The Times of Israel liveblogged Tuesday’s events as they happened.
WASHINGTON — The United States announces that it’s renewing for 120 days a sanctions waiver allowing Iraq to buy electricity from Iran.
“This action will allow Iraq to use its own funds to render payment for Iranian electricity imports into restricted Iranian accounts in Iraq,” a senior US State Department official tells journalists, pointing out that Iran can only use these funds for humanitarian needs.
Because of US sanctions against Iran, Baghdad cannot pay Tehran directly for its gas.
To force Baghdad to pay its arrears, Tehran regularly suspends its gas supplies, which are essential for Iraq’s power stations, since they cover a third of the country’s needs.
Baghdad’s unpaid bills to Tehran for past gas imports amount to some $10 billion, according to the senior official.
UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council is negotiating a new resolution that demands “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” throughout the Gaza Strip but makes no mention of a cease-fire.
The resolution, drafted by Malta, does demand that “all parties” comply with their obligations under international law.
The Security Council has rejected four resolutions on the war, and many of its 15 members have said they don’t want a vote on a new resolution unless it’s going to be approved.
The draft, obtained today by The Associated Press, says the pauses should be “for a sufficient number of days” to open humanitarian corridors and enable unhindered access for UN, Red Cross and other aid workers to get water, electricity, fuel, food and medical supplies to those in need as well as to repair essential infrastructure and enable urgent rescue and recovery efforts.
Hamas says the White House’s remarks that the Islamist terror group has a command center at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza was a “green light” to Israel to commit “brutal massacres” targeting medical facilities in the Palestinian territory.
“These statements give a green light to the Israeli occupation to commit further brutal massacres targeting hospitals, with the goal of destroying Gaza’s healthcare system and displacing Palestinians,” the terrorist group says in a statement issued in English.
“The United States bears direct responsibility for enabling Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza,” the group adds.
For the first time during the against Hamas, Israel will reportedly allow UNRWA’s trucks in Gaza to refuel tomorrow at Egypt’s Rafah crossing.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has been providing fuel for humanitarian purposes in Gaza for the past two weeks in coordination with the IDF but has been running low in recent days, a US official tells the Walla news site.
Israel has thus far resisted efforts to allow fuel into Gaza, arguing that it will be diverted by Hamas. It says it tried to bring 300 liters of fuel to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City but was turned down by the hospital’s administrators.
But following weeks of pressure from the Biden administration, Israel has now agreed to a plan that will allow fuel into Gaza via UNRWA’s trucks.
An Israeli source tells Walla that the deal will see the UNRWA trucks refueled with 48 hours-worth of supply and will receive another two-day supply once the first runs out.
A humanitarian source quoted by Reuters says the trucks will receive 24,000 liters of diesel fuel, none of which will go to hospitals. The source also says the US pressured the UN to take the fuel.
A spokesperson for UNRWA says they had no information to provide when asked for comment.
The spokesperson points to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini’s statement earlier today in which he called for fuel to be allowed into Gaza.
“UNRWA set off alarm bells over the fuel situation three weeks ago, warning about its fast-depleting supplies, and the impact on lifesaving operations,” Lazzarini said in the statement. “Since then, we have heavily rationed the use of fuel and accessed pre-existing, limited amounts stored in a depot inside the Gaza Strip, through close coordination with Israeli Authorities. The depot is now empty.”
“It is unbelievable that humanitarian agencies have to beg for fuel and operate on life support. Since the beginning of the war, fuel has been used as a weapon of war and this should stop immediately.”
The pro-Israel rally in Washington has wrapped up after songs from Israeli pop singers Omer Adam and Ishai Ribo along with the Maccabeats acapella group.
At the March for Israel rally, in Washington, DC’s National Mall, actor Michael Rapaport introduces two Jewish students, saying, “and make sure you stay disruptive.”
“I’m bringing up two beautiful students who have been dealing with all the bullshit on campuses,” says Rapaport.
Sabrina Soffer from George Washington University speaks, peppering her statements with Hebrew slogans.
“October 7 confirms that cancerous Jewish hatred festers,” says Soffer. She describes antisemitic hate fests on campus, the celebration of murders against Jews and her campus Hillel building being broken into and its kidnapped posters torn down.
“Our hearts remain shattered by that dark Saturday and the hate we see today,” she says, but she and other students are heartened by professors and administration taking a stand.
“Resilience is what marks our legacy… nothing at all can splinter the Jewish soul,” she says.
“We shall not tremble in fear, our Stars of David will shine on our chests and in our hearts,” she says.
In a fiery speech, Columbia University student Noa Fay describes how over 100 professors have advocated for the destruction of Israel on her campus.
“I am a Black, Native American Jewish American woman and I will not be silenced…. I will continue to shout,” says Fay.
“We are the Jews of the Diaspora, this is how we fight. We fight loudly and we fight peacefully. We are far from helpless, we are far from hopeless,” says Fay.
Addressing the pro-Israel rally on Washington’s National Mall, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations CEO William Daroff says over 290,000 people are in attendance, making it the largest pro-Israel gathering in history.
He adds that more than 250,000 people have also been watching online and on C-SPAN.
Unable to make it to the rally was a delegation of 900 people organized by the Jewish Federation of Detroit that was left stranded at Washington’s Dulles Airport after their bus drivers refused to take them to a pro-Israel event, Daroff says.
Muslim American activist tells DC pro-Israel rally: ‘I stand before you as a friend of the Jewish people’
Addressing the pro-Israel rally in Washington, Dillard University president Dr. Rochelle Ford proposes that Christians be the support that the Jewish people need, while at the same time despairing over the deaths of the many innocent people.
She harkens to the long history of cooperation between the Black and Jewish communities.
“We must lean into love, be empathetic,” says Ford. As a Black woman with indigenous roots, she says, “We live in fear that the help might not get to the people who need it most.”
She says, “We must help each other to fight the easy and natural urge to give into the blind and natural urge to hate… We stand with you against antisemitism and [for] bringing the hostages home,” says Ford.
Anila Ali, a Pakistani-American Muslim and women’s rights activist, follows Ford, saying, “I stand before you as a friend of the Jewish people.”
“I am here to affirm to my Abrahamic brothers and sisters that you are not alone,” says Ali. Explaining that Islam prohibits all the horrific acts Hamas committed on October 7, she ends her remarks, saying, “Am Yisrael Chai.”
Christians United For Israel’s Pastor John Hagee spurs the pro-Israel crowd in DC to chant “Jerusalem, Israel, you are not alone.”
He affirms the need for Israel to decide the contours of the war and to not cave in to international pressure.
“You, the leaders of Israel, and you alone, should determine how this war is going to be conducted and concluded,” Hagee says. “You decide — no one else.”
“Choose Israel or Hamas,” Hagee continues. “There is no middle ground in this conflict. You’re either for the Jewish people or you’re not.”
“Israel has always proved that it has the strength to wage war against its enemies,” says Hagee.
He says that “if a line has to be drawn, then draw that line around both Christians and Jews. We are one!”
“We must all stand united with one voice and boldly declare over and over, ‘Israel, you are not alone,’” says Hagee.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish people,” says Hagee, until the 240 hostages are returned and safely home.
“Israel you are not alone today, tomorrow and forever. God bless the Jewish state,” says Hagee.
Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog asks the crowd at the pro-Israel rally in Washington to raise its voice as Israel continues its operation in Gaza, saying that Israel must finish the war because “there is simply no other choice for a nation that values life.
“We are witnessing mass rallies around the globe vilifying Israel, glorifying Hamas and celebrating the murder of Jews. We are witnessing Jewish students assaulted and silenced on college campuses. We are witnessing Jewish demonstrators attacked, and in some cases killed.
“The dark demons of antisemitism have been unleashed.”
Herzog continues, “My friends and my brothers and sisters, we are a grieving nation, yet united and determined. And together with you – through our shared voices, values and strength – together we will defeat evil and we will prevail,” says Herzog.
