LONDON - Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters have taken to the streets of London today as the UN warned Gaza is about to run out of water.
Protesters were pictured holding “Free Palestine” placards. One woman, wearing a red coat, was seen holding a sign saying “ethnic cleansing is not self defence”.
Up to 50,000 people are expected to join the rally, according to its organisers. Scotland Yard has deployed more than 1,000 officers to police the event.
It comes as the UN warned more than two million people are at risk of dying of thirst in Gaza.
“It has become a matter of life and death. It is a must; fuel needs to be delivered now into Gaza to make water available for 2 million people,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes to southern Gaza as Israel launches its first ground raids into the territory, according to the UN.
- Israel's deadline for Palestinians to flee south ends as 'small raids' begin in Gaza
- Gazan death toll rises to 2,215
- Air strikes ‘kill dozens fleeing Gaza City'
- Israel ‘categorically’ denies using white phosphorus in Gaza
— Israelis rush back to volunteer for war effort
- ‘Top secret’ plans show Hamas mission to target schools and youth centre: report
- ‘Wiped off the map’: Palestinian civilians describe life under bombardment
- Charter flight for US citizens fleeing Israel lands in Athens
- We are striking our enemies with ‘unprecedented might’, says Netanyahu
Israel's deadline for Palestinians to flee south ends as 'small raids' begin in Gaza
04:13 , Vishwam Sankaran
More than a million Palestinians face a deadline to flee south as first confirmation of Israel beginning ground offensive in northern Gaza surfaces.
Troops have begun raids to hit Hamas rocket crews and gather information about hostages, marking the first official account of ground troops in Gaza since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, Israeli military spokesperson rear admiral Daniel Hagari said.
“We are striking our enemies with unprecedented might. I emphasise that this is only the beginning,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“The IDF conducted raids in Gazan territory to eliminate the threat of terrorist cells and infrastructure. Soldiers collected evidence that will aid in locating hostages,” Israel Defense Forces posted on X.
Starmer’s comments on Gaza situation ‘grotesque’, Palestinian activist says.
Thousands of people gather for pro-Palestine rally in London
12:06 , Alexander Butler
Thousands of protesters have gathered in London today for a pro-Palestine rally. Scotland Yard has also deployed more than 1,000 officers to police the event.
Protesters were pictured holding “Free Palestine” placards. One woman, wearing a red coat, was seen holding a sign saying “ethnic cleansing is not self defence”.
Up to 50,000 people are expected to join the rally, according to its organisers.
Israel must take ‘all possible measures' to protect Palestinians, UK says
11:50 , Alexander Butler
Israel must take “all possible” measures to protect ordinary Palestinians and facilitate humanitarian aid, the UK Foreign Office said.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said Israel had “suffered a shockingly brutal terrorist attack” and the UK supported “Israel’s right to defend itself”.
But it added: “Given that Hamas has embedded itself in the civilian population in Gaza, it’s important that Israel takes all possible measures to protect ordinary Palestinians and facilitate humanitarian aid.”
Hamas commander who led Israel attacks, ‘eliminated’
11:11 , Alexander Butler
Hamas commander Ali Qadi has been “eliminated”, the Israeli Defence Forces said.
Writing on X, formerly Twitter, the IDF said: “Ali Qadi led the inhumane, barbaric October 7 massacre of civilians in Israel.
“We just eliminated him. All Hamas terrorists will meet the same fate.”
‘Innocent’ Gazans will die, UK Israeli embassy admits
10:55 , Alexander Butler
Israel is not targeting civilians but ‘innocent’ people will die in its offensive against Gaza, the Israeli Embassy to the UK admitted.
“There will be innocent people who will pay tragically with their life, but this is a state of war and we have to prevent anyone from harming us again,” Orly Goldschmidt, spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy to the UK, told Times Radio.
“You know ‘never again’, this sentence we have said after the Holocaust, it’s happening at the moment, and never again is now and we need the full support of the international community because these are murderers and we need to make sure they won’t have any capacity ever again to harm.”
IDF ‘aware’ of journalist killed in Israeli strike
10:48 , Alexander Butler
The Israeli Defence Forces said it was ‘aware’ that a Reuters video journalist was killed and six other journalists were injured in southern Lebanon on Friday when missiles fired from the direction of Israel struck them.
“We are aware of the incident with the Reuters journalist. We are looking into it. We already have visuals. We’re doing cross examination. It’s a tragic thing,” a spokesperson said.
Issam Abdallah was killed while providing a live video signal for broadcasters. The camera was pointed at a hillside when a loud explosion shook the camera, filling the air with smoke, and screams were heard, the news agency said.
We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed,” Reuters said.
Lack of water in Gaza ‘matter of life and death’, UN warn
More than two million people are at risk of running out of water across Gaza, the UN has warned.
