LIVE BLOG: Israel continues to launch attacks on Palestine and surrounding countries

This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing in northern Gaza on November 23, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. Picture: John MacDougall / AFP

This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing in northern Gaza on November 23, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. Picture: John MacDougall / AFP

Published Nov 23, 2023


The Palestinian resistance, or Hamas, which many refer to it as, launched a major military campaign on October 7, targeting various Israeli cities and settlements.

Israel retaliated, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries. They have launched attacks on schools, places of worship and residential areas in a bid to get rid Hamas. Israel has also cut telecom services and electricity on several occasions. They show no signs of implementing a ceasefire.

Its day forty-eight of the war. We take a look at the latest developments.

Click here for our previous blog where we documented from the start of the war.


Egypt has received from Palestine and Israel the lists of those who will be released during the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, ON broadcaster reported on Thursday, citing Egyptian State Information Service Chairman Diaa Rashwan.


The Qatari Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip would officially take place at 7 am local time (0500 GMT) on Friday.

The announcement came after negotiators worked out the final details of the ceasefire deal, which involves the release of about 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for about 150 Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails.


War raged on in Gaza on Thursday, as a proposed truce and release of hostages was delayed for at least another day.

November 23, 10am

The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 14,532 since the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war on October 7.

November 21, 11am

A temporary ceasefire in Gaza is expected soon, after news surfaced that Hamas has informed Qatar of its position on the matter.

According to Palestine Chronicle, fierce fighting between Palestinian Resistance and invading Israelis continued in several areas in northern Gaza.


In a report on Friday, Palestine Chronicle said far-right Israeli Minister Smotrich calls on Netanyahu to change the composition of the war cabinet.

The European Union has also called for an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza.

Quoting a UN official, Financial Times said the UN warned the United States of a second Nakba in Gaza.


A doctor at the Gaza Strip's Al Shifa hospital said that food and water were running out and that supplies provided by the Israeli military were "very, very minimal".

Doctor Ahmed El Mokhallalati said Israeli forces were pressing on with searches of the hospital complex, but had "found nothing". He also said no babies at the hospital had died since Israeli troops entered it.


Pope Francis will meet next week with relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza, a source said.

The source said 12 relatives would meet the pope early on Wednesday morning before his weekly general audience.

The source said they would be a mix of relatives who met with Italian leaders last month and others who were not among the first group.


According to the Palestine Chronicle, a doctor at Al-Shifa Hospital said Israeli forces stole a number of bodies from inside the medical complex.

The Human Rights Watch has also called on German Chancellor Olaf Schulz to condemn Israel’s cutting of food, water, fuel, and electricity to civilians in Gaza.


UN aid deliveries to Gaza were suspended again due to shortages of fuel and a communications shutdown.

The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) said civilians faced the "immediate possibility of starvation" due to the lack of food supplies.

November 17, 3am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is doing all it can to get civilians out of harm's way as it battles Hamas in Gaza, including dropping leaflets warning them to flee, but its attempts to minimize casualties were "not successful".

Netanyahu was asked by U.S. television's CBS News whether Israel's killing of thousands of Palestinians as it retaliates for the Oct. 7 attack by Gaza's ruling Hamas militants would fuel a new generation of hatred.


Jordan won't sign a deal to provide energy to Israel in exchange for water that was planned to be ratified last month, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told AL Jazeera TV on Thursday.


France condemned violence by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, calling it a "policy of terror" aimed at displacing Palestinians and urging Israeli authorities to protect Palestinians from the violence.


The head of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said he believed there was a deliberate attempt to "strangle" its humanitarian work in Gaza, warning that the agency may have to entirely suspend its operations due to a lack of fuel.

"I do believe there is a deliberate attempt to strangle our operation and paralyse the operation," said Lazzarini, calling it "outrageous" to force humanitarian aid to beg for fuel.


African National Congress said on it would support a parliamentary motion calling for the Israeli embassy in South Africa to be closed and diplomatic relations to be suspended.


A group of United Nations experts said there was "evidence of increasing genocidal incitement" against the Palestinian people in what it said were "grave violations" committed by Israel.

"We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire," the group of experts, which included several U.N. special rapporteurs, said in a statement.

"We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel's strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilise to prevent genocide."

U.N. experts had previously warned that the Palestinian people were at "grave risk of genocide".


The United Nations is looking for ways to evacuate Al Shifa hospital in Gaza but options are limited by security and logistical constraints, a senior World Health Organisation official said.


According to Reuters, Israeli leaflets are telling Gazans to leave four towns east of Khan Younis.

This comes as thousands more Palestinians were fleeing from the embattled north to the south along a perilous frontline path after Israel told them to evacuate

Israel says troops still at Shifa hospital, no further details.

