Israel brags about dropping 10,000 bombs on Gaza since 7 October; airstrikes continue; humanitarian situation worsens - Day 26 as it happened

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Nov 2023

The Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant boasted that Israel has dropped more than 10,000 bombs on the Gaza Strip since 7 October; various UN officials condemn grave Israeli atrocities and human rights violations against children and civilians as the airstrikes continue and the death toll among Palestinians near 9,000.

Gaza
Palestinians try to pull a girl out of the rubble of a building that was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. AP

 

23:00 The President of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has announced that 1,000 Palestinian children, accompanied by their families, would receive treatment in Emirati hospitals, according to Sky News Arabia.

22:30 Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed on Wednesday to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak the need for the international community to take a decisive stance to earnestly pursue an immediate ceasefire and enforce a humanitarian truce, given the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

In a phone call, President El-Sisi underlined to Sunak that a resolution to the Palestinian issue requires the implementation of a two-state solution, stressing that military solutions pose a threat to the overall security and stability of the region.

22:20 In a statement, Medicins Sans Frontieres said all 22 of its staff in the Gaza Strip left Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Wednesday after foreign nationals and international aid workers were allowed to leave the strip.

"We have prepared a new team of international staff, including a specialized medical team, who are ready to enter Gaza as soon as the situation allows in order to support humanitarian and medical efforts."

"Many of our Palestinian colleagues are still working and providing life-saving services in the hospitals and everywhere in the Gaza Strip in the absence of any security measures to protect hospitals and medical teams," added the statement.

22:15 Israeli airstrikes continued on various parts of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, Israeli jet fighters carried out a strike in the vicinity of Al Quds Hospital in Tel Al-Hawa in Gaza, where thousands of civilians have been taking shelter after homes were bombarded by Israel since 7 October.

22:00 Cyprus offered more detail Wednesday on its initiative to create a sea corridor for the steady flow of humanitarian assistance from Cyprus to Gaza, saying that aid-laden ships would sail directly to the blockaded and under-bombardment strip, where United Nations personnel would receive it for eventual distribution.

21:50 Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population announced on Wednesday the reception of the first group of critically injured Palestinians from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

According to a health ministry statement, 16 of those patients were transferred to hospitals in North Sinai, with 11 being sent to Arish General Hospital and five to Bir Al-Abd Hospital.

21:30 The United Nations will remain steadfast in supporting Palestinians in Gaza, Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), said Wednesday during his first trip to the strip since Israel began its war on Gaza.

"I was shocked by the fact that everyone there was asking for food, was asking for water," Lazzarini told journalists in Gaza.

The most senior UN official to visit the strip since the war began said he had "never ever seen" anything like it before in Gaza.

He said everyone he met in Gaza was concerned about shortages in food, water, and fuel.

"Fuel here in Gaza is absolutely everything because without fuel we do not have generators, we do not have functioning bakeries, we do not have functioning hospitals and you cannot pump water.”

20:40 The only cancer treatment hospital in the Gaza Strip, the Turkish Palestinian Friendship Hospital, has gone out of service after it ran out of fuel, health officials said on Wednesday.

"The question of fuel – fuel meaning electricity in the Gaza Strip – being allowed in is going to be the next humanitarian issue", says FRANCE 24's Irris Makler.

A number of other hospitals in the Gaza Strip are not too far behind from facing the fate of the Turkish Palestinian Friendship Hospital in Gaza as the Israeli blockade on all fuel to the under-bombardment strip continued for the 26th day straight.

20:30 President Joe Biden said US citizens would begin evacuating from Gaza on Wednesday, as hundreds of injured residents and foreigners left the under-bombardment Palestinian territory.

20:20 The UN child rights committee said Wednesday there were "no winners in a war where thousands of children are killed", as they condemned mounting "grave human rights violations" by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The committee, which monitors countries' adherence to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, expressed its "outrage at the profound suffering of children" in the Israeli war in Gaza.

The UN committee "strongly condemns the escalation of attacks by Israel against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, which had resulted in the deaths of more than 3,500 children since October 7."