A clip from a recent Al Jazeera broadcast has gone viral, showing the Qatari network’s correspondent interviewing a patient at a Gaza hospital who complains in front of the camera that Hamas fighters are hiding among the sick in the medical center.
Before the elderly patient can continue speaking, the Al Jazeera correspondent moves away so that the message cannot continue to be heard on air.
The Qatari-funded Al Jazeera network has been accused by Israel’s backers of fanning the flames of conflict.
Al-Jazeera TV was asking this poor wounded old Palestinian man to give his eyewitness testimony; he said: what’s happening is criminal! Why is the resistance (Hamas) hiding among us? Why don’t they go to hell and hide there? They are not resistance!!
The journalist cut him off! pic.twitter.com/evrVfpCfj5
— Aimen Dean (@AimenDean) November 14, 2023
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says hospitals in the Gaza Strip risk losing their status as protected under international law due to Hamas’s use of their premises for military activities.
“In recent weeks we have stressed, again and again, that because of Hamas’s use of hospitals for military purposes, [the hospitals] will lose [their] special protection in the international court,” Hagari says in an evening press conference.
“We are forced to operate in a focused and careful manner against Hamas’s terror infrastructure in the hospitals,” he continues.
“We call on the Hamas operatives who are hiding in the hospitals to surrender, so as not to endanger those in the hospitals,” he says.
He says that today, the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City completed its evacuation. Several days ago, Hamas operatives fired RPGs and opened fire at troops from the hospital.
The IDF has also accused Hamas of maintaining its main command center under Shifa Hospital; believes the terror group held hostages under Rantisi Hospital; says the terror group has a tunnel network under the Indonesian Hospital, and that it opened fire at troops from the Sheikh Hamad Hospital.
“Hamas uses the hospitals, and the patients there, as a human shield for terror. The world must know what it does in the hospitals, and we will continue to expose its crimes,” he says.
He says the IDF’s offer to provide incubators for newborns and other medical supplies for Shifa Hospital, in coordination with international organizations, still stands. “The equipment is arranged and ready for delivery,” Hagari adds.
Ahead of the representatives of the hostage families, singer Ishay Ribo takes the stage and addresses the crowd in Hebrew. Through a melodic call and response, Ribo and the 200,000-strong crowd recites Psalm 121.
The psalm, one of Ribo’s classic hits, is quoted throughout Israel on public billboards and includes the words, “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Following Ribo, actress Debra Messing says she too understands what it is to feel misunderstood and maligned since the Hamas terror, saying, “We see naked virulent Jew hatred being disguised as a noble call… We will pray for the success of the IDF in a war Israel did not want… but a war that Israel will win,” said Messing.
“Our light will shine until the darkness is defeated, Am Yisrael Chai,” said Messing to the chants of “Bring Them Home” in the crowd.
Orna Neutra, mother of hostage Omer Neutra, is the first hostage family representative. She describes him as, “A big guy, six foot two, always with a smile on his face.”
She says the dual US citizen is crazy about sports who was raised with a love and a passion for both of his homelands. After spending a gap year in Israel, Neutra, the descendant of Holocaust survivors on both sides, made the decision to serve in the IDF and protect the country. He was drafted as a lone soldier in the armor corps.
“From a place of deep pain, we hold strong for you, Omer. We speak in your name, tirelessly… Omer you’re not just my beloved son, you touch so many in deep and profound ways,” says mother Orna.
She calls on every American to call on their representatives to help bring Omer and all of the hostages home now.
Rachel Goldberg is the final hostage family representative. The mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, she asks, “Why is the world accepting that 240 human beings from almost 30 countries have been stolen and buried alive?”
Describing a Christian who saved Jews during the Holocaust, she says, “What the world needs to start thinking about today is, what will your excuse be?”
Alana Zeitchik, whose six cousins are being held hostage in Gaza, tells the pro-Israel rally in Washington, “I am here with you because I love my family, “and I promised I would scream to the ends of the earth for them. This unwavering love of family is the heart of what it means to be Jewish, and it is more importantly the heart of what it means to be human.”
“But for too many in the West, the suffering of hostages’ families like mine has become a footnote, collateral damage in service of some perceived higher universal truth,” she laments.
“For too many, it feels like to care about one family, to love one child, is to diminish the suffering of another. But the simple human truth is that you don’t have to choose. You can abhor the suffering of Palestinian families and the suffering of Israeli families like mine,” Zeitchik adds.
“You can call for peace and the immediate return of the innocent men, women and children who were violently taken from us. It doesn’t need to be political to share in my grief or in the anguish that the Israeli people are feeling.”
Congressional leadership at pro-Israel rally blast pro-Palestinian protesters for ‘echoing Hamas’s cry’
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tells the pro-Israel rally in Washington that, “When Hamas says from the river to the sea, they mean all the present-day Israel should be a Jewish-free land.”
“We stand with you, and we will not rest until you get all the assistance you need,” Schumer says before leading the ralliers in chants of “Am Yisrael Chai.”
Speaking after Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson says, “the calls for a ceasefire are outrageous.”
“Israel will cease their counter-offensive when Hamas ceases to be a threat to the Jewish state,” Johnson says to cheers.
“We’ve heard many echoes of Hamas’s rallying cry ‘From the river to the sea’ and I’m convinced that a lot of these college students who are engaging in these protests do not understand that is an explicit call for the extermination of Israel,” he continues.
“It is unacceptable for any political leader in this nation to give credence to this dangerous rhetoric.”
The Biden administration confirms long-held Israeli assertions that Hamas is using hospitals for its military purposes.
“We have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby tells reporters during a briefing.
“Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad members operate a command and control [center] from al-Shifa in Gaza City. They have stored weapons there and they’re prepared to respond to an Israeli military operation against that facility,” Kirby says, citing US intelligence assessments.
He clarifies that the US does not support Israel striking al-Shifa from the air, as IDF troops continue to enclose the medical center.
“Hospitals and patients must be protected,” the White House spokesperson says, stressing that innocent people are sheltering inside and do not “deserve not to be caught in the crossfire.”
The scenario highlights the challenging military operation that Israel is trying to pull off, as Hamas embeds itself within civilian populations, Kirby says.
He asserts that Hamas’s actions do not lessen Israel’s responsibility to protect civilians.
Kirby adds that roughly 115 more trucks of humanitarian aid entered Gaza over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of trucks to 1,100 since the start of the war.
He adds that 600 American citizens and their family members have been able to flee Gaza since the war’s outbreak.
The Biden administration’s antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt addresses the pro-Israel rally in Washington.
“As a representative from President Biden and Vice President Harris and the United States government, I can tell you without hesitation, regardless of party or political persuasion at the White House or in the Congress at home, and abroad. This government stands shoulder to shoulder against Jew hatred,” she says to cheers.
“Today in America we give antisemitism no sanction, no foothold, no tolerance, not on campus, not in our schools, not in our neighborhoods, not in our streets or the streets of our cities. Not in our government. Nowhere. not now, not ever,” Lipstadt declares.
“When protesters chant ‘Peace and glory to the martyrs,’ that incites more hatred, more deaths.”
“It is a danger to the values and underpinning of the stability and decency of any society anywhere in the world. Hate is not a zero-sum game, hate and violence directed at any member of our society because of who they are is un-American and wrong.
War cabinet to receive update on hostage talks after Shin Bet chief returns from meeting Egyptian counterpart
The war cabinet will receive an update later tonight regarding the negotiations to secure the release of the hostages, Hebrew media reports.
The update comes shortly after Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar returned from Cairo where he met with Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to discuss the negotiations.
While Qatar has been understood to be leading the main track of negotiations, Egypt is also engaged in its own effort.
President Isaac Herzog virtually addresses the pro-Israel rally in Washington from the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
“Today we come together, as a family, one big mishpacha, to march for Israel. To march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men viciously held hostage by Hamas,” Herzog says.
