The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s events as they unfolded.
Hundreds of far-left US Jewish activists have peacefully occupied New York’s Statue of Liberty to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israel’s “genocidal bombardment” of civilians in Gaza.
Dressed in black T-shirts emblazoned with the slogans “Jews demand ceasefire now” or “Not in our name,” the protestors unfurl banners reading “The whole world is watching” and “Palestinians should be free” at the base of New York’s iconic landmark.
“The famous words of our Jewish ancestor Emma Lazarus etched into this very monument compel us to take action supporting the Palestinians of Gaza yearning to breathe free,” Jay Saper of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the gathering’s organizer, says in a statement, referring to the 19th-century activist who helped Jewish refugees fleeing to New York from Europe.
The statement quotes Lazarus’s poem “New Colossus,” which is engraved on the statue’s base as an ode to US immigrants.
New York City, a famed melting pot of migrants, has been rocked for the past month by dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
The city is home to some two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims and has so far avoided any violence related to the conflict, though tensions are palpable in certain spots such as university campuses.
But opinions are not monolithic in either community.
A small liberal segment of American Jewish youth — Jews vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party — has unleashed harsh criticism of Israel, which it accuses of perpetrating “genocide” on Palestinians in Gaza.
They also denounce US President Joe Biden’s military and diplomatic support for Israel, which has engaged in a month-long bombardment of the Palestinian territory since Hamas’s October 7 attack that Israeli officials said left 1,400 people.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of demonstrators, some brought by JVP, gathered in Washington to call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and to denounce US policy of support for Israel.
In late October, thousands of protesters, many gathered by JVP, occupied the huge Grand Central station in Manhattan with the same demands.
Separately, thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters, including some from US Jewish organizations, shut down the Brooklyn Bridge, leading from Manhattan to the multicultural and fashionable borough across the East River.
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza block traffic at the Port of Tacoma, where a military supply ship had recently arrived.
Organizers say they oppose the Israel-Hamas war and targeted the vessel — the Cape Orlando — based on confidential information that it was to be loaded with weapons bound for Israel.
Those claims could not immediately be corroborated. In an emailed statement, Air Force Lt. Col. Bryon J. McGarry, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense, says that the department “does not provide transit or movement details” on such vessels for security reasons.
By midmorning local time today, about 200 protesters remain at the Port of Tacoma, some carrying signs reading “No Aid For Israel” and “Free All Palestinian Prisoners.” No arrests had been made according to the Tacoma Police Department.
Qatar’s ambassador for Gaza reconstruction Mohamed al-Emadi tears into Israel after an IDF spokesperson said that Hamas had dug a tunnel underneath a Qatari-funded hospital in Gaza.
Emadi says the IDF claim is “without concrete evidence or an independent investigation… and a blatant attempt to justify the occupation’s targeting of civilian facilities, including hospitals, schools, gatherings of population and shelters of displaced people.”
Israel and the US assert that Hamas does in fact operate from within or underneath civilian populations and have provided evidence showing as much.
Yesterday, the IDF released photos and video it said shows Hamas operatives emerging from the tunnel opening at the Sheikh Hamad Hospital.
The White House says Israel promised the Biden administration that the weapons it is purchasing from the United States will only be used by police, amid reports of concern in Washington that the guns would be used by violent settlers in the West Bank.
“We received a commitment from the Israelis that these weapons will only end up in the hands of Israeli police units. The US State Department did its homework and this is the commitment we received,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby tells reporters during a briefing.
UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed has directed Emirati authorities to establish a 150-bed field hospital inside Gaza to treat Palestinians wounded during the Israel-Hamas war, the Gulf kingdom’s WAM state news agency reports.
Earlier today, five planes carrying the medical equipment and supplies necessary for the field hospital took off from Abu Dhabi for Egypt where the shipment will then be transferred into Gaza, WAM says.
The hospital will be “established in multiple stages and include departments for general surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and gynecology in addition to anesthesia and intensive care units catering to both children and adults,” the report adds. “The facility will also house clinics for internal medicine, dentistry, psychiatry, and family medicine. Supplementary services will include CT imaging, a laboratory, a pharmacy and other medical support functions.”
“The initiative reflects the UAE’s historic stance of support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, particularly in light of the challenging circumstances currently being faced,” the state report says.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry slams South Africa after it announced earlier today that it was withdrawing all of its envoys from the Jewish state, in protest of the war in Gaza.
“The South African government’s decision to recall its diplomatic staff is a victory for the Hamas terrorist organization and rewards it for the massacre it carried out on October 7,” tweets Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat.
“Israel expects South Africa to condemn Hamas, which is worse than ISIS, and to respect Israel’s right to defend itself against an attack by a horrific terrorist organization that has engraved on its flag a call for the destruction of the State of Israel,” he adds.
The United States condemns Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu’s “wholly unacceptable” suggestion yesterday that dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza is among Israel’s options in the war against Hamas.
“We continue to believe that it is important for all sides of this conflict to refrain from hateful rhetoric that is going to further incite tensions,” US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel says in a briefing, when asked about Eliyahu’s comments.
Patel notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other cabinet members repudiated the far-right minister’s remarks.
Netanyahu’s office announced that he had suspended Eliyahu from attending cabinet meetings — although the minister took part in a telephone cabinet vote hours later.
The premier reportedly looked into firing Eliyahu, but backed down due to pushback from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who heads Eliyahu’s Otzma Yehudit party.
After Jordan’s prime minister says any attempt to push Palestinians out of the West Bank or Gaza would be considered “an act of war,” Israel stresses that its relations with Jordan are of “strategic importance.”
“Israel is fighting a murderous terrorist organization that poses a danger to the entire region,” tweets Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat. “Israel’s relations with Jordan are of strategic importance to both countries and we regret the inflammatory statements from Jordan’s leadership.”
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari denies reports in international media based on Hamas claims that it had carried out an airstrike on the roof of the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, damaging solar panels on the roof.
Israel’s four health maintenance organizations report a sharp drop in the number of people getting vaccinated against the flu as compared to last year. While the country’s flu shot campaign got off to an early and positive start in September, the response rate decreased significantly with the start of the war on October 7.
The HMOs are reporting decreases of 20-30 percent as compared to fall 2022. The Leumit HMO reports that only 10% of its members have received flu shots so far this year.
Israel’s HMOs and hospitals require the public’s cooperation in reducing severe illnesses that would require hospitalization at this time when they are already dealing with the mass casualty event of October 7 and are preparing for more war injuries, they say.
The healthcare system emphasizes the importance of the flu vaccine for babies, children, pregnant women, the immunocompromised, and people over 65. It is also encouraging people to consider getting the latest COVID-19 booster shot.
A report in the Wall Street Journal claims that the White House is planning to transfer $320 million worth of precision-guided bombs to Israel.
The US newspaper says it viewed correspondence from the Biden administration to Congress sent last week notifying it about the transfer of Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies.
The report suggests that the weapons would be transferred from the US branch of Rafael to the Israeli parent company.
Ra’am chief MK Mansour Abbas says that the future of a party MK who cast doubt on some of the Hamas atrocities of October 7 is still in question.
Yesterday, Ra’am MK Iman Khatib-Yasin claimed that Hamas did not rape women or slaughter babies, comments she later apologized for.
“I spoke with her, and she swears that she didn’t intend that, and ultimately she apologized,” Abbas says during an interview on Channel 12 news. “We are public officials and we need to be careful with everything we say and to think twice before we say any word,” he adds, noting, however, that “we all make mistakes.”
Yesterday, Abbas called on Khatib-Yasin to resign.
Asked about her political future today, the Ra’am leader says, “We are still dealing with the issue, and I hope we’ll find a solution soon.”
Abbas also says that he and his party are trying to help free the 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
“We have tools, we have people, we have a way that we are trying to impact,” he says, noting however that his efforts are not a replacement for the official channels, and noting also that he met with the families of hostages earlier today in the Knesset.
