Brit in Gaza describes desperate scene at Rafah crossing
The Israeli military’s chief of staff, Herzi Halevy, said his forces were closing in on Gaza and “fighting in a built-up, dense, complex area.”
On Thursday, Israeli planes dropped leaflets warning with the message “time is up” warning residents to immediately evacuate Shati refugee camp, a densely built-up district on the Mediterranean coast bordering Gaza City’s center.
In a statement, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We’re at the height of the battle. We’ve had impressive successes and have passed the outskirts of Gaza City. We are advancing,”
This comes as the death toll of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes rises to 9,061, according to the Hamas-led health ministry.
Among those killed include 3,760 children and 2,326 women while a further 32,000 have been injured, they said.
Five battles are currently being fought between the IDF and Hamas, with the biggest taking place in the north-west of the strip.
No British citizens are expected to leave Gaza today, despite government assurances that it is a “top priority” to retrieve the 200 Britons trapped in the besieged enclave.
Ukraine says more than 260 civilians killed after stepping on mines since beginning of Russian invasion
Around 174,000sq km of Ukraine, making up about a third of its territory, has been potentially strewn with mines or dangerous war detritus, estimates from Kyiv officials showed.
The 571 injuries have occurred in more than 560 incidents that involve mines or explosive objects left behind in the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops, the country’s General Staff of the Armed Forces said on its official Telegram channel on Wednesday.
Almost a quarter of these incidents have happened in fields, the military official said.
Lydia Patrick3 November 2023 06:00
Irish president calls for independent verification of facts in Israel-Hamas conflict
He hit out at breaches of international law by both state and non-state actors and said the “ongoing horrific loss of civilian life” in both Gaza and Israel “should concern us all”.
The former communications minister said it was important that those killed in the fighting were “not reduced to competing press releases”.
Namita Singh3 November 2023 05:48
Israel’s troops in Gaza City as Netanyahu says his nation’s forces at ‘height of battle’
“We have advanced another significant stage in the war [with Hamas],” Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, the Israeli army’s chief of staff, said. “The forces are in the heart of northern Gaza, operating in Gaza City, surrounding it, and deepening [the ground offensive].”
Echoing Lt Gen Halevi, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said troops were “at the height of the battle” with Hamas and were “advancing”.
“We’ve passed the outskirts of Gaza City. We are advancing,” he said. Military officials had said that troops were conducting “face-to-face” battles with Hamas militants.
Read this joint report from Bel Trew and Chris Stevenson:
Namita Singh3 November 2023 05:08
UAE warns against risk of regional spillover from Gaza war
Gulf Arab power the United Arab Emirates warned that there was a real risk of a regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, adding that it was working “relentlessly” to secure a humanitarian ceasefire.
“As we continue working to stop this war we cannot ignore the wider context and the necessity to turn down the regional temperature that is approaching a boiling point,” Noura al-Kaabi, a minister of state for foreign affairs, told a policy conference in the capital, Abu Dhabi.
“The risk of regional spillover and further escalation is real, as well as the risk that extremist groups will take advantage of the situation to advance ideologies that will keep us locked in cycles of violence.”
Namita Singh3 November 2023 05:00
Rishi Sunak under pressure as hundreds of Britons remain stranded in Gaza
The prime minister has promised that the rescue of Brits inside the besieged enclave is a “top priority”.
But while foreign nationals from other countries including Belgium, Japan and the United States were among 500 names on the list, the UK was omitted. The Foreign Office later said some had made it through, though it would not release numbers.
Just two British nationals were on Wednesday’s list, while around 200 British nationals are understood to be stuck in Gaza.
Lydia Patrick3 November 2023 05:00
7 October Hamas attack ‘act of terrorism’, says Indian foreign minister
The 7 October attack by Hamas is “a big of act of terrorism”, said Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar as he backed a two-state solution for Palestine.
“What happened on October 7 is a big act of terrorism and the subsequent happenings after that…this has taken the entire region into a very different direction. But surely it must be everybody’s hope that eventually, the conflict cannot be the normal in the region…that it comes back to some stability, some cooperation. Within this, we have to find a balance in between different issues… we all find terrorism unacceptable and we have to stand up on terrorism,” Mr Jaishankar said.
“But there is also an issue of Palestine. There has to be a solution to the problems being faced by the Palestinian people. And our view is that it has to be a two-state solution. If you have to find a solution, you have to find it through dialogue and negotiation. You cannot find a solution through conflict and terrorism. So we will support that as well.
“Given the current situation…we do believe that international humanitarian law must be respected by everybody. So in any complex situation, it is not wise to not get the balance right. That is a very important part of addressing a very difficult and complicated situation,” he added.
Namita Singh3 November 2023 04:52
Thailand in talks with Iran, other governments for Hamas hostages release
Thailand is in touch with Iran and other governments that can make contact with Hamas for the safe release of nearly two dozen Thai nationals being held hostage by the organisation, its foreign minister said today.
Foreign minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said Iran, which is close to Hamas, has promised to help with negotiations.
At least 23 Thai nationals were among more than 240 people taken hostage when Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October.
Namita Singh3 November 2023 04:44
Indonesia foreign minister: 4 Indonesians evacuated from Gaza on 2 November
Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi today said that four Indonesians and one wife of an Indonesian national had been evacuated from Gaza yesterday.
The evacuees had arrived in Cairo, she said in a press conference.
Namita Singh3 November 2023 04:26
Chile’s Boric, after condemning Israel over Gaza, raises concerns with Biden
Chilean president Gabriel Boric, who this week condemned Israeli military’s air bombardment of Gaza and recalled his envoy to Israel said he told president Joe Biden that Israel’s actions were violating international law.
Mr Boric said he condemned the 7 October attack on Israel by the Hamas militant group that killed 1,400 people, and called for the release of Israeli hostages, but added Israel’s retaliatory bombardment of Gaza had been disproportionate and was violating international law.
“These Hamas attacks are without justification, they deserve global condemnation, but the response by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government also deserves our clearest condemnation,” he told reporters after his meeting with Mr Biden at the White House.
“There’s no doubt we can say the response has been disproportionate and is violating international humanitarian law,” he said. “The right of a state to defend itself has limits, and those limits imply respecting the lives of innocent civilians, especially children, and respecting civil humanitarian law.”
Asked about Mr Biden’s response, Boric said it was not his place to speak for the American president.
The White House issued a statement later on Thursday that said Mr Biden had “reaffirmed our continued efforts to urgently increase and sustain the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance” including food, water, and medical care “to civilians in Gaza”.
Mr Biden is facing mounting pressure abroad and at home for failing to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, although the White House is now backing a series of “pauses” in the fighting to allow people to exit Gaza and aid to flow in.
Namita Singh3 November 2023 04:19
‘It is simply wrong’: The Israel-Palestine conflict is tearing the art world apart
When it was announced early last month, “Treasured Ornament: 10 Centuries of Islamic Art” promised an exhibit that evoked “the rich history of the Islamic world, and the shared human experiences that bind us, transcending borders and boundaries”.
The decision is the latest move in a wider upheaval within art institutions and media targeting pro-Palestinian and Muslim content, writes Alex Woodward.
Natalie Crockett3 November 2023 04:00