Saturday, December 9

Israel Palestine war news LIVE: Israel pounds Gaza with 100 airstrikes as UN warns of ‘catastrophic’ spread of war

 

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UN refugee chief says any more military escalation will be ‘catastrophic’ for Gaza as Israel hits ‘more than 100’ targets overnight

  • Any escalation of military activities in the Gaza Strip will be “catastrophic” for people there, the UN high commissioner for refugees said Friday.
  • “(I) can tell you with certainty that any further escalation or even continuation of military activities will just be catastrophic for the people of Gaza,” Filippo Grandi told reporters in Japan.
  • While stressing that refugee agency UNHCR has no formal mandate in the Palestinian Territories or Israel, Grandi said that he “shares the extreme worry and anguish that has been expressed by many of my colleagues including the UN secretary general” about the conflict.
  • It comes as the UN said the first aid delivery into the besieged Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt should take place “in the next day or so”.
  • The Israeli military said it had struck more than 100 targets across Gaza linked to the territory’s Hamas rulers overnight, including a tunnel and arms depots.
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A picture taken from the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 20, 2023, shows smoke ascending over the northern Gaza Strip following an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Jack Guez / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
DEIR AL-BALAH, GAZA - OCTOBER 20: Relatives of the Al Kurd family, who died in the Israeli airstrikes mourn ahead of the funeral ceremony at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on October 20, 2023. After the Israeli warplanes attack in which more than 10 members of the Al Kurd family died, their dead bodies were brought to Al-Aqsa Hospital. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)
epa10928495 Smoke rises in the northern Gaza Strip following an Israeli airstrike, as seen from Sderot, Israel, 20 October 2023. More than 3,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Health authority since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October. Israel has warned all citizens of the Gaza Strip to move to the south ahead of an expected invasion.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Jets carrying humanitarian aid land near Gaza as border crossing barriers are removed in Egypt

Another plane carrying fresh humanitarian aid has arrived in Egypt just 20 minutes from the border with Gaza.

The arrival comes as calls increase to open up a corridor to send vital ‘life-saving’ supplies into Palestine.

Overnight, barriers blocking the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt were removed.

The World Health Organization called for the ‘immediate, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access, including through Rafah’.

Biden comment comparing Putin to Hamas is blasted as ‘unacceptable’ by Kremlin – as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine

The Kremlin said on Friday that remarks by U.S. President Joe Biden comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Palestinian militant group Hamas were ‘unacceptable’.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the current time was a potentially dangerous moment on the international agenda, and that the threat to Russian citizens would grow exponentially once Israel started its expected ground operation to try to oust Hamas from Gaza.

Peskov declined to say who would represent Russia at a peace summit for the Palestinian conflict in Cairo on Saturday, referring the query to the foreign ministry.

The comments from the Kremlin official come as Putin’s forces continue their murderous invasion of Ukraine, with Russian shelling of the city of Vovchansk reportedly injuring two men, aged 57 and 69, and damaged a children’s building and four residnetial properties

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via videoconference at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

World Health Organization Director-General left ‘shocked, appalled and saddened’ by conflict in Israel and Gaza

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has told of his anguish at the war between Israel and Gaza.

In an emotive post on X, formerly Twitter, the health chief said: ‘All of us at the WHO have been shocked, appalled and saddened by the conflict in Israel and Gaza.’

Deploring the ‘attacks on health care in boith Gaza and Israel’, Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus pleaded for more ‘life-saving supplies’ to be delivered into Gaza.

Calling on Israel to send fuel as part of its contribution, the health boss added: ‘Our trucks are loaded and ready to go.’

He continued: ‘Bullets and bombs are not the solution to this situation. War will bring nothing but destruction and horror.’

Protesters march on American embassies in Indonesia and Malaysia as demonstrators burn pictures of Israeli President in Kuala Lumpur

  • About 1,000 protesters from several mosques in Jakarta marched on the heavily-guarded US embassy in Indonesia’s capital, on Friday.
  • They were denouncing the staunch American support for Israel and demanded an end to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
  • Similar protests also took place outside the UN mission, a few miles from the US embassy, and in the compound of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • In Kuala Lumpur, Malasyia, demonstrators torched pictures of Israeli President Isaac Herzog outside the US embassy.
Protesters shout slogans as they wave Palestinian flags during a rally supporting the Palestinian people outside the building housing the U.N. representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. Hundreds of people staged protests in Indonesia's capital Friday to denounce the staunch American support for Israel and demand an end to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Malaysians burn Israeli President Isaac Herzog's pictures and the country's flags as they protest outside the U.S. embassy, in support of Palestinians in Gaza after an explosion at a hospital in Gaza, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 20, 2023. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