Seventy trucks carrying international humanitarian aid were inspected and transferred to Gaza via the Rafah crossing today, Israel’s COGAT military liaison to the Palestinians says.
The trucks contained medical supplies, food, and water.
The figure is less than the initial goal set by the US for 100 trucks to enter Gaza each day — a goal it said it wanted to build on significantly after meeting it for the first time over the weekend.
The figures provided in the past few weeks from COGAT and from US officials have not always matched up.
The IDF spokesman says that a siren that sounded recently in the Upper Galilee near the border with Lebanon was a false alarm.
The Ohio-class submarine that US Central Command announced had sailed into Middle East waters yesterday is an SSGN, a guided missile submarine variant that is not capable of firing nuclear weapons, a defense official tells The Associated Press.
The official speaks on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. The vessel was photographed as it transited the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, the defense official says.
Earlier today, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the submarine would provide “further support our deterrence efforts in the region.”
Although it is not unusual for a US submarine to transit the canal in Egypt, Central Command’s online statement acknowledging the location of an Ohio-class submarine is rare. There are Ohio-class submarines that can fire nuclear weapons known as SSBN, or ballistic missile submarine variants.
Israeli security services have foiled multiple plots against Israeli targets abroad since the war broke out, a security official tells The Times of Israel.
On Friday, citing rising antisemitism worldwide since Israel declared war on Hamas over the terror group’s October 7 onslaught in southern Israel, the National Security Council urged Israelis to reconsider any travel abroad while calling on those flying overseas to avoid outward displays of their Jewish and Israeli identities.
Air raid sirens sound in the Upper Galilee near the border with Lebanon, although it was not immediately clear what set them off.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claim to launch a fresh drone attack against Israel.
The Houthis assert without any evidence that their latest strike temporarily halted activity at Israeli military bases and airports.
There was no immediate confirmation from Israel and no sirens or infiltration alerts were set off, while airports and military bases appeared to continue operating as normal.
An unsourced Channel 12 TV report suggested that drones from Yemen may have been shot down by Jordan. Other Houthi attacks over the past few weeks were intercepted by the US.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree writes on X that “the Yemeni armed forces… launched a batch of drones during the past hours at various sensitive targets of the Israeli enemy in the occupied territories.”
“As a result of the operation, the activity at the targeted bases and airports stopped for several hours.”
The Health Ministry opens 300 new positions for nurses at hospitals around the country, especially for surgery and intensive care services. The nurses — hired for a minimum of five months — will fill in for nurses who have been called to emergency military service. Other nurses have been unable to get to work because their life partners have been called up, or because they must stay at home with their children, due to school closures.
The Health Ministry has budgeted NIS 35 million ($9 million) for this effort and has already screened 600 nurses who have applied for the positions. The nursing staff will be boosted at all hospitals, especially in those near the northern and southern borders.
The effort to fill open nursing positions during the war is part of a plan to boost emergency preparedness. As part of this, the Health Ministry has instructed that nurses may be asked to work 12-hour shifts, rather than the usual 8 hours.
The Israel Defense Forces says fighter jets struck Hezbollah sites in Lebanon in response to rocket fire on northern Israel earlier.
According to the IDF, the targets included a site housing “technological assets,” a weapons depot, rocket launch positions, and other infrastructure.
מטוסי קרב של צה״ל תקפו מטרות של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה בתגובה לירי שבוצע משטח לבנון מוקדם יותר היום, במקביל לתקיפות באמצעות ירי ארטילרי.
בין המטרות שהותקפו מספר אתרים בהם ממוקמים אמצעים טכנולוגיים של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה, מחסן אמצעי לחימה, עמדות שיגור ותשתיות טרור pic.twitter.com/hTXJ8jaqUH
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 6, 2023
The head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, entered the Gaza Strip today with ground forces to carry out an assessment, the military says.
The IDF says the assessment, with the head of the Combat Engineering Corps, Brig. Gen. Ido Mizrahi, and other officers, dealt with the issue of Hamas tunnels.
The head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, entered the Gaza Strip today with ground forces to carry out an assessment, the military says. The assessment, with the head of the Combat Engineering Corps, Brig. Gen. Ido Mizrahi, dealt with the issue of Hamas… pic.twitter.com/mEtsHYTqkB
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 6, 2023
Hamas will not accept a puppet government in the Gaza Strip and will remain in the territory, says the leader of the Palestinian terror group in Lebanon.
“To those who think that Hamas will disappear, Hamas will remain entrenched in the conscience of our people, and no force on Earth can annihilate or marginalize it,” Osama Hamdan tells a news conference.
“Our people will not allow the United States to impose its plans to create an administration that suits it and that suits the occupation [Israel], and our people will not accept a new Vichy government,” he says, making a comparison to Nazi Germany.
US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the potential for humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas war, White House National Security Council chairman John Kirby says during a phone briefing with reporters.
The US believes such pauses would help enable civilians to reach safer locations in Gaza, ensure humanitarian aid is reaching civilians in need, and enable potential hostage releases, Kirby says.
“We consider ourselves at the beginning of this conversation, not at the end of it, so you can expect that we’re going to continue to advocate for temporary localized pauses,” the NSC spokesperson adds, while clarifying that the US still does not support a more permanent ceasefire because such a move would benefit Hamas.
Pressed on whether US diplomacy is still effective, given that both Israel and US allies in the region have refused to back humanitarian pauses, Kirby rejects the premise and notes that Jerusalem initially rejected allowing any aid into Gaza before coming around on the issue and okaying the entry of assistance from Egypt after significant US pressure.
Kirby says Biden also raised the need to “hold extremist settlers accountable” for their violence in the West Bank… “while reducing threats from terrorist groups that are operating there.”
The two leaders will speak again in the coming day.
Channel 12 news reports that Israel is bracing for pressure from the US on the issue of humanitarian pauses to become an outright demand in the next week to 10 days. The TV network quotes Minister Ron Dermer saying in internal discussions that if Israel does not heed the pressure, the political price will be steep.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says ground forces have been operating deeper in Gaza City in the last few hours.
Hagari says the IDF is “deepening the pressure on Gaza City,” where Hamas’s main stronghold is believed to be.
He says the IDF killed several Hamas field commanders during overnight airstrikes and operations, which “significantly harms Hamas’s ability to carry out counterattacks.”
On Hamas’s tunnel network, Hagari says combat engineering forces are demolishing each and every tunnel they come across using “different and diverse devices.”
Meeting today with residents of Gaza-border area Kibbutz Kissufim, who have been evacuated to hotels at the Dead Sea, war cabinet member Benny Gantz is asked whether Gaza will be wiped out by the end of the war, and the kibbutz will have an uninterrupted 7-kilometer view to the sea.
“You won’t have a view of the sea,” Gantz replies, in a clip shown on Channel 12 news. “Gaza will be there. Rafiah and Khan Younis too. We have to ensure that there will be no security threat from there.”
Gantz elaborates: “We’re not going to wipe out Gaza. It won’t be wiped out. I’m telling you here and now, it won’t be wiped out… But there won’t be a security threat that will endanger you and deprive you of the will to live there [at the kibbutz].”
At least eight Kibbutz Kissufim residents and six foreign workers were murdered by invading Hamas terrorists on October 7.
Visiting the Israeli Air Force’s fleet of F-35I fighter jets, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi warns that Israel “knows how to reach anywhere in the Middle East.”
“We are already a month into the war, hitting Hamas very, very hard, hitting the leadership of Hamas, hitting the commanders, hitting the terrorists, destroying Hamas’s infrastructure in Gaza, and we are also constantly ready for other areas,” says Halevi to soldiers at the Nevatim airbase. “This [air] base knows how to reach anywhere in the Middle East.”
