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Gaza War

Gaza War

Israel continues pounding of Gaza as humanitarian crisis reaches breaking point

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Hamas rules out prisoner exchange with Israel until Gaza bombardment over

(Reuters) - Deputy Hamas chief Saleh Al-Arouri has told the pan-Arab Al Jazeera TV that there will be no more prisoners exchanged with Israel until the bombardment of Gaza is over, Reuters reports.

Arouri said the hostages still being held captive by Hamas were Israeli soldiers and civilian men who had previously served in the Israeli army.

Israel wants ‘security envelope’, no Hamas on border: official

(Reuters) - A senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will seek a “security envelope” with special zones and arrangements that will prevent Hamas from being positioned on its border after the military offensive in Gaza is over.

Reuters has reported that Israel has informed several Arab states that it wants to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza’s border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for the coastal enclave after the fighting ends.

France stresses on efforts for 'lasting ceasefire' in Gaza

(AFP) - French President Emmanuel Macron Saturday appealed for intensified efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a day after deadly fighting resumed between Israel and Hamas after the truce expiry.

Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the UN's COP28 climate talks in Dubai, Macron highlighted the need to allow more urgently needed aid into Gaza and said: "This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire."

US will not permit forced relocation of Palestinians: US VP

(Reuters) - US Vice President Kamala Harris told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that “under no circumstance, the United States will permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank”, according to a White House statement on the meeting on the sidelines of the COP28 Conference in Dubai, Reuters reports.

Harris discussed with Sisi efforts for reconstruction, security, and governance in Gaza, stating that they “can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority,” the statement added

Nowhere to hide, say Gazans in south under Israeli bombardment

(Reuters) - Under aerial bombardment from Israel, people sheltering in the south of the Gaza Strip after fleeing their homes earlier in the war said on Saturday they had nowhere safe to go now.

The city of Khan Younis is the focus of Israeli air strikes and artillery fire after fighting resumed on Friday following the collapse of a week-long truce. Its population has swelled in recent weeks as several hundred thousand people from the northern Gaza Strip have fled south.

Israel pulls back negotiating team from Qatar citing ‘impasse’

(Web Desk) - Israel has ordered its Mossad negotiating team in Doha to return to Israel due to what it called an “impasse”, Al Jazeera reports.

“Following the impasse in the negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Barnea, head of the Mossad, ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel,” Netanyahu’s office has said in a statement.

It said that Hamas “did not fulfil its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it”.


UN Women says it is alarmed by allegations of gender-based violence during October 7 attack

UN Women says it was “alarmed” by the accounts of gender-based and sexual violence committed during the October 7 attack when Hamas fighters assaulted communities in southern Israel killing at least 1,200 people.

“We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks,” the UN said in a statement.

“This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core,” it added.

Hamas has repeatedly denied these accusations. 

‘We will never forget’: Reliving the pain of the Nakba amid Israel’s war

The images of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza piling whatever belongings they can carry into cars and donkey carts, or on their backs as they trek on foot, are painfully similar to the images 86-year-old Abdullah Naswhan remembers of the Nakba.

Abdullah had fled with his parents during the Nakba of 1948 – when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes and land during the creation of Israel.

In 1967, the war between Israel and a coalition of Arab nations led by Egypt, Syria and Jordan ended with Israel in control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights. The family was uprooted again, like some 430,000 Palestinians, with most fleeing into neighbouring Jordan.

With more than 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people displaced by Israel’s attacks, this is the largest mass displacement of Palestinians in 75 years.

His son Saadi says his father is devastated by the war, the terrible images reminding him of his two-times displacement. “We are watching Palestine fall apart,” he added. 

‘No more civilian killings’: Belgium’s De Croo

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo says he has spoken with Israel’s president and called for an end to civilian killings.

“I’ve addressed my concerns about the fact that violence has started again and I’ve again repeated what I said at the Rafah gate: no more civilian killings,” De Croo told reporters at the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai.

