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Israel-Hamas war, Day 44 updates | Israeli army releases footage that shows ‘hostages at Gaza hospital’

Gaza health official says 31 premature babies evacuated from Shifa hospital

Updated - November 20, 2023 07:17 am IST

Published - November 19, 2023 06:56 am IST

A screen grab of a video released by the Israeli army on November 19, shows security camera footage of what they say were the Islamic militants of Hamas bringing in a hostage from Israel into the Shifa hospital on the day of the October 7 attack.

A screen grab of a video released by the Israeli army on November 19, shows security camera footage of what they say were the Islamic militants of Hamas bringing in a hostage from Israel into the Shifa hospital on the day of the October 7 attack. | Photo Credit: Reuters

This live blog is now closed. For updates on Day 45 of the war, click here.

U.S. President Joe Biden said the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following the Israel-Hamas war. “As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution,” Mr. Biden said in an opinion article in the Washington Post.

Also Read | Israel-Hamas War, Day 43 updates

Patients, staff and displaced people left Gaza’s largest hospital on Saturday, health officials said, leaving behind only a skeleton crew to care for those too sick to move and Israeli forces who had taken over the facility earlier in the week.

The exodus from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City came the same day internet and phone service was restored to the Gaza Strip, ending a telecommunications blackout that forced the United Nations to shut down critical humanitarian aid deliveries because it was unable to coordinate its convoys.

Also Read | Navy ready for evacuations if Gaza situation warrants it: Navy Chief

The World Health Organisation said it had led an assessment mission to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City and determined it was a “death zone”, urging a full evacuation.

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  • November 20, 2023 04:28
    U.K. opposition Labour Party’s foreign policy chief visits Israel

    Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Sunday its foreign policy chief David Lammy was visiting Israel and the West Bank and meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the Palestinian Authority’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jadu.

    Lammy will also meet Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, opposition leader Yair Lapid and Leader of the Israeli Labour Party Merav Michaeli, the statement said. - Reuters

  • November 20, 2023 03:03
    Three more journalists killed in Gaza in Israeli offensive, relatives say

    The head of a prominent media institution in Gaza and two other journalists were killed during the weekend in Israel’s offensive in the territory, their relatives said on Sunday, adding to the dozens of reporters who have died in the six-week conflict.

    The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the weekend deaths raised to 48 the number of journalists and media workers it had confirmed killed in the region. - Reuters

  • November 20, 2023 02:08
    Macron tells Netanyahu ‘too many civilian losses’ in Gaza

    French President Emmanuel Macron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there were “too many civilian losses” in Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, his office said on Sunday. Macron, whose country is a firm ally of Israel, reminded Netanyahu of the “absolute necessity to distinguish terrorists from the population” and “the importance of achieving an immediate humanitarian truce leading to a ceasefire”. - AFP

  • November 20, 2023 01:27
    Israeli army releases footage that shows ‘hostages at Gaza hospital’

    Israel’s military released security camera footage on Sunday which showed hostages being brought into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after being kidnapped in the October 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel.

    In one of the clips, a man is brought in on a gurney by several individuals, at least four of them armed, while in another someone struggles to resist while being forcibly dragged into a building resembling a hospital. AFP was not immediately able to verify the footage. - AFP

  • November 20, 2023 01:08
    Israel minister urges ‘voluntary resettlement’ of Gazans

    An Israeli minister said on Sunday the international community should not fund rebuilding of the war-devastated Gaza Strip and instead promote the “voluntary resettlement” of Palestinians from the territory around the globe.

    Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel said one “option” after the war would be “to promote the voluntary resettlement of Palestinians in Gaza, for humanitarian reasons, outside of the Strip”.

    Writing in The Jerusalem Post, she said that “instead of funnelling money to rebuild Gaza or to the failed UNRWA, the international community can assist in the costs of resettlement, helping the people of Gaza build new lives in their new host countries”. - AFP

  • November 20, 2023 00:14
    Israel army says five soldiers killed in Gaza fighting, toll hits 64

    The Israeli army said on Sunday five more soldiers had been killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip, raising the number of troop deaths there to 64 since the war began.

