The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they happened.
The Israel Defense Forces says it targeted a cell of Hezbollah operatives that fired anti-tank missiles at Israel earlier today, as part of strikes on the Lebanese terror organization.
According to the military, Israeli fighter jets destroyed Hezbollah “military infrastructure and positions” in Lebanon.
בתגובה לשיגורים ביממה האחרונה, מטוסי קרב של צה"ל השלימו תקיפה של שורת מטרות טרור בשטח לבנון, במסגרתה הושמדו תשתיות ועמדות צבאיות של ארגון חיזבאללה>> pic.twitter.com/BmV36ridce
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 11, 2023
The Sderot Municipality says a drone that entered Israeli airspace has been successfully intercepted.
The statement comes after suspected drone infiltration sirens sounded in the southern city and other communities near the Gaza Strip.
Suspected drone infiltrations sirens are activated in the southern city of Sderot and neighboring towns.
Following strong pushback in Israel, France seeks to walk back President Emmanuel Macron’s remark that there’s “no justification” for Israel’s bombing of “these babies, these ladies, these old people” in Gaza.
“President Macron never implied, and does not think, that Israeli forces are deliberately targeting civilians. He has been consistently qualifying Hamas’s use of hostages or civilian population as ‘unacceptable blackmail,'” says a French diplomatic source.
The source also reiterates Macron’s condemnation of the October 7 Hamas onslaught.
“While President Macron is aware of Israel’s efforts to prevent collateral damage and facilitate humanitarian access, he believes that more can be done considering the dire humanitarian situation or Gaza’s civilian population,” the source says. “He therefore believes that a humanitarian pause and eventually a ceasefire are opportune to help the civilian population in Gaza get the much needed aid and relief.”
Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich hails Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for voicing opposition to restoring the Palestinian Authority’s rule in Gaza after the war against Hamas.
“The Authority is a body that supports and encourages terror, and we will never against forfeit our citizens’ security to our enemies,” Smotrich says in a statement.
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz, the third Israeli political leader to address the nation tonight, starts by highlighting the skepticism he says was felt by some as regards the IDF’s ability to tackle Hamas, and says its performance thus far is “impressive by any measure.”
He says the country is united behind the IDF. “The whole world should know that the entire Israeli society is united and strong… And our only interest is in victory and the good of Israel.”
All necessary resources are directed to defeating Hamas and returning the hostages, he says.
Efforts on behalf of the hostages are taking place all the time, he says.
He tells leaders in the region: “There is no fight more moral than our battle for the right to live securely in our land. You need to act so that a different reality will be possible afterward, and so that Gaza will not again be held by those whose hands are covered in the blood of the innocent.
“It is Hamas that brought ruin upon the residents of Gaza. It should be pressured and attacked, so that the hostages are returned and so that the day will come when the war will be over.”
Referring to today’s Arab summit in Riyadh, he says Israel will not countenance preaching about morals from Syria’s Assad, “the slaughterer of his own people,” or “the hangman from Iran” – a reference to Iran’s President Raisi. “Those who shook hands with the leader of Iran remember what Iran has done,” he says.
Regional leaders can help the Palestinians with humanitarian needs, and need to remember “that the reality requires a changed regime in Gaza.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is asked whether he can promise residents of the north, tens of thousands of whom have been evacuated, that Hezbollah will not be a threat to them after the war.
“The answer is yes,” says Netanyahu, explaining that one goal of the war is “to restore security to the State of Israel.”
Hezbollah is being hit by Israel because of its activities on the northern front, and it will be hit “in every way” if “it crosses the line.”
Israel will restore security for those in the north and the south, he vows.
He again denies that previous Israeli policy was to contain Hamas. He says Israel hit it repeatedly in past rounds of conflict. “But we didn’t uproot them. Now we’re correcting that… once and for all.”
Hamas won’t return and neither will other terrorists, he says.
He is asked why he did not fire far-right Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu for saying one of Israel’s options in the war against Hamas could be to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza.
“He said things that were incorrect, disconnected from reality… If he does it again, he won’t be in the government,” Netanyahu says.
Netanyahu also addresses French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of Israel, in which Macron denounced Israel for killing babies, women and the elderly and demanded a ceasefire.
He says Macron “did good things,” including visiting Israel and sending a floating hospital to Gaza.
But, in his comments, “he made a serious mistake, factually and morally. It’s Hamas that is preventing the evacuation of civilians, not Israel,” says the premier. “Israel tells them to leave.”
And it’s not Israel that fires on the humanitarian corridor set up for northern Gazans to evacuate, “it is Hamas,” he adds.
“It’s not Israel that uses Gazan residents as human shields, it’s Hamas. It’s not Israel that locates itself in hospitals, in schools, in UNRWA and UN facilities, it’s Hamas. Therefore it is not Israel but Hamas that is responsible for harm to civilians,” Netanyahu adds.
If the free world sanctifies the terrorists’ practice of fighting from among civilians, committing the double war crime of targeting and slaughtering civilians while hiding behind their own civilians, then this foul practice will spread, he warns. “And I say to the president of France and our other friends, it will reach you too.”
Immunity must not given to terrorists who carry out this double war crime. We are truly doing everything to minimize harm to civilians or noncombatants, but we will not give Hamas the license to murder our citizens without our response. We can do without the moral preaching.”
In answer to a question about his sons’ service, he says his son Avner has been in reserve duty from the first day of the war, and his son Yair “volunteered from the first day” to raise considerable funds for soldiers and for emergency rescue organizations.
Netanyahu also rules out rebuilding settlements in the Gaza Strip, saying it would not be “realistic” and that he’s driven by security considerations. “I want overall security control” in a “demilitarized Gaza,” he repeats, but not a return of settlement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicates Israel will oppose the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza following the war there against Hamas.
This is a stance that directly contradicts US policy, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken having said on Wednesday, for instance, that Gaza must have “Palestinian governance, Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.”
Taking a question on the issue, Netanyahu reiterates first that, after the war, Israel will retain “overall security control, including the capacity to go in whenever we want to eliminate terrorists who may pop up again.”
