Israel-Hamas war, Day 48 updates | Qatar says 13 hostages to be released from Gaza on Friday

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and the armed wing of Hamas confirmed that the truce in Gaza will begin at 7 a.m. on November 24.

November 23, 2023 07:24 am | Updated November 24, 2023 09:17 am IST

A lighting display in Habima Square for hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip ahead of an anticipated hostage release, in Tel Aviv, Israel

A lighting display in Habima Square for hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip ahead of an anticipated hostage release, in Tel Aviv, Israel | Photo Credit: AP

Israel and Hamas on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 agreed to a four-day ceasefire in the war in Gaza, a diplomatic breakthrough that will free dozens of hostages held by militants as well as Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, and bring a large influx of aid to the besieged territory.

Also read | Israeli officials say no Gaza pause, hostage releases before Friday

The truce raised hopes of eventually winding down the war, which was triggered by Hamas’ October 7 deadly rampage into Israel. Now in its seventh week, the war has levelled vast swathes of Gaza, fuelled a surge of violence in the occupied West Bank, and stirred fears of a wider conflagration across the Middle East.

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But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, joined by the two other members of his special war cabinet, told a nationally televised news conference that the war would resume after the truce expires. Israel’s goals are to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and return all 240 hostages held captive in Gaza.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also read | Day 47 of the war updates here

  • November 24, 2023 05:28
    Egypt says 1,30,000 litres of diesel to be delivered daily to Gaza when truce starts

    Egypt said 130,000 litres of diesel and four trucks of gas will be delivered daily to Gaza when a four-day truce starts on Friday.

    Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS), also said in a statement early on Friday that 200 trucks of aid would enter Gaza daily. - Reuters

  • November 24, 2023 04:26
    Qatar says Gaza ceasefire will begin Friday morning, with aid to follow as soon as possible

    A four-day ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas was set to begin on Friday morning, Qatar said after a daylong delay extended the agony for those hoping for some relief from the deal, which is to bring the release of dozens of hostages held by militants and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

    Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari announced the ceasefire will start at 7 a.m. local time Friday (5 a.m. GMT.)

    He said the two sides had exchanged lists of those to be released, and the first group of 13 women and children held by Hamas would be freed on Friday afternoon. He did not say how many Palestinian prisoners would be freed, but officials have said three would be freed for every hostage. - AP

  • November 24, 2023 02:32
    Israeli military says control over northern Gaza is only first stage

    Achieving control over the northern half of the Gaza Strip will mark only the first stage in the Israeli campaign to destroy Hamas, the chief military spokesman said on Thursday, a day before a four-day pause in fighting was due to start.

    “Control over northern Gaza is the first step of a long war,” Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told a regular news briefing. “We are preparing for the next stages, we are looking forward in the coming days we will focus on planning and fulfilling the next stages of the war.” - Reuters

  • November 24, 2023 01:56
    Palestinian doctor says 27 dead in Israeli strike on UN school in Gaza

    In Gaza’s largest refugee camp Jabalia, a Palestinian doctor said at least 27 people had been killed and 93 wounded in a UN-run school where thousands of displaced civilians were sheltering.

    The doctor blamed an Israeli strike. There was no immediate word from the Israeli military. - AFP

  • November 24, 2023 01:21
    Lebanon’s Hezbollah intensifies attacks on Israel

    The Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Thursday intensified its attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon where Israeli bombardments killed seven of its fighters, including members of an elite unit.

    Hezbollah said it carried out more than 20 attacks on Israeli military positions and claimed to have caused casualties. - AFP

  • November 24, 2023 00:33
    Turkey says it plans evacuation of some wounded, sick Gazan children on Friday

    Turkey plans to evacuate some wounded or sick Gazan children and young people on Friday as part of its third round of evacuation, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.

    Turkey has so far brought 150 people, mostly cancer patients and their companions, from Gaza to continue their treatment. It has also evacuated more than 100 Turks, Turkish Cypriots, and their relatives this week. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 23:40
    Hamas government says Gaza war death toll nears 15,000

    Gaza’s Hamas government said Thursday the death toll in the Palestinian territory had reached 14,854 since war began on October 7 between Israeli forces and Hamas militants. - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 22:40
    Hamas armed-wing spokesman calls for escalation of confrontation with Israel

    The spokesman of Hamas’ armed-wing called for the escalation of the confrontation with Israel on all resistance fronts.

    “We call for escalation of the confrontation with the occupation throughout the West Bank and all resistance fronts” the spokesman for the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubaida, said in a video speech aired by Al Jazeera TV.

    - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 22:12
    ‘Emotional rollercoaster’ for families awaiting Gaza swap deal

    Emotions were running high among Israeli and Palestinian families after a deal to free hostages held by Gaza militants in exchange for Israeli-held prisoners was delayed by a day.

    The breakthrough swap, set to be staggered over four days, was now due to start Friday with the freeing of 13 Israeli women and children and the reciprocal release of some 30 Palestinian women and male teenagers.

    The deal was pushed back overnight, Israeli officials said, drawing out the anguish for families of the about 240 hostages seized by Hamas militants on October 7 when they staged the deadliest attacks in Israel’s history.

    - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 22:06
    Israel arrested Al-Shifa hospital’s director in Gaza, says doctor

    Doctor at Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital says director arrested by Israel

    Hamas and hospital officials have repeatedly denied the claims.

  • November 23, 2023 21:23
    Israel’s economic growth to slow to 2% in 2023, 1.6% in 2024 due to war

    Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2% in 2023, down from a prior estimate of 2.7%, the Finance Ministry said citing the effects of Israel’s war with Hamas.

    For 2024, the Ministry projected growth of 1.6% as its main estimate based on a war that will continue through the year but with the most intense fighting ending in the first quarter and largely contained to the southern border with Gaza.

    But a more rapid recovery from the war that would end in early 2024 could lead to growth of 2.2% while a war that continues into 2025 and a slower recovery would mean stagnant growth of just 0.2%.

    - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 20:26
    Israel confirms receiving initial list of hostages to be released from Gaza; ceasefire to begin on November 24

    Israel has received an initial list of hostages to be released from Gaza, planned to take place after a ceasefire with Hamas takes hold on November 24, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said.

    “The relevant authorities are checking the details of the list and are presently in contact with all the families,” it said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, a Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Gaza truce and hostage release will start on November 24 morning. “The pause will begin at 7:00 am (0500 GMT) on Friday... and the first batch of civilian hostages will be handed over at approximately 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) on the same day,” Majed Al-Ansari said.

    Thirteen people would freed initially, all women and children from the same families, Ansari said.

    “Obviously every day will include a number of civilians as agreed to total 50 within the four days,” the spokesperson added.

    The armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, also confirmed that a truce with Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip would “begin on Friday at 7:00 am”.

    - Agencies

  • November 23, 2023 20:07
    Qatar says Gaza ceasefire will begin on November 23, with aid to follow ‘as soon as possible’

    Qatar said that a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war will begin at 7 a.m. (10.30 a.m. IST) on November 24, with aid “going in as soon as possible.”

    Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, made the announcement in a news conference in Doha, Qatar.

    The cease-fire had been anticipated after a deal was reached, though details were still being sorted out over the last day.

    Al-Ansari said the first batch of captive civilians will be delivered around 4 p.m. (7.30 p.m. IST), including 13 women and children.

    - AP

  • November 23, 2023 19:49
    Spanish PM floats peace conference idea in meeting with Israel’s Netanyahu

    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez proposed an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to forge a viable Palestinian state in a meeting on Thursday with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

    Prospects for reviving peace talks frozen since the last U.S.-brokered round collapsed in 2014 have dimmed further with war raging between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Palestinian Islamist group Hamas for almost seven weeks.

    Mr. Sanchez also met Israeli President Isaac Herzog and was set for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank later on Thursday before travelling on to Egypt.

    “Today, more than ever, we need to bring back a serious and credible prospect for peace,” Mr. Sanchez said after talks with Mr. Netanyahu. “Without a political settlement, we are bound to run again into a never-ending cycle of violence.


  • November 23, 2023 19:19
    Hundreds of German police raid properties of Hamas supporters in Berlin and across the country

    Hundreds of police officers searched the properties of Hamas members and followers in Germany following a formal ban on any activity by or in support of the group.

    The German government implemented the ban on November 2 and dissolved Samidoun, a group that was behind a celebration in Berlin of Hamas’ attack on Israel.

    Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates that Hamas has around 450 members in the country. Their activities range from expressions of sympathy and propaganda activities to financing and fundraising activities to strengthen the organization abroad.

    - AP

  • November 23, 2023 18:37
    Israeli military confirms Al Shifa Hospital chief held for questioning

    The Israeli military confirmed that the director of Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip had been held for questioning over evidence that the facility had been used as a command and control centre for the Hamas.

    “In the hospital, under his management, there was extensive Hamas terrorist activity,” the military said in a statement.

    - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 17:41
    Iran top diplomat meets Hezbollah chief in Lebanon

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah which has traded deadly cross-border fire with Israel since the start of the Gaza war, the Lebanese movement said.

