Israel-Hamas war, Day 17 | UN General Assembly to meet on October 26 to discuss conflict

Gaza’s Health Ministry said 266 Palestinians, including 117 children, have been killed by Israeli air strikes in the past 24 hours

October 23, 2023 06:45 am | Updated October 26, 2023 12:58 pm IST

A picture taken from the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 23, 2023 shows smoke and debris ascending over the northern Gaza Strip following an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

A picture taken from the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 23, 2023 shows smoke and debris ascending over the northern Gaza Strip following an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. | Photo Credit: AFP

Israel ramped up its airstrikes on Monday in Gaza, where the death toll was rising rapidly, and the United States advised Israel to delay an expected ground invasion to allow more time to negotiate the release of hostages taken by Hamas militants.

Israeli warplanes have struck targets across the Gaza Strip as well as two airports in Syria and a mosque in the occupied West Bank allegedly used by militants. A third small aid convoy from Egypt entered Gaza, where the population of 2.3 million has been running out of food, water and medicine under Israel’s two-week seal. With Israel still barring entry of fuel, the UN said its distribution of aid would grind to a halt within days when it can no longer fuel its trucks.

Also Read | EU’s Borrell Calls for ‘humanitarian pause’ to Israel-Hamas war

Gaza hospitals are struggling to keep generators running to power life-saving medical equipment and incubators for premature babies.

The war, now in its 17th day, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Palestinian Health Ministry said Sunday that the death toll in Gaza had reached at least 4,651 people, with another 14,254 people wounded in the besieged territory.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly in the initial Hamas attack. In addition, 203 people were believed captured by Hamas during the incursion and taken into Gaza, the Israeli military has said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

This live blog is closed. Click here to follow the updates for Day 20.
  • October 24, 2023 05:43
    Almost 20,000 displaced in Lebanon as clashes on Israel border escalate

    Almost 20,000 people have been internally displaced in south Lebanon and elsewhere since early October, a U.N. agency said on Monday, as violence escalates on the Lebanese-Israeli border following the eruption of the Gaza war.

    The International Organization for Migration said 19,646 people had been displaced inside Lebanon since it began tracking movements on Oct. 8, the day after an assault on Israel by Hamas militants and an Israeli counteroffensive on Gaza.

    It said the movements were mostly by those fleeing the south although some departures were also reported elsewhere.


  • October 24, 2023 05:30
    Israeli strikes hit Gaza refugee camp, health ministry says

    The Hamas-run health ministry said that Israel bombarded a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip late on Monday, saying that dozens of people had either been killed or wounded.

    The Israeli military did not immediately provide comment.

    In a statement on Facebook, health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said the Israeli bombardment targeted Gaza’s Al-Shati camp, which abuts the Mediterranean coastline. He said the casualties included children and women, without providing any details.

    Palestinian media reported that five people were killed in the camp.


  • October 24, 2023 05:09
    China’s Wang Yi to visit Washington amid Middle East tensions, U.S. officials say

    China’s top diplomat Wang Yi will travel to the United States later this week, senior Biden administration officials said on Monday, in a long-anticipated visit that comes amid soaring tensions in the Middle East, which U.S. officials hope Beijing can help contain.

    Mr. Wang will visit Washington from Oct. 26-28 and meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, officials said, declining to say if he will meet with Mr. Biden as well.

    Read the full story here
  • October 24, 2023 04:52
    Freed Israeli grandmother is a peace activist who helped sick Gazans, grandson says

    Yocheved Lifshitz, an Israeli grandmother released by Hamas militants on Monday, is a peace activist who together with her husband helped sick Palestinians in Gaza get to hospital for years, her grandson told Reuters.

    Lifshitz and her 83-year old husband, Oded, were kidnapped from their home at the Nir Oz kibbutz, close to the border with Gaza in southern Israel, the Israeli prime minister’s office said late on Monday. Oded remained captive, it added.

    “They are human rights activists, peace activists for all their life,” grandson Daniel Lifshitz told Reuters in Tel Aviv before the release was confirmed. “For more than a decade, they took ... sick Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, not from the West Bank, from the Gaza Strip every week from the Erez border to the hospitals in Israel to get treatment for their disease, for cancer, for anything,” he added.


  • October 24, 2023 04:42
    All three Italians missing after Hamas attack are dead, Rome says

    All of the three people with dual Italian-Israeli citizenship who went missing after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by the Hamas militant group have died, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Monday.

    “Unfortunately Nir Forti has also died. He was the last of the 3 missing Italian-Israelis,” Tajani said on X, the social media platform. “Dying at the age of 29, brutally killed by terrorists, is profoundly unjust,” he added.