“We hope that as soon as possible, more hostages can be liberated. We hope that the humanitarian access could be a permanent humanitarian access,” he said, adding that it is “unfortunate” that violence in Gaza has started again.

Israel stopped aid trucks from entering Gaza on Friday following the end of a seven-day truce. 

Aid trucks could enter Gaza today

We’re getting reports from the ground that humanitarian aid trucks carrying supplies including food, medicine and fuel to UN locations are expected to enter Gaza in limited quantities today, Al Jazeera reported.

This comes after Israel stopped trucks from entering the besieged enclave on Friday.


Israeli army says it hit 400 targets overnight, dozens in southern Khan Younis

The Israeli army says it hit more than 400 targets overnight, including in the southern Khan Younis area where tens of thousands of civilians evacuated in the past month.

There, the military said it conducted overnight a “large-scale attack” hitting more than 50 targets. Its naval forces also attacked the area with what it said were “precision weapons” aimed at Hamas-affiliated infrastructure.

Israel called on people to evacuate from Khan Younis as it expands its military operations. It told civilians to move southwards towards Rafah, close to the border with Egypt. 

Areas in Khan Younis ‘wiped out’

Shortly after the Israel-Hamas truce ended on Friday, the first casualties started arriving in the southern area of Khan Younis.

“I was asleep when I heard the sound of falling bricks. After that, I heard my siblings’ voices and I went to them. Then, I heard people starting to dig and they came and pulled us out,” 10-year-old Reem told Al Jazeera.

Amal Abu Dagga, said her family was just waking up when suddenly their and the neighbours house was hit.

“I rushed into the street without even putting on my clothes. I got dressed in the street. The entire area where we live has been completely wiped out,” she said.

Closer to 200 people have been reported killed since the truce ended on Friday.


A protester is in critical condition after setting himself on fire outside an Israeli consulate

ATLANTA — A protester in the United States is in critical condition after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. A security guard who tried to intervene was also injured.

A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of Friday’s protest, said Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum. He said investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.

Authorities did not release the protester’s name, age or gender. The protester was in critical condition with burn injuries to the body. Fire officials say a security guard that tried to stop the person was burned on his wrist and leg.


A roundup of the latest military updates

Al Jazeera reporters inside Gaza report that Israeli air strikes hit several targets across the strip, including in the southern cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.

Civilians in the enclave report that the Israeli army dropped leaflets calling on them to move southwards towards Rafah despite the area being hit.

Sirens were activated in Israeli communities living close to the fence with Gaza warning of possible incoming rockets.

The Israeli army reports heavy fighting overnight in the north of the strip, including in Gaza City and Beit Lahia.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported that Israeli air strikes hit several points on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

The Israeli army says it attacked a unit of fighters in southern Lebanon accused of carrying out an earlier shooting. 

Qatar says negotiations continuing

Qatar, which has played a central mediating role, said negotiations were still going on with Israelis and Palestinians to restore the truce, but Israel's renewed bombardment of Gaza had complicated matters.

An Israeli official in Washington said it was a "very high priority" to get as many hostages released as possible.

"And for that, under agreed terms, Israel is willing to give additional pauses," the official said, while adding: "We can negotiate while we still fight." 

‘People are dying all around us’: Indonesian medical volunteer in southern Gaza

Fikri Rofiul Haq, a volunteer from Indonesia who worked at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza before its recent destruction by Israeli forces, said the sounds of Israel’s bombardments are all around.

“You can hear the sound of attacks taking place all over the Gaza Strip now and people are dying all around us,” Haq told Al Jazeera.

“We are still sheltering in a government school in South Gaza and have been here for the past seven days since we were evacuated from the Indonesia Hospital,” he said.

Haq said the brief truce had allowed people in Gaza to go back to living somewhat normal lives, though there were still shortages, even with the humanitarian aid that started to arrive with the pause in fighting.

“Now the ceasefire is over because Israel refused an extension,” he said.