“To march for the right of every Jew to live proudly and safely in America, in Israel and around the world. Above all, we come together to march for good over evil, for human morality over blood thirst. We march for light over darkness,” he adds.
“Eighty years ago, Jews came out of Auschwitz and vowed ‘never again.’ As the blue and white flag was hoisted over our ancient homeland, we vowed ‘never again.’ Forty days ago, a terrorist army invaded the sovereign State of Israel and butchered hundreds upon hundreds of Israelis in the largest massacre since the Holocaust. Let us cry out, together: never again. Never again is now,” he says.
“We, the people of Israel are grateful to President Biden, his administration, and so many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. The moral clarity and bold actions of our American allies, demonstrate the depth of the US-Israel alliance, which is stronger than ever before,” the president says.
“Once again in Jewish history we demand: Let our people go. Whilst our loved ones are held captive in Gaza, and our soldiers are fighting for our beloved Israel – Jews all over the world are assaulted for being Jewish. The hatred, the lies, the brutality, the disgraceful outburst of ancient antisemitism are an embarrassment to all civilized people and nations.”
Jews in America must be safe. Jews all over the world must be safe.
“To paraphrase the Prophet Zecharia: Boys and girls shall once again play in the streets of Be’eri and Sderot and the elderly shall sit peacefully by the walkways of Nahal Oz and Ofakim. And when the sounds of life and laughter return to the villages, the kibbutzim and the cities, our constant yearning for peace will return as well,” he says.
A surface-to-surface missile, believed to have been launched from Yemen at Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat, was intercepted over the Red Sea.
The Israel Defense Forces says the long-range Arrow air defense system was used to shoot down the missile.
Sirens sounded in Eilat, though the IDF says the missile did not enter Israeli airspace.
The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have fired several ballistic missiles and drones at the city in recent weeks, all of which were intercepted or missed their target.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the IDF has broken through Hamas defenses around Gaza City, from the north and south.
He says the army is controlling the above-ground area of northern Gaza, especially in Gaza City.
“I authorized the army to continue advancing, both today and in the coming days, to complete the tasks. There will be no safe place [for Hamas] until we complete our mission and return the hostages,” Gallant says.
On the repeated Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon on northern Israel, Gallant says “the safety of the residents of the north and the residents of the south are equally important. We will know what to do against any threat.”
CNN analyst cheered by DC ralliers for expressing solidarity with US Jews, jeered for calling for end to Gaza bombing
CNN analyst Van Jones is warmly received by the estimated 200,000 in attendance at the pro-Israel rally in Washington
“If you’re not Jewish, you may not know this, but since October 7, there’s been literally an explosion of violence against Jewish people, attacks against Jewish people, horrific acts of hatred against Jewish people,” he laments.
“I don’t want to be silent because the Jewish community stood with the civil rights movement,” Jones says to cheers.
“Whatever our different political beliefs and views are about what’s happening overseas, you do not have to support all the policies of Israel to support and love and stand with all the people of Israel during this time, and that’s why I’m here,” Jones declares.
“My heart breaks for all the Israeli children. My heart breaks for all the Palestinian children and my heart breaks for all the Jewish American children who are now also living in fear. I pray that every single hostage is released,” he says to cheers. “I also pray that Hamas ends its reign of terror.”
But then, Jones begins to lose the crowd as he describes himself as a “peace guy.”
“I pray for peace. No more rockets from Gaza and no more bombs falling down on the people of Gaza,” he says.
The crowd does not take this well and many begin chanting, “no ceasefire!”
Jones finishes by discussing the uptick in antisemitism.
“I don’t want any rabbi tonight to have to go and buy an extra can of white paint just to be able to paint over a swastika on a synagogue tomorrow morning here,” he says.
“I definitely don’t want any Jewish daughter — which I just learned — to change her name in her rideshare app because she’s afraid for her driver to know that she is Jewish. That should not be happening here.”
“No matter what happens anyplace else, we can do better here. No more horror there. No more hatred here. You are not alone. Thank you very much,” Jones concludes.
Troops of the IDF’s Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion operating in the Gaza Strip found equipment taken by Hamas terrorists from their comrades during the October 7 onslaught.
The stolen equipment — and other Hamas weaponry — was found in the so-called governor’s house in Gaza, which houses Hamas offices for its military wing and police, offices of Hamas’s intelligence division, and others.
The 13th Battalion took a major part in the fighting on October 7, losing at least 41 members during the Hamas attack on southern Israel.
The IDF says the equipment would be brought back to Israel and examined by officials.
Troops of the IDF’s Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion operating in the Gaza Strip found equipment taken by Hamas terrorists from their comrades during the October 7 onslaught.
The stolen equipment — and other Hamas weaponry — was found in the so-called governor’s house in Gaza,… pic.twitter.com/pS4SdoeM9e
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
The pro-Israel rally in Washington has kicked off, and organizers from the Jewish Federations of North America estimate that some 200,000 people are in attendance.
Organizers asked for a permit for 60,000 people to gather, though Jewish leaders predicted that many more would come.
WASHINGTON — Demonstrators from across the US are now gathering on the National Mall in a show of solidarity with Israel amid its ongoing war with Hamas.
The protesters will demand the release of the 240 hostages currently held by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip and call upon American leadership to combat a rising trend in antisemitic violence and harassment.
Although it is taking place in the US capital, attendees have come from across America, many in organized groups with their local synagogues or Jewish day schools, to partake in the protest.
Ahead of the main event that just began, tens of thousands of attendees, many draped in Israeli and American flags, converged on the protest grounds for a pre-march gathering directed at American Jewish teens. The program features speakers including US Congressman Ritchie Torres and Hollywood star Brett Gelman.
“The US-Israel relationship is not just a Democratic or Republican value, it’s not just a progressive or conservative value. It is an American value, encoded in our national DNA,” said Torres to the crowd, still growing in number.
Israeli musician Ishay Ribo is now performing onstage for an exuberant crowd, stretching down the National Mall.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says information about any deal for the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza will be made public “if and when” there are concrete developments.
His comments come following remarks by US President Joe Biden intimating that a hostage deal will happen soon.
“Our hearts are with all the hostages and their families,” says Netanyahu.
“Since the beginning of the war we are working ceaselessly for the release of our captives, including the exertion of increasing pressure since the beginning of the ground operation,” he adds.
“If and when there will be something concrete to report, we will do so.”
There have been numerous reports over the last three weeks that a deal to free at least some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza is imminent, but such a deal has yet to materialize.
Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat for the second time today.
The IDF says the cause of the alarms is under investigation.
Earlier today, sirens sounded in the city after an air defense missile was fired at a suspicious target.
The Hamas terror group has attempted to fire long-range rockets at Eilat in recent weeks, and the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have fired ballistic missiles and drones at the city. An Iran-backed group in Syria also launched drones at Eilat, hitting a school last week.
Jewish American progressive groups are fuming over a decision by organizers of today’s pro-Israel rally in Washington to book a controversial evangelical pastor as a speaker.
Pastor John Hagee is a right-wing evangelical Christian Zionist in favor of Israel annexing the West Bank, who liberals and conservatives alike have criticized for statements he’s made on the Holocaust and other views critics say are racist and antisemitic.
Hagee will be addressing the rally, even though no other Jewish clergy members are on the speakers’ list.
“Contrary to what I was told, Pastor John Hagee will be speaking at today’s rally. I am horrified that he was given this platform. His history of hateful comments should disqualify him from decent company, much less from speaking on stage. He is not welcome and should not speak,” tweets Americans for Peace Now president Hadar Susskind.
Rabbi Josh Weinberg, the vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism for Israel tells The Times of Israel that he was surprised by Hagee’s inclusion and did not know who invited him to speak.