    Hours earlier, Tajani had announced the death of Lilian Le Havron, wife of Eviatar Moshe Kipnis who had been confirmed dead on Oct. 17. The couple lived in Kibbutz Be’eri, 3 miles (5 km) from Gaza, one of the first areas to be hit by Hamas.

    “I renew my condolences to the children and family. For Italy another day of mourning,” the minister wrote, in another message on X.


  • October 24, 2023 04:15
    Israeli boy marks 9th birthday in Hamas captivity as family faces agonizing wait

    Ohad Munder-Zichri turned 9 on Monday. But instead of celebrating at home with his family and friends, he was somewhere in Gaza, one of more than 200 hostages held by Hamas since the militants’ devastating Oct. 7 incursion.

    The 4th-grader from the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba was nabbed along with his mother and grandparents during a holiday visit to his grandparents’ kibbutz of Nir Oz along the border with Gaza.

    Ohad’s beloved uncle was killed in the attack. The boy, his mom and grandparents disappeared with the only thread of information about them coming from a cellphone signal traced to Gaza.

    It’s that uncertainty that has been most agonizing for Ohad’s grief-stricken father, Avi Zichri — not knowing if Ohad is alive, if he is wounded, if he is alone.


  • October 24, 2023 03:53
    US advises Israel hold off on Gaza invasion, keeps Hamas mediator Qatar in loop -sources

    The United States has advised Israel to hold off on a ground assault in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and is keeping Qatar - a broker with the Palestinian militants - apprised of those talks, sources said, as Washington tries to free more hostages and prepare for a possible spillover in a wider regional war.

    But the White House, Pentagon and State Department have now stepped up private appeals for caution in conversations with the Israelis, two sources familiar with discussions said, as Israel’s blockade of Gaza worsens a humanitarian crisis and the death toll from its bombardment of the enclave passes 5,000.

    A U.S. priority is to allow more time for negotiations on the release of hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, sources said, particularly after the unexpected release of two Americans on Friday. Hamas said it released two more hostages on Monday. Hamas is believed to hold more than 200 hostages.


  • October 24, 2023 03:13
    Pentagon rushes defences, advisers to Middle East as Israel’s ground assault in Gaza looms

    The Pentagon has sent military advisers, including a Marine Corps general versed in urban warfare, to Israel to aid in its war planning and is speeding multiple sophisticated air defence systems to the Middle East days ahead of an anticipated ground assault into Gaza.

    One of the officers leading the assistance is Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Glynn, who previously helped lead special operations forces against the Islamic State and served in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the most heated urban combat there, according to a U.S. official who was not authorised to discuss Glynn’s role and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Glynn will also be advising on how to mitigate civilian casualties in urban warfare, the official said.

    Read the full story here
  • October 24, 2023 03:02
    Drones shot down in attack on US troops in Syria: Pentagon

    Two drones were shot down Monday during an attempted attack on a base housing US forces in Syria, the Pentagon said, after a militant group claimed to have targeted American troops.

    Armed factions close to Iran have threatened to attack US interests over Washington’s support for Israel since Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people in a shock cross-border attack from Gaza on October 7.

    Israel’s retaliatory bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 5,000 people, according to the Gaza health ministry.

    “There was an attempted drone attack at Al-Tanf in Syria. Two one-way attack drones taken down; no injuries to US forces,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told journalists.

    The drones were downed using “defensive systems,” he said, without providing further details.


  • October 24, 2023 02:37
    In Gaza, the anguished distress of a bereaved father

    It was the day of their shared birthday when three-year-old Adam and his sister Sham, 9, were killed along with their mother in an Israeli strike on southern Gaza, their distraught father told AFP.

    Ayman Abu Shamalah says he himself escaped death by a matter of seconds when the strike slammed into a building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

    “I was coming down the stairs when the strike happened. If I had come down 30 seconds earlier, I would have been killed with them,” he told AFP on Monday, sobbing inconsolably.

    The 34-year-old said the family had fled the bombardments in Gaza City to shelter with relatives in Rafah.


  • October 24, 2023 02:22
    Shot fired, protesters pepper sprayed outside pro-Israel rally in Chicago suburbs

    Police arrested two people after one of them allegedly fired a shot and another pepper-sprayed protesters outside a pro-Israel rally in Chicago’s northern suburbs.

    The rally took place Sunday evening at a Skokie banquet hall, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. About 1,000 people attended to show solidary with Israel, according to organizers.

    Police in U.S. cities as well as federal authorities have been on high alert for violence driven by antisemtic or Islamophobic sentiments as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.


