Israel-Hamas war, Day 30 updates | Blinken visits West Bank to meet Palestinian leader Abbas

Blinken and Mahmoud Abbas met in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, on his second visit to the region

November 05, 2023 06:48 am | Updated November 06, 2023 07:00 am IST

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November, 5, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November, 5, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. | Photo Credit: AFP

A spokesman for the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said on Sunday that Israeli military had struck a refugee camp on Saturday night, killing at least 38 people, as calls by the Arab world for a ceasefire were rejected by the United States and Israel.

With the death toll in Gaza mounting, pro-Palestinian demonstrators staged protests in cities around the world on Saturday, calling for an end to the nearly month-old war.

Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 29 updates

The new attacks came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in the region seeking ways to ease the plight of civilians caught in the fighting. He met with Arab Foreign Ministers on Saturday in Jordan, the day after talks in Israel with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted there could be no temporary cease-fire until all hostages held by Hamas are released.

Egyptian officials said they and Qatar were proposing humanitarian pauses for six to 12 hours daily to allow aid in and casualties to be evacuated. They were also asking for Israel to release a number of women and elderly prisoners in exchange for hostages held by Hamas — suggestions Israel seems unlikely to accept.

This live blog is closed. Click here to follow updates from Day 31

  • November 05, 2023 22:54
    Israeli army says it shot down drone over Lebanon

    The Israeli military said on Sunday its air defences intercepted a drone flying towards Israel from Lebanon while it was over Lebanese territory, and that an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit the Yiftah area of northern Israel.

    There were no immediate reports of casualties in the Yiftah strike.

    The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has been exchanging fire with Israeli forces at the border for a month, said it had targeted several Israeli positions at the border using guided missiles and other weapons.

    The Israeli army said the drone was identified flying from deep inside Lebanon towards Israel. “The UAV was tracked by detection and control systems and was successfully intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array over Lebanon,” it said.

    Lebanon’s state-owned National News Agency, citing its correspondent, earlier reported that Hezbollah shot down a hostile drone over south Lebanon, with wreckage falling over the villages of Zebdine and Harouf 30 km (20 miles) from the border.

    There was no comment from Hezbollah on the report. - Reuters

  • November 05, 2023 22:51
    Internet, phone lines cut again in Gaza: telecoms firm

    Israel cut internet and phone lines in the Gaza Strip Sunday night, for the third time since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, telecoms firm Paltel said.

    “We regret to announce the complete shutdown of communications and internet services in Gaza after the Israeli side disconnected the servers,” Paltel said in a statement.

    Shortly after the blackout, the Israeli army launched an intense bombardment on Gaza City and other nearby zones in the north of the enclave.

    The explosions were so powerful they could be heard in Rafah in the far south of the Palestinian territory, according to an AFP journalist on the scene. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 22:08
    Weapons found in a home

    The Israeli military said Sunday that it discovered an extensive stash of weapons in a home in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip as it searched the area. It found rifles, grenades, explosives, suicide drones and missiles in the residence, bringing some of the weapons back to Israel to inspect them. The military said that forces had also destroyed a nearby explosives lab. - AP

  • November 05, 2023 21:48
    Air India suspends Tel Aviv flights till Nov 30

    Air India has suspended its scheduled flights to Tel Aviv till November 30 amid the tensions between Israel and militant group Hamas.

    The airline has not operated a scheduled flight to and from Tel Aviv since October 7.

    An airline spokesperson on Sunday said flights to Tel Aviv have been suspended till November 30.

    Normally, the full-service carrier operates five weekly flights to Tel Aviv from the national capital. The service is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Last month, the airline operated a few chartered flights to Tel Aviv from the national capital under the government’s Operation Ajay to bring back Indians who wished to come back from Israel against the backdrop of the escalating conflict. - PTI

  • November 05, 2023 21:47
    Israeli strike in southern Lebanon kills three people

    An Israeli strike on a car in southern Lebanon killed three people on Sunday, four security sources in Lebanon said.

    Lebanon’s state-owned National News Agency said the Israeli strike hit the car between the villages of Aianata and Aitaroun near the border with Israel. - Reuters

  • November 05, 2023 20:49
    Israeli jets strike house near school

    Israeli jets struck a house near a school at the crowded Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday. At least 13 people were killed, hospital workers said.

    Dozens of residents scrambled to remove the wounded and dead trapped under the rubble. Young men rushed carrying the wounded to ambulances near the school, which took them to Al-Aqsa Hospital. Hospital workers told The Associated Press that at least 13 people died.

    The Bureij refugee camp is home to an estimated 46,000 people. Many Palestinians fleeing northern Gaza have stayed in refugee camps and schools as temporary shelters. - AP

  • November 05, 2023 20:48
    Netanyahu visits Ramon Air Force base

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel on Sunday and reiterated his opposition to a cease-fire in Gaza.

    Addressing pilots, Mr. Netanyahu said, “There will be no cease-fire without the return of our hostages.”

    “We say this to both our enemies and our friends. We will continue until we beat them,” he added. - AP

  • November 05, 2023 19:49
    More than 300 Americans, U.S. residents evacuated from Gaza: White House

    More than 300 Americans, U.S. residents and their families have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip as Israel’s fight against Hamas rages, the White House said on Sunday.

