General strike call demanding immediate ceasefire in Gaza heeded in West Bank, east Jerusalem, Jordan & Lebanon - as it happened

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Dec 2023

Israel intensified its airstrikes and heavy bombardment against civilian targets across the Gaza Strip; envoys from the UNSC are set to visit the Rafah border crossing; the Arab and Islamic groups are preparing to submit a new resolution for immediate ceasefire to the UNGA

Ramallah
Palestinians carry a list of Gaza victims during a rally amid a general strike in Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on December 11, 2023, in solidarity with Gaza. AFP

 

23:00 Citing an Israeli official, i24 reported that Israel has taken a preliminary decision expressing its willingness to listen to proposals from mediators regarding the implementation of a new prisoner swap deal with Hamas on the condition that the Palestinian side accepts the release of all women and injured captives first.

20:30 Juliette Touma, communications director at the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, told Al-Jazeera that half of her 134 UNRWA colleagues who have been killed since the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip began on 7 October, were killed in southern and middle areas of Gaza.
 
"No place is safe. There is nowhere for people to go, the only way out of this is a humanitarian ceasefire," she added.

18:00 The father of Anas Al-Sharif, an Al Jazeera reporter who has been covering the Israeli war on Gaza since day 1, was killed after an Israeli airstrike targeted the family home in Jabalia in northern Gaza.

"We had to bury my father in a schoolyard nearby due to the intense bombing around Jabalia," Al-Sharif said.

"The occupation does not want the picture in Gaza to get out but we will continue in our coverage despite the blockade."

"I will continue to report on the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians in the strip until my last breath," said Al-Sharif, who received previous threats from the Israeli army because he covered the war.

Anas Al-Sharif was the fourth Al Jazeera reporter in Gaza who lost family members in Israeli airstrikes on residential buildings in the strip since the start of the war.

On Wednesday, twenty-one members of Al Jazeera journalist Moamen Al-Sharafi's family, including his father, mother and several of his siblings, were killed in an Israeli bombing on a home also in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

17:00 The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said Monday the death toll from the Israeli war in the strip has risen to 18,205.

Some 49,645 people have been wounded since the war erupted on 7 October, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.

16:00 A general strike was observed in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli war on Gaza.

All shops and stores shut down their doors.

Meanwhile, in Lebanon and Jordan, home to millions of Palestinian refugees, shops and stores also heeded a call for a strike on Monday to demand an immediate ceasefire.

The call for a strike was sent by various Palestinian activists on social media in solidarity with the people of Gaza who have been subjected to 66 days of brutal Israeli airstrikes and bombardments that killed more than 18,000 and wounded more than 50,000 - mostly women and children.

In the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, all shops and stores heeded the strike call and shut down their doors.

Amman:

Lebanon:

14:00 The government office in Gaza estimated that Israeli airstrikes have destroyed 305,000 housing units or 61 percent of all residential buildings in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.

13:00 Israel shut down Ben Gurion Airport Airport after a barrage of rockets was fired at central Israel on Monday - with rocket one hitting Holon City south of Tel Aviv. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli army announced on Monday that more than 100 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The army told AFP that the number of soldiers killed so far in the operation has reached 101 after three more soldiers died in the conflict.

12:30 Life came to a standstill in the Palestinian territories today as a general strike is observed in line with a call for a global strike in protest against Israel’s 66-day-long genocidal war against the Gaza Strip that has so far claimed the lives of more than 18,000 people.

The local strike, called for by the national and Islamic forces in the West Bank, paralyzed all aspects of life, including public transportation, education, the financial sector, shops, and all sorts of businesses, amid calls from mass protests in all cities, WAFA reported.

The call for a global general strike was made to protest Israel’s ongoing devastating war on Gaza and to push for a ceasefire.


A man walks past closed shops during a general strike in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 11, 2023. AFP 

 

12:00 Heavy fighting between the Israeli army and Palestinian resistance factions continued in and around Khan Younis in the south of the strip.

Fighting also continued in parts of Gaza City, and Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, where large areas have been reduced to rubble.

