Saturday, July 13, 2024

Israel-Palestine conflict LIVE: Dozens killed in Israeli bombing of Gaza camp

Palestinian group, Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, has announced the start of military the operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. Thousands of rockets have been fired from the blockaded enclave towards the occupied territories as far away as Tel Aviv, killing over 1,400 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 9,400 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

Palestine condemns Israeli minister’s nuclear bomb comments

Palestine’s Foreign Ministry has condemned an Israeli minister’s comments where he called for dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza.

“These remarks are a translation of the genocidal war that Israel has been waging against the Gaza Strip for 30 days,” the ministry said in a statement.

Israeli media reported that Eliyahu has been suspended from government meetings indefinitely, citing a statement by the PM’s office.


At least 346 Israeli soldiers killed since war started

The number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the war has now risen to 346, including 32 who died after Israeli troops entered Gaza.


Gaza death toll reaches 9,770 since start of war

Palestine’s ministry of health announced on Sunday that the death toll in Gaza has now reached 9,770 since the start of the war on 7 October. The figure includes 4,800 children.

Over 24,000 others in Gaza have been wounded in the bombing of Gaza.

In the occupied West Bank, 152 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the same time frame, while 2,100 have been wounded.


Abbas joins Arab leaders in calling for Gaza truce in meeting with Blinken

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken there must be an immediate ceasefire to the war in Gaza during Blinken’s flash visit to the occupied West Bank on Sunday, according to Abbas’ spokesperson, adding to a growing chorus of Arab leaders stressing the need for a truce as the death toll in Gaza approaches 10,000.

During a news conference in Amman, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi stressed that Arab countries want an immediate ceasefire, warning that “the whole region is sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come.

“We don’t accept that this is self-defence,” Safadi added, referring to Israel’s monthlong assault on Gaza that has killed at least 9,488 Palestinians, more than a third of them children.

“It cannot be justified under any pretext and it will not bring Israel security, it will not bring the region peace.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, whose country has been acting as the sole conduit for foreigners to escape Gaza and for aid to get in, also called for an “immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.”

In a rare public divide with his Jordanian counterpart, Blinken said the US was against a ceasefire because it would give Hamas more breathing room.


Blinken meets with Abbas in West Bank amid escalating settler violence

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Sunday amid escalating settler violence in the West Bank following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The top US diplomat’s visit to Ramallah — his first since that attack – comes as the United States grapples with the Israel-Hamas war and resulting humanitarian catastrophe. It comes on the heels of Blinken stops in Israel and Jordan.

Abbas and Blinken met twice in Jordan during the latter’s trip to the region several weeks ago, after October 7.

At a summit Saturday in Amman with the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, as well as the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Blinken said they are “all deeply concerned about escalating extremist violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank”, calling it “a serious problem that’s only worsened since the conflict”.

At least 150 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health – a number nearing the total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank in all of 2022.

Blinken, who met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv Friday, stated he heard “a clear commitment from the government to deal with extremist violence in the West Bank, to condemn it, to take action to prevent it, to take action against those who perpetrate it”.

“This is important, and we will be looking closely to ensure that our friends make good on that commitment,” he added.

Blinken has spoken about the need to focus on “the day of” and the “day after”, and has suggested the Palestinian Authority could play a role in Gaza’s future if Hamas is eliminated.

“At some point, what would make the most sense would be for an effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority to have governance and ultimately security responsibility for Gaza,” he said at a congressional hearing last week.

“Whether you can get there in one step is a big question that we have to look at. And if you can’t, then there are other temporary arrangements that may involve a number of other countries in the region. It may involve international agencies that would help provide for both security and governance,” he added.


Israeli drone strikes near ambulances in southern Lebanon: Report

Four paramedics were wounded when an Israeli drone struck near two ambulances on their way to pick up casualties from overnight strikes in southern Lebanon, local officials told the AP.

The civil defence unit of a scouts group affiliated with Lebanon’s Amal Movement, a political party allied with Hezbollah, said the drone “directly targeted” their ambulances.

Officials added the Lebanese army and the Red Cross transported the wounded paramedics to a hospital in Tyre, as Israeli air raids reportedly did not stop.

There were reports that the paramedics were on their way to retrieve the bodies of two Hezbollah fighters.


Qatari PM highlights complexities in captive negotiations

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said there had been “false” reports on negotiations to release Israeli captives held in Gaza, without elaborating.

During a news conference in Doha along with French Foreign Minister Colonna, Al Thani stated that there were complexities in the field due to “Israeli military practices” in the enclave.

In separate remarks, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari said efforts to secure the release of the captives required a “period of calm” and that leaks from the negotiations were “harmful”.


