Israel-Palestine conflict LIVE: UN says 1.7 million people displaced in Gaza Strip

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 1,200 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 14,000 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

Israel says its unit commander killed in northern Gaza

The Israeli army announced a unit commander in its Golani Brigade was killed during the fighting in northern Gaza.

At least 71 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the start of its ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. Palestinian fighters say losses by Israeli forces are greater than it.

Conflict between Israel and Hamas has gone beyond war to ‘terrorism’: Pope

Pope Francis on Wednesday met separately with Israeli relatives of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinians with family in Gaza and said the conflict had gone beyond war to become “terrorism”.

Speaking in unscripted remarks at his Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square shortly after the early morning meetings in his residence, Francis stated he heard directly how “both sides are suffering”.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad says Israeli ‘non-civilian prisoners’ will not be freed

In a statement on its Telegram channel, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group said Israeli soldiers will not be released until “all our prisoners are liberated from enemy prisons”.

In addition to Hamas, the PIJ has also been holding captives since October 7.

“We emphasise our continued confrontation of aggression, at all field and political levels, in order to thwart all the goals of this aggression,” the statement added.

Several killed in Israeli raids in West Bank

While Israel has continued its attack on Gaza, killing at least 100 Palestinians across the enclave overnight and this morning, its targeting of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has also continued.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Five Palestinians have been killed and five injured in an Israeli raid on the Tulkarem refugee camp.
  • One Palestinian was killed during an Israeli raid in Azzun, east of Qalqilya.
  • At least 23 Palestinians were detained in a raid on Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
  • Other raids took place in Awarta, southeast of Nablus; al-Dahiriyah and Idhna, south of Hebron; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.

Israeli military working out details for pause in fighting: Spokesperson

The Israeli military is still working out details for the pause in fighting included in the hostage release deal, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN’s Pamela Brown.

Conricus said the exact timing of the pause remains to be determined.

“Until we are told to do so by the Israeli government, we will continue fighting Hamas and when such a deal will come into effect, we will respect that. But we will be very vigilant on the ground,” Conricus continued.

Conricus added he fears Hamas will use the pause in fighting to resupply and regroup.

“Of course we would rather continue to apply pressure on Hamas,” he said, “But this pause is for a very important cause.”

“I can assure that we will be respectful of any agreement, that we will honor the commitments made by the Israeli government,” he added.

The agreement would see the release of at least 50 hostages in Gaza — women and children — in exchange for a four-day pause in Israel’s air and ground assault on the enclave, according to the Israeli government.

While the exact names of the hostages to be released has yet to be publicized, Conricus stated they are all Israelis, though some have dual nationalities.

The deal will also include the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners — women and children — held in Israeli jails, according to a Hamas statement. It would also allow the entry of hundreds of trucks carrying aid relief, medical supplies and fuel to Gaza.

Blinken to visit Israel early next week: Report

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is planning to visit Israel next week amid a looming prisoner swap deal and truce between Hamas and Israel.

According to Axios, Blinken’s trip has not been finalized but would take place after the US Thanksgiving holiday  on Thursday and before a summit of top NATO diplomats in Brussels on Tuesday.

The US has lobbied Israel to seal a hostage deal and pursue a pause in fighting in Gaza.

Blinken has already visited Israel three times since the outbreak of war on 7 October.

150 Palestinian prisoners will be released from Israeli jails as part of hostage deal: Hamas

One hundred and fifty Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails will be released as part of a deal reached with Israel over hostages held in Gaza, according to a Hamas statement early Wednesday.

The prisoners are women and children, the statement added.

Hamas confirmed the deal, brokered by Qatari and Egyptian mediation, which will see the release of 50 hostages, also women and children, held in Gaza since October 7. It also said the agreement involves the entry of hundreds of trucks carrying aid relief, medical supplies and fuel to all parts of Gaza.

3 Americans could be part of hostage release of 50 women and children: Officials

Three Americans could be part of the agreement securing the release of 50 women and children held hostage in Gaza, senior US officials said.

Ten Americans remain unaccounted for, including two women and one 3-year-old girl, according to a senior administration official.

“We’re determined to get everybody home,” a senior administration official said when pressed by CNN’s MJ Lee on the remaining unaccounted for Americans.

“The way the deal is structured, it very much incentivizes the release of everybody,” the official added.

“The hostages deal, as it is structured, includes a pause, a humanitarian pause over a number of days, four to five days at least. And there’s the potential with additional releases for that to be for that to be extended, but that will also be dependent upon Hamas releasing additional hostages.”