  • October 24, 2023 01:59
    US rejects Mideast ceasefire calls, says would benefit Hamas

    The United States warned Monday that any Gaza ceasefire by Israel would benefit Hamas, as the European Union considers a call for a humanitarian pause.

    A ceasefire would “give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

    “You can understand perfectly clearly why that’s an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack and continues to see the terrorist threat right on its border,” he said.


  • October 24, 2023 01:28
    Iran ‘actively facilitating’ some attacks on U.S. bases in Middle East: W.House

    The White House accused Iran Monday of “actively facilitating” attacks on US bases in the Middle East, as it expressed concern over the potential for escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

    “Iran continues to support Hamas and Hezbollah, and we know that Iran is closely monitoring these events and in some cases, actively facilitating these attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit the conflict for their own good or for that of Iran,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

    “We know Iran’s goal is to maintain some level of deniability here, but we’re not going to allow them to do that,” Kirby added.


  • October 24, 2023 01:08
    International Committee of the Red Cross confirms two women held hostage in Gaza released by Hamas

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says Hamas militants have released two hostages it had been holding captive in the Gaza Strip.

    It was the second time the group has freed hostages seized in its bloody October 7 cross-border incursion into Israel.

    The hostages were identified by Israeli media as Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper of the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Oz.

    In a statement, Hamas said it had released them for humanitarian reasons.


  • October 24, 2023 01:05
    Hostage families face appalling dilemma as Gaza invasion looms

    As Israel prepares to invade the Gaza Strip, many families of hostages seized by Hamas are pleading with the government to rein in the war effort and instead negotiate the release of their loved ones.

    Highlighting the appalling dilemma facing the whole country, other relatives warn mediation could take years and say their best hope lies with the military, hoping ground forces could find the missing men, women and children before it is too late.

    Hamas fighters grabbed an estimated 222 people aged from 9 months to 85 years during their Oct. 7 rampage, during which they also killed 1,400 people. Many of those taken hold dual nationality, including many with U.S. and European passports.

    The hostages are believed to be hidden in the Gaza Strip, possibly in a warren of tunnels Hamas has built beneath the enclave, even as Israeli warplanes pound the territory ahead of a threatened invasion, killing more than 5,000 Palestinians.


  • October 24, 2023 00:48
    Israel evacuates protected animals from endangered areas

    Dozens of protected wild animals were evacuated from the animal corner in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, located near the border with Lebanon in the north of Israel - by teams from the Nature and Parks Authority, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Agriculture under military and police escort.

    The decision was made to move the animals to a safer location as Israelis are being evacuated from the area due to increased possibilities of a larger conflict with Hezbollah.

    Dozens of animals, including goats, goats, donkeys, rabbits and other small animals such as hamsters, were transferred last Thursday from Kfar Giladi to the monkey shelter in the Ben Shemen forest and to the Gatenio farm.


  • October 24, 2023 00:32
    UN General Assembly to meet over Israel-Hamas war on October 26

    The UN General Assembly will meet on October 26 to discuss the conflict triggered by the attack by Hamas militants on Israel, its president announced Monday in a letter to member states.

    The Security Council has so far failed to agree on a resolution concerning the war, but a number of states, including Jordan on behalf of the Arab grouping, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, formally requested General Assembly President Dennis Francis to schedule the meeting.

    Last week, the UN Security Council, regularly divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, initially rejected a Russian draft resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause.”

    Only five of the 15 member states had supported this text, which condemned all violence against civilians and all terrorist acts, but did not name Hamas, which was unacceptable to the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

    Washington then vetoed a second resolution as the text did not recognize Israel’s right to defend itself.

    Twelve out of 15 Council members voted in favor of the resolution put forward by Brazil, which also condemned the “heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas,” while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained. -- AFP

  • October 24, 2023 00:21
    Macron to discuss creation of Palestinian state on Israel visit: presidency

    French President Emmanuel Macron will call for the “resumption of a genuine peace process” for the creation of a Palestinian state and “halting the colonisation” of the West Bank while visiting Israel on Tuesday, his office said Monday.

    “The only way to be useful is to one, show solidarity to Israel; two, make commitments against terrorist groups very clear; and three, to open up a political perspective,” Macron’s office said ahead of the trip.


  • October 24, 2023 00:07
    Hamas says two more Gaza hostages freed

    Palestinian militant group Hamas said on October 23 that two more hostages seized to the Gaza Strip during the October 7 attacks had been freed.

    The Islamist group’s military wing said in a statement the two women had been freed for “compelling humanitarian” reasons following mediation by Qatar and Egypt. There was no immediate confirmation by Israeli authorities.