“It has become a matter of life and death. It is a must; fuel needs to be delivered now into Gaza to make water available for 2 million people,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General.
The aid agency said clean water started to run out in Gaza after its water plant and public water networks stopped working.
Many Gazans are now forced to use dirty water from wells, increasing risks of waterborne diseases, it added.
Hezbollah could cause ‘huge earthquake’ for Israel, Iran says
10:27 , Alexander Butler
Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday called on Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza, warning that the war might expand to other parts of the Middle East if Hezbollah joins the battle, and that would make Israel suffer “a huge earthquake.”
Hossein Amirabdollahian said he met Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who briefed him on the group’s conditions in Lebanon.“I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place,” Amirabdollahian said. “Any step the Hezbollah will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity.”
Amirabdollahian added: “I want to warn the war criminals and those who support this entity before it’s too late to stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza, because it might be too late in few hours.”
Israel considers Hezbollah its most serious immediate threat, estimating it has some 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles that can hit anywhere in Israel.
Gazan death toll rises to 2,215
10:14 , Alexander Butler
At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 8,714 have been wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
It also said 54 have been killed in the West Bank and 1,100 have been injured.
Up to 324 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes over the past 24 hours. One-thousand were also wounded.
Red paint thrown over BBC’s London headquarters
09:53 , Alexander Butler
Red paint has been thrown over BBC’s London headquarters ahead of a pro-Palestinian march expected to see a turn out of 50,000 people. The motive is unclear. Watch here:
Over 300 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes in 24 hours
09:51 , Alexander Butler
Up to 324 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes over the past 24 hours, the Gazan health ministry said. One-thousand were also wounded.
Any Gazan crossing to Egypt will be coordinated with Israel
09:45 , Alexander Butler
Any use of the border crossing from the Gaza Strip into Egypt will be in coordination with Israel, the Israeli military spokesperson said on Saturday.
“Regarding Gaza, the crossings are closed. The borders are closed, and any movement or crossing to Egypt will be in coordination with us and in contact with us. For now, this issue is not happening,” Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.
Displacement of Palestinians will push Middle East into ‘abyss’, Jordan says
09:43 , Alexander Butler
Jordan said any move by Israel to impose a new displacement of Palestinians would push the region to the “abyss” of a wider conflict.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also said Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid to Gaza and forcing its residents to leave their homes were a “flagrant” breach of international law.
Drone footage shows IDF strike Gaza 'military headquarters and senior officials' houses'
09:20 , Alexander Butler
Israel does not have right to ‘smash one million children’
09:06 , Alexander Butler
Israel does not have the right to smash “one million children”, a leading humanitarian said.
Jans Egeland, Norweigan Refugee Council secretary-general, said: “Israel is doing catastrophic mistakes. It does not have the right to smash children because of what grown terrorist men did.”
“It has not sunk in at Western capitals what is happening in Gaza. There are tens of thousands of destroyed or unliveable housing units. There are hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for their life,” he told BBC Radio 4.
“This is not something that should be called an evacuation. It’s a forcible transfer of population of all people from northern Gaza. Which is, according to the Geneva Convention, a war crime.
“The UK, the US and the EU have rightfully said we are with Israel in fighting Hamas after the worst terror attack in its history. I hope they haven’t given a green light to smash a million children because that is what is happening now.”
Survivors pulled from rubble after Israeli airstrikes reduce Gaza building to ruins
08:48 , Alexander Butler
IDF kills top Hamas commander
08:12 , Alexander Butler
The Israeli Defence Forces killed a top Hamas commander after its fighter jets struck operational headquarters used by the terror group.
“During the strike, IDF fighter jets killed Merad Abu Merad who was the head of the Hamas aerial system in Gaza City, and was largely responsible for directing terrorists during the massacre on Saturday,” it said.
'We will dismantle Hamas,' Israel says as militants vow to fight till 'last drop of blood'
08:00 , Alexander Butler
Israel said it vowed to “annihilate Hamas” for its attack last week that killed 1,300 Israeli civilians.
Israeli forces have begun ground operations in Gaza for the first time since the conflict began, after a 24 hours deadline to civilians to move south of the Strip.
“The end state of this war is that we will dismantle Hamas and its military capability and fundamentally change the situation so that Hamas never again has the ability to inflict any damage on Israeli civilians or soldiers,” Israeli military spokesperson lieutenant colonel Jonathan Conricus said in a video briefing early on Saturday.
Meanwhile Hamas, who took more than 120 hostages, has vowed to fight “to the last drop of blood” and told residents to stay put, Reuters reported.
The UN has warned of a disaster if over a million people are forced to flee, adding that such movement of people was impossible.
“How are 1.1 million people supposed to move across a densely populated war zone in less than 24 hours?” spokesperson Stephane Dujarric asked.