Weinberg asserts that it was still important for him and other progressive Jews to participate in today’s event, but laments that Hagee, “does not reflect the values of our movement to put it mildly.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziad Nakhaleh threatens to bolt the ongoing hostage negotiations and wait for “better conditions” before moving forward.
The terror group is believed to be holding as many as 40 hostages from the total of 240. Hamas is believed to be holding some 180 hostages and unaffiliated mob families are believed to hold an additional 20, complicating Qatar-led negotiations significantly.
Nakhaleh says that “the conduct of negotiations with regard to the hostages that we detain and Israel’s reactions will probably push the Islamic Jihad out of the deal.”
“Islamic Jihad can keep its hostages [while waiting] for better conditions,” he adds.
Last Thursday, the group published for the first time evidence of the Israelis in its hands — clips showing an elderly woman and a young boy later identified as Hannah Katzir, 77, and Yagil Yaakov, 13, who were both kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.
The National Mall in Washington is already packed with thousands of people ahead of the pro-Israel rally slated to kick off in less than an hour.
White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk has arrived in Brussels, kicking off a series of visits in Belgium, Israel, the West Bank, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan aimed at rallying US allies around the Biden administration’s agenda for the Israel-Hamas war, US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson says in a statement.
While in Brussels, McGurk will brief NATO Allies and European Union “partners on a coordinated approach to the current situation in the Middle East, with a focus on significantly expanding humanitarian assistance to Gaza, economic pressure on Hamas and other terrorist groups, and demands to immediately release hostages of multiple nationalities still being held by Hamas,” Watson says.
“In Israel, he will discuss Israel’s security needs, the imperative of protecting civilians in the course of military operations, as well as ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages and the need to rein in violent extremist settlers in the West Bank,” the US readout says.
In the West Bank, “McGurk will discuss the Biden Administration’s support for the Palestinian Authority and its essential role as the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the need for reforms to promote long-term stability in both the West Bank and Gaza and the aspirations of Palestinians to live with equal measures of freedom, security and dignity in a state of their own.”
In the Gulf region, McGurk will discuss efforts to contain the conflict against Hamas, and deterrence against any state or non-state group seeking its expansion as well as US security assistance to our Gulf Cooperation Council partners.
In Doha, “he will also focus on the intensive efforts to secure release of hostages being held by Hamas, including a number of Americans, one of whom is a 3-year-old toddler.”
In Jordan, “he will consult with senior leaders on the Biden Administration’s historic support for Jordan and a viable pathway to a Palestinian state.”
Mr. McGurk will be joined on his trip by Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf, Watson says.
The Israel Defense Forces says it struck a Hezbollah observation post in southern Lebanon in response to attacks on the northern border today.
It says mortars were fired at Mount Dov and the Margaliot area, and Hezbollah members opened fire with light arms at the Misgav Am area.
The IDF says it also responded with artillery shelling to each incident.
116 former Biden, Obama officials pen letter backing Biden amid anonymous missives criticizing Gaza policy
One-hundred and sixteen former Biden and Obama administration officials have signed onto a letter hailing US President Joe Biden’s support for Israel since the October 7 Hamas onslaught.
The on-record letter follows a series of anonymous letters and memos from more junior-level staffers criticizing Biden’s policy on the Israel-Hamas war.
Signatories of the latest letter include former White House chief of staff Ron Klain, former under secretary of defense for policy Colin Kahl, current members of Congress, 18 former ambassadors and many other former high-level administration officials.
Asked what his message is to the families of the roughly 240 hostages in Gaza, US President Joe Biden tells reporters, “Hang in there, we’re coming.”
“I’ve been talking to the people involved every single day. I believe it’s going to happen, but I don’t want to get into any detail,” Biden adds.
The Israel Defense Forces says its 162nd Division — which entered Gaza from the north — has completed the capture of the al-Shati camp, and will soon link up with the 36th Division which entered the Strip from the east, reaching the coast.
The IDF says al-Shati was a main Hamas stronghold. “Inside the camp, there is a lot of enemy infrastructure and many forces of Hamas were concentrated there, including the al-Shati Battalion, which took a central part in the October 7 [attacks],” it says.
The 162nd Division had pushed south from northern Gaza when the ground operation began two and a half weeks ago, heading into Gaza City, and facing resistance in the al-Shati camp in the last few days.
There were at least four clashes with Hamas operatives in al-Shati in the last few hours. According to the military, nearly every other home in the camp was booby-trapped.
Around 150,000 to 200,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled the camp as Israeli troops entered. The troops of the division battled around 200 Hamas operatives in al-Shati.
The military believes it has full control of al-Shati, though there could still be incidents. It says Hamas’s command and control systems in the area were completely dismantled during the raids.
IDF says its 162nd Division — which entered Gaza from the north — has completed the capture of the al-Shati camp, and will soon link up with the 36th Division which entered the Strip from the east, reaching the coast.
The IDF says al-Shati was a main Hamas stronghold. “Inside… pic.twitter.com/9IEiBSINqr
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
The 162nd Division is now working to methodically clear the al-Shati area of any Hamas infrastructure, including tunnels and caches of weapons.
The IDF also details the division’s other operations in northern Gaza, saying it dealt “significant blows” to Hamas’s infrastructure and operational capabilities.
According to the IDF, the division has found and destroyed more than 160 tunnel shafts, struck some 2,800 Hamas sites, and killed around 1,000 terror operatives and senior commanders.
The division raided and captured what the IDF says are Hamas’s “strategic and essential assets” in northern Gaza, including the Outpost 17 stronghold, the so-called “military quarter” of Gaza City, Rantisi Hospital — which the IDF suspects was used by Hamas to hold Israeli hostages — and the Bader outpost.
It says the division’s 401st Armored Brigade and Givati Infantry Brigade led the maneuver into al-Shati, destroying dozens of Hamas sites with tank shelling and calling in airstrikes.
The division’s Nahal Infantry Brigade, meanwhile, captured Hamas’s main outpost in al-Shati, and destroyed its infrastructure, killing terror operatives in the process, and detaining others for questioning by the Shin Bet in Israel, the IDF says.
The division’s Commando Brigade operated in the northern part of al-Shati to locate terror operatives. It also operated deeper in the camp, destroying Hamas infrastructure and raiding buildings used by the terror group, including a school where the IDF says troops found an anti-tank missile launch position and a weapons cache.
The commander of the 162nd Division, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, hails the operations, saying the military is “dismantling Hamas’s centers of mass and capabilities that the organization has built up over the years.”
“The forces of the division killed over 1,000 terrorists from the beginning of the ground maneuver and reduced by about 80 percent the amount of rocket fire towards Israel from the north of the Gaza Strip,” Cohen adds.
A ceremony is being held Wednesday in Kibbutz Revivim’s cemetery to bid goodbye to Ayala and Liel Hetzroni from Kibbutz Be’eri, even though there is no official identification for Liel.
In place of the 12-year-old’s body, personal items that belonged to Liel will be buried.
Liel and her aunt Ayala were killed along with Liel’s twin, Yanai, and the twins’ grandfather, Avia Hetzroni. Yanai and Avia Hetzroni were buried October 23 in Revivim.
Omri Shifroni, a relative of the family, tells Ynet that no one came out alive from the Hetzroni home on October 7.
“As a secular family, we know they were killed and it’s less important to us to have an official stamp,” says Shifroni. “We’re bidding Liel goodbye because the situation is impossible.”
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says that even if Israel pauses fighting as part of a potential hostage deal, it will continue pursuing its war to dislodge Hamas’s control over the Gaza Strip.
“Even if a ceasefire is required order to return hostages, there will be no stopping the war,” Gantz says, while visiting military leadership in Israel’s north.
“We continue until our goals are achieved,” Gantz adds. Israel has repeatedly said that it aims to uproot Hamas’s political and military control over the Strip, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a post-Hamas Gaza must be demilitarized and de-radicalized.
