Day Thirty-One Of Swords Of Iron
Gaza City is surrounded and Israeli forces have cut the enclave in two.
Jewish UMass student violently assaulted after attending hostage release event. The student also stole and spat on the victim's Israeli flag, according to the university's Hillel.
The Los Angeles police reported late Monday that a Jewish man died as a result of an Intracerebral hemorrhage caused after a pro-Palestinian protestor hit him in the head in one of the pro-Palestinian rallies held in the U.S. state.
For the first time ever, Israel was pushed to the ends of the Earth last week. Last Tuesday, it was announced that the Arrow missile defense system shot down a ballistic missile for the first time, in this instance fired at Israel by Houthi rebels in Yemen. The IDF stated that air force systems tracked the missile’s trajectory and intercepted it “at the most appropriate operational time and location.” According to a report in the UK's Daily Telegraph, the missile was intercepted outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
IDF Southern Commandrt Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, entered Gaza with his troops to carry out an assessment. The assessment, with the head of the Combat Engineering Corps, Brig. Gen. Ido Mizrahi, dealt with the issue of Hamas tunnels.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced today that several of the attacks on U.S. Bases in Iraq and Syria over the last 24 Hours has been conducted using “Al-Aqsa 1” Medium-Range cruise missiles which have just entered combat for the first time.
Israeli PM Netanyahu told ambassadors to Israel, "If Israel does not defeat Iranian terrorism, Europe will be next and “no one will be safe,” and asked for support to defeat Hamas.
CIA Director William Burns is in the Middle East meeting with intelligence partners and leaders of several countries on matters related to the war between Israel and Hamas. Topics include the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, and the US wish to prevent state and nonstate actors from widening the war regionally.
Iran International TV News reported: "Iran Delayed Hamas Attack To Secure Ransom Deal With US – Report. Iran denies involvement in the Hamas massacre of October 7, but a new report says the Islamist group postponed the attack upon coordination with Tehran. Israeli journalist Ben Caspit said Sunday that Hamas's mass infiltration and onslaught leaving 1,400 mostly civilians dead and 241 hostages taken into Gaza, was originally intended to take place during last Passover's Seder meal Jewish holiday in April, which happened to coincide with Quds Day – an annual anti-Israel event initiated by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Rouhollah Khomeini. According to the report, the Islamic Republic decided to delay the organized assault on civilians to Simchat Torah due to reasons that are unclear. However, Caspit speculated, it could have been postponed due to Tehran’s informal behind-the-scenes talks with the United States, which culminated in the release of Iran's oil revenues frozen in South Korea under US sanctions."
Hundreds of protesters showed up at the Port of Tacoma, Washington, today to block a military ship bound for Israel. About 300 masked people were gathered around the port entrance by late morning to prevent longshoremen from loading cargo onto the MV Cape Orlando, a U.S. military supply vessel. Some of them waved Palestinian flags and others held signs that read “No Aid for Israel,” “Ceasefire now,” and “Resist Until Return.”
Before he departed the region, Secretary of State Blinken said his efforts at diplomacy during a whistle-stop tour were a "work in progress."
According to the UN, its shelters in Gaza are crowded and it is impossible to count the people needing food, water, medicine and other basics. The Guardian quoted a UN official in Khan Younis, who said tonight: "It is a terrible, terrible situation. There is no room even to sleep on the floor. There is one toilet for 700 or 800 people. No bread, no stoves for cooking. We are drinking irrigation water." The official added, "No one can get an accurate number of IDPs [internally displaced persons] here. We know nothing about what happens outside. Everyone is just concentrating on survival." According to a Gazan school teacher, who has taken shelter reportedly with 25,000 others at a vocational training center, said Israeli bombing is sowing panic. Nur Hatib, 33, said, “Of course we are frightened. We have our babies and children with us. Every parent in the world wants to protect their children and we cannot,” Hatib said. My six-year-old daughter wants to know when she will go home so she can go back to reading and writing, which she loves. I try to give her hope and I say, ‘Of course you will go back to school,’ but I don’t know how this will be possible."
