Israeli assaults on Gaza continue with more killings in Jabalia, ceasefire delayed - Day 48 as it happened

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Nov 2023

As the 48-day-long war rages on, Israeli occupation army assaults persist, with at least four Palestinians killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting the Jabalia refugee camp. The captives' release and ceasefire deal have been delayed, to take effect on Friday.

People flee following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 23, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. AFP


23:00 A Palestinian doctor said Thursday at least 27 people had been killed and 93 more injured in an Israeli strike on a United Nations school in Gaza.

The strike hit a UN-run school where thousands of displaced Palestinians were sheltering in Jabalia, the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, the doctor at a hospital in the camp said on condition of anonymity.

20:50 Late on Thursday, King Abdullah of Jordan conveyed a message of solidarity in a post on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

"We stand united with our sister Egypt in one trench. The stance articulated today by my brother, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, affirming Egypt's rejection of the deportation of our Palestinian brothers from their land as a red line, reflects our joint position and will be etched in the annals of Egypt's Arab solidarity history", he said.

20:40 Following the arrest of the director and medical team of Al-Shifa Hospital earlier today, Israel has now detained the director of the medical clinic in Khan Yunis.

Awni Khattab was apprehended on Wednesday during the transit of a convoy carrying wounded individuals from Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza through a checkpoint dividing north and south Gaza, as reported by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

Expressing deep concern, the PRCS has called on the international community to uphold the protection of their medical teams in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, emphasising, "In no way should medical teams be targeted."

20:20 Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday that the occupation army is poised to resume intense fighting for "at least two more months" once the short-term temporary pause concludes. Addressing troops of the Navy Special Operations unit, Gallant emphasised, "The respite will be brief. Expect at least two more months of active engagement."

20:00 Abu Obaida, spokesperson for Al-Qassam Brigades, emphasized in a recent video that the Israeli plan in Gaza is destined to fail due to its lack of a clear military objective, resulting instead in genocidal acts and barbaric killings of civilians.

He reiterated Al-Qassam's commitment to targeting concentrations of occupying military forces, often engaging at close range. Abu Obaida provided details of recent operations, citing a significant event on Tuesday in the northern region of Litwan that resulted in the elimination of at least 5 occupying forces.

Another group was neutralized near Rantisi Hospital in the north, and in Beit Hanoun, an additional group was engaged. On Wednesday, a successful operation occurred north of Jabalia camp.

Al-Qassam Brigades also asserted that Israel is concealing its actual losses and facing difficulty in withdrawing its dead and wounded from Gaza.

19:00 The Gaza government's media office reported late Thursday that over 14,854 individuals, comprising 6,150 children and 4,000 women were killed since the start of the Israeli war on the Palestinian strip.

18:30 Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that the diportation of Palestinians is a red line for Egypt, and it will not be permitted.

"We strongly oppose the relocation of Palestinians to Egypt or Jordan," said El-Sisi.

These remarks were made during a speech the Egyptian president delivered before thousands of Egyptians at an event in support of Palestine held at Cairo International Stadium.

18:00 Egypt confirmed the commencement of the agreed-upon ceasefire in the Gaza Strip at 7:00 AM on Friday, head of the State Information Service, Diaa Rashwan, announced on Thursday.

Rashwan added that Cairo has already received lists of captives and detainees from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides in preparation for an exchange of prisoners.

He added that the Palestinian side would hand over 13 captives, both male and female, to Israel on the first day of the ceasefire.

Rashwan concluded by urging the parties involved in the ceasefire to adhere to the agreed-upon plan.

Egypt announced on Thursday that the Rafah border crossing will open on Friday for Palestinian citizens who have been stranded in North Sinai and wish to return to the Gaza Strip.

17:00 Minister of Health Dr. Mai Alkaila has strongly condemned the Israeli occupation forces' arrest of Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya, the Director of Al-Shifa Medical Complex, and several other doctors. 

The doctors were arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint along the Salah Al-Din Road connecting the northern and southern regions of the Gaza Strip.

Alkaila stated that this arrest adds to the series of crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip. 

She highlighted previous incidents where Israeli occupation forces bombed and raided numerous hospitals in Gaza, resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, emergency personnel, and displaced patients.

"We have appealed to the United Nations General Assembly, international human rights institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and all international bodies to exert pressure on the occupation to halt its aggression against the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," she said.

"However, the Israeli occupation continues to turn a blind eye to all international laws and humanitarian conventions."

16:30 A Gaza truce and hostage release will start on Friday morning, Qatar's foreign ministry spokesman said.

"The pause will begin at 7:00 am on Friday ... and the first batch of civilian hostages will be handed over at approximately 4:00 pm on the same day," Majed Al-Ansari said Thursday, adding that the number of people freed will be thirteen.

13:45 Aryeh Deri, a member of the Israeli ministerial team, said "We are prepared to extend the period of calm to 10 days."

12:47 Six Palestinians, including three children, were killed in an Israeli airstrike that targeted a house in Rafah, in the southern area of Gaza.