“I will tell you what there will not be. There will not be Hamas,” he says. “There will also not be a civil authority that educates its children to hate Israel, to kill Israelis, to eliminate the State of Israel. There cannot be an authority that pays the families of murderers [amounts] based on the number they murdered. There cannot be an authority whose leader still has not condemned the terrible [October 7] massacre 30 days later,” the premier says, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “That cannot be.”
“There needs to be something else there. But in any case, we must have security control,” he adds. “I insist upon it. There may be pressure on this issue. I don’t intend to cave.”
He adds: “Completion of the task [of the war in Gaza] requires that on the day after Hamas, another Hamas cannot rise there.”
Speaking after the premier, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hits out at criticism of Israel over its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, in remarks that appear partly aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron.
He highlights the fate of Kfir, a 10-month-old baby from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Kfir and his family were abducted to Gaza. Gallant says he has a grandchild the same age. He worries desperately about Kfir, he says. “Who is looking after him… among those savages…? A toddler who doesn’t walk yet… We have a supreme obligation to bring the hostages home.”
In this context, he continues, “I hear some [world leaders] and ask myself and ask them: How can you be so bold as to preach morals to us at the height of combat? One thousand and five hundred soldiers, civilians, women and children were abducted or killed… It happened only a month ago. Everyone saw what happened,” Gallant says.
“I want to say to those European leaders who criticize us: the State of Israel and the people of Israel in 2023 are not in the year 1943.
“We have the means and the obligation to defend ourselves, by ourselves, and that’s what we’ll do. We will not rest until we’ve carried out our mission, and carried it out so that Hamas is defeated,” he adds.
“When the war is over, there will be no terror organization called Hamas,” he vows.
Gallant says Hamas “is under great pressure” because of the IDF’s progress in Gaza. “They hear the tanks above the tunnels… and they know full well that we’ll get to them. They’re scared.”
The more potent the ground offensive, the greater the pressure on Hamas, and the better the chances of reaching the hostages, he says.
He castigates the “aggression” against Israel from across the northern border and says Hezbollah “is playing with fire.”
Lebanon’s civilians need to know that if Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah “makes a mistake, the fate of Beirut is likely to be like the fate of Gaza.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens this evening’s press conference by commemorating the soldiers killed fighting Hamas terrorists in the ground invasion of Gaza.
“We are doing everything to be worthy of their sacrifice and their heroism,” Netanyahu says. “We will not stop before the completion of the mission.”
“Their is no alternative to victory. We will defeat Hamas and bring back our captives,” he adds.
He says the IDF is inside in Gaza City, “on the outskirts” of Shifa Hospital. Among the many terrorists killed, he says, are many of those who led the October 7 massacres in southern Israel. From Hamas Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar on down, all these terrorists are destined to die, he says.
Turning to the northern border, he again warns the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah against intervening in the war between Israel and Hamas.
“It will be the mistake of your lives,” the premier says, and would seal Lebanon’s fate.
He says the IDF is active on other fronts against terrorism and its orchestrators, in the West Bank, Syria, and Red Sea.
He stresses that returning the hostages is “a central aim of the war.”
“There will be no ceasefire without the return of our hostages,” he pledges.
Referring to widespread talk of possible hostage deals, he says, “When we have something concrete to say we will tell the families, and bring it to the government. Until then, silence is golden.”
He urges Arab heads of state: “You have to take a stand against Hamas.” The terror group has only “brought disaster to Gaza; only bloodshed and poverty.”
Furthermore, it is an integral part of Iran’s axis of terror and evil, he says, and that axis “endangers the whole world and the whole Arab world.”
He says he has been working to ensure international support for the IDF, and declares that, in the wake of the Hamas atrocities, “everybody in the free world has a moral obligation to support Israel.”
He urges worldwide backing for his opposition to a ceasefire without a return of the hostages. And he urges Americans to join the demand for the destruction of Hamas, which he says poses a danger to them too. He says most Americans share that realization.
He notes that, in some countries, there are those who are pressuring the leaders: “Don’t cave to the pressure,” he urges. “Our war is your war.” Israel has to win for its own sake and for the world.
In any case, “no international pressure, no false allegations about IDF soldiers and our state,” he says, will impact Israel’s insistence on protecting itself.
Israel will “stand firm against the world if necessary.”
Netanyahu also says the military will remain in Gaza “as long as necessary” to prevent the enclave from being used to launch terror attacks against Israel.
When he thinks of “the day after,” he says, that means “only after the destruction of Hamas. Hamas will be demilitarized; there will be no further threat from the Gaza Strip on Israel, and to ensure that, for all long as necessary, IDF will control Gaza security to prevent terror from there.”
He says the October 7 attacks probed that “wherever Israel doesn’t maintain security control, terror returns and establishes itself and hits us.” This has “proven to be the case in Judea and Samaria too,” he says. “And so I will not give up security control under any circumstances.”
“If we want peace, we have to destroy Hamas. If we want security, we have to destroy Hamas. If we want to ensure the future of the State of Israel, we have to destroy Hamas. That’s what Israel must do. And that is what Israel will do,” he concludes.
Shomrim Al Habayit Hameshutaf (Safeguarding our Common Home), a Jerusalem-based group that organized anti-judicial overhaul protests, holds a short, moving gathering at the city’s Paris Square to mourn and hear from family members of those who were killed and taken captive on October 7.
Moshe Shapira, father of Aner Shapira, recalls his 22-year-old son, who he says fought against homophobia, played classical piano and believed in unity before being killed by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova desert rave.
Shapira tells about the last 30 minutes of Aner’s life, when he and his best friend, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, took cover in a shelter with 24 other people. Aner told them that he was a combat soldier and as the others lay down on the floor, covering their heads with their hands, he stood at the front of the shelter, catching five or six grenades thrown by the terrorists and throwing them back out again. The last one blew up in his hand, killing him.
“Good can fight evil,” says Shapira. “Aner was a person without ammunition, without a uniform, without orders and he understood that he had to offer a response and he put himself as the response.”
Seven people survived in the shelter while several others were taken captive.