In the early hours of Monday, 11 Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured -  including women and children - after Israeli warplanes bombed homes in Rafah in the south and Nuseirat refugee camp in the centre of the strip, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli jetfighters targeted the vicinity of the European Hospital and Al-Amal Hospital in the greater Khan Younis area, where tens of thousands of people have sought shelter. 

In an update, the Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman said the number of those killed in the Israeli war on Gaza since 7 October has climbed to over 18,000 and the number of wounded to over 49,500 - mostly women and children.

More than 300 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes in the last 24 hours, added the spokesperson.  


Relatives mourn over the bodies of loved ones killed during Israeli bombardment at al-Najjar hospital in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip on December 11, 2023. AFP

11:20 A dozen United Nations Security Council envoys arrived in Egypt to visit the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and Arish Airport in North Sinai.

The visit comes days after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned thousands of people in the besieged Palestinian enclave were "simply starving," according to Reuters.

The United Arab Emirates arranged the trip to Rafah - where limited humanitarian aid and fuel deliveries have crossed into Gaza - as the 15-member council negotiates a UAE-drafted resolution that demands Israel "allow the use of all land, sea and air routes to and throughout" Gaza for aid.

11:00 The Egyptian Red Crescent delivered more than 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid, including food, water, and medical supplies, to its Palestinian counterpart for distribution to the under-siege residents of Gaza, read a statement by the ERC.

Egypt is scheduled to host a conference in mid-December, with the participation of all Red Crescent and Red Cross societies worldwide.

The conference aims to bolster humanitarian efforts made during the current war in Gaza, according to the  Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj. 

According to El-Qabbaj, Egypt provided humanitarian aid of more than 11,200 tons, comprising food supplies, medicines, medical equipment, mattresses, water, and tents, to the under-siege residents in Gaza. 

According to UN estimates, 50 percent of the 2.4 million residents in Gaza are facing hunger and starvation conditions as Israel continues an all-out blockade on the strip since 7 October, allowing in only a trickle of the aid needed by the population.

Moreover, more than 75 percent of the population has been internally displaced as Israeli airstrikes and bombardments destroyed the majority of the residential buildings across the strip.

On Monday, the UNRWA said 1.3 million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter in 154 of its facilities across the strip.

10:00 The UN General Assembly scheduled an emergency meeting Tuesday called by Egypt and Mauritania, as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, to vote on a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Assembly President Dennis Francis sent a letter to the 193 UN member states on Sunday saying the 22-member Arab Group and 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation had requested the meeting.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, told The Associated Press that the draft resolution to be voted on Tuesday afternoon is similar to the Security Council resolution the United States vetoed on Friday.

A draft of the text seen by AFP included "expressing grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip."

It calls for "an immediate humanitarian cease-fire" as well as the "immediate and unconditional release of all captives."

09:30 France says one of its warships in the Red Sea was targeted by drones coming from Yemen and shot them down.

A short statement on late Sunday from the Armies Ministry did not say who fired the two drones at the French Navy frigate Languedoc on Saturday night.

It said they came directly at the ship two hours apart from the direction of Yemen. The ministry said the warship intercepted and destroyed both of them about 110 kilometres (70 miles) off the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah on the Yemeni coast.

It did not say what weapons the Languedoc used to bring down the drones. The frigate is on a French Navy mission in the Red Sea.

09:00 UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings condemned the Israeli offensive and siege against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as the world marked International Human Rights on Sunday.

"The air strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure... cannot be justified. Nor can the siege, depriving the entire Gaza population of food, water, health care, and hygiene," Hastings wrote in a statement.

Israel must allow the delivery of humanitarian aid inside Gaza, she said, reiterating others' calls for a ceasefire.

She also noted "unprecedented levels" of Israeli state and settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Hastings also called for the unconditional release of hostages held by Hamas since 7 October.

Sunday marked 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed, setting out that fundamental human rights are to be universally protected for the first time.

"In 2023, I should not have to issue such a statement. It is as if we have learned nothing in the past 75 years," Hastings wrote.

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