Halevi tells the soldiers that he recently saw an F-35I jet providing air support to troops some 200 meters (some 656 feet) away in the Gaza Strip.
“We never did anything like this. With very heavy munitions, a very good connection between what the [ground] force needs and what the plane knows to give,” he says. “This connection of air and land together, we always knew it was strong, we see now that it is much stronger than we knew.”
US President Joe Biden just got off the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war, the White House says, adding that it will issue a readout shortly.
The two leaders have been regular contact over the past month since the start of the war, including a solidary visit by Biden to Israel last month.
Maj-Gen (ret.) Giora Eiland, a former IDF operations chief and former head of the National Security Council, says he sees no choice but for the IDF to carry out a military operation at Gaza’s main Shifa Hospital, which the IDF has said sits atop a major Hamas operations base and tunnel network.
He says he hopes it is clear to the US that it should support such an IDF action, even if it results in thousands of civilian deaths.
In an interview with Channel 12, Eiland stresses appreciation for American support of Israel in its campaign to destroy Hamas in Gaza, but asserts that the US is “having trouble appreciating that Gaza is not Mosul and not like the areas where Islamic State was fought… It is the most fortified place in the history of humanity, with the best of Iranian technology, and billions invested.
The Americans also speak of Gaza “as though there is Hamas, bad people, and civilians in Gaza, who are innocent and need to be saved,” Eiland says. “That is not the reality in Gaza. Gaza to a very great extent is a Nazi state, in which they have managed to recruit the entire civil society in support of the struggle against Israel. Every other home in Gaza has an entrance down to the tunnels below. These are private homes. All the hospital and school administrators are Hamas workers. There is a great effort by all Gazans against Israel,” he says. “They are united around their leadership, not opposed to the leadership.”
In the long-term, for the sake of Israel and the US, Eiland says, “we don’t only need to reach a real achievement there, but that achievement has to resonate as follows: This is what happens to those who carry out slaughter against the State of Israel.”
If so, the current “very difficult pictures [from Gaza] and international pressure in the short term, will translate in the long-term to considerable admiration for Israel,” Eiland argues. “And if not to admiration, then at least to respect. And in the Middle East, the word ‘respect’ refers only to those who know how to use power and don’t have reservations about doing so.”
Eiland urges the US “not to fall into the trap that the Jordanians, the Egyptians, and the Saudis are saying… ‘Oy, oy, oy, this is terrible, put the pressure on Israel. They’ve been doing that for 20-something years.”
The retired general, who has said he is currently serving as an adviser to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant but not on core issues of the war, says US military officers increasingly “understand what I am saying. They understand that for America’s interests, if they want respect for Americans, then Israel must create some kind of… effect [in Gaza] that will cause everybody to be afraid of them.”
Noting that the head of the CIA, Bill Burns, visited Israel today, Eiland says, “I hope this was explained to him. And if there is an intention for a military action at Shifa [Hospital], which I think is inescapable, I hope that the head of the CIA got an explanation of why this is necessary, and why the US must ultimately back even an operation like this, even if there are thousands of bodies of civilians in the streets afterward.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has approved additional military plans for the IDF’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip, his office says.
In a video statement, Gallant says that the IDF’s operations over the past day have been “very impressive.”
“The combination between the Air Force and ground forces shakes the Gaza Strip,” Gallant says.
He comments on the Hamas field commanders that Israel has killed in airstrikes, saying that “some of them were the ones we eliminated a day or two ago and they were replaced by others, and they were also eliminated.”
Gallant says Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar “hides in his bunker and lets the field commanders die.”
“With us, the commanders go at the front of the force, lead, and achieve,” Gallant adds.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, repeating his warning that the Gaza Strip is becoming a “graveyard for children.”
“The unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour,” he tells reporters at the UN headquarters. “The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity.”
Eight firefighters are leaving the United States for Israel to help fill in for Israeli firefighters who have been called up to serve in the IDF.
The firefighters from Miami Beach, Florida, say it is the first city-sanctioned such mission in the US.
Capt. Adonis Garcia, the union president who came up with the idea for this mission, says most of the volunteers heading to Israel today are not Jewish.
Garcia says about a quarter of Israel’s firefighters have been called up since Hamas’s October 7 murderous rampage in southern Israel. Garcia and others have served before in natural disasters, including Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. But city officials say it is the first time they have been authorized to go to a war zone.
The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out airstrikes against sites belonging to the Hezbollah terror group in southern Lebanon, in response to some 30 rockets fired on northern Israel earlier.
The IDF says it will provide further details on the strikes soon.
At the same time, rocket sirens are sounding in the northern community of Shtula.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells a gathering of foreign envoys to Israel that their countries must join Israel’s pressure on the International Committee of the Red Cross to demand the ability to visit the some 240 hostages held in Gaza.
Netanyahu tells the ambassadors that he spoke yesterday with the ICRC chief and reiterated “the demand to release the hostages without conditions immediately, access to the hostages and information about the captives — things that international humanitarian law demands, which Hamas is violating.”
The prime minister tells the envoys that “you must support this demand and demand it yourselves every day: We want the hostages to be released immediately without conditions. We want information about them. We want the Red Cross to have access to them.”
More than 100 of the hostages are said to hold foreign citizenship.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid says Israel needs to fix its controversial 2018 Basic Law: Nation-State of the Jewish People by legally enshrining equality for non-Jewish citizens.
In particular, Lapid says he is signing onto a call from the Druze community, which lost four members in battle since October 7, to make Israelis equal in life and in death.
“I’m not requesting you to cancel it, I’m not asking you to violate the promise that you gave yourselves to make Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people, but fix the law at this terrible moment as we are burying our dead alongside your dead,” Lapid says the Druze community’s leader implored him in a letter.
Israeli forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip have located several rocket launchers and more than 50 rockets, located in a compound used by a youth movement and in a mosque, the military says.
The Israel Defense Forces publishes a video of the commander of the Nahal Brigade’s 50th Battalion, Lt. Col. Tomer Sayag, showing dozens of rocket launchers his forces found inside a building used by the Palestinian Scout Association.
Sayag says the empty rocket launchers were aimed at Ashkelon or central Israeli cities. The rocket launchers were later destroyed, the IDF says.
Israeli forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip have located several rocket launchers and some 50 rockets, located in a compound used by a youth movement and a mosque, the military says.
The IDF publishes a video of the commander of the Nahal Brigade’s 50th Battalion, Lt.… pic.twitter.com/lndgRtr2mK
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 6, 2023
Outside, some 50 rockets — bearing the logo of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group — were found in an underground storage site.
Separately, the IDF releases a video of the 460th Armored Brigade locating a number of empty underground rocket launchers adjacent to a mosque in northern Gaza. The video shows the launchers’ electrical wiring running inside the mosque, from which they are activated.
More than 60% of the Israeli public donated to various initiatives relating to the war effort during the third week of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and gave more money than ever, a new study reveals.
A full 62% of Israelis were giving, on average, NIS 458 ($118) weekly per person, in money or “in kind” donations. This amount is “almost double the sum documented in similar reports in the past,” the researchers found. The study is a joint effort by Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The researchers found that Israel’s “exceptional solidarity was also manifested in the fact that many Israelis donated to more than one body.”
The most common recipients were IDF soldiers and security forces; families whose loved ones were killed or kidnapped; people who were injured; hospitals and rescue forces; and support for evacuated communities.
A similar Hebrew University report from last week found that during the first two weeks of the war some 50% of Israeli citizens had directly volunteered in some way for the war effort, while the new study, covering the third week of the conflict, indicated that only 41% had volunteered. This is still a very high percentage, but the findings, taken together, indicates a drop in volunteerism.
Citing the war on Hamas in Gaza, a spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel urges the government to address several of the community’s longstanding grievances.
In a letter, Mowafaq Tarif demands the government and Knesset amend the 2018 law that designates Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People and “anchor constitutionally the status of the community and the rights of its members.”