    All five died in northern Gaza, where its forces are engaged in a ground operation against Hamas militants, the military said. Three reservists were killed on Saturday, with another reservist and a conscript killed on Sunday, it said in two separate announcements. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 23:12
    Hamas government says Gaza war death toll reaches 13,000

    Gaza’s Hamas government said on Sunday the death toll from fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas militants in the Palestinian territory had reached 13,000 since war began on October 7.

    The Hamas government said more than 5,500 children were among the dead, alongside 3,500 women, with 30,000 more people wounded. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 22:58
    Israel says 55-metre fortified tunnel found under Gaza’s Shifa hospital

    Israel published video on Sunday of what it described as a tunnel dug by Palestinian militants under the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital, a focus of its search-and-destroy missions against Hamas in a war now in its seventh week.

    In an update on operations in Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital, the Israeli military said its engineers had uncovered a tunnel 10 metres deep and running 55 metres to a blast-proof door.

    “This type of door is used by the Hamas terrorist organisation to block Israeli forces from entering the command centres and the underground assets belonging to Hamas,” said a military statement accompanied by video showing a narrow passage with arched concrete roofing, ending at a grey door.

    The statement did not say what was beyond the door. The tunnel had been accessed through a shaft discovered in a shed within the Shifa compound that contained munitions, it said.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 22:43
    Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israeli strike kills 41 from one family
  • November 19, 2023 22:14
    Yemen rebels say they seized Israeli vessel, Israel denies

    Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels said they had seized an Israeli ship in the Red Sea, a claim immediately denied by Israel.

    The allegation came days after the rebel group had threatened to target Israeli vessels in the Red Sea over Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    “We took an Israeli cargo ship to the Yemeni coast,” an unidentified Houthi official said in a statement, adding that further details would be released later.

    A Yemeni maritime source said the Houthis “seized a commercial vessel” and took it to the port of Salif in the coastal city of Hodeida which the rebels control, without specifying its nationality.

    Israel’s military denied the ship was Israeli.

    A statement by the army on X, formerly Twitter, said: “The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Huthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence.”

    “The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis.

    “It is not an Israeli ship,” the Israeli army said in the statement.

    The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also denied the ship was Israeli but denounced, in a statement, “the Iranian attack against an international vessel”.

    “The ship, which is owned by a British company and is operated by a Japanese firm, was hijacked with Iran guidance by the Yemenite Huthi militia,” it said.

    “Onboard the vessel are 25 crew members of various nationalities including Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican,” it added.

    - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 22:02
    UAE aid convoy sets off towards Rafah crossing, bound for Gaza Strip

    A UAE humanitarian aid convoy set off today from Al Arish, Egypt, towards the Rafah Border Crossing today, in preparation for its entry into the Gaza Strip. The aid will be distributed under the UAE’s supervision as part of the ‘Gallant Knight 3’ humanitarian operation, launched under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

    The convoy comprises 13 trucks carrying a total of 272.5 tonnes of aid. These include 10 trucks carrying 16,800 food packages weighing 252 tonnes to support 84,000 people, and 3 trucks carrying 360 tents weighing 20.5 tonnes.

    - ANI

  • November 19, 2023 21:46
    Russia and Iran call for ceasefire in Gaza

    Russia and Iran’s Foreign Ministers called for a ceasefire in Gaza and said that urgent assistance must be given to the civilian population there.

    Russia said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian at the request of Tehran.

    “During the conversation, main attention was focused on the current situation in the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

    “General concern was expressed about the ongoing armed confrontation in the Gaza Strip,” it said. “The need for an early ceasefire and urgent assistance to the affected civilian population was stressed.”

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 21:28
    UN chief shocked by deadly strikes on UN schools in Gaza

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he was “deeply shocked” that two U.N. schools were struck in less than 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, killing and injuring dozens of people – many women and children – “as they were seeking safety in United Nations premises.” “Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians are seeking shelter at United Nations facilities throughout Gaza due to the intensified fighting. I reaffirm that our premises are inviolable,” Guterres said in a statement.

    He said the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants, who run Gaza, was causing a “staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties” and again called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 20:53
    Israel ‘hopeful’ significant number of hostages could be freed, UN ambassador says

    Israel is hopeful that a significant number of hostages could be released by Hamas “in coming days,” Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

    “I’m hopeful we can have a deal in the coming days,” Mr. Herzog said.

