ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Nov. 30: Hostages freed Thursday night reunite with relatives

8 Israeli hostages released today in total * 30 Palestinians let go in Ramallah * Blinken warns Israel on scale of civilian losses, says safe zones needed before fighting resumes

  • Supporters hold flags upon the arrival of just released Israeli hostages outside an army base in southern Israel early on December 1, 2023. (Oren ZIV / AFP)
    Supporters hold flags upon the arrival of just released Israeli hostages outside an army base in southern Israel early on December 1, 2023. (Oren ZIV / AFP)
  • Newly released prisoners parade in Ramallah during a welcome ceremony following the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails early on December 1, 2023. (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
    Newly released prisoners parade in Ramallah during a welcome ceremony following the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails early on December 1, 2023. (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
  • A screenshot from Egyptian television shows siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit, Shani Goren and Sapir Cohen at the Rafah Border Crossing after being released as hostages by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 30, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
    A screenshot from Egyptian television shows siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit, Shani Goren and Sapir Cohen at the Rafah Border Crossing after being released as hostages by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 30, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
  • Israeli hostages released on November 30, 2023: Top L-R: Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
    Israeli hostages released on November 30, 2023: Top L-R: Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
  • Aviv and Liat Beinin Atzili were believed taken hostage in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. Liat was freed by Hamas from Gaza on November 29, 2023. The next day, the kibbutz said Aviv had in fact been killed during the Hamas onslaught. (Courtesy)
    Aviv and Liat Beinin Atzili were believed taken hostage in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. Liat was freed by Hamas from Gaza on November 29, 2023. The next day, the kibbutz said Aviv had in fact been killed during the Hamas onslaught. (Courtesy)
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
  • Israeli emergency services at the scene of a terror shooting attack in at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
    Israeli emergency services at the scene of a terror shooting attack in at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
  • The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
    The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
  • Moran Stela Yanai, 40, embraces family members at Sheba Medical Center after being released on November 29, 2023 from Gaza, where she was held by Hamas terrorists for 54 days (courtesy)
    Moran Stela Yanai, 40, embraces family members at Sheba Medical Center after being released on November 29, 2023 from Gaza, where she was held by Hamas terrorists for 54 days (courtesy)
  • Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
  • Police officers pose with weapons seized on the Jordan border, November 23, 2023. (Israel Police)
    Police officers pose with weapons seized on the Jordan border, November 23, 2023. (Israel Police)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they unfolded.

Freed hostages en route to hospitals for reunions

The Israel Defense Forces says six Israeli hostages released from captivity in Gaza Thursday night have been checked out by the army at the Hatzerim air base in southern Israel.

The six are now making their way to hospitals where they will be reunited with family, the army says.

Man hit by friendly fire during terror attack dies of wounds, hospital confirms

Yuval Doron Castleman. (Courtesy)
Yuval Doron Castleman. (Courtesy)

A passerby who was shot by off duty soldiers who mistook him for a terrorist gunman in Jerusalem has died of wounds sustained during the Thursday morning incident, Shaarei Zedek hospital says in a statement.

Yuval Doron Castleman would have turned 38 on Friday. The hospital says doctors worked for hours to save his life after he was brought to the hospital with critical injuries.

On Thursday morning, Castleman jumped out of his car after spotting two terrorists opening fire on people at a bus stop, in an attack later claimed by the Hamas terror group. He and two off duty soldiers opened fire at the attackers, killing them, but the troops then turned their weapons on Castleman, thinking he was one of the attackers.

The Mevesseret Zion resident “formerly served in the security services, was always a hero and the first to jump into action to save a life, as he did this time,” the hospital says in a statement.

Military says 6 freed hostages now back in Israel

A screenshot from Egyptian television shows siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit, Shani Goren and Sapir Cohen at the Rafah Border Crossing after being released as hostages by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 30, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A screenshot from Egyptian television shows siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit, Shani Goren and Sapir Cohen at the Rafah Border Crossing after being released as hostages by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 30, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israel Defense Forces says the six hostages released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip are now in Israeli territory.

They are heading to the Hatzerim Airbase to undergo an initial health assessment. Later they will be taken to hospitals to reunite with their families.

Source close to Hamas says terror group ‘willing to extend the truce’

Hamas is “willing to extend the truce” in fighting with Israel, a source close to the Palestinian terror group tells AFP hours before the latest extension is due to expire.

The seven-day pause has seen dozens of Israeli hostages exchanged for more than 200 Palestinian prisoners, and aid entering the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

“The mediators are currently making strong, intense and continuous efforts for an additional day in the truce and then working to extend it again for other days,” the source says on condition of anonymity.

Man who fired at Jerusalem terrorists dies after being shot by troops who apparently misidentified him

The death toll in the shooting attack in Jerusalem earlier today rises to four as a man seriously hurt during the attack dies of his wounds, according to Hebrew media reports.

The man, who isn’t immediately named, opened fire at the terrorists but was shot by a pair of soldiers who apparently mistook him for an assailant.

6 hostages leave Gaza in Red Cross vehicles as they’re brought back to Israel

Israeli hostages released on November 30, 2023: Top L-R: Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
Israeli hostages released on November 30, 2023: Top L-R: Siblings Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit; bottom: Shani Goren, Amit Soussana, Sapir Cohen, Mia Schem. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)

The Israel Defense Forces says six Israeli hostages have been transferred by the Red Cross to Egypt via the Rafah crossing.

They will be brought to a meeting point where Israeli forces will verify their identities, before escorting them into Israel via a side gate at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

“The families of the hostages are being updated by IDF representatives with the latest available information,” the IDF says.

As they are brought out of Gaza, the six hostages are identified as Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne, Ilana Gritzewsky, Nili Margalit, Shani Goren and Sapir Cohen, following the release of Amit Soussana and Mia Schem earlier today.

IDF says Hamas handed over 6 hostages to Red Cross

The Israel Defense Forces confirms that Hamas has handed over six Israeli hostages to the Red Cross.

“According to the information provided by the Red Cross, six Israeli hostages were transferred to them and are on their way to Israeli territory,” it says in a short statement.

Earlier, Hamas released two Israeli hostages, bringing today’s total to eight.

According to the ceasefire agreement, Hamas must release at least 10 hostages per day.

Yesterday, Hamas released an additional two Russian-Israeli civilians as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and not as part of the deal with Israel.

It appears Hamas has retroactively added the two Russian-Israelis to today’s list of hostages.

Earlier, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that “yesterday there were 12 Israeli citizens, who were on our list, and the sum in the agreement is for 10, and we insist on getting the maximum possible. That’s how it was every day and that’s how it will be today.”

Blinken: Breaking cycle of violence will require Israel to improve Palestinians’ lives

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Israel on November 30, 2023. (YouTube screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Israel on November 30, 2023. (YouTube screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Continuing his press conference, Secretary of State Blinken says that in meetings today with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, he discussed efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading to the West Bank, Lebanon or other areas.

He says breaking the cycle of violence will require Israel to improve the lives of Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza “in immediate, tangible ways,” adding that they should be provided with a credible path toward statehood.

Blinken says he discussed in his meetings “practical steps” that can be taken to this end, while recognizing that the ultimate goal won’t be easy to reach.

Asked about what the US means by its goal of a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority eventually governing a united West Bank and Gaza, Blinken doesn’t get too specific, but says Ramallah will have to undergo reforms, rid itself of corruption and promote a free press.

He says the US also supports Palestinian elections in principle, but clarifies that it’ll take time and that the immediate focus after the war will be on rehabilitating Gaza.

Aunt of returned hostage says Gazan veterinarian performed surgery on her arm

Vivian Hadar speaks with reporters on November 30, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Vivian Hadar speaks with reporters on November 30, 2023. (X. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The aunt of Mia Schem says a Palestinian veterinarian operated on her arm while she was held hostage in Gaza.

“She underwent trauma. She’s thin, she’s weak,” Vivian Hadar tells reporters after her niece was released earlier today. “A veterinarian operated on her arm. She did physical therapy for herself.”

“We’re happy she’s with us. It’s really tough to see her like this,” Hadar adds.

Uncle of freed hostages says Hamas branded them using motorcycle exhaust pipe

Yaniv Yaakov (holding poster) speaks during an event with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in North Macedonia's capital Skopje, November 30, 2023. (Ynet. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Yaniv Yaakov (holding poster) speaks during an event with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in North Macedonia's capital Skopje, November 30, 2023. (Ynet. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The uncle of brothers Yagil and Or Yaakov says Palestinian terrorists branded the boys using the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle after they were abducted to Gaza on October 7.

Yagil, 12, and Or, 16, were returned to Israel earlier this week.

“They told us stories about what they went through inside Gaza. The stories are horrible,” Yaniv Yaakov says during an event in North Macedonia with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. “Each child that was taken by Hamas was taken on a motorbike and they took every child, took his leg and put it on the exhaust of that motorbike, so they have a burn so they will be marked if they run, if they escape, so [Hamas] can find them.”

“They were drugged, they were treated so bad, but at least they are with us,” Yaakov adds.

‘Massive loss of civilian life’ must not be repeated: Blinken tells Israel to create safe zones for Gazans before resuming fighting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that in meetings he held today with Israeli leaders, he told them that when the IDF resumes its military campaign, it must clearly designate multiple safe zones in southern and central Gaza for civilians to avoid the fighting.

It must also avoid further mass displacement of Palestinians, he said, avoid the targeting of “life-critical infrastructure” such as hospitals, power stations, and water treatment plants, and allow the eventual return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza.

Each of these points has been made by US officials speaking on condition of anonymity in recent weeks, but this appears to be the first time they are made on the record, as the administration intensifies its pressure on Israel.

Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Blinken acknowledges that these measures are difficult to implement due to Hamas’s use of human shields, but insists that Israel still has an obligation to minimize harm to civilians and an army sophisticated enough to achieve its objectives while doing so.

Blinken begins the press conference by saying the Biden administration’s “immediate focus is on working with our partners to extend the pause” on the fighting between Israel and Hamas, so more hostages can get out of Gaza and more aid can get into the Strip.

“We will not stop working until we get every hostage back home with their families and loved ones,” Blinken says, adding that the quantity of aid entering the Strip is up “significantly.”

Blinken says the US continues to back Israel’s goal of toppling Hamas in Gaza. Israel has the right to ensure the slaughter of October 7 cannot be repeated, he says, stressing that Hamas cannot remain in control of the Strip and cannot retain the capacity to wreak carnage.

This morning’s deadly terror shooting in Jerusalem “underscored” the terror group’s intentions. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack “and called its perpetrators ‘heroic,'” he notes.

Nonetheless, “the way Israel defends itself matters,” Blinken says. Israel must act in accordance with “humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither,” he says.

In his meetings with Israel’s leaders today, he says, “I made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian, civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians. That means taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas and places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire.”

It also means avoiding further significant displacement of Gaza civilians, he says, and “avoiding damage to life-critical infrastructure like hospitals, like power stations, like water facilities. And it means giving civilians who’ve been displaced to southern Gaza the choice to return to the north as soon as conditions permit. There must be no enduring internal displacement.”

All of this can be done while enabling Israel to achieve its objectives, he says, though he acknowledges that the challenge is complicated because “Hamas intentionally embeds within civilians — within and below hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, refugee camps.”

Still, he argues, Israel’s sophisticated military “is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas, while minimizing harm to innocent men, women and children. And it has an obligation to do so.”

Blinken adds that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of the war cabinet agreed with the approach pushed by the US to avoid civilian casualties.

“We discussed the details of Israel’s ongoing planning, and I underscored the imperative, for the United States, that the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale that we saw in northern Gaza, not be repeated in the south,” Blinken says.

“As I told the prime minister, intent matters, but so does the result,” Blinken says.

He points out that Hamas too has choices, and could release all the hostages; stop using civilians as human shields; stop using civilian infrastructure to stage and launch terrorist attacks.

“Hamas could lay down its arms, surrender the leaders who are responsible for the slaughter, the torture, the rapes of October 7. Hamas could renounce its stated goal of eliminating Israel, killing Jews and repeating the atrocities of October 7, again and again and again.”

Everyone around the world who cares about protecting innocent lives, says Blinken should be “demanding of Hamas that it immediately stop its murderous acts of terror and deplorable use of innocent men, women and children as human shields.”

IDF says ready to resume fighting in Gaza, will demand Hamas free more hostages tomorrow

Israeli forces at a staging area near the border with Gaza on November 30, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Israeli forces at a staging area near the border with Gaza on November 30, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military is ready to resume fighting in the Gaza Strip if the ceasefire agreement with Hamas is not renewed for another day.

“At this hour, we are progressing and awaiting the release of additional hostages who are due to return as part of the agreed-upon deal,” Hagari says.

He says that overnight, the IDF “insisted” on carrying out the current deal with Hamas, in which the terror group is set to release the women and children it is holding hostage.

“We will do so tomorrow as well. The mediators, Qatar and Egypt, are also obligated to carry out the deal, so that the ceasefire can continue,” he says.

“The IDF is ready to resume the fighting. We are prepared to attack at any hour, tonight as well,” Hagari says.

On a Hamas video showing Yarden Bibas, Hagari says “our hearts are with him and the entire Bibas family.”

He calls the video “psychological terror” and adds that Hamas’s claim that Yarden’s wife Shiri, and two young kids Ariel and Kfir were killed, is still not verified.

White House says US will back Israel when Gaza op resumes, wants further extension of truce

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, on November 30, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, on November 30, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

The United States will support Israel militarily whenever Jerusalem decides to resume its offensive in Gaza, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says.

“We continue to believe that Israel has a right and responsibility to go after Hamas. They have said very clearly that when these pauses are over, they intend to go back at it. As they make that decision, they’ll continue to find support from the United States in terms of the tools and capabilities, the weapons systems that they need as well as the advice and the perspectives that we can offer in terms of urban warfare,” Kirby says during a press briefing, again alluding to US concerns regarding mounting Palestinian civilian casualties and the need for the IDF to operate in a more calculated manner in southern Gaza.

“We have been very consistent and clear with our Israeli counterparts that we do not support a move to the south unless or until they have adequately accounted for the protection of innocent human life, civilian life in southern Gaza, with the understanding that there’s a whole heck of a lot more innocent civilians in southern Gaza than there were a week or two ago… What we’re urging Israel to do is to make sure there’s appropriate accounting for that and additional safety measures in place,” Kirby says, reiterating the message stressed by the Biden administration over the past several weeks.

Kirby clarifies that the US supports additional extensions to the ongoing humanitarian pause, which is currently in its seventh day. However, he says the US does not support a permanent ceasefire, which Washington has warned would leave Hamas as a threat to Israel.

Asked whether the US considers today’s deadly terror attack in Jerusalem claimed by Hamas to be a violation of the truce, Kirby surmises that it wasn’t while saying the shooting is a reminder of the kind of threat that Israel faces.

Hamas releases propaganda video regarding the Bibas family

The Bibas family, father Yarden, mother Shiri, baby Kfir and four-year-old Ariel, were taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. (Courtesy)
The Bibas family, father Yarden, mother Shiri, baby Kfir and four-year-old Ariel, were taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. (Courtesy)

Hamas releases a propaganda video regarding the Bibas family. The video appears to show that Yarden Bibas is alive.

All four members of the Bibas family — Yarden, his wife Shiri and their sons Ariel, 4, and baby Kfir — were abducted to Gaza on October 7, but Yarden was abducted separately from the rest of his family.

Hamas yesterday issued an unverified claim that Shiri, Ariel and Kfir had been killed in an Israeli bombardment; the IDF said it was looking into the “cruel” claim.

IDF says it fired interceptor missile after ‘suspicious identification’ in the south

The Israel Defense Forces says it fired an interceptor missile at a target following a “suspicious identification” in the skies of southern Israel earlier.

An alert was activated in open areas as a result of the interceptor missile, due to fears of falling shrapnel.

Residents of the Netivot area reported seeing a blast in the sky.

The IDF says further details surrounding the incident are under investigation.

Blinken said to tell Israel to change strategy for southern Gaza, suggest it won’t have months to win war

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)

According to leaked remarks from today’s war cabinet meeting, attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Blinken told Israel it cannot operate in southern Gaza in the way it has done in the north — a presumed reference to the heavy air bombardment and crushing ground operation — and indicated that Israel has weeks, not months, to complete its declared mission of destroying Hamas.

The US Administration has repeatedly backed Israel’s goal of eliminating Hamas in the wake of the terror group’s October 7 slaughter of 1,200 Israelis, but has indicated it is increasingly troubled by the civilian fatalities and widespread destruction in the Hamas-run strip.

Blinken’s reported remarks are quoted only in Hebrew translation by Channel 12 news, and have been translated back into English here:

Blinken: You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians]. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population. What is your system of operation?

IDF Chief Herzi Halevi: We follow a number of principles — proportionality, distinction, and the laws of war. There were instances where we attacked on the basis of those principles, and instances where we decided not to attack, because we waited for a better opportunity.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant: The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months.

Blinken: I don’t think you have the credit for that.

The secretary also reportedly pressed the cabinet over Israel’s plans for a post-war Gaza.

Blinken: You don’t want the Palestinian Authority on the day after. We understand that. The best way to kill an idea is to bring a better idea. The other states in the region need to know what you are planning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: As long as I’m sitting in this chair, the Palestinian Authority, which supports, educates and finances terror, will not rule Gaza on the day after Hamas.

WATCH: Hostage Mia Schem reunited with her mother after being returned to Israel

Mia Schem is embraced by her mother Keren after returning to Israel following 55 days in Hamas captivity, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)
Mia Schem is embraced by her mother Keren after returning to Israel following 55 days in Hamas captivity, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)

After being returned to Israel from Gaza, Mia Schem is reunited with her mother following 55 days in Hamas captivity.

“You’re with me, everything is okay,” Keren Schem tells her 21-year-old daughter as they embrace.

Meanwhile, the first photo of Amit Soussana in Israel is published after she was released along with Mia Schem earlier today.

Amit Soussana arrives in Israel after being held as a hostage for 55 days by the Hamas terror group, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)

Gallant tells Blinken that Israel will defeat Hamas ‘no matter how long it takes’

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before meeting in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before meeting in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

Meeting visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israel will take as long as needed to win the war in Gaza against Hamas.

“We are going to fight Hamas until we prevail — no matter how long it takes,” he says, while thanking both Blinken and US President Joe Biden for their support.

“We will continue this war until we win, defeat the Hamas organization, deprive it of its governing and military capabilities and bring back all the hostages,” Gallant adds. “We know that in terms of the goals of the operation, we are united with the US, and we really appreciate that.”

Kibbutz Nir Oz says missing resident Aviv Atzili was killed on Oct. 7; his wife was released by Hamas last night

Aviv Atzili. (Courtesy)
Aviv Atzili. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Nir Oz announces that Aviv Atzili, who has been listed as missing since the October 7 massacres and was presumed captive, was killed in the Hamas-led onslaught last month.

