The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they happened.
The Foreign Ministry is raising awareness about its “Adopt a Community in Israel” program, which allows individuals and communities abroad to connect with and support one of the dozens of towns that were devastated by the October 7 massacre perpetrated by Hamas.
A handful of “adoptions” have already taken place, with Zurich adopting the Eshkol Regional Council, the Jewish community in Singapore adopting Sderot and a tech company in Tbilisi adopting Netivot.
While other adopt-a-community initiatives exist, this new project from the Foreign Ministry does not require participants to be part of a Jewish community, and any individual or group can take part in helping to heal and rebuild impacted communities.
The partnership in this new initiative can be short or long-term depending on the wish of the donor.
Participants will be able to work with the Foreign Ministry, which will present the needs of the various impacted communities in Israel.
“The urgency of revitalizing the towns and villages in southern Israel cannot be overstated. Presently, 150,000 residents have been forced to leave their homes and are now displaced. The scale of destruction is significant, affecting thousands of buildings, vehicles and agricultural assets. The top priority of the project is the mental and physical recovery of these affected individuals,” the Foreign Ministry says in a statement.
“Participation in this project and partnering with the Foreign Ministry ensures the establishment of enduring relationships between the donors and beneficiaries. This commitment to long-term engagement fosters sustained support and solidarity between communities in Israel and overseas,” the statement adds.
The program is a collaboration with various entities, such as the Home Front Command, the Interior Ministry, local municipalities, and other stakeholders
Those interested in participating should contact Maya Kadosh from the Foreign Ministry at Maya.Kadosh@mfa.gov.il.
Jordan condemns alleged Israeli shelling in the vicinity of the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, which has reportedly led to the injury of seven hospital staff who were treating wounded Palestinians.
The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was carrying out airstrikes in the area.
In a statement, Amman’s Foreign Ministry lambasts the act as “a clear violation of international law,” and holds Israel “fully responsible for endangering the lives of Jordanian medical teams,” threatening to take legal and political steps after it receives the results of an investigation launched by the Jordanian army.
Jordan also urges Israel to refrain from attacking hospitals. The IDF has provided significant evidence that some of Hamas’s main command centers and weapons depots are located under Gaza’s medical facilities.
The UAE also issues a statement in which it “strongly condemns” the alleged Israeli bombing near the Jordanian field hospital.
A total of 644 people traveled through the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt today, says Wael Abou Omar, the Hamas spokesperson for the border crossing.
Those included 587 dual nationals, 37 people who are either injured or sick, and 20 of their companions. No more information was immediately available.
Earlier at the Rafah border, dozens of evacuees were waiting patiently with their documentation ready for inspection. Among them was Toqa al-Zaian, a Palestinian with Norwegian nationality, struggling to say goodbye.
“I feel like my body is leaving without my soul. Now I am leaving everything behind — my mother, family, and everyone I know,” she said.
Responding to UN Security Council vote, Israel says there will be no ‘extended pauses’ without hostage release
Responding to a UN Security Council vote calling for “extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza, Israel’s Foreign Ministry demands the body work to free the hostages held in the Strip.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry says there is “no room for extended humanitarian pauses as long as 239 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas terrorists.”
The UNSC resolution did call for the immediate release of all the hostages.
A number of reports today indicated that there is a potential deal in the works to free a number of captives in exchange for a several-day pause in fighting.
The UK parliament votes down a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with the resolution defeated 293-168.
Following the vote, Labour leader Keir Starmer was hit by a string of resignations from his frontbench in the House of Commons after facing a rebellion from his MPs over his refusal to back the motion.
Eight of Starmer’s frontbenchers who supported the amendment resigned from the frontbench. Labour MPs had been ordered to abstain on the vote and were told instead to back Starmer’s position calling for longer “humanitarian pauses,” rather than a ceasefire.
Starmer says he regrets that party colleagues had not backed his position, but that he wanted to be clear about where he stood.
“Much more needs to be done in this regard to ease the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Gaza,” he says in a statement after the vote. “Leadership is about doing the right thing. That is the least the public deserves. And the least that leadership demands.”
The UN Security Council calls for “extended humanitarian pauses” in the Gaza Strip, approving a resolution for the first time since the start of the bloody Israel-Hamas war.
The resolution, prepared by Malta and adopted with 12 votes in favor, “calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days” to allow aid to reach civilians in the besieged territory.
It also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other terror groups, especially children.
Three states abstained — the United States, Britain and Russia. The US did not, however, veto the resolution as it has done in the past.
Less than a third of Gaza’s hospitals are still functioning, with about 26 out of 36 institutions now closed — either because they have been damaged or because they ran out of fuel, the World Health Organization claims.
Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO’s representative in the West Bank and Gaza, says about 45 patients at Shifa Hospital are receiving dialysis and that there are no central supplies of oxygen, water or fuel.
Peeperkorn says several organizations, including the WHO, are “urgently exploring the possibility of an evacuation of patients and medical staff.”
Israel has produced evidence showing that Hamas is hording half a million liters of fuel and refusing to hand it over for humanitarian purposes.
Lebanon’s military tribunal released a man accused of killing an Irish United Nations peacekeeper almost a year ago on bail, security and judicial officials say.
In June, Lebanon’s military tribunal charged Mohamad Ayyad and four others with the killing of Pvt. Seán Rooney, 24, of Newtown Cunningham, Ireland, following a half-year probe. Rooney was killed on December 14, 2022. Ayyad was detained in December 2022.
The four others facing charges — Ali Khalifeh, Ali Salman, Hussein Salman, and Mustafa Salman — remain at large. All five are allegedly linked with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has repeatedly denied any role in the killing. Hezbollah representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti says he is aware of reports about Ayyad’s release due to his “deteriorating health” and that UNIFIL is “working to confirm this information with the military court.”
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid calls to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from his job and replace him with another figure from within the Likud, without calling a new national election.
In an interview with Channel 12 news, Lapid says the public has lost faith in Netanyahu, following Hamas’s murderous rampage through southern Israel on October 7, and “we can’t run an extended [military] operation with a prime minister we do not have faith in.”
He did not name another Likud member he thinks can take on the job, but claims there are several lawmakers in the party who understand it is time for Netanyahu to go. He says his Yesh Atid party would join a wide government helmed by Likud if it were headed by another party leader.
In response, the Likud party said it was “sad and embarrassing” to see Lapid “play politics in a time of war” and try to oust the prime minister “who is leading the operation.”
Labor chief Merav Michaeli writes on X that she is glad to see Lapid join her call for Netanyahu to be replaced.
Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to nearly weapons-grade levels, according to a report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog seen by The Associated Press today.
The International Atomic Energy Agency also says that Iran has pushed back against the agency’s objections to Tehran’s ban on some of its inspectors designated to monitor the country’s nuclear program.
In its confidential quarterly report distributed to member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency says that according to its assessment, as of October 28, Iran has an estimated 128.3 kilograms (282.9 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60 percent purity, which represents an increase of 6.7 kilograms since its September report.
The IAEA report also estimates that as of October 28, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was at 4,486.8 kilograms, an increase of 691.3 kilograms since the last quarterly report in September 2023.
In a second confidential report distributed to member states, the watchdog says there is no progress thus far in getting more monitoring equipment, including cameras, re-installed that had been removed by Iran in June 2022.
The Hamas terror organization which controls Gaza claims that the death toll from the ongoing war has reached 11,500, including at least 4,710 children and 3,160 women.
These figures cannot be independently verified and do not distinguish between civilians and terrorists, and also do not differentiate between those killed by Israeli airstrikes or by failed Palestinian rocket launches.
Singer Roger Waters, who has been repeatedly accused of antisemitism, claims to be the victim of a hotel boycott in Uruguay and Argentina led by “the Israeli lobby.”
The former Pink Floyd cofounder and frontman tells Argentina’s Pagina 12 newspaper that he has no choice but to stay in lodgings in Sao Paulo, Brazil instead of in the countries he is slated to perform in.
“Somehow, these idiots of the Israeli lobby managed to co-opt all the hotels in Buenos Aires and Montevideo and organized this extraordinary boycott based on the malicious lies… about me,” Pagina 12 quotes him as saying in an article published in Spanish.
Approached by AFP, hotels in Montevideo decline to comment.
The presidents of Uruguay’s central Israelite Committee, Roby Schindler, and of the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith, Franklin Rosenfeld, accused Rogers this week of being a “propagator” of Jewish hatred, in letters addressed to the Sofitel hotel in the Uruguayan capital and disseminated on social media.
The UN Security Council, which has been unable to reach consensus since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, is set to vote today on a draft resolution calling for “extended humanitarian pauses” in the fighting in Gaza.
The new text, prepared by Malta, appears to have a good chance of being adopted by the council. Diplomats say members waited to schedule a vote until they were relatively sure of success.
Following the October 7 Hamas onslaught against southern Israel, the council tried — in vain — to adopt a resolution of some kind. But four drafts failed in October, exposing the body’s long-held divisions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other.
The Security Council launched new talks on a resolution, but those negotiations got bogged down on the wording to be used to call for a stop, however brief, to the fighting.
The United States opposed any use of the term “ceasefire,” diplomats say. Other terms floated were “truce” and “pause.”
A number of similar Hebrew media reports indicate that a deal to release a significant number of children and women being held hostage in Gaza could be reached in a number of days.
The reports suggest that such a deal would be in exchange for a 3-5 day pause in fighting in Gaza, as well as the release of some Palestinian women and minors being held in Israeli jails.
Similar reports were carried by Reuters earlier today citing a Qatari official who said that Hamas had agreed to such a deal, but that Israel had not yet.
There was no immediate Israeli comment, although the publication of similar reports in multiple Hebrew media outlets, presented by their diplomatic correspondents, often indicates a coordinated leak from government officials.
Israeli government and military officials have repeatedly said that the public should not listen to such reports and that if and when there is a concrete deal they will update the public.
The Israel Defense Forces releases evidence of Hamas weapons found inside Shifa Hospital during a raid in the medical center today.
It says members of the elite Shaldag unit and other forces of the 36th Division found the weapons inside Shifa’s MRI center.
IDF releases evidence of Hamas weapons found inside Shifa Hospital's MRI center, during the raid by the elite Shaldag unit and other forces of the 36th Division inside the medical center today. pic.twitter.com/HrtzHmpELR
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 15, 2023
Troops had battled Hamas gunmen outside the hospital, killing five.
“During searches inside one of the hospital’s wards, the troops located a room containing unique technological means, combat equipment, and military equipment used by the Hamas terrorist organization,” the IDF says.
It publishes images and videos showing several assault rifles, grenades, and other military equipment. It says that in another ward, it found a Hamas operational headquarters and “technological means” which it says indicates Hamas’s use of the facility for terror
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, in an evening press conference, says troops found Hamas uniforms “that were thrown on the hospital floor so that the terrorists could escape in civilian guise.”
“These findings unequivocally prove that the hospital was used for terror, in complete violation of international law,” he says.
The IDF says it will continue to operate in Shifa Hospital, under which Hamas is believed to have its main command center, in order to find intelligence information and Hamas assets.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in Tel Aviv with a US delegation headed by Brett McGurk, National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East, and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu stressed that the IDF operation to “free Shifa Hospital from the control of the Hamas terror group” points to the Israeli determination and ability to completely root out Hamas from every corner of Gaza.
The statement adds that the group discussed a number of topics, with a focus on the issue of freeing the hostages held captive in Gaza.
French President Emmanuel Macron harshly condemns the bombardment of civilian infrastructure in the war between Israel and Hamas.
“We condemn in the strongest terms all bombardment of civilians and in particular civilian infrastructure, which must be protected” under international law, Macron tells reporters in Bern, during a state visit to Switzerland.
Gallant: Israel will take ‘any action’ to free hostages in Gaza, Hamas is ‘willing to pay’ for quiet
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the military will carry out “any action” to rescue the roughly 240 hostages being held by the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.
“We are going to perform any action that can lead to the rescue of our hostages. When I say ‘rescue,’ it could mean a ground operation and it could come from another place,” Gallant says to reservist troops, in remarks provided by his office.
He says that “only” military pressure on Hamas could lead to the terror group releasing the hostages.
“That is why I pushed all the way for the [ground] maneuver, because first of all, it achieves the goals of the war. And secondly, Hamas only understands force. If you don’t act with force, they don’t understand,” Gallant says.
“When you start acting with force, you suddenly have something to give them, and what you can give them is a short period of quiet, and when you give them a short period of quiet, they are willing to pay for it,” he adds.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slams Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his comments earlier today calling Israel a “terrorist state.”
“He calls Israel a terror state, but in his actions he supports the terror state of Hamas,” says Netanyahu, in comments released by his office.
“He himself shelled Turkish villages within the borders of Turkey — we will not accept his preaching.”
Netanyahu was likely referring to Turkish military action against Kurdish areas of the country in recent years.
