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Gaza War

Gaza War

Israel continues unbridled pounding of Gaza amidst unlivable conditions

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 Israeli forces battle Hamas in southern Gaza, humanitarian concerns grow

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops fought fierce battles with Hamas in southern Gaza on Wednesday after reaching the heart of the city of Khan Younis, forcing Palestinian civilians to seek refuge elsewhere as the number of safe areas decreases.

Israeli warplanes also bombarded targets across the densely populated coastal territory in one of the heaviest phases of fighting in the two months since Israel began its military campaign to eliminate the Palestinian militant group.

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UN rights chief warns of heightened risk of 'atrocity crimes' in Gaza

GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk warned on Wednesday there was a heightened risk of "atrocity crimes" in Gaza, urging parties involved to refrain from committing such violations.

According to the United Nations, the term "atrocity crimes" refers to the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by international treaties. 

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Talk of Gaza buffer zone ‘disrespectful: Erdogan

The Turkish president has denounced Israel’s plan to create a demilitarised buffer zone in Gaza, saying even discussing such an idea is “disrespectful to Palestinians”, Al Jazeera reports.

Speaking to reporters, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also reiterated that Gaza’s future should be in the hands of Palestinians and defended Hamas as a legitimate resistance force.

He also warned Israel against going after any Hamas members on Turkish soil, saying it would “pay a heavy price” for doing so.

Palestinian official calls for more sanctions on settlers

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, has welcomed an announcement by the US State Department saying it will impose visa restrictions on Israeli settlers involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the occupied West Bank.

Calling it a “step in the right direction”, Zomlot also stressed that “all illegal colonial settlers, including dual nationals, the state that sponsors and enables them, and the organisations that fund them, must be sanctioned”.

He added in a post on X: “International law is clear: there are no bad or good settlers; settlements are clearly defined as war crimes. All of them.”

Displaced between streets and tents

Photographer Mahmoud Bassam has shared a video capturing the harsh conditions faced by displaced Palestinians in Rafah, in southern Gaza, as Israel ramps up its attacks.

You can watch the footage, which was verified by Al Jazeera, below:

Palestinian factions warn against ‘displacement plot’ in Sinai targeting Gaza residents

A statement by the Palestinian factions says their position is united in confronting what they say is the conspiracy that aims to displace the people from the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai.

“We reject any projects to resettle Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, whether in Sinai or elsewhere, and that our Palestinian people have one homeland to live in, which is Palestine and Palestine only,” the statement by the Follow-up Committee of the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces said.

The factions warned against “any agreement with the Zionist project of displacement under the headings of protection, humanitarian assistance, or safe areas”.

Throughout the two-month old war, many Palestinians have expressed their fear of a mass displacement, or second Nakba, which refers to the 1947-1949 ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by Zionist paramilitaries that transformed two-thirds of the Palestinian population at the time into refugees.

“Whoever wants to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza must intervene to stop the genocidal war and open the crossings, and not implement the enemy’s goals by displacing the Palestinians outside their homeland,” the statement said.


Netanyahu plan puts Israel on ‘diplomatic collision course’ with US

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says there will be a demilitarised Gaza [after the war], but that’s not quite how everyone else thinks.

His idea of demilitarising Gaza is actually to put the Israeli army in that area.

This is going to put Israel on a diplomatic collision course, not only with its neighbours but with the US, which has repeatedly said there can be no loss of territory in Gaza after the war and certainly does not want to see Israel involved in any “occupation” of the land.


Four wounded, one critically, in Israeli raid on West Bank camp

Israeli forces have raided the Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Ahmed Jibril, the director of the Red Crescent Ambulance and Emergency Centre in Nablus, said one man was in serious condition after being shot in the head.

The three other men have been shot in different parts of their bodies but are stable.

Local sources said Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian, Ali Odeh, before withdrawing from Balata camp.