Aviv and Liat Beinin Atzili were believed taken hostage in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. Liat was freed by Hamas from Gaza on November 29, 2023. The next day, the kibbutz said Aviv had in fact been killed during the Hamas onslaught. (Courtesy)

Atzili, 49, is survived by three children and his wife Liat Beinin Atzili, who was kidnapped during the attack and held by terrorists in Gaza until being released last night.

Lapid meets with Blinken for talks on return of hostages, Israel-Hamas war

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The two discuss efforts to release additional hostages held by Hamas, issues tied to the war, and “additional regional issues,” according to Lapid’s office.

Macron hails release of Israeli hostage with French citizenship: A ‘great joy’

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech during the 18th edition of French conference on the maritime economy in Nantes western France, November 28, 2023. (Damien Meyer, Pool via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech during the 18th edition of French conference on the maritime economy in Nantes western France, November 28, 2023. (Damien Meyer, Pool via AP)

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes the release of a French-Israeli hostage.

“Mia Schem is free,” Macron says on X, formerly Twitter. “I share this great joy with her family and all French people.”

Macron also expresses his “solidarity with all those who remain hostages of Hamas. France is working with its partners to secure their release as soon as possible.”

Blinken, Abbas discuss boosting ‘the security and freedom’ of West Bank Palestinians

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the “urgent need for measures to improve the security and freedom of Palestinians in the West Bank” during their meeting earlier today in Ramallah, the US readout says.

Blinken also raised US efforts to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza and condemned Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, which has increased significantly since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Blinken told Abbas that the US “would continue to insist on full accountability for those responsible,” the State Department readout adds.

“The secretary reiterated that the United States remains committed to advancing tangible steps for a Palestinian state,” the readout adds.

According to the PA’s official Wafa news agency, Abbas emphasized the need to reach a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, spare civilians from bombardments and increase the flow of humanitarian aid into the Strip.

Abbas also reportedly handed Blinken a “comprehensive file documenting Israeli occupation crime in Gaza, and the West Bank, including Jerusalem.” He urges Blinken to pressure the Israeli government to halt “repressive measures” allegedly adopted against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and to end the expulsion of Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly in the Jordan Valley.

The PA president reiterates the commitment of Palestinian leaders to take on responsibility for the people of Gaza, insisting that the coastal enclave falls under the jurisdiction of the “State of Palestine.” He also calls for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, along with full membership in the UN.

Herzog meets with UAE leader in Dubai, appeals for help in returning hostages

This handout photo shows President Isaac Herzog meeting with his Emirati counterpart Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai, November 30, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
This handout photo shows President Isaac Herzog meeting with his Emirati counterpart Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai, November 30, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

In Dubai for the UN climate conference, President Isaac Herzog meets with Emirati leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of Israel’s efforts to secure the return of hostages being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Herzog’s office says he asked the UAE president, who is commonly referred to by his initials MBZ, to use his “full diplomatic weight” to help bring the hostages back, while the latter stressed the need to let humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The president is accompanied during the meeting by Tzachi Hanegbi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, and other officials.

2 people wounded in Jerusalem terror shooting undergo surgery

Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem provides an update on the condition of three people wounded in this morning’s terror attack in Jerusalem who were brought to the medical center for treatment.

A 22-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man arrived in moderate condition from gunshot wounds and have undergone operations by surgical and orthopedic teams.

Akiva Schwartz, a 17-year-old yeshiva student, was treated for shrapnel in his leg.

Hostages expected to be released at different times and places today

The Israeli hostages slated to be freed today will be transferred to the Red Cross at various times and places because they are being held by Palestinian terrorists in different areas of Gaza, an Israeli official tells CNN.

Two Israelis released earlier this evening were handed over to the Red Cross in Gaza City.

ICC prosecutor in Israel to meet survivors of Oct. 7 onslaught, families of victims

Karim Khan, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court looks up prior to a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, July 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Karim Khan, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court looks up prior to a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, July 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan is visiting Israel “at the request and invitation of survivors & the families of victims of the 7 October attacks,” the court says in a tweet.

It says Khan will also visit Ramallah to meet senior Palestinian officials.

“The visit, while not investigative in nature, represents an important opportunity to express sympathy for all victims and engage in dialogue,” the court says.

Tel Aviv hospital says 14 former hostages it’s treating are in stable condition

An Israeli military helicopter with released Israeli hostages arrives at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, November 27, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
An Israeli military helicopter with released Israeli hostages arrives at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, November 27, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv reports that 14 former hostages being treated there are in stable condition.

Most of the nine children and five women are expected to soon be discharged. One woman will remain hospitalized for ongoing observation by the neurological service, and one girl will stay longer at Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital for continued orthopedic treatment.

All of the former hostages will continue to receive personalized medical, psychosocial and nutritional care coordinated by the hospital and healthcare providers in the community.

DJs hold memorial at site of Supernova rave massacre

Pictures of the participants of the Nova party who were murdered and kidnapped by the terrorist organization Hamas on October 7, 2023, are displayed at the site of the music festival massacre, in Re'im, November 30, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Pictures of the participants of the Nova party who were murdered and kidnapped by the terrorist organization Hamas on October 7, 2023, are displayed at the site of the music festival massacre, in Re'im, November 30, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A group of Israeli DJs held a memorial at the site of the Supernova music festival, marking the place where 364 people were killed and more than 35 taken hostage on October 7.

DJ Asher Swissa, known as Skazi, tells NPR that he was away on October 7, when Hamas terrorists attacked the desert rave.

“It’s not a massacre only of people,” says Swissa. “It’s a massacre of music, of freedom, of something much bigger than us.”

The audience was made up of placards with the faces of those killed and help captive, with the faces of those murdered projected on screens.

Bar Makos, 31, and his twin brother came for closure after escaping the October 7 slaughter.

“We came back to come full circle,” says Makos.

The two brothers escaped in their car that day on dirt roads, and planned to leave the same way after returning for the memorial. Bar says it’s the first time he’s listened to music since the attack, weeping as he speaks.

“And this is the first time I’ve been able to cry,” he says. “The music is bringing it out.”

He says that his wish is that Israel’s close-knit rave community can start dancing together again.

Hospital says freed hostage Maya Regev who was shot in leg will need further operations

The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)

Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva shares an update on the three released hostages it is treating: Maya Regev, Itay Regev, and Elma Avraham.

Itay Regev, 18, was released by Hamas late last night and brought to Soroka to be reunited with his sister Maya, 21, who was freed on Sunday. The siblings were seized by terrorists at the Supernova music festival near Re’im on October 7. As they tried to escape, Maya called her father screaming that she had been shot and that the terrorists were trying to kill them.

While the former hostages are being treated at a handful of medical centers, Israel’s policy is to hospitalize family members together. All the hostages receive full medical and psychosocial support from specially trained staff in designated areas of the hospitals to protect their privacy.

“Upon his arrival at Soroka, Itay underwent a medical evaluation to assess his condition. In parallel, he had a very emotional reunion with his parents, younger brother, and his sister Maya. Itay’s physical condition is good,” says Dr. Dan Schwartzfox, deputy director-general of Soroka Medical Center.

Maya arrived at Soroka with a complex gunshot wound to her leg. Upon her return to Israel, she underwent surgery to stabilize a fracture and is expected to have to go undergo more operations.

“We expect a considerable rehabilitation process for her,” Schwartzfox says.

Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

An update is also given on Elma Avraham, 84, who was released from captivity and brought to Soroka on Sunday night in life-threatening condition with all of her vital signs “extremely low” and was put on a ventilator.

Her daughter, Tali Amano, laid into the Red Cross for neglecting her mother while in captivity and refusing to bring her the medications she takes for a variety of health conditions.

Still in Soroka’s intensive care unit, Avraham has since been taken off the ventilator and is conscious.

“We are doing everything we can to advance her recovery,” says Schwartzfox.

Army says freed hostages now back in Israeli territory

This composite photo shows Amit Soussana (L) and Mia Schem, who were released from Hamas captivity on November 30, 2023 (Courtesy)
This composite photo shows Amit Soussana (L) and Mia Schem, who were released from Hamas captivity on November 30, 2023 (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces says the two hostages released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, 21-year-old Mia Schem and 40-year-old Amit Soussana, are now in Israeli territory.

They are heading to the Hatzerim Airbase to undergo an initial health assessment. Later they will be taken to hospitals and will reunite with their families.

2 freed hostages identified as Mia Schem, Amit Soussana; released by Hamas in Gaza City

Israeli hostage Mia Schem is transferred to Red Cross custody by Hamas terrorists, in Gaza City, ahead of her return to Israel, November 30, 2023. (Telegram screen capture: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Israeli hostage Mia Schem is transferred to Red Cross custody by Hamas terrorists, in Gaza City, ahead of her return to Israel, November 30, 2023. (Telegram screen capture: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israel Defense Forces says two hostages released by Hamas to the Red Cross have been handed over to special forces and members of the Shin Bet security agency in northern Gaza, close to the security barrier.

The pair are identified as 21-year-old Mia Schem and 40-year-old Amit Soussana.

They are being escorted to Israeli territory, and will be brought to the Hatzerim Airbase in southern Israel.

Schem’s father hails her release, and notes that she holds dual French citizenship.

In the coming hours, several more hostages will be released.

“The families of the hostages are being updated by IDF representatives with the latest available information,” the IDF says.

Video from Gaza City shows Hamas terrorists handing over Schem and Soussana to the Red Cross before they were transferred to Israeli custody. The video shows large crowds in the area.

According to Channel 12 news’ Palestinian affairs reporter Ohad Hemo, the handover took place in a part of the city where the IDF held control before the start of the truce last week, and may have been staged there as a show of force by Hamas.