A Palestinian medic and civilians carry an injured man after an Israeli strike on Rafah, AFP

12:36 The Israeli army ordered residents of Shuja'iyya and Jabalia in Gaza City to immediately evacuate their residential areas, according to Al-Arabiya.

Earlier, the Indonesian charity Medical Rescue Committee (MER-C), which funded the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza when it was built in 2011, said the hospital has completely evacuated and its volunteers moved to Rafah, Al-Jazeera reported.

Earlier, the director general of Health Ministry, who was inside the hospital, said the Israeli army forced people in the facility to evacuate it in four hours.

“The Indonesian Hospital is now empty, and our volunteers have been moved to a school near the European Hospital. Our volunteers are sheltering at the school with thousands of others," he said.

11:50 Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares on Thursday said his country is in favour of the recognition of a viable Palestinian state "in the very short term."

The existence of a Palestinian state "will be the best guarantee for peace in the Middle East," he said in an interview with Spanish radio station RNE.

11:45 Egypt announced it will open the Rafah crossing on Friday to facilitate the voluntary return of Palestinians stranded in North Sinai to Gaza.

Egyptian officials affirmed that other Palestinians stranded in Cairo and other cities will also have the opportunity for voluntary return to Gaza starting Saturday.

11:20 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at an undisclosed location in Lebanon, according to the Lebanese news website Naharnet.

Amir-Abdollahian arrived Wednesday in Beirut for his second visit to Lebanon since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza. 

After his arrival, he told the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen news channel that the Gaza war is likely to spread unless the truce between Israel and Hamas, which is supposed to enter into force Friday, is maintained.

“If this ceasefire does not continue… the conditions in the region will not remain the same as before the ceasefire and the scope of the war will expand,” he said.

11:10 Hezbollah group says it has launched 48 rockets from south Lebanon at the Israeli settlements in the Upper Galilee area, making it the largest barrage since the beginning of the fighting on the northern border.

Two houses in the settlements of Menara in the Upper Galilee were hit by anti-aircraft fire from Lebanon, Israeli media reported. 

The Israeli occupation army said a number of rockets had been intercepted over the area, and forces, in response, attacked the sources of the rocket fire with artillery.

10:40 An Egyptian official source informed Al-Qahera News channel that Egypt is actively collaborating with all involved parties to finalize the implementation procedures for the ceasefire agreement.

"Ongoing negotiations and communications between Egypt, Qatar, and the United States persist in expediting the ceasefire... The exact timing for the commencement of the ceasefire will be decided within the next few hours," the source added.

10:00 The Israeli occupation army has arrested the director of the Al-Shifa Hospital Mohamed Abu Salmiya while in the humanitarian corridor heading to the southern Gaza Strip with several other medical personnel.

"Doctor Mohamed Abu Salmiya was arrested along with several other senior doctors," said Khaled Abu Samra, a chief of department at the hospital which has been a major focus of the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians. 

On its Telegram english channel, Hamas condemned the arrest of Abu Salmiya, saying "We see it a despicable act, lacking all sense of humanity and morals. It is also a flagrant violation of international norms and charters, that guarantee no attacks against medical personnel, even during the time of war."

9:55 Over 14,128 people have been killed in Gaza, 74 percent of whom reportedly children and women, the UNRWA said.

Almost 1.7 million people -- nearly 80 percent of the population -- have been displaced since the war began, UNRWA added.

"We are on the eve of a water borne disease outbreak," the head of UNRWA said during a visit to the southern town of Khan Younis.

Philippe Lazzarini said an increase of skin diseases was also impacting the people of Gaza which he said was unsurprising considering the unsanitary conditions there.

He described the situation for most as "desperate" as "people are lacking everything."

9:35 A US warship patrolling the Red Sea launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen on Thursday, the US Central Command said.

"On the morning (Yemen time) of November 23, the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) shot down multiple one-way attack drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen," CENTCOM said on X.

"The ship and crew sustained no damage or injury," it added.

The Israeli war on Gaza has raised the spectre of a broader Middle East conflagration, with the frontier between Lebanon and Israel also seeing near-daily exchanges of fire.

The Houthi in Yemen have launched a series of drones and missiles towards Israel since the October 7 start of the war, and on Wednesday, Israel said it had intercepted a "cruise missile" heading for the south of the country, a shot claimed by the Houthi rebels.

9:30 At least four Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in the north. Another Israeli raid hit the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza.

9:00 A Palestinian official told AFP Thursday that a delay in the implementation of a truce in Gaza between Israel and Hamas was due to "last minute" details over "the names of the Israeli hostages and the modalities of their release."

Under the agreement, Hamas will free 50 of the Israeli captives and in return, Israel will release at least 150 Palestinian prisoners and allow nearly 300 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Around 8,300 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in Israeli jails, 2070 of them are being held in what Israel calls "administrative detention" without trials. 
According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, Israel arrested up to 2,070 Palestinians since 7 October in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in that month alone, among them 145 children, 55 women and 17 journalists.
Listen to what the head of Palestinian Mission to the UK, Husam Zomlot has to say on that:
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