Israeli army tanks move toward the centre of Khan Younis city after a night of non-stop artillery shelling and clashes around Gaza 

No need for ‘mystical analysis’ to understand Israel’s intention

Mohammed Elmasry, a professor in media studies at the Doha Institute, says there’s no need for a “mystical analysis” to understand Israel’s intention behind the war on Gaza.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Masry cited statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant early on in the war stating that Israel “will turn Gaza into an island of ruins” and “will eliminate everything”.

“The point that I’m making is that there was genocidal intent from the outset; it’s been matched by what we’ve seen on the ground with Israel deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure,” he said.

Elmasry also said that while this might be Israel’s intent, it does not necessarily mean it will be able to do it, adding that this explained the calls to Egypt and Jordan to take in the Palestinians in Gaza.


Israeli army says it struck 250 Gaza targets in a day

According to a post on X, Israeli military personnel have been tasked with locating and destroying weapons, underground shafts and explosive charges.

The army also said launchers used to fire missiles at the centre of Israel yesterday had been destroyed. 

An Israeli helicopter fires a rocket at the Israel-Gaza border as seen from southern Israel, December 6, 2023 [Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters]

Gaza one of world’s ‘most dangerous places’

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees warns that the situation in Gaza is “getting worse each minute”.

The UNRWA said people fleeing Israeli attacks have nowhere safe to turn, as all shelters are already beyond capacity.

“Another wave of displacement is underway in Gaza”, UNRWA said in a post on X, calling the entire Strip “one of the most dangerous places in the world.

“There is nowhere to go as shelters, including [those of] UNRWA, are overflowing.”

Netanyahu, Biden speak out about rape allegations

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused international human rights groups of turning a blind eye to rapes that Israel says were committed by Hamas militants during their Oct. 7 cross-border rampage.

Witnesses and medical experts have said that Hamas militants committed a series of rapes and other attacks before killing the victims in the attack, though the extent of the sexual violence remains unknown.

Experts have been piecing together evidence in recent weeks in a case that is complicated because there are no known victims to testify and limited forensic evidence.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Netanyahu accused the international community of playing down the attacks and even ignoring them. He said he expects “all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity.”

Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Boston, U.S. President Joe Biden called on the world to condemn the acts by Hamas “without equivocation” and “without exception.”

He also stressed that “Hamas’ refusal to release the remaining young women” is what ended a temporary truce and hostage agreement that the U.S. helped broker.


Limited humanitarian aid is going to Gaza

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations says limited humanitarian aid is being delivered only to the Rafah region in southern Gaza because of intense hostilities. It also says that all telecom services have shut down due to cuts in the main fiber routes.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that only 100 aid trucks with humanitarian supplies and 69,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt on Monday, about the same amount as Sunday.

That is well below the daily average of 170 trucks and 110,000 liters of fuel that entered Gaza during the humanitarian pause from Nov. 24-30, he said.

Dujarric quoted Lynn Hastings, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the Palestinian territories, saying “shelters have no capacity, the health system is on its knees, and there is a lack of clean drinking water, no proper sanitation and poor nutrition.”

He reiterated that there are no safe places in Gaza and that “those places that fly the U.N. flag are not safe either.”

Dujarric said the main telecommunication provider in Gaza announced the shutdown of all telecom services Monday night.. 

Gaza death toll passes 16,000

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 42,000 wounded since the Israel-Hamas war broke out two months ago.

The ministry said Tuesday evening that the death toll included more than 6,000 children and more than 4,000 women. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

The figures show a sharp rise in deaths since a weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed late last week. Since the resumption of fighting on Friday, more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed, according to the Health Ministry.

Last week, the United States urged Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians as its air and ground campaign shifted to southern Gaza, particularly in and around Khan Younis, the territory’s second largest city.


US facing growing Middle East crisis tied to Israel-Hamas war

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Washington is facing an increasingly complex and dangerous crisis resulting from the Israel-Hamas war, which has sparked repeated militant attacks and drawn US military attention and assets back to the Middle East.