Yeshiva student recalls being wounded in Jerusalem terror shooting this morning

This handout photo shows yeshiva student Akiva Schwartz, who was wounded in a terror shooting in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Hadassah Hospital)
This handout photo shows yeshiva student Akiva Schwartz, who was wounded in a terror shooting in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (Hadassah Hospital)

Akiva Schwartz, a 17-year-old yeshiva student, recalls from his hospital bed how he was wounded when terrorists opened fire at a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem this morning.

Three people were killed and six injured in the attack. The slain victims were identified as Livia Dickman, 24, Elimelech Wasserman, 73, and Hannah Ifergan, in her 60s.

Speaking from Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, Schwartz recounts that he woke up, got ready, and left his home in the capital’s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood to head to his studies.

However, he missed his usual bus heading out of the city, so he had to wait another 20 minutes for the next to arrive.

“I was sitting there and playing on my phone. Then I suddenly heard these pops, these shots. I looked and saw this man holding a gun shooting at everyone who was there. I ran,” Schwartz says.

“I felt something weird, like I couldn’t feel something in my leg. I kept half-running, half-limping in the direction of the city center,” he says.

Schwartz stopped near a gas station and called his parents, as a large number of ambulances and other emergency vehicles converged on the scene.

“I went and knocked on the window of an ambulance and told the guy in it that I was injured and that I thought I had shrapnel in my leg. He got out and took care of me. They put me in the ambulance and took me to the hospital,” he says.

IDF says 2 Israeli hostages held by Hamas have been transferred to Red Cross

The Israel Defense Forces confirms Hamas has handed over two Israeli hostages to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

“According to the information provided by the Red Cross, two Israeli hostages were transferred to them and are on their way to Israeli territory,” it says in a short statement.

A Hamas source told AFP earlier that the terror group would release 10 hostages, including two with Russian citizenship. In previous days, Hamas has released Russian-Israelis as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It is unclear why these hostages are being released separately.

IDF says 23 arrested overnight in West Bank, including 10 Hamas operatives

The Israel Defense Forces says troops arrested 23 suspects during overnight raids throughout the West Bank, including 10 Hamas operatives.

Along with the arrests, the IDF says, troops seized military equipment, Hamas flags and NIS 250,000 slated for terror purposes.

According to the IDF, some 2,100 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank amid the ongoing war in Gaza, 1,100 of whom are Hamas members.

Israel recalls envoy to Madrid over Spanish PM’s criticism

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks during a press conference at the European Office of the United Nations, Palais des Nation, in Geneva on November 14, 2023. (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY / AFP)
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks during a press conference at the European Office of the United Nations, Palais des Nation, in Geneva on November 14, 2023. (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY / AFP)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announces he’s recalling the Israeli ambassador to Madrid for consultations, after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he has “serious doubt” Israel is complying with international humanitarian law during its campaign against Hamas.

“Israel is acting and will continue to act in accordance with international law and we will continue with the war until the release of the hostages and elimination of Hamas in Gaza,” Cohen says in a statement.

The minister also says that Hamas bears responsibility for the situation in Gaza due to the terror group’s perpetration of the October 7 massacres.

“It is the terror organization Hamas that carries out war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israeli citizens and the citizens of Gaza,” Cohen adds.

The statement comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he ordered Cohen to summon the Spanish envoy to Israel.

Netanyahu graft trial to resume next week as courts end emergency footing

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the District Court in Jerusalem to listen to the testimony of businessman Arnon Milchan in his corruption trial on June 25, 2023 (Oren Ben Hakoon/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the District Court in Jerusalem to listen to the testimony of businessman Arnon Milchan in his corruption trial on June 25, 2023 (Oren Ben Hakoon/POOL)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges, which was suspended along with all other non-urgent cases after October 7, will resume next week.

Following the expiration today of the emergency footing that Justice Minister Yariv Levin put in place for the courts when the war with Hamas began last month, Levin gave instructions for most courts to resume normal operations tomorrow.

The next hearing in Netanyahu’s trial in the Jerusalem District Court will now take place this coming Monday.

Meeting PM, Blinken stresses Israel must ensure protection of Gaza civilians before expanding op to south

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (GPO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (GPO)

Meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today in Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the Biden administration’s call for the IDF to account for Gaza’s civilians before it expands its ground operation into the southern portion of the Strip.

Blinken “stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there,” the US readout says, adding that the secretary “urged Israel to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm.”

This message has increasingly intensified over the past several weeks, as the US fears another spike in civilian deaths, given that southern and central Gaza now contains 80% of the enclave’s residents after Israel directed over one million Palestinians to leave northern Gaza to avoid being caught in the crosshairs of fighting in the north.

On Tuesday, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters, “We don’t support southern operations unless or until the Israelis can show that they have accounted for all the internally displaced people of Gaza.”

US President Joe Biden has been coming under significant pressure from the far-left flank of the Democratic Party to take a harder stance on Israel due to the high death toll in Gaza. The Hamas-run health ministry says over 14,000 have died, though those numbers cannot be independently verified and include Palestinian terrorists killed by Israel along with Palestinian civilians killed by errant rocket fire from within Gaza.

Blinken clarified that the US still “supports Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorist violence in compliance with international humanitarian law.”

Netanyahu and Blinken also “discussed efforts to secure the release of all remaining hostages and the need to accelerate the delivery of critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance to Gaza.”

The US has pushed for extending the ongoing truce between Israel and Hamas to advance both of those goals.

Blinken again raised the need for Israel to take “immediate steps to hold settler extremists accountable for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.” Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden threatened to issue visa bans against violent settlers

“Blinken reiterated that the United States remains committed to tangible steps to advance a Palestinian state living in peace, freedom, and security alongside Israel,” the readout says, stopping short of expressly calling for a two-state solution as other US readouts have done over the past month.

While in Israel, Blinken has met with Israel’s war cabinet and with President Isaac Herzog.

Police say they foiled smuggling of 137 guns, in biggest-ever arms bust on Jordan border

Police officers pose with weapons seized on the Jordan border, November 23, 2023. (Israel Police)
Police officers pose with weapons seized on the Jordan border, November 23, 2023. (Israel Police)

Police say officers and IDF troops recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 137 guns into Israel from Jordan, in what it says is the largest-ever weapons bust on the Jordanian border.

In recent months, police’s Magen anti-smuggling unit has been following a weapons smuggling ring involved in many attempts to bring guns into Israel from Jordan, police say.

Last Thursday, members of the unit stationed near the southern town of Tzofar alerted other forces of an attempt by the ring to bring weapons over the border.

Troops dispatched to the scene identified a vehicle approaching the border from the Israeli side and chased after it.

Four suspects, including the alleged leader of the ring, were arrested. They are identified by police as residents of Bedouin communities in the Yeruham area, in their 20s and 30s.

In the area, police say the forces found 137 weapons, including 120 handguns and 17 M-16 assault rifles, as well as dozens of weapon parts and some 250 magazines, with an estimated value of NIS 6 million ($1.6 million).

Weapons smuggling is a constant challenge for Israel, along its long, porous eastern border with Jordan, and in the West Bank. Officials believe most guns are being used for underworld crime, and have vowed to crack down as part of an effort to end years of bloodshed in the Arab community.

High Court petition demands allowing anti-war rallies in Arab towns

The head of the the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, Muhammed Barakeh, files a petition to the High Court of Justice against the police, demanding it cease implementing what the petition describes as a blanket ban on anti-war demonstrations in Arab-majority towns.

The petition, filed by the Adalah legal aid organization, points out that the police have repeatedly refused to allow anti-war demonstrations in a public square in Nazareth,.

The petition is filed following the rejection last week of another request for a permit for an anti-war protest in the town.

An anti-war protest was ultimately authorized in Tel Aviv two weeks ago after another petition to the High Court pressured the police to issue it with a permit.

“The harm to freedom of expression and protest… contravenes not only police regulations but those of the attorney general regarding public demonstrations,” says Adalah after filing the petition.

The decisions by the police, the State Attorney’s Office and the High Court “have created a space for blanket racist policies which block freedom of protest only in Arab towns,” says Dr. Souhad Bishara of Adalah.

“Unfortunately, the State Attorney’s Office and the attorney general are not fulfilling their roles as gatekeepers [on respecting human rights] and the High Court has sufficed itself until now with general statements without effectively intervening to protect the fundamental right to freedom of expression of Arab citizens, which we are demanding right now,” says Bishara.

Israel to summon Spanish envoy after Madrid said Gaza war likely violates international law

Spain's Prime Minister and Socialist Workers' Party Pedro Sanchez gestures as he casts his ballot during Spain's general election in Madrid, July 23, 2023. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Spain's Prime Minister and Socialist Workers' Party Pedro Sanchez gestures as he casts his ballot during Spain's general election in Madrid, July 23, 2023. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Israel will summon Spain’s ambassador to Israel for a reprimand after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he has “serious doubt” Israel is complying with international humanitarian law.

“The footage we are seeing and the growing numbers of children dying, I have serious doubt [Israel] is complying with international humanitarian law,” he told Spanish state-owned broadcaster TVE today, according to a translation by Reuters. “What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable.”

The Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “ordered Foreign Minister Eli Cohen” to summon the envoy after Sanchez’s “shameful remark on a day in which Hamas terrorists murdered Israelis in our capital Jerusalem.”

Israel also last week summoned Spain’s ambassador over criticisms Sanchez made of the Israeli offensive on Hamas during a visit to the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Friday.

Jerusalem accused Madrid of supporting terrorism, after Sanchez just days earlier toured an Israeli kibbutz ravaged by Hamas during the October 7 onslaught and saw footage of the atrocities committed that day.

Russia bans ‘international LGBT movement’ for ‘extremism’

Russia’s supreme court bans the “international LGBT movement,” claiming the organization is an extremist group, without stating whether specific individuals or organizations in Russia will be impacted by the ruling.

