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Israel-Palestine live: Israel and Palestinians agree to truce, hostage deal

Israel-Palestine live: Israel and Palestinians agree to truce, hostage deal
50 women and children hostages will be released over four days during a pause in fighting
Key Points
Israel and Hamas agree to complete halt in fighting for four days
Hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid and fuel will be allowed into Gaza
US official says deal structured to incentivise the release of additional hostages

Live Updates

3 months ago

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said in its latest report that an estimated 30,000 Palestinians fled northern Gaza on Friday after being forcibly removed by Israel's ground operation.

The Palestinians left through a "corridor" opened by the Israeli military on 10 November, Ocha said in the report on early Saturday morning. The UN agency also reported that several explosions were recorded in that corridor, "resulting in fatalities and injuries, among those fleeing".

3 months ago

A history teacher in Jerusalem was fired from his job and is now in police custody after posting several messages on Facebook in which he opposed Israel's actions in Gaza, and showed compassion for Palestinians suffering in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

A court in Jerusalem extended the remand of Meir Baruchin on Friday by four days, as police are seeking approval to open an investigation into whether Baruchin's comments amount to incitement.

One of his posts, written on 8 October, mentioned the killing of two young Palestinians in the West Bank.

“They were born under occupation and lived under it their entire lives,” he wrote, as reported by Haaretz.

“They never knew one day of true freedom. They never will… they were executed this evening by our outstanding boys.”

According to Haaretz, police also looked into a comment in response to the claim that Hamas fighters raped women during the attack on 7 October, in which Baruchin stated that Israeli soldiers raped Palestinian women in 1948.

3 months ago

At least seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombing in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, according to several news outlets.

3 months ago

This week on The Big Picture, Middle East Eye looks at a widely shared interview with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which has been praised as informative and illuminating.

But most of what she says about Gaza isn’t true. MEE looks at some of the claims brought up by Clinton, including: Are there Hamas tunnels under hospitals? Did Israel give up Gaza in 2005? Did the Palestinians reject their own state?

Check out the full episode below.

3 months ago

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) warned on social media that Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza is at risk of closure due to a lack of fuel.

"Al_Quds Hospital is at risk of closure in the upcoming 3 hours due to the depletion of fuel supplies and the non-arrival of aid," PRCS said on X. That post was published more than three hours ago.

3 months ago

Several Israeli military raids have been reported in the occupied West Bank in the early hours of Saturday.

Israeli forces have stormed several towns near Jerusalem, and confrontations also are taking place in Ni'lin, west of Ramallah, according to Al Jazeera.

Raids have also been conducted in Silat al-Dhahr, a town located south of Jenin.

While much of the world's attention has been focused on Israel's assault on Gaza, Israeli forces have been carrying out nightly raids across the occupied West Bank and arresting hundreds of Palestinians.

According to the rights group Addameer, Israel has detained more than 2,300 Palestinians in the West Bank since 7 October.

3 months ago

Police arrested seven demonstrators during a pro-Palestine rally at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, according to two local activist groups.

Muslim Justice League and IfNotNow Boston said that the rally was organised to protest the university's decision to ban the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group on campus.

Earlier on Friday, Columbia University moved to ban both SJP and another group, Jewish Voice for Peace, causing a major backlash from rights groups, activists, professors and students.

3 months ago

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organisation, said during an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council that the situation in Gaza is so dire that it is "impossible to describe".

"Hospital corridors crammed with the injured, the sick, the dying; Morgues overflowing; Surgery without anaesthesia," Ghebreyesus said.

In a later social media post on X, formerly Twitter, Ghebreyesus said that WHO was "extremely disturbed by reports of airstrikes in the vicinity of Al-Shifa hospital", the largest medical complex in Gaza.

"Many health workers we were in contact with have been forced to leave the hospital in search of safety. Others report being unable to move due to grave insecurity. Many of the thousands sheltering at the hospital are forced to evacuate due to security risks, while many still remain there."