The United States has deployed two aircraft carriers and other forces in a bid to deter a devastating region-wide conflict. But the current violence in the Middle East – while not rising to that level – still carries significant danger.

Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen raised the stakes over the weekend by striking commercial vessels in the Red Sea, while a US Navy destroyer shot down several inbound drones as it operated in the area and responded to distress calls.

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US facing growing Middle East crisis tied to Israel-Hamas war

Situation in Gaza 'getting worse by the hour' - WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – A World Health Organisation official in Gaza said on Tuesday the situation was deteriorating by the hour as Israeli bombing has intensified in the south of the Palestinian enclave around the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.

"The situation is getting worse by the hour," Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in Gaza, told reporters via video link. "There's intensified bombing going on all around, including here in the southern areas, Khan Younis and even in Rafah."

Peeperkorn said the humanitarian aid reaching Gaza was "way too little" and said the WHO was deeply concerned about the vulnerability of the health system in the densely populated enclave as more people move further south to escape the bombing.

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Situation in Gaza 'getting worse by the hour' - WHO

Six reported killed in Israeli strike on Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza

At least six people were killed and several others wounded following an Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, according to an Al Jazeera news team at the site of the strike.

Al Jazeera video footage showed a collapsed building and rescue efforts following the attack, the second such raid on the refugee camp in two days.

The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, also confirmed the death toll and cited civil defence sources as saying that “a large number” of people were feared to be under the rubble.

Wafa also reported casualties following separate Israeli attacks on Khan Younis; the neighbourhoods of Tuffah, al-Daraj, and Shujayea in Gaza City; as well as on Fukhari, Khuza’a, Abasan and the Jabalia refugee camp.

 Displaced Palestinians Forced Further South On Gaza Strip As Israel Intensifies Military OffensiveKHAN YUNIS, GAZA - DECEMBER 5: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) A Palestinian child injured in an Israeli airstrike arrives at Nasser Medical Hospital on December 05, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. With more than 300 Palestinians killed as Israel steps up military operations in Gaza after a sustained truce between Hamas and Israel did not hold further than a week despite diplomatic talks and captives released.(Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

Qatar, Saudi Arabia call for end to ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza

In a joint statement by the Qatari-Saudi Coordination Council, the emir of Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince have expressed their “deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also stressed the need “to stop military operations in the Palestinian territories, and the need to protect civilians in accordance with international law”, the statement said.

“The two sides also stressed the importance of international pressure on Israel to stop the forced displacement of Palestinians,” it added.

The two leaders also urged the international community to “intensify efforts” to settle the Palestinian issue in accordance with the principle of the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative.


 Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman welcomes the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, during the 18th consultative meeting of the leaders of the GCC & the Gulf summit with the central Asian countries C5, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 19, 2023. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY

US Congress support for Gaza ceasefire lower than American public: Tlaib

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has questioned why so few members of Congress support a ceasefire in comparison with the American public.

In a post on social media, Tlaib cited new polling data from Data for Progress which showed that 61 percent of Americans support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

She then noted that only 11 percent of Congress has called for a ceasefire.

Tlaib, who was censured by the US house on November 7, has been calling for a ceasefire alongside 39 other lawmakers in the House and the Senate.

Israeli hostage families angry after meeting with Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met families of returned hostages on Tuesday in an encounter that some of those present described as loud and angry.

The meeting came as fighting has resumed in the Gaza Strip following a seven-day pause that saw the return of more than 100 hostages from the enclave. The fate of 138 captives who remained behind is still open.

"I heard stories that broke my heart, I heard about the thirst and hunger, about physical and mental abuse," Netanyahu said at a news conference. "I heard and you also heard, about sexual assault and cases of brutal rape unlike anything."

Several of the relatives who attended the meeting left bitterly critical of the government.