French Foreign Minister: Too many civilians have died in Gaza strikes

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in Doha on Sunday that too many civilians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza.

In a joint press conference with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, she stated that schools, hospitals, humanitarian workers and journalists must be protected.

Colonna added that an international humanitarian conference, to be hosted by France on 9 November, will cover respecting international law, basic needs such as health, water, energy and food, and will call for concrete action for civilians in Gaza.


Israeli army says it hit 2,500 targets in Gaza

The Israeli army announced it hit more than 2,500 targets inside the Gaza Strip since the start of the war.

In the latest update on its military operations inside the besieged enclave, the military said it continued to engage in “face-to-face” battles.


Israeli minister suspended after nuclear bomb comment

The Israeli minister who said dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza is a possibility has been suspended from government meetings indefinitely, Israeli media reported citing a statement by the PM’s office.

In addition to the nuclear bomb comment, Amihai Eliyahu also suggested the entire besieged enclave’s population could move to Ireland or desert areas.

Eliyahu later walked back on his comment stating it was “metaphorical”.


Chad recalls its ambassador from Israel

Chad has become the latest country to recall its ambassador from Israel, citing “the unprecedented tide of deadly violence” inside Gaza.

“In front of such tragedy, Chad condemns the loss of numerous innocent civilians and calls for a ceasefire for a durable solution to the Palestinian issue,” read a statement.

Honduras, Chile and Colombia also recalled their ambassadors while Bolivia severed ties with Israel last week over the ongoing assault on Palestinians.


Blinken to meet Abbas in Ramallah

US Secretary of State Blinken is scheduled to meet Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

While the primary focus of the meeting will be to discuss stopping the war in Gaza, local media reports that Abbas is also expected to bring up the ongoing violence in the occupied West Bank as nightly raids by Israeli soldiers continue.

On Saturday, Blinken held a news conference in Amman alongside Jordan’s deputy prime minister and Egypt’s foreign minister on his third visit to the region since the war began.


Israeli minister: Dropping nuclear bomb on Gaza ‘an option’

Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has said that dropping a nuclear weapon on the Gaza Strip is “an option”, according to Haaretz.

The minister said the comments on a radio interview where he maintained that “there are no non-combatants in Gaza”, adding that providing humanitarian aid to the Strip would constitute “a failure”.

Eliyahu was then asked if – since there are no non-combatants in his view – a nuclear attack on the Gaza Strip is an option. “That’s one way,” he responded.

When asked about the fate of Palestinians, he stated, “They can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”

He also added the Strip has no right to exist, adding that anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth”.


Bombs target vicinity of Al-Quds Hospital again

Bombs have repeatedly targeted the vicinity of Gaza’s al-Quds hospital, where around 14,000 Palestinians were sheltering.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, the intensity of the bombardment is causing the building to shake, and emergency response teams are unable to leave due to the severity of the attacks.


Report: 100 Israeli doctors call for Gaza hospitals to be bombed

According to local media reports, 100 doctors in Israel are demanding that the Israeli army bombs hospitals in Gaza, calling them “infrastructure used by Hamas”.

The letter, written in Hebrew, states: “we, the undersigned doctors who work in healthcare systems responsibility and professionally, hereby implore terrorist organisations using hospitals as their headquarters…for years the citizens of Israel have suffered from murderous terror.”

“The residents of Gaza saw fit to turn hospitals into terrorist nests to take advantage of western morality, they are the ones who brought destruction upon themselves, terrorism must be eliminated everywhere attacking terrorist headquarters is the right and the duty of the Israeli army,” the letter adds, noting that it is an “obligation,” for the army to target hospitals allegedly used to shelter Hamas.

The letter ends with the names of the doctors.


Thousands take part in pro-Palestinian rally in Melbourne

Around 20,000 people took part in a pro-Palestinian rally on Monday in Melbourne, Australia, according to police officials.

The rally was peaceful without any issues or arrests made, according to Senior Constable Adam West.

The rally came a day after thousands of protesters rallied in Washington, DC, and in major cities across Europe, calling for a ceasefire in the hostilities.

Demonstrations also took place across Europe on Saturday – in Paris, Berlin and London, as well as the British cities of Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle and Liverpool.


At least 51 Palestinians killed in Israeli bombing of Maghazi camp

At least 51 Palestinians, mostly women and children, were killed and scores of others were wounded in an Israeli bombardment of Gaza’s Maghazi camp on Saturday night, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The bombing is the latest mass killing of Palestinians to take place in recent days. Earlier this week, Israeli air strikes killed hundreds of Palestinians in the Jabalia refugee camp.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the majority of those killed and wounded on Saturday night were women and children.