The controversial 2018 Basic Law, which states that the “national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious, and historical right to self-determination,” was protested by many non-Jewish Israelis, in particular noting those who serve in the IDF.
In addition to the law, Tarif is seeking the annulment of demolition orders against structures built without permit in Druze villages if they were built on privately owned land and the cancellation of all fines imposed on Druze people for such construction in the Galilee and the Carmel Mountains.
“Some would say this is not the time to make such a plea but I believe this is necessary in the name of partnership, even more so today,” Tarif writes.
Speaking to dozens of foreign ambassadors in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel’s war against Hamas “is not a local battle.”
“Our victory is your victory,” he says.
“If the Middle East falls to the axis of terror, Europe will be next,” Netanyahu warns. “And no one will be safe.”
Netanyahu returns to themes he has used in recent weeks, calling the fight a “broader battle between civilization and barbarism.”
“The barbarism is led by a broader axis of terror,” he says. “The axis of terror is led by Iran. It includes Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis and their other minions. They seek to bring the Middle East and the world back to a dark age. They seek to torpedo, to derail any progress toward peace.”
Netanyahu says that after Israel destroys Hamas, it will offer the people of Gaza “a real future, a future of promise and hope.”
Hundreds of family members and friends of the at least 240 Hamas hostages gather outside the Knesset, calling on the government to do whatever it takes to free the captives.
“They’re not just numbers, they’re family,” says Nir Meir, secretary general of the kibbutz movement. “Dozens are my friends. There’s no way to come to peace with this.”
“Netanyahu, grow some balls and be like Golda,” adds Meir, referring to former prime minister Golda Meir.
Other speakers include Yamit Ashkenazi, sister to Doron Steinbrecher, both from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Ashkenazi’s sister Doron was taken captive from her sealed room on the kibbutz, as she tried to hold off terrorists by blocking her door with a couch.
“We’ve paid enough!” says Ashkenazi, as the crowd bursts into shouts of “Now! Now! Now!”
“This is the last place I want to be,” says Yuval Haran, whose mother, Shoshan Haran, was abducted along with six other members of his family, while his father, aunt and uncle were killed. “I’m not a strategist but my family is there, in Hamas’s hands for a full month and the only legitimate action is to bring them home.”
Police confirm officers entered the West Bank city of Tulkarem earlier today to kill members of a terror cell that was planning to carry out major attacks on behalf of Hamas.
In a joint statement with the Shin Bet security agency, police say officers of the elite Yamam counterterrorism unit killed four members of the cell.
It says the cell had already carried out dozens of shooting attacks, and had operated “under the guidance and funding” of Hamas in Gaza Strip and abroad, as well as other terror groups.
“In the process, they received hundreds of thousands of shekels to advance terror activity,” the statement says.
According to police and the Shin Bet, the cell was working to arm itself, carry out bombing attacks, launch rockets from the West Bank, and recruit additional members for attacks.
Two assault rifles were seized from the gunmen during the operation today, police say.
Mohamed Zaqout, the general manager of hospitals in Gaza, claims that the roof of a building at al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest, was damaged by an Israeli strike, resulting in deaths and injuries.
Speaking on Al-Jazeera, Zaqout says the strike killed displaced people who were sheltering on the top floor. Solar panels on the roof were destroyed in the attack, he says.
Yesterday the IDF released new intel showing Hamas using hospitals to carry out its operations.
Today a senior Hamas official denies such charges to reporters in Beirut. Osama Hamdan claims that a hole shown in a photo presented by the IDF spokesman is used for storing fuel.
Several long-range rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip toward central Israel a short while ago.
No sirens sounded, as the projectiles apparently landed in the sea.
Residents of the area report hearing several blasts.
The Hamas terror group claims responsibility for the rocket fire.
Footage shows several rockets being launched from the Gaza Strip, heading to central Israel. No sirens sounded as the projectiles apparently landed in the sea. pic.twitter.com/j7cN9GGXrl
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 6, 2023
The Gaza Strip-based Hamas terror group claims responsibility for firing a barrage of rockets from Lebanon at northern Israel, as missiles were also fired simultaneously by other terror groups along the border.
In a statement, Hamas says its Lebanon branch fired 16 rockets at Nahariya, Haifa and nearby towns.
Video footage shows the Iron Dome air defense system intercepting rockets over the area. There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Footage shows several Iron Dome interceptions over northern Israel. (Credit: קבוצת כתבים) pic.twitter.com/DhwmPe7T4E
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 6, 2023
The IDF confirms that in the last hour, some 30 rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel. It says troops are responding with artillery shelling at the sources of the fire.
The projectiles not fired by Hamas — presumably launched by Hezbollah or another Palestinian faction — set off sirens in the Upper Galilee.
Palestinian media outlets report that Israeli forces killed three gunmen in a car in the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
They are named as Izz a-Din Awad, a Hamas commander, Jihad Maharaj Shehadeh, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades commander, and Muhammad Sabarini, a local operative.
صور للشهداء الثلاثة الذين اغتالتهم قوات الاحتلال في طولكرم
قائد كتائب القسام الشهيد عز الدين عواد
قائد كتيبة الرد السريع الشهيد جهاد شحادة
— فلسطين بوست (@PalpostN) November 6, 2023
Footage shows dozens of bullet holes on the car.
There is no immediate comment from the Israeli military or police on the incident.
تغطية صحفية:"المركبة التي تم إطلاق النار صوبها من قوات الاحتلال الخاصة في طولكرم." pic.twitter.com/5i5y3XxP16
— فلسطين بوست (@PalpostN) November 6, 2023
Six ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians arrive in Egypt today through the Rafah border crossing with the war-torn Gaza Strip, a border official tells AFP.
The patients are undergoing medical examinations at the border before being transferred to hospitals, the official says, adding that the exit of foreigners from Gaza is also expected to resume today.
A senior US official said on Friday that Hamas tried to sneak its fighters out of the Gaza Strip in ambulances that evacuated dozens of wounded Palestinians to Egypt last week.
Labor party head Merav Michaeli says Israel should make returning the more than 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas its “supreme goal.”
Speaking at the outset of her party’s Knesset faction meeting, attended by representatives of hostage families, Michaeli says the government is prioritizing victory over Hamas, and said that there “is a feeling that it is not certain that we will make any effort to make this [hostage return] happen.”
Michaeli also says that, a month into Israel’s war, the cabinet should start discussing a plan for postwar Gaza.
“We must work hand in hand with the United States, Europe, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority to formulate a framework that will allow Israel to leave Gaza when Gaza is demilitarized and where Hamas will not be able to re-establish itself,” Michaeli suggests.
Michaeli reiterates her call for Netanyahu to step down, and says he is beholden to political extremists including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
“Netanyahu, who again incited against reservists and pilots yesterday, knows that without the ‘messianists,’ without the Smotriches, he does not have 64 [coalition seats] and his government will fall,” she says. “Therefore, he is selling us all to messianists, at the risk of opening a third front in the West Bank and needlessly killing soldiers and civilians.”
Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Nahariya, Acre, and several nearby towns in the Western Galilee and Krayot area.
Shortly before, sirens sounded in the Upper Galilee towns of Malkia, Avivim, and Dishon.
The alerts come amid repeated rocket and missile attacks by Hezbollah and allied Palestinian terror factions from southern Lebanon on northern Israel.
A Border Police officer who was critically wounded in a stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s Old City this morning has died.
She is named as Sgt. Rose Elisheva Lubin, 20, from Kibbutz Sa’ad in southern Israel.
Police say Lubin had moved to Israel from the United States in August 2021, and drafted into the police force as a so-called “lone soldier” in March 2022.
Her death brings the toll of police officers killed since October 7 to 59.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with all the foreign ambassadors based in Israel at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
The PMO did not say what topics would be covered.