Mai Albini speaks about his grandfather, Chaim Peri, who was taken captive on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Hamas terrorists destroyed his house but didn’t kill Peri and his wife who were hiding in the safe room. When one of the terrorists later returned, Peri pushed him away, knowing he would return with additional forces. In the interim, he hid his wife behind the couch in the safe room.
The terrorists found Peri and told him to come with them. Peri hesitated, then realized it would save his wife’s life and was taken captive, says Albini.
“Almost 80 people from Nir Oz are captives in Gaza,” says Albini. “Nothing is working here. I don’t believe the government will bring them back. I believe in our society, in our people, in our community, in my friends, in the soldiers. We will win, despite our leadership.”
“I have belief in peace,” continues Albini. “My grandfather is an activist and his love for this country is deep in my being.”
The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out airstrikes against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to missile and rocket attacks on northern Israel today.
It says it will provide further information on the strikes soon.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv to demand a return of the hostages and mark the birthday of Sasha Trupanov, who is being held captive in Gaza.
“The support of people here really strengthens us,” says the mother of Ron Sherman, a soldier who was kidnapped. “We are worried they’ll forget them.”
Among those participating in the packed “Hostage Square” rally are former Israeli president Reuven Rivlin; singer Shlomo Artzi, Ninette Tayeb and Shai Gabso; former education minister Shai Piron and several representatives of the families of the captives, including Maayan Tzin, the mother of Dafna (15) and Ella (8).
IDF says it will help evacuate babies from Shifa Hospital tomorrow, Hamas losing control of north Gaza
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says ground forces, with air and naval support, are “deepening” operations in Gaza City’s al-Shati Refugee Camp.
He dismisses “false reports” that the IDF has hit Shifa Hospital and is surrounding and striking Gaza hospitals, saying that the IDF does not strike hospitals. Rather, he says, “We are fighting terrorists who are choosing to fight from close to Shifa Hospital.”
He says the IDF will continue to allow patients and staff at Gaza’s hospitals, and all noncombatants in northern Gaza, to evacuate to the south, and says he has spoken to staff at Shifa today to stress all of this.
Atypically, he then switches to English.
“There has been a lot of misinformation from Gaza today. So I want to clarify the facts. There is no siege, I repeat no siege, on Shifa Hospital. The east side of the hospital is open for the safe passage of Gazans who wish to leave the hospital,” Hagari says.
“We’re speaking directly and regularly with the hospital staff. The staff of Shifa Hospital has requested that tomorrow we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed.”
“There is something that the world must not forget, and we will not let the world forget it: Hamas has been holding hostages, 239 men, women, and children, elderly and babies — don’t forget babies — for 36 days. This is a crime against humanity and we will not let the world forget it,” adds the IDF spokesman, still in English.
Hagari says Hamas is losing control of northern Gaza, as civilians evacuate the area “against the instructions” of the terror group.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia denounces what it describes as “double standards” in the world’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, saying Israel was getting a pass on violations of international law.
“We are watching and observing the double standards and we are reassessing, based on this, the credibility of international systems. If there is no commitment binding everyone to these foundations, it is difficult to speak of these foundations as unifying foundations,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan tells a press conference following a summit in the capital Riyadh.
According to Channel 12 Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari, most of the states present at today’s Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Riyadh sought to include in the meeting’s closing statement five additional clauses that were rejected by Israel’s Arab peace partners and some others, including the demand to sever all ties with Israel.
The rejected demands were: to prevent the transfer of US military equipment to Israel from US bases in the region; to freeze all diplomatic and economic contacts with Israel; to threaten to use oil as a means of leverage; to bar flights to and from Israel through Arab states’ airspace; and to dispatch a joint delegation to the US, Europe, and Russia to push for a ceasefire.
The countries that rejected these demands were Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco, Mauritania, Djibouti, Jordan and Egypt, Ya’ari says.
PARIS — Tens of thousands are expected to march tomorrow in Paris against antisemitism amid bickering by political parties over who should take part and a surge in antisemitic incidents across France.
More than 3,000 police and gendarmes will be deployed in the capital to maintain security at the “great civic march,” according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
French President Emmanuel Macron says today that he will attend the “great civic march” in his “thoughts.”
“I’ll be there in my heart and in my thoughts,” Macron says after warning last week that antisemitism was on the rise again in France.
Tensions have been rising in the capital, home to large Jewish and Muslim communities, after the Hamas terror group’s devastating October 7 assault on Israel, and the war that has ensued in which Israel has vowed to topple the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
France has recorded nearly 12,250 anti-Semitic acts since the attack.
National Assembly speaker Yael Braun-Pivet and Gerard Larcher, the Senate speaker, called Tuesday for a “general mobilization” at the march against the upsurge in anti-Semitism.
They are to lead the march behind a banner stating “For the Republic, against antisemitism.”
The Israel Defense Forces says two rockets were fired from Syria, setting off sirens in a number of communities in the Golan Heights.
Both projectiles landed in open areas, causing no injuries or damage.
The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling toward the source of the rocket fire in southern Syria.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant again speaks with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin amid the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.
According to a Pentagon readout, Austin “reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense and reiterated the importance of both protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian relief.”
“[Austin] emphasized the need to contain the conflict to Gaza and avoid regional escalation,” the statement adds, following further exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah.
It isn’t immediately clear whether this is a new warning to Israel or whether it’s another variation of the US talking point about cautioning other parties from entering the war against Israel — a stance that Jerusalem has long backed.
The Israel Defense Forces says the Iron Dome air defense system intercepted a “suspicious target” that entered Israeli airspace from the Gaza Strip.
The target, apparently a drone, was shot down over Sderot.
Sirens had sounded in the city.
Rallies and demonstrations are taking place all over the country to demand the release of the approximately 240 hostages held by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza since October 7.
The main rally is taking place in Tel Aviv, with thousands participating.
Other rallies are being held in Jerusalem, Beersheba, Yoknean, Kfar Saba and many other places.