The judge rules to “recognize the international LGBT public movement and its subdivisions as an extremist organization and ban its activities on the territory of Russia.”

Netanyahu ends meeting with Blinken, says Israel has ‘sworn to destroy Hamas’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has concluded his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Noting that the sit-down came shortly after 3 Israelis were murdered in a Palestinian terror attack in Jerusalem that was claimed by Hamas, Netanyahu says he told Blinken: “This is the same Hamas. It’s the same Hamas that committed the terrible massacre on October 7, the same Hamas that is trying to murder us everywhere.

“I told him we have sworn, and I have sworn, to destroy Hamas. Nothing will stop us,” he says, reiterating that the war in Gaza will continue until Israel frees all its hostages, vanquishes Hamas and guarantees that no similar threat will ever be posed again from Gaza.

Report: Pope told Herzog last month Israel can’t ‘respond to terror with terror’

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, November 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, November 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis held a tense phone call with President Isaac Herzog last month in which he appeared to categorize Israel’s then-ongoing military operations against the Hamas terror group in Gaza as “terrorism,” the Washington Post reports, citing an unnamed senior Israeli official familiar with the call.

It is “forbidden to respond to terror with terror,” Francis told Herzog, who protested this classification, according to the report.

It adds that Israel felt the call went so bad, its officials didn’t make it public.

The Vatican confirms the existence of the call, while not elaborating on its content. Herzog’s office refuses to comment.

Last week, the pope said in public remarks, “We have gone beyond wars. This is not war. This is terrorism.” Jewish groups urged Francis to clarify those remarks and whether he was saying Israel was engaged in terrorism.

Police raid homes of Jerusalem terrorists, take family members for questioning

Police say officers have raided the home of the two Hamas terrorists who carried out the deadly terror shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem this morning.

The attack was carried out by Murad Nemer, 38, and Ibrahim Nemer, 30, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.

Police say six family members have been detained for questioning, including their parents.

They will be questioned by police and the Shin Bet for their suspected involvement or knowledge of the attack, which killed three people.

Ben Gvir says Hamas violated the ceasefire by claiming Jerusalem terror attack

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir claims that Hamas claim of responsibility for today’s terror attack in Jerusalem that killed three Israelis means it broke the ongoing ceasefire today.

“With one hand Hamas signs a ceasefire, with the other it sends terrorists to murder Jews in Jerusalem,” the far-right police minister, who was against the ceasefire to begin with, says in a statement released by his Otzma Yehudit party.

“This is not a ceasefire but rather a continuation of the conception of containment [of terror attacks] and concession that brought us murdered people, which gives [Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya] Sinwar hope that he can exit this conflict with the upper hand,” he continues.

“We have to stop deals with the devil, and return immediately to the fight, with rare strength.”

Hamas claims Jerusalem shooting attack in which 3 were killed, calls for ‘escalation’

Hamas claims responsibility for the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem this morning, in which three Israelis were killed and six were wounded.

In a statement, the terror group hails the two perpetrators, brothers Murad (38) and Ibrahim (30) Nemer, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher, calling them “jihad-waging martyrs.”

Three Israelis were killed in the attack: Livia Dickman, 24, Ashdod rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman, 73, and Hannah Ifergan, who was in her 60s. The two perpetrators got out of a vehicle at around 7:40 a.m. and opened fire at people at a bus stop.

Police said two off-duty soldiers and an armed civilian in the area returned fire, killing the two terrorists.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, the two gunmen were Hamas members and were previously jailed for terror activity.

Murad was jailed from 2010 to 2020 for planning terror attacks under the direction of terror elements in the Gaza Strip, and Ibrahim was jailed in 2014 for undisclosed terror activity, the agency has said.

In its claim of responsibility for the attack, Hamas notes that the assault comes in response to Israel’s war against the terror group in the Gaza Strip and the killing of two children in the West Bank’s Jenin yesterday.

Adam Al-Ghoul (8) and Basel Abu Al-Wafa (15), as well as two senior terror commanders, were killed yesterday by Israeli forces in Jenin. Hamas claimed 15-year-old Al-Wafa as one of its members.

The terror group also calls for an “escalation of resistance,” and says that “the heroes of our people are mobilizing to avenge the blood of the martyrs.”

Hamas source says 10 Israeli hostages to be freed today, not 8 as previously thought

A Hamas source tells AFP that 10 Israeli hostages will be released from the Gaza Strip today, two of them also holding Russian citizenship, as part of one-day truce extension. Previous statements by the sides have said eight hostages and three bodies will be returned today.

“All of them are alive,” the source says. “Israel last night refused a list Hamas proposed that included three Israeli bodies.”

A senior Hamas official has said the Palestinian terror group will also today return the bodies of three dead hostages.

It isn’t immediately clear if the Hamas source quoted by AFP is counting Yelena Trupanov and her mother Irena Tati — Russian-Israelis set free last night as a “gesture” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addition to 10 Israelis freed as part of the ceasefire deal — in today’s list, or if two more dual nationals are set for release.

Teenage suspects accused of IS-inspired plot to blow up truck at German Christmas market

A 15-year-old boy and an alleged accomplice are accused of plotting to blow up a small truck at a Christmas market in western Germany in an attack modeled on the methods of the Islamic State terror group, local prosecutors say.

The teenager was detained Tuesday in Burscheid, a town near Cologne, and a court in Leverkusen yesterday ordered him kept in custody pending a possible indictment. Another teenager has been arrested in the eastern German state of Brandenburg.

Officials say the 15-year-old wrote in a chat group about attack plans. Prosecutors in Duesseldorf say he and the other suspect are accused of agreeing to attack a Christmas market in Leverkusen, a city in the western Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state, at the beginning of December by using fuel to blow up a small truck.

The teenager claims he acquired gasoline for the plan, according to a statement from prosecutors. The two suspects allegedly planned to leave Germany together after the attack and join the Islamic State-Khorasan Province terror group, an IS offshoot active in and around Afghanistan.

Investigators are evaluating evidence found at the 15-year-old’s home but did not find any stocks of fuel, prosecutors say. He is being investigated on suspicion of conspiring to commit murder and preparing a serious act of violence.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said, including before news of the arrests emerged yesterday, that the threat situation in the country has escalated since Hamas’s October 7 massacres in southern Israel.

IDF says Palestinian driver purposely slammed into reservists at West Bank checkpoint

The Israel Defense Forces says troops shot a Palestinian driver who rammed into reservists at a military checkpoint in the Jordan Valley.

Two soldiers are lightly hurt in the incident, which the IDF says was a deliberate attack.

The IDF says troops are scanning the area for potential additional suspects.

The condition of the suspected assailant is unknown.

Two soldiers lightly hurt in suspected car-ramming attack in West Bank’s Jordan Valley

Two IDF soldiers are lightly hurt in a suspected car-ramming attack near the West Bank settlement of Beka’ot, in the northern Jordan Valley, medics say.

The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service says they are being treated at the scene, and the driver was “neutralized.”

There is no immediate comment from the army on the incident.

Blinken meets Netanyahu, after talks with Herzog; says he hopes hostage releases continue

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in Israel overnight, is currently meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

He is also set to sit in on a meeting of the war cabinet.

Earlier, the secretary met in Tel Aviv with President Isaac Herzog, soon after the deadly terror attack in Jerusalem.

“This is another example of the situation we’re in, the endless war that we are fighting against terror organizations, especially Hamas, in these very complicated and challenging times,” Herzog said.

He also said Israel is “working, praying for and demanding the immediate release of all hostages, and I thank the United States of America for the immense work it is devoting to the release of the hostages.”

President Isaac Herzog (right) meets with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023 (Haim Zach / GPO)

The president cited the plight of the Bibas family, who were abducted on October 7. “Their whereabouts are unknown to us and we are demanding their immediate release. It should be obvious that little toddlers will be released with their mother and hopefully with a father as soon as possible.”

Herzog also eulogized Henry Kissinger, “who left us peacefully tonight. We are big admirers” of Kissinger, he said. “He laid the cornerstone of the peace agreement which was later signed with an Egypt… In our last conversation he ended the call by saying, ‘Mr. President, please know I’ve always loved and admired and supported the State of Israel’. And so I always felt his love and compassion for Israel and his belief in the Jewish state.”

Blinken, in turn, mourned the victims of the Jerusalem terror attack. “My heart goes out to the victims of this attack… e’re thinking of them, we’re thinking of their families, their loved ones, and we mourn their loss just as we mourn the loss of any innocent life.

“From day one, we have been focused on trying to secure the release of hostages from Gaza, from Hamas,” Blinken said. “And we have seen over the last week the very positive developments of hostages coming home and being reunited with their families, and that should continue today. It’s also enabled the increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately. So this process is producing results. It’s important and we hope that it can continue.”

Added Blinken: “At the same time I look forward to detailed conversations with the government of Israel about the way ahead in Gaza. The United States firmly supports Israel and its right to defend itself and to try to ensure that October 7 never happens again.”

COP28 opens in Dubai with moment of silence for civilians killed in Israel-Hamas war

The UN’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai opens with a moment of silence for the victims of the Israel-Hamas war.

Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister who chaired the previous COP talks in Egypt last year, urges delegates to “stand for a moment of silence” in memory of two climate diplomats who recently died “as well as all civilians who have perished during the current conflict in Gaza.”

Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital says it’s treating 3 victims of Jerusalem shooting attack

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital reports that it is treating three patients injured in this morning’s terror attack at the entrance to the capital, all with gunshot wounds.