    In a statement, Hezbollah said Amir-Abdollahian and Nasrallah “reviewed the latest developments in Palestine, Lebanon and the region, and... the efforts made to end the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip”. Amir-Abdollahian left Beirut for Doha after their meeting, Iran’s Nour news agency reported.

    Hezbollah said on November 23 morning that it fired 48 Katyusha rockets at military base at Ein Zeitim, near the town of Safed in northern Israel, about 10 km from the border. It said it also carried out at least 10 other attacks on Israeli positions near the frontier, and claimed to have caused casualties. The Israeli army shelled several locations in southern Lebanon in response, said Lebanon’s National News Agency.

    - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 17:22
    Doctor at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital says director arrested by Israel

    A doctor at Gaza’s largest hospital Al-Shifa said that the facility’s director and several other medical personnel were arrested by Israeli forces on November 23.

    “Doctor Mohammad Abu Salmiya was arrested along with several other senior doctors,” said Khalid Abu Samra, a chief of department at the hospital.

    An official in the Hamas-run Health Ministry said that one other doctor and two nurses had been detained, as well as the hospital director.

    Doctor at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital says director arrested by Israel

    In a statement, Hamas said it “strongly denounces” the arrest of Salmiya and his colleagues, calling on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organisations to work towards their “immediate release”.

    - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 17:06
    Temporary ceasefire in Gaza, hostage release now expected to start on November 24

    An agreement for a four-day ceasefire in Gaza and the release of dozens of hostages held by militants and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel appeared to have hit a last-minute snag. A senior Israeli official said it would not take effect until November 24, a day later than originally announced.

    The diplomatic breakthrough promised some relief for the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who have endured weeks of Israeli bombardment, as well as families in Israel fearful for the fate of their loved ones taken captive by the Hamas.

    - AP

  • November 23, 2023 16:12
    Aid trucks from UNRWA at Rafah


    Trucks carrying humanitarian aid from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) arrive at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. Photo Credit: AFP

  • November 23, 2023 15:56
    Justin Trudeau calls for immediate release of all hostages

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed on the need to protect civilians in Gaza and ensure unimpeded access to life-saving humanitarian aid. He reiterated his condemnation of the terrorist organisation Hamas and its brutal attacks against Israel. “He also reiterated his call for the immediate release of all hostages,” a readout from his office said. - PTI

  • November 23, 2023 15:24
    Smoky clouds of destruction

    Ground operation.jpeg

    This picture taken from southern Israel, near the border with the Gaza Strip, shows smoke billowing after an Israeli strike as flares are also dropped over north Gaza on November 22, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Photo Credit: AFP

  • November 23, 2023 15:09
    Hundreds of German police raid properties of Hamas supporters in Berlin

    Hundreds of police officers searched the properties of Hamas members and followers in Germany following a formal ban on any activity by or in support of the militant group.

    Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates that Hamas has around 450 members in the country. “We are continuing our consistent action against radical Islamists,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said. The raids, which mostly took place in Berlin, were meant to enforce the bans and to further investigate the groups, the German Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    A total of 15 properties were searched in Berlin and the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.

    In Berlin alone, more than 300 police officers carried out searches at 11 locations in order to seize evidence and assets, and seven searches were related to Hamas. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 14:05
    A faint ray of hope

    Ground operation.jpeg

    People flee following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 23, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Photo Credit: AFP

  • November 23, 2023 13:58
    Boycott campaigns against Hamas war hit Western brands in Arab countries

    (CAIRO) A McDonald’s restaurant in Cairo looked deserted and so are some other Western fast-food chains in the Egyptian capital. It is believed that they are hit by a largely spontaneous, grass-root level boycott campaign over Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

    Western brands are feeling the impact in Egypt and Jordan and there are signs the campaign is spreading in some other Arab countries including Kuwait and Morocco. Participation has been uneven with only minor effects seen in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Some of companies the campaign is directed at are perceived to have taken pro-Israeli stances and some are alleged to have financial ties to Israel or investments there. As the campaign has started to spread, boycott calls circulated on social media have expanded to list dozens of companies and products, prompting shoppers to shift to local alternatives.

    In Egypt, where there is little chance of people taking to the streets because of security restrictions, some see the boycott as the best or only way to make their voices heard. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 13:29
    Ground operation of the Israeli Army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in northern Gaza

    Ground operation.jpeg

    Israeli soldiers stand near the opening to a tunnel at Al Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, amid the ongoing ground operation of theIsraeli Army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, on November 22. Photo Credit: Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 13:25
    Aid trucks at Gaza border await pause in fighting

    (GENEVA) International aid groups that have lined up thousands of aid trucks for Gaza say they’re ready to move quickly to send in food, water and other supplies during an agreed, but yet undated, pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel.