US sending bombs to Israel
The Biden administration informed Congress that it is planning a $320 million transfer of precision bombs for Israel, Reuters reported. Last week, the administration notified congressional leaders of the planned transfer of Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, a type of precision guided weapon fired by warplanes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Arms manufacturer Rafael USA, a division of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, would transfer the bombs to its parent company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for use by the IDF.
The Red Crescent Society tweeted that fuel for generators powering the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City will run out within 48 hours. The NGO is asking “international health and humanitarian organizations to swiftly provide vital assistance and essential supplies “ for Gaza, especially the north, now reported to be cut-off from the south by Israeli forces. It said two Israeli rockets landed close to the hospital gates this evening. There are no immediate reports of casualties.
At the Statue of Liberty, about 500 members and supporters of Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City waved flags and banners and sang songs. Among them was photographer, artist and activist Nan Goldin, who told the gathering: “As long as the people of Gaza are screaming, we need to yell louder, no matter who attempts to silence us”. It is the second mass demonstration in the last 10 days in New York City for the group. On Oct. 27, hundreds of protestors in black shirts showing pro-ceasefire messages gathered at Grand Central Station.
Sarah Koshar, a spokesperson for the group, said the Statue of Liberty was a symbolic venue for Monday’s demonstration: "My ancestors were greeted by the Statue of Liberty while escaping pogroms. While it is a symbol of refuge for my family, I am hauntingly aware that the US denied entry to Jewish refugees throughout the entirety of the Holocaust. From Ellis Island to Gaza, never again means never again - for anyone."
Biden to Netanyahu: Hold settlers accountable
President Biden and PM Netanyahu discussed “the possibility of tactical pauses” in Israel’s military operations in Gaza to allow humanitarian aid. According to the White House, Biden told Netanyahu that United States is “steadfast” in its support of Israel. According to the White House readout, "Biden and Netanyahu discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, including many children and a number of American citizens. The two leaders welcomed the increase in humanitarian assistance over the past week and discussed the necessity to significantly ramp up deliveries over the coming week, including by increasing the capacity to screen and stage trucks going into Gaza. The President reiterated his steadfast support for Israel and the protection of Israeli citizens from Hamas and all other threats while also emphasizing the imperative to protect Palestinian civilians and reduce civilian harm in the course of military operations. The two leaders discussed the possibility of tactical pauses to provide civilians with opportunities to safely depart from areas of ongoing fighting, to ensure assistance is reaching civilians in need, and to enable potential hostage releases. The President also discussed the situation in the West Bank and the need to hold extremist settlers accountable for violent acts."
There was no indication whether Netanyahu was receptive to any so-called tactical pause, but he has ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire.
Secretary of state Antony Blinken left the Middle East today with no progress towards a humanitarian pause in the fighting.
New York City public defender Victoria Ruiz will keep her city job despite tearing down posters in the Big Apple depicting children kidnapped by Hamas during the terrorists' Oct. 7 onslaught in Israel. She apologized for her actions after video circulated on social media that recorded her actions.
A video circulated on social media on November 3 which depicted a woman on Line 3 of the Paris Metro. Heard in the video are passengers shouting: “F*ck the Jews, f*ck your mother! Long live Palestine, yeah, yeah! F*ck the Jews, f*ck the grandmothers! We are Nazis, and we are proud of it!”
Images of Muslim travellers in group prayer at a Paris Charles de Gaulle airport drew controversy in France. The French government vowed 'firmness' and the airport operator described the incident as regrettable. The group was about to board a flight to Jordan.
South Africa recalled its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel in condemnation of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip, calling it “a genocide”. SA also threatened action against Israel's ambassador to South Africa over his ermarks about the coutnry's stance on the Israel-Hamas war. No further details were given.
Florida's state legislature returned today for a special session to allow lawmakers to express their support for Israel. The lawmakers are expected to consider new sanctions against Iran, which has supported Hamas, as well as vote on resolutions expressing support for Israel's right to defend itself. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has sent weapons, body armor, and other aid to Israel since Oct. 7.