    Two American women were freed on Friday, out of the 222 hostages Israel has confirmed are being held in Gaza. -- AFP

  • October 23, 2023 23:54
    US envoy working on ‘sustained delivery’ of aid to Gaza -State Dept

    U.S. Special Envoy David Satterfield is continuing to negotiate with Israel, Egypt and the United Nations to create a “sustained delivery mechanism” to get aid into Gaza after aid convoys began crossing into the strip from Egypt over the weekend, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Monday.

    Satterfield, who was appointed after the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, is also working to ensure U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals stuck in Gaza can come out through the Rafah border crossing.


  • October 23, 2023 23:38
    Dutch PM spoke with Palestinian Authority’s Abbas on preventing wider war

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on preventing the war in Israel and Gaza from spreading further in the region, Dutch press agency ANP reported on Monday.

    Rutte also spoke of the importance of the prospect of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel, calling the two-state solution “the only way to bring stability to the entire region”, ANP said.

    Rutte’s visit followed confirmation by the Dutch foreign ministry on Sunday of the death of a 33-year-old Dutch woman who had travelled to Gaza to visit family shortly before Palestinian militants of Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7

    Rutte has previously called for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting in order to help aid reach the civilian residents of the Gaza Strip, which Israel has bombed in retaliation for the Oct. 7 attack.


  • October 23, 2023 23:17
    Hamas says more than 5,000 killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza

    Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said Monday more than 5,000 people have been killed in the battered Palestinian enclave since Israel launched its withering bombing campaign just over two weeks ago.

    With the military saying it had conducted more than 300 new strikes within 24 hours, Gaza’s health ministry said the death toll had surged over 5,000, including more than 2,000 children, in figures AFP has not been able to independently verify.

    Thousands of buildings have been levelled and more than a million people displaced in the besieged territory that has been largely deprived of water, food and other basic supplies.

    Overnight, Gaza’s Hamas-controlled government said “more than 60” people died in Israeli bombardments, including 17 in a single strike on a house in Gaza’s north and another 10 in the morning.


  • October 23, 2023 22:44
    Israel ramps up strikes on Gaza as U.S. advises delaying ground offensive to allow talks on captives

    Israel ramped up its airstrikes on Monday in Gaza, where the death toll was rising rapidly, and the United States advised Israel to delay an expected ground invasion to allow more time to negotiate the release of hostages taken by Hamas militants.

    A third small aid convoy from Egypt entered Gaza, where the population of 2.3 million has been running out of food, water and medicine under Israel’s two-week seal. With Israel still barring entry of fuel, the UN said its distribution of aid would grind to a halt within days when it can no longer fuel its trucks.

    Gaza hospitals are struggling to keep generators running to power life-saving medical equipment and incubators for premature babies.

    - AP

  • October 23, 2023 21:34
    UK PM announces extra £20 mn aid for civilians in Gaza

    UK leader Rishi Sunak announced Monday that Britain was sending an additional £20 million ($24 million) of aid to help civilians in Gaza affected by the war between Israel and Hamas.

    The announcement brings the amount pledged to Palestinian territories by Britain since Hamas’s attack on Israel earlier this month to £30 million, after £10 million was made available last week.

    “We are providing an additional £20 million of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, more than doubling our previous support to the Palestinian people,” Mr. Sunak told parliament.

    Before the recent pledges, the UK had committed £27 million to Palestinians this year.

    Mr. Sunak’s announcement came while updating lawmakers on the situation in the Middle East following his visit to the region last week.

    He said the arrival through the Rafah crossing of some aid trucks into Gaza was “important progress” but added “it is not enough.”

    “We need a constant stream of aid pouring in, bringing the water, food, medicine and fuel that is so desperately needed,” the Prime Minister added.

    Mr. Sunak also told MPs that Britain had determined that the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of people last Tuesday was probably caused by a missile fired from within Gaza.

    Hamas and Israel have blamed each other for the blast at the health facility.

    “We have taken care to look at all the evidence currently available,” Mr. Sunak said.

    “On the basis of the deep knowledge and analysis of our intelligence and weapons experts, the British government judges that the explosion was likely caused by a missile, or part of one, that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel,” he added.

    - AFP

  • October 23, 2023 21:21
    Putin calls for ‘unhindered access’ for humanitarian aid into Gaza: Kremlin

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 23 called for “unhindered access” for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, in a telephone call with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Kremlin said.