Israel has said the twin aims of the war against Hamas are to destroy the terror group’s military and governance capabilities in the wake of its October 7 slaughter of 1,200 people inside southern Israel, and the return of all the hostages seized that day.
Jerusalem school principal one of 5 more soldiers killed in Gaza; deadly blast from booby-trapped tunnel
The Israel Defense Forces announces the death of five soldiers during fighting yesterday in the northern Gaza Strip.
Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, 39, a company commander in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Ein Tzurim.
Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz, 44, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Gevaot.
Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir, 38, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Odem.
Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, 32, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Kiryat Shmona.
Master Sgt. (res.) Netanel (Nati) Harush, 34, a soldier in the Givati Brigade’s logistics unit, from Jerusalem.
The four soldiers of the 697th Battalion were killed by a blast from a booby-trapped tunnel shaft next to a mosque in the Beit Hanoun area. The troops were not inside the tunnel.
Their deaths bring the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip to 42.
Hershkovitz was the principal of the Pelech Boys School in Jerusalem. Jerusalem educators hailed him in a statement as a figure of multiple qualities and activities and an educational leader, and noted that he had been “fighting in the south from the first day.”
Additionally, the IDF says an officer and four soldiers in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion were seriously wounded yesterday during fighting in northern Gaza, and a commander in the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion was seriously wounded in central Gaza.
The military liaison to the Palestinians says an estimated 50,000 residents of Gaza fled today from the north of the enclave to the south through an evacuation corridor set up by the Israel Defense Forces.
Today, the evacuation corridor was open between 9:00-16:00.
— COGAT (@cogatonline) November 11, 2023
Incoming rocket sirens sounding in the Golan Heights communities of Avnei Eitan, and Nov.
The IDF is investigating the apparent attack from Syria.
Rockets were last launched from Syria on northern Israel on October 29.
The Shin Bet security agency and Israeli military in a joint statement say that airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have killed some 20 terror operatives — mostly Hamas members — who in recent years worked to advance attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and Israel.
The statement says around half of the operatives were members of Hamas’s so-called West Bank headquarters, “the body entrusted with the recruitment of operatives from [the West Bank] and Jerusalem to carry out attacks in Israel, financing and managing Hamas activities [in the West Bank].
It says the IDF struck some 10 targets in a Gaza City neighborhood where Hamas operatives who were released from Israeli jails in prisoner exchange deals — “and since their release have continued to engage in advancing terror activity, with an emphasis on the financing and planning of Hamas attacks in [the West Bank] and Israel.” — live.
The Shin Bet names some of the operatives who were killed: Abdullah Abu Saif, Ramzi Awak, Mohammad Halabi and Muhammad Awdallah.
Suspected drone infiltration alarms are sounding in the southern city of Sderot and nearby towns, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.
Rocket sirens are also sounding in the city and the area.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a joint press conference at 9:30 p.m. with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Arab and Muslim leaders say they reject Israeli claims of “self-defense” in Gaza and demand an immediate halt to military operations there against Hamas after more than a month of war.
The final statement from a summit in the Saudi capital seen by AFP says participants “reject describing this war as self-defense or justifying it under any pretext.”
The leaders demand that the UN Security Council adopt “a decisive and binding resolution” to halt Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza.
The final statement says “failure to do so is complicity that allows Israel to continue its brutal aggression that kills innocent people… and turns Gaza into ruin.”
The leaders also reject any proposal that would keep Gaza separate from the West Bank in a future Palestinian state. The statement stresses the importance of “the unity of Gaza and the West Bank as the territory of the Palestinian State,” with East Jerusalem as its capital.
A senior military liaison to the Palestinians denies Israel struck Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, as fighting rages around the medical facility that Hamas allegedly uses as a key command post.
Col. Moshe Tetro, head of COGAT’s Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza, says Israeli troops are engaging Hamas fighters near Al-Shifa but stresses “there is no shooting at the hospital and no siege.”
He also says the eastern side of the hospital remains open and that “anyone who wants to leave can.”
"There is no shooting at the hospital and there is no siege.
The East Side of the hospital remains open."
— COGAT (@cogatonline) November 11, 2023
LONDON — An estimated 300,000 marched through London today, a police spokesman tells AFP, as pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators make their latest mass call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Police are out in force for the march, which has generated concern because it coincides with Armistice Day, commemorating the end of fighting in World War I in 1918, with 82 counter-protestors arrested to prevent possible clashes.
The Israel Defense Forces says troops of its 551st Reserve Brigade are still fighting in the Beit Hanoun area of northern Gaza, while locating weaponry within civilian sites.
The IDF says the troops found and destroyed ammunition and explosive devices in a kindergarten, as well as several tunnels inside residential buildings, and military compounds.
It says troops also recovered maps and intelligence materials from Hamas military sites.
The IDF says the 551st Brigade has also killed numerous Hamas operatives during the last two weeks of fighting in the area.
IDF says the troops found and destroyed ammunition and explosive devices in a kindergarten, as well as several tunnels inside residential buildings, and military compounds.
It says troops also recovered maps and intelligence materials from Hamas military sites. pic.twitter.com/rFyZB9fjit
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 11, 2023
As Hezbollah continues to carry out attacks on northern Israel, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warns that the terror group is “close to making a grave mistake” that will end with Beirut residents fleeing their homes.
“I am saying here to the citizens of Lebanon, I already see the citizens in Gaza walking with white flags along the coast and moving south,” says Gallant during a visit to an army base on the northern border.
“Hezbollah is dragging Lebanon into a war that may happen, and it is making mistakes,” he says.
“If it makes mistakes of this kind, the ones who will pay the price are first of all the citizens of Lebanon. What we are doing in Gaza we know how to do in Beirut,” Gallant warns.
He says that the Israeli Air Force is using less than a tenth of its power in the Gaza Strip.
“Our pilots are sitting in the cockpit, the noses of the planes are pointing north. We have enough to do in the south, but the Air Force is facing north and its power is very great,” he adds.
Two premature babies have died due to power cuts at Gaza’s largest hospital, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel says today citing doctors there, as fighting rages around the Al-Shifa complex.
