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UN: ‘The carnage simply must stop’
The UN has called for an end to the carnage afflicting war-torn Gaza during Israel’s military campaign, according to a top UN aid official’s comments released today.
‘The present course chosen by the Israeli authorities will not bring the peace and stability that both Israelis and Palestinians want and deserve,’ Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), wrote in a media opinion piece.
‘Razing entire neighbourhoods to the ground is not an answer for the egregious crimes committed by Hamas.
‘To the contrary, it is creating a new generation of aggrieved Palestinians who are likely to continue the cycle of violence. The carnage simply must stop.’
German foreign minister: Israel must not lose ‘historic opportunity’ for peace with Arab states
Israel must not lose a ‘historic opportunity’ for peace with Arab states due to its war, Germany’s foreign minister has said as she embarked on a trip to the region.
Annalena Baerbock is making her third visit to the Middle East since Palestinian militant group Hamas launched its October 7 attack from the Gaza Strip, which sparked a conflict with Israel.
One of her stops will be the United Arab Emirates, which was among countries that normalised relations with Israel in 2020.
She will also visit Saudi Arabia, which had been in talks over a potential normalisation with Israel, until they were paused when the current war broke out.
In addition, Baerbock will visit Israel.
‘In this almost unresolvable turmoil, it is crucial not to lose sight of the big picture,’ she said. ‘Israel’s historic opportunity for peace with its Arab neighbours must not be lost – because that is precisely the goal of the terrorists.’
Iran warns expansion of Israel-Hamas war is ‘inevitable’
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Friday that expansion of the Israel-Hamas war has become “inevitable”, amid widespread concern in the region and beyond that the conflict could spread.
“Due to the increasing intensity of the war against the civilian residents of Gaza, the expansion of the scope of the war has now become inevitable”, Amir-Abdollahian said to his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in a phone call.
His comments were cited on the ministry’s website.
The Islamic republic, which supports Hamas financially and militarily, has hailed the militant group’s attack on Israel as a “success” but denied any involvement.
The Israeli military has surrounded Gaza ‘s biggest hospital where it claims Hamas is hiding its underground headquarters, and is closing in around it.
IDF troops are said to be about 270 yards away from the Al-Shifa hospital, where an estimated 60,000 people have taken refuge, many in a makeshift camp.
Heavy fighting has been reported in recent days around the medical facility as Israeli troops battle through the narrow streets in their operation to destroy Hamas.
Overnight, Hamas-run local authorities accused the IDF of shelling areas around hospitals in the north of the coastal strip, including Al-Shifa, as well as the Rantisi children’s hospital and the Indonesian hospital.
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Blinken says ‘far too many’ Palestinians have died and more needs to be done to save lives
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says ‘far too many’ Palestinians have died and more needs to be done to save lives and get aid where it’s most needed.
Speaking in New Dheli Friday, Bliken said the U.S. ‘appreciates’ Israel’s steps to minimize civilian casualties but that’s not enough.
He said the U.S. has proposed additional ideas to the Israelis about how to accomplish that including longer ‘humanitarian pauses’ and expanding the amount of assistance getting into Gaza.
Blinken’s remarks come as the Israeli military pushed deeper into dense urban neighborhoods in its battle with Hamas militants.
Turkey discusses increasing daily number of aid trucks to 500 for Gaza
Turkey discussed increasing the daily number of aid trucks to at least 500 for Gaza with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Ankara, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
The top U.S. diplomat took a positive approach on the issue during talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Erdogan said.
Ankara will take steps to provide ambulances, food, water and medication to Gaza in cooperation with other countries, Erdogan also said as he spoke to reporters during his return flight from Uzbekistan.
Breaking: Palestinian Authority says it is ready to assume responsibilities in Gaza as part of political solution
The Palestinian Authority is ready to assume responsibilities in the Gaza Strip as part of a comprehensive political solution for the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (seen below on Nov. 5) has said.
Blinken welcomes pauses but says more needs to be done to protect civilians
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he welcomed Israel’s agreed pauses in its offensive in Gaza, but that more needed to be done.
‘I think some progress has been made,’ Blinken said, speaking in New Delhi.
‘But I was also very clear that much more needs to be done in terms of protecting civilians and getting humanitarian assistance to them.’
UN report paints dire picture of Palestinian economy, with GDP shrinking 4 percent
A new UN report has painted a stark picture of the devastation of the collapse of the Palestinian economy after a month of war and Israel’s siege of Gaza.
The gross domestic product shrank 4 percent in the West Bank and Gaza in the war’s first month, sending over 400,000 people into poverty.
Such an economic impact has been unseen in the conflicts Syria and Ukraine, or any previous Israel-Hamas war, the UN said.
The rapid assessment of economic consequences of the Gaza war released Thursday by the UN Development Program and the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia was the first UN report showing the devastating impact of the conflict especially on the Palestinians.
If the war continues for a second month, the UN projects that the Palestinian GDP, which was $20.4 billion before the war began, will drop by 8.4% – a loss of $1.7 billion. And if the conflict lasts a third month, Palestinian GDP will drop by 12%, with losses of $2.5 billion and more than 660,000 people pushed into poverty, it projects.
Netanyahu casts doubt on daily pauses in fighting
The White House said on Thursday that Israel agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, but there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting.
- The pauses, which would allow people to flee along two humanitarian corridors and could be used for the release of hostages, were significant first steps, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said.
- But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested any pauses would be scattered, and there was no official confirmation of a plan for recurring breaks.
- Asked if there would be a ‘stoppage’ in fighting, Netanyahu said on the Fox News Channel: ‘No. The fighting continues against the Hamas enemy, the Hamas terrorists, but in specific locations for a given period of a few hours here or a few hours there, we want to facilitate the safe passage of civilians away from the zone of fight and we’re doing that.’
UN slams four-hour daily pauses in fighting as ‘very cynical and cruel’
Francesca Albanese, the U.N. special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, described Israel’s decision to allow a four-hour humanitarian pause each day in combat operations in northern Gaza to allow civilians to flee to the south as ‘very cynical and cruel.’
‘There has been continuous bombings, 6,000 bombs every week on the Gaza Strip, on this tiny piece of land where people are trapped and the destruction is massive. There won’t be any way back after what Israel is doing to the Gaza Strip,’ Albanese told reporters in Adelaide, Australia, on Friday.
‘So four hours cease-fire, yes, to let people breathe and to remember what is the sound of life without bombing before starting bombing them again. It’s very cynical and cruel.’
Netanyahu says he is not seeking ‘to govern Gaza’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war in Gaza will continue until Hamas is defeated but asserted that the country has no intention to conquer or govern the blockaded territory after the fighting ends.
Netanyahu said Israel does not ‘seek to govern Gaza’, adding ‘We don’t seek to occupy it, but we seek to give it and us a better future.’
In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday evening, Netanyahu made clear that though Israel had no intention of occupying Gaza, it did envision a radically reshaped territory free of Hamas.
‘What we have to see is Gaza demilitarised, deradicalized and rebuilt,’ he said.