Israel-Palestine live: Week three ends with over 7,000 Palestinians killed
Good morning Middle East Eye readers,
As we come to the end of the third week of Israel's war on Gaza, this blog will be signing off.
Another will take its place for week four of our coverage. You can find it here.
As of Friday, 27 October, at least 7,027 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including 2,913 children and 1,709 women. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, 104 people have been killed by Israeli fire.
Meanwhile, at least 1,400 people have been killed in Israel.
Currently, the Palestinian Civil Defence in Gaza estimates that there are around 1,600 people trapped in rubble created by Israel's campaign of indiscriminate bombardments.
Israel continues to promise that a ground invasion is imminent, and fighting shows no signs of cooling off. Middle East Eye will continue to bring our readers the most important updates as they are confirmed.
Please be sure to follow our week four blog.
John Kirby, the US National Security Council's spokesperson, stated on Thursday he found "zero evidence" suggesting that the family of an Al Jazeera journalist in Gaza was deliberately targeted and killed by Israel due to the network's reporting in the area.
Al Jazeera journalist Wael al Dahdouh's son and daughter were killed on Wednesday night in an Israeli air strike where his family was staying. Other members of his family were buried under the rubble.
In a press conference, Kirby was asked, "Are you concerned that Israel is trying to silence journalists who are trying to tell both sides of this story, including our Al Jazeera Arabic bureau chief?"
He responded: "I've not seen any indication whatsoever that Israel is going after journalists, you know, in particular, because of them trying to tell a story. I've seen absolutely zero evidence of that. That is, that's an unfounded allegation."
Journalist Yasser Abu Namous and his mother were two of the ten casualties from the pre-dawn air strikes by Israeli forces in southern Gaza on Friday.
According to the Palestinian news agency, Wafa, an Israeli missile hit Namous's residence, situated to the west of Khan Younis, resulting in the deaths of both him and his mother.
The US carried out two attacks on facilities in Syria on Thursday, allegedly used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and groups supported by Iran, according to a statement from US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
"The precision self-defence strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on 17 October," he said in a statement.
President Joe Biden authorised the strikes following assaults on US staff in Syria earlier this week.
During one of these incidents, a US contractor suffered a heart-related event while taking cover and subsequently died, while 21 other US personnel sustained injuries.
"They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict," he added.
At least six people have been injured after a missile “linked to the Israel-Hamas war” struck a building in the Red Sea town of Taba, Egyptian media outlets reported Thursday night.
Witnesses told AFP that the rocket hit a hospital annex in the Red Sea town, which lies near a border crossing with Israel
"As part of the current escalation in Gaza, a rocket crashed in Taba, lightly injuring six people", AlQahera News television reported.
The Egyptian government has not officially confirmed the incident.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans to supply Israel with drones, arms, and ammunition in light on Thursday.
Florida dispatched cargo planes containing medical supplies, drones, body armour, and helmets, Jeremy Redfern from the governor's office told the Associated Press.
In collaboration with certain groups, the state also facilitated the delivery of privately funded weapons and ammunition, Redfern said.
US President Joe Biden’s approval rating among Democrats falls to 75 percent, poll says
According to a new Gallup poll conducted between 2 October and 23 October, his rating went down 11 percentage points in just one month.
“Biden is at risk of alienating members of his own party with his unequivocal support for Israel,” Axios reported.
In February, for the first time in the survey's 20-year span, Democrats showed greater sympathy for Palestinians than Israelis.
According to Axios, numerous Muslim and Arab Americans, who identify as dedicated Democratic voters, have voiced feelings of disappointment regarding Biden's backing of the Israeli military actions.
The US Senate passed a bipartisan resolution denouncing antisemitism at universities on Thursday.
This comes just one week after the resolution was blocked by Democrats when Senator Josh Hawley attempted to pass it.
"That's why what we're doing today matters and that's why I am pleased today, that we are able now finally, to pass this resolution that explicitly names the rhetoric, explicitly calls out the language of pro-violence, pro-genocide, and says that is wrong,” Hawley said.
“The answer to that kind of hateful, virulent, dangerous speech, is speech with moral purpose. It is language with moral clarity. It is a moral stand that says no, that is wrong. That's not us. That is not the United States of America. And that, Mr. President, is what we are doing right here, right now, on this floor today."
A California city becomes the first in the US to officially support Palestinians, raising concerns about Israel's ‘ethnic cleansing’.
On 25 October, the Richmond, California City Council passed a resolution expressing support for the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing and collective punishment”.
The resolution urges a cease-fire and the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza. It adds, “The state of Israel is engaging in collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza in response to Hamas attacks on Israel”.
The resolution passed in a 5 to 1 vote, the LA Times reported.
Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid took to Instagram with a long statement saying she has been dealing with threats but is no longer afraid.
“My heart is bleeding with the pain from the trauma I am seeing unfold, as well as the generational trauma of my Palestinian blood,” she said.