“As a result of the lack of electricity, we can report that the neonatal intensive care unit has stopped working. Two premature infants have died, and there is a real risk to the lives of 37 other premature infants” at Al-Shifa Hospital, the Israeli doctors’ group says in a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces says one of its tanks shelled a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile squad in southern Lebanon, preparing to carry out an attack near the northern village of Arab al-Aramshe.
Earlier, an “aerial target” — thought to be a drone — was intercepted over Kibbutz Cabri, the IDF says.
Sirens had sounded in the community.
Another two targets were intercepted over the Israel-Lebanon border, the IDF says.
Mortars and anti-tank missiles were also fired at IDF posts along the border today.
The IDF says troops are responding with artillery shelling at the sources of the fire and Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon.
טנק של צה"ל תקף לפני זמן קצר חוליית מחבלים שניסתה לשגר טילי נ"ט לעבר שטח ישראל במרחב ערמאשה.
מוקדם יותר היום זוהתה מטרה אווירית שחצתה לעבר שטח ישראל במרחב הקיבוץ כברי, המטרה הופלה והאירוע הסתיים.
בנוסף, יורטו שתי מטרות חשודות במרחב גבול לבנון >> pic.twitter.com/kjdojCoDlw
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2023
DETROIT — A suspect who was in custody in the investigation of the fatal stabbing of a Detroit synagogue leader has been released, a lawyer says today.
Allison Kriger declines to comment further to The Associated Press beyond saying the suspect is free. The Detroit Free Press says the suspect is a man.
No charges have been filed in the case.
Samantha Woll, 40, was president of Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. She was found dead outside her Detroit home October 21, hours after returning from a wedding, though investigators believe the attack occurred inside.
Detroit police don’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Police Chief James White announced that a suspect was in custody Wednesday. But he also said it did not “represent the conclusion of our work in this case.”
Woll’s death had stoked speculation that it could be tied to animus over the Israel-Hamas war. But White said the attack doesn’t appear to be a result of antisemitism.
Besides her work for the synagogue, Woll had worked for US Rep. Elissa Slotkin and on the political campaign of state Attorney General Dana Nessel.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and Iran’s president hold their first meeting since the Middle East heavyweights agreed to mend ties in March, Saudi state media reports.
The official Saudi Press Agency posts on X, formerly Twitter, a picture of Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Ebrahim Raisi sitting side-by-side on the sidelines of a Saudi-hosted summit on Gaza.
— واس الأخبار الملكية (@spagov) November 11, 2023
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah calls to drag out the war between Israel and Hamas for as long as possible.
“Pressure needs to be expanded,” he says. “Time is necessary for the movements of the ‘resistance.'”
He says the Israeli economy has suffered “tens of billions of dollars of losses” since the October 7 Hamas onslaught “in spite of the 14 billion of dollars of military aid provided by the US,” referring to American military assistance for Israel that has yet to be approved.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah hails Iranian support for his Lebanese terror organization and other so-called “resistance” groups that oppose Israel and the United States.
“Iran is the power we need to thank for supporting Islamic ‘resistance’ movements in the region,” Nasrallah says.
“The Islamic Republic has supported us financially, materially, diplomatically and militarily,” he continues. “We need to praise the late Qassem Suleimani [former commander of the expeditionary Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps], who did not spare military nor financial support for all of our movements, despite the threats.”
“Today, the Iraqi ‘resistance’ attacks US forces, the US blames Iran. If Hezbollah attacks Israel, the US blames Iran.”
He asserts, “the Islamic Republic of Iran does not decide in place of the ‘resistance’ movements, but it supports them.”
Nasrallah also comments on continued Hezbollah attacks on Israel since his speech last weekend.
“Last week saw an improvement in operations, both quantitively and qualitatively. For instance, we deployed the Bourkane missile carrying a payload between 300 kilograms and 500 kilograms. Imagine half a ton of explosives falling on the enemy’s head,” Nasrallah says.
“We also improved in terms of depth of reach, deploying drones and Katyusha rockets.”
According to Nasrallah, “there are other operations that we have not revealed, such as surveillance drones into occupied Palestine, especially over Haifa.”
“Some of these drones return with images, others do not, but they exhaust the Iron Dome and Patriot missiles of the enemy,” he says.
Hezbollah terror group leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a lengthy address, says global demonstrations against Israel over the war in Gaza are putting pressure on the Jewish state and allies.
“We see thousands of people in Washington, New York, London and Paris protesting against Israel,” Nasrallah says, adding that Western leaders who initially condemned Hamas over the October 7 massacres are now urging a ceasefire. “The only voice that stands out is the US and its ‘follower’ the UK.”
Nasrallah calls for international pressure to be directed at the US.
Commenting on the ongoing summit in Riyadh, Nasrallah says: “The Arab and Islamic summit brings together 57 Arab and Islamic states. Palestinians and other people of the region have their eyes on this summit.”
Nasrallah says these countries will not send soldiers to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, but peoples of the region expect the Arab and Muslim world to at least adopt a unified position and demand from the Americans to put an end to the Israeli offensive, open a corridor to deliver aid and provide medical treatment, “even while Gaza continues to fight.”
Noting regional backing for Hamas, Nasrallah says that “hope lies in the support by various fronts, especially the West Bank.” He praises the “brave decision” by Yemen Houthi rebels and their leaders, who have sent missiles and drones against Israel.
He further mentions recents assaults against US forces in Iraq and Syria, saying “the ongoing operations contribute to the liberation of the two countries from the US occupation, but the immediate goal is to achieve a halt to the [Israeli] attack on Gaza.”
Addressing the Biden administration, Nasrallah adds: “If you want to put an end to attacks on this secondary front [in Iraq and Syria], you must impose an end to the [Israeli] attack on Gaza.”
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is delivering a lengthy speech, his second televised address during the ongoing war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.
The Hezbollah leader’s remarks come as deadly skirmishes have continued along the Israel-Lebanon border, with the Iran-backed terror group and allied Palestinian factions launching repeated attacks and Israeli forces striking in response.