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Israeli hostage families angry after meeting with Netanyahu

In southern Gaza, Israel mounts fiercest attacks so far in war against Hamas

GAZA (Reuters) – Israel's military assaulted southern Gaza's main city in what it said was the fiercest combat since it began its ground invasion to eliminate Hamas five weeks ago, while the US again pressed Israel to minimise Palestinian civilian casualties.

Israel reported its forces, backed by war planes, on Tuesday reached the heart of Khan Younis in southern Gaza and also surrounded the city. Hamas' armed wing, the al Qassam Brigades, said its fighters engaged in violent clashes with Israelis.

"We are in the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation," the commander of the Israeli military's Southern Command, General Yaron Finkelman, said in a statement.

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In southern Gaza, Israel mounts fiercest attacks so far in war against Hamas

Despite Gaza death toll soaring, US unlikely to rethink weapons supplies to Israel

WASHINGTON/LONDON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Facing a soaring death toll from Israel's renewed offensive in southern Gaza, the Biden administration is trying to pressure its ally to minimize civilian deaths while stopping well short of the kind of measures that might force it to listen, such as threatening to restrict military aid.

Top US officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have urged Israel publicly to conduct a more surgical offensive in the south to avoid the heavy civilian casualties inflicted by its attacks in the north.

About 900 people in Gaza were killed in Israeli airstrikes between Friday when a truce ended and Monday, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, about the same number killed in strikes in Gaza over the four days following the Hamas cross-border raid on Israel on Oct. 7, though fewer than the 1,199 who died in the four days following the start of Israel's ground offensive on northern Gaza Oct 28.

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Despite Gaza death toll soaring, US unlikely to rethink weapons supplies to Israel

Germany drops on freedom index over pro-Palestinian, climate activist crackdowns

Germany has been downgraded on a global report on the state of civil liberties over its harsh treatment of pro-Palestinian groups and climate activists.

Civicus, an international non-governmental organisation monitoring civil society worldwide, said Germany was no longer rated as “open” in its latest global report released on Wednesday.

German authorities had broken up non-violent climate demonstrations and “responded to pro-Palestinian protests in late 2023 with excessive force and bans,” the group said.

“Police used excessive force against pro-Palestinian protesters in a district of Berlin with a significant Arab population, including deploying pepper spray and water cannons and arresting 174 people,” Civicus said.

“Such restrictions on the ability to gather and demonstrate are discriminatory in nature and violate the right to peaceful assembly,” it added.

GCC leaders condemn Israel for violations of international law in Gaza

(Web Desk) - Members of the GCC have condemned Israel for committing “clear violations” of international law and reiterated their demand for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In a statement issued at the end of the 44th session of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday, the leaders of the six nations condemned Israel’s ongoing military actions in Gaza, “which have led to the forced displacement of the civilian population, and the destruction of civilian facilities and infrastructure, including residential buildings, schools, health facilities, and places of worship.”

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GCC leaders condemn Israel for violations of international law in Gaza

US announces visa bans after warning Israel over West Bank violence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US on Tuesday began imposing visa bans on people involved in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Washington officials said, after several appeals for Israel to do more prevent violence by Jewish settlers.

A new State Department visa restriction policy targets "individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

President Joe Biden and other senior US officials have warned repeatedly that Israel must act to stop violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. Attacks there have surged in recent months as Jewish settlements have expanded, and then spiked again since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

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 US announces visa bans after warning Israel over West Bank violence

Two Palestinian teens killed in Israeli raids in West Bank: Report

Citing sources from the Palestine Red Crescent, the Wafa news agency said that two Palestinians were killed and three others injured in raids in the al-Fara’a refugee camp and the town of Tammoun, south of Tubas.

Wafa identified the two teens killed as 18-year-old Moaz Ibrahim Zahran, from al-Fara’a, and 16-year-old Abdul Rahman Imad Bani Odeh from Tammoun.

A separate video posted on X by our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic showed several Israeli armoured vehicles driving through a street in al-Fara’a during the raid as sounds of heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in the background.