Air raid sirens sound in Ashdod and other areas near the Gaza Strip after a barrage of rockets is fired from Gaza.
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana announces an NIS 80 million shekel ($20 million) cut from the Knesset’s operational budget, which the Knesset will transfer to the war effort.
Ohana’s office says that this cut represents 17.5% of the Knesset’s non-fixed expenses, and that salaries and other obligations required by law are not touched by the cut.
The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed the commander of Hamas’s Deir al Balah battalion in an overnight airstrike in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF says Wael Asfeh, along with other commanders of the so-called Central Camps Brigade, took part in sending terrorists of Hamas’s elite Nukhba forces into Israel during the October 7 onslaught.
מטוס קרב של חיל האוויר, בהכוונה מודיעינית של שב"כ ואמ"ן, חיסל במהלך הלילה את המחבל ואיל עספה, מפקד גדוד דיר אל-בלח של ארגון הטרור חמאס בחטיבת מחנות המרכז >> pic.twitter.com/OImv5GVVdf
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 6, 2023
Asfeh planned additional attacks, the IDF says. The IDF says Asfeh was jailed by Israel between 1992 and 1998 for his involvement in a number of attacks against Israeli communities.
The military publishes a video showing the airstrike.
מטוס קרב של חיל האוויר, בהכוונה מודיעינית של שב"כ ואמ"ן, חיסל במהלך הלילה את המחבל ואיל עספה, מפקד גדוד דיר אל-בלח של ארגון הטרור חמאס בחטיבת מחנות המרכז. עספה, יחד עם מפקדים נוספים במחנות המרכז לקח חלק בשילוח מחבלי נח'בה לשטח ישראל במתקפה הרצחנית ב-7 באוקטובר >> pic.twitter.com/JRsPiel3Ju
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 6, 2023
So far, the IDF has reported killing more than a dozen senior Hamas field commanders.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza claims that the Palestinian death toll from the ongoing war with Israel has jumped to over 10,000.
The Health Ministry says that 292 people were killed in Gaza yesterday, raising the death toll to 10,022.
These figures cannot be independently verified, and do not distinguish between civilians and active members of the Hamas terror group. The figure also does not distinguish between those killed in Israeli strikes and those killed by hundreds of errant rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists that landed inside Gaza.
In a rare move, two Likud lawmakers are advancing a petition to remove an Arab lawmaker from the Knesset after she made inflammatory remarks on Sunday.
Likud MKs Osher Shekalim and Hanoch Milwidsky are attempting to sign up fellow lawmakers as part of a parliamentary process to oust Ra’am MK Iman Khatib-Yassin, who on Sunday cast doubt on atrocities committed by Hamas during its October 7 rampage across southern Israel.
Ra’am party head MK Mansour Abbas swiftly asked for Khatib-Yassin’s resignation. She apologized, but has so far made no indication she intends to quit.
Shekalim and Milwidsky are unlikely to be successful.
Forcibly removing a lawmaker requires three steps. First, a letter must be sent to the Knesset speaker co-signed by 70 MKs, including 10 opposition MKs. Next, the speaker must recommend removal to the House Committee, and a supermajority in the House Committee must vote for removal. And finally, 90 out of the Knesset’s 120 MKs must approve the measure in the plenum.
The Knesset passed the MK removal method in 2016, and it later withstood a High Court of Justice challenge.
A similar proposal to oust then-Hadash MK Hanin Zoabi never made it past the first step.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid slams Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for deflecting blame for Israel’s failure to prevent Hamas’s October 7 attack, after the premier reportedly suggested protests by reserve soldiers against his coalition earlier this year may have been a factor in the terror group’s decision to launch its brutal assault.
“Every time he does the same thing: tweets and then deletes, says it and then denies it. That’s his method,” Lapid says at the outset of his Yesh Atid party’s Knesset faction meeting.
“Except this time it won’t work for him. I am telling Netanyahu, we will not let you conduct this one-sided discussion.”
The Yesh Atid head says that his party had not intended to play the blame game during wartime.
“While we remain silent, Netanyahu takes advantage of our silence and never stops blaming others for his failures,” Lapid says.
Directing remarks towards the premier, Lapid adds: “Stop this. Instead of slandering our best fighters and civilians by night, focus on what matters: returning the hostages, defeating Hamas [and] improving the shameful performance of your government on behalf of the citizens of Israel.”
Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh warns that any attempt to “displace” Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank would be “a red line” and Jordan will consider it “a declaration of war.”
“There will be no displacement, no new Nakba, God willing, no resettlement, and no alternative homeland,” he says in a statement.
Israeli rights group Shurat HaDin and 2,300 displaced Israelis write a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, blasting the refugee agency for ignoring the plight of hundreds of thousands of Israeli internally displaced persons.
The group and refugee families say that nothing has been done to fulfill UNHCR’s principles of “leaving no one behind” and building “effective approaches to resilience.”
Some 130,000 Israelis have been evacuated, and another 120,000 or so Israelis have voluntarily left the northern and southern border areas where they were subject to attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah.
The families also decry the fact that UN agencies are helping Palestinian refugees in Gaza displaced by the war, but not them.
“You have made no efforts to protest publicly their plight, nor demanded a UN General Assembly session on this specific topic, nor requested aid donations for Israelis internationally nor taken any steps at all to ensure the safety of Israeli families in this war zone,” write the families.
“We can only draw the damning conclusion that you are ignoring the circumstances, danger and trauma of the Israelis because they are Jews and not Muslim Gazans and therefore, not worthy of your efforts or protections.”
The South African government says it will recall all its diplomats from Israel to signal its concern over the situation in Gaza.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the president’s office, tells a press briefing that all diplomatic staff in Tel Aviv will be asked back to Pretoria for consultations, without providing further details.
“We are… extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians in the Palestinian territories and we believe the nature of response by Israel has become one of collective punishment,” Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor tells a press conference.
“We felt it important that we do signal the concern of South Africa while continuing to call for a comprehensive cessation [of hostilities].”
Israel says it is not seeking to harm Gaza civilians but rather eradicate Hamas, noting that the terror group is broadly embedded within the civilian population. It has urged all civilians in northern Gaza to depart southward as it intensifies its campaign in the north.
Yisrael Beytenu party head Avigdor Liberman says the government needs to take a stronger hand against Hezbollah attacks in the north, saying Israel’s current controlled response policy is insufficient.
“We have to change the policy. We can’t only respond,” Liberman says at the outset of his Knesset faction meeting, arguing that the war cabinet’s thinking is obsolete.
“I hope that no one plans to swallow fire from Yemen by Houthis toward Israel,” Liberman adds
The hawkish opposition party head also attacks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a “failed” Gaza policy. He likens Netanyahu’s past strategy of using economic incentives to keep Hamas’s hostilities in check to the UK’s failed appeasement strategy towards Nazi expansionism.
Liberman points to then-UK prime minister Neville Chamberlain passing leadership to Winston Churchill, and says he expects Netanyahu to resign. Liberman says that instead of taking responsibility for the failed strategy, Netanyahu is trying “to roll responsibility onto someone else.”
Pope Francis meets with European rabbis and decries antisemitism, war and terrorism in a written speech he declines to read, saying he isn’t feeling well.
Francis says in his prepared speech that his first thought and prayers goes “above all else, to everything that has happened in the last few weeks,” a clear reference to the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel, including the taking of hostages to the Gaza Strip, and the ensuing Israel-Hamas war.
“Yet again violence and war have erupted in that Land blessed by the Most High, which seems continually assailed by the vileness of hatred and the deadly clash of weapons,” Francis writes in the speech.
With France, Austria and Italy among the countries in Europe recently seeing a spate of antisemitic vandalism and slogans, Francis adds, “The spread of antisemitic demonstrations, which I strongly condemn, is also of great concern.”
The pontiff says believers in God are called to build “fraternity and open paths of reconciliation for all.”