The IDF uncovered a rocket launch site used by Hamas, and a cache of 50+ rockets inside a mosque in Gaza City. The launchers and rockets were destroyed by Israeli EOD teams.
Irish PM Leo Varadkar said he doesn't regret saying IDF operations in Gaza are “something more approaching revenge”. Last week, Varadkar said, "I strongly believe that ... Israel has the right to defend itself, has the right to go after Hamas, that they cannot do this again." He added, "What I’m seeing unfolding at the moment isn’t just self defence. It looks, resembles something more approaching revenge. That’s not where we should be. And I don’t think that’s how Israel will guarantee future freedom and future security."
When he was asked today whether his statements have hampered bilateral relations with Israel, he said he did not believe that it had, according to PA news. And when asked whether he regretted his earlier statement, he said, "I don’t, no.” He later added: "When the tánaiste [Micheál Martin] and I take the positions that we do, we do so because we think it’s the right thing. Ultimately, this is about civilians. Israeli civilians who died and were injured, and also Palestinians who are now experiencing a very difficult situation. We’ve always taken a view since day one that we condemn Hamas’ attack unequivocally, no excuse for it whatsoever. Israel has a right to defend itself, but it has to do so in a way that’s proportionate and in line with humanitarian law."
Belgian PM Alexander De Croo said that “what is happening in Gaza today is no longer proportionate”. But he said his government still condemns Hamas's attack, and supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He said, "If one bombs an entire refugee camp with the intention of eliminating one terrorist, then I don’t think that is proportionate anymore. Something like that is a bridge too far." He said that it is “completely logical” that “a solution” was sought for Hamas, but “the question is how the solution should be found” during political dialogue, a pause in the fighting and the release of all hostages." He also said, "Our country does not take sides. What we do choose is an end to violence and thousands of civilian victims."
According to UNRWA, at least 88 of its workers have been killed since October. 7 Forty-seven of its buildings have been damaged. According to the UN, 150+ health workers have been killed in Gaza – 16 while on duty – and 18 emergency-service workers for Gaza’s civil defens. It claims 100+ health facilities have been damaged.
In a joint statement, signatories including the UN human rights commissioner, Volker Turk; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization; and the UN aid chief, Martin Griffiths, called on Israel and Hamas to abide by international law, saying "It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now. Civilians and the infrastructure they rely on – including hospitals, shelters and schools – must be protected. More aid – food, water, medicine and of course fuel – must enter Gaza safely, swiftly and at the scale needed, and must reach people in need, especially women and children, wherever they are."
According to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian health agency, four Palestinians died today in the West Bank city of Tulkarm. The ministry claims 150+ Palestinians have been killed on the West Bank since the start of the war.
Rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel landed harmlessly in the sea, according to the Times of Israel. It reported several long-range rockets were targeting central Israel. Residents heard some blasts, it said, but no air raid sirens sounded. Hamas claimed responsibility for launching the rockets. Also, an Iron Dome defensive missile failed to hit an incoming rocket and instead fell on Israel. No injuries or death were reported.
The commanded of Hamas's Deir al-Balah batallion, Wael Asefa, was killed by an IAF air strike on the evening of Nov. 5. Asefa was imprisoned from 1992 to 1998 for terrorist attacks against Israel and IDF personnel. The IDF claimed he was one of those who helped plan the Oct 7 attack and ordered Hamas fighters from Gaza into Israel last month.
Israel responded with artillery toward the source of a rocket barrage it says was launched from Lebanon. Reuters reports about 30 rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon “within the last hour”. It is not clear yet how many rockets found a target, or if there were any casualties. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed it had launched 16 rockets from Lebanon towards Israel’s city of Nahariyya and southern Haifa.
Pope Francis met with European rabbis at the Vatican today. In a written speech he declined to read, saying he was not feeling well, the pontiff denounced antisemitism, war, and terrorism. In the statement, Francis said, his prayers for “above all else, to everything that has happened in the last few weeks,” which was interpreted by many as a clear reference to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel.
