Palestinian fighters clash with Israeli troops attempting to cut off northern Gaza Strip from its south - Day 24 as it happened

Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

Hamas fighters have engaged with Israeli tanks as they attempted to cut off Salah Eddin Road, which connects the north of the Gaza Strip to its south; trucks carrying humanitarian aid are stranded at border crossings as Israel continues to impose a deadly blockade on the strip.

Gaza City
Long exposure photo shows destroyed buildings with fire and smoke rise following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. AP



23:50  Israeli officials are going back on their promised refusal to grant entry visas to U.N. officials.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tweeted Monday that he was in Israel — less than a week after Israel’s U.N. ambassador said it had “refused” to grant Griffiths a visa.

Israeli officials had expressed outrage over comments last Wednesday by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants “did not happen in a vacuum.”

22:35 Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of being responsible for what he called "deadly chaos" unfolding in the Middle East.

22:00 The director of the Turkish Palestinian Hospital, located south of Gaza, says his hospital was damaged by an Israeli strike earlier this evening.

The blast partially destroyed two rooms on the third floor of the small hospital.

“Just out of luck no one was in the rooms at the time,” Skiek says, adding that there was no evacuation order from the Israeli army before the strike.

21:35 Conservative MP Paul Bristow has been sacked from his government post after calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

21:00 UN Security Council is set to meet on Monday afternoon to discuss the war on Gaza amid continuing Israeli bombardment and reported ground incursions. The emergency meeting was reportedly called for by the United Arab Emirates, the sole Arab nation on the 15-member Council, after Israel expanded its operations into Gaza over the weekend.

20:35 The Pentagon continues to provide weapons shipments almost on a daily basis to Israel, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters Monday.

Despite the rising number of civilian casualties, “we are not putting any limits on how Israel uses weapons,” Singh said. “That is really up to the Israeli Defense Force to use and how they are going to conduct their operations.”

20:15 Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a ceasefire in the Gaza war "will not happen" as it would be "to surrender" to Hamas.

20:10 UNRWA confirmed that 63 of our workers have been killed in Gaza since 7 October. At least 672,000 Palestinians are sheltering in 149 UNRWA installations across the Gaza Strip, and they are facing increasingly desperate conditions, according to the UN Palestinian refugee agency. ​

19:50 Israeli strikes target vicinity of al-Shifa, European hospital in Gaza. Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Cancer Hospital in Gaza was severely damaged by Israeli airstrikes. Dr. Sobhi Skaik, the Director General of the hospital told SkyNews Arabia that 150 patient was in the building when bombed.

19:30 Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in an interview on Monday that the war on Gaza would not be short or easy, but Israel insists on winning it.

19:00 The Israeli army and the Shin Bet announce the success in releasing an Israeli soldier who was taken hostage during a ground operation, they said in a joint statement. 

"Medical examinations were conducted for the soldier, and her condition is good. She has been reunited with her family," the statement said.

18:15 Palestinian Red Crescent announced on Monday that its team in Gaza received 24 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent through the Rafah crossing this evening, containing food supplies and medical necessities. The total number of the received trucks has reached 118 so far, while the entry of fuel has not been allowed till this moment.

17:20 Five Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Another Palestinian died of wounds sustained in an attack on a Jewish West Bank settler last week near Ramallah, the ministry said.

Four Palestinians were killed in heavy clashes after dozens of military vehicles and two bulldozers entered the town of Jenin and and the adjacent refugee camp of the same name for an arrest raid. Israeli media reported that the battle included drone strikes — a once rare, but now increasingly common attack mode used in the West Bank.

Another Palestinian man was killed in a military raid near Hebron.

16:30  Two U.S. senior defense officials briefing reporters at the Pentagon on Monday said that from Oct. 17 to Oct. 30, U.S. and coalition forces were attacked at least 14 times in Iraq and nine times in Syria by a mix of drones and rockets for a total of 23 attacks.

The officials said many of the drones and rockets were intercepted and failed to reach their targets.

15:10 The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, released a video featuring three captive women addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Return us now! ...Netanyahu has failed both politically and militarily, and we demand the immediate release of all prisoners",  an angry female captive says in the video. "Just the day before yesterday, there were discussions about a ceasefire and the release of everyone, but Netanyahu backtracked."