    Reuters on Nov. 15 reported that Qatari mediators had been seeking a deal between Israel and Hamas to exchange 50 hostages in return for a three-day ceasefire, citing an official briefed on the talks. At the time, the official said general outlines had been agreed but Israel had still been negotiating details.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 20:34
    Netanyahu says seizure of ship by Houthis, “ Iranian act of terrorism”

    “This is another Iranian act of terrorism that represents an escalation in Iran’s belligerence against the citizens of the free world, with concomitant international ramifications vis-a-vis the security of global shipping routes.”

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 20:02
    Second tranche of India’s humanitarian assistance Palestine arrives in Egypt
  • November 19, 2023 20:00
    U.S. official urges Israel to protect civilians in south Gaza

    Israel should not embark on combat operations against Hamas in the south of Gaza until military planners have taken into account the safety of fleeing Palestinian civilians, a White House official said.

    “In the event that Israel is likely to embark on combat operations, including in the south, we believe ... that they have the right to do that,” White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told CBS’ Face the Nation program.

    “We think that their operations should not go forward until those people, those additional civilians, have been accounted for in their military planning,” Finer said. “We will be conveying that directly to them and have been conveying that directly to them.”

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 19:42
    Israel says Houthis seize ship in Red Sea, no Israelis among owners or crew

    The Israeli military said on Sunday that Yemen’s Houthis had seized a cargo ship in the southern Red Sea as it was sailing from Turkey to India, calling this “a very grave incident on a global level”.

    In a social media post, the military added that the vessel, which it did not name, was not Israeli-owned and had no Israelis among its crew.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 19:22
    ‘Horrendous events’ in Gaza in past days ‘beggar belief’: UN rights chief

    The level of violence ravaging Gaza in recent days is unfathomable, the UN rights chief said, with attacks on schools harbouring displaced people and a hospital turned into a “death zone”.

    “The horrendous events of the past 48 hours in Gaza beggar belief,” Volker Turk said in a statement, warning that “the killing of so many people at schools turned shelters, hundreds fleeing for their lives from Al-Shifa Hospital, amid continuing displacement of hundreds of thousands in southern Gaza, are actions which fly in the face of the basic protections civilians must be afforded under international law”.

    - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 19:04
    Further missions are being planned to urgently transport remaining patients and health staff out of Al-Shifa Hospital: WHO chief
  • November 19, 2023 18:44
    Tens of thousands rally in Pakistan against Israel’s bombing in Gaza

    Tens of thousands of supporters from Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami party rallied in the eastern city of Lahore against Israel’s bombing of Palestinians in Gaza and what it said is the world’s failure to protect Gazans.

    Earlier this month, Jamaat-e-Islami held massive rallies in the port city of Karachi and the capital, Islamabad.

    Supporters, including women and children, marched for several kilometers (miles) to reach the location of the rally, holding banners and posters with slogans opposing Israel and the United States and in support of the Palestinians.

    - AP

  • November 19, 2023 18:23
    Yemen’s Houthis say they will target all ships owned, operated by Israel companies

    A spokesman for Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi military, Yahya Sarea, said the group will target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag, according to the group’s Telegram channel.

    The spokesman called on all countries to withdraw their citizens working on the crews of any such ships.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 18:04
    France to send new medical supplies, hospital ship to Gaza

    France will send an airplane with more than 10 tonnes of medical supplies at the start of the week, and will contribute to European Union medical aid flights on Nov. 23 and 30.

    France is also preparing a second hospital ship, the helicopter-carrier Dixmude, which will arrive in Egypt in coming days.

    A first French helicopter carrier - the Tonnerre, which has about 60 beds and two operating blocs - has already been deployed in the region.

    France will also deploy civil and military planes to evacuate sick or injured children from Gaza, according to a statement.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 17:42
    Ministers from Palestinian Authority, Islamic nations to visit China

    Ministers from Arab and Islamic countries will visit China on Monday and Tuesday, China’s state broadcaster CCTV cited the Foreign Ministry as saying.