Turkey’s health minister says 26 patients from Gaza and 13 people accompanying them have passed through the Rafah crossing into Egypt today.
Speaking to reporters in Egypt, Fahrettin Koca says Turkish officials hope to evacuate the patients and the people escorting them to Turkey by air later today for treatment in Turkish hospitals.
Koca also says Turkey plans to set up a field hospital close to the Rafah crossing.
Turkey has long offered to treat cancer patients in the country. Koca described the patients evacuated today as “Gazans” and did not specify if any have Turkish nationality.
Sara Netanyahu in letter to Jill Biden: Woman gave birth to baby in captivity, we must demand their release
Sara Netanyahu sends a letter to US First Lady Jill Biden stressing the plight of the Israeli children and babies held hostage in Gaza by Hamas and other terror groups.
Netanyahu writes that she is reaching out “first and foremost as a mother.”
She says that 32 children have been held captive in Gaza for more than five weeks, and “are surely suffering from untold trauma, not only by being kidnapped, but having witnessed the brutal murder of their parents and siblings.”
Netanyahu notes that one of the kidnapped women was pregnant and “she gave birth to her baby in Hamas captivity. You can only imagine, as I do, what must be going through that young mother’s mind as she is being held with her newborn by these murderers.”
She calls on Biden to “speak out on behalf of these children” and call for their immediate release.
According to a Reuters report, two US officials reveal that a US Navy warship shot down a drone that originated in Yemen over the Red Sea.
The unnamed officials tell the news agency that the Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, shot down the drone early this morning.
The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation that tracks the average cost of household goods, accelerated 0.5% in October, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, as war broke out with the Hamas terror group.
The figure is slightly above analysts’ expectations of an increase of 0.4%. In September, the CPI surprised to the downside, declining 0.1%, compared with analysts’ expectations of an increase.
The October print brings annual inflation over the past 12 months to 3.7% easing from 3.8% in September.
In October, notable increases were seen in the cost of clothing and footwear, which rose 3.9%, vegetables and fruit which were up 3.2%, transportation costs, up 1% and food, up 0.9%. These were offset by declines in culture and entertainment costs, which decreased by 0.9%, and housing which was down 0.4%.
The annual inflation rate has been declining from 4.1% in August, but the October figure is still above a government target range of 1% to 3%.
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby tells reporters in a briefing that Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital where the IDF is currently operating to target Hamas terrorists operating in and underneath the compound is “an active legitimate hospital… We want their patients to be as protected as possible.”
However, he clarifies that “what Hamas is doing… It is a violation of the law of war to headquarter yourself in a hospital.”
Asked whether the US gave prior approval to the IDF’s Shifa Hospital raid, Kirby says it did not because Washington does not expect Israel to provide advance notice of its military operations in Gaza.
A journalist inside Gaza’s largest hospital tells AFP that Israeli troops have withdrawn from the facility after entering it overnight and have redeployed around its outskirts.
Israeli forces entered Gaza City’s Shifa hospital in the early hours of the morning, in what the IDF says was a “focused” operation “in a defined area” of the hospital.
A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said soldiers had found “concrete evidence” of Hamas’s use of the hospital as a military facility.
The Israel Defense Forces confirms that suspected drone infiltration alerts that sounded in the Upper Galilee a short while ago were a false alarm.
It says the sirens sounded due to a “false identification.”
There have been several false alerts in northern Israel in recent weeks.
According to a report in Reuters, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh earlier this month: You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf.
The Reuters report cites “three senior officials” as saying that Khamenei told Haniyeh that while Iran would offer political support to Hamas, it would not “intervene directly.”
The Iranian leader reportedly asked Haniyeh to “silence those voices” in Hamas who are calling for Iran and Hezbollah to directly join the war against Israel “in full force.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas receives in Ramallah a US delegation headed by National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf.
During the meeting, Abbas stresses the need for the US administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing war in Gaza, speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Strip, and halt alleged assaults by soldiers and settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank.
He “categorically rejects” purported Israeli proposals to displace Palestinians from Gaza, the West Bank or Jerusalem. Abbas reiterates that there is no military solution for the Gaza Strip, and that the territory is an “integral part of the State of Palestine.”
Dave Harden, a former USAID mission director in the West Bank and Gaza, says that it was well known in the Strip that Hamas terrorists used Shifa Hospital as a commander center and would use ambulances for travel.
“When I was in seat, it was broadly suspected/understood as far back as 2014 that Hamas used the Al Shifa Hospital complex as a command center and base for operations,” Harden writes in a thread on X, noting it was based on assessments by both Palestinian and Israel officials.
He adds that Hamas operatives “used ambulances to move its people,” something he learned in conversations with the then-head of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Harden also writes that he knows “from first hand experience that Hamas shot at innocent Gazan civilians trying to escape firefights.”
He goes on to point out that under international law, health establishments lose their protected status if they are “used to interfere directly or indirectly in military operations.”
A suspected drone infiltration alarm is sounding in several communities in the Upper Galilee, close to the border with Lebanon.
The alerts are activated in Kibbutz Dan, Sh’ear Yeshuv, Ghajar, Dafna, HaGoshrim and Snir.
The alerts come amid repeated attacks by the Hezbollah terror group and allied Palestinian factions, though there have also been several false alarms.
Doctors who treated a number of the Israeli hostages held in Gaza before they were taken captive hold a press conference explaining many of their unique medical needs.
A number of the hostages are elderly and others have preexisting conditions or severe allergies.
Prof. Arnon Elitzur, who has treated Yagil Yaakov, a 13-year-old boy who appeared in a Palestinian Islamic Jihad propaganda video last week, says he could die if he is exposed to even a tiny amount of peanuts: “Any food he eats could be a Russian roulette of death for him.”
Another physician says that many of the elderly patients in their 80s are in crucial need of heart medication and drugs to prevent a pulmonary embolism.
Prof. Zion Hagay says it was a difficult decision to decide to break patient confidentiality and share medical details of their patients, but “we will not rest until they are released home whole and well,” noting that they are in contact with many physicians abroad to explain the situation.
Hagay says that they have no communication with medical officials in Gaza even though “they were all trained in Israel… but they are threatened by Hamas and if they contact us Hamas will view it as a betrayal, so we are careful.”
Iran’s foreign minister is in Geneva for a previously undisclosed meeting hosted by a leading humanitarian group that works to strike peace agreements.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks with the UN’s top humanitarian aid official, Martin Griffiths, in a meeting at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, which made headlines five years ago for its role in an accord in which the Basque separatist group ETA agreed to dissolve after a decades-long campaign in Spain, officials said.
