Israel pounds Gaza as tens of thousands of Palestinians forced to flee homes - Day 34 as it happened

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Nov 2023

On Day 34 of the Israeli war on Gaza, Israeli air strikes continue to pound Gaza City as occupation soldiers battled street-by-street with Hamas fighters, and tens of thousands of Palestinians desperate for safety continue to flee their homes southwards in the besieged territory.

Gaza

 

22:20 Yemen's Houthis have launched a batch of ballistic missiles at various targets on Israel including military targets in Eilat, the group's military spokesperson said on Thursday.

The Israeli military earlier said that an unidentified drone had hit a civilian building in Eilat, causing only light damage and no injuries.

22:00 Arab foreign ministers wrapped up Thursday their preparatory meeting for the upcoming urgent Arab summit in Riyadh, approving a final draft resolution that addresses various elements of the Arab-Palestinian political stance.

During the meeting, held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Thursday and chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the ministers and delegation heads finalized the draft resolution to be presented at the Arab summit for consideration.

Following the meeting, Hossam Zaki, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, stated that the resolution allows the international community to understand the Arab and Palestinian position correctly and aims to halt Israeli aggression.

Zaki emphasized that the summit would adopt the resolution in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Arab peoples.

He also said that there will be an Islamic summit following the Arab summit, and its decisions will be made within the same Arab framework.

Furthermore, Zaki confirmed that several Arab leaders will participate and that Arab states will be well represented.

He also stated that humanitarian ceasefires are not a core element of the Arab stance since the Arabs call for an immediate and complete ceasefire.

Zaki described these ceasefires as ideas proposed by some to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation resulting from the Israeli war and aggression.

In addition, he stressed that the Arabs reject any ideas by Israel or other countries for the separation of Gaza from the West Bank, stressing that the Arab position has thoroughly examined and rejected these ideas and will not align with them. 

Scheduled to be held next Saturday in Riyadh, the summit, called for by Saudi Arabia and Palestine, aims to discuss ways to halt the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

21:00 Israeli occupation forces on Thursday killed 18 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, the territory's health ministry said, most of them shot dead during an army raid on Jenin.

AFP journalists saw black smoke rising over the city of Jenin, a militant stronghold in the northern West Bank and heard multiple explosions and gunfire.

The health ministry said in a statement 14 Palestinians were killed in Jenin -- the highest West Bank death toll from a single Israeli raid since 2005, according to United Nations records.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said one of its paramedics was shot in the back when an "ambulance was targeted" during the raid.

Separately, four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces elsewhere in the West Bank, the health ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from the army on the deaths reported by the ministry in Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah and Beit Fajar and Dura in the southern West Bank.

19:50  The World Health Organization is cautioning about infectious diseases spreading in Gaza from contaminated water and limited access to hygiene facilities, according to AP.  

WHO reported Thursday that since mid-October 2023, over half of the 33,551 reported cases of diarrhea are among children under age five.

The organisation said that's a significant increase compared to an average of 2,000 cases monthly in children under five throughout 2021 and 2022.

Also reported where 8,944 cases of scabies and lice, 1,005 cases of chickenpox, 12,635 cases of skin rash and 54,866 The World Health Organization is issuing a warning about the alarming spread of infectious diseases in Gaza due to contaminated water and limited access to hygiene facilities, as reported by AP.

19:45 Palestinian Health Ministry: Number of Palestinians killed by Israel in Jenin strike rises to 13.

18:30 A Hamas delegation led by Ismail Hania and Khaled Mashal arrived in Cairo Thursday morning, where they met the head of the Egyptian Intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, Hamas announced.

According to the short statement issued by Hamas on its official Telegram group, the head of its political office, Ismail Hania, arrived in Cairo along with Khaled Mashal and Khalil al-Hayya, where they discussed the latest developments in Gaza with the Head of Egyptian General Intelligence Service General Abbas Kamel.

The visit of the three leading Hamas figures came 24 hours before the expected visit by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who is set to arrive in Cairo on Friday to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The visit also comes 48 hours before the urgent Arab Summit meeting to be held in Riyadh, as per the request of Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, on Saturday.

On Wednesday, news reports stated that Egypt is close to brokering a "humanitarian truce" deal in Gaza that would involve an exchange of Israeli captives and Palestinian detainees.

The visit of Hamas leaders to Cairo came 48 hours after Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns visited Cairo on Tuesday, where he met President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to discuss the Israeli war on Gaza.

18:10 The White House says Israel has agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on the Gaza Strip.

The Biden administration says it has secured a second pathway for civilians to flee fighting. President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a Monday call.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the first humanitarian pause would be announced Thursday and that the Israelis had committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance.

Kirby said Israel had also agreed to open a second corridor for civilians to flee northern Gaza — along the territory’s coastal road — joining the first that has been in place along its main north-south highway.

16:30 The toll from Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip has tragically climbed to 10,812 Palestinians, with heartbreaking numbers that include 4,412 children, 2,918 women, 667 elderly individuals, and 26,905 injured since the war began on the 7th of October, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said.

15:30 Six prominent leaders in Israel’s Palestinian community have been arrested en route to a protest against Israel's war on the Gaza Strip, said an advocacy group for Israel's Arab citizens.

The detainees include Mohammed Barakeh, a former Knesset lawmaker and head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens; Sami Abu Shahadeh, the National Democratic Assembly party leader; and Hanin Zoabi, the former lawmaker.

Israeli police claimed in a statement that the protest in Al-Naserah was “liable to incite and harm the public welfare.” The police recently banned antiwar protests.

Barakeh was detained for questioning after he was followed by an unmarked police car, said Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. He had notified police on Wednesday that the committee planned to hold a protest with fewer than 50 people and therefore did not need a permit.

14:15 Egypt condemned "international silence on violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel" at a Paris conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza.

"What the Israeli government is doing far exceeds the right to self-defence," Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry told the conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, complaining of an "imbalance" in "the international conscience".

13:30 Seven Palestinians were killed and at least 13 injured in an Israeli army raid into the northern West Bank city of Jenin, the official news agency (WAFA) reported.

A large army force, accompanied by a bulldozer, stormed Jenin refugee camp as snipers occupied rooftops and the bulldozer proceeded to destroy the roads and infrastructure, WAFA explained.

Clashes broke out during which the Israeli occupation forces opened live fire at the Palestinians and fired a missile into a group of people in the camp, killing seven and injuring 13 others, including a paramedic, WAFA added.

(A photo taken from the city of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank on November 9, 2023, shows black smoke rising from the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp during clashes with the Israeli military AFP)

12:30 The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is set to arrive in Egypt on Friday to hold discussions with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egyptian news channel Al Qahera News reported.

11:50 French President Emmanuel Macron opened Gaza aid conference in Paris, urging nations to "work towards a ceasefire" between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"In the immediate term, we need to work on protecting civilians. To do that, we need a humanitarian pause very quickly and we must work towards a ceasefire," Macron told delegates.

 

10:30 The Israeli Knesset has amended the Counter-Terrorism Law introducing a new criminal offence, namely the “consumption of terrorist materials”, with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – revealed on Thursday.

Adalah explained that the law amends Article 24 of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Law to include a new offence, specified as the the “systematic and continuous consumption of publications of a terrorist organization under circumstances that indicate identification with the terrorist organization”.The “specific publications” referred to in the law encompass expressions of praise, support, or encouragement of terrorist acts, direct calls to commit an act of terrorism, as well as documentation of an act of terrorism. The bill designates Hamas and ISIS (the Islamic State) as the terrorist organizations to which this offence applies.

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