20:00 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel and Jordan on Friday, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, adding that Blinken will meet with leaders of the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for an update on their military objectives.

"He will reiterate US support for Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with international humanitarian law and discuss the need to take all precautions to minimize civilian casualties, as well as our work to deliver humanitarian assistance," Miller told reporters.

19:20 The Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant boasted that Israel has dropped more than 10,000 missiles, bombs, and projectiles on the Gaza Strip since 7 October.

Gallant on Wednesday said Hamas has to "die or to surrender unconditionally." 

"There is no third option," Gallant said in a televised speech.

18:10 "This is just the latest atrocity to befall the people of Gaza where the fighting has entered an even more terrifying phase, with increasingly dreadful humanitarian consequences," Martin Griffiths, the UN humanitarian chief, said in a statement after the latest Israeli massacre against the Palestinians in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

He said "The world seems unable, or unwilling, to act," adding "This cannot go on. We need a step change."

17:10 Israel has intercepted four missiles launched from the Red Sea toward the Israeli city of Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, according to Al Arabiya.

16:30 The Egyptian Red Crescent signed an EGP 50 million cooperation protocol with the Bahraini Royal Humanitarian Foundation to alleviate Palestinians’ suffering, according to a cabinet statement on Wednesday.

The aid will include food, medical supplies, and relief materials such as tents, blankets, heaters, and other materials needed by the Palestinian people, read the statement.

16:00 Jordan's Foreign Ministry has announced that it summoned the Jordanian Ambassador to Israel as a distinct expression of Jordan's position opposing the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

15:15 In a televised statement, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, expressed the group's willingness to engage in political negotiations under certain conditions. Haniyeh stated that Hamas is open to any political negotiations, but only if the ongoing fighting ceases, humanitarian corridors are opened, and aid is allowed to enter Gaza.

"We are ready for political negotiations for a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine," Haniyeh affirmed during his address.

Moreover, Haniyeh said Israeli forces are encountering difficulties in their ground foray into Gaza and downplaying the losses in their public statements.

"Israeli captives are subjected to the same destruction and death as our people," he added.

The Hamas leader also praised the support provided by resistance movements in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, emphasizing their assistance to Palestinian factions in their struggle.

14:50 Al-Qassam Brigades announced that they destroyed 4 military vehicles and eliminated a foot force inside a building in Beit Hanoun, on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip.

14:35 Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has rejected calls from the US Biden administration to release tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority, as reported by the Times of Israel.

Smotrich stated that Israel "will not repeat mistakes and assumptions that we paid dearly for."

He further noted that he had directed the ministry to suspend the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority and is advocating for the cabinet to reassess its policy regarding these funds.

He cited what he considers PA "support" for Hamas's operations in Gaza as the reason for this reevaluation.

14:30 Another Israeli soldier was killed in fighting with Hamas fighters in Gaza, raising the death toll to 13 since Israel launched its ground operation in the Strip, Israeli authorities announced.

14:20 Zvi Sukkot, a member of the far-right Keenest group, hailing from Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's Religious Zionism party, is set to assume the position of chairman in the subcommittee within the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that specializes in West Bank affairs, Haaretz reported.

14:15 The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on Wednesday day that he was "appalled" by the high number of casualties resulting from the Israeli airstrike on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza.

In his statement, Borrell remarked, "Building on the EU Council's firm position that Israel has the right to self-defense in accordance with international humanitarian law and the imperative to safeguard all civilians, I am deeply concerned about the substantial casualties resulting from Israel's bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp."

14:05 Turkey and Iran jointly called for a regional conference to prevent the further escalation of the conflict in Gaza. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan emphasized the need for an immediate ceasefire, stating that "it is not difficult to predict that this spiral of violence will grow" without a long-term solution. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian endorsed the idea of a peace conference involving "Muslim and Arab" nations, emphasizing the need for it to take place "as soon as possible."

14:00 Jordan's Foreign Ministry has announced the commencement of evacuating its citizens from the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing in coordination with Egypt.