However, Reuters is unable to verify situation at hospital, having lost contact


The United Nations human rights chief said outbreaks of disease and hunger seemed "inevitable" in Gaza after weeks of Israeli assault on the densely populated Palestinian enclave.

Speaking at an informal briefing to states at the United Nations in Geneva after visiting the Middle East, Volker Turk said the depletion of fuel would be "catastrophic" across Gaza, leading to the collapse of sewage systems, healthcare and ending the scarce humanitarian aid being supplied.


According to the Palestine Chronicle, the Head of Orthopedic Surgery at al-Shifa hospital says Israeli forces destroyed medical equipment during the raid.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council approved a draft resolution submitted by Malta calling for humanitarian truces in Gaza. But Israel rejects the UN Security Council resolution regarding humanitarian truces.

An Al-Jazeera report says armed clashes are taking place between the resistance and the occupation forces penetrating west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

November 16, 7am

US President Joe Biden said he had made it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a two-state solution was the only answer to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict and that occupying Gaza would be "a big mistake."


The United Nations Security Council is due to vote later on Wednesday on a call for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a number of days to enable aid access, diplomats said.

Some diplomats said they expected the 15-member council to adopt the resolution, though some countries were likely to abstain.


"A number of partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), are urgently exploring the possibility for evacuating patients and medical staff in al-Shifa Hospital," said Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, on Wednesday.


Israeli troops found weapons and "terror infrastructure" during an on-going raid within Al Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip, a senior military official said on Wednesday.

He did not spell out what had been found or provide any visual evidence, but said this would be presented later.

Hamas denied this.


Lebanese doctors fear their struggling hospitals could collapse if war escalates.

Mounes Klakesh, director of the Marjayoun Hospital in southern Lebanon, said it serves nearly 300,000 people in the area. It has 14 emergency beds and struggles to operate because of a lack of staff and, crucially, lack of fuel.

The hospital runs on generators 20 hours a day and has to pay up to $20,000 a month for the fuel. If the fuel runs out, the hospital closes.


According to a report by Sputnik News, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly called Israel a “terrorist state.”

“Israel is terrorizing Gaza. Israel is a terrorist state,” Erdogan told Turkish lawmakers.

The president also said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu possesses nuclear weapons but his end “is near.”

Erdogan added also said Netanyahu needs to appear before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.


According to a Sputnik News report, at least 25 people were killed as Israeli military shelled a residential area in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Quds News Network reported on Wednesday.

According to the news agency, Israel shelled the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City.


The Israeli military claimed its forces have provided incubators and baby food to Al Shifa hospital in Gaza even as it conducts a raid against Hamas there.


The Israeli military said it was carrying out a raid against Hamas militants in Al Shifa Hospital, having urged them to surrender with thousands of Palestinian civilians still sheltering inside Gaza Strip's biggest hospital.

Dr. Munir al-Bursh, director-general of the Gaza health ministry, told Al Jazeera television that Israeli forces had raided the western side of the medical complex.

November 15, 1am

Gaza's health ministry spokesperson warned of a potential Israeli raid on the enclave's Al Shifa hospital complex, saying Israel informed Gaza health officials that its forces would raid the facility.

The Gaza health ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Al Jazeera that Israel "informed us that it will raid Al Shifa hospital complex in the coming minutes."


People trapped inside Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital plan to start burying bodies within the hospital compound without Israeli approval because the situation has become untenable, two sources at the hospital said.

Dr. Ahmed Al Mokhallalati, a surgeon, and Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said in separate telephone interviews from within the compound that more than 100 bodies had accumulated there, creating an acute sanitary crisis.


The director of Gaza's biggest hospital said that 179 people, including babies and patients who died in the intensive care unit, had been buried in a "mass grave" at the complex.

"We were forced to bury them in a mass grave," said Al-Shifa hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiyah, adding that seven babies and 29 intensive care patients were among those buried after the hospital's fuel supplies ran out.

November 14, 5am

U.S. President Joe Biden said hospitals in the Gaza Strip must be protected and he hoped for "less intrusive" action by Israel as Israeli tanks advanced to the gates of the besieged enclave's main hospital.

Israeli tanks have taken up positions outside Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza City's main medical centre, which Israel says sits atop tunnels housing a headquarters for Hamas fighters who are using patients as shields.

Hamas denies the Israeli claim.


US Islamic leaders recently met with President Joe Biden and other White House officials to advise them to be cautious of their rhetoric when speaking about the Israel-Hamas conflict in order to avoid anti-Muslim sentiment, the CEO of national Muslim advocacy group Emgage, Wa'el Alzayat, told Sputnik.


The United Nations Headquarters employees in New York paid tribute to their colleagues who became victims of the Israeli-Gaza conflict. The staff observed a minute of silence in memory of their colleagues who died in the Gaza Strip.


