Third convoy of aid arrives in Gaza as Israel intensively shells the Strip targeting hospitals areas - Day 17 as it happened

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Oct 2023

Israel's unceasing bombardment of Gaza killed over 400 Palestinians within a single day, pushing the death toll beyond 4,700, including at least 1,750 children. The arrival of vital humanitarian aid to the 2.3 million Palestinians in the strip, who have been enduring shortages of water, food, and medicine, is gradually arriving on Day 17 of deadly attacks.

War on Gaza
A Palestinian rescuer reacts during the search for victims or survivors in the rubble of a house destroyed in an Israeli strike on Rafah in the southern Gaza.AFP


00:10 Bashar Murad, the Director of Al-Quds Hospital and the Executive Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza, stated on Monday evening that Israel has warned the hospital’s administration to evacuate the hospital, as they threatened to bombard it.

Murad, however, said the hospital administration chose not to comply with the order.

Murad explained in statements to MBC Masr channel, "We have 13,000 citizens at the hospital who have sought refuge or shelter due to the destruction of their homes. This is in addition to the patients and medical staff."

23:25 The United Nations' rights chief called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as its residents face Israeli bombardments.

"The first step must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, saving the lives of civilians through the delivery of prompt and effective humanitarian aid," rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

23:00 France praises Egypt role in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

22:50 Hamas leader Omar Draghma, aged 58, passed away on Monday while in Israeli detention. Hamas accuses Israeli authorities of causing his death through torture.

22:30 The International Committee of the Red Cross says Hamas militants have released two hostages it had been holding captive in the Gaza Strip.

It was the second time the group has freed hostages seized in its bloody Oct. 7 cross-border incursion into Israel.

The hostages were identified by Israeli media as Yocheved Lipshitz and Nurit Cooper of the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Oz.

22:00 The UN General Assembly will meet on Thursday to discuss the conflict triggered by the attack by Hamas militants on Israel, its president announced Monday in a letter to member states.

The Security Council has so far failed to agree on a resolution concerning the war, but a number of states, including Jordan on behalf of the Arab grouping, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, formally requested General Assembly President Dennis Francis to schedule the meeting.

21:15 Al-Qassam Brigades announced on their Telegram channel that it released two Israeli captives Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Levschitz for humanitarian reasons.

The group added that the Israeli government had refused to accept them since last Friday. 

20:50 US accuses Iran of "actively facilitating" attacks on US bases in the Middle East, as it expresses concern over the potential for escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

20:30 Israeli TV channel i24 reported that Red Cross is on the way to receive 50 captives with dual citizenship where their transfer will be at South of Gaza. “As part of the understandings and in order to allow the Red Cross personnel to reach the area safely, no IDF strikes were carried out in the last hours in this area” the channel said. 

Earlier New York Times reported earlier there were current Qatari-American mediation efforts taking place to release 50 captives.

20:15 A third small aid convoy from Egypt has entered Gaza, coming from Egypt the UN confirmed.

Juliette Touma, director of communications for the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency, confirmed the arrival of the convoy “with 20 trucks” in Gaza on Monday to The Associated Press, but provided no other details.

20:00 Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his forces that they should “remaining prepared for the offensive because it will come. We are preparing thoroughly. It will be a lethal attack. It will be a combined attack from land, sea, and air,” according to a statement by his office.

19:15 French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told parliament Monday that she hoped for a "humanitarian truce" to allow more aid into Gaza, saying it could become the basis of a ceasefire.

18:55 Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a phone call on Monday expressed serious concern about the growing number of civilian casualties and stressed the fundamental importance of an early ceasefire, the evacuation of foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip, and of ensuring unhindered access to the enclave for humanitarian aid, the Kremlin said.

18:45: UK leader Rishi Sunak announced Monday that Britain was sending an additional £20 million ($24 million) of aid to help civilians in Gaza affected by the war.

"We need a constant stream of aid pouring in, bringing the water, food, medicine, and fuel that is so desperately needed," the British prime minister told parliament after his trip to the Middle East.

17:30 The Palestinian health ministry announced that 5,182 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and the West Bank, including 1,903 child since the start of the Israeli attacks on Gaza on 7 October.

17:25 President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed the latest developments concerning the war in Gaza with a delegation from the Democratic and Republican parties of the US Senate, led by Senator Lindsey Graham in Cairo. 

El-Sisi was briefed on the outcomes of the bipartisan delegation’s visit to Israel and agreed on the necessity to prevent the escalation of the ongoing conflict, the protection of civilians, the provision of humanitarian and relief aid to Gaza.
17:10 Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Monday accused Western nations of giving Israel a "licence to kill" in its war against the Gaza Strip's Islamist rulers Hamas.
"What we hear from the mouth of the occupation (Israeli) leaders on preparations for a land invasion means more crimes, atrocities, and forced displacement," Shtayyeh told the start of a Palestinian Authority government meeting.

"We condemn the statements that constitute a licence to kill and give Israel political cover to commit massacres and spread destruction in Gaza," he added.

16:41 More than 19,000 people have been displaced in Lebanon amid an uptick in tensions between Israel and Hezbollah at the country's southern border, figures released Monday by a United Nations agency showed.

"An increase in cross-border incidents" has resulted in the displacement of 19,646 people in Lebanon, "both within the south and elsewhere within the country", said the International Organization for Migration.