The Israel Defense Forces says that ground forces operating in the Gaza Strip have directed the Air Force to carry out some 5,000 strikes to “thwart threats in real time.”
It says some 3,300 strikes were carried out by fighter jets, 860 by combat helicopters and more than 570 by unmanned aerial vehicles.
Many of the airstrikes have taken place within a few hundred meters of ground forces, and some even closer than that.
The IDF says the strikes have aided ground forces in foiling threats to forces, as well as returning fire at Hamas operatives mid-battle.
It says the shortest time measured between the moment of ground troops calling in a target and an airstrike was six minutes.
IDF footage shows several recent drone strikes and one strike by a combat helicopter on Hamas operatives, which were directed by ground troops.
IDF says that ground forces operating in the Gaza Strip have directed the Air Force to carry out some 5,000 strikes in order to “thwart threats in real-time.”
It says some 3,300 of the strikes were carried out by fighter jets, some 860 by combat helicopters, and more than 570 by… pic.twitter.com/bRMgosfh7p
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 11, 2023
A suspected drone infiltration alert is sounding in the northern community of Kabri, close to the Lebanon border.
Rocket sirens meanwhile sound in the nearby towns of Neveh Ziv, Manot and Avdon.
Earlier today, drone alerts sounded in Kiryat Shmona and nearby towns, but was later revealed to be a false alarm amid a rocket attack.
The alerts come amid repeated missile and rocket attacks by Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group. Hezbollah has also carried out several drone attacks.
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi tells a summit of Arab and Muslim leaders on Israel’s war with Hamas that the only solution to the conflict is a Palestinian state from the “river to the sea.”
“The only solution for this conflict is the resistance continuing against the Israeli oppression until the establishment of the Palestinian state from the river to the sea,” he says, echoing protest chants seen as calling for the destruction of Israel.
Raisi calls on those present to take a clear stand and choose what side they are on.
“We want to take a historic and decisive decision regarding what is happening in the Palestinian territories. Killing civilians and bombing hospitals are manifestations of Israeli crimes in Gaza. Today, everyone must decide which side they stand on,” he says, calling to arm the Palestinians.
He also calls for sanctions and an energy boycott against Israel, for charges to be brought against Israel and the US at the Hague, and for international inspectors at Israel’s nuclear facilities.
The Israel Defense Forces says mortars were fired from Lebanon at a number of army posts and troops on the northern border.
It does not report any injuries in the attacks.
Separately, the IDF says it struck a rocket launcher in southern Lebanon, used in an attack on the Margaliot area earlier.
It publishes a video showing the strike.
כלי טיס של צה"ל תקף משגר ממנו בוצעו שיגורים לעבר מרחב מרגליות.
בשעה האחרונה זוהו מספר שיגורי מרגמות משטח לבנון לעבר מוצבי וכוחות צה״ל במרחב הגבול. pic.twitter.com/2P7ZKT7HH1
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2023
A rocket barrage is fired at the southern city of Beersheba and surrounding communities in the Negev.
Several loud explosions are heard in the area in apparent interceptions by the Iron Dome.
The Magen David Adom rescue service says it is carrying out searches, but there are no immediate reports of direct impacts or injuries.
???? Rocket Alerts [14:30:48] – 12 Red Alerts ????:
• Central Negev — Beer Sheva – West, Beer Sheva – East, Omer, Beer Sheva – North, Beer Sheva – South, Tel Sheva
• שגב שלום, לקיה, ואדי אל נעם דרום, אבו תלול, אום בטין
• Southern Negev — Nevatim#Israel #RocketAlert #RedAlert pic.twitter.com/6M8Kgstuyk
— ILRedAlert (@ILRedAlert) November 11, 2023
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salaman welcomes Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi as Arab and Muslim leaders are in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, Saturday for a summit on the Israel-Hamas war.
This is Raisi’s first visit to Saudi Arabia since the bitter rivals reestablished ties several months back.
Iran backs Hamas as well as Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror groups and Yemen’s Huthi rebels, placing it at the center of concerns the war could expand.
— The Watcher ???? (@TheWatcherDaily) November 11, 2023
Opening the summit, Bin Salman said Saudi Arabia “confirms that it holds the occupation (Israeli) authorities responsible for the crimes committed against the Palestinian people.”
“We are certain that the only way to guarantee security, peace and stability in the region is to end the occupation, siege and the settlements,” he says of Israel’s actions in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
The Saudis were edging closer to normalization with Israel before the outbreak of the war sparked by the deadly Hamas assault on southern Israel that killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians. Some 240 people were also taken hostage in Gaza.
Right-wing protesters clash with police in central London ahead of a mass rally by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
Thousands of police were deployed with tensions high ahead of the rally as it coincides with Armistice Day, which commemorates those who have died in conflict since World War I.
Dozens of right-wing protesters, many of them chanting “England till I die” scuffle with police as they broke through a police line to access Whitehall, where the Cenotaph is located, according to footage posted on social media.
Fighting has broken out as people shouting ‘England ‘till I die’ attempted to reach the Cenotaph ???? pic.twitter.com/tzjkMlMMpN
— Josh Gafson (@JoshGafson1) November 11, 2023
The Cenotaph memorial — the focal point of commemorations — will have a constant police presence until the conclusion of remembrance events on Sunday, said Scotland Yard.
Thousands gathered at the memorial at 11:00 a.m. to observe a two-minute silence.
Khans Met try to prevent natives from paying respects at the cenotaph. They fail. pic.twitter.com/XEd0xcAz1f
— ????????RonEnglish???????????????????????????????????? (@RonEng1ish) November 11, 2023
The director at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital says they have completely lost power as the last generator ran out of fuel.
Israel says Shifa Hospital is Hamas’s main command post, adding that the terrorists were using civilians as human shields there and had set up elaborate bunkers underneath it. In recent days, fighting near Shifa and other hospitals in the combat zone of northern Gaza has intensified and supplies have run out.
“There is no electricity. Medical devices stopped. Patients, especially those in intensive care, started to die,” Mohammed Abu Selmia, the director of Shifa, tells AP, speaking by phone over the sound of gunfire and explosions.