    The Ministry said China will discuss with these Foreign Ministers ways to promote the cooling of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the protection of civilians and a just settlement of the Palestinian question.

    The officials visiting are from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Palestine and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, according to the Ministry.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 17:27
    Families of Israeli hostages and thousands of supporters marched towards Jerusalem, increasing pressure on the government to secure the captives’ release
  • November 19, 2023 17:01
    Qatar says challenges to Israel-Hamas hostage deal are ‘just logistical’

    Qatar’s Prime Minister said the main sticking points blocking a deal for the release of dozens of hostages taken by Palestinian group Hamas in their Oct. 7 attack on Israel were now “very minor” and mainly practical and logistical issues.

    It followed a report in the Washington Post published on Saturday that said a deal for the release of 50 hostages had been agreed. The White House denied an agreement was reached.

    Reuters said on Nov. 15 that Qatari mediators had been seeking a deal between Israel and Hamas to exchange 50 hostages in return for a three-day ceasefire, citing an official briefed on the talks. At the time, the official said general outlines had been agreed but Israel had still been negotiating details.

    “The challenges facing the agreement are just practical and logistical,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said at a joint press conference with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Doha.

    - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 16:44
    Gaza health official says 31 premature babies evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital

    A top health official in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Sunday said all 31 premature babies at Al-Shifa hospital had been evacuated from the facility which the WHO has described as a “death zone”.

    Mohammed Zaqut, director general of hospitals in Gaza, told AFP “all 31 premature babies in Al-Shifa hospital.. have been evacuated” along with three doctors and two nurses, and “preparations are under way” for them to enter Egypt. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 16:36
    Israel Army says three soldiers killed in Gaza fighting, toll hits 62

    The Israeli Army on Sunday said three more soldiers had been killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip, raising the number of troop deaths there to 62 since the war began.

    All three were reservists and died on Saturday in northern Gaza, the military said in a statement. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 16:35
    Iran’s Khamenei urges Muslim states to cut political ties with Israel for ‘limited period’

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Muslim states to “at least cut off political ties with Israel for a limited period of time” on Sunday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, weeks after calling for an Islamic oil and food embargo on Israel.

    During a joint summit between members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League in Saudi Arabia’s capital on November 11, Muslim states did not agree to impose wide-ranging sanctions on Israel as requested by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi. - Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 15:54
    30 premature babies have been evacuated from Shifa hospital

    Gaza’s Health Ministry says 30 premature babies have been evacuated from Shifa Hospital and will be transferred to hospitals in Egypt.

    Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the ministry, said they were evacuated from the hospital on Sunday.

    A World Health Organization team that visited Shifa Hospital on Saturday said 32 babies were among scores of critically ill patients stranded at the hospital, where Israeli forces have been operating since last week.

    It was not immediately possible to resolve the discrepancy in the numbers. -- AP

  • November 19, 2023 14:56
    Pro-Iranian Iraq militia labels US sanctions ‘ridiculous’

    Iraq’s powerful pro-Iranian armed group Kataeb Hezbollah has denounced as “ridiculous” sanctions unveiled this week by the United States over recent attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

    American forces deployed in those two countries have been attacked more than 55 times since mid-October, according to the Pentagon, coinciding with U.S. ally Israel’s war on Hamas militants in Gaza. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 14:13
    Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital a ‘death zone’, WHO says urging evacuation

    Gaza’s largest hospital has become a “death zone,” the World Health Organization said on Sunday, announcing plans to evacuate the last remaining patients as Israel’s army said it was expanding operations to destroy Hamas.

    The assessment came after a visit by WHO and other UN officials to the hospital, which Israeli troops raided earlier this week in pursuit of Hamas militants.

    Elsewhere, a Hamas health official said more than 80 people were killed on Saturday in twin strikes on a northern Gaza refugee camp, including on a UN school sheltering displaced people. - AFP

  • November 19, 2023 12:49
    Second IAF aircraft carrying emergency aid for Gaza departs for Egypt’s El-Arish airport

    A second Indian Air Force (IAF) C17 aircraft, carrying 32 tonnes of aid for civilians in Gaza caught up in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, on Sunday departed for the El-Arish Airport in Egypt.