The Israeli ambassador in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, posts on X that “Israel expresses its indignation that the foreign minister of Iran is in Geneva and meeting with UN officials and NGOs to talk about the ‘humanitarian situation in Gaza.'”
“Iran has no place in the future of Gaza. It is part of the problem, not the solution,” she adds.
The center says in a message sent to The Associated Press that it “routinely convenes closed-door consultations to support conflict mediation and resolution in various parts of the world.”
“In the latest of these consultations, HD hosted a senior Iranian delegation and other invited guests for a discussion about Gaza focused on ways to alleviate human suffering, increase humanitarian assistance and reduce risks of escalation in the region,” the statement says.
The Palestinian population should not pay the price for the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israel, France says, expressing “serious concern” about Israeli operations inside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
“The Palestinian population should not be made to pay for Hamas’s crimes, even less so the vulnerable, injured or sick and the humanitarian workers who courageously continue their work in extremely dangerous conditions,” the French foreign ministry says in a statement.
Israel says that Hamas’s main underground command center is underneath the hospital, and it has already recovered weaponry in the building. The IDF arrived at the hospital with shipments of medical aid for the facility.
After troops photographed themselves inside Hamas’s parliament building in Gaza City several days ago, the military has demolished the site.
The building was captured by the 7th Armored Brigade and Golani Infantry Brigade.
Two Likud lawmakers slam the decision to allow the first shipment of fuel since the start of the war to enter Gaza earlier today, after Israel vowed for 40 days not to permit such a move.
“Fuel to UNRWA is fuel to Hamas,” tweets Transportation Minister Miri Regev.
Likud MK Tally Gotliv asks if “anyone has heard an explanation from the government about the delusional decision to transfer 24,000 liters of fuel to Gaza today, contrary to previous promises not to do so?”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said repeatedly since the star of the war that Israel would not allow any fuel to enter the Gaza Strip, but so far today has not commented on the decision.
UNRWA confirmed receiving 23,027 liters (6,083 gallons) of fuel earlier today, saying it met only “nine percent” of what the agency needs daily, and pointing out that it was designated only to fuel trucks carrying aid.
Earlier, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted that “fuel = weapon.”
A number of rockets were fired at northern Israel from Lebanon in the last hour, the military says.
There are no injuries in the attacks.
The IDF says it is responding with artillery shelling at the sources of the fire.
It says tanks also shelled a Hezbollah observation post in southern Lebanon.
A senior official with the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza says Israeli forces are still operating inside Shifa Hospital.
Speaking by phone from the hospital, Munir al-Boursh says Israeli soldiers ransacked the basement and other buildings, including those housing the emergency and surgery departments.
“They are still here… Patients, women and children are terrified,” he says.
Al-Boursh says an Israeli official spoke with him by phone early this morning and asked him to join the forces searching the facility, but he refused.
Israel has said that Hamas’s largest command center is located underneath the hospital, and the IDF has vowed to provide medical assistance to patients in the hospital and safe passage to civilians as it seeks Hamas operatives hiding out.
A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said soldiers had found “concrete evidence” of Hamas’s use of the hospital as a military facility.
During a visit to the Zikim IDF training base near Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeats that Israeli forces will reach every Hamas operative in every corner of the Gaza Strip.
“Do you remember when they said we wouldn’t invade Gaza? We invaded. They said we wouldn’t get to the outskirts of Gaza City, we did. They said we wouldn’t go into Shifa [Hospital], we went in,” Netanyahu says in a video statement released by his office.
“There is no place in Gaza that we won’t reach. There is no hideout, no shelter, no refuge for the Hamas murderers,” he says. “We will get there and we will take out Hamas and we will bring home our hostages — those are our two holy missions.”
Netanyahu says he spoke last night again with US President Joe Biden, and “we are not giving up, we will destory Hamas and achieve a complete victory.”
The Israel Defense Forces says its 14th Armored Reserve Brigade captured a key Hamas outpost in the northern Gaza Strip.
The compound, known as the Palestine Outpost, was used by Hamas as a training site to prepare for attacks against Israel.
“Although it was disguised as just a training facility, terrorists set out from the outpost for terror activities,” the IDF says.
It says the 14th Brigade, along with air support and artillery, battled Hamas for control of the outpost.
After capturing the site, the IDF says troops found tunnel shafts, explosive devices and mines.
It says the 14th Brigade has killed dozens of Hamas operatives and destroyed dozens of anti-tank missile and rocket launch sites, observation posts and other infrastructure during its operations in northern Gaza.
A report in Reuters claims that a Qatari official says Hamas has agreed to a deal to release 50 hostages being held in Gaza in exchange for a three-day pause in fighting.
The Reuters report, citing an unnamed Qatari official, says that under such a deal Israel would also release some Palestinian women and minors currently jailed and boost humanitarian aid entering Gaza.
There was no immediate comment from Israel. Military and governmental officials have repeatedly dismissed rumors over pending hostage deals, saying that if there is something to report, they will update the public.
Reuters reports that Israel has yet to agree to the terms of the deal.
In response to the Knesset Ethics Committee sanctioning one of its lawmakers for making purportedly inflammatory statements, the Hadash-Ta’al party accuses the committee of a political witch hunt against Arab Israelis.
“Excluding MK Aida Touma-Sliman from Knesset deliberations is a McCarthyist political decision that strengthens a persecution campaign [carried out] by right-wing extremists against Arab society and its political representatives,” Hadash-Ta’al, a majority-Arab faction that includes a Communist party, writes in a statement.
Hadash-Ta’al writes that Touma-Sliman “spoke out within the framework of the freedom of political expression to which every Knesset member is entitled” and “there is no ethical problem with MK Touma-Sliman’s remarks.”
Last week, Touma-Sliman wrote on X that Israel was “bombing” Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, using white phosphorus, and firing at Palestinian evacuees in humanitarian corridors. The Knesset’s Ethics Committee said the IDF denied the accusations, and accused the lawmaker of undermining Israel’s legitimacy by promoting a war crime narrative.
Rocket sirens sound in communities close to the northern and southern borders.
Alerts are heard in Matat, close to the Lebanon border.
Additionally, sirens sound in Sderot, Nir Am and Ibim in the south for the second time within minutes.
The Knesset passes a law to enable the granting of honorary Israeli citizenship to non-citizens killed while fighting in Israel’s military or security services.
The new law permits the interior minister, upon the defense minister’s recommendation, to grant the honorary citizenship. The designation does not confer benefits upon the deceased’s family members, but immediate family members may petition to annul the conferral of citizenship.