The IDF expressed on Arabic language social media channels that it is again allowing the movement of civilians from north Gaza to the south. Accompanied by a map, it posted: "I would like to inform you that although Hamas is harming the ongoing humanitarian efforts on behalf of the people of Gaza and is using you as human shields, today the IDF will once again allow passage on the Salah al-Din Road between 10am and 2pm. For your safety, take this next opportunity to move south beyond Wadi Gaza. If you care about yourself and your loved ones, head south according to our instructions. Rest assured that Hamas leaders have already taken care of defending themselves."
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Rania, the queen consort of Jordanian King Abdullah II said in an interview about the war: “This is not about religion, it is about politics. And what we’ve seen in the recent years is that the charge of anti-Semitism being weaponized in order to silence any criticism of Israel. Let me be very clear: Being proPalestinian is not being anti-Semitic.”
Candace Owen, an American author and political commentator, tweeted: "I agree with Queen Rania’s assertion that antisemitism is being weaponized in order to silence critics and bully people into compliance. That Charlie Kirk, Elon Musk, and Thomas Massie have recently been smeared as antisemites is proof of this charge. This is the same behavior we saw from Black Lives Matter activists when the threat of being labeled a racist or a white supremacist was being used to shut down legitimate questions about the funding and intentions of the organization, which in time proved to be fraudulent. I have never been a person that is fearful to state the truth and to call out the people and organizations that are engaging in silencing tactics—even when the cost of doing so meant I was caricatured by my own community as a 'race traitor.' We have a right to hear any and every political debate, free from the threat of smears. My position on this has not and will not shift, ever. More speech. Not less."
An IDF spokesman welcomed the US announcement that a US nuclear missile sub has arrived in the region. Late on Nov. 5, US Central Command, which covers the Middle East and based in Bahrain, announced an Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine had arrived in the region – an unusual public announcement seen as a threat to Iran. “It’s always good news to see that the Americans are moving in more assets,” IDF spokesman Lt-Col Richard Hecht said on Nov. 6: “We see this as sort of a deterring, stabilising factor in the region.”
Secretary of State Blinken said after his visit to Turkey that the US is working 'very aggressively' on more humanitarian aid for Gaza, telling Turkey that the Biden administration is focused on “efforts to significantly expand the humanitarian assistance to people in need”. He claimed that his 2 1/2 hours visit with the Turkish FM helped prevent wider escalation of the war.Blinken told the media before departing Turkey “We discussed … efforts to significantly expand the humanitarian assistance to people in need, and efforts to prevent the conflict expanding to other parts of the region and what we can do to set the conditions for a durable, sustainable, lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”
“We are working very aggressively on getting more humanitarian assistance in Gaza. And we have very concrete ways in doing that. And I think we’ll see in the days ahead that assistance can expand in significant ways,” he said. Asked what concrete progress had been made during his whistle-stop tour of the region, Blinken said: “Sometimes the absence of something bad happening may not be the most obvious evidence of progress, but it is.”
Turkey told Blinken that a ceasefire is urgently needed in Gaza, and that Israel should not target civilians or displace Gazans. There was no joint media appearance after the meeting.
Egypt-Gaza Rafah crossing reopens for limited evacuation of foreign nationals listed since Nov. 1. Those not listed must remain in Gaza, as per Egypt.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said today that the current situation is “the outcome of a collective political and moral failure” due to “a real lack of willingness to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem.” “I think that, we Europeans, we have the moral and political obligation to be involved - not only by providing aid but contributing to a durable solution,” he said. “I think that we have three responsibilities. We must continue sticking to a firm and balanced position, and to avoid importing in Europe this conflict at all costs,” Borrell said, pointing to rising anti-Semitism and stressing that “anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiments are totally unacceptable.” The second responsibility is a “humanitarian solution.”
International law must be respected, he said, and that “a humanitarian pause” and access to hostages could be a “first step”. He said that “a massive increase in humanitarian support,” evacuation of third country nationals, and a “proportionate Israeli response” are all necessary. “But the important thing is to think about a comprehensive and definitive settlement which is clearly out of reach today,” he added.