    “Over the last several days, through pretty intensive negotiations with all sides relevant to this conflict, we have been able to get out more than 300 Americans, lawful permanent residents and their family members,” White House deputy national security advisor Jonathan Finer told CBS News.

    He said Washington believes there are still “a number” of Americans remaining in the beseiged Palestinian territory. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 18:48
    Pope Francis calls for ceasefire in Hamas-Israel conflict

    Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his call for an end to the Hamas-Israel conflict, urging the release of hostages and humanitarian aid for Gaza, describing the situation as “very serious”.

    “I continue to think about the serious situation in Palestine and in Israel where many people have lost their lives,” he said after the traditional Angelus prayer at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

    “I beg you in the name of God to stop, cease fire,” he said.

    “I hope all the possibilities are being explored so that a widening of the conflict is absolutely avoided, that the wounded can be helped, and that aid can reach Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is very serious, and that the hostages be immediately released.” - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 18:18
    Erdogan says to be travelling on day of Blinken visit

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will be continuing a planned tour of Turkey on Monday, making it unlikely that he will meet visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

    The top U.S. diplomat is due to land in Ankara late Sunday for talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan about the Israel-Hamas war the following day.

    U.S. officials travelling with Mr. Blinken had sounded positive about a possible meeting with Mr. Erdogan, who has lashed out at Israel for the soaring civilian death toll of its military operation in Gaza. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 17:37
    Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll hits 9,770

    The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Sunday at least 9,770 people had been killed in the Palestinian territory since war with Israel erupted last month.

    The ministry said at least 4,800 children were among those killed since Israel began striking the Gaza Strip in retaliation to the October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas militants in southern Israel that Israeli officials say killed over 1,400, most of them civilians. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 16:57
    Palestinian president Abbas decries Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza to Blinken

    Palestinian president Abbas decried Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday.

    Blinken met with Abbas in Ramallah as he made a surprise high-security visit to the West Bank as violence surges in the occupied territory in tandem with the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 16:56
    Blinken tells Abbas Gazans must not be ‘forcibly displaced’: spokesman

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday that Palestinians in Gaza “must not be forcibly displaced”, a State Department spokesman said.

    State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the pair also discussed “the need to stop extremist violence against Palestinians” in the West Bank. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 16:35
    France FM urges ‘immediate humanitarian truce’ in Gaza war

    France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called Sunday for an “immediate” humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas war as casualties climb in the besieged Gaza Strip, whose population is living on dwindling supplies.

    “An immediate, durable and observed humanitarian truce is absolutely necessary and must be able to lead to a ceasefire,” Ms. Colonna told reporters during a visit to Qatar.

    - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 15:52
    Blinken meets Abbas in surprise West Bank visit: Palestinian Authority

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a high-security surprise visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday, meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, according to photographs released by the Palestinian Authority.

    The top U.S. diplomat met with Abbas in Ramallah as global concern grows over rising violence in the occupied territory in tandem with the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza since October 7. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 15:07
    Israel minister reprimanded over Gaza nuclear ‘option’ comment

    An Israeli minister was suspended from government meetings “until further notice” on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said, after suggesting in an interview dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza.

    Heritage Minister Amichay Eliyahu, an ultranationalist politician part of Netnayahu’s ruling coalition, told Israel’s Kol Barama radio he was not entirely satisfied with the scale of Israel’s retaliation in the Palestinian territory after Hamas fighters carried out a deadly attack on October 7 inside southern Israel. - AFP

  • November 05, 2023 13:39
    Warplanes strike Gaza refugee camp as Israel rejects U.S. push for a pause in fighting

    Israeli warplanes struck a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens, health officials said. The strike came as Israel said it would press on with its offensive to crush the territory’s Hamas rulers, despite U.S. appeals for a pause to get aid to desperate civilians.

    The soaring death toll in Gaza has sparked growing international anger, with tens of thousands from Washington to Berlin taking to the streets Saturday to demand an immediate cease-fire.

    Israel has rejected the idea of halting its offensive, even for brief humanitarian pauses proposed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his current tour of the region. Instead, it said that the besieged enclave’s Hamas rulers were “encountering the full force” of its troops. - AP

  • November 05, 2023 13:07
    Lebanese border clashes continue, without escalation, following Nasrallah speech

    Israeli-Lebanese border clashes continued on Saturday but did not escalate following Friday’s speech by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

    Sirens were heard in numerous Israeli communities near the Lebanese border amid rocket and missile fire from southern Lebanon. No causalities were reported. Israel already evacuated most communities near the border.

    - ANI

  • November 05, 2023 12:11
    Will open Gaza evacuation route again despite Saturday attack: IDF

    Despite coming under attack on Saturday in an attempt to open the road, Israel Defence Forces have said that they will try to reopen a corridor for Gazan civilians in the north of the Strip to escape south on Sunday, The Times of Israel reported.

    Despite being attacked while attempting to restore the route on Saturday, Israeli officials said they would let Gazan civilians in the northern part of the Strip flee south on Sunday, according to IDF Arabic Spokesman Avichay Adraee.