Hamas ‘appropriated’ humanitarian aid money to build an underground bunker system, top former Israeli government adviser claims

  • Ashley Perry, former senior advisor to the Israeli government accuses Hamas of using aid money to build an underground network of tunnels in Gaza.
  • Mr Perry told Sky News Hamas bunkers were built ‘for them and their families’ adding Hamas ‘don’t care about the average civilian on the ground’.
  • He adds Israeli blockade was ‘ensuring the water, electricity and air was cut out’ from the bunkers ‘pushing’ Hamas chiefs onto ground to allow IDF to target them.

Video reveals the moment IDF pounds Gaza blasting more than 100 targets in overnight bombardment ahead of ground offensive

  • The Israel Defence Forces posted an update to X sayinng fighter jets attacked more than hundred ‘operational targets’ run by Hamas
  • Attacks destroyed ‘tunnel shafts, munitions warehouses and dozens of operational headquarters’, IDF said.
  • Israel also claimed to have ‘eliminated a terrorist who was in the naval force’ of Hamas who ‘took part in the murderous terrorist operations in the Gaza Strip’.

Aid trucks will enter Gaza in ‘the next day or so’, UN relief chief says

  • Trucks stuffed with international aid for Gaza should be rolling “in the next day or so,” the United Nations said Friday.
  • A spokesman for UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths told reporters in Geneva they were in “deep and advanced negotiations” with all sides to ensure aid moves “as quickly as possible.”
  • “A first delivery is due to start in the next day or so,” they said.
  • Medicine, water purifiers and blankets were being unloaded at El Arish airport near Gaza, an AFP reporter saw, with Ahmed Ali, head of the Egyptian Red Crescent, saying he was getting “two to three planes of aid a day”.

IDF now says Israelis living in Kiryat Shmona are not obliged to evacuate

  • The Israel Defence Forces has changed its messaging over the evacuation of Kiryat Shmona near the border of Lebanon.
  • Some 20,000 residents were told to leave their homes earlier today but the IDF now says the evacuation order is not mandatory.

More world leaders flock to meetings in attempt to contain Israel-Palestine violence

  • French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna will attend a meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue in Egypt on Saturday, a French diplomatic source said on Friday.
  • Colonna had already travelled to Cairo, Beirut and Israel last week as Paris looks to reduce the risk of an escalation across the region.
  • Diplomatic sources said there was still a possibility that President Emmanuel Macron would attend the meeting.
  • It comes as British PM Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden visited the region this week.

Orthodox church in Gaza is destroyed in overnight blast amid fears it was sheltering hundreds

  • Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in the Gaza Strip is destroyed overnight, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said.
  • Unconfirmed reports by Gaza health officials claimed 500 Muslims and Christians were sheltering in it at the time of the blast.
  • The Israeli military told AFP that its fighter jets had hit a command and control centre involved in launching rockets and mortars towards Israel.
  • In a statement, the IDF said ‘as a result’ of the strike, ‘a wall of a church in the area was damaged’, adding: ‘We are aware of reports on casualties. The incident is under review.’
  • Footage from the scene shows rescue workers sifting through large piles of rubble and debris.
  • The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem expressed its ‘strongest condemnation’ of the strike.
Palestinians search the destroyed annex of the Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church, the oldest church still in use in Gaza, damaged in a strike on Gaza City on October 20, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Dawood NEMER / AFP) (Photo by DAWOOD NEMER/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli forces form up on Gaza border ahead of expected ground assault

  • Columns of Israeli tanks have massed on the Israel-Gaza border and tens of thousands of soldiers appear to be steeling themselves for battle today.
  • The massing of artillery and men at the border comes after heavy machine gunfire was heard along the border in the early hours of this morning.
epa10928433 Israeli armored vehicles gathered at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza, in Israel, 20 October 2023. More than 3,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Health authority since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October. Israel has warned all citizens of the Gaza Strip to move to the south ahead of an expected invasion.  EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE
epa10928432 Israeli armored vehicles gathered at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza, in Israel, 20 October 2023. More than 3,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Health authority since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October. Israel has warned all citizens of the Gaza Strip to move to the south ahead of an expected invasion.  EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE
epa10928438 Israeli armored vehicles gathered at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza, in Israel, 20 October 2023. More than 3,700 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian Health authority since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October. Israel has warned all citizens of the Gaza Strip to move to the south ahead of an expected invasion.  EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

It was supposed to be a scene of joy – a mother reaching out to her crying newborn daughter and cradling her to her chest after months of feeling her little kicks.