The Palestinian Authority will not accept a partial transfer of tax funds from Israel that withholds money earmarked for administration in Gaza, said Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh today. He hopes third countries can pressurise Israel to transfer the money to the PA.
France is talking with Egypt about establishing a military medical unit which would include surgery for people seriously wounded in Gaza. French armed forces minister Sébastien Lecornu told Lebanon’s L’Orient le Jour newspaper. He said “There are also still discussions with Egypt in order to preposition a French military health offering on the ground, particularly providing surgery for war injuries.” The French military is currently equipping a helicopter carrier with advanced medical facilities that is set to sail to the region in the next 10 days. France will host an international humanitarian conference for the civilian population in Gaza later this week.
Al Jazeera reports 70 Palestinians were arrested in overnight Israeli raids inside the West Bank. It reports that more than 2,000 people have been detained in raids since Oct. 7. The figure is reported to include 49 women and 17 journalists.
GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley wrote an op-ed at New York Post saying "Hamas must be destroyed" and that a ceasefire arrangement with terrorists is not possible.
Israeli military has encircled Gaza City. On Nov. 5, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said “Today there is north Gaza and south Gaza,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters, calling it a “significant stage” in in the war. Telecommunications were blackout in Gaza for the third time. IDF troops are expected to enter Gaza City within 48 hours. Large explosions were seen in northern Gaza after nightfall on Nov. 5.
The “collapse in connectivity” across Gaza reported by NetBlocks.org and confirmed by Paltel has made it difficult for media and others to communicate and report on the war. WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesushas said he was “very concerned” about the blackout, and the “heavy bombardments” of Gaza. He called for communications to be restored “immediately”. He said: “Without connectivity, people who need immediate medical attention cannot contact hospitals and ambulances.”
CNN reports that journalist Hassan Elsayeh and other media types have to go to rooftops to obtain a stronger signal to transmit footage. “Gaza has had no internet since yesterday. We try as much as possible but with great and unimaginable difficulty to get out what’s happening in Gaza. A few journalists and I have come to the top of this rooftop to film the scenes, it’s a struggle.” Reproter Motaz Azaia said sending a photo takes 10 minutes instead of one minute.
Paltel had reported earlier in the day that internet access was gradually being restored after connectivity had been “disconnected from the Israeli side.”
Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai called on Lebanon’s government to keep Lebanon away “from the scourge of this war … and to carry out its political and diplomatic role in support of the Palestinian cause”. “That is more effective,” he said.
Bulgarian PM Nikolay Denkov visited Israeli PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said Hamas is the “most savage enemy we have seen since the Holocaust”, and told Denkov: “We think we are not only fighting our war, we think we are fighting the battle of civilisation against barbarism. If civilisation doesn’t prevail, barbarism will. It’s your battle as well.”
Denkov said Hamas “should be eradicated”, but also said “we are concerned with what happens in the Gaza Strip”.
Hamas said nearly 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war since Oct. 7. This has not been independently verified.
CNN reports that another journalist in the clip, Motaz Azaiza, says “Instead of taking what should be one minute to post a photograph online, it takes 10 minutes.”
British PM Sunak claimed the UK is playing a “key role” to get aid to Gaza, and reiterated his government’s calls for a humanitarian pause. He said: “We have been very clear and consistent that we support humanitarian pauses, which are there specifically to allow aid to get into Gaza and hostages and foreign nationals to come out. I’m pleased that over 100 British nationals have now been able to leave Gaza thanks to our diplomatic engagement. I spoke to both the Egyptian president and the Israeli prime minister about this specific issue last week.”