    According to a readout of the call from the Kremlin, the two leaders “expressed serious concern about the growing number of civilian casualties and stressed the fundamental importance of an early ceasefire, the evacuation of foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip, and of ensuring unhindered access to the enclave for humanitarian aid”. -- AFP

  • October 23, 2023 21:16
    Nasser Hospital in southern city of Khan Younis will run out of fuel within 48 hours, says hospital’s neonatal unit head

    The head of the neonatal unit in Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis said it will run out of fuel within 48 hours.

    Dr. Hatem Edhair said there are eight babies in the intensive care unit and 10 others in the neonatal department.

    “Half of these children are on CPAP (pressurized air) machines and oxygen machines,” he said on Monday. “If the hospital runs out of fuel, half of these babies will die in less than 24 hours.”

    Doctors treating premature babies across Gaza have warned that at least 130 are at “grave risk” across six neonatal units because of worsening fuel shortages.

    The fuel shortages are caused by the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which started — along with airstrikes — after Hamas militants attacked Israeli towns on October 7.

    “We are working around the clock,” Mr. Edair said. “We need to save these babies.”

    - AP

  • October 23, 2023 20:52
    Missile fired from Gaza caused hospital blast, Britain’s Sunak says

    The explosion at a hospital in Gaza City was most likely caused by a missile fired from within Gaza, and not by a rocket from Israel, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on October 23.

    “The British government judges that the explosion was likely caused by a missile, or part of one, that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel,” Sunak told parliament.

    “The misreporting of this incident had a negative effect in the region, including on a vital U.S. diplomatic effort and on tensions here at home.”

    Palestinian officials said 471 people were killed in the blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital on Tuesday. Gaza’s health ministry blamed an Israeli air strike, while Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by militants. -- Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 20:52
    ‘Pause’ of Gaza military operations is less ambitious than ceasefire: EU’s Borrell

    The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday that a pause in Gaza military operations would mean a temporary interruption of military activity and is a less ambitious demand than a proper ceasefire.

    European Union foreign ministers also shared views at a meeting on Monday that a pause of military hostilities between Israel and armed forces in the Gaza strip was needed to allow for urgent humanitarian relief, Mr. Borrell said.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 19:25
    2 Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces at West Bank refugee camp: Health Ministry

    Two Palestinians were killed at the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Monday.

    Residents told Reuters that Israeli forces raided the camp and carried out widespread arrests, where they clashed with gunmen and some youths who threw stones.

    The Israeli military said it had arrested 15 wanted suspects during the raid, 10 of whom it said were operatives of Hamas, the Islamist group that carried out the Oct. 7 attack that killed around 1,400 Israelis.

    “During the activity, suspects hurled explosive devices and stone blocks from roofs at Israeli security forces, who responded with live fire,” the military said in a statement. “Hits were identified,” it said, giving no details.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 19:01
    More than 19,000 displaced in Lebanon amid tensions on Israeli border, says U.N.

    More than 19,000 people have been displaced in Lebanon amid an uptick in tensions between Israel and Hezbollah at the country’s southern border, figures released Monday by a United Nations agency showed.

    “An increase in cross-border incidents” has resulted in the displacement of 19,646 people in Lebanon, “both within the south and elsewhere within the country”, said the International Organization for Migration. -- AFP

    Israel-Hamas war | More than 19,000 displaced in Lebanon amid tensions on Israeli border, says U.N. agency

  • October 23, 2023 18:52
    Israel says two Gaza drones ‘thwarted’

    The Israeli army said on October 23 it had “thwarted” an attack from Gaza by two drones that was claimed by Hamas.

    “Two UAVs were identified crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory” at Nir Oz and Ein HaBesor near the border, the army said. “Both UAVs were thwarted,” a statement added, without stating whether they were shot down.

    Hamas, which used drones in their October 7 attack on Israel, said on social media that “Israeli military posts” were the targets of the latest raid. -- AFP

  • October 23, 2023 18:20
    SFI members holding Pro-Palestine demonstration detained in Delhi

    Students’ Federation of India (SFI) members were detained in the national capital while holding a pro-Palestine demonstration on Monday.

    SFI members were detained at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road in the national capital when they were on their way to the Israel Embassy to hold a demonstration amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

    There have been a number of public rallies in India both in support of Israel and Palestine since the war between Israel and Hamas began after the terror group’s sudden attack in Israel on October 7.

    - ANI

  • October 23, 2023 17:38
    EU to call for ‘humanitarian pause’, shows draft EU summit conclusions

    European Union leaders will call this week for a “humanitarian pause” in the Israel-Hamas war so that humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza can safely reach those in need, draft conclusions of an EU summit showed.

    Leaders of the 27 countries that make up the European Union will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, in what is called a European Council, and the situation in the Middle East will be high on their agenda.