But instead, the hospital room was silent as the doctor carefully placed the unborn baby, no bigger than his palms, onto her mother’s unmoving body.

Chinese official says Beijing and Moscow will ‘work together’ to help resolve conflict

  • China and Russia “share the same position on the question of Palestine,” China’s Special Envoy on the conflict, Zhai Jun has declared.
  • “China and Russia share the same position on the question of Palestine, and China is ready to maintain communication and coordination with the Russian Federation in order to cool down the situation as soon as possible,” the envoy said in comments carried by Chinese broadcaster CCTV.
  • Beijing argues the conflict is inflamed because ‘the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people have not been guaranteed,’ according to Zhai.

Hamas spokesperson has been arrested in West Bank in Israeli raid, officials claim

  • Hamas spokesman Hassan Yousef was arrested by Israeli troops amid a raid on the West Bank yesterday.
  • Israel’s security agency Shin Bet confirmed the arrest this morning speaking with CNN.
  • Yousef is top Palestinian politician and also serves as Hamas’ official spokesperson in the West Bank.
Sheikh Hassan Yousef (C), a prominent leader of the Hamas Islamic movement, holds the party's flag and talks on a phone following his release on January 19, 2014 after spending 28 months in Israel's Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Yousef, who is also a member of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Legislative Council, told reporters after being released that he would work with Hamas rivals "Fatah and other Palestinian factions to achieve reconciliation." AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI        (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak and Emir of Qatar say violence must not spread across the Middle East

  • Rishi Sunak and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani have agreed to work together to prevent the spread of violence throughout the Middle East.
  • Downing St. statement said the pair “underlined the imperative of avoiding any escalation in the violence” and “agreed that leaders had a responsibility to do everything possible to prevent it”.
  • “They agreed on the urgent need to get food, water and medicine to civilians who are suffering,” the statement read.
  • “The leaders looked forward to meeting again soon to deepen the bilateral relationship between our countries.”

Sir Keir Starmer declares Israel must not withhold humanitarian aid from Gaza

  • Sir Keir Starmer has said Israel does not have the right to withhold humanitarian aid from Gaza.
  • ‘(Israelis) have the right to self-defence – that right they do have – but not the right to withhold that humanitarian aid that needs to get in. It is now absolutely urgent.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture date: Wednesday October 18, 2023. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire
  • Rishi Sunak is travelling to Egypt as part of an intensive diplomatic effort to prevent the Israel-Hamas war spiralling into a wider regional conflict.
  • The Prime Minister has already held talks with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • Downing Street said he would hold further meetings with counterparts from the region in Egypt.

WATCH: Moment Israeli military convoy heads for Gaza Strip

Toll from Israeli West Bank raid rises to 13: Palestinian ministry

  • The death toll from a raid by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank rose to 13, Palestinian health officials said Friday, as casualties mounted in the territory while war rages in Gaza.
  • At least 81 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers in the West Bank since the Gaza conflict erupted on October 7, according to figures from the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.
  • One member of the Israeli security forces has also been killed in the territory.
People wave Palestinian flags as they demonstrate against Israel in the streets of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on October 19, 2023. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)
  • A senior Israeli official said the government could take action if the BBC continued ‘crossing the line in accordance with our laws’.
  • It came after Israel’s president Isaac Herzog said its policy of referring to Hamas as militants was ‘atrocious’.
  • Israel’s communications ministry is currently looking at the possibility of closing Qatari-owned

Al Jazeera’s local bureau over claims its coverage was favourable to Hamas.

  • Heavy machine gun fire was heard along the Israel-Gaza border in the early hours of Friday, after the green light was given for a ground invasion.
  • Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, on Thursday visited troops positioned along the Gaza border, and told them that they would soon see the Palestinian enclave ‘from inside’.
  • An infantry commander in the IDF told DailyMail.com on Thursday that they were ready to invade, adding there was ‘a very high level of optimism’ among his troops.
Key Updates

  • World Health Organization Director-General left ‘shocked, appalled and saddened’ by conflict in Israel and Gaza

  • Israeli forces form up on Gaza border ahead of expected ground assault

  • UN refugee chief says any more military escalation will be ‘catastrophic’ for Gaza as Israel hits ‘more than 100’ targets overnight

  • Hamas spokesperson has been arrested in West Bank in Israeli raid, officials claim

  • Rishi Sunak and Emir of Qatar say violence must not spread across the Middle East

  • Israel ramps up military activity along Gaza border as ground invasion looms

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