About NIS 6.65 billion in frozen coalition funds have still not been cleared for wartime use, according to a High Court petition filed by the Movement for Quality Government.
In its petition, MQG asks the court to order Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to “immediately stop the distribution of coalition funds, and redistribute those funds to the war effort, as required” by a recent cabinet decision.
The MQG petition says that out of the NIS 13.77 billion ($3.6 billion) total in two-year coalition funds, NIS 1.15 billion ($300m) remains in limbo for 2023 and NIS 5.5 billion ($1.4 billion) is tied to 2024.
Government decision 1006 said all non-transferred coalition discretionary funds must be redirected to the war effort, but they still have not been ordered by the Treasury back to its general reserve, a move that requires approval by the Knesset’s Finance Committee.
The Finance Committee and Finance Ministry have not answered requests to verify the figures.
The northern city of Kiryat Shmona has urged any remaining residents to leave as it continues to be targeted by rockets from Lebanon.
“Due to the escalating security situation and increased barrages on Kiryat Shmona, we call on all who remain in the city to leave it immediately,” it says.
“Leave the city and save lives!” the municipality adds.
The vast majority of the city’s 20,000 or so residents have already left amid attacks by Hezbollah and other terror groups. But Ynet says some 3,000 are estimated to remain.
After it was attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7, the Nahal Oz surveillance control center has been reopened by the military, temporarily at the Re’im army base.
During the onslaught, Hamas terrorists killed and captured several members of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps 414th unit on the Nahal Oz base.
Footage published by the Israel Defense Forces a week after the attacks showed Unit 414 soldiers opening fire using remote weapon systems at Hamas terrorists approaching the border. “Commander commander, we are at war,” a soldier was heard saying over the radio.
New footage published by the IDF shows the moment Unit 414 soldiers, monitoring surveillance cameras, open fire using remote weapon systems at Hamas terrorists approaching the Gaza border on October 7. pic.twitter.com/Bg30z1XKXO
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 15, 2023
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant later told Unit 414 soldiers who survived the attacks: “You went through things that soldiers in Israel have not gone through since the War of Independence… You functioned in combat conditions, experienced heavy losses, and played an important part in the battles.”
The soldiers of the unit are tasked with monitoring surveillance cameras along the Gaza border and dispatching forces to potential incidents.
Members of the unit were among those who warned, in the months before the Hamas massacres, of unusual activity by Hamas at the border fence.
The new command center, which opened yesterday at the Gaza Division’s base — the Rei’m camp — will allow the surviving soldiers and reservists to again carry out their jobs monitoring the Nahal Oz area.
“The story of the Nahal Oz command center will forever be remembered as a story of heroism and fighting,” says the commander of Unit 414, Lt. Col. Ofir Avram.
Outside the new command center, a mural is painted showing three soldiers in a field of sunflowers, with text reading: “The flowers will continue to bloom.”
Communication services have been gradually restored across Gaza, a main telecom provider and an advocacy group say, 15 hours after the territory experienced its third communication blackout since the war began on Oct. 7.
Palestinian communications company Paltel announces that its services, including fixed, mobile and internet communications, have been gradually restored.
Alp Toker, director of the internet advocacy group NetBlocks.org, confirms that internet connectivity has been restored to levels prior to Sunday’s disruption. Overall service, however, remains significantly below prewar levels, he says.
After opening a humanitarian corridor for Palestinians to evacuate from northern Gaza to its south, the military releases footage showing Gazans moving down Salah a-Din road.
The IDF says it is “continuing its efforts to facilitate the southward movement of civilians in the northern Gaza Strip.”
The corridor was open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m today.
IDF aerial footage shows Palestinians evacuating from northern Gaza to its south, as the military opens a humanitarian corridor on Salah a-Din road for a number of hours. pic.twitter.com/XTxXGXzsmU
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 6, 2023
Israel promised the US that the thousands of M-16s it is purchasing from US companies will not go to civilian security teams in the West Bank, Walla reports.
US lawmakers, including Maryland Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen, raised concerns over weapons being used by Jewish extremists against Palestinian civilians. Concerns were also expressed within the State Department.
The NY Times reported that 24,000 rifles were being ordered from US companies directly, but need State Department approval, and Congress must be notified. The State Department notified Congress last week.
France is in talks with Egypt regarding setting up a field hospital near the Gaza Strip border to accept wounded Palestinians, Reuters reports, citing Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.
This in addition to two ships it has sent to the Gaza coast to serve as floating hospitals.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi has begun a hunger strike in her Iranian prison in protest over limits on medical care for her and other inmates and the obligation for women to wear the hijab in the Islamic Republic, her family says.
“Narges Mohammadi, today, through a message from Evin Prison, has informed her family that she started a hunger strike several hours ago. We are concerned about Narges Mohammadi’s physical condition and health,” her family says in a statement.
Meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, “We think we are not only fighting our war, we think we are fighting the battle of civilization against barbarism.”
“If civilization doesn’t prevail, barbarism will,” Netanyahu continues. “It’s your battle as well.”
Netanyahu calls Hamas the “most savage enemy we have seen since the Holocaust.”
Denkov says that Hamas “should be eradicated” and calls for the hostages to be released and for the Red Cross to have access to them. At the same time, Denkov stresses that “we are concerned with what happens in the Gaza Strip” and that it is “important to have humanitarian aid.”
The Israel Defense Forces believes heavy overnight strikes in the northern Gaza Strip caused significant damage to underground and aboveground infrastructure belonging to Hamas.
The military had said it was carrying out “widespread strikes on terror infrastructure, below ground and above it.” Hamas described the strikes as “intense bombings.”
The IDF says it has also killed more than a dozen Hamas field commanders, at the battalion and brigade level, since the beginning of the war, which is disrupting the terror group’s operations.
The overnight strikes are also believed to have killed Hamas field commanders hiding in tunnels.
The military says it is also focused on killing senior Hamas leaders.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell suggests a plan under which Israel could suspend its military operation in Gaza in return for the Red Cross getting access to hostages held by Hamas.
“I think that a humanitarian pause counterbalanced by an access to hostages with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a first step to their release is an initiative on which we should work,” Borrell tells European Union diplomats in Brussels.
The EU, United States and Britain have been pushing for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza to ensure people in the territory get help.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out any truce until all hostages seized in Hamas’s October 7 attack are released.
“Call it a truce, window, whatever, but we need that violence recedes and that international humanitarian law is being respected,” Borrell says.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says the EU is increasing its humanitarian aid for Gaza by 25 million euros ($27 million).
“By doing so the European Union will spend a total of 100 million euros in humanitarian aid for the civilians in Gaza,” von der Leyen tells EU diplomats in Brussels.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wraps up a grueling Middle East diplomatic tour in Turkey after only limited success in his efforts to forge a regional consensus on how best to ease civilian suffering in Gaza as Israel pursues its war against Hamas.
Blinken met in the Turkish capital of Ankara with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan after a frantic weekend of travel that took him from Israel to Jordan, the West Bank, Cyprus and Iraq to build support for the Biden administration’s proposal for “humanitarian pauses” to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.
The top US diplomat hopes that pauses in the war would allow for a surge of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of hostages abducted by Hamas from Israel.
Neither Blinken nor Fidan spoke as they posed for photographers ahead of their formal talks in Ankara. The top US diplomat was not going to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been highly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an outlier among NATO allies in not expressing full support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has said the country’s 23 hostages in Gaza are safe and will be freed soon, the country’s The Nation reports.
Thavisin says a ceasefire is necessary to arrange their release from the Strip.
Thai citizens working in southern farms were treated no differently from Israelis during Hamas’s raid on October 7, with 32 killed by the terrorists and 23 abducted.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich calls for a ban against Palestinians harvesting olives close to Israeli West Bank settlements, and the creation of “sterile” no-go areas prohibiting the presence of Palestinians in the vicinity of the settlements and major roads that lead to them.
