023 13:30
    Toll from Israeli West Bank raid rises to 13: Palestinian ministry

    The death toll from a raid by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank rose to 13, Palestinian health officials said Friday, as casualties mounted in the territory while war rages in Gaza.

    At least 81 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers in the West Bank since the Gaza conflict erupted on October 7, according to figures from the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.

    One member of the Israeli security forces has also been killed in the territory.

    - AFP

  • October 20, 2023 13:15
    U.K. PM Rishi Sunak travels to Egypt for crisis talks

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to Egypt on Friday as part of his Middle East tour for crisis talks to prevent the Israel-Gaza conflict spilling over across the region.

    His talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi follow “productive” discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

    - PTI

  • October 20, 2023 12:58
    Over 1,000 Chinese nationals have left Israel amid conflict - foreign ministry

    Over 1,000 Chinese nationals have left Israel amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday.


  • October 20, 2023 12:23
    Indian expats in Israel uphold care amid conflict

    “Anna (brother), I am rushing to a shelter; the siren has started blaring,” says Elle Prasad, 46, over the phone, raising his voice to make himself heard over the din in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon bordering the Gaza Strip, where fresh armed conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant groups led by the Hamas is underway.

    As he scurries to a bomb shelter, the blaring siren can be heard in the distance. He continues to narrate the live situation unfolding in trouble-torn West Asia. With the conflict raging on, residents find themselves caught in the crossfire, with hundreds killed or maimed.

    Read more here...

  • October 20, 2023 12:18
    Dissecting impact of Israel-Hamas conflict on markets bl-premium-article-image

    The world can ill-afford another full-fledged war, when economies are already battling high inflation and interest rates, an ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and now, a slowing China. This is precisely why many countries are trying to restrict any escalation in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The non-escaltion of the current hostilities seems to be the base case presumed by the Indian stock market presently, going by the market movement in the last week.

    Click here to read the article published in Businessline

  • October 20, 2023 12:05
    Can Israel and Hamas be held to account for alleged crimes against civilians?

    International humanitarian law – the law of armed conflict – aims to constrain how wars are fought. It is designed to protect noncombatants and limit the means of warfare.

    As each hour brings news of further horror in the Israel-Hamas conflict, what role should international law be playing? And does it actually have any capacity to constrain the behaviour of the combatants? A humanitarian nightmare is unfolding On October 7, the Hamas militant group launched thousands of rockets against Israel in advance of a ground attack. Militants killed more than 1,400 people and wounded 3,400 others in towns and kibbutzim across southern Israel. It was the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust.

    Most of those killed were civilians, including many children who were shot, blown up or burned to death. Hundreds of young people were also massacred at a music festival, and Hamas took around 200 hostages back to Gaza.


  • October 20, 2023 11:36
    Israel army orders evacuation of northern city after Lebanon clashes

    Israeli authorities announced plans to evacuate the northern city of Kiryat Shmona on Friday, after days of clashes with Hezbollah fighters along the border with Lebanon.

    “A short while ago, the Northern Command informed the mayor of the city of the decision. The plan will be managed by the local authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Defence,” the Israeli military said in a statement.


  • October 20, 2023 11:08
    Journalists in Gaza wrestle with issues of survival in addition to getting stories out

    A limited number of journalists in Gaza are trying to report on the war with Israel while facing the same problems as the besieged Palestinian population there — wondering where to live, where to get food and water, and how to stay safe.

    The aftermath of Tuesday’s explosion that killed hundreds at a Gaza City hospital is the latest example of how that reality hinders the world’s ability to get a full picture of what is happening to the Palestinian population In Gaza.


  • October 20, 2023 10:45
    Kannur garment company takes stand for peace smid Israel-Hamas conflict

    Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, a garment manufacturing company in Kannur has taken a principled stand against providing uniforms that could potentially be used in the midst of war and violence. This ethical decision stems from the loss of thousands of innocent lives due to the escalating conflict.

    The Kannur-based Maryan Apparels Company has declared that it will no longer accept orders to produce Israeli police uniforms until peace is restored. This decision to withhold further orders for Israeli forces has gained attention on social media and reflects a commitment to peace and a concern for the human toll of ongoing conflicts.

    Read more here.

  • October 20, 2023 10:34
    Long lines at gas pump unlikely, but Middle East crisis could disrupt oil supplies, raise prices

    Fifty years after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the current crisis in the Middle East has the potential to disrupt global oil supplies and push prices higher. But don’t expect a repeat of the catastrophic price hikes and long lines at the gasoline pump, experts say.

    The Israel-Hamas war is “definitely not good news” for oil markets already stretched by cutbacks in oil production from Saudi Arabia and Russia and expected stronger demand from China, the head of the International Energy Agency said.

    Markets will remain volatile, and the conflict could push oil prices higher, “which is definitely bad news for inflation,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based IEA, told The Associated Press. Developing countries that import oil and other fuels would be the most affected by higher prices, he said.