13:40 Hamas announced that its fighters are clashing now with Israeli forces penetrating Beit Hanoun in Gaza

13:20 American commandos on the ground in Israel are aiding in the effort to locate more than 200 captives held by Hamas, as confirmed by Christopher P. Maier, an assistant secretary of defense. He stated, "We’re actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things" during a special operations conference in Washington, as reported by the New York Times.

Mr. Maier did not disclose the exact number of US Special Operations forces currently in Israel. However, other US officials have indicated that the Defense Department has deployed several dozen commandos in recent weeks, in addition to a small team that was already in Israel on October 7 for previously scheduled training, the New York Times added.

13:10 The Palestinian death toll in Gaza rises to 8,796, including 3,648 children, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced.

12:45 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that Israel is committing mass massacres in Gaza, warning that failure to stop the war in Gaza will lead to its expansion, affecting all countries in the region.

Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Muslim countries Wednesday to halt trade with Israel, including oil exports, in response to its bombardment of Gaza.

12:30 According to Palestinian media reports, a residential square in Jabalia Camp's "Al-Faluga" neighborhood was bombed, resulting in dozens of casualties, both fatalities and injuries.

12:15 The Israeli army drops leaflets on the Gaza Strip saying that "the moment of invasion is imminent", AlArabyia reported. Other leaflets are being distributed calling on residents to provide information about the abductees in exchange for money and a "better future".

11:45 In a dire plea for help, the director of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza is urgently seeking assistance from citizens who may have any amount of diesel fuel to spare. The hospital, a vital lifeline for medical care in the Strip, is on the brink of a major crisis. He warns that within hours, the generators will stop due to fuel depletion and the hospital will come to a halt within hours.

11:40 The Internet and communications have returned to Gaza after hours of cut-off, according to media reports.

11:30 Palestinian sources report that intense clashes are currently underway between Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces in the northwest of Gaza City

11:20 Jordan asks its citizens not to travel to Lebanon unless absolutely necessary.

11:17 The Turkish Hospital in Gaza has ceased its operations because it has run out of fuel, Sky News Arabia reported. 

11:15 Rocket sirens in Ashdod, Ashkelon, and surrounding towns of Gaza envelope. 

11:10 Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that Israel will increase the number of navy missile vessels in the Red Sea area, following several missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.

Yemen's Huthi group on Tuesday pledged more attacks against Israel if its war on Hamas in Gaza continues, saying it had already fired drones and ballistic missiles in three separate operations.

"The Yemeni Armed Forces... confirm they will continue to carry out qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression on Gaza stops," said a Houthi military statement aired on the rebels' Al-Masirah TV.

11:00  Al-Qassam Brigades announced that 7 of the civilian captives they hold, including 3 foreign passport holders, have been killed in the Israeli attack on Jabalia yesterday.

10:45 The Israeli occupation army said in a statement on Wednesday that its forces had carried out attacks on more than 11,000 targets belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war on October 7.

10:30 Scores of foreign passport holders trapped in Gaza started leaving the war-torn territory on Wednesday as the Rafah crossing to Egypt opened for the first time since the October 7 Hamas attacks

10:00 Gaza's phone and internet connections are cut off again.

9:00 The death toll announced by the Israeli army since yesterday has risen to 12.

8:30 The Rafah crossing in Gaza has been opened to allow entry for injured Palestinians and foreign passport holders.

8:00 Egyptian ambulances have entered Gaza to pick up wounded Palestinians for transfer to Egypt for treatment.

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Summary

Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza, and there are plans for a possible ground invasion. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant acknowledges the loss of nine Israeli soldiers, emphasizing the heavy toll this conflict has taken. The Rafah crossing, which had been closed since the war's start on October 7, has reopened, allowing foreign passport holders to leave Gaza for Egypt. Tragically, four Palestinians were killed in overnight clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank. Gaza's communication infrastructure is also disrupted as Israeli troops engage with Hamas militants. Chilie and Bolivia decided to sever relations with Israel over the “aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive” in besieged Gaza.

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