Two patients arrived in moderate-to-serious condition and are currently undergoing surgery. The third is lightly hurt and is being cared for in the emergency department.

In addition, four people suffering from acute anxiety attacks have been brought to the hospital and are being supported by social work staff.

Post-war Gaza options said to include expelling Hamas members; forming Saudi-, UAE-backed body

Israel and the US are discussing the option of expelling thousands of lower-ranking members of Palestinian terror group Hamas after the current war ends in an attempt to root out Hamas from the Gaza Strip, though there has been no talk of how this would be done in practice, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The idea is similar to the deportation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) members, including leader Yasser Arafat, from Lebanon to Tunisia.

An analyst cited in the report casts the possibility as “unrealistic” at this time, and an Israeli official acknowledges Hamas members would likely object to being expelled.

The report, citing unnamed senior Israeli and US officials, says another option, floated by the IDF, is to form a “Gaza Restoration Authority” backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, tasked with rebuilding a Hamas-free Gaza.

“Huge” obstacles to this plan, the report says, are disagreements between Israel and the US about whether the Palestinian Authority would be part of such a solution (Jerusalem has insisted Ramallah can’t be given a governing role in the Strip), and that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would need to endorse the solution.

Hamas says 3 bodies of hostage to be returned today; floats freeing civilian men next

Hamas official Basem Naim tells the London-based, Qatari-owned channel Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that under the terms of today’s extension of the truce for a seventh day, Hamas will hand over the bodies of three Israelis.

Naim claims that the three, whose identity is still unknown, were killed during Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

He adds that the terror group is willing to negotiate the release of Israeli civilian men if the truce is extended and a new, comprehensive deal is reached.

Eight hostages are slated to be released by the terror group today, after negotiations went on until just before the 7 a.m. deadline to restart fighting.

As part of the agreement, Hamas is supposed to release at least 10 hostages for every extra day of the lull in fighting. Israel in turn will also release 30 Palestinian prisoners for every 10 hostages.

Hebrew media has reported that two Russian-Israelis who were already freed last night in a side deal with Moscow will count toward today’s tally of 10 living hostages.

Russia says it’s ‘grateful’ to Hamas for Gaza hostage release

Russia thanks Hamas for freeing three Russian-Israeli hostages from Gaza separately from a truce deal with Israel.

“We are grateful to the leadership of the Hamas movement for the positive response to our constant appeals,” Moscow’s foreign ministry says about the Palestinian terror group. “We will continue to strive for the quick release of the remaining Russians held in the Gaza Strip.”

Other 2 fatalities in Jerusalem attack named as Livia Dickman and Hannah Ifergan

The 24-year-old woman murdered in this morning’s terror attack in Jerusalem is named as Livia Dickman, from the capital’s Har Nof neighborhood.

The other woman killed in the shooting attack is named as Hannah Ifergan, a school principal in Beit Shemesh.

Earlier, the man slain in the attack was named as rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman.

Photos show siblings Itay and Maya Regev reuniting after being freed separately from Gaza

The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)

Soroka Medical Center publishes photos of the reunification of Itay Regev, 18, who was released last night from Gaza after being held by Hamas for over 50 days, with his sister Maya Regev, 21, who was freed four days earlier.

The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)

IDF says Iron Dome intercepted ‘suspicious aerial target’ that crossed from Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces says the Iron Dome system intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon.

The incident set off sirens in the northern communities of Matat, Sassa and Dovev.

There are no injuries or damage.

The incident is the first of its kind in five days, amid an ongoing ceasefire in Gaza that has also been mostly adhered to in the north.

Shaare Zedek says it’s treating 4 hurt in Jerusalem attack, after 2 patients died earlier

Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center provides an update on the six injured people it received from this morning’s terror attack at the entrance to the capital.

Despite efforts to save two critically wounded victims — a man aged 73 and a woman in her 60s — both were declared dead, with the man named as rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman. Another woman was declared dead at the scene.

There are currently four victims from the attack hospitalized at Shaare Zedek, three in serious condition and one — shot in the hand — in light-to-moderate condition.

According to Dr. Alon Schwartz, head of the hospital’s trauma unit, the victims all suffered from gunshot wounds. Three of those who initially arrived required immediate surgery in the trauma unit to restore their pulse. The efforts were successful in the cases of two patients, who were transferred for further urgent surgery. One patient did not survive this second surgery.

“Two more victims brought to the trauma unit needed to be sedated and intubated and need immediate surgery,” Schwartz says.

Drone infiltration alert, rocket siren sound in north amid ceasefire; cause probed

A suspected drone infiltration alert is sounding in the northern communities of Matat, Sassa, and Dovev, close to the Lebanon border.

An incoming rocket siren is also sounding in Dovev.

The IDF says it is investigating the cause of the alarms, the first in the country in several days amid an ongoing ceasefire.

Thai hostages freed by Hamas return to Bangkok, says country’s foreign ministry

A plane carrying 17 Thai hostages freed by Hamas after being held for weeks in the Gaza Strip has landed in Bangkok, the country’s foreign ministry says.

Family members are waiting to greet the freed captives at the Thai capital’s main airport.

Nine Thais are still being held by the Palestinian terrorists.

Gantz says Jerusalem attack strengthens Israel’s resolve to keep up war on terror

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says that this morning’s Jerusalem terror attack strengthens Israel’s resolve to continue waging war against Hamas in Gaza, as Israel enters its seventh day of a negotiated ceasefire with the Palestinian terror group.

“This terror attack is further proof of our obligation to continue to fight with strength and determination against murderous terrorism, which threatens our citizens. In Jerusalem, Gaza, in Judea and Samaria, and everywhere,” Gantz writes on X, using the biblical name for the West Bank.

Family of Ofir Tzarfati, presumed captive following Oct. 7 rave, is told he is dead

Ofir Tzarfati was presumed captive after going missing following the Supernova music rave massacre by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
Ofir Tzarfati was presumed captive after going missing following the Supernova music rave massacre by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

The family of Ofir Tzarfati, who had been presumed captive after going missing at the Supernova music rave following the Hamas massacre on October 7, has been told he is dead, according to the city hall of his hometown of Kiryat Ata.

Tzarfati was celebrating his 27th birthday with his girlfriend, Shoval, and friends, when he was abducted to Gaza by terrorists who killed at least 364 people at the music festival and kidnapped many others.

A date of death and other details have not been provided.

One of Jerusalem attack victims named as rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman

One of the three people murdered in this morning’s shooting terror attack in Jerusalem is named by spokespersons for both chief rabbis as Ashdod rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman, 73.

The offices of Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau both mourn Wasserman as a senior, gifted and dedicated dayan, saying he was “murdered by a vile person.”

After his retirement, Wasserman was appointed a dayan amit, a retired rabbinical judge who continues serving after retirement if there are empty seats on the bench.

Lod woman in advanced stage of pregnancy stabbed to death, fetus doesn’t survive

In a shocking incident in Lod, a pregnant woman in her early 20s has been stabbed to death, in what the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit says is the 222nd killing in the Arab community this year.

The woman was in advanced stage of pregnancy, and she was reportedly taken in critical condition to Assaf Harofeh hospital and underwent an emergency C-section, but both she and her unborn child didn’t survive.

Homicide rates this year have skyrocketed, with the tally of 222 more than double the rate for this time last year, which stood at 103, Abraham Initiatives say.

Ben Gvir at Jerusalem attack scene: We must only speak to Hamas through military actions

A handout photo shows National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, second from right, at the scene of a terror shooting attack on November 30, 2023. (Otzma Yehudit)
A handout photo shows National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, second from right, at the scene of a terror shooting attack on November 30, 2023. (Otzma Yehudit)

Arriving at the scene of this morning’s Jerusalem terror attack, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir says Israel must respond to terror with military pressure.

“This type of incident proves again how much we can’t show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through intentions, only through the war,” he says, appearing to criticize the government’s ceasefire negotiations with the terror group.

He adds that this morning’s shooting attack, in which the Palestinian gunmen were said to have been shot and killed with the help of an off-duty soldier, supports his policy of having more civilians carry guns.

In first tally, Defense Ministry says 2,005 security force members injured since Oct. 7

According to the Defense Ministry, 2,005 wounded soldiers and security forces members have been recognized by its rehabilitation department since the beginning of the war.

It says that 287 soldiers and security forces are currently hospitalized, 28 of them in serious condition.

This is the first time an official number of troops wounded as a result of the fighting against Hamas since October 7 has been provided by authorities.

Jerusalem terrorists named as brothers, Hamas members previously jailed for terror

According to the Shin Bet security agency, the two Palestinian terrorists who carried out the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem are Hamas members, and were previously jailed for terror activity.

They are named as brothers Murad Nemer, 38, and Ibrahim Nemer, 30, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.

Murad was jailed from 2010 to 2020 for planning terror attacks under the direction of terror elements in the Gaza Strip, according to the Shin Bet.

Ibrahim was jailed in 2014 for undisclosed terror activity, the agency says.

Released hostages are treated at hospitals as images show them reunite with loved ones

Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The hostages released from Hamas captivity in Gaza last night are receiving care at hospitals throughout the country. The 12 Israelis are at Soroka Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital, and Schneider Children’s Hospital. The four released Thai citizens are at Shamir (Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center.

The freed hostages will undergo thorough medical and psychological evaluations and receive all necessary care from specially trained medical and psychosocial teams.

It is presumed that the one former hostage brought to Soroka is 18-year-old Itay Regev, whose sister Maya Regev, 21, is being treated there after having been released from captivity earlier this week. Israel’s policy is to keep family members together.

Another family reunion occurred last night when Raaya Rotem returned from captivity and joined her daughter Hila Rotem, 13, at Sheba. Hila was freed on November 25, without her mother, in violation of the temporary ceasefire agreement, and has reported that the pair had been separated 48 hours prior to her release.

