Hundreds of thousands march in London for ceasefire, while Israel targets Gaza hospitals - Day 36 as it happened

Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Nov 2023

On the 36th day of Israel's war on Gaza, the U.N. humanitarian agency describes northern Gaza as hell on earth. Doctors report a catastrophic situation in the largest hospital, al-Shifa, as Israel's airstrikes on the facility escalate. Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians are evacuating southern Gaza as Israel's occupation army pushes deeper into densely populated urban areas. The death toll from Israel's killing has surpassed 11,000.

People salvage some belongings from a damaged building following Israeli bombing on Rafah in the sou
People salvage some belongings from a damaged building following Israeli bombing on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 11, 2023. AFP


23:20 The Israel occupation army said Saturday nearly 200,000 people had fled north Gaza for the south of the Palestinian territory. This comes amidst the ongoing intense Israeli bombardment targeting civilians in the strip, now entering its 36th day.

"Nearly 200,000 people left the north just in the past three days and moved southward," military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing.

22:20 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back Saturday against growing international calls for a cease-fire, claiming Israel’s war to crush Gaza’s ruling Hamas militants will continue with “full force.”

A cease-fire would be possible only if all 239 captives held by militants in Gaza are released, Netanyahu said in a televised address.

He insisted that after the war, now entering its sixth week, Gaza would be demilitarised and Israel would retain security control there. The position appears to run counter to post-war scenarios floated by Israel’s closest ally, the United States, which has said it opposes an Israeli reoccupation of the territory.

Asked what he meant by security control, Netanyahu said Israeli forces must be able to enter Gaza when necessary to hunt down militants.

Netanyahu ruled out a role for the current Palestinian Authority government in Gaza once the war between Israel and Hamas is over.

"There will have to be something else there," he said, when asked whether the Palestinian Authority, which has partial administrative control in the occupied West Bank, may govern Gaza after the war.

"There won't be a civilian authority that educates their children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, to wipe out the state of Israel."

Pressure was growing on Israel after frantic doctors at Gaza’s largest hospital said the last generator had run out of fuel, causing the death of a premature baby, another child in an incubator and four other patients. Thousands of war-wounded medical staff and displaced civilians were caught in the fighting.

In recent days, fighting near Shifa and other hospitals in northern Gaza has intensified and supplies have run out.

Shifa hospital director Mohammed Abu Selmia said the facility lost power Saturday.

“Medical devices stopped. Patients, especially those in intensive care, started to die,” he said by phone, with gunfire and explosions in the background. He said Israeli troops were “shooting at anyone outside or inside the hospital” and prevented movement between buildings.

Six patients died at Shifa after the generator shut down, including the two children, spokesmen with the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

20:30 The Israeli army announced that five soldiers have been killed -- including a military officer -- and six others seriously injured after a mine exploded at a tunnel opening in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip.

This brings the Israeli occupation army death toll to 43 since the start of the Israeli ground incursion to Gaza.

20:20 Al-Qassam Brigade spokesman Abu Obeida said that more than 160 Israeli military vehicles had been completely or partially destroyed since the start of the occupation forces' ground aggression on Gaza.

20:00 More than 20,000 people marched through Brussels on Saturday in a show of support for Palestinians, with many calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, which Israel is heavily bombarding.

Many of the protesters yelled "free Palestine" and "stop the genocide" as they participated in the peaceful demonstration that took place on Armistice Day, a public holiday in Belgium and other countries to mark the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Some also cried out "EU, shame on you" for perceived bias towards Israel at the expense of Palestinian lives and rights.

Brussels police, which put the turnout at 21,000, watched over the march and closed traffic on several roads as it wended through the city for two hours.

"We are here today to ask the world for a ceasefire in Palestine," one of the demonstrators, Rima Fayad, a 31-year-old orthodontist, told AFP.

Another, a 26-year-old supermarket employee who gave her first name as Kim, said "the protest is about Israel which is just committing a genocide while the world is watching and we're calling to stop the genocide".

Several previous pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place in Brussels this month, since Israel launched its war against Gaza Strip.

19:30 Several thousand people demonstrated in Paris on Saturday under the rallying cry "Stop the massacre in Gaza".

The left-wing organisers called for France to "demand an immediate ceasefire" in Israel’s war against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"I came to support the Palestinian cause for a ceasefire in Gaza," said engineer Ahlem Triki, a Palestinian flag over her shoulders.

19:10 Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday warned Hezbollah that launching a war would result in widespread destruction in Lebanon similar to that in Gaza, where Israel battled Palestinians in the Strip.