    “The European Council supports the call of UNSG Guterres for a humanitarian pause in order to allow for safe humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need,” the draft conclusiions of the summit showed.

    “The European Union will work closely with partners in the region to protect civilians, support those who are trying to get to safety or provide assistance, and facilitate access to food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter. It reiterates the need for the immediate release of all hostages without any precondition,” said the draft.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 17:24
    What is India’s Palestine position?

    Immediately after Hamas’s October 7 Sabbath attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and said India “unequivocally” condemns terrorism. “People of India stand firmly with Israel in this difficult hour. India strongly and unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he posted on X, referring to the Hamas attack. A few days later, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated India’s support for Palestine.

    Read | The view from India: What is India’s Palestine position?

  • October 23, 2023 17:03
    Israel strikes on Gaza kill more than 5,000: Palestine health ministry

    Israeli strikes have killed at least 5,087 people in Gaza since war erupted on October 7, triggered by massive attacks on Israel.

    Some 2,055 children and 1,119 women are among the dead, while 15,273 people have been injured in the relentless bombardments, the Palesitne Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip added in a statement.

    - AFP

  • October 23, 2023 16:45
    Egypt offers to set up tent city, field hospital inside Gaza

    Fearing a mass migration into the Sinai, Egypt offered on Monday morning to set up a tent city inside Gaza for Palestinians displaced by the war.

    According to reports, Egypt will supervise the camps, provide urgent aid services and set up a field hospital.

    Israel has been striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip since an October 7 assault by Hamas that caught Israelis off-guard.

    - ANI

  • October 23, 2023 16:33
    International aid backlog as Gaza supplies held up in Egypt

    Planeloads of aid have been landing for days at El Arish, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the Rafah border crossing, the only route into Gaza after all Israeli checkpoints were closed following a shock Hamas assault on October 7.

    But it was only over the weekend that the first supplies were allowed to reach Gaza, a narrow enclave of some 2.4 million inhabitants, under blockade for years and complete seige by Israel after the latest violence spiralled into war.

    Three convoys of aid totalling about 50 trucks have cleared the Rafah crossing since Saturday, reaching a populace in dire need of food, water and medical supplies.

    The United Nations estimates Gaza requires about 100 trucks a day to meet the needs of residents, almost half of whom are believed to have been displaced by Israel’s bombing campaign.

    - AFP

  • October 23, 2023 16:18
    Students detained as they try to hold protest near Israeli embassy in New Delhi

    Police on Monday detained some students as they tried to hold a protest near the Israeli embassy here in support of Palestine, officials said.

    Scores of students from JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi University had gathered to take part in the protest. Police had erected barricades to stop them from reaching the embassy at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

    When some of the students tried to march towards the embassy, they were detained as they did not have the required permission to hold the protest, said a police officer, adding that “no one was allowed to violate law and order”.

    The students were protesting in support of Palestine and trying to reach the Israeli embassy when the police action took place, the officials said.

    All India Students Association (AISA) Delhi unit president Abhigyan said several students were detained and taken to a police station.

  • October 23, 2023 15:48
    “Israel did fail on various fronts during Hamas attack” says IDF officer

    The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) representative Major Doron said on Monday that during the October 7 attack by Hamas, Israel had failed on multiple fronts of security, including intelligence, military, and many others.

    “There is no question that Israel failed here on many levels. The intelligence spheres, the military spheres, and many others,” he said.

    While speaking to ANI, the IDF Major, deployed in a Kibbutz in the South of Israel where the massacre happened, emphasised that the failure of security structures needs independent inquiries for a thorough understanding and expressed a commitment to take these failures as lessons for future tasks.

    The IDF Major said, “For us as a country, we will do the investigations, but not now. After a few months, we will tear open our hearts and our minds and investigate every single layer so that we get better and never allow this to happen again.”

    - ANI

  • October 23, 2023 15:28
    Israel flag stickers pasted on Pune roads; police register four cases

    According to the police, some people allegedly pasted stickers of the Israel flag on roads in Kondhwa, Bhawani Peth, Nana Peth and Pune cantonment areas with the intention of disturbing social harmony and disrespect.

    Read more here...

  • October 23, 2023 15:08
    Third Gaza-bound aid convoy enters Rafah crossing from Egypt

    A third convoy of aid trucks entered the Rafah crossing from Egypt on Monday bound for the besieged Gaza Strip, an aid worker and two security sources said.