Twelve MKs vote in support on the law’s third and final reading, and none against.
Germany’s Bild newspaper has projected a giant display calling for the release of the hostages held in Gaza onto the side of its building in Berlin.
The display was welcomed by Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Ron Prosor.
“Big thanks to BILD for being a steadfast ally to Israel!” Prosor writes on X. “The display of the Gaza hostages’ video on Axel Springer’s newspaper building tonight speaks volumes about the authenticity of our friendship and the commitment to being on the right side of history.”
“A true friend is the greatest of all blessings,” he writes.
— Israel ישראל ???????? (@Israel) November 14, 2023
Rocket alerts sound in a number of communities close to the Gaza border.
The towns have been largely evaucated of civilians since the war began with Hamas’s devastating October 7 massacre.
Sirens sound in Sderot, Nir Am and Ibim.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip causes damage in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon.
There are no reports of injuries as a result of the rocket impact.
Footage shows damage to a road and nearby vehicles.
Rocket impact in Ashkelon in the latest barrage. No injuries. pic.twitter.com/fGFrHFy8yX
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 15, 2023
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says he will fight against using coalition funds for any use not connected to the war, putting him at odds with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s updated budget plan.
“I think that all of the available resources of the State of Israel should be concentrated in this matter [war management], and I am not prepared to use coalition funds for purposes unrelated to this matter, unequivocally,” he says, in response to reporter questions during a Tel Aviv press conference.
“I think that all available resources should be diverted to fighting,” he continues.
Finance Ministry officials have said that a number of routine public functions are covered by coalition funds, which are a discretionary pool of monies traditionally allocated to meet political pledges. Gantz says that Israel should still fund these needs, but they should instead be clearly included within the Treasury-directed budget.
“No political deals of any kind will be made during the war, on any issue or by anyone,” he adds, as Smotrich is said to have protected hundreds of millions of coalition funds previously promised to priorities in the West Bank and to private ultra-Orthodox education.
Gantz adds that he asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to invite “treasury heads” to a war cabinet meeting to discuss war needs and “the fallout from them.”
A fuel truck entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt, state-aligned Al Qahera News reports, in the first such delivery since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.
An Egyptian source says the fuel will be delivered to the United Nations “to facilitate the delivery of aid after trucks on the Palestinian side stopped operating for lack of fuel.”
The UN says that has not received anywhere near enough fuel. It is unclear whether it received the full amount that was brought in from Egypt.
“This is the equivalent of half a truck! Not at all enough. Much more is needed. Fuel is being used as weapon of war, this must stop,” UNRWA says on X, formerly Twitter.
In a separate post, UNRWA confirms receiving 23,027 liters (6,083 gallons) of fuel, saying it met only “nine percent” of what the agency needs daily to sustain lifesaving work.
The IDF delivered fuel to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital earlier this week, but the military said Hamas prevented the medical center from accepting it.
Israel says Hamas has stockpiles of fuel and supplies that it is keeping from an increasingly desperate civilian population.
Rocket sirens sound in a number of communities near the Gaza border and the south, including the coastal city of Ashkelon.
The alerts come after a lull of some 17 hours since the last barrage was fired from Gaza.
However, the sirens sound almost simultaneously as a barrage is apparently fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Rocket alert sirens sound in northern Israel for the first time in some 18 hours.
The alerts are heard in the towns of Kiryat Shmona, Margaliot and Misgav Am, which have been largely evacuated of civilians.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Knesset holds 2nd Hamas atrocity film screening, at request of MKs including lawmaker censured for casting doubt
The Knesset is holding a second screening of raw footage from Hamas’s October 7 rampage across southern Israel, confirms a spokesperson for Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana.
Ra’am MK Iman Khatib-Yassin, who attracted public censure and Knesset sanctions for casting doubt on atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7, is present, the spokesperson said.
Khatib-Yassin was part of a group of lawmakers requesting that Ohana arrange a second screening of the compilation, which the IDF Spokesperson’s Office has keep under tight, closed-door, control.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid denounces Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the latter said that Israel is a “terrorist state.”
“We won’t take lessons in morality from President Erdogan, a man with an appalling human rights record,” Lapid writes on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Israel is defending itself against brutal terrorists from Hamas-ISIS, some of whom have been allowed to operate under Erdogan’s roof,” Lapid says.
Turkey has long served as a safe haven for senior leaders of Hamas.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increases his criticism of Israel, calling it a “terrorist state” and claiming it is intent on destroying Gaza along with all of its residents.
In a fiery speech to members of his party, Erdogan also says his country will take steps to ensure that Israel’s political and military leaders are brought to trial in international courts.
“Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people,” Erdogan says. “I say openly that Israel is a terrorist state.”
The Turkish leader also describes Hamas terrorists as “resistance fighters” trying to protect their lands and people.
Erdogan makes the comments days before he is set to depart on an official visit to Berlin. Yesterday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Erdogan’s accusations of fascism against Israel were “absurd.”
Erdogan has been an increasingly vocal critic of Israel’s war against Hamas, which was launched after the terror group carried out a murderous rampage across southern Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians.
Israel was a long-time regional ally of Turkey before Erdogan came to power, but ties imploded after a 2010 Israeli commando raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship, part of a blockade-busting flotilla, that left dead 10 Turkish activists who attacked IDF soldiers aboard the ship.
Netanyahu and Erdogan repeatedly aimed brickbats at each other in the ensuing years, including mutual charges of genocide. In July 2014, Erdogan accused the Jewish state of “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive” during a war with Gaza.
Ties later saw a moderate improvement, but both countries withdrew their ambassadors in 2018 amid violence in Gaza and the Trump administration’s relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.
Facing hardening diplomatic isolation and economic woes, Erdogan began to publicly display an openness toward rapprochement in December 2020.
In August of last year, Israel and Turkey announced a full renewal of diplomatic ties. Earlier this month, Ankara said it was recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations due to Israel’s refusal to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.
The BBC apologizes after a presenter falsely claimed that Israel was targeting medical staff and Arabic speakers during its operation at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital.
“This was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report,” the UK broadcaster later says. “What we should have said is that IDF forces included medical staff and Arabic speakers for this operation.”
“We apologize for this error which fell below our usual editorial standards. The correct version of events was broadcast minutes later,” the BBC says.
Good god, this is blood libel from the BBC.
The IDF said it entered the hospital *with* its own medical teams and Arabic speakers, so it can help people.