There are about 240 hostages in Gaza, taken from Israel by terrorists on October 7. Gantz says that Israel is “making every political and military effort to bring the girls and boys home safely. We are doing everything possible to bring everyone back, by any means.”
Addressing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose organization has stepped up cross-border attacks against Israel, Gantz says: “Has he lost touch with the reality on the ground?
“This question must now be asked by the citizens of Lebanon and the Lebanese government,” Gantz says.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to resign, during a visit to the UN offices in Geneva as well as meetings with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization.
“[UN Secretary-General Antonio] Guterres does not deserve to lead the United Nations. Guterres did not promote any peace process in the region… Guterres, like all the free nations, should say clearly and loudly: ‘Free Gaza from Hamas,’” Cohen tells a press conference at the UN in Geneva.
His comments come against the background of strong criticism leveled at Israel by Guterres last month, when he said while nothing justifies the crimes committed by Hamas, they did not occur in a vacuum.
Cohen also demands that the International Committee of the Red Cross “work through all channels” to secure visits to the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, in a meeting he held with ICRC president Mirjana Spoljaric Egger.
“We expect the Red Cross to put the issue at the top of the organization’s priority list, to use all levers of pressure, and not rest until it visits all the hostages, assesses their condition, and makes sure they are receiving the medical care they need,” says Cohen.
Also present in the meeting were Israeli Health Minister Uriel Buso as well as several family members of the hostages being held by Hamas.
Man in his 20s seriously injured by rocket shrapnel in Tel Aviv; Hamas claims responsibility for barrage
Three people are wounded, one of them seriously, by shrapnel in Tel Aviv following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, medics say.
The Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, with eyewitnesses saying they saw three projectiles fly out from the Strip.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it is treating a man in his 20s who is seriously hurt by shrapnel, and a woman aged 43 who is lightly hurt. A third victim is moderately wounded
It is unclear if the shrapnel is from a direct rocket impact or from falling shrapnel following an Iron Dome interception.
From the scene of the rocket impact in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/pdOt1vYWmA
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
Ziv, Barzilai to upgrade to Level 1 trauma centers, so they can treat seriously and critically ill patients
The Health Ministry has decided to recognize Ziv Medical Center in Safed and Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon as Level 1 trauma centers. As such, they will be able to handle patients arriving in serious and critical condition without transferring them to other hospitals.
However, before Ziv and Barzilai’s status changes they will need to upgrade their trauma-related staffing, equipment, infrastructure, patient capacity, and medical services. The upgrade could potentially be achieved during the current war through cooperation with existing Level 1 trauma centers.
Until now, Rambam Medical Center in Haifa has been the only Level 1 trauma center in the north and Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba has been the only one in the south. The other Level 1 trauma centers are in the country’s center at Sheba Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital and Beilinson Hospital in the greater Tel Aviv area, and at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
The decision to upgrade Ziv and Barzilai was based on the government’s realization that hospitals close to the borders — Ziv not far from Lebanon and Syria, and Barzilai near Gaza — must be able to handle life-threatening injuries.
“One of the things that became abundantly clear to us during the events of October 7 is that we had situations in which it took many hours to evacuate the injured to the large hospitals,” the Health Ministry’s Dr. Hagar Mizrachi was quoted as saying in the Hebrew media.
“To be able to take care of these patients, we understood that we need to strengthen the hospitals on the front lines and give them the tools to respond in emergency situations such as urgent head injuries and chest injuries,” she said.
A broad range of Jewish Americans across the religious and political spectrum will be rallying against antisemitism and to free the hostages in Washington today.
Kim Rittberg is traveling to the march on a bus from Brooklyn carrying Jews from a Reform synagogue and an Orthodox synagogue that are on the same block.
Her sign, made by her 8-year-old daughter, says “Jewish things we love: Seinfeld, bagels, Einstein.”
The Jewish Federations of North America have estimated tens of thousands of people are on their way to the March for Israel today in Washington, DC.
The march is in solidarity with Israel, five weeks into its war with the Hamas terror group.
The Israel Defense Forces releases additional footage showing the moment the Navy’s elite Shayetet 13 commando unit and the 401st Armored Brigade raided Gaza City’s Rantisi children’s hospital.
The troops found a cache of weapons and a room that the IDF believes was used by Hamas to hold Israeli hostages hostages.
Yesterday, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari gave an English-language press conference, revealing what he said was proof that the basement of Rantisi was used by Hamas to hide arms and possibly hold hostages kidnapped on October 7.
מצורף תיעוד נוסף מפעילות כוחות שייטת 13 וחטיבה 401, במהלכה נחשפה תשתית טרור של חמאס בבית החולים ׳רנתיסי׳ pic.twitter.com/rE7FkzhiXu
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 14, 2023
Roughly 100 lawmakers attend a screening at the US House of Representatives of footage from the October 7 massacre that was compiled by the IDF.
One member left the room in tears after five minutes, Jewish Insider reports.
“I’m feeling like I felt when I went to Birkenau,” Rep. Darrell Issa tells JI afterward.
Many leave the room at a loss for words and many are in tears.
Among those in attendance are House Speaker Mike Johnson and several lawmakers who have backed a ceasefire in Gaza, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“It’s obviously horrific and gruesome and it’s hard to believe that in the year 2023 things like this are still happening, but unfortunately they are,” Democratic Rep. Sarah Jacobs tells JI.
IDF soldiers bulldoze monuments for the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the entrance to the Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank.
No immediate reason is given for the razing.
צה״ל הרס הבוקר שער ואנדרטה לזכר ערפאת בכניסה למחנה פליטים בטולכרם pic.twitter.com/oTodqi8F99
— Carmel Dangor כרמל דנגור (@carmeldangor) November 14, 2023
Israeli occupation forces have demolished a monument dedicated to the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat. pic.twitter.com/ag45e3tk3H
— Younis Tirawi | يونس (@ytirawi) November 14, 2023
The United States announces a third round of sanctions targeting Hamas-affiliated individuals and entities in connection with the October 7 massacre in Israel.
The US Department of State is designating Akram al-Ajouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
Ajouri is the PIJ deputy secretary general and leader of its Al-Quds Brigade military wing.
The US Treasury Department also designates seven individuals and two entities that have provided support to or acted on behalf of Hamas or PIJ.
“Iran’s support, primarily through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, enables Hamas and PIJ’s terrorist activities, including through the transfer of funds and the provision of both weapons and operational training. Iran has trained PIJ fighters to produce and develop missiles in Gaza while also funding groups that provide financial support to PIJ-affiliated fighters,” the State Department says, adding that the actions are being taken in coordination with the United Kingdom “to protect the international financial system from abuse by Hamas and its enablers.”
Israeli authorities have identified the remains of 859 civilians killed in the October 7 attacks on southern Israel, police say, with work still ongoing.
The number is 16 more than the last announcement on November 8, six days ago.
Israel said Friday it had revised the death toll of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli communities and military bases in southern Israel down from around 1,400 to roughly 1,200 people.
Israel has said some 1,500 terrorists are believed to have been killed by security forces, leaving authorities with thousands of corpses to process.
The death toll is likely to continue to fluctuate for some time. Some of the over 240 people abducted to the Strip are thought to not be alive, though there are no official estimates. Additionally, as time has passed, there has been a steady trickle of reports on individuals who had been thought kidnapped but who have since been confirmed, through forensic and other evidence, to have been killed.
Hundreds of protesters led by far-left Jewish activists calling for a ceasefire in Gaza stage a sit-in inside of the federal building in Oakland, California, leading to multiple arrests.
People wear T-shirts reading “Jews Say Cease-fire Now” and carried banners that read “Not in Our Name” and “Let Gaza Live” in the rotunda of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in the evening.
Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the protest organizers, posts online that dozens of people were taken into custody by 9 p.m.
Protesters are escorted outside of the building by US Department of Homeland Security police.