A chill in US-Turkey relations
The Guardian reported: “US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, was hardly given a warm welcome in Turkey this morning, starting with a snub by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was visiting his family’s hometown of Rize. Instead Blinken met with Turkish foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, and was greeted by protests outside the foreign ministry in Ankara, and amid news of demonstrators attempting to storm an air base in southern Turkey housing US troops. Outside the foreign ministry, a group of protestors from Turkey’s youth union gathered to yell “murderer Blinken, get out of Turkey,” according to state news agency Anadolu. The protest, although small, provided the latest indication that Turkish officials are content to channel anti-American public sentiment and allow an outpouring of public sentiment on this issue.”
“Blinken’s meeting with Fidan appears unlikely to warm sentiment towards Washington either among the Turkish public or Turkish officials. The pro-government outlet Yeni Şafak even ran a video they claimed showed Fidan awkwardly dodging a hug from Blinken at the start of their meeting, and there was no press conference planned for after the talks. Erdoğan has been outspoken on his support for a ceasefire in Gaza, condemning the Israeli assault and demanding the US as well as other world powers begin talks intended to provide lasting solutions following an end to the fighting. He also organised a rally at the end of October, gathering thousands to accuse the west of being “the main culprit behind the massacres in Gaza,” The Guardian reported.
About Blinken’s visit to Ankara, Al Jazeera reported:
“As of now, there has been no joint statement. The US side tried to convince Turkish officials to put more pressure on Hamas and make it release the captives. But the Turkish position was very clear on this matter. They said that the prisoner release should be mutual, where Hamas releases captives and Israel releases Palestinian prisoners. Turkey also asked for an unconditional ceasefire.”
EC President Ursula von der Leyen said today that the EU was increasing its humanitarian aid to Gaza by another €25 million bringing total aid to €100m ($107 million). Von der Leyden said “We’re working with Israel, Egypt and the UN to let more convoys into Gaza, including through corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs. Aid is now entering through the Rafah border crossing, but the volumes remain too small to match the massive humanitarian needs in Gaza. Our priority is to work with partners to reinforce Rafah’s logistic capacities, and at the same time, we’re working on complementary routes - a maritime corridor from Cyprus, for example - that would guarantee a sustained, regulated and robust flow of aid.” She added that “every single hostage matters” and Europe “must do everything in our power to avoid a regional conflict”.
Von der Leyen said: “Gaza can be no safe haven for terrorists” and “different ideas are being discussed on how this can be insured, including an international peace force under UN mandate”. “This implies that the terrorist organisation Hamas cannot control or govern Gaza. There should be only one Palestinian Authority and one Palestinian state,” von der Leyen said. She said that “there can be no longterm Israeli security presence in Gaza”, “no forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza” and “no sustained blockade of Gaza.”
Norwegian FM Espen Barth Eide said Norway is seeking to revive diplomatic channels between Israel and Hamas: “We hear now from very many sides - the American, the European and Arab, and from many among the parties, who want to see whether it can be relevant as a channel again,” Eide told public broadcaster NRK. “This war has reminded everyone that there is no other lasting solution to this than having a two-state solution, which one had hoped to see after the Oslo Accords 30 years ago.” Out of this “terrible dramatic situation” in Gaza, Eide said, “we could see a political process back on track”, on the condition that the war in Gaza does not spread to other countries in the Middle East.
Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Store called earlier for a ceasefire, and said that Israel’s response to the Hamas attack “must happen in line with the rules of the international law of war.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei messaged: “The Muslim world must increase political pressure on the US and the Zionist regime to end the massacre of people in Gaza. As an important country in the region, Iraq can play a major role in putting political pressure on the US and the occupying regime to stop the massacre of people in Gaza and also in starting a new approach in the Arab and Muslim world. The US is the Zionist’s accomplice in the crimes against Gaza. If their weapon supplies and political support stops, the Zionist regime will be incapable of continuing. The longer the current war goes on, the evidence showing the direct role of the US in directing the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza becomes more pronounced.”
Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee said Ireland is doing everything it can to support the family of an Irish-Israeli girl believed to have been abducted by Hamas. Emily Hand was originally feared dead after the assault on kibbutz Be’eri on Oct. 7. The eight-year-old girl’s family have been informed she may be alive and being held hostage by the terrorists. PA Media reports Fine Gael’s McEntee told RTÉ: “This is a hugely traumatic situation for her family and for every family who finds themselves with their loved one held hostage…We have called from the very beginning for Hamas to release any hostages that they might have. And, of course, where Irish citizens are involved here every effort has been made to support them.”