    Taking to his official handle on X, External Affairs Minister S Jaishanker reaffirmed New Delhi’s commitment to extend humanitarian assistance to Gazans, posting, “We continue to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine. Second @IAF_MCC C17 aircraft carrying 32 tonnes of aid departs for the El-Arish Airport in Egypt.”

    The aid package comprised fluids and painkillers. The disaster relief material, weighing approximately 32 tonnes, also included tents, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, basic sanitary utilities, and water purification tablets, among other items.

    ANI

  • November 19, 2023 12:30
    The world’s attention is on Gaza, and Ukrainians worry war fatigue will hurt their cause

    With the start of another major conflict, social media networks including X, formerly known as Twitter, were flooded with news from the Middle East. “Our fundraising posts and updates simply get lost in between those tweets,” Postoiuk said.

    The result has been a broad shift in the world’s attention away from Ukraine to the fighting in Gaza - a trend that worries many Ukrainians. They fear that a combination of global fatigue, competing political agendas and limited resources will result in less aid for their military, hurting the country’s ability to sustain its confrontation with Russia.

    “The longer we talk about our war, the less interest it holds for people,” said 21-year-old Ivan Mahuriak, who lives in Lviv in western Ukraine. Like many other Ukrainians, he feels as if the world stopped paying attention to the war in Ukraine even before the Hamas attack on Israel.

    The fatigue, he said, arises from the fact that dynamics on the ground are significantly less than in 2022, when Ukrainian armed forces managed to completely or partially push Russians out of several regions.

    AP

  • November 19, 2023 12:16
    How the US strikes a delicate balance in responding to attacks on its forces by Iran-backed militias

    Iranian-backed militants in Iraq and Syria have long battled with US and coalition forces, launching sporadic attacks against bases in the region where troops are deployed to fight Islamic State group insurgents.

    But since October 17, as civilian deaths in Israel’s war against Hamas began to skyrocket, there has been a dramatic spike in attacks by Iran’s proxies, operating under the umbrella name of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

    A look at the attacks and the U.S. response: According to the Pentagon, Iranian-backed militants have launched 61 attacks on bases and facilities housing U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria since October 17. Of those, 29 have been in Iraq and 32 in Syria.

    The latest jump in attacks began 10 days after Hamas’ October 7 incursion into Israel, where at least 1,200 people were killed. Israel’s blistering military response has killed thousands of civilians trapped in Gaza and fueled threats of retaliation by a range of Iran-backed groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Yemen-based Houthis, and militants in Iraq and Syria. Those threats escalated after an Oct. 17 blast at a Gaza hospital killed hundreds of civilians. Hamas blamed Israel for the explosion, but Israel has denied it, and both Israeli and U.S. officials have blamed it on a missile misfire by Islamic Jihad.

    AP

  • November 19, 2023 11:59
    California Democrats cancel some convention events amid large Gaza cease-fire demonstration

    Demonstrators demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war prompted California Democratic Party officials to cancel evening events during their state convention on Saturday “for the safety and security of our delegates.” California Democrats have been meeting in Sacramento this weekend to consider candidate endorsements ahead of the March primary. That includes the state’s competitive US Senate race featuring four Democrats, including three sitting US House members.

    The convention was disrupted multiple times Saturday afternoon by demonstrators demanding a cease-fire in Gaza. Party officials had increased security for the weekend convention, requiring participants to be scanned and have their bags searched before entering the convention hall.

    Following the afternoon session, a large crowd of demonstrators gathered at the hall. Sacramento police closed some roads near the convention center, but soon reopened them.

    Saturday evening, shortly after voting ended party endorsements, Democratic Party spokesperson Shery Yang said the evening’s events had been cancelled.

    “Due to circumstances beyond our control, and for the safety and security of our delegates and convention participants, we are cancelling tonight’s caucus meetings, hospitality suites and VoteFest taking place at the convention center,” Yang said.

    AP

  • November 19, 2023 11:29
    Ministers from Arab, Muslim countries to visit China in bid to end Gaza war: Saudi minister

    Ministers from Arab and Islamic countries will visit China on Monday on the first stop of a tour aims at ending the war in Gaza, Saudi Foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said.