Gaza war protesters vandalize White House fence

The supporters of Palestine smeared red paint on the White House security fence on Saturday evening, with some attempting to break through the gate, as they denounced President Joe Biden for backing Israel.

Angry activists waved Palestinian flags and shouted obscenities directed at the president. They also violently shook the gate as security personnel looked on from the other side.

Despite the heated atmosphere, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi later told reporters that “the attempted gate trespass from earlier was handled without incident”, and no arrests were made outside the White House.

Tens of thousands marched in Washington, DC on Saturday, calling for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants and decrying the “genocide” in the Gaza Strip.


Thousands march for Palestine in Berlin

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday demanding an end to Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza. Local authorities have heavily restricted pro-Palestine protests.

Some 6,000 people marched in the German capital, the DPA press agency reported, although some leftist groups involved in organizing the rally claimed that more than five times that number took part.

Video footage showed crowds holding Palestinian flags and placards reading “stop the genocide,” “how many kids have to die?” and “ceasefire now.”

Berlin and other German cities responded to the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war by banning all pro-Palestine demonstrations.

The ban has since been relaxed, with authorized demonstrations permitted. Expressions of support for Hamas or other militant groups, as well as slogans deemed anti-Semitic or anti-Israel are forbidden at these officially sanctioned rallies. German federal law also prohibits the glorification of violence and the burning of the Israeli flag.

On Thursday, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced a ban on all pro-Hamas activity and dissolved the German branch of Samidoun, a group that organizes pro-Palestine rallies in Europe and the US. Faeser accused Samidoun of holding “jubilant celebrations” when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

The crackdown has been condemned by a group of more than 100 German Jewish intellectuals. In an open letter last month, the group accused police of using anti-Semitism as an excuse “to suppress legitimate and non-violent political expression, which may include criticism of Israel.”

Saturday’s rally was peaceful, with police reporting the arrest of only one person; a woman who allegedly attacked a journalist.


UK home secretary threatens pro-Palestine protesters with jail time

Pro-Palestine activists should be jailed immediately if they attempt to desecrate London’s iconic monument to fallen British soldiers, Home Secretary Suella Braverman warned in light of plans to hold protests on Armistice Day on November 11.

“If anyone were to vandalize the Cenotaph, they must be put into a jail cell faster than their feet can touch the ground,” Braverman told Sky News on Saturday.

She promised that authorities “won’t hesitate to act” if police need reinforcements to deal with “utterly odious” conduct during rallies.

Braverman doubled down on labeling pro-Palestinian demonstrations “hate marches,” arguing that there is “no excuse” when the exercise of the freedom of speech “crosses the line” into hateful slogans.

The home secretary’s statement came after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denounced the planned Armistice Day protests as “provocative and disrespectful,” warning about the risk of desecration of the Cenotaph and other war memorials.

On Saturday, Palestine supporters protested on Trafalgar Square and staged a sit-in, blocking traffic at the corner of Oxford Circus and Regent Street. They were filmed shouting “smash the Zionist settler state” in the London subway and at least one person was holding a sign with an image of the Star of David being thrown into a trash bin, with a slogan: “Let’s keep the world clean.”

A total of 29 people were arrested in London on Saturday for inciting racial hatred and other crimes, including assaulting a police officer, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.


Protesters take to streets in France to demand end to Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip

Protestors in France took to the streets in various cities Saturday to demand an end to Israel’s ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrators marched in support of Palestine in Paris and other cities, including Toulouse and Lyon. Protesters urged Paris to take action to secure a cease-fire.

Tens of thousands participated, including members of the La France Insoumise, a left-wing populist political party that includes MPs Louis Boyard, David Guiraud and Rachel Keke.

Protesters drew attention to the deaths of children in Israel’s attacks as they carried small coffins covered in red paint and toy dolls, while some raised their red-painted hands in the air.

They carried banners that read: “Free Palestine”, “Ceasefire” and “This is a genocide, not a conflict,” and chanted: “Israel is a murderer, Macron is an accomplice”, “Gaza, Paris is with you” and “Long live Palestine.”


MSF calls Israeli attacks on health system ‘disgraceful’

Trudeau calls for release of hostages and humanitarian aid for Gaza in talks with Netanyahu

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his continued support for Israel’s right to defend itself in its war against Hamas when he spoke with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.

Trudeau also called for the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas and stressed the need to provide humanitarian aid to those in Gaza, according to a readout from his office.

The Canadian leader received assurances that “Canadians in Gaza will be able to leave in the coming days,” the readout said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) informed Canadian officials Saturday “that more than 400 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and eligible family members will be able to leave Gaza through the Rafah border crossing” as they make their way back to Canada. There are currently 5,755 Canadians registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad in Israel and 453 Canadians registered in the West Bank and Gaza, according to the latest update from Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

Canadian officials are in contact with 69 Canadians, permanent residents, and family members in the West Bank, 516 in Gaza and 51 in Israel, according to GAC.