"We expect the numbers to rise as the cross-border tensions continue" or if there is an escalation in violence, IOM spokesperson Mohammedali Abunajela told AFP in a statement.

15:35 The United States proposed on Saturday a draft UN Security Council resolution that says Israel has a right to defend itself and demands Iran stop exporting arms to "militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region."

The draft text, seen by Reuters, calls for the protection of civilians - including those who are trying to get to safety - notes that states must comply with international law when responding to "terrorist attacks," and urges the "continuous, sufficient and unhindered" delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip.

It was not immediately clear if or when the United States planned to put the draft resolution to a vote.

15:15 The Egyptian Red Crescent announced it has delivered the third batch of humanitarian aid to its Palestinian counterpart, according to a statement on Monday.

14:53 The Israeli occupation army spokesperson said that they arrested approximately a thousand Hamas fighters who were involved in the 7 October attack and engaged in confrontations in the vicinity of Gaza, resulting in several casualties.

14:45 The Saudi Foreign Minister discusses with his Syrian counterpart the situation in Gaza.

14:15 Hamas called on Arab and Islamic nations, as well as the United Nations, to "increase their efforts to establish a permanent humanitarian corridor for the Gaza Strip and thwart the Israeli occupation's plan to deprive Gazans of essential resources". I a statement, the movement emphasized that "the limited aid that has entered Gaza over the past two days is insufficient to meet the growing needs of the population enduring seventeen days of brutal aggression."

14:00 The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukri, received a call from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Hussein Amir Abdollahian.

The call involved an exchange of views and assessments regarding the situation on the ground and the precarious humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.

It also discussed measures to alleviate the humanitarian suffering experienced by Palestinians in the region under the weight of ongoing Israeli bombardments.

Minister Shoukri emphasized the importance of the conflict expanding and violence spreading to other regions in the area.

13:40 According to the spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qudra, the number of casualties from the ongoing Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip has risen to 5,087 martyrs, including 2,055 children, 1,119 women, and 217 elderly individuals. 

Additionally, 15,273 Palestinians have been injured.

13:00 Israeli occupation forces launched an arrest campaign early Monday that targeted at least 85 Palestinians in the West Bank, bringing the total number of detained Palestinians in the West Bank since the onset of the Israeli war on Gaza to 1215, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Club.

12:05: Hamas threatened Israel it will inflict casualties if the army launched a ground invasion in Gza. 

"If the occupation forces decide to make a ground incursion, it would be a golden opportunity to inflict casualties and capture soldiers, similar to what happened in the Kiyosufim operation yesterday", said the movement in a statement.

12:00 Several Palestinians killed and others wounded in an Israeli raid on the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, west of Gaza, media reports said.

11:50 Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi emphasized the importance of preventing the escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict during a phone call with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, on Sunday, as stated by the Egyptian presidency.

The discussion centered on the Israeli military operations in Gaza, with both El-Sisi and Rutte concurring that an expansion of the conflict would "constitute a significant threat to the security and stability of the Middle East."

11:40 The Palestinian Red Crescent told Sky News Arabia that they have received a total of 34 aid trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent.

11:25 Al Arabiya TV reported that more than 20 missiles were launched towards Ashkelon and Israeli towns surrounding Gaza. Al Qassam Brigades said in a statement, the attacks is in response to the killing of civilians by Israel.

10:35 The Israeli army said it has eliminated more than 20 Hezbollah cells in Lebanon.
Hezbollah announced Sunday the killing of one of its members in border crossfire with Israel, as the death toll of the group’s members has risen to 27 since the start of the bombing between the two sides.

10:00 According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, 75% of Israelis attribute responsibility to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not preventing the Hamas attack on 7 October. 

9:50 EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday urged faster aid deliveries to Gaza, and said the bloc was debating calling for a "humanitarian pause" in Israel's war on Gaza.

"What's important, more, quicker, and in particular to enter the basic things that make water and electricity supply being restored," Borrell said, ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers. 

Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said "It is time to call for a ceasefire in Gaza".

9:45 Egypt’s Red Crescent (ERC) announced it has delivered a third batch of humanitarian aid to the embattled Gaza Strip through the Rafah Border Crossing, according to a statement.

“The Egyptian Red Crescent has delivered relief aid to the Gaza Strip to be delivered to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society as a third phase,” read the statement. The exact number of delivered trucks was not specified.

The first convoy of aid comprised 20 trucks and was delivered on Saturday, while the second one was delivered on Sunday.

According to the UN, at least 100 trucks daily are needed to meet essential needs in Gaza.

9:40 The US State Department ordered non-emergency staff and eligible family members to leave its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Arbil, Iraq.The directive, which was announced Monday but issued Friday, was given "due to increased security threats against U.S. government personnel and interests", the State Department said.
It also updates its travel advisory to a level four, the highest possible, warning US citizens not to travel to Iraq.

9:30 The Israeli military carried out airstrikes near three hospitals in Gaza, resulting in an unprecedented aerial assault that killed 70 Palestinians overnight, 17 who were killed in a single strike that hit a house in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, Hamas officials said.

9:29 Two Palestinians were killed and 4 wounded by Israeli bullets during an israeli assault in the Jalazoun camp, north of Ramallah. The death toll from Israeli attacks in the West Bank has risen to 96, the Palestinian Health ministry said.

8:00 Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that 400 people were killed in Israeli bombing during the past 24 hours.
The death toll from the Israeli bombing of Gaza rose to 4,700.

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