Satellite data indicates up to 50% of buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged in 6 weeks of war

Up to 50% of the buildings in northern Gaza and Gaza governorates have been damaged since October 7 in the Israel-Hamas war, according to an analysis of radar satellite data, called SAR, carried out by researchers at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Oregon State University.

Here’s what researchers found about different regions in Gaza from October 7 to November 18:

  • At least 20% of buildings in the entire Gaza Strip were likely damaged.
  • About 18,300 to 23,500 buildings are likely to have been damaged in northern Gaza, equating to 40% to 51% of the governorate’s buildings.
  • In the Gaza governorate, which is home to the enclave’s capital, Gaza City, 24,600 to 31,300 buildings are likely to have been damaged by fighting, equating to 40% to 50% of the buildings there.

Researchers also added since November 10, there has been a marked increase in the damage to buildings in the governorates of Khan Younis and Deir al Balah, where Israel has repeatedly told civilians from the north to flee to.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed last week that the country’s forces were in control of northern Gaza.

Israel says 4-day truce in Gaza could be extended if more hostages are released

The Israeli government held out the potential for a truce to extend beyond the original four-day period, saying in a statement that an extra day would be added to the truce for each 10 additional hostages available for release.

The statement also made clear that Israel plans to resume its air and ground campaign “to complete the eradication of Hamas” once this round of hostage releases concludes.

Israel’s cabinet approved a deal that would see the release of some hostages from Gaza on Tuesday in exchange for a four-day truce in Israel’s air and ground campaign in the enclave. The deal was approved by a significant majority of the cabinet.

Israel’s cabinet votes to approve deal to release at least 50 hostages in exchange for 4-day truce

Israel’s cabinet has approved a deal that would see the release of at least 50 hostages — women and children — held in Gaza by Hamas, in exchange for a four-day truce in Israel’s air and ground campaign in the enclave, according to an Israeli government statement.

The statement held out the potential for the truce to extend beyond the original four-day period, saying that an extra day would be added to the truce for each 10 additional hostages available for release.

The statement also made clear that Israel plans to resume its air and ground campaign “to complete the eradication of Hamas” once this round of hostage releases concludes.

The statement made no mention of the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, though it is understood this is also a key part of the deal.

1.7 million people displaced in Gaza Strip

In its latest update on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the main United Nations agency in the besieged territory announced that almost 1.7 million people have been displaced since October 7.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said that 930,000 internally displaced people were sheltering in its premises across Gaza as of November 19. The shelters are already severely overcrowded and have no more room for new arrivals, it added.

The organization announced the displacement of so many people was resulting in significant spread of diseases, including acute respiratory illness and diarrhea, instances of which have increased by 40% in the last two weeks.

Heavy rain and limited access to water and sanitation in Gaza are also posing a “serious threat of a mass disease outbreak” among children, the United Nations Children’s Fund warned Tuesday.

“Let’s be clear: the control of fuel and the access to water is to control whether thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of children live or die,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told a press briefing in Geneva.

On average, there is one shower unit for every 700 people and 160 people share a single toilet, according to UNRWA.

UNRWA also added it was told 120 liters of fuel would be allowed into Gaza every second day — but even that would only cover half of the critical daily requirement.

Without more fuel, the agency said it would be forced to handle a reduced number of aid trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossing daily into Rafah, and large parts of Gaza would continue to be flooded with sewage, further increasing risks of disease.

The agency also provided some other updates on its operations in Gaza. According to UNRWA, as of November 19:

  • A total of 1,268 aid trucks had entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Of these, 200 were UNRWA trucks, carrying food, water, medical supplies and other essential non-food items.
  • At least 778 internally displaced people sheltering in UNRWA premises have been injured and at least 176 killed since 7 October. That number is an estimate and is expected to be higher.
  • 17 installations were directly hit and 45 were impacted by collateral damage.
  • More than 100 UNRWA workers have been killed since the beginning of the war. At least half have been killed south of Wadi Gaza, in the area where Israel’s military has told civilians to move.
  • Nine out of 22 of its health centers are still operational in the middle and southern areas of Gaza.
  • There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, with more than 180 giving birth every day.
  • Wells continue to operate, and water trucking operations to the shelters in Rafah and Khan Younis continue. However, due to the reduced availability of fuel, the production of water wells had decreased from an average of 10,000 cubic meters to 7,000.
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