People have been killed during attempts to leave the Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip, which currently has around 600 patients, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which translates as Doctors Without Borders, said on Monday, citing an MSF surgeon inside the health facility.

The MSF said that it has contacted its surgeon, who is currently inside the hospital, who said that the facility has no electricity or water.


The U.N. Palestinian refugee agency's fuel depot in Gaza has run dry and within a few days UNRWA will no longer be able to resupply hospitals, remove sewage and provide drinking water, its chief said.

UNRWA is sheltering nearly 800,000 people, or about half of the total population of Gazans who have fled their homes since an Israeli military campaign began over a month ago in response to deadly Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.


Israeli forces reached the gates of Gaza City's main hospital, the primary target in their battle to seize control of the northern half of the Gaza Strip, where medics said patients including newborn babies were dying for lack of fuel.

Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra, who was inside Al Shifa hospital, said 32 patients had died in the past three days, including three newborn babies, as a result of the siege of the hospital and the cut-off of its power.


United Nations workers observed a minute's silence to honour the more than 100 employees killed in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began last month as U.N. flags flew at half mast.

November 13, 9am

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin left open the possibility of more strikes against Iran-linked groups if attacks against American forces in Iraq and Syria don't stop, hours after overnight U.S. air strikes in Syria.

The U.S. military carried out its third air strike in as many weeks in Syria late on Sunday, targeting a training facility near the city of Albu Kamal and a safe house near the city of Mayadeen.

The strikes came after at least 40 attacks against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed forces in recent weeks, as regional tensions mount over the Israel-Hamas war. At least 45 U.S. troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries or minor wounds.


Evacuations from the Gaza Strip into Egypt for foreign passport holders and for Palestinians needing urgent medical treatment were suspended on Friday, three Egyptian security sources and a Palestinian official said.


Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Friday called for an end to the war in Gaza, a stance later echoed in a declaration with African leaders attending a summit in Riyadh.

"We condemn what the Gaza Strip is facing from military assault, targeting of civilians, the violations of international law by the Israeli occupation authorities," Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said during the African-Saudi summit in the kingdom's capital.


The Department of International Relations has démarched Israeli ambassador Eliav Belotserkovsky and asked him to conduct himself properly in line with Vienna conventions.

This follows his disparaging remarks about the situation in the Gaza Strip. The conflict has now entered its fourth week.


More than 1,000 officials in the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed an open letter urging the Biden administration to call for an immediate ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.


The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that Israel must take immediate measures to protect Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as they find themselves targeted by more violence since the Israeli-Hamas war erupted last month.


Turkey discussed increasing the daily number of aid trucks to at least 500 for Gaza with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Ankara, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

The top U.S. diplomat took a positive approach on the issue during talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Erdogan said.


According to report by AFP, Israel has agreed pauses in its offensive in northern Gaza that will allow some civilians to flee heavy fighting, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out any broader ceasefire as a "surrender" to Hamas.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the pauses, which formalise an arrangement that has already seen tens of thousands of Palestinians flee devastation in northern Gaza, but also said there was "no possibility" of a ceasefire.

November 10, 6am

Gaza officials said Israel launched air strikes on or near at least three hospitals on Friday, further endangering a health system swamped with thousands of casualties and people displaced by Israel's war against Hamas in the Palestinian enclave.


Any halt to fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian purposes would need to be coordinated with the United Nations and need to be agreed by all parties to the conflict "to be truly effective," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.


The UN Palestinian refugee agency said on Thursday it is seeking $481 million for Gaza due to "unprecedented devastation" there as well as growing needs in the occupied West Bank and a possible mass displacement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.


The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has lamented what it calls the “demarche against the Israeli ambassador” to South Africa.

This comes after the government withdrew South Africa’s diplomats from Israel and the African National Congress (ANC) insisted the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky, be instructed to leave.


Political parties, organisations, and trade unions gathered for a media conference in Salt River, Cape Town, on Thursday, calling for the genocide in Gaza to stop and for people to come in their numbers to the march planned for Saturday.

Representatives from Muslim Judicial Council SA (MJC SA), Al-Quds Foundation (SA), African National Congress, Pan Africanist Congress, Jews of Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, mosques, churches, and trade unions such as the SA Federation of Trade Unions and the Congress of South African Trade Unions were present. Retired Western Cape High Court judge Siraj Desai was also in attendance.


Nine Palestinians were killed and at least 15 others were injured by Israeli forces in a raid on Jenin city and refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Israel's military said it was conducting counter-terrorism raids in Jenin, but gave no further details.


Israeli forces and Hamas militants clashed among ruined buildings in the north of the Gaza Strip, inching their way closer to two big hospitals.