15:00 On Monday, a Palestinian journalist was killed in an Israeli strike that targeted his residence in eastern Gaza, as reported by the Palestinian News Agency WAFA. This tragic incident brings the death toll among journalists to 35 since the onset of the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Nathmi al-Nadim lost his life when an Israeli warplane bombed his house in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood, killing several family members as well.

Additionally, on Monday morning, occupation forces arrested two journalists, Nawaf Al-Amer from his residence in Nablus and Zakaria Abu Fanar from his home in Hebron. This brings the total number of detained journalists since October 7 to 17, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

14:55 John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council (NSC), said that the United States supports the idea of a ceasefire in Gaza for humanitarian purposes. He emphasized that this proposal should be taken seriously to facilitate aid delivery and the release of Israeli captives.

14:49 Rocket alert sirens blared in Jerusalem and several blasts were heard from within the city, AFP correspondents say.

14:20 The Israeli Knesset is scheduled to discuss the shutdown of Al-Jazeera network broadcasts in Israel on Wednesday, Israeli news website, Haaretz, reported. 

14:10 22 Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire in Bab al-Zawiya district in the city of Hebron, West Bank.

14:05 Sirens are now heard in the Israeli cities of Beersheba and the western Negev

12:40 The Palestinian death toll from the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza increased to 8,306, including 3,457 children, and the number of wounded reached 21,048,  according to the most recent figures released by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The health ministry added that 25 hospitals in Gaza are out of service due to Israeli bombing.

In the West Bank, Israel killed 121 Palestinians since the start of its war on Gaza, the health ministry said.

Israel killed 329 Palestinians dead in the West Bank since the start of the year, the ministry added.

12:00 A building and a factory in Ashkelon were hit by rockets fired from Gaza, causing damage, Israeli Army Radio reported.

11:30 An Israeli policeman was stabbed in occupied east Jerusalem, and the alleged assailant was shot and killed by the Israeli police, according to Al Arabiya.

11:20 A spokesman for Hamas said Israeli tanks were forced to retreat from Salah Eddin Road after heavy clashes with Palestinian fighters, according to Al Arabiya.

11:10 Palestinian fighters have engaged with Israeli tanks as they attempted to cut off Salah Eddin Road - the main highway that connects the north of the Gaza Strip to its south, Al Jazeera reported.

10:45 Al-Manar TV reported that Israel shelled the Al-Mushairfa area in Naqoura in the south of Lebanon on Monday morning.

10:20 Israel is amassing tanks around central Gaza and Israeli troops are attempting to cut off Salah Eddin Road in order to separate the northern Gaza Strip from its south, according to Al Arabiya.

Salah Eddin Road is the main highway in the Gaza Strip. It is 45 kilometers long and extends from the Rafah crossing in the south to the Erez crossing in the north.

10:10 AP photographers captured solemn moments as Palestinian families bid farewell to loved ones killed in an Israeli airstrike on the city of Rafa in south Gaza on Sunday night.

10:00 A barrage of rockets launched from Gaza hit the Israeli town of Netivot in southern Israel and Nahal Oz kibbutz in the Gaza Envelope, according to Al Arabiya.

9:50 Israel announced withholding all tax funds transfers to the Palestinian Authority, according to Sky News Arabia.

9:45 Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia and Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza overnight killed tens of Palestinian civilians, including many children, according to Sky News Arabia.

9:30 59 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip have moved from the Rafah border crossing to the Al-Ouga border crossing into Gaza in the hope of entering the besieged strip. 

Israel has blockaded 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip - cutting off all water, food, and fuel supplies - since the start of its war on the strip on 7 October.

It has denied the entry of most humanitarian aid to the Palestinians against the pleas of many in the international community.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the strip are facing near-starvation conditions, according to the UNRWA and other aid organizations.

Palestinians resort to the seawater to bathe and clean their tools and clothes due to continuing water shortage in the Gaza Strip, on the beach of Deir al-Balah, Central Gaza Strip, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. AP

9:10 The Palestinian death toll in the Israel war on Gaza has exceeded 8,000 and the number of wounded climbed over 22,000, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The death toll among Palestinians killed in Israeli raids in the West Bank has climbed over 114.

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