    Details remain unclear about both the mechanics of getting more aid for beleaguered Palestinians in Gaza and the possible release of hostages kidnapped from Israel whose families have desperately sought their release.

    “The entire humanitarian sector is ready to scale up once everything is set,” said Tommaso Della Longa, a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, referring to the fine print of the announced deal.

    Mr. Della Longa lamented bottlenecks that have confounded the scant deliveries of humanitarian aid into Gaza. He said IFRC hopes that a deal would include provisions to allow for a “faster track” of aid shipments.

    The only route for international humanitarian aid into Gaza since October 7 has been through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt, and planeloads of supplies have been flown into the nearby Egyptian city of El-Arish — and trucks have queued up near Gaza, where intense Israeli inspections of trucks and cargo have slowed entry. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 13:10
    Mass grave for more than 100 Palestinians dug in southern Gaza

    (KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip) — More than 100 bodies were buried in a mass grave in Khan Younis, the corpses wrapped in blue plastic sheets fastened with cable ties.

    Medical workers placed dozens of bodies brought from various areas in northern Gaza, including Shifa Hospital, into a huge trench that was dug using a bulldozer.

    Workers wearing surgical masks and gloves carried the bodies to the grave and performed funeral prayers. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 12:55
    Israel releases award-winning Palestinian poet who was detained by troops in Gaza

    (JERUSALEM) — Israeli Army says it has released an award-winning Palestinian poet it detained in Gaza.

    Mosab Abu Toha has been contributing pieces to western media since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, painting a dire picture of its toll on civilians through his personal experience.

    Earlier, his family announced that Abu Toha had been arrested while evacuating to southern Gaza from his home in the hard-hit Jabaliya refugee camp. Mr. Abu Toha last posted to X on November 15, writing: “Alive. Thanks for your prayers.”

    Diana Buttu, a former Palestinian peace negotiator and friend of the family, said Mr. Abu Toha was stopped at an Israeli checkpoint and held for two days with dozens of other Palestinians at an Israeli detention centre. She says he was was accused of having Hamas connections and beaten up in custody. She said he was released, apparently after the case attracted international attention. The Israeli military said Mr. Abu Toha had been released. It gave no further details.

    Ms. Buttu said Mr. Abu Toha was safe in central Gaza after receiving medical treatment. The poet, whose son is an American citizen, is trying to leave the besieged territory. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 12:15
    Netanyahu says spy agency will act against Hamas leaders overseas

    (JERUSALEM) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has instructed the country’s Mossad spy agency to track down the leadership of the Hamas militant group living in other countries outside Gaza.

    “I have instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas, wherever they are,” Mr. Netanyahu told a news conference. Most of Hamas’ top leadership lives in exile, primarily in the Gulf state of Qatar and the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

    The Mossad has been accused in a series of assassinations overseas of Palestinian militants and Iranian nuclear scientists over the years. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 11:57
    German Ministry conducts searches related to activities of Hamas

    The German Interior Ministry said on November 23 it was conducting searches in four federal states in relation to formerly announced bans of activities of Hamas, already a designated terrorist organisation in the country, as well as pro-Palestinian group Samidoun.

    “We continue our consistent action against radical Islamists,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement.

    “With the bans on HAMAS and Samidoun in Germany, we have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of the barbaric terror of HAMAS against Israel,” Nancy Faeser added. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 11:42
    Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon believed to have killed son of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc head

    (BEIRUT) — An Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon is believed to have killed the son of the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc in Lebanon, Mohammed Raad. Hezbollah announced early on November 23 that five of its fighters were killed, among them Abbas Mohammed Raad, identified by local media as the son of the legislator.

    The Lebanese militant group has a political wing that has long held seats in the country’s parliament. The state-run National News Agency reported that an Israeli airstrike on a house in the town of Beit Yahoun late Wednesday killed four people and wounded one. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military on the strike.

    On November 22, Hamas announced that Khalil Kharraz, a commander of the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing in Lebanon, was killed in an Israeli airstrike the day before. Also on Tuesday, an Israeli airstrike killed two journalists from the pan-Arab TV channel Al Mayadeen as they were reporting in south Lebanon. The Israeli military has said it is looking into the incident.

    The Lebanon-Israel border has seen daily exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli troops since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. While mostly limited to the border area, the clashes have stirred fears of a wider regional war. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 11:22
    No release of hostages before Friday: Israel National Security Advisor

    Release of hostages under a temporary truce between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants will not happen before Friday.