The loss of power comes just as Israeli forces are closing in on the hospital. Israel says Hamas has vast reserves of fuel that it is hoarding to power its complex of tunnels.
Abu Selmia claimed Israeli troops were “shooting at anyone outside or inside the hospital,” and prevented movement between the buildings in the compound.
The claim that Israeli troops were the sole source of fire could not be verified independently. Asked about reports of troops firing into the Shifa courtyard, Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, would only say that troops are “in the midst of ongoing intense fighting against Hamas in the vicinity of the area in question.” He said the military takes all feasible measures to prevent harm to civilians.
Palestinians yesterday accused Israel of firing a missile into the hospital courtyard, but the IDF said it was a Palestinian rocket that had been fired at nearby troops.
The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out airstrikes and artillery shelling against a number of Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to rocket fire on northern Israel earlier.
It says infrastructure belonging to the terror group was hit.
The IDF publishes a video showing the strikes.
IDF says it carried out airstrikes and artillery shelling against a number of Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to the rocket fire earlier. pic.twitter.com/jd1tR24xBm
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 11, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed a Hamas commander who “held hostage approximately 1,000 Gazan residents at Rantisi Hospital.”
In a statement, the IDF says that following intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence Directorate, troops of the Givati Brigade directed a fighter jet to strike Ahmed Siam, the commander of Hamas’s Nasser-Radwan company.
Two days ago, the IDF said Siam was preventing some 1,000 Palestinians from evacuating Rantisi Hospital, which is located in northern Gaza.
The IDF says Siam was killed while hiding at the al-Buraq school in Gaza City, along with other Hamas operatives under his command.
“Ahmed Siam demonstrates once again that Hamas uses the civilians of the Gaza Strip as human shields for terror purposes,” the IDF statement adds.
צה"ל ושב"כ חיסלו את המחבל שהחזיק כ-אלף מתושבי רצועת עזה כבני ערובה בבית החולים 'רנתיסי' במהלך הלחימה
כוחות מצוות הקרב החטיבתי גבעתי חיסלו באמצעות הכוונת מטוס קרב ובהכוונה מודיעינית של אמ"ן ושב"כ את המחבל אחמד ציאם, מפקד הפלוגה המרחבית נאצר-רצ'ואן בארגון הטרור חמאס >> pic.twitter.com/MedpTJlq7s
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 11, 2023
Earlier this morning, Lebanese media outlets reported that an IDF drone struck a truck near the coastal village of al-Zahrani, some 40 kilometers from the Israeli border, just south of Sidon.
There were no reports of injuries in the strike.
The IDF had said it had carried out a strike on a site from which surface-to-air missiles were fired at military drones over the Israel-Lebanon border, without specifying the exact location.
Army radio reports that the two strikes are the same incident, marking the deepest Israeli strike in Lebanon since hostilities ramped up after Hamas’s October 7 onslaught.
NBN: طيران الاحتلال يستهدف سيارة داخل بساتين للموز في الزهراني جنوب لبنان اي على بعد 40 كيلو متر من الحدود مع فلسطين
قناة موقع بنت جبيل على تيليغرام pic.twitter.com/LROF5uXak2
— bintjbeil.org (@bintjbeilnews) November 11, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces says troops of its Golani Infantry Brigade have led “significant” battles against the Hamas terror group’s Sabra-Tel al-Hawa battalion in the Gaza Strip in recent days.
It says the Golani Brigade and the 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion carried out raids in the southern part of Gaza City’s Sheikh Ijlin neighborhood, during which there were “significant battles with Hamas terrorists.”
The troops killed numerous Hamas operatives and destroyed infrastructure belonging to the Sabra-Tel al-Hawa battalion, including tunnel shafts, rocket launchers, weapons depots, and observation posts, the IDF says.
On November 3, the Hamas battalion commander, Mustafa Dalloul, was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Russia has been spreading “disinformation” about the situation in the Middle East, the president of Microsoft says, as tensions soar in the region due to the Israel-Hamas war.
Brad Smith, Microsoft vice chair and president, was asked about the role of the US tech giant in promoting peace at an international peace forum in Paris.
He says that Microsoft and its competitors were fighting against disinformation, in particular by using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Smith says that Microsoft and other companies are doing this “by creating technological tools that facilitate the detection of manipulated, modified, altered content,” according to remarks translated into French by the France Inter radio station.
“We are getting very good at identifying a Russian campaign, like when they tried to tell people not to get the COVID vaccine,” he says.
“Or today, when we see Russian disinformation in the Middle East,” he adds.
He says the three options facing technology platforms that identify this kind of disinformation are to do nothing, delete it, or re-label it and flag the content has been modified.
“There is no societal consensus about what companies should do,” Smith added.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Saudi Arabia for a summit on Gaza, state-affiliated media report, his first visit since the two countries agreed to restore ties in March.
Footage aired on the Al-Ekhbariya channel shows Raisi, wearing a traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarf, greeting Saudi officials at the airport after disembarking from his plane.
— Arab News (@arabnews) November 11, 2023
Palestinians say Israeli troops were within view of Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest. Israel says Hamas’s main command center is located underneath the hospital.
Thousands of civilians had been sheltering in the Shifa compound in recent weeks, but many fled Friday as Israeli troops closed in and Israel expanded access to safe evacuation routes to the south.
Abdallah Nasser, who lives near Shifa, tells AP by phone that the Israeli military was advancing deep into the city from its southern and northern flanks.
“They are facing stiff resistance, but they are advancing,” he says.
Mohammed al-Masri, one of many still sheltering at the hospital, says that from a higher floor, he could see Israeli troops approaching from the west. “They are here,” he said. “They are visible.”
Live footage of the area appeared to show heavy fighting in the vicinity of the hospital with the constant sounds of gunfire and explosions.
The Israel Defense Forces says it is expanding humanitarian pauses in the northern Gaza Strip to enable Palestinians to evacuate south.
The IDF’s Arabic-language Spokesman, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, says on X that the Salah a-Din road will be open for southbound movement for a total of seven hours today, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Previous days saw the Salah a-Din humanitarian corridor open for four to six hours.