    The tour will be the first step in carrying out decisions reached at a joint Arab and Islamic summit held in Riyadh this month, Prince Faisal said on the sidelines of a conference in Bahrain in comments posted by his ministry on the social media platform X on Friday.

    “The first stop will be in China, then we will move to other capitals to convey a clear message that a ceasefire must be announced immediately, and let in aid,” the minister said.

    “We have to work on ending this crisis and the war on Gaza as soon as possible.”

    Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 10:58
    Navy ready for evacuations if Gaza situation warrants it: Navy chief

    Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar on Saturday said that the Indian Navy was on standby to deploy its assets for evacuation operations, if the need arose due to the ongoing conflict in West Asia.

    “We have our units deployed in the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, and also in the Red Sea for any assistance that is required. The country is already providing assistance to Gaza in terms of relief materials,” Admiral Kumar said in response to a query on the role of the Indian Navy in West Asia in the backdrop of the ongoing events in Gaza. He was speaking at the Synergia Conclave 2023 held in Bengaluru, where he delivered the keynote address.

    Read the full story here
  • November 19, 2023 10:24
    Israeli Army kills two Palestinians in West Bank incursion - Palestinian news agency

    The Israeli Army killed two Palestinians in incursions in the West Bank early on Sunday, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

    Israeli forces shot dead Issam Al-Fayed, a disabled 46-year-old, at the entrance of the Jenin refugee camp, the agency said.

    Another man, Omar Laham, 20, was killed by a gunshot to the head in clashes with Israeli forces in Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem, it added.

    Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 10:09
    32 babies in critical condition are among the patients left at Gaza’s main hospital, UN team says

    A United Nations team said Sunday that 291 patients were left at Gaza’s largest hospital after Israeli troops had others evacuate. Those left included 32 babies in extremely critical condition, trauma patients with severely infected wounds and others with spinal injuries who are unable to move.

    The team was able to tour Shifa Hospital for an hour after about 2,500 displaced people, mobile patients and medical staff left the sprawling compound Saturday morning, said the World Health Organization, which led the mission.

    “Patients and health staff with whom they spoke were terrified for their safety and health, and pleaded for evacuation,” the agency said, describing Shifa as a death zone. It said more teams will attempt to reach Shifa in coming days to try to evacuate the patients to southern Gaza, where hospitals are also overwhelmed.

    AP

  • November 19, 2023 09:51
    Under fire, undermanned: Israel’s wartime economy soldiers on

    At least 125,000 Israelis were forced to leave their homes near Gaza and in the north, where cross-border strikes from Lebanese militants Hezbollah have become a daily ritual.

    Meanwhile, more than 360,000 army reservists were mobilised to fight as Israel carries out a ground campaign in Gaza, where the Hamas government says more than 12,300 people have been killed, most of them civilians.

    In a nation numbering only nine million, the reduction in the available labour force has had huge economic consequences.

    “The situation is tough right now, mainly because we’re missing hands,” said Zu-Aretz.

    “Many of our employees are still missing, some of them are recruited to the army.”

    “Some of them are still in different cities and they can’t come and work,” he said, estimating fewer than two-thirds of his 600 employees in Ashkelon were available.

    Over its 75 years of existence, Israel has regularly been at war with its neighbours.

    But “all Israeli-Arab conflicts in previous years were relatively minor compared to the war today”, according to economist Benjamin Bental of the Taub Center, an Israeli think tank.

    AFP

  • November 19, 2023 09:24
    Biden says Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern Gaza and West Bank

    U.S. President Joe Biden said on November 18 the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following the Israel-Hamas war.

    “As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution,” Mr. Biden said in an opinion article in the Washington Post.

    “There must be no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory,” Mr. Biden said.

    Read the full story here
  • November 19, 2023 09:06
    Israeli army kills disabled Palestinian in West Bank incursion - Palestinian news agency

    The Israeli army killed a disabled Palestinian in an incursion in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin early on Sunday, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

    “The director of Jenin Government Hospital, Wissam Bakr, told WAFA that Issam Al-Fayed (46 years), a disabled person, was shot dead by Israeli occupation army at the entrance of the camp,” WAFA reported.

    Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 08:43
    In Iran, Gaza war overshadows preparations for 2024 legislative vote

    As the war in Gaza continues to hold public attention, Iran is gearing up for parliamentary elections next year where many conservatives are determined to tighten their grip on power.

    The Islamic republic has since August opened registration for candidacy in the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for March 1, 2024.

    Last week, officials announced that out of the 24,982 applicants, around 28 percent have been disqualified in an initial screening phase.

    The decision can be appealed and a final list of candidates competing for the 290-seat parliament will be announced one month ahead of the March vote.

    With the preparations underway, many in Iran are preoccupied with mounting economic difficulties and the aftershocks of last year’s mass protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini.

    Another growing concern among Iranians is the potential impact of the war in the Gaza Strip, which broke out on October 7 between Palestinian Hamas militants and Israel.

    AFP

  • November 19, 2023 08:15
    White House says no deal between Israel and Hamas yet: spokesperson

    Israel and Hamas have not yet reached a deal on a temporary ceasefire, a White House spokesperson said on Saturday night.

    The U.S. is continuing to work to get a deal between the two sides, the spokesperson said. A second U.S. official confirmed no deal had been reached.

    The Washington Post reported earlier on Saturday night that a Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas had been reached for a five-day ceasefire in exchange for 50 or more hostages.

    “No deal yet but we continue to work hard to get a deal,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, said in a statement.

    Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 08:00
    Hamas health ministry says 32 dead from one family, including 19 children, in new strike

    The Hamas health ministry said 32 people from one family were killed Saturday in an Israeli strike on a building in a Gaza refugee camp, with 19 children among the dead.

    The ministry released a list of the names of 32 members of the Abu Habal family killed in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, the largest in the Palestinian territory.

    AFP

  • November 19, 2023 07:37
    U.S., Israel and Hamas reach tentative deal to pause conflict and free dozens of hostages

    Israel, the United States and Hamas are close to an agreement to free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza, in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting, the Washington Post reported on Saturday citing people familiar with the provisions.

    Reuters

  • November 19, 2023 07:21
    Patients and staff leave Gaza’s biggest hospital, and dozens are killed at a crowded refugee camp

    Hundreds of patients, medical staff and people displaced by Israel’s war against Hamas left Gaza’s largest hospital Saturday, with one evacuee describing a panicked and chaotic scene as Israeli forces searched and face-scanned men among those leaving and took some away.

    “We left at gunpoint,” Mahmoud Abu Auf told The Associated Press by phone after he and his family left the crowded hospital. “Tanks and snipers were everywhere inside and outside.” He said he saw Israeli troops detain three men.

    Elsewhere in northern Gaza, dozens of people were killed in the urban Jabaliya refugee camp when what witnesses described as an Israeli airstrike hit a crowded U.N. shelter in the main combat zone. It caused massive destruction in the camp’s Fakhoura school, said wounded survivors Ahmed Radwan and Yassin Sharif.

    “The scenes were horrifying. Corpses of women and children were on the ground. Others were screaming for help,” Radwan said by phone. AP photos from a local hospital showed more than 20 bodies wrapped in bloodstained sheets.

    AP

  • November 19, 2023 06:58
    Humanitarian team describes Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital as ‘death zone’- WHO

    A humanitarian assessment team visited Al Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza and saw signs of shelling and gunfire in what was described as a “death zone,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.

    The WHO-led team, which included public health experts, logistics officers and security staff from various U.N. departments, was able to spend only an hour inside the hospital on Saturday due to security concerns, WHO said in a statement.

    The team described the hospital as a “death zone” and said the situation was “desperate,” with the hospital basically not functioning as a medical facility due to scarcity of clean water, fuel, medicine and other essentials.

    “Signs of shelling and gunfire were evident. The team saw a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and were told more than 80 people were buried there,” the WHO statement said.

    “WHO and partners are urgently developing plans for the immediate evacuation of the remaining patients, staff and their families,” it said.

    “Over the next 24–72 hours, pending guarantees of safe passage by parties to the conflict, additional missions are being arranged to urgently transport patients” to other hospitals in the south of Gaza.

    Reuters

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