    - ANI

  • November 05, 2023 11:55
    ‘A curse to be a parent in Gaza’: More than 3,600 Palestinian children killed in just 3 weeks of war

    'A curse to be a parent in Gaza': More than 3,600 Palestinian children killed in just 3 weeks of war

    Israel says its airstrikes target Hamas militant sites and infrastructure, and it accuses the group of using civilians as human shields.

  • November 05, 2023 10:11
    “What Hamas did was horrific...what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable”: Barack Obama

    In a strong condemnation of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, former U.S. President Barack Obama has said that the conflict is the “century-old stuff” that has now come to the fore and blamed social media for amplifying the divisions, according to the New York Times.

    Not only did he condemn the October 7 assault on Israel that killed many innocent Israelis but he also underlined the sufferings of the civilians in Palestine.

    “What Hamas did was horrific, and there’s no justification for it,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “And what is also true is that the occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is unbearable.”

    - ANI

  • November 05, 2023 09:40
    Analysis | Why did Hamas launch a surprise attack on Israel?

    Why did Hamas launch a surprise attack on Israel? | Analysis

    Israel faced largest attack in 50 years from Hamas militants using various methods. 40 killed, hundreds injured. Netanyahu declared war. Possible factors: deteriorating Palestine-Israel relations, Israel's internal issues, normalisation talks with Saudi Arabia.

  • November 05, 2023 09:20
    Explained | On the legality of Israel’s occupation

    Official Israeli statistics show that Jewish settlers existed in historical Palestine even before the state of Israel was declared in 1948. A UNGA resolution had earlier sought to partition British mandate Palestine. But as the U.N. partition plan was rejected by the Arabs and the British mandate was coming to an end, Zionists went ahead declaring independence, triggering the first Arab-Israel war. When the war was over, Israel had captured more territories than what the U.N. plan had proposed and some 7,00,000 Palestinians were displaced. Historical Palestine was divided into the State of Israel (including West Jerusalem), the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) that was taken over by Jordan and the Gaza Strip (controlled by Egypt). Tensions kept rising between Israel and three countries in the region — Egypt, Jordan, and Syria — which led to the six-day war of 1967. The war resulted in Israel capturing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, along with Syria’s Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.

    Read more here
  • November 05, 2023 08:59
    U.S. and Arab partners disagree on the need for a cease-fire as Israeli airstrikes kill more civilians

    The United States and Arab partners disagreed Saturday on the need for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip as Israeli military strikes killed civilians at a U.N. shelter and a hospital, and Israel said the besieged enclave’s Hamas rulers were “encountering the full force” of its troops.

    Large columns of smoke rose as Israel’s military said it had encircled Gaza City, the initial target of its offensive to crush Hamas. Gaza’s Health Ministry has said more than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in the territory in nearly a month of war, and that number is likely to rise as the assault continues.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Arab foreign ministers in Jordan on Saturday after talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted there could be no temporary cease-fire until all hostages held by Hamas are released.

    - AP

  • November 05, 2023 08:28
    Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader taunts Israel, U.S. in first speech since Israel-Hamas war

    Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group taunted Israel in his remarks, which were broadcast via a video-link on Friday. It was his first address to supporters since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, sparked by the Palestinian militants’ deadly Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel.

    Read more here
  • November 05, 2023 08:10
    Explained | Understanding U.S.-Israel relations

    The U.S. had supported the idea of a Jewish homeland even before the state of Israel was declared within historical Palestine in 1948. On March 3, 1919, two years after the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government declared its support for the creation of a “Jewish homeland in Palestine”, President Woodrow Wilson said, “The allied nations with the fullest concurrence of our government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.” In 1922 and 1944, the U.S. Congress passed resolutions endorsing the Balfour Declaration. The U.S. was the first country that recognised Israel in 1948.

    Read more here
  • November 05, 2023 07:28
    Explained | Why did India abstain from the call for truce?

    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that India’s vote was consistent with its stand on terrorism, adding that India takes a strong position on it because Indians are “big victims of terrorism”. In particular, government sources said that UNGA resolution (A/ES-10/L.25) lacked an “explicit condemnation” of the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas, in which 1,405 Israelis were killed, and about 240 were taken as hostages by Hamas militants. The UNGA resolution did condemn acts of violence against Palestinian and Israeli civilians “including terrorism”, and also called for the immediate unconditional release of the hostages. However, India had wanted more, voting in favour of an amendment authored by Canada, that would have inserted more specific references, that was not passed by the UNGA.

    Read more here
  • November 05, 2023 06:50
    Over 30 killed in Israeli bombing on Al-Maghazi camp in Gaza: Hamas-run Health Ministry

    More than 30 people were killed in an Israeli bombing on a refugee camp in central Gaza late Saturday, the Hamas-run health ministry there said, amid ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas militants.

    “More than 30 (dead) arrived at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the massacre committed by the occupation in Al-Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip,” health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qudra said in a statement.

    Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram that Israel had “directly” bombed citizens’ homes, adding that most of the dead were women and children.

    - AFP

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