In a letter to the prime minister that he shares with the media, Smotrich alleges Israel is failing to maintain acceptable levels of security in the West Bank.
He calls to “create sterile security areas around [Jewish] communities and roads and to prevent Arabs from entering them, including for the purpose of olive harvesting.”
Contacted by The Times of Israel, Smotrich’s spokesman clarifies the minister was referring to Palestinians and not all Arabs — though he used the latter term several times in his letter. Smotrich has faced accusations of racism in the past.
The far-right minister argues such measures are necessary to prevent terror attacks against settlers as well as “to provide a sense of security due to the high sensitivity and the drafting of many men to reserve duty, leaving women and children alone.”
Actions that hamper Palestinian farmers from harvesting their olives would likely face intense international condemnation and could inflame tensions in the West Bank.
Smotrich argues the current policy is “absurd” and “insane” and says “I will not accept it anymore.”
“Someone has lost their way,” he claims in his criticism of the military and defense establishment. “The writing is on the wall.”
A woman has been detained in Indianapolis after she drove her car on Saturday into a building she believed belonged to the Jewish community — but which was actually used by a group that espouses antisemitic views.
According to a statement by the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, Ruba Awni Almaghtheh drove her vehicle into a building used by the Black Hebrew Israelites, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
No one was hurt in the incident.
The building had a “semblance of a Star of David on the front door” and the words “Hebrew Israelite” on a sign, apparently leading the suspect to believe that the building was connected to the Jewish community or Israel.
According to Indianapolis’s WISH-TV, Almaghtheh told police she did it because of events in Gaza.
"Almaghtheh told officers she was watching news coverage of the Israel-#Hamas war on television and decided to plan an attack on the building because she was offended by the “Hebrew Israelite” symbol on the front of the building."https://t.co/Tkvz0fWEts
— Alberto Miguel Fernandez (@AlbertoMiguelF5) November 5, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces says it has been carrying out intensive logistical efforts to resupply ground forces operating in the Gaza Strip.
It says there are daily convoys entering Gaza, providing troops with ammunition, equipment, food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.
“Every night, convoys enter,” says the commander of the IDF Logistics Corps, Brig. Gen. Haim Malki. “We make sure to give each soldier the right equipment for them,” Malki says.
The IDF says it has so far provided an unspecified number of bullets, mortars, tank shells, more than a million liters of fuel, tens of thousands of tons of food, and thousands of liters of water.
The commander of the IDF Technology and Maintenance Corps, Brig. Gen. Ariel Shima, says the military is ensuring that the convoys are well protected when they enter Gaza.
“We are handling the protection of the vehicles in the face of the developing threats, and the outline of the [military] activity,” Shima says.
Shima also notes that the Technology and Maintenance Corps has been working to extract damaged military vehicles, repair them, and return them to the battlefield.
Very few IDF vehicles have been severely damaged beyond repair. “We see [most] vehicles that were hit returning to the fighting,” he says.
Teachers at schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees have celebrated Hamas’s October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians, according to a new report.
The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), says it found at least 14 cases of teachers at UNRWA schools who lauded Hamas’s atrocities and other attacks by the terror group.
It also notes that an UNRWA-run school posted to its official Facebook page an event celebrating Hamas and its “jihad warriors” at the school.
It says textbooks used at UNRWA schools celebrate Hamas as “heroes” of jihad.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz is to meet Germany’s 16 state governors today to address ways to deal with large numbers of migrants, an issue that has become a huge political problem for the government.
Shelters for migrants and refugees are filling up and Scholz, who faces enormous pressure from the opposition and elsewhere to halt that trend, has said that “too many are coming.” The country also has seen more than 1 million Ukrainians arrive since the start of Russia’s war in their homeland.
Over recent weeks, there has been a flurry of government activity, including legislation to ease deportations of unsuccessful asylum-seekers, to stiffen punishment for smugglers and to allow asylum-seekers to start working sooner, and the introduction of temporary checks on the Polish, Czech and Swiss borders.
The center-left Scholz also has discussed the issue twice with the conservative opposition leader since state elections last month brought poor results for his quarrelsome three-party coalition and gains for a far-right party.
The Israel Defense Forces’s Arabic-language Spokesman, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, says Israel will again open a corridor for Gazan civilians in the north of the Strip to escape south.
Adraee writes on X that Israel will open Salah-al-Din Street for southward traffic between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“For your safety, take advantage of the time to move south beyond Wadi Gaza,” he says, reiterating the Israeli military’s long-standing insistence that civilians move south, where the IDF’s operations are more limited.
The humanitarian corridor was opened yesterday for several hours, despite coming under attack by Hamas on Saturday.
Some 800,000 people are thought to have fled south so far, though many have insisted on staying in the enclave’s north, noting humanitarian woes and airstrikes taking place in the south as well.
#عاجل أيها سكان غزة،
أود أن أعلمكم أنه على الرغم من أن حماس تضر بالجهود الإنسانية الجارية لمصلحة سكان غزة وتستخدمكم كدروع بشرية، إلا أن جيش الدفاع الإسرائيلي سيسمح مرة أخرى اليوم بالمرور على طريق صلاح الدين بين الساعة العاشرة 10:00 صباحًا والثانية 14:00 بعد الظهر. من أجل… pic.twitter.com/H7BpiUqyTf
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) November 6, 2023
The US has warned both Hezbollah and Iran that it is ready to act militarily against them if they escalate the conflict with Israel, given its war with Hamas in Gaza, The New York Times reports.
The message has been conveyed to the terror group and the Islamic Republic through their partners in the region, Turkey among them, the report says.
Washington has moved aircraft carrier groups to the Middle East as President Joe Biden and others in the administration have repeatedly warned regional actors to stay out of the Gaza war.
The London Metropolitan Police say they are looking into an apparent employee who said those supporting Israel in its war against Hamas should be investigated for hate crimes and extremism.
In a post circulating on social media, the woman allegedly wrote: “I think at this point, if anyone openly agrees with the war in Gaza, they should be called out as Islamophobic and inciting hatred against Muslims. That should be investigated as extremism.”
She is listed on LinkedIn as a “Met Police Program Facilitator and Project Manager.”
The woman added: “Whether the [counterterrorism] world decides to act fairly and proportionately and treat IDF support as an extremist ideology, I don’t know.”
The Met Police tells the Mail Online it is aware of the post and is investigating.
Intense Israeli strikes killed more than 200 people overnight in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run health ministry in the besieged Palestinian territory says.
The numbers released by the Hamas ministry cannot be verified. It does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.
Police say the Palestinian assailant who carried a stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s Old City, wounding two officers, was shot dead.
He is identified by police as a 16-year-old resident of East Jerusalem’s Issawiya neighborhood.
Police say another suspect was detained at the scene. “His connection to the attacker and the attack is being investigated,” police say.
Commissioner Kobi Shabtai arrived at the scene and is holding an assessment with Jerusalem District commander, Doron Turgeman, and other officers, police add.
Police say the condition of an officer wounded in a stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s Old City has worsened, and she is now listed in critical condition.
According to law enforcement officials, the assailant stabbed two Border Police outside the Shalem police station.
The second officer is listed in light-to-moderate condition, police say.
Other Border Police officers in the area opened fired at the assailant. His condition is not given.
Police say officers are scanning the area to rule out the possibility of additional attackers.
The Israeli army says it coordinated with Jordan to air-drop vital medical supplies to a field hospital in the Gaza Strip.
“Overnight, in coordination with the IDF, a Jordanian airplane dropped medical equipment and food to the Jordanian Hospital in the Gaza Strip. The equipment will be used by the medical staff for patients,” the army says in a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces says ground troops captured a Hamas stronghold overnight, and some 450 sites belonging to the terror group were struck, as Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip continues.