3 months ago

US President Joe Biden spoke with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said on Friday, and the two leaders discussed "the importance of protecting civilians, consistent with international humanitarian law, as Israel responds to Hamas’s heinous terrorist attack", according to a White House readout.

Biden and Sultan Haitham also "emphasized the importance of deterring threats from any state or non-state actor seeking to expand the conflict".

Iran's foreign minister on Thursday said that the expansion of the conflict is "inevitable", given the intensity of Israel's bombardment of Gaza, which has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians.

3 months ago

There is a growing divide emerging between the US and Israel over the war in Gaza as civilian casualties mount and the Biden administration faces calls from friends at home and abroad to rein in Israel.

"Right now, you can draw a direct connection between what the White House has said it wants on certain cases and what Netanyahu has done in defiance," a US official familiar with the administration's thinking told Middle East Eye, on condition of anonymity. 

In the last three days, there has been a marked shift in its rhetoric on civilian casualties.

A former senior US official familiar with the administration's thinking said that the tone from American officials reflected a general unease with the rising death toll, which topped 11,000 Palestinians this week, including more than 4,500 children, as well as increasing pressure from Arab allies.

To read the full story, click below.

Massive civilian death toll forcing split between US and Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R), Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (L) and Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi hold a press conference in Amman on 4 November 2023.

3 months ago

The director of the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, Munir al-Bursh, announced that a mass grave will be dug at Al-Shifa Hospital on Saturday to bury the people who have been killed so far at the hospital, according to several Palestinian news outlets.

Bursh said the grave would be dug on hospital grounds “because we cannot go out to bury them”.

3 months ago

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry announced late on Friday that Riyadh will host a joint Islamic-Arab summit on Saturday.

The joint summit will include members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, replacing the two separate gatherings that were originally going to be held, the ministry said.

The joint meeting "will be held in response to the exceptional circumstances taking place in the Palestinian Gaza Strip as countries feel the need to unify efforts and come out with a unified collective position," the ministry said.

3 months ago

Good evening MEE readers, 

Intense street battles are taking place near Gaza City, as Israeli attacks on hospitals in the beseiged enclave were ongoing late into Friday night.

Here's what you may have missed from the last few hours: 

  • The Israeli military has launched relentless air strikes, artillery fire and gunfire for over three hours near the al-Shifa hospital 

  •  Israel has also targeted the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza with air strikes

  • Columbia University has suspended two pro-Palestinian groups, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, as official student groups

  • The Israeli death toll from Hamas' attack on 7 October has been revised to around 1,200, down from a previous official figure of around 1,400

  • Three Palestinian human rights groups have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for war crimes, including genocide

  • Over 1,000 officials in the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a letter urging the Biden administration to call for an immediate ceasefire

3 months ago

A child is killed every 10 minutes in the besieged Gaza Strip, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the United Nations Security Council on Friday, warning: "Nowhere and no one is safe."

He said that half of Gaza's 36 hospitals and two-thirds of its primary healthcare centres were not functioning.

Those that were still operational, he added, were way beyond their capacities.

"Hospital corridors crammed with the injured, the sick, the dying. Morgues overflowing. Surgery without anesthesia. Tens of thousands of displaced people sheltering at hospitals," he told the council.

"On average, a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza." 

Since 7 October, the WHO has verified more than 250 attacks on healthcare sites in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, while there had been 25 attacks on healthcare sites in Israel, Tedros said.

3 months ago

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Israel must stop killing women and babies in Gaza. 

"De facto - today, civilians are bombed - de facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop," he said during an interview with the BBC. 

"We do share [Israel's] pain. And we do share their willingness to get rid of terrorism. We know what terrorism means in France," Macron said, but added that there was no justification for the bombardment of civilians. 

"It's extremely important for all of us because of our principles, because we are democracies. It's important for the mid-to-long run as well for the security of Israel itself, to recognise that all lives matter."

During the interview, he refused to say whether Israel had broken international law. 

He went on to call for a ceasefire, and said he hoped other leaders, including in the UK and US, would join his calls.