    The release of hostages under a temporary truce between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants will not happen before Friday, Israel’s national security advisor said, thwarting hopes of relatives that some would be freed on November 23.

    Israel and Hamas agreed early on November 22 to a ceasefire in Gaza for at least four days, to let in humanitarian aid and free at least 50 hostages held by militants in the enclave in exchange for at least 150 Palestinians jailed in Israel.

    The starting time of the truce and release of hostages captured by Hamas during its October 7 attack on Israel had yet to be officially announced. An Egyptian security source said mediators sought a start time of 10 a.m. on November 23.

    “The negotiations on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly,” Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said in a statement. “The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday,” it said. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 11:15
    U.S. destroyer shoots down bomb-carrying drones launched from Houthi-controlled territory

    (DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — The United States military says one of its warships in the Red Sea has shot down bomb-carrying drones launched from territory controlled by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

    The military arm of Yemen’s Houthi rebels said it launched a batch of long-range large missiles toward southern Israel, including the Red Sea city of Eilat. The Iran-backed rebel group has launched at least six aerial attacks against Israel since the conflict broke out on October 7.

    The Houthi are staunch foes of Israel and have vowed to continue aerial attacks and hijackings of Israeli ships. The American military’s Central Command said the USS Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, shot down the drones early Thursday morning (November 23.)

    “The ship and crew sustained no damage or injury,” Central Command said, but did not identify what it believed the drones were targeting. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 11:03
    Israel unveils what it claims to be Hamas militant hideout beneath Shifa Hospital

    (GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) The Israeli military unveiled what it claimed was a Hamas military facility under Gaza’s largest hospital, showing what appeared to be a subterranean dormitory to a group of foreign journalists who were given a rare glimpse inside the besieged enclave.

    Dozens of soldiers escorted journalists through a narrow stone tunnel — which the military said stretched 150 metres (164 yards) — to a series of underground bunkers beneath Shifa Hospital in a shattered Gaza City.

    Israel has not yet unveiled this purported centre, but the military portrayed the underground hideout as its most significant discovery yet. Hamas and the hospital administration have denied Israel’s accusations. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 09:30
    Pope meets relatives of Israeli hostages and Palestinians in Gaza

    Pope Francis met separately Wednesday with relatives of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinians living through the war and set off a firestorm by using words that Vatican diplomats usually avoid: “terrorism” and, according to the Palestinians, “genocide.”

    Francis spoke about the suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians after his meetings, which were arranged before the Israeli-Hamas hostage deal and a temporary halt in fighting was announced. Francis didn’t refer to the deal, which marked the biggest diplomatic breakthrough since the war erupted following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

    Francis met at the Vatican with 12 relatives of some of the 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for about 20 minutes. Separately, he met for about the same amount of time with 10 Palestinians whose relatives have been killed or otherwise affected by the war in Gaza, along with priests who minister there.

    Francis spoke about the meetings at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, where some people in the VIP seats wearing Palestinian scarves held up small posters showing bodies in a ditch and the word “Genocide” written underneath.

    “Here we’ve gone beyond war. This isn’t war anymore, this is terrorism,” Francis told the crowd. “Please, let us go ahead with peace. Pray for peace, pray a lot for peace.” - AP

  • November 23, 2023 08:46
    Israeli children held hostage in Gaza face long road to recovery after release

    At least 50 hostages, most of them children, are expected to be returned under a deal which includes a four-day pause in the fighting in Gaza and the return of around 150 Palestinian prisoners.

    “They will probably show signs of post-trauma, which means that some of them will be very fidgety, very frightened, some may be very angry,” said Dr. Daphna Dollberg, clinical and developmental psychologist at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo.

    According to the Israeli government, up to 40 of the hostages are children, including a 10-month-old baby and preschoolers, some of whom saw their relatives murdered before their eyes just before being kidnapped.

    “It will never be a full recovery,” Dollberg said. “It would never be that, whatever happened to them would not affect them or be forgotten.” - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 07:55
    Biden calls Middle East leaders after Israel-Hamas hostage deal

    President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt to discuss the latest situation in the Middle East following an agreement between Israel and Hamas on the release of hostages. - AP

  • November 23, 2023 07:24
    The war is continuinin: Netanyahu

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a nationally televised news conference that the war would resume after the truce expires. Israel’s goals are to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and return all 240 hostages held captive in Gaza.

    “I want to be clear. The war is continuing. The war is continuing. We will continue it until we achieve all our goals,” Netanyahu said, adding he had delivered the same message in a phone call to U.S. President Joe Biden. He also said he had instructed the Mossad spy agency to hunt down Hamas’ exiled leadership “wherever they are.” - AP

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