US not to permit forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza, West Bank: Kamala Haris

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Kamala Harris has told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that “under no circumstance, the United States will permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank”, Reuters reports.

According to a White House statement on the meeting on the sidelines of the COP28 Conference in Dubai, Harris discussed with Sisi efforts for reconstruction, security, and governance in Gaza, stating that they “can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalised Palestinian Authority”.

Israeli air strikes killed two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers and two pro-Hezbollah fighters when they hit sites belonging to the Lebanese group near Damascus, a war monitor has said, AFP reports.

“Two Syrian fighters working with Hezbollah and two IRGC officers were killed in Israeli air strikes on Hezbollah sites near Sayyida Zeinab” south of Damascus, said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The two IRGC officers were the target of the Israelis. They struck immediately after the pair went into the Hezbollah site,” said the head of the Britain-based monitor, which has a network of sources inside Syria.

The two officers died from their injuries, he said, adding that five other fighters were wounded.

Israel pulls back negotiating team from Qatar citing ‘impasse’

Israel has ordered its Mossad negotiating team in Doha to return to Israel due to what it called an “impasse”, Al Jazeera reports.

“Following the impasse in the negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Barnea, head of the Mossad, ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel,” Netanyahu’s office has said in a statement.

It said that Hamas “did not fulfil its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it”.

“The head of the Mossad thanks the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Egyptian minister of intelligence and the prime minister of Qatar for their partnership in the tremendous mediation efforts that led to the release of 84 children and women from the Gaza Strip in addition to 24 foreign citizens,” it added.

France’s Macron calls for greater efforts towards Gaza ceasefire

French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed for intensified efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a day after deadly fighting resumed between Israel and Hamas after a truce expired, AFP reports.

“This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire,” to free all hostages held by Hamas, allow more urgently needed aid into Gaza and assure Israel of its security, he told a news conference on the sidelines of the UN’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Death toll in Gaza rises to 15,207: health ministry

Gaza’s health ministry has announced that the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks in the besieged enclave has risen to 15,207, Al Jazeera reports.

In a briefing, the ministry said over 40,000 people were wounded in attacks while 70 per cent of the victims were women and children.

It said Israel deliberately targeted 130 health institutions and put 20 hospitals out of service while about 280 health personnel were killed across Gaza.

What we see in Gaza is genocide, says Brazil’s president

 

193 Palestinians killed since truce collapse: Gaza health ministry

A spokesman for the Gaza health ministry has said at least 193 Palestinians have been killed and 650 wounded in the besieged enclave since the end of the temporary Hamas-Israel truce, Reuters reports.

France’s Macron says he is going to Qatar to work on new Gaza truce

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that France is “very concerned” by the resumption of violence in Gaza and that he was heading to Qatar to help in efforts to kickstart a new truce ahead of a ceasefire, AFP reports.

Macron also urged Israel to clarify its goals towards Hamas.

“We are at a moment when Israeli authorities must more precisely define their objectives and their final goal: the total destruction of Hamas, does anyone think it is possible? If this is the case, the conflict will last 10 years,” he said.

“There is no lasting security for Israel in the region if its security is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives and thus of the resentment of public opinions in the region. Let’s be collectively lucid,” Macron added.

Asked for a response to that remark, Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters Israel does not want to see Gaza civilians caught in the crossfire as battles resume.

“Israel is targeting Hamas, a brutal militant organisation that has committed the most horrific violence against innocent civilians. Israel is making a maximum effort to safeguard Gaza’s civilians,” said Regev.

Hamas says it killed and injured Israeli troops in Gaza

The armed wing of Hamas has said that it had targeted a group of Israeli foot soldiers stationed northwest of Gaza City in the area of Al Tawam, “resulting in deaths and injuries”, Reuters reports.

Several trucks carrying humanitarian supplies have entered the Gaza Strip, as Israeli troops in northern Gaza continue to encounter Hamas fighters, an Israeli military spokesperson said, Reuters reports.

“Throughout the day several trucks — tens of trucks — have come into Gaza after being security cleared on the Israeli side,” Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told a briefing with journalists.

Grim cycle of death at a hospital in Gaza

A middle-aged man with a blank, shattered expression walked slowly down a ramp at the hospital, gently cradling in his arms a tiny body wrapped in a white shroud, AFP reports.

After the collapse of a week-long truce between Israel and Hamas, the Nasser hospital’s morgue in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza, was full once again on Saturday.

A handful of women wept for their own children, while a group of men nearby prayed for the dead.

“My son Mohammed tried to get the women and children out of our tent” at a makeshift camp where they had sheltered inside a school, Jumana Murad said of the 19-year-old.

“But a piece of shrapnel hit him in the head… I saw his brains,” she told AFP, before bursting into tears.

The family had left their home in Gaza City after the Israeli army told around 1.1 million people in the north of the Palestinian territory to move to avoid the fighting following Hamas militants’ unprecedented October 7 attacks on Israel.

Under aerial bombardment from Israel, people sheltering in the south of the Gaza Strip after fleeing their homes earlier in the military offensive have said they have nowhere safe to go now, Reuters reports.

The city of Khan Younis is the focus of Israeli air strikes and artillery fire after fighting resumed on Friday following the collapse of a week-long truce. Its population has swelled in recent weeks as several hundred thousand people from the northern Gaza Strip have fled south.

Some are camping in tents, others in schools. Some are sleeping in stairwells or outside the few hospitals operating in the city.

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