BBC reports the IDF is *targeting* medical teams and Arabic speakers.
That’s not a coincidence.pic.twitter.com/m4PEcOtFRP
— Oliver Cooper (@OliverCooper) November 15, 2023
Following our statement this morning, the BBC broadcast an apology at 09:50. They were right to do so, but we will be following this up at the highest levels of the Corporation. This sort of misreporting is unacceptable from our national broadcaster. pic.twitter.com/is7kuEBiEM
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) November 15, 2023
The BBC has come under attack for its coverage of the war between Israel and the Hamas terror organization.
The UK national broadcaster has also been repeatedly lampooned by top Israeli satirical show “Eretz Nehederet,” most recently with a skit just hours before the false claim was made.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar׳s exclusive interview on BBC pic.twitter.com/KALi1gNWlH
— ארץ נהדרת (@Eretz_Nehederet) November 14, 2023
Senior military official: IDF has ‘concrete evidence’ Hamas uses Al-Shifa Hospital as a terrorist HQ
A senior military official says that the Israel Defense Forces has “concrete evidence” that Hamas uses al-Shifa Hospital as a military facility.
“In the last hour, we saw concrete evidence that Hamas terrorists used Shifa hospital as a terrorist headquarters,” the IDF official says, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The senior defense official does not elaborate on the nature of the evidence, but said the IDF would publish portions of the information.
The official also mentions that weapons and other “terror infrastructure” have been located within the hospital complex.
Last night, the IDF began operating in what the official says is “a specific area of the complex,” which is sprawled out over several buildings and underground facilities.
The official says that the current military activity involves “no friction with patients, medical staff and injured civilians,” saying that “they are in a different section of the hospital.”
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said that 37 infant patients have been endangered by power failures at Shifa.
The senior IDF official says that “this offer is still on the table” to transfer those infant patients to an alternative facilities, which could be chosen by the Gaza Hamas-run Health Ministry.
Israel has provided incubators capable of being transported by ambulance, to enable the infants’ transfer to an alternative facility outside of north Gaza, where the fighting is focused.
War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says Israel will hunt down Hamas leaders “in Gaza and around the world.”
“There will be no sanctuary cities, no sanctuary houses. We will go wherever we need to in order to eradicate child murderers – above and below ground. In Gaza and around the world. We will reach the heads of government just as we reached the centers of government,” Gantz says in a Tel Aviv statement to the press.
The Israel Defense Forces are currently operating in a portion of Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, where Israel and the US say Hamas has military infrastructure.
“IDF soldiers continue to operate deep inside Gaza City against those who have turned hospitals into command centers, from which war crimes are committed,” he adds.
Turning to the Israel’s increasingly tense front with Lebanon, Gantz warns that “what we’re doing effectively in the south, can work even better in the north, if necessary.”
The print version of the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad features a front-page editorial in Hebrew titled “What will be after ‘Israel’?”
The article, written in non-native but intelligible Hebrew, followed by an Arabic translation, says that “the whole world is busy discussing what will be after Hamas” in Gaza, but “nobody is looking at the other side and asking: what will happen after ‘Israel’?”
It predicts that Israel will collapse under the pressure of its internal political, economic, social and military problems.
Citing mostly incorrect economic and military data, as well as the eroding international support for Israel combined with domestic pressure by the families of the hostages, the editorial hails what it says will be the imminent victory in Gaza by Hamas – which the paper refers to as the “Palestinian resistance,” without condemnation for the terror group’s brutal slaughter of 1,200 Israelis on October 7, most of them civilians.
It further predicts the collapse of Israel – which it refers to as a “cardboard settlement” – will bring with it the end of US influence in the Middle East, and heralds the rise of a “new world order.”
The Bank of Israel says the Finance Ministry’s plan to shave about NIS 4 billion from the 2023 budget to fund war expenses is not enough, and that another NIS 8 to NIS 10 billion in expenditure should be cut from next year’s budget, including coalition discretionary funds.
“There must be a balance between the necessity to allocate large budgets to deal with the security situation and the necessity to show fiscal responsibility,” says Adi Brender, director of the research division at the Bank of Israel, noting this is needed “in order to establish the confidence of the markets, which examine the developments in the economy, including the budget.”
“An important means of ensuring this balance is a mandatory change in the priorities in the budget, while avoiding planned expenses that are not necessary,” Brender adds.
The 2023-2024 state budget, passed in May, included about NIS 14 billion in discretionary spending, much of which is allocated to educational programs for the ultra-Orthodox community.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s decision to divert only part of the contentious discretionary coalition money to the war effort has already come under attack by opposition leaders in recent days.
The United Nations says it is “appalled” over the IDF operation at a hospital Israel says is used as a Hamas command center, a claim backed by the United States.
“I’m appalled by reports of military raids in Al Shifa hospital in Gaza,” UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths writes on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns,” he writes. “Hospitals are not battlegrounds.”
I'm appalled by reports of military raids in Al Shifa hospital in #Gaza.
The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns.
Hospitals are not battlegrounds.
— Martin Griffiths (@UNReliefChief) November 15, 2023
Yesterday, the Biden administration confirmed long-held Israeli assertions that Hamas is using medical facilities in Gaza for military purposes.
The IDF has repeatedly denied that Israel has surrounded or besieged the medical center, saying that one entrance remains open and that it is working in conjunction with staff to allow for the safe passage of patients and civilians.
Earlier today, the IDF said it had delivered baby food and medical supplies to Al-Shifa.
Citing inflammatory statements, the Knesset’s Ethics Committee sanctions two Arab lawmakers, banning them from Knesset hearings and votes for specified periods, and docking their pay.
The committee finds that Ra’am MK Iman Khatib-Yasin “denied atrocities” committed by Hamas during its October 7 terror attack, and that Hadash-Ta’al MK Aida Touma-Sliman falsely accused Israel of committing a “war crime” during its ongoing war to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Khatib-Yasin, who apologized for her remarks after she was pressured by Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas to resign, is banned from Knesset committee and plenum sessions for one month and has two weeks of pay stripped.
Touma-Sliman, who the committee said did not apologize and did not recant her statements, is barred from Knesset committee and plenum sessions for two months, and also receives a two-week pay deduction.
Shortly after the Knesset screened raw footage from October 7 attacks, which Khatib-Yasin said she declined to watch, the lawmaker told the Knesset Channel on November 5, “They didn’t slaughter babies and they didn’t rape women, at least not in the footage.”
The lawmaker suggested that if such acts happened, they would have been included in the footage, adding: “If it happened, it’s shameful… If it had happened.”