Released Gaza hostage Raaya Rotem, right, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

According to Prof. Itai Pessach, director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba, the six women brought there last night are suffering from various injuries. However, none are life-threatening, and all the women are in stable condition.

Released Gaza hostage Liat Beinin Atzili speaks to loved ones on the phone at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Pessach says that the 21 returnees previously brought to Sheba have completed acute physical and mental evaluations. Some have already been discharged to continue their recoveries at home under the continued supervision of the hospital in coordination with community health teams.

“We were privileged to accompany the [heartwarming] reunions of many families on one hand, but we were also exposed to the complex and difficult stories of these people during their time of captivity,” Pessach says.

“Tonight we were especially moved by the reunion of Raaya and Hila Rotem. Hila has been with us since her release from captivity and we, along with the entire Israeli nation, were very much looking forward to this reunion,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has published photos of the released hostages being welcomed by loved ones upon their return last night to Hatzerim airbase in Israel.

Released Gaza hostage Liam Or is embraced by his father at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)
Released Gaza hostage Moran Stela Yanai, left, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Death toll from Jerusalem attack up to 3, as another elderly victim succumbs to wounds

The death toll of the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem rises to three.

According to Hebrew-language media reports citing the Magen David Adom ambulance service, two elderly victims who were critically hurt in the attack have died at a hospital, in addition to a 24-year-old declared dead at the scene.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion says he has ordered increased security deployment in the capital “to boost the sense of security among residents.”

Footage shows terrorists opening fire at civilians at bus stop, being shot and killed

Surveillance camera footage shows the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem this morning, with two gunmen exiting a car and opening fire at a group of civilians waiting at a bus stop.

Two people have been killed, and at least seven others were hurt.

Two off-duty soldiers and an armed civilian are then seen shooting the terrorists dead.

Smotrich: Israel ‘at war on all fronts,’ will pursue and ‘destroy’ terrorists everywhere

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich leads his Religious Zionism party's Knesset faction meeting, November 20, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich leads his Religious Zionism party's Knesset faction meeting, November 20, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich responds to this morning’s Jerusalem terror attack by saying that Israel is “at war on all fronts.”

Terrorists shot people at a bus stop, killing two people and wounding seven, shortly after Israel’s ceasefire with Hamas was extended for a seventh day.

“The terrible attack in Jerusalem reminds us that our enemies are not only the Nazis in Gaza. We will pursue and destroy them, with God’s help, everywhere,” Smotrich writes on X, saying Israel is going for “total victory on all fronts.”

Man dies of wounds sustained in Jerusalem terror attack, raising toll to 2

Police say the death toll in the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem is up to two.

Reports say a man in his 70s wounded in the attack has died in a hospital.

US ambassador condemns ‘abhorrent’ Jerusalem terror attack

Jack Lew, US President Joe Biden's nominee to be the US ambassador to Israel, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill October 18, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
Jack Lew, US President Joe Biden's nominee to be the US ambassador to Israel, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill October 18, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew condemns the “abhorrent terrorist attack” in Jerusalem, calling it “brutal.”

“My thoughts are with the families of the victims and I offer my sincere condolences to all those affected,” he says on X.

Police: 2 Jerusalem terrorists were ‘neutralized’ by security forces, armed civilians

A handout photo of a rifle and pistol found at the scene of a shooting terror attack in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Israel Police)
A handout photo of a rifle and pistol found at the scene of a shooting terror attack in Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Israel Police)

Police say the two terrorists who opened fire at people at the entrance to Jerusalem were “neutralized” by security forces and an armed civilian.

According to police, the pair got out of a car at around 7:40 a.m. and began to open fire at a bus stop, killing one and wounding eight others.

The attackers’ identities are not immediately given, but some Hebrew media reports say they are from East Jerusalem.

Police say officers are scanning the area to rule out any additional attackers.

Woman killed in Jerusalem terror shooting, 8 others injured — medics

Israeli emergency services at the scene of a terror shooting attack in at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Israeli emergency services at the scene of a terror shooting attack in at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A 24-year-old woman was killed in the shooting terror attack at the entrance to Jerusalem, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

MDA’s director-general Eli Bin tells the Kan public broadcaster that another five people are seriously wounded in the attack.

Additionally, three more people are wounded, in moderate and light condition, he says.

The five more seriously injured patients have been taken to Shaare Zedek hospital, with three others taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem, the hospitals say.

Medics say 7 hurt in Jerusalem shooting, including 2 in critical condition

The Magen David Adom ambulance services raises the toll of the shooting attack at the entrance to Jerusalem to seven.

It says two victims in critical condition are being treated at the scene.

Another five are taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in serious, moderate and light condition, MDA adds.

The hospital confirms it has received the five, saying four of them are in serious condition and one is moderately injured.

At least 6 hurt in shooting terror attack near entrance to Jerusalem

The scene of a terror shooting at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)
The scene of a terror shooting at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)

Medics and security forces are responding to reports of a terror shooting attack near the entrance to Jerusalem.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it is treating six people wounded by gunfire at a bus stop on Weizman road near the entrance to Jerusalem. They are in serious and moderate condition, it says.

At least two Palestinian gunmen were shot by security forces at the scene, according to initial reports.

Some reports say there are several scenes of attack.

Reports: Just 8 hostages to go free today, with 2 women freed yesterday completing to 10

Multiple Hebrew media outlets report that the updated list of hostages to be freed today is made up of only eight hostages — six women and two children — and that the two Israeli-Russian women released last night as a “gesture” to Russian President Vladimir Putin will count toward today’s list.

Some of the reports, which cite an unnamed “Israeli official,” say that three bodies of abductees will also be returned.

According to the ceasefire rules, the pause in fighting can continue for more days only if the Hamas terror group frees 10 women and children for each day of the extension.

Hamas initially suggested a list of seven women and children, as well as three bodies, which Israel rejected as insufficient and as separating families, threatening to renew the fighting at 7 a.m.

Israel and Qatar have confirmed that the truce will continue today after Hamas passed a list that “complies” with the truce rules.

Ynet quotes the Israeli official as saying: “The negotiations were very difficult and nerve-wracking. There was a battle over every name. We were very close to stopping the deal entirely.”

Herzog mourns Kissinger as ‘a giant who shaped world politics,’ says he loved Israel

File: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attends a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2022. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)
File: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attends a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2022. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)

President Isaac Herzog eulogizes former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who died overnight aged 100, as “one of the greatest diplomats” and “a giant who shaped world politics with his own hands and mind.”

Hailing Kissinger’s part in forging the 1979 peace deal with Egypt, Herzog says Kissinger told him on the latter’s 100th birthday that he has “always loved and supported Israel, and always will.”

Israel says Hamas gave new list that adheres to truce rules; Qatar confirms 1-day extension

The Prime Minister’s Office says the Gaza truce will continue today, after a list was received a short while ago of 10 women and children hostages set for release from Gaza that complies with the agrees ceasefire rules.

Qatar’s foreign ministry confirms the one-day extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas, saying that it will be under the same terms as the previous six days, which saw Hamas release at least 10 hostages in exchange for at least 30 Palestinian prisoners released by Israel.

Israeli official: If Hamas meets conditions on list of hostages, truce can hold

An Israeli official tells Ynet that “if a complete list is received that meets the conditions, we can continue with the truce.”

The official says it’s possible Hamas will meet the requirements.

Mediators are working to secure a seventh day of truce in Gaza and the release of 10 more hostages later Thursday, as part of an extended ceasefire agreement.

The truce was set to expire at 7 a.m. this morning.

IDF: Lull in Gaza fighting to continue amid efforts to extend truce, free more hostages

The Israel Defense Forces says the ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip will continue amid efforts that would see the terror group release further hostages.

The pause was set to end at 7 a.m this morning.

“In light of the mediators’ efforts to continue the process of releasing the hostages and subject to the terms of the agreement, the ceasefire will continue,” the IDF says in a short statement.

As part of the agreement, Hamas will need to release at least 10 hostages for every extra day of the lull in fighting.

Israel in turn will also release 30 Palestinian prisoners for every 10 hostages.

Israeli health minister slams Red Cross’s conduct over hostages held by Hamas

Israeli Health Minister Uriel Busso pans the Red Cross organization, which has been handling the transfer of released hostages from Gaza to Israel via Egypt, over its lack of efforts to secure access to hostages held by Hamas and gain information on their wellbeing.

In an overnight post in Hebrew on X, Busso says the organization “refuses and neglects with complete insensitivity to transfer and make available information to Magen David Adom on the safety of the hostages.”

“It is time to speak with a clear voice, Hamas is a terrorist organization that slaughtered and kidnapped women, children, and elderly people…We need an organization that will protect and give hope to the families of the hostages, and provide medical information. Any other conduct is acceptance and support for terror.”

Hamas says Israel rejected offer for 7 more women and children, bodies of 3 Israelis

Hamas announces that Israel rejected its offer to release seven women and children along with the bodies of three other Israelis for an extension of the truce that started Friday and held for six days by Wednesday.

Israel said it would be willing to extend the truce for an additional day for every 10 abducted Israeli women and children that Hamas releases.

The truce is set to end at 7 a.m.

Hamas says in its statement that the list of seven Israelis it presented earlier this evening were the only Israeli women and children that it was able to locate in Gaza. Other allied terror groups also abducted Israelis on October 7, but several of those hostages were still released over the past week.

An Israeli official told reporters on Wednesday that Jerusalem believes at least 15 more women and children remain in Gaza.