    Deliveries of aid through Rafah began on Saturday after wrangling over procedures for inspecting the aid and bombardments on the Gaza side of the border had left relief materials stranded in Egypt.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 14:51
    Hamas says it engages attackers

    Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in a statement issued on Sunday its forces had engaged with an armoured force infiltrating east of Khan Younis in the southern region of Gaza, and the fighters had returned to base.

    “Fighters engaged with the infiltrating force, destroying two bulldozers and a tank and forced the force to withdraw, before they returned safely to base,” the statement said.

    There was no immediate Israeli comment about the destruction of Israeli equipment or vehicles.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 14:50
    Israel mounts limited Gaza ground raids

    Israel’s military said on Monday its ground forces had mounted limited raids into the Gaza Strip overnight and said their air strikes were focusing on sites where Palestinian militants were assembling to attack any wider Israeli invasion.

    Palestinian group Hamas said on Sunday its fighters had engaged what it described as an armoured force infiltrating a southern area of Gaza and had destroyed some Israeli military equipment. There was no Israeli comment on such losses.

    “During the night there were raids by tank and infantry forces. These raids are raids that kill squads of terrorists who are preparing for the our next stage in the war,” he said, describing incursions that went “deep” into Gaza.

    “These raids also locate and search for anything we can get in terms of intelligence on the missing and the hostages.”

    Hagari said such interventions helped understand where “the terrorists are assembling, the terrorists are getting organised in anticipation of the next stages of the war. And our role is to reduce these threats.”

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 14:25
    U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says it will run out of fuel in Gaza in three days

    The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says it will run out of fuel in Gaza in three days.

    “Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries. Without fuel, aid will not reach many civilians in desperate need. Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance,” Philippe Lazzarini, the UNRWA Commissioner General, said in a statement Sunday.

    A first delivery of aid that was allowed to cross into Gaza from Egypt on Saturday did not include any fuel.

    “Without fuel, we will fail the people of Gaza whose needs are growing by the hour, under our watch. This cannot and should not happen,” Lazzarini said.

    He called on “all parties and those with influence” to allow fuel into Gaza immediately, while ensuring that it is only used for humanitarian purposes.

    - AP

  • October 23, 2023 14:14
    Greek PM Mitsotakis lands in Israel to meet Netanyahu

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis landed in Israel on Monday and was expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mitsotakis’s office said.

    Mitsotakis told a Cairo Peace Summit on Saturday that no military intervention could replace a viable political solution.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 13:37
    Israel mounts limited Gaza ground raids, puts hostage number at 222

    Israel’s military said on Monday that ground forces mounted limited raids into the Gaza Strip overnight to fight Palestinian gunmen and that air strikes were being focussed on sites where Hamas was assembling to attack any wider Israeli invasion.

    In a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said 222 people had now been confirmed as taken hostage during the Oct 7 cross-border onslaught by Hamas.

    - Reuters

  • October 23, 2023 13:19
    Gaza’s health Ministry said 266 Palestinians, including 117 children, have been killed by Israeli air strikes in the past 24 hours
  • October 23, 2023 12:50
    Hamas says at least 60 killed in overnight Israel strikes on Gaza

    Israeli overnight strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip have left at least 60 people dead, Hamas officials said Monday.

    A statement from the Hamas government media office said “more than 60 were martyred in the (Israeli) raids” during the night, including 17 who were killed in a single strike that hit a house in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza.

    The war, now in its 17th day, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Palestinian Health Ministry said Sunday that the death toll in Gaza had reached at least 4,651 people.


  • October 23, 2023 12:41
    EU top diplomat calls for ‘more, quicker’ aid for Gaza

    European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell joined calls on Monday for a pause in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas to let more aid supplies into Gaza.

    “Now the most important thing is for humanitarian support to go into Gaza,” Mr. Borrell told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

    Mr. Borrell said the Ministers would discuss the call from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a pause to allow much more humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians to enter Gaza.

    “I cannot anticipate the result of the meeting but it is certainly something which the ministers will have to discuss ... The Secretary-General of the United Nations asked for it very much,” Mr. Borrell said.


  • October 23, 2023 12:32
    Israel, Hamas, and the laws of war

    n October 7, Hamas, a Palestine-based terrorist group, launched an attack on Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and taking many hostage. Israel has retaliated with all its might, triggering a war in West Asia.

    Read the explainer here for context.

  • October 23, 2023 12:25
    Israel strikes across Gaza after allowing another small aid convoy into the besieged enclave

    Israeli warplanes struck targets across Gaza early Monday, including in areas where Palestinian civilians have been told to seek refuge after another small aid shipment was allowed.

    Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ brutal October 7 rampage into southern Israeli communities.