"If it (Hezbollah) makes this kind of mistake here, the ones who will pay the price will be first and foremost Lebanese citizens," Gallant told soldiers on Israel's northern border in remarks relayed by his office. "What we're doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut."

18:50 Hezbollah's chief said Saturday that the group was using new weapons in attacks against Israel, as exchanges of fire on Lebanon's southern border intensify while Israel is intensifying its lethal bombardment and ground invasion against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Over the past week, the group has "bolstered" its action "on the Lebanese front in terms of the number of operations, targets and the type of weapons", Hassan Nasrallah said in his second televised address since Israel’s war on Gaza began.

The Shiite Muslim movement has used "Burkan missiles", for the first time, he said, adding that they could carry "a payload of 300-500 kilogrammes" (660-1,100 pounds).

Hezbollah fighters "are putting themselves on the front line to launch rockets" at Israeli targets, Nasrallah said, adding that Israeli drones were constantly flying over southern Lebanon.

18:00 UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday condemned far-right protesters and Hamas sympathisers, as hundreds of thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters marched through London calling for a ceasefire in Israel's war in Gaza.

Nearly 2,000 police were out in force to keep rival groups apart, with the march organised on Armistice Day, the annual event when Britain remembers its war dead with solemn ceremonies at war memorials.

London march went ahead after a week of tensions, which saw the government call for it to be scrapped, and police said they made scores of arrests.

Some 150 people from the mass protest were detained under public order legislation for wearing face coverings and setting off fireworks. At the same time, 82 counter-protesters were held to prevent them from infiltrating the main march.

17:20 Two premature babies have died due to power cuts at Gaza's largest hospital, Physicians for Human Rights Israel said Saturday, citing doctors there, as fighting rages around the Al-Shifa complex.

"As a result of the lack of electricity, we can report that the neonatal intensive care unit has stopped working. Two premature infants have died, and there is a real risk to the lives of 37 other premature infants" at Al-Shifa hospital, the Israeli doctors' group said in a statement.

No fuel has entered Gaza in more than five weeks of war, prompting multiple hospitals and clinics relying on generators to shut down.

"The hospital is besieged, with no option to bring in the corpses and injured people sprawled outside. There is no movement in or out of the hospital," Physicians for Human Rights Israel said.

16:20 Huge crowds marched through the British capital on Saturday, as pro-Palestinian supporters made their latest mass call for a ceasefire.

The "National March for Palestine", organised by the Stop the War Coalition, set off after a two-minutes' silence to remember Britain's war dead on Armistice Day was observed at The Cenotaph war memorial in central London at 1100 GMT.

Huge crowds of protesters waved black, red, white and green Palestinian flags and held aloft placards proclaiming "Stop Bombing Gaza", just over a month of Israeli killings of more than 11,000 Palestinians in vast majority children and women. 

The crowd is chanting “in our thousands in our millions we are all Palestinians.”.

They are also shouting “Rishi Sunak’s a wasteman” and “Rishi Sunak, shame on you. Keir Starmer, shame on you.”

Thousands of Jews are joining the huge march saying “Not in Our Name” and “Ceasefire Now.” 

London Police estimates that around 300,000 people are so far taking part in the protest.

Similar protests are taking place in Belguim and France.

15:47 The Palestinian Red Crescent says that Israeli tanks are 20 meters away from Al-Quds Hospital, gunfire hits the hospital, provoking a state of panic and fear among the displaced.

15:27 Lebanese Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah is speaking now for the second time since the eruption of Israel's war on Gaza.

In a lengthy address, he said that global demonstrations against Israel over the war in Gaza are putting pressure on Tel Aviv and its allies.

“We see thousands of people in Washington, New York, London and Paris protesting against Israel,” Nasrallah says, adding that Western leaders who initially condemned Hamas are now urging a ceasefire. “The only voice that stands out is the US and its ‘follower’ the UK.”

Nasrallah called for international pressure to be directed at the US.

Commenting on the ongoing summit in Riyadh, Nasrallah said that “the Arab and Islamic summit brings together 57 Arab and Islamic states. Palestinians and other people of the region have their eyes on this summit.”

Nasrallah says these countries will not send soldiers to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, but peoples of the region expect the Arab and Muslim world to adopt a unified position and demand from the Americans to put an end to the Israeli attacks, open a corridor to deliver aid and provide medical treatment.

14:54 The commissioner-general of the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA),  Philippe Lazzarini urged the joint Arab-Islamic summit to “act now to change the trajectory” of the war in Gaza.