Thousands more Palestinians were fleeing from the embattled north to the south along a perilous frontline path after Israel told them to evacuate, residents say.


South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said he and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared the view there is a need for humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas war.

Park said the two countries condemn Hamas' attack against civilians and were monitoring possible North Korea's connection with Hamas.

November 9, 3am

Palestinians should govern Gaza once Israel ends its war against Hamas, the United States said on Wednesday, pushing back against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's idea that Israel would be responsible for security indefinitely.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined in the most comprehensive comments on the issue to date Washington's red lines and expectations for the besieged coastal territory.


About 650 trucks with humanitarian aid have entered Gaza since October 21 through the Rafah checkpoint, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Wednesday.

A total of 81 trucks with food, medicines, water, and hygiene products crossed the border on November 7, which brings the total number of trucks entering Gaza since October 21 to 650, OCHA said in a report.


UN Secretary-General António Guterr said on Wednesday that "something is clearly wrong" in the Israeli-Palestinian war given that civilian casualties are increasing as a result of military operations.

"But when we look at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong," Guterres said.


Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has warned that any South African taking part in the Israeli military in the conflict in the Middle East will face the law.

Ntshavheni said the Foreign Military Assistance Act prohibits any South African from participating in military operations in other parts of the world.


As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible member of the international community, China will continue to maintain close communication with relevant parties and do its utmost to protect civilians, ease the situation, resume peace talks, and realise peace, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.


Israel has no intention of reoccupying the Gaza Strip or controlling it for "a long time,” a senior Israeli official said as Israeli forces pressed their offensive against Hamas militants in the coastal enclave.

“We assess that our current operations are effective and successful, and we’ll continue to push,” an Israeli official told reporters in Washington late on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s not unlimited or forever.”


Gaza's Al Quds hospital is facing an acute shortage of fuel and is expected to run out of fuel on Wednesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent posted on its account on social media platform X.

"Today, PRCS Al Quds hospital curtailed most operations in an attempt to ration fuel use and ensure a minimum level of services over the coming few days," the humanitarian organisation added.


The health ministry in Gaza said at least 10,569 Palestinians including 4,324 children, have been killed and 26,457 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7.


A lawmaker in Britain's opposition Labour Party has resigned from his policy role in protest at his leader's refusal to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has so far rejected growing calls in his party for him to press for a ceasefire, saying he supports an immediate humanitarian pause to ease the suffering in Gaza.

Imran Hussain, a lawmaker for a constituency in northern England with a large Muslim population, said that while he still supported Starmer's broader agenda, he wanted to go further on the situation in Gaza.

November 8, 8am

G7 foreign ministers are set to issue a joint statement on the Israel-Hamas war on and are expected to call for temporary pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The communique is also likely to reiterate G7 support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, highlight the need for engagement with China over shared concerns, and condemn North Korea's missile tests and arms transfers to Russia.


The Department of Basic Education has issued an apology after complaints were raised about a term used in the Mathematical Literacy Paper 1, written on November 3. According to the Palestine Solidarity Alliance, the term "Mandatory Palestine" was used in a question of the exam.

This is deemed a slur because the term was used by Britain as the colonial power in its subjugation of the Palestinian people.


The African National Congress (ANC) has “congratulated” government on the withdrawal of South Africa’s diplomats from Israel, but the party insists Israeli ambassador to South Africa Eliav Belotserkovsky must be instructed to leave.


The health ministry in Gaza said at least 10,328 Palestinians, including 4,237 children, have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7.


Sisters Rimas, Taline and Lianne Chour were preparing to travel to Beirut for temporary schooling there due to escalating clashes between Israel and Hezbollah militants in their native southern Lebanon.

When they set off on Sunday, a missile Lebanon says Israel fired hit their car, killing all three and their grandmother, and leaving their mother wounded and confused.


The Kremlin called for "humanitarian pauses" during Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip, and it described the humanitarian situation there as "catastrophic".


A Reuters report said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would consider "tactical little pauses" in fighting to facilitate the entry of aid or the exit of hostages from the Gaza Strip. However, he rejected calls for a ceasefire despite international pressure.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel will take control of "overall security" of besieged Gaza after the war.

Resisting calls for a ceasefire, Netanyahu said there would be no letup in the war to destroy Hamas.

According to the health ministry in Gaza, Israeli airstrikes has, thus far, killed over 10,022 Palestinians in Gaza, including 4,800 children and 2,550 women, and wounded more than 25,000.

Palestinian Ministry of Health reports and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

November 7, 2am

Al-Jazeera reported that an Israeli airstrike destroyed a mosque west of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Earlier, an Israeli airstrike destroyed a mosque in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

The government media office in Gaza announced that 16 hospitals and 34 health centres have been out of operation in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli aggression.