    Tanks and troops have been massed at the Gaza border, and Israel says it has stepped up airstrikes in order to reduce the risk to troops in the next stages.


  • October 23, 2023 10:57
    Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

    KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 22: Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 22, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Gazans are evacuating to the south as advised by the Israeli government, ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive. Israel has sealed off Gaza, leaving the entire population without fuel, water or aid, and launched sustained retaliatory air strikes, which have killed more than 2,000 people and some 400,000 displaced, after a large-scale attack by Hamas. On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza by land, sea, and air, killing over 1,300 people and wounding around 2,800. Israeli soldiers and civilians have also been taken hostage by Hamas and moved into Gaza. The attack prompted a declaration of war by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the announcement of an emergency wartime government. (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

  • October 23, 2023 10:45
    Oil prices ease as aid convoys arrive in embattled Gaza Strip

    Oil prices slid more than $1 on Monday as diplomatic efforts grew over the weekend to contain a conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, amid worries of a wider confrontation in the oil-rich region and pressure on supplies.

    Brent crude futures fell 67 cents to $91.49 a barrel, as of 0203 GMT, having lost $1.02 to $91.14 a barrel earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 72 cents to trade at $87.36 a barrel, after sliding $1.72 to $87.03 a barrel earlier on Monday.


  • October 23, 2023 10:07
    U.S. pledges ‘flow’ of aid to Gaza

    The United States on Sunday vowed a continued flow of aid to the Gaza Strip, as a new convoy of 14 trucks entered the besieged and bombarded Palestinian enclave.

    With the first of two convoys of humanitarian assistance now inside Gaza, the White House said Israel had agreed “there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance”.


  • October 23, 2023 07:39
    Second aid convoy reaches Gaza as Israel attacks targets in Syria and occupied West Bank

    The second aid convoy destined for desperate Palestinian civilians reached Gaza on Sunday, as Israel widened its attacks to include targets in Syria and the occupied West Bank and the Israeli prime minister warned Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group that if it launches its own war, “we will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine.”

    For days, Israel has been on the verge of launching a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 rampage through a series of Israeli communities. Tanks and troops have been massed at the Gaza border, waiting for the command to cross.

    Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said the country had increased airstrikes across Gaza to hit targets that would reduce the risk to troops in the next stage of the war.

    Fears of a widening war grew as Israeli warplanes struck targets across Gaza, two airports in Syria and a mosque in the occupied West Bank allegedly used by militants.


  • October 23, 2023 06:49
    Biden, key Western leaders urge Israel to protect civilians

    Leaders of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Britain on Sunday underscored their support for Israel and its right to defend itself but also urged it to adhere to international humanitarian law and protect civilians.

    In a joint statement issued after a virtual meeting on the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas militant group, the leaders welcomed the release of two hostages by Hamas and called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages.

    U.S. President Joe Biden convened a meeting of the so-called Quint - the U.S., France, Britain, Germany and Italy - plus Canada after speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

    The calls came amid growing fears that the Israel-Hamas war could mushroom into a wider Middle East conflict as Israel pounded Gaza and clashes on its border with Lebanon intensified.

    In the statement, Mr. Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to work together closely to support their citizens in the region, and especially those wishing to leave Gaza.

    They welcomed the arrival of the first aid convoys in Gaza and pledged to continue working with regional partners to ensure “sustained and safe access” for the 2.2 million people in Gaza to food, water, medical care and other humanitarian assistance.


  • October 23, 2023 06:48
    Israel strikes two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon, military says

    Israeli aircraft struck two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon early on Monday, which were planning to launch anti-tank missiles and rockets toward Israel, its military said, as fighting flared across the two countries’ shared border.

    The military said one cell was adjacent to the Israeli town of Mattat, around 13 km (8 miles) southwest of Aitaroun. It said the other was further north in the disputed Shebaa Farms area. The military said it struck both cells before they fired.


  • October 23, 2023 06:47
    China says outlook worrisome as conflict spreads in Middle East

    China views the situation in Gaza as “very serious” with the risk of a large-scale ground conflict rising and the spread of armed conflicts along neighbouring borders, Chinese state media said on Monday, citing the country’s Middle East special envoy.

    The envoy Zhai Jun, who is visiting the Middle East, said spillover effects in the region and internationally are widening, as conflict along the Israeli-Lebanese and Israeli-Syrian borders spread, “making the outlook worrisome”.

    Mr. Zhai called on the international community to be “highly vigilant in this regard” and to take immediate action urging parties concerned to strictly abide by international humanitarian law and avoid a serious humanitarian disaster while putting in “joint efforts to control the situation”.


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