Adraee says the IDF will also be allowing Palestinians to evacuate to southern Gaza via the Strip’s coastal road.
Additionally, he says the IDF will make “tactical pauses in military activities” in the Jabaliya refugee camp today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so that residents can reach the humanitarian corridors to evacuate south.
Suspected drone infiltration alarms that sounded in Kiryat Shmona and nearby towns were false alarms, the Israel Defense Forces says.
“No aircraft were identified infiltrating Israeli territory,” the IDF says in a statement.
It adds that one rocket was fired from Lebanon at the northern community of Margaliot.
The projectile landed in an open area, causing no injuries or damage.
The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling toward the source of the rocket fire.
Separately, the IDF says that overnight, surface-to-air missiles were fired from Lebanon at military drones near the border. Another aircraft struck the source of the missile fire, it adds.
Suspected drone infiltration alarms are sounding in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona and several nearby towns in the Upper Galilee, close to the border with Lebanon.
At the same time, incoming rocket sirens sound in the community of Margaliot, in the same area.
The alerts come after yesterday, when Hezbollah launched three explosive-laden drones at IDF positions in northern Israel, wounding soldiers.
The terror group has also carried out dozens of missile and rocket attacks in recent weeks.
Rocket Alert [09:34:27] – 1 Red alert:
— ILRedAlert (@ILRedAlert) November 11, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces says that since the beginning of the group operation, it has captured 11 Hamas outposts in the northern Gaza Strip.
It says that in overnight operations, troops of the Nahal Brigade found and later destroyed a tunnel entrance near a school.
Meanwhile, the 215th Brigade identified a group of Hamas operatives approaching troops of the Givati Brigade, and directed an aircraft to strike them, the IDF says.
The IDF says the Navy also carried out strikes overnight, targeting buildings used by Hamas operatives in northern Gaza. Some of those strikes were directed by ground forces.
Weapon depots, including those belonging to Hamas’s naval forces, were also hit by the Navy, the IDF adds.
A barrage of rockets are fired at communities near the Gaza border.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or direct impacts.
As Israel’s footballers prepare to play Kosovo in a Euro 2024 qualifier tomorrow — their first international fixture since the war broke out in the country in October — Pristina police are on alert after a series of social media posts calling for the game to be canceled.
Although a vast majority of Kosovo citizens are Muslim, it considers itself the most pro-US state in the world and firmly adheres to its most important ally’s foreign policy.
However, after dozens of messages criticizing Israel’s military campaign in Gaza began to circle social media under the hashtag #BabyKillersAreNotWelcomedHere, Kosovo police tell local media that they have been “increasing security measures” so that the game “goes as smoothly as other sport events.”
Kosovo authorities have already announced that each of the 14,000 tickets released for Sunday’s game will be personalized, and only fans that present both tickets and their ID cards will be allowed into the Fadil Vokrri stadium.
The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) admitted that they considered holding the game in an empty stadium due to security reasons.
“After the meeting with UEFA, the decision was made to play the game with spectators,” Agim Ademi, the chairman of the FFK, tells local media.
He adds that all the measures foreseen by the UEFA regulations will be taken, so that the match is not followed by any possible incident.
The game was originally scheduled to take place on October 15 but was postponed after Hamas fighters poured across the border with Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages.
Rocket warning sirens sound in Kissufim, a kibbutz bordering the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian supporters in New York burn an Israeli flag as they protest Israel over the war in Gaza against Hamas.
The demonstrators also again rally outside the headquarters of the New York Times and splatter the entrance to the building with red paint, as they claim the newspaper’s coverage is biased in favor of Israel.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Arab leaders and Iran’s president are in the Saudi capital today for summits expected to underscore demands that Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas end before the violence draws in other countries.
The emergency meetings of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation comes after Hamas terrorists’ bloody October 7 attacks that Israeli officials say left about 1,200 people dead and around 240 taken hostage.
Israel’s subsequent aerial and ground offensive has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians and many of them children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, whose figures cannot be verified independently and are believed to also include terrorists and civilians killed by misfired rockets.
Aid groups have joined pleas for a ceasefire, warning of a humanitarian “catastrophe” in Gaza, where food, water and medicine are in short supply.
The Arab League aims to demonstrate “how the Arabs will move on the international scene to stop the aggression, support Palestine and its people, condemn the Israeli occupation, and hold it accountable for its crimes,” the bloc’s assistant secretary-general, Hossam Zaki, said this week.
But terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Friday said it did not “expect anything” from the meeting, criticizing Arab leaders for the delay.
LONDON — Almost 2,000 police officers will be on duty today when more than 100,000 pro-Palestinian supporters are expected to march through London to protest Israel over the war in Gaza against Hamas, with extra powers in place to protect landmarks honoring Britain’s war dead.
Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel marches have been held in the UK capital over recent weekends, with police making almost 100 arrests for offenses including supporting banned organizations and serious hate crimes.
But today’s march promises to be more fraught as it coincides with Armistice Day, which commemorates those who have died in conflict since World War I.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a late plea for peaceful demonstrations
“It is because of those who fought for this country and for the freedom we cherish that those who wish to protest can do so, but they must do so respectfully and peacefully,” Sunak said in a statement released last night.
It will be a “particularly challenging and tense weekend,” Laurence Taylor, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner leading Saturday’s operation, told a media briefing yesterday.
He estimated that more than 100,000 people would be at the march, with organizers changing the route to ensure it will not pass any landmark memorials.
However, police said that previous events had seen “small groups break away” and that “their behavior has been escalating and becoming more violent.”
As a result, metal barriers will be placed around the area containing the most significant memorials, with police able to arrest any marchers attempting to gather there.
The Cenotaph memorial — the focal point of commemorations — will have a constant police presence until the conclusion of remembrance events on Sunday, said Scotland Yard.
Palestinian media outlets report fighting overnight between Israeli forces and terrorists in Gaza Strip, including in the vicinity of Shifa Hospital, where the Hamas terror group allegedly maintains a key command center.
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