Israel has in the past rejected Hamas claims that it could not locate all of the hostages in Gaza, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad falsely claimed that one of its hostages was killed in Israeli airstrikes when she was in fact alive and released in recent days

Meanwhile, Hamas’s military wing issues a statement saying that it ordered its forces to be on high alert in anticipation of a renewal in the terror group’s fighting with Israel.

The statement came two hours before the deadline set by Israeli officials who warned that they would resume fighting if Hamas did not deliver by 7 a.m. an updated list of the hostages it is prepared to release in order to extend the truce by at least one more day.

Hamas says forces on high alert as truce set to expire and extension deal teeters

Hamas’s military wing issues a statement saying that it ordered its forces to be on high alert in anticipation of a renewal in the terror group’s fighting with Israel.

The statement comes less than two hours before the deadline set by Israeli officials who warned that they would resume fighting if Hamas did not deliver by 7 a.m. an updated list of the hostages it is prepared to release in order to extend the truce by at least one more day.

An Israeli official said earlier that the list provided by Hamas contained hostages who are not all women or children, which Jerusalem has said it will not accept until those two categories are all returned.

Freed Thai hostages set to return home after release by Hamas

Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, on their way back to Thailand, after being released from Hamas captivity. (AP/Maya Levin)
Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, on their way back to Thailand, after being released from Hamas captivity. (AP/Maya Levin)

BANGKOK, Thailand — Seventeen Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks by Hamas in the Gaza Strip are expected to return home on Thursday to be met by overjoyed relatives at the Bangkok airport.

Tens of thousands of Thais were working in Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector, when Palestinian terrorists poured over the border with Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 240 people of all ages.

At least 32 Thais were abducted by Hamas, with Bangkok’s foreign ministry and Thai Muslim groups working to negotiate their release.

Thirty-nine Thais were killed and 19 wounded in the shock onslaught, with the Thai kingdom evacuating more than 8,500 nationals from Israel, according to Bangkok’s foreign ministry.

On Thursday, at around 3:00 pm (0800 GMT), the 17 nationals are expected to land at the capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport following weeks in captivity.

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger dies aged 100

File: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attends a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2022. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)
File: Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attends a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on December 1, 2022. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the diplomat with the thick glasses and gravelly voice who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam and broke down barriers with China, died Wednesday, his consulting firm says. He was 100.

With his gruff yet commanding presence and behind-the-scenes manipulation of power, Kissinger exerted uncommon influence on global affairs under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, earning both vilification and the Nobel Peace Prize. Decades later, his name still provoked impassioned debate over foreign policy landmarks long past.

Father of freed American-Israeli hostage thanks Biden for his efforts

The father of the American-Israeli hostage freed earlier today thanks US President Joe Biden for his efforts to secure his daughter’s release.

“I’m glad that President Biden is the president. I don’t see any other person around who would be able to manage the current situation as well as he has,” says Yehuda Beinin, the father of freed hostage Liat Beinin Atzilli, during a CNN interview.

Biden called Yehuda Beinin earlier this evening following his daughter’s release and invited him to the White House.

“Once again, the president has shown… that [he] is sharp as a tack and any intonation to any other state of his mind is patently ridiculous,” Beinin says, dismissing concerns regarding the 81-year-old Biden’s mental fitness.

Freed hostages arrive at hospitals in Israel, to reunite with families

The 10 Israeli hostages and four Thai nationals freed tonight begin to arrive at hospitals in Israel for treatment and monitoring and to reunite with their loved ones, the Health Ministry says.

Two Israeli women with dual Russian citizenship were freed earlier in the evening as a “gesture” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, separate from the deal with Israel.

If Hamas proposal for release of next group of hostages doesn’t change, war to resume, says source

An Israeli source tells Channel 12 early Thursday that if Hamas’s proposal for the release of the next group of Israeli hostages doesn’t change by morning, Israel would resume fighting.

Israel’s war cabinet is meeting to weigh proposals to extend the truce, now in its sixth day, if more hostages are released, specifically women and children

Israel, Hamas yet to reach agreement on next group of Israeli hostages set for release

Israel and Palestinian terror group Hamas have yet to reach an agreement via mediators on the next group of Israeli hostages set for potential release Thursday, which would secure truce agreement for a seventh day.

The truce is set to expire at 7.am. this morning.

The war cabinet is meeting into the night to reach agreement on Israel’s next move.

Channel 12 reports that mediators have submitted a list of hostages that is not acceptable to Israel.

According to the report, Israel made it clear the list must be amended for the extension to go ahead.

White House not seeking conditions on military aid to Israel, says senator

After the Biden administration appeared to leave open the possibility that the US might condition aid to Israel in the future, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told lawmakers this week that the White House isn’t seeking conditions on the aid for Jerusalem that it is asking Congress to pass.

Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who was among lawmakers who met privately with Sullivan on Tuesday, tells The Associated Press that Sullivan “made it clear that the White House is not asking for any conditionality in aid. So I want to leave that very clear.” A second person directly familiar with the meeting confirmed the account.

During the meeting, Sullivan took questions from Senate Democrats about how the administration would ensure that any American weapons provided to Israel would be used in accordance with US law, AP reports.

Several progressive Democrats have called for conditioning aid to Israel, as the civilian casualty figures in Gaza increase along with frustration over Israel’s conduct in the West Bank.

Asked last week about the proposal, Biden said it was a “worthwhile thought,” but argued that he would not have managed to secure the release of hostages, the increase of aid into Gaza and the implementation of a temporary ceasefire had he taken a more hardline approach toward Israel.

Still, his top aides refused to categorically rule out the idea of conditioning aid when asked in several interviews earlier this week.

Sullivan’s remarks to lawmakers appeared to all but put the proposal — which wouldn’t be able to pass Congress regardless — to bed.

AP contributed to this report.

UN chief says accounts of sexual violence ‘during abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas’ must be probed

After UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the first time called for an investigation into allegations of sexual violence committed during the October 7 Hamas massacres, his official X account posts a quote from the speech in which he made the call and adds the words “by Hamas,” which were not uttered in his speech.

“There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” the Guterres tweet reads. “Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry tore into the women’s rights group UN Women last week for taking 50 days to comment on the evidence of sexual violence perpetrated during Hamas’s onslaught last month, only to issue a brief statement expressing “alarm” on the matter, then delete the post.

On Instagram, UN Women posted the condemnation of Hamas before deleting it shortly after, and replacing it with a call to release all hostages in Gaza.

US warship shoots down drone launched from Yemen

An American destroyer shot down a drone today that was launched from a part of Yemen controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the US military’s Central Command says.

“At approximately 1100 (Sanaa time), while in the South Red Sea, the Arleigh-Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) shot down an Iranian-produced KAS04 unmanned aerial vehicle launched from Huthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” CENTCOM says in a statement.

Biden: We’re determined to secure release of every person taken hostage by Hamas

US President Joe Biden welcomes the release of an American-Israeli hostage from Hamas captivity tonight and says Washington will keep working to help secure the release of all hostages taken by Hamas.

Sixteen Israeli and Thai hostages were freed earlier tonight, among them Liat Beinin — a high school teacher, a guide at Israel’s Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem and an American.

“Jill and I are deeply gratified that she will soon be reunited with her three children and her father, who have been wracked with worry for her safety, and we remain determined to secure the release of every person taken hostage by Hamas during its brutal terrorist assault on Israel on October 7, including Liat’s husband Aviv,” Biden says.

The US president notes that the tonight’s releases were the result of a truce between Israel and Hamas that the US worked tirelessly to secure in order free now nearly 100 hostages and to deliver significant amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The truce is in its sixth day, following a two-day extension of what was initially a four-day truce. The US says it hopes the temporary ceasefire will be further extended and talks toward that end are ongoing.

Biden again thanks the leaders of Israel, Qatar and Egypt for their help in securing the truce.

The statement details at length US efforts to surge humanitarian aid into Gaza as the Biden administration continues to come under fire from the far-left flank of the Democratic party over its support for Israel right to self-defense following Hamas’s October 7 massacre.

Four-year-old Abigail Edan, an Israeli-American dual citizen, was the first US hostage to be released under the ceasefire. Both of her parents were killed in the Hamas attack that started the war on Oct. 7.

White House officials believe seven or eight Americans remain in captivity.

AP contributed to this report.

Blinken arrives in Israel for talks on Gaza truce, aid

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv tonight for talks with Israeli leaders on the truce with Hamas in Gaza, the hostages held by the terror group, and the provision of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

It is Blinken’s third visit to the Middle East since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, sparked by the shock October 7 assault on southern Israel by the terror group, when thousands of terrorists massacred people in their homes and at an outdoor music festival. About 1,200 people were killed, and around 240 were taken hostage.

Earlier, 10 more Israeli and four Thai hostages were released by Hamas in Gaza as part of a truce agreement that saw.

Over the past week, 97 civilians have been released from Hamas captivity in Gaza: 73 Israelis, 23 Thai nationals and 1 Filipino.

Prior to the current agreement, 4 hostages were released, 1 was rescued and 2 bodies were recovered.

Around 145 hostages are estimated to remain in Gaza.

Biden welcomes release of dual US citizen Liat Beinin Atzili

Liat Beinin Atzili was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023 and released on November 29, 2023. (Courtesy)
Liat Beinin Atzili was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023 and released on November 29, 2023. (Courtesy)

President Joe Biden hails the release of dual Israeli-US citizen Liat Beinin, a mother of three — Ofri, 22, Neta, 20, and Aya, 18 — from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her husband Aviv is still held hostage in Gaza.

“I’ve got some very good news to report,” Biden tells reporters. “Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt. She’s crossed the border. I talked to her mother and father; they’re very appreciative,” he says.

“She’ll soon be home with her three children.”

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