Touma-Sliman wrote on X on November 11 that, according to reports, Israel had bombed hospital operating rooms and was shooting Gazans trying to evacuate from north to south Gaza, through pre-arranged humanitarian corridors.
The October 7 massacre saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 240 hostages, including babies and octogenarians, under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 people were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said Tuesday that 11,240 people had been killed in Gaza since the start of the war, in figures that cannot be independently verified, do not distinguish between civilians and terror operatives, and also include those killed in hundreds of failed Palestinian rocket launches.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes a video showing soldiers bringing humanitarian aid to Shifa Hospital.
In a statement, it says “IDF troops are continuing the precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, in which they are conducting searches for Hamas terror infrastructure and weapons.”
“The troops delivered humanitarian aid to the entrance of the hospital,” the IDF adds.
IDF releases footage of troops bringing humanitarian aid to Shifa Hospital. pic.twitter.com/qFlVdvlmuZ
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 15, 2023
The Red Cross voices alarm over military activities at the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, which has been entered by Israeli forces and which Israel says holds a Hamas command center — an assertion backed by the United States.
“We are extremely concerned about the impact on sick and wounded people, medical staff, and civilians,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says in a statement, insisting “all measures to avoid any consequences on them must be taken.”
The IDF says it is carrying out a “targeted and precise” operation.
Israeli troops have found weapons and Hamas assets inside Shifa Hospital, which indicates the presence of the terror group.
War erupted after Hamas-led terrorists launched a devastating onslaught on October 7, in which they rampaged through southern communities, killing over 1,200 people, mostly civilians butchered in their homes and at a music festival, and kidnapping some 240 people.
The ICRC has not visited any of those hostages in Gaza.
Gallant to US official McGurk: Israel won’t stop Gaza op until Hamas destroyed, hostages brought home
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with Brett McGurk, the White House coordinator for the Middle East, and tells him that Israel will not end its Gaza campaign until the Hamas terror group has been annihilated and the hostages held in the Strip are returned home.
“The State of Israel will not stop its operations in Gaza until our troops fulfill their missions – destroying Hamas and returning our hostages home to their families,” he tells McGurk, according to a Defense Ministry statement.
The statement says that Gallant “discussed the hostage situation at length, sharing intelligence and details on the status of those held captive by Hamas, as well as the efforts to return them home.”
McGurk is in Israel as part of a whirlwind tour of countries in the region with the goal of reaching a US-brokered deal securing the release of many of the approximately 240 people being held in Gaza by Palestinian terrorists.
He is reportedly set to head to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain at the conclusion of his Israel visit.
Sperm from 39 men killed since the start of the war has been extracted from their bodies to be used by their families for future fertilization, reported the Knesset’s Health Committee on Wednesday.
In line with relaxed Health Ministry requirements, spouses and parents of deceased men can request to have sperm harvested. The procedure is most effective within the first 24 hours after death, but is possible for several days.
In non-wartime, spouses can request the procedure, but parents must petition family court for an order enabling the procedure. The latter requirement was put aside last week.
Thirty-two of the men whose sperm was harvested were soldiers, and seven were civilians.
Requests for gun permits have skyrocketed since Hamas’s devastating massacre, the National Security Ministry says.
More than 236,000 new requests for permits have been filed since the attack — a figure equal to the number filed in the past 20 years, the statement says.
When some 3,000 Hamas terrorists stormed into southern Israel on the morning of October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking over 240 hostages, civilian security squads were the first to respond to the scenes of carnage.
As a result, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir set out on a mission to establish hundreds of those groups across Israel and purchased 10,000 rifles to meet this goal.
Additionally under Ben Gvir’s direction, the eligibility criteria for receiving a gun license have been significantly broadened.
Some 1,700 permits are being issued daily after the National Security Ministry eased restrictions, the statement says.
By comparison, an average of 94 were issued daily in November 2022, and an average of 42 a year earlier.
Many are concerned by the proliferation of weapons. Palestinians are concerned that they may be used against them by extremists, and women’s groups have sounded the alarm, calling for those with domestic violence complaints against them to be ineligible.
A recent poll finds that less than 4 percent of the Jewish Israeli public believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a reliable source of information on the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas terror group.
The figure rose slightly to 6.63% among right-wing voters.
In stark contrast, 73.7% believe IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari to be the most reliable source of information on the conflict.
The survey by Bar Ilan University along with polling company iPanel examined the consumption of news and information in the first four weeks of the war, since the Hamas terror group’s murderous assault on October 7.
The poll questioned 505 Israelis who were representative of the Jewish population. No margin of error was given.
Family members of the hostages being held by terrorists in Gaza are setting out from Be’er Yaakov on the second day of their march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The group has asked the public to join them.
The march is heading toward the Ramla-Lod interchange, where they will be met by local residents at around 1 p.m.
The group will then march toward Beit Hashmonai, where they will spend the night.
Thousands of local residents arrived to greet the group as it arrived in Be’er Yaakov last night.
The group of relatives of the estimated 240 hostages and their supporters set out on the protest march on Tuesday afternoon, despite torrential rain at times throughout the day.
They are set to arrive in Jerusalem on Saturday.
— אילי זילברברג (@eli_zil) November 15, 2023
Troops have found weapons and Hamas assets inside Shifa Hospital, which indicates the presence of the terror group.
There is no indication of hostages currently being held in Shifa, but the Israel Defense Forces believes the operation may bring intelligence information on the captives.
There has been no friction between troops and patients and medical staff at Shifa Hospital during the ongoing operation.
At least five Hamas gunmen were killed by troops during a gun battle outside the hospital. No soldiers were hurt.
The Israel Defense Forces says troops of the Nahal Infantry Brigade and 261st Brigade (the Bahad 1 officers’ school in wartime) raided a Hamas training base yesterday, locating a tunnel shaft and dozens of weapons.
Separately, the IDF says it carried out an overnight drone strike against two Hamas operatives who exited a building that housed an anti-tank missile launch position, and placed “bags suspected of being explosive devices” on a road used by Israeli troops.
כלי-טיס מאויש מרחוק זיהה אתמול מספר מחבלים שיצאו מבניין עם עמדת שיגור נ"ט בצפון הרצועה, כשבידם שקית החשודה כמטען שהוטמן בציר תנועת כוחותינו.
כלי-הטיס עקב אחר המחבלים, וחיסל שניים מהם. pic.twitter.com/xhrDH0Zong
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) November 15, 2023
The Israeli military’s “precise and targeted” operation inside Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital continues as of this morning, the IDF says.