She added that she mourns for the Israeli families that are dealing with the pain and aftermath of 7 October.
She spoke about her father’s story and how he and his family became refugees during the Nakba, saying that it is important to understand the hardship of what it is to be Palestinian, “in a world that sees us as nothing more than terrorists resisting peace”.
“We must all stand together in defending humanity and compassion - and demanding that our leaders do the same. All religions are peace - it is governments that are corrupt, and intertwining the two makes for the greatest sin of all. We are one, and God has created all equal. All bloodshed, tears, and bodies should be mourned with the same respect.”
Good evening MEE readers,
As we near the 20th day since the war began, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli bombardment now exceeds 7,000.
US President Joe Biden cast doubt on the number of deaths in Gaza on Wednesday, so the Palestinian health ministry published a 210-page document with names, ages, ID numbers, and other details about each person killed. It doesn't include those missing or deaths not registered by hospitals - so the real figure is likely to be higher.
Over 190,000 residential units had been damaged in the enclave, leaving over 29,000 units uninhabitable. Israeli air strikes have also damaged 189 schools, 38 mosques, three churches and ten bakeries.
Here's what you may have missed from the last few hours:
Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister, will put forward a vote proposing to relax the rules of engagement and allow police to open fire on Palestinian protesters in Israel.
Israeli settlers have handed out leaflets to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatening them with a "major Nakba", while dolls covered in blood were left at a Palestinian school.
Around 900 additional US troops are heading to the Middle East to bolster air defences and protect US personnel. It comes after Biden sent a "direct message" to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning against targeting American troops.
A Hamas delegation arrived in Moscow on Thursday, while the US and Qatar agreed to revisit Doha's links with the Palestinian group.
EU leaders have agreed during a summit in Brussels to call for the establishment of "humanitarian corridors and pauses" to allow aid into Gaza.
A spokesperson for Hamas' armed wing said that Israeli air strikes had killed around 50 Israeli hostages in Gaza.
Lynn Hastings, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine, said that "nowhere is safe in Gaza", with evacuation routes being bombed, and people in both the north and south coming under Israeli air strikes.
The UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco published a joint statement condemning the targeting of civilians in Gaza
We're working hard to provide you with up-to-date information around the clock, and are going to continue doing that throughout the night. You can also find our coverage across Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube.
Mohammed al-Hajjar is a freelance photojournalist and longtime contributor to Middle East Eye.
Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and its relentless bombing campaign has plunged its 2.2 million people into severe food insecurity.
Most of Gaza's bakeries closed their doors after Israel cut electricity and fuel, and others have been bombed.
The few bakeries that are still open see hours-long queues of people waiting to secure bread, as the supplies of other foods and water dwindle.
From Gaza, Mohammed describes the moment dozens of Palestinians standing in line outside a bakery escaped death as Israel struck the area around it.
You can read the full first-person account below.
Adnan El-Bursh, a BBC Arabic journalist based in Gaza, said his family had not had a piece of bread in two days, during an emotional live segment on camera.
“If you want to know the reality of life for journalists in Gaza, I can speak about our reality,” he said on Thursday.
“Yesterday there was a direct bombing on a house next to my family’s house, belonging to my colleague’s family, the Al-Jazeera journalist Wael al-Dahdouh. He lost his wife and a number of his children,” Bursh said.
“A big residential building was [also] bombed and fragments and rubble hit my colleague Hani’s family. Frankly, the whole team here is suffering from fatigue and extreme tiredness due to the amount of coverage needed.”
He added that there were also family responsibilities to consider.
“Our families are pleading with us to offer them any sense of safety, but we cannot offer them that, we cannot even offer safety to ourselves,” he said.
“For the past two days, not even a piece of bread has reached my family. A while ago my daughter called me and told me that there is no bread in the house that we are staying in, are you able to bring us any bread?”
He then began to explain that two bakeries in the area had been struck, before breaking down live on air.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation, has called for a ceasefire and an end to the total siege on Palestinians in Gaza.
"We must find a way to a cease-fire instead of the current reality of cease-food, cease-water, cease-fuel, cease-care imposed on Gazans," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister, will put forward a vote on Sunday proposing to relax the rules of engagement and allow police to open fire on Palestinian protesters in Israel.
The legislation will allow district commanders to give permission to open live fire during protests held by Palestinian citizens of Israel "when the operational need will be of the highest value", according to a report in Maariv.
It would apply to "emergencies", including the ongoing war.
The new measure would further disregard recommendations made by the 2003 Or Commission, which found "the use of live ammunition is not a means for dispersing a crowd" and that Israeli authorities were discriminating against Palestinian citizens.
"This is a dramatic and critical change as part of the continuation of the war effort, which will give our police officers the ability to provide an immediate response," said Ben-Gvir.
"This is alongside the other significant moves we are promoting... [including] the distribution of weapons, and the significant change we announced in the tests required to issue a weapons licence."