Thai PM Srettha Thavisin said the 23 Thais held hostage by the Hamas terrorists are safe and will soon be free. However, he added that a ceasefire is required by Hamas to release them. Thais were treated no differently from Israelis and other nationalities during the terrorist raid of Oct. 7; 32 Thais were killed by the terrorists and 23 abducted.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has yet to retract a statement that has drawn the ire of many Americans. The Hill reported: "Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) called for Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) to retract viral remarks she made Friday on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The congresswoman criticized the Biden administration’s support for Israel in the war, saying the president is “supporting the genocide of the Palestinian people.” Tlaib has received criticism since making the comments, including from Nessel, who posted online calling for her to retract her statements.
“I have supported and defended you countless times, even when you have said the indefensible, because I believe you to be a good person whose heart was in the right place,” Nessel posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “But this is so hurtful to so many. Please retract his cruel and hateful remark,” Nessel continued." Nessel is Jewish; she is a progressive and LGBTQ supporter.
Gaza City has been surrounded by the IDF ground forces, which have divided the enclave in half. “Today there is north Gaza and south Gaza,” Rear Adm Daniel Hagari told the media, and called it a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against Hamas. IAF jets struck 450 Hamas targets, and claims to have killed Jamal Mussa, who “was responsible for the special security operations in the Hamas terrorist organization”. The claims have not been independently verified, according to The Guardian newspaper.
International nonprofits and the UN are calling again for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, calling the situation “horrific” and “unacceptable” in a rare joint statement. Signatories included the heads of OCHA, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the WHO, Save the Children, and CARE International. They said “For almost a month, the world has been watching the unfolding situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in shock and horror at the spiralling numbers of lives lost and torn apart … An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable.”
Hamas claims 9,770+ Palestinians, including 4,008 children, have been killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7. These figures have not been independently verified. Hamas's attack on Oct. 7 killed 1,400+ Israelis and residents, and abducted at least 240 hostages. Video recorded by the terrorists detailed the rapes, murders, beheadings, and abductions they committed. On the evening of Nov. 4, Hamas displayed videos of the crimes on a huge monitor for crowds assembled in front of a hospital in Gaza.
Secretary of State Blinken met with Turkish officials in Ankara. Hundreds of protesters assembled outside a joint US/NATO air base in Turkey in advance of his arrival. Turkish police used water cannon and teargas to disperse them
The US made a rare announcement of the arrival of a nuclear-armed submarine in the region.
Thai PM Srettha Thavisin told local media that Thailand's chief of defence forces has informed him of a photograph that shows Thai people held by Hamas, saying this was a proof of life.
Paltel - the Palestine telecommunications company - noted on Facebook that communications are gradually being restored in Gaza after another blackout imposed by Israel.
The Palestinian health ministry said that one Palestinian was killed and three were wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank village of Halhul, north of Hebron.
Two Israeli police officers have been seriously injured in a stabbing and shooting attack in Jerusalem. The attacker was killed at the scene by Herod’s Gate in the Old City by officers who responded.
Israel arrested Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian who made global headlines as a teenager in 2018 when she was arrested and later jailed for slapping and kicking IDF soldiers. Israel’s national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, praised Tamimi’s arrest in a post on Twitter, calling her a “terrorist”.
Jordan has airdropped a medical aid to a hospital in Gaza, King Abdullah II said in a social media post. Jordan’s military said in a statement that the medical supplies were dropped via parachutes from a Jordanian Air Force plane.
The UK’s Foreign Office said it is temporarily withdrawing some British embassy staff from Lebanon. It had already advised against all travel to Lebanon due to the conflict, and encouraged any Britons still in the country to leave while commercial flights remain.
China is taking over the presidency of the UN Security Council and said it will restore peace in Palestinian territories.