According to the IDF, troops battled Hamas operatives outside the hospital overnight and encountered explosive devices. It says several Hamas gunmen were killed in the fighting.
Incubators for newborns, baby food, and medical supplies were brought by IDF tanks from Israel, and delivered to Shifa, it says.
The IDF says “medical teams and Arabic-speaking soldiers are on the ground to ensure that these supplies reach those in need.”
An unnamed security official says that the Israeli operation at Al-Shifa Hospital will be widened if necessary, and implied that the military knows exactly what it is going to find there.
“We are starting small, and the operation will expand as necessary,” the official tells Army Radio. “The entry of troops into Al-Shifa is more of a challenge for media [optics] than operations.”
“The decision was that we enter Al-Shifa only if we know exactly what is there and where it is, as we did at Rantisi Hospital, which was only [raided] when we knew exactly what was in its basement,” the official says.
The Israel Defense Forces has said it is carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the Gaza City medical facility.
Earlier this week, the Israeli military revealed what it said was proof that the basement of Gaza City’s Rantisi Children’s Hospital was used by the Hamas terror group to hide arms and possibly hold hostages kidnapped on October 7, as Jerusalem seeks to dispel criticism of fighting near hospitals thought to hold terrorist hideouts.
Youssef Abul Reesh, an official from the Hamas-run health ministry who is inside Gaza’s Shifa hospital, where the terror group is accused of maintaining a command center, says he saw Israeli tanks inside the complex and “dozens of soldiers and commandos inside the emergency and reception buildings.”
The Israel Defense Forces has said it is carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area” of the facility.
Estimates for the number of patients, staff and displaced people inside the hospital complex range from the hundreds to tens of thousands, with the true number impossible to independently verify.
Israel believes that some of the some 240 hostages in Gaza could be held captive in Hamas’s labyrinth of tunnels and rooms beneath the hospital.
The IDF said it had provided evacuation routes for civilians and given Hamas 12 hours’ notice that any military operation inside the hospital must cease.
BELMOPAN, Belize — Belize has suspended diplomatic relations with Israel, becoming the second Latin American nation to sever ties in the wake of its military offensive in Gaza, the government says.
Citing what it called “unceasing indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza, Belmopan withdraws its welcome to the Israeli ambassador, Einat Kranz-Neiger, and announces it has withdrawn the request for accreditation of its honorary consul in Tel Aviv.
Since October 7, “Israel has consistently violated international law,” a Belize statement says.
Bolivia broke relations with Israel on November 1, while Colombia, Chile and Honduras have recalled their ambassadors.
The Israel Defense Forces announces that two soldiers were killed yesterday fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll in the ground offensive against Hamas to 48.
Cpt. Omri Yosef David, 27, from Carmiel, a deputy company commander in the Negev Brigade’s 9217 Battalion.
Cpt. Yedidya Asher Lev, 26, from Tal Menashe, a deputy company commander in the Givati Brigade’s Shaked Battalion.
Additionally, the IDF says an officer of the 7th Brigade’s 82nd Battalion, a soldier of Givati’s Shaked Battalion, a soldier of Nahal’s 932nd Battalion, and a commander of the Combat Engineering Corp’s training base were seriously wounded during fighting in Gaza yesterday.
SAN FRANCISCO — Hospitals and the patients inside them “must be protected,” the White House says when asked about an operation by its ally Israel, which has sent troops into Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa.
“We won’t speak to the specifics of an ongoing Israeli military operation. As we’ve said, we do not support striking a hospital from the air and we don’t want to see a firefight in a hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people trying to get medical care they deserve are caught in the crossfire. Hospitals and patients must be protected,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council says.
An IDF spokesman says the military “is not overrunning” Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, asserting Israeli troops are conducting a “precise and targeted operation against a specific location… in order to defeat Hamas and perhaps rescue hostages.”
“Our goal is to bring [the hostages] home. Our goal is to seek out Hamas wherever they are hiding,” Lt. Col. (res.) Peter Lerner tells CNN, describing the hospital as “perhaps even the beating heart” of the terror group’s operations.
— Jeff Storobinsky (@jeffstorobinsky) November 15, 2023
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a lengthy phone conversation on Tuesday with US President Joe Biden to discuss efforts to release the roughly 240 hostages in Gaza, the White House says.
The Palestinian terror group Hamas accuses US President Joe Biden of being “wholly responsible” for an Israeli army operation at Gaza’s largest hospital.
“We hold the occupation (Israel) and President Biden wholly responsible for the assault on the Al-Shifa medical complex,” Hamas says in a statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes out against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for saying Israel must stop “this killing of women, of children, of babies” in Gaza.
During a new conference on Tuesday, Trudeau called on Israel to “exercise maximum restraint” while fighting against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, saying “the world is watching.”
“We’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents,” Trudeau said. “The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop.”
Responding to Trudeau, Netanyahu says, “it is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust.”
“It is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians,” Netanyahu writes on the X platform.
“The forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism.”
It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust.
While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing…
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) November 15, 2023
An English language statement from the military describes the operation in Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital as “precise and targeted.”
The statement also says the Israeli forces that entered the medical center “include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specified training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields.”
“We call upon all Hamas terrorists present in the hospital to surrender,” says the statement.
???? Operational Update:
IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, based on intelligence information and an operational necessity.
The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and…
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 15, 2023
Israeli defense officials say they have agreed to allow fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip for humanitarian operations.
It is the first time that Israel has allowed fuel into the besieged territory since the Hamas terror group’s bloody cross-border invasion on October 7.
COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian affairs, announces early this morning that it will allow UN trucks to refill at the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border later today. It says the decision is in response to a request from the US. But it gives no details on when the shipments are to be delivered, other than to say it’s allowing 24,000 liters (6,240 gallons) of fuel into Gaza.
The military says Israeli troops are fighting against Hamas “in a certain part” of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, where the terror group is accused of maintaining a command center.
“The operation is based on intelligence information and operational need,” says a statement from the Israel Defense Forces. “The operation is not meant to harm patients, medical staff or citizens in the hospital.”
“The operation was preceded by an effort to evacuate the hospital of patients and those taking refuge, and a special corridor was even opened,” the statement continues, adding that Shifa management was alerted before Israeli troops entered the compound.
The military also says “later during the operation, incubators, medical equipment and baby food are expected to be transfered to the hospital.”
The statement comes as the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry claims to Qatari state broadcaster Al Jazeera that it was informed by Israeli forces they will imminently raid Al-Shifa Hospital.
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