  • October 20, 2023 10:09
    Biden declares Israel and Ukraine support is vital for US security, will ask Congress for billions

    Declaring that U.S. leadership “holds the world together,” President Joe Biden told Americans that the country must deepen its support of Ukraine and Israel in the middle of two vastly different, unpredictable and bloody wars.

    Acknowledging that “these conflicts can seem far away,” Biden insisted in a rare Oval Office address on Thursday that they remain “vital for America’s national security” as he prepared to ask Congress for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries.


  • October 20, 2023 09:44
    Watch | Who is the Hamas’ Special Forces Unit?

    Israel Defence Force on X shares: Who is the Hamas’ Special Forces Unit and what are their terrorists capable of?

  • October 20, 2023 09:25
    U.S. military shoots down missiles and drones as it faces growing threats in volatile Middle East

    With tensions spiking in the Middle East, U.S. forces in the region are facing increasing threats as a Navy warship shot down missiles appearing to head toward Israel on October 19 and American bases in Iraq and Syria were repeatedly targeted by drone attacks.

    Later on October 19, a U.S. official said there had been an attack near Baghdad’s airport, where U.S. forces are hosted. The official said one projectile was shot down and another struck, but according to early reports, no one was injured. It wasn’t clear what type of munition was fired. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss reports not yet made public, said information was still being gathered.

    Read more here...

  • October 20, 2023 09:02
    Joe Biden to send budget request to Congress to support Israel: White House

    US President Joe Biden will send an urgent budget request to Congress seeking funds to support its allies including Israel and Ukraine and for America’s national security needs, said White House on Friday.

    Taking to X, the White House said, “Tomorrow, President Biden will send an urgent budget request to Congress to fund America’s national security needs and to support our critical partners - including Israel and Ukraine.”

    Earlier today, United States President Joe Biden has called for a massive new aid package for Israel and Ukraine and at the same time, strongly denounced a rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the US.


  • October 20, 2023 08:31
    In pics | volunteers of “Zaka”—Israel’s Search and Rescue Organization—holding human ashes

    In this picture, you can see the volunteers of “Zaka”—Israel’s Search and Rescue Organization—holding human ashes. Until today, they are still on the ground in southern Israel looking for human remains.

  • October 20, 2023 08:07
    Israelis must have a biometrically enabled passport for the visa program

    Under the waiver program, Israelis first register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. That’s an automated system that helps determine whether the person is eligible to travel, Homeland Security said in the news release. The process can take up to 72 hours. Then they can travel to the U.S.

    To be eligible, Israelis must have a biometrically enabled passport. Those who don’t have such a passport still must apply for a U.S. visa, the department said.

    Countries that want to take part in the visa program have to meet three critical benchmarks. Israel met two of those benchmarks over the past two years: a low percentage of Israelis who applied for visas and were rejected and a low percentage of Israelis who have overstayed their visas. Israel had struggled to meet the third, for reciprocity that essentially means all U.S. citizens, including Palestinian Americans, must be treated equally when traveling to or through Israel.


  • October 20, 2023 07:40
    As Israel-Hamas war rages, Israelis can now travel to US for 90 days without getting a visa

    As the Israel-Hamas war intensifies, the United States Thursday launched a visa waiver program allowing Israelis wishing to visit the United States for 90 days or less to come without applying for a visa.

    The U.S. announced Sept. 27 that it was admitting Israel into the visa waiver program, adding the country to a select group of 40 mostly European and Asian countries whose citizens can travel to the U.S. for three months without visas.

    At the time, the U.S. said Israelis could start traveling to America without visas as of November 30. In a news release, the Department of Homeland Security said the program was operational as of Thursday.


  • October 20, 2023 07:32
    Watch | IDF spokesperson RAdm. Daniel Hagari’s message to Jewish people  

    IDF spokesperson RAdm. Daniel Hagari passes on message to the Jewish people on X.

  • October 20, 2023 07:05
    Israel’s defense minister tells troops to be ready for a ground assault on the Palestinian territory

    Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue and Israel’s defense minister has told troops to be ready for a ground assault on the Palestinian territory, although he has not said when that will begin


  • October 20, 2023 06:39
    Biden declares support for Israel and Ukraine is ‘vital’ for U.S. security

    President Joe Biden declared it is “vital for America’s national security” for Israel and Ukraine to succeed in their wars, making the case Thursday night for deepening U.S. involvement in a rare Oval Office address as he prepared to ask for billions of dollars in military assistance for both countries.

    Read more here...

  • October 20, 2023 06:37
    Biden to seek billions in military aid for Israel as invasion of Gaza nears

    President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Americans to spend billions more dollars to help Israel fight Hamas while Israel’s defence chief told his troops to be ready to go into the Gaza Strip to destroy the Palestinian militant group.

    In a televised White House speech late on Thursday that also addressed Ukraine’s effort to repel Russia’s invasion, Biden said Hamas sought to “annihilate” Israel’s democracy.


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