“There is no other choice,” Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of Berkeley tells KNTV-TV when explaining why she is at the sit-in. “How many people do we have to kill before we arrive at a ceasefire?”
New footage from October 7 shows how Hamas terrorists attacked a packed public bomb shelter near the Nova festival near Re’im, hurling grenades at partygoers who were sheltering from rocket attacks.
The video was taken from the dashcam of a nearby car and published by the South First Responders group on Telegram.
It shows how an unarmed and off-duty soldier, Staff Sgt. Aner Elyakim Shapiro, managed to toss back seven of the grenades, saving those inside the shelter.
The eighth grenade fatally wounded him.
At least seven of those who had taken refuge inside the shelter survived.
The graphic video also shows the moment one of the Israeli civilians attempts to flee from the bomb shelter, and is gunned down by the terrorists.
Warning: Graphic content
New footage from October 7 shows how Hamas terrorists attacked a packed public bomb shelter near the Nova festival near Re'im, hurling grenades at the partygoers who were sheltering from the rocket attacks. Inside, off duty soldier Staff Sgt. Aner Elyakim Shapiro managed to toss… pic.twitter.com/pmlcVQnvg8
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is meeting with president of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mirjana Spoljaric Egger in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the plight of Israelis and foreign nationals held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.
Several family members of the hostages are attending the meeting.
Cohen will also meet with the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who last week highlighted what he described as a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza during a briefing to the UN Security Council.
The foreign minister will show the WHO director-general evidence of Hamas using hospitals and medical facilities in Gaza as a platform for attacking Israel and holding the hostages there, and demand he unequivocally condemn the terror group for such practices.
Cohen will also brief foreign ambassadors to the United Nations Office at Geneva on the international efforts to free the hostages during the course of his visit.
On Monday, Cohen said international pressure was beginning to increase on Israel and that private requests had already been made to him by senior foreign diplomats for Israel to seek a ceasefire.
Asked “what the diplomatic window is” for Israel’s campaign before international pressure increases dramatically, Cohen responded, “two or three weeks.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s accusation of fascism against Israel is “absurd,” days before the German leader is due to host the Turkish president for talks in Berlin.
Israel “is a democracy” and “a country that is bound to human rights and international law and acts accordingly. Therefore, the accusations against Israel are absurd,” Scholz tells a press conference.
He is responding to a question about Erdogan’s comment on Friday that Israel’s legitimacy is “being questioned due to its own fascism.”
Israeli police say they are investigating “several cases” of sexual violence Hamas terrorists allegedly committed against women during the October 7 attacks, with “multiple witnesses” to incidents of rape.
“We have multiple witnesses for several cases,” says David Katz, head of the Lahav 443 criminal investigation unit, after showing reporters footage of testimony from a survivor of the attack on a rave party who described seeing a woman gang-raped, then shot during the assault.
The Israel Defense Forces says its fighter jets struck a number of sites belonging to the Hezbollah terror group in southern Lebanon, in response to attacks on the border today.
The IDF says one of its tanks also shelled an anti-tank missile squad preparing an attack in the Yiftah area.
Today, the IDF says anti-tank missiles and mortars were fired at military positions near Margaliot, Arab al-Aramshe, and Yiftah, as well as the communities of Shomera and Mattat.
Hezbollah claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.
מטוסי קרב תקפו לפני זמן קצר מספר תשתיות טרור של ארגון חיזבאללה בשטח לבנון. כמו כן, טנק של צה"ל תקף חוליית מחבלים שניסתה לשגר טילי נ"ט משטח לבנון למרחב יפתח >> pic.twitter.com/Y0QTmMmJVo
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 14, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces says rocket sirens sounded in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat a short while ago due to an air defense missile being fired at an “aerial target.”
The IDF says there was no actual infiltration into Israeli airspace.
It is unclear what the target was, or whether it was intercepted.
The families of the Israelis being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, along with supporters, kick off a protest march in Tel Aviv to call for their release.
The marchers will be walking to Jerusalem in the coming days, where they will converge on the Prime Minister’s office to demand their loved ones’ freedom.
— Or-ly Barlev 🎗 אור-לי ברלב (@orlybarlev) November 14, 2023
Shelly Shem-Tov makes an impassioned plea for the release of her son Omer, who was abducted from a music festival ravaged by Hamas terrorists.
“I don’t know if you can imagine what it’s like for me, as a mother, to be unable to do anything for my son. We’re losing people,” she says, mentioning the Marciano family, who were told today that their daughter, a soldier, had died in captivity.
“Where are you?” Shem-Tov says. “I demand that Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet give us answers and take action. We have no strength left.”
צעדת משפחות החטופים | שלי שם טוב שבנה עומר נחטף לעזה: "אני לא יודעת אם אתם יכולים לדמיין מה זה שאני כאמא לא יכולה לעשות עבור הילד שלי כלום. אנחנו מאבדים אנשים, אתמול משפחת מרציאנו איבדה ילדה – איפה אתם? אני דורשת מבנימין נתניהו ומהקבינט לתת לנו תשובות ומעשים, אין לנו כוח יותר" pic.twitter.com/kqRD7vTSB0
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) November 14, 2023
“We are running out of time,” says Yuval Haran of Kibbutz Be’eri, seven of whose family members are hostages in Gaza.
“I call on all of the people of Israel, the mayors, the Knesset members and the youth groups, to march alongside us; to demand an answer from the decision makers why our families are still in Gaza.”
The protest march comes with Israel and Hamas reportedly closing in on a deal that will see the release of dozens of women and children held by the terror group.
Rocket alerts sound again in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev areas near the Gaza border.
The beginning of the academic year for Israel’s universities will be delayed until at least December 24, the Association of University Heads say in a statement, contingent on a demobilization of the massive IDF reserve force called up for the Israel-Hamas war.
Due to the conflict the academic year, originally slated to begin on October 15, had already been pushed off until December 3, depending on the release of the reservists.
Around 30 percent of all university students are currently serving in the IDF, along with thousands of university teachers and staff.
“Our goal is for the school year to take place in its entirety and to include two full semesters. If the need arises, the academic year will also slide into the summer period. Individual decisions regarding the structure of the year will be made at each university,” the university heads say.
The announcement applies to seven of Israel’s research universities: the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, The Technion, the University of Haifa and Ariel University.
The Weizmann Institute of Science and the Open University will have “other arrangements” in regards to the timing of the academic year, the notice says.
Some of the international schools, such as Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University, have already begun their semester. The Raphael Recanti International School of Reichman University, in Herzliya, is set to begin its semester on November 19.
The Israel Defense Forces announces that troops of the 7th Armored Brigade and Golani Infantry Brigade have captured several Hamas governmental buildings in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Sheikh Ijlin and Rimal.
Among the sites captured by the troops are the Hamas parliament, its government complex, and the police headquarters.
It says troops captured the so-called governor’s house in Gaza, which housed Hamas offices for its military wing and police, offices of Hamas’s intelligence division, and other sites that were used to prepare for the October 7 onslaught.
The IDF says it also captured a Gazan university’s engineering faculty building, which “served as an institute for the production and development of weapons,” and another Hamas compound with a training base, command center, interrogation rooms, and detention cells.
Pictures leaked on social media earlier showed Golani soldiers inside the Gaza parliament building and military police headquarters.
IDF announces that troops of the 7th Armored Brigade and Golani Infantry Brigade have captured several Hamas governmental buildings in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Sheikh Ijlin and Rimal.
Among the sites captured by the troops were the Hamas parliament, its government complex,… pic.twitter.com/kbhmUiS2iT
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat.
The IDF says the cause of the alarms is under investigation.
The Hamas terror group has attempted to fire long-range rockets at Eilat in recent weeks, and the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have fired ballistic missiles and drones at the city.
An Iran-backed group in Syria also launched drones at Eilat, hitting a school last week.