"The Palestinians in Gaza have always relied on the Arab and Muslim world for solidarity. Today, they also need you to turn this solidarity into further and stronger action.  He called for support for a humanitarian ceasefire, a continuous flow of humanitarian aid and support for the UNRWA,", he said.

Lazzarini  said that "Gazans feel de-humanized and abandoned. They are yearning for reassurance, especially from their Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters, that they hear the crying of their children, and see the fear in the eyes of their mothers."

"The continuous bombardment, together with the siege, are choking Gaza and its people. Basic services are crumbling. Everything is running out – food, water, medicine, and fuel," he said.

14:40 In an emergency Arab Islamic Summit that comes 36 days after Israel launched its war on Gaza Arab and Islamic countries failed to adopt one measurement that can push towards ending the Israeli aggression or at least mitigate the ongoing human crisis

In a 31-clause draft resolution, the Joint Summit strongly condemns the Israeli aggression on Gaza and underscores the urgent need for a Security Council resolution imposing an immediate ceasefire. 

The resolution categorically rejects any justifications presented for the ongoing war and urges nations worldwide to halt the export of weapons and ammunition to Israel.

Furthermore, the resolution calls for an end to the blockade on Gaza and the swift entry of international humanitarian aid convoys, encompassing crucial supplies such as food, medicine, and fuel.

It also extends support for legal actions against Israel for its war crimes and crimes against humanity, urging the International Criminal Court to initiate an immediate investigation.

The document expresses concern over the displacement of around one and a half million Palestinians within the Gaza Strip, branding it as a war crime according to international conventions. 

The resolution calls on member states to collectively condemn and reject such forced displacement and calls upon United Nations to counter any attempts to legitimize such actions.

14:25 Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi calls on the Muslim countries to arm the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation and point at Israel nuclear miltary program.

He accussed Israel of "using internationally prohibited bombs" in Gaza. Iranian President further called for "the lifting of the siege on the Gaza and the entry of aid", added that US "entered the war in Gaza on behalf of Israel" by sending "weapons to Israel daily".

Raisi called for Muslim countries to impose oil and goods sanctions on Israel saying “there is no other way but to resist Israel, we kiss the hands of Hamas for its resistance against Israel.” 

14:15 "The international system is letting itself down before it lets us down by allowing the bombing of hospitals, neighbourhoods, and camps. We demand that safe humanitarian crossings be opened permanently to deliver aid without obstacles or conditions," said the Qatari emir at the summit.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said “the international community failed to bear its legal and ethical responsibilities and called on the United Nations to send an international team to investigate the bombing of hospitals, condemning Israeli allegations about military sites inside medical facilities. "We must not remain at the limits of denunciation and denial, but rather we must take deterrent steps to stop the aggression."

14:05 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his speech at the Arab-Muslim Summit held in the Saudi capital that "Israel's crimes must be examined by the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court." "Whoever remains silent about injustice is an equal partner in it," he said. He further added that "the IAEA must reveal Israel's nuclear weapons, and the matter cannot be ignored," following the Israel heritage minister's call to use a nuclear bomb against Gaza.

"Gaza, which was deprived of humanitarian aid, resembles hell, and we must make efforts to hold Israel accountable for its crimes," Erdogan emphasized.

13:49 Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for an immediate ceasefire of the war in Gaza "with no conditions." 

During the Joint Arab Islamic Summit, El-Sisi said that collective punishment against the people of Gaza, including killings, sieges and displacement, is unacceptable and cannot be justified as self-defence or under any other pretext. 

These policies must be immediately halted, El-Sisi said.

“Egypt has repeatedly warned against unilateral policies, reiterating the caution now that the failure to stop the war in Gaza threatens to expand military confrontations in the region,” the Egyptian president said.

13:40 The king of Jordan said that the people of Gaza are "subjected to an ugly war that must stop, otherwise our region will reach a major conflict that will affect the world." "Israel's prevention of water, food, and medicine from entering Gaza is a war crime and the injustice to which the Palestinians are exposed did not begin on 7 October, but rather began seven decades ago", he added.
13:30 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Israeli occupation forces are conducting "an unparalleled war of extermination against our Palestinian people and crossed all red lines."

He called upon the Security Council to assume its responsibility to stop the war and the forced displacement of the Palestinians.

"We reject all military solutions," he said while condemning the "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians and calling for international protection of the Palestinians. 

Watch the Summit live here:

13:05 Hamas calls for Arab-Islamic action to stop the Israeli aggression and save Gaza’s hospital as the summit opened in the Saudi capital.