Trudeau highlighted his deep concerns over the increasingly dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to the readout, and reiterated Canada’s position on the immediate need to create conditions for urgent and necessary humanitarian aid to flow into the region.

He also expressed “the importance of upholding international humanitarian law and making every effort to protect Palestinian civilians,” the readout added.


Biden says progress made on ‘humanitarian pauses’

When asked on Saturday whether progress had been made on “humanitarian pauses” in the conflict, President Joe Biden replied “Yes” and gave reporters a thumbs up.

The president did not provide any further details, as he left a church in Delaware.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected the idea of a permanent ceasefire during a meeting with his Arab counterparts in Amman, reiterating Washington’s desire for “pauses”.


US carrier strike group arrives in Middle East

Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah warns of catastrophic lack of medical resources and fuel in Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah warned Saturday of a “catastrophe within Gaza hospitals”, adding that wounded people are “taking their last breaths” due to the lack of medical resources and fuel.

Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Mai al-Kaila also called on the international community to provide fuel to Gaza hospitals to prevent the shutdown of services.

As of midday on Saturday, more than 150 health care professionals in Gaza have been killed, according to the health ministry in Ramallah.

The ministry also added “16 hospitals and 32 primary healthcare centers have been taken out of service”.

“The continued Israeli shelling of the vicinity and entrances of Gaza hospitals in the north aims to force medical personnel to abandon their patients and leave the hospitals. This constitutes a complex massacre against the wounded and patients,” al-Kaila added.

Organizations outside of Gaza are also raising an alarm about the dire situation in the enclave’s hospitals.


Israel informs US of plan to let fuel into Gaza: Report

Israel says it will ‘find and eliminate’ Yahya Sinwar

At least seven killed by Israeli air strike on Jabalia camp

At least seven Palestinians were killed and many others were wounded from an Israeli air strike on a house in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to Wafa news agency.

Israel has repeatedly bombarded the camp – home to over 100,000 people – in recent days.


‘Israeli aggression’ against Lebanon must stop: PM

More Palestinians from Gaza arrive in Egypt for medical treatment: Egyptian official

A total of 84 Palestinians needing urgent medical treatment have entered Egypt through the Rafah border crossing so far as of Saturday, an Egyptian government official told CNN.

The injured Palestinians all had injuries sustained from airstrikes, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Most are currently receiving treatment in hospitals across the country, and more are expected to arrive in the coming days, the official added.

According to an Egyptian border official, more Palestinians were expected to arrive in ambulances on Saturday, but the border was shut for a few hours out of caution following an Israeli airstrike that targeted an ambulance on Friday.

Located in Egypt’s north Sinai, the Rafah crossing is the sole border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. It falls along an 8-mile (12.8-kilometer) fence that separates Gaza from the Sinai desert.


Up to a million people have fled to southern Gaza, placing stress on humanitarian response: US envoy

The number of people who have fled from north of Wadi Gaza to the southern part of the enclave is estimated to be 800,000 “to perhaps a million”, the US special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues said Saturday — a mass relocation that has exacerbated humanitarian issues, which are only expected to grow as more people flee.

The envoy, David Satterfield, stated there needs to be the “secure, sustained movement” of aid not only from the Rafah crossing in Egypt to Gaza, but “into points of need in the south.”

“And those points of need are growing as individuals come increasingly to the south,” he added.

The ability to move assistance has scaled up exponentially, particularly in the last week, from “pretty much zero in terms of ability to move humanitarian assistance through the Rafah corridor into Gaza”, Satterfield continued, but reiterated that even the current number of aid trucks getting through the crossing per day is not sufficient.

Although the US believes the current daily flow of trucks into Gaza is sustainable, “it’s challenged by the environment on the ground in south Gaza,” Satterfield said, noting United Nations warehouses with basic supplies and food had been broken into early in the week.

“There was … an environment in Gaza, which allowed more normal commercial life, cooking gas, cooking oil, provisions, necessities of life to move in. That’s not the situation now,” he added.

Shelter is also a problem, he continued.

“You’ve got 350,000 or 400,000 still in the north. If those individuals — some portion of them — come to the south, that’s going to increase the load, increase the demand even more.”

Israeli’s military has called for civilians in Gaza to move south as it intensifies its air and ground assault on Gaza City and northern Gaza. International aid and rights groups have criticized Israel’s calls for residents to evacuate the north without a pause in fighting and while roads and other infrastructure are badly damaged.

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