The Red Cross head will today meet family members of several of the 240 people seized in Hamas’s attack in Israel last month and held hostage in Gaza, the organization says.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Health Minister Uriel Menachem Buso will also take part in the meeting in Geneva with International Committee of the Red Cross president Mirjana Spoljaric, the ICRC says.
“Families of hostages are living through an incredibly heart-wrenching time and I want to underscore how hard we are advocating on behalf of their loved ones,” Spoljaric says.
“This is a key priority for me, and I know the enormous pain the families are enduring.”
The ICRC stresses that it has persistently been advocating on behalf of the hostages held in Gaza, including through direct contacts with Hamas and with others holding influence over the parties.
“Hostage-taking is prohibited under international humanitarian law. We continue to insist on the hostages’ release and are doing everything in our power to gain access to them,” Spoljaric says.
“We are deeply concerned that children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable people are among those held,” she says. “We will not stop working for their release.”
Spoljaric insists, however, “We cannot do this alone; agreements must be reached that allow the ICRC to safely carry out this work.”
“ICRC cannot force its way in to where hostages are held. We can only visit them when agreements, including safe access, are in place.”
The organization says it is continuing to request information on the hostages and their current health condition, adding that it is also working to clarify the fates of those as yet unaccounted for.
“The hostages must be treated humanely, have access to medical care, and be able to communicate with their loved ones,” it says.
“The ICRC stands ready to facilitate their release, as it has done for four hostages so far.”
Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip have caused injuries and damage in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, the municipality and medics say.
Images show cars and buildings damaged by a rocket impact.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says its medics are taking to hospital two men in their 30s who were lightly injured as a result of the rocket blast. Another two people are treated at the scene for acute anxiety, MDA adds.
The military announces it is coordinating the delivery of incubators to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
In a tweet, the military shares a recording of a conversation between a liaison officer and the director of the Shifa Hospital, regarding the transfer of 37 incubators along with four breathing machines and other critical medical equipment.
The Israel Defense Forces has been closing in on Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, which Jerusalem says is hiding Hamas’s main operations center.
The focus on Shifa and other hospitals, which have complained of dwindling supplies and patient deaths due to the fighting, has ratcheted up pressure on Israel to do more to protect Gazan civilians caught in the crossfire.
The IDF is organizing the transfer of Incubators from an Israeli hospital to Shifa Hospital in Gaza, as part of its humanitarian efforts. Attached is a phone call between a Senior Officer from the Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza and the Shifa Hospital Director. pic.twitter.com/Kl5DcWzRur
— החדשות – N12 (@N12News) November 14, 2023
The IDF is in the process of coordinating the transfer of incubators from a hospital in Israel to #Gaza.
— COGAT (@cogatonline) November 14, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces announces the death of Cpl. Noa Marciano, who was captured by the Hamas terror group on October 7.
Marciano, 19, of the Border Defense Corps’s 414th, served in the Nahal Oz base when it was overrun by terrorists during the onslaught.
Yesterday, Hamas published a propaganda video of the soldier, showing her speaking to the camera four days after being taken hostage. The video then cuts to her dead body.
The IDF recognizes her as a “fallen soldier held captive by a terror group.”
Seven suspects have been indicted for allegedly carrying out an arson attack on a bicycle store in the Arab Israeli town of Taibe in October, the Israel Police says in a joint statement with the Shin Bet security service.
In the early hours of the morning on October 14, the bicycle store owned by Alaa Amara was looted and torched after he donated some 50 bicycles to children evacuated from Gaza border communities in the wake of the deadly Hamas onslaught on October 7.
The police investigation into the attack determined it to have been “carried out on an ideological-nationalistic basis,” the statement says, adding that in the case of one of the suspects, the arson is being treated as “an act of terrorism.”
The charges brought against the suspects involved in the affair include breaking and entering; theft; possessing, carrying and firing a weapon; and desecrating a flag.
Speaking to The Times of Israel after the attack, Amara said he had noticed that the evacuated children had nothing to do in the early days of the war, and so he decided to give them bicycles, free of charge.
“I did it to benefit the children. They don’t know about war,” he said at the time.
Just two days later, a group of people broke into the store at around 2 a.m., stealing and looting before setting the store on fire.
“They were armed and shot out the cameras. Some wore masks… the damage is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of shekels,” Amara’s wife told Walla after the attack.
While nobody was harmed during the incident, Amara later learned that the perpetrators had tried to lure him into the store in order to attack him. “They wanted to lynch me,” he said.
— with Gavriel Fiske
China, Iran and a multitude of Arab nations condemn an Israeli minister’s statement that a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip was an option in the Israel-Hamas war, calling it a threat to the world.
At a long-planned opening of a United Nations conference whose goal is to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, many ambassadors express condemnations and criticisms of comments by Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu, who later called his remarks in a radio interview Sunday “metaphorical.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly disavowed the comments and suspended him from cabinet meetings.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its nuclear capability. It is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, and a former employee at its nuclear reactor served 18 years in Israeli prison for leaking details and pictures of Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal program to a British newspaper in 1986.
China’s deputy UN ambassador Geng Shuang says Beijing is “shocked,” calling the statements “extremely irresponsible and disturbing” and saying they should be universally condemned.
He urges Israeli officials to retract the statement and become a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament, as a non-nuclear weapon state “as soon as possible.”
Geng says China is ready to join other countries “to inject new impetus” to establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Mideast, saying there is greater urgency because of the current situation in the region.
Oman’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Al-Hassan, speaking on behalf of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, says the threat to use nuclear weapons in Gaza “reaffirms the extremes and brutality of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people” and their “disregard for innocent life.”
He calls on the UN Security Council and the IAEA to take decisive action on the matter.
Representatives of Lebanon and Iran also condemn Eliyahu.
The Israel Defense Forces says humanitarian pauses in the northern Gaza Strip will continue today to enable Palestinians to evacuate toward the south.
The IDF’s Arabic-language Spokesman, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, says on X that 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.
The coastal road in northern Gaza will also be open for movement between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., in order for civilians to reach Salah a-Din.
Additionally, he says the IDF will make “tactical pauses in military activities” in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Daraj and Tuffah between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so that Palestinians can reach the humanitarian corridor to evacuate south.
#عاجل يا سكان غزة، وخاصة سكان شمال القطاع أودّ إخطاركم بالرسائل التالية:
🔴 أولاً، يظل الممرّ الآمن مفتوحاً اليوم ما بين التاسعة صباحاً (09:00) والرابعة عصراً (16:00) لأغراض إنسانية عبر محور صلاح الدين باتجاه المنطقة الواقعة إلى الجنوب من وادي غزة. والرجاء، حفاظاً على سلامتكم،… pic.twitter.com/bYj5P8D4fa
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) November 14, 2023
Air defenses intercept a “suspicious target” identified off the coast of Acre in northern Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
No sirens sound in Acre or nearby towns “according to protocol,” according to the military, as the target is not deemed to be a threat to civilians.
The incident comes amid repeated attacks from southern Lebanon by the Hezbollah terror group and allied Palestinian factions, including the launch of missiles and drones on northern Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces says it demolished the home of Muhannad Faleh Shehadeh, one of the two Hamas terrorists who killed four Israelis in a shooting attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli in June, in the village of Urif near Nablus.
The home of the second assailant, Khaled Mustafa Sabah, was demolished by the IDF last month.
As a matter of policy, Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks as well as their accomplices.
IDF says it demolished the home of Muhannad Faleh Shehadeh, one of the two Hamas terrorists who killed four Israelis in a shooting attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli in June, in the village of Urif near Nablus. The home of the second assailant, Khaled… pic.twitter.com/9ftjvRRbWV
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 14, 2023
Fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian terrorists in northern Gaza caused another 200,000 people to flee south in the past 10 days, the UN humanitarian office says.
Israel has been encouraging residents of Gaza’s north to move to the south, away from the bulk of the fighting.
More than two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have fled their homes since the war began.