According to the IDF, the compound contained observation posts, training grounds, and underground tunnels.
It says several Hamas operatives were killed as troops captured the site.
In other battles on the ground, troops killed several Hamas field commanders, the IDF says.
Meanwhile, the IDF says fighter jets struck more than 450 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip over the past day, including tunnels, military compounds, observation posts, and anti-tank guided missile launch positions.
One airstrike killed Jamal Musa, the head of Hamas’s special operations, the IDF says.
It says that the Navy also carried out strikes against Hamas sites, including command centers, and additional anti-tank guided missile launch positions and observation posts.
כוחות קרקעיים של צה"ל השתלטו הלילה על מוצב חמאס בשטח עזה. במוצב זה היו לארגון הטרור חמאס עמדות תצפית, מתחמי אימונים לפעילי הטרור וכן מנהרות טרור. בפעולה זו חוסלו מספר מחבלים>> pic.twitter.com/GgYY7vPFpC
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 6, 2023
Police say an assailant stabbed two Border Police officers just outside the Herod’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.
It says a female officer is seriously wounded and a male officer is lightly hurt.
Police forces neutralized the attacker, police say. His condition is not immediately clear.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it is taking the two wounded officers to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital for further treatment.
Security forces have arrested 23 people in East Jerusalem suspected of violence at protests and of social media posts backing violence and terror, police say.
Meanwhile, media reports indicate prominent Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was also arrested after posting on Instagram that Palestinians will “slaughter” settlers and “drink your blood.”
While the US’s deployment of a nuclear-capable Ohio-class submarine into the region is news, many analysts are noting the importance of the fact that the US announced where the sub is.
US acknowledgment of an Ohio-class submarine location is incredibly rare as they represent part of America’s so-called “nuclear triad” of atomic weapons — which also includes land-based ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs aboard strategic bombers.
The US announcement provided no other details in its online statement Sunday, though it posted an image that appeared to show a submarine in Egypt’s Suez Canal near its Suez Canal Bridge.
While Ohio-class submarines are nuclear powered and many carry nuclear arms, others carry only cruise missiles and are meant to deploy with special operations forces, leaving it vague as to whether the submarine operating now in the Mideast carries nuclear ballistic missiles.
Central Command separately released an image of a nuclear-capable B-1 bomber also operating in the Mideast on Sunday.
The last time the US disclosed it had a nuclear-powered sub in the region was a year ago, when Central Command head Gen. Michael Kurilla publicly inspected the USS West Virginia, which was at an undisclosed location at sea, CNN reports.
The IDF announces that Staff Sgt. Shahar Cohen Mivtach from Karmiel was killed during fighting in Gaza on Sunday.
Mivtach, 22, of the 401st Armored Brigade’s 9th Battalion, was killed in battle in northern Gaza, the army says.
His death brings the number of soldiers killed since the ground invasion began to 30.
In addition, the army says a soldier from the Paratroopers’s 202nd Battalion was seriously injured during fighting in Gaza Sunday.
The UN Security Council will hold another emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war.
“In light of the worsening situation in Gaza and the attack on the Al-Shifa Hospital and repeated attacks on Jabalia refugee camp, the UAE and China called for closed consultations to be convened tomorrow 6 November at 3 p.m.,” a spokesperson for the UAE’s mission to the UN tweets.
Divisions in the Security Council have prevented the body from doing more than holding meetings to talk about the war.
Several resolutions calling for “humanitarian pauses” have failed to receive the necessary votes in order to pass.
The UN says that 88 staff members from its Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA have been reported killed since the start of hostilities on October 7.
The figure represents “the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict,” according to a joint statement from the heads of all major UN agencies.
The statement expresses outrage at the civilian death toll in Gaza and calls for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” while also demanding that Hamas release the hostages it kidnapped from Israel.
“It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now,” the statement reads.
Jordan’s airdrop of medical supplies into Gaza was coordinated with the US and Israel, an American official tells The Times of Israel.
The official speaks on condition of anonymity.
Jordan’s official Petra news agency says the airdrop was deployed due to the fact that Jordan’s field hospital in Gaza was about to run out of supplies.
The news site publishes a picture of a single crate draped with a Jordanian flag being loaded onto a military plane.
Jordan’s Queen Rania says rejections of a ceasefire in Gaza are “morally reprehensible” and amount to a justification for the deaths of thousands of civilians.
In an interview with CNN, the Jordanian monarch says Israel’s bid to rid Gaza of Hamas is “short-sighted and not entirely rational “because “the root cause of this conflict is an illegal occupation.”
“If we do not address these root causes, then you can kill the combatants, but you cannot kill the cause. Under the rubble of these destroyed buildings will emerge another group more determined, and more motivated to do what Hamas did,” she asserts.
When Arab leaders met with @SecBlinken in Amman Saturday, the US Secretary of State said a ceasefire in Gaza will only enable more Hamas attacks. Jordan's @QueenRania says that stance is “endorsing and justifying the death of thousands of civilians” and “is morally reprehensible” pic.twitter.com/MJpFH45nok
— Becky Anderson (@BeckyCNN) November 5, 2023
Rania also rejects Israel’s assertion that it doesn’t target civilians, and dismisses Israel’s calls for civilians to move out of the area where most of the combat is taking place as a PR ploy.
“Over 10,000 people [have been] killed, 70% of whom are women and children. For the Israelis to claim that they are trying to protect civilians is… an insult to intelligence,” she says, citing Hamas-run health ministry figures that Israel says include civilians killed by errant Palestinian rockets as well as terrorists killed by Israel.
Asked about rising antisemitism and Islamaphobia, Rania condemns them both and says, “Israel does not represent all Jewish people around the world. Israel alone is responsible for its own crimes. Jewish people around the world, many of them are appalled by what they’re seeing.”
“We Muslims have to be the first to condemn antisemitism. We have had a long history of peaceful coexistence [with Jews],” she adds, before accusing some pro-Israel figures of weaponizing antisemitism accusations in order to stifle criticism of Israel.
The US Central Command says an Ohio-class submarine has arrived in its area of responsibility, which includes the eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman.
Ohio-class subs are both nuclear-powered and carry nuclear warheads.
The army does not say where the submarine has been deployed to, but its arrival in the region is may be part of the same strategy that has seen the US dispatch two carrier strike groups in order to deter Iran and its proxies from attacking Israel.
On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. pic.twitter.com/iDgUFp4enp
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) November 5, 2023
The Walla news site reports that the Jordanian airdrop of medical aid into Gaza was coordinated with Israel. The report cites an unnamed “senior Israeli source.”
The US has not commented on the airdrop, which came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks in Amman on Saturday with his counterparts from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Blinken visited the West Bank, Iraq and Cyprus on Sunday as he continued his whirlwind trip, which has focused on aid for beleaguered civilians in Gaza and preventing attacks by Iran-backed groups on American troops.
Jordan’s air force has airdropped medical aid into Gaza, King Abdullah says on Twitter, seemingly bypassing Israel’s tight embargo on unsupervised aid entering the Strip.
The Jordanian monarch says the airdrop took place around midnight, with medical supplies and drugs being parachuted to a Jordanian field hospital in Gaza.
“This is our duty to aid our brothers and sisters injured in the war on Gaza. We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren,” Abdullah says in the tweet.
Our fearless air force personnel air-dropped at midnight urgent medical aid to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza. This is our duty to aid our brothers and sisters injured in the war on Gaza. We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren pic.twitter.com/HOWI2VL7hL
— عبدالله بن الحسين (@KingAbdullahII) November 5, 2023
It is unclear if the aid reached the hospital, or if the operation was carried out with Israel’s knowledge or consent.
Israel has insisted on inspecting all aid entering the Strip via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, fearing that weapons or defensive equipment could be smuggled to the Hamas terror group.
Gazans and others have complained that the amount of aid is too paltry and the pace too slow to reach the Strip.
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