At the opening session, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman called for "an immediate ceasefire and for the entry of aid," saying: "We reject the war on Gaza and Israel bears violations against civilians."

"The only solution to achieve stability in the region is to end the occupation, settlement, and siege," he further said.

The secretary-general of the Arab League affirmed that "the ongoing oppression of the people of Gaza increases the possibility of a regional escalation."

"Despite some countries' shameful stances, global awakening emerges in response to massacres," Ahmed Aboul-Gheit added, saying: "There is an Israeli hatred against the steadfast residents of Gaza."

12:54 Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said that Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, will propose that Muslim countries ban Israel from using their airspace and prevent the US from shipping weapons to Israel from their military bases in the region.

12:27  The director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Robert Mardini, said the organization is “shocked and appalled” by the images and reports emerging from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

"The unbearably desperate situation must stop now and patients and staff must be protected," he said.

12:20 The Al-Qassam Brigades have released footage showing the targeting of Israeli occupation soldiers who were barricaded in a house north of Beit Hanoun.


11:22 The Director of Al-Shifa Hospital reported that Israel bombed the main oxygen line, placing everyone in the complex under the sentence of premeditated murder.

Additionally, an Al-Shifa surgeon stated that the intensive care unit was hit. Journalists on the scene continue to report the ongoing sounds of heavy Israeli bombardment and shooting.

11:20 An Israeli drone struck a vehicle deep in Lebanese territory, official media in Lebanon said.

Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) said "an enemy drone targeted a pick-up truck" on farmland in the Zahrani area on Lebanon's coast, some 45 kilometres from the Israeli border.

The frontier between the two countries has seen daily exchanges of fire, mainly between Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and Israel, since October 7 when Israel launched its war on Gaza. 

Saturday's strike was the deepest inside Lebanon since the latest hostilities began. It also came hours before Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah is due to make a televised address at 3:00 pm (1300 GMT).

Hezbollah said it carried out two cross-border attacks on Israeli troops on Saturday causing casualties.

The powerful movement said Friday that Israeli fire had killed seven of its fighters, without specifying where or when they died.

It later released several statements affirming conducting attacks on northern Israel near the border, including three drone assaults -- one of them on an Israeli army barracks.

At least 90 people have been killed on the Lebanese side in cross-border skirmishes since last month, according to an AFP tally.

10:55 Iran president Ebrahim Raisi landed in Saudi Arabia for a joint Arab-Islamic summit on Gaza. This is the first visit by an Iranian head of state since Tehran and Riyadh ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March.

“Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action,” Raisi said at Tehran airport before departing for the Saudi capital.

10:22 Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the Al-Shifa Hospital director, told Al Jazeera from inside the facility that ​"the hospital compound is cordoned off and the buildings of the hospital are targeted.

Any moving person within the compound is targeted. The Israeli occupation forces are outside, preventing any person from moving."

"We’ve started to lose lives. Patients are dying by the minute, victims and wounded are also dying – even babies in the incubators," he added 

He said that the hospital, located in Gaza City, has been left without power, internet, water, and medical supplies.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health speaking also from inside Al-Shifa Hospital complex said: "We hear the sounds of gunfire and artillery, with continuous shelling around the hospital, and direct targeting."

9:30 The Director General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza told Al Jazeera: "A process is ongoing to establish a mass grave within Al-Shifa Hospital to ensure the safe burial of bodies and prevent the risk of an epidemic."

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported a “catastrophic” situation in the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, as attacks on the facility “dramatically intensified.”

MSF reiterated its calls for Israel to halt attacks against hospitals and for the protection of medical facilities, staff, and patients, saying it is “extremely concerned” about the safety of patients and medical staff.

"There is a patient who needs surgery. There is a patient who's already asleep in our department. We cannot evacuate ourselves and [leave] these people inside. As a doctor. I swear to help the people who need help," said MSF Surgeon in Al-Shifa Dr. Mohammed Obeid.

9:00 Arab leaders and the Iranian president gathered in the Saudi capital on Saturday for a summit meeting with the expectation of bringing an end to Israel's war on Gaza before the violence engulfs other nations.

Initially planned as separate meetings, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summits were announced to be combined by the Saudi foreign ministry early on Saturday.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi headed to Saudi Arabia Saturday morning to take part in the joint summit, according to a statement by the Egyptian Presidency’s Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy. 

According to the statement, El-Sisi’s participation is a continuation of Egypt's involvement in exerting maximum efforts to push for a ceasefire, ensure safe access to humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza, and advance the process of reviving the peace. The goal is to achieve a just and lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution and in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.

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