Rocket alert sirens sound in the southern community of Nirim, near the border with the central Gaza Strip.
An image circulating on social media shows troops of the IDF’s Golani Brigade inside Hamas’s military police headquarters in the Gaza Strip, after capturing the site.
The soldiers are seen holding an Israeli flag and a flag of Golani’s 13th Battalion.
It is unclear when the photo was taken.
Yesterday, a photo showed Golani troops inside Gaza’s parliament building.
Two Israelis lawmakers, one from the ruling Likud party and the other from the opposition Yesh Atid party, urge the international community to take in Palestinian refugees from the Gaza Strip.
In an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, Danny Danon (Likud) and Ram Ben-Barak (Yesh Atid) call for “countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate.”
They cite European countries’ “long history of assisting refugees fleeing conflicts” and suggest that “even if countries took in as few as 10,000 people each, it would help alleviate the crisis” in Gaza.
“The international community has a moral imperative—and an opportunity—to demonstrate compassion, help the people of Gaza move toward a more prosperous future and work together to achieve greater peace and stability in the Middle East,” they write.
The Israel Defense Forces says ground forces operating in the Gaza Strip have found infrastructure inside a mosque.
Troops of the Harel Reserve Brigade’s reconnaissance unit and Givati Brigade’s reserve reconnaissance unit found a Hamas tunnel shaft inside the mosque, the IDF says.
The IDF says that overnight, soldiers directed fighter jets and combat helicopters to strike anti-tank missile squads that were firing at troops.
The IAF has struck some 200 targets over the past day, the military says, including terror operatives, weapon production sites, anti-tank missile launch positions, and Hamas command centers.
The Navy has also carried out strikes, hitting a Hamas naval forces camp on the coast, which the IDF says was used for training and as a weapons depot.
At least ten survivors of the Nova rave massacre have been committed in psychiatric institutions since October 7, when Hamas terrorists killed some 260 people with gunfire and grenades at the festival near Kibbutz Re’im, which borders the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s national commissioner for involuntary hospitalization, Daniel Raz, who works within the Justice Ministry, told a special Knesset Health Committee session yesterday that “quite a few people” from the festival had been involuntarily committed.
The session was called in order to examine the country’s mental health services in the wake of the October 7 onslaught, in which some 3,000 Hamas terrorists burst through the border with Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostages.
Speaking to Channel 12 after the session, Raz placed the number at around ten people, and explained that “in some cases, there was no choice; the festival attendees were in very difficult mental states. The survivors went into a turbulent mental state in light of the difficult experiences they went through and dealing with the unbearable loss.”
“The Health Ministry is doing holy work, but there is no doubt that more needs to be done,” he cautioned.
During the Knesset session, health professionals presented a report indicating that the country’s public mental health services were overburdened long before October 7.
An Israeli official tells The Washington Post that a deal with Hamas that would see the release of dozens of women and children held by the terror group in the Gaza Strip is nearing fruition, and could be announced within days.
“The general outline of the deal is understood,” the official is quoted as saying.
Under the emerging outline, the hostages would be released in groups, in exchange for Palestinian women and young people incarcerated in Israel, the report says.
The report says Israel is seeking the release of 100 women and children thought to be held by Hamas, while the terror group has indicated its willingness to free 70.
It cites an Arab officials as saying there are at least 120 Palestinian women and youngsters in Israeli prisons who could be released in exchange.
Israel would also agree to a temporary ceasefire of up to five days, in order to allow safe passage for the hostages and an influx of aid for Gazan civilians, according to the report.
Israeli troops of the Kfir Brigade continue to operate in the West Bank’s Tulkarem refugee camp this morning.
Overnight, the IDF says, the soldiers uncovered hidden explosive devices, questioned and detained wanted Palestinians, and clashed with local terror operatives.
The IDF says it carried out a drone strike against a group of armed Palestinians who were hurling explosives at the forces.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry says at least six were killed and 12 were wounded during the clashes and as a result of the drone strike.
Two IDF soldiers of the 300th Regional Brigade’s 299th Battalion were wounded yesterday by a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile attack in the Netu’a area, near the Lebanon border.
The military releases word of their injuries after their families were notified.
They are listed at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya in serious and moderate, but stable, condition.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry raises the death toll in overnight clashes between gunmen and IDF soldiers in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem to six.
The military earlier confirmed to AFP that an operation had taken place in the same part of the West Bank.
Three of the Palestinians are said to have been killed in a drone strike; the other three by gunfire.
All six were reportedly young men aged 21-32.
Twelve Palestinians are said to have been injured in the clashes.
This morning’s first rocket alert sounds, in the Kissufim area near the Gaza border.
The Israel Defense Forces says that another two soldiers were killed fighting against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip, raising the death toll in the Israeli ground operation to 46.
The troops are named as Staff Sgt. Roee Marom, 21, from Ra’anana, a squad commander in the 906 Battalion; and Master Sgt. Raz Abulafia, 27, from Rishpon, a fighter in the 6863 Battalion.
The IDF adds that a reservist logistics soldier and an NCO in the Combat Engineering Corp’s 605th Battalion were seriously wounded during fighting in northern Gaza.
BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazil’s president accuses Israel of “killing innocent people without any criteria” in the Gaza Strip, deeming its actions there “as grave” as the October 7 attacks by Palestinian terror group Hamas.
“After the act of terrorism provoked by Hamas, the consequences, the solution of the state of Israel, is as grave as that of Hamas. They are killing innocent people without any criteria,” says Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at an official ceremony in Brasilia.
The leader of Latin America’s largest country also accuses Israel of “dropping bombs where there are children, hospitals, on the pretext that a terrorist is there.”
“This is inexplicable. First you have to save the women and children, then you fight with whomever you want,” Lula says.
Representatives of Brazil’s Jewish community denounce these remarks as “erroneous,” “unfair” and “dangerous,” adding that they “put Israel and Hamas on the same level.”
They defend the “visible and proven” efforts of the Israeli authorities “to save Palestinian civilians.”
“Our community expects balance from our authorities,” adds the Israeli Confederation of Brazil, which claims to represent some 120,000 Brazilian Jews, the second largest community in the region, in a statement.
Five Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces around the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, the director of a local hospital tells AFP.
The five Palestinian men, aged 21 to 29, were killed during an operation in the city by the Israeli army, says Amin Khader, head of the Thabet hospital, where the deaths were recorded. The Israeli army confirms to AFP that an operation had taken place in the same part of the West Bank.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs legislation that puts sanctions on Iran and protects Jewish institutions.
Lawmakers are in Tallahassee earlier this month for a special session, just two months before the legislature’s regular annual session is set to begin. They approved bills to provide $45 million in grants to secure Jewish institutions and other places that could be a target of hate crimes, as well as legislation to strengthen sanctions already in place against companies that do business with Iranian companies.
DeSantis, who is running for president as a Republican, has campaigned on his support for Israel as it mounts an offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ October 7 attack that killed some 1,200 people. The legislature passed the measures Wednesday just hours before DeSantis participated in a GOP presidential debate in Miami.
Forensic examiners have identified the remains of peace activist Vivian Silver, confirming she was killed during the October 7 massacres in southern Israel by Hamas-led terrorists.
The Canadian-born Silver, 74, had been listed as missing since her home in Kibbutz Be’eri was attacked last month.
The Israel Defense Forces says a number of rockets were fired from Lebanon at an army position on the northern border, close to the community of Malika.
One projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while the rest landed in open areas, the IDF says.
The IDF adds that it also struck a number of Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to earlier attacks on northern Israel.
מספר שיגורים זוהו לפני זמן קצר משטח לבנון לעבר מוצב צה"ל סמוך לגבול במרחב מלכיה. אחד מהשיגורים יורט על ידי לוחמי ההגנה האווירית והשאר נפלו בשטח פתוח >> pic.twitter.com/WtNFdTA8bZ
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 13, 2023
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