Airstrikes in Gaza ‘kill 70 people fleeing city'
07:51 , Sam Rkaina
Hamas has said airstrikes in Gaza on Friday have killed 70 people, hitting cars in three locations as people headed south from Gaza City.
Two witnesses reported a strike on fleeing cars near Deir el-Balah, south of the evacuation zone and in the area where Israel told people to flee.
Fayza Hamoudi said she and her family were driving from their home in the north when the strike hit some distance ahead on the road and two vehicles burst into flames. A witness from another car on the road gave a similar account.
“Why should we trust that they’re trying to keep us safe?” Hamoudi said, her voice choking.
Many feared they would not be able to return or would be gradually displaced to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
At least 1,900 Palestinians killed, taking combined toll to 3,200
07:30 , Vishwam Sankaran
Air strikes from Israel have killed at least 1,900 people in Gaza, authorities say.
As Israel begins its ground offensive in Gaza after its 24 hours deadline, forcing over a million Palestinians to move south, UN said over 400,000 Palestinians had already been internally displaced before the directive.
Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas after militants killed 1,300 Israelis, mainly civilians, and seized over 120 hostages.
Since then, Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, with unprecedented air strikes that has led to the deaths of over 1,900 people in Gaza, Reuters reported.
The combined death toll in both Israel and Gaza is now over at least 3,200.
Israeli military allows safe movement for Gazans today
07:30 , Sam Rkaina
The Israeli Defence Force has said they will allow “safe movement” south for Gazans today - with a deadline of 4pm local time.
The IDF issued a statement on Saturday morning saying movement in the territory will be allowed between 10am and 4pm (8am and 2pm UK time) on two main roads south.
It comes after Hamas claimed 70 people, including women and children, had been killed in airstrike as they fled they fled Gaza City.
British-Palestinians say family members in Gaza 'running for their lives'
07:00 , Vishwam Sankaran
British-Palestinians say their family members in Gaza are “running for their lives”
as Israeli military said the over 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza “should relocate” to the south within 24 hours.
Israel announced for the first time yesterday that its ground troops have begun operating inside Gaza.
Fady Abusidu, a 47-year-old business development consultant in Warwick, told PA that he was “really, really worried” having not heard from any of his cousins in northern Gaza.
“I don’t know where my cousins are at the moment, I’ve tried to call them so many times and it wouldn’t connect,” he said.
British-Palestinians say family members in Gaza ‘running for their lives’
The UN has condemned Israel, saying moving over one million people across Gaza was impossible.
“Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory of Gaza is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” UN chief Antony Guterres said.
Bodies of missing Israelis recovered in Gaza ground raids, Israel says
06:42 , Vishwam Sankaran
The bodies of some of the Israelis taken hostage by Hamas during its attack last week have reportedly been recovered in the latest ground raids in Gaza.
Israeli defence forces say over 120 people have been taken hostage by Hamas since the terrorist group began its attack against Israel.
Following its latest on-ground offensive, Israeli forces say an unspecified number of bodies of Israelis have been recovered in Gaza.
The recovered bodies have been brought back to Israel, local news reports say.
China's special envoy meets Arab League amid crisis in Israel, Gaza
06:30 , Vishwam Sankaran
China’s Middle East envoy reportedly met representatives of the Arab League in China in an emergency session to discuss the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza.
The special envoy Zhai Jun said China would continue to provide aid to the Palestinian people and that the country supports the 22-member strong Arab League on the “Palestinian issue“, Reuters reported.
“The international community should earnestly enhance its sense of urgency to return to the correct basis of the Two State Solution to realise the peaceful coexistence of the two states of Palestine and Israel,” he added.
Israel strikes Hezbollah target in southern Lebanon
06:00 , Vishwam Sankaran
Israel has reportedly struck a Hezbollah target in southern Lebanon in response to the “infiltration of unidentified aerial objects into Israel,” the country’s military said.
Israel’s military said it intercepted the unidentified aerial objects and the fire on its drone.
This comes as UN chief Antonio Guterres warned last week against ongoing clashes in Israel and Gaza spreading with attacks from Lebanon.
“We must avoid spillover of the conflict....I appeal to all parties and those who have an influence over those parties to avoid any further escalation and spillover,” he said.
Civilians not our target, says Israeli army as 'small raids' begin in Gaza
05:40 , Alexander Butler
As Israel begins “small raids” in Gaza, Israel Defence Forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said “Palestinian civilians in Gaza are not our enemies. We don’t assess them as such and we don’t target them as such”.
“It is extremely sad and regrettable that so many media outlets are focusing on our actions instead of putting the responsibility on the entity that governs the Gaza Strip, and that is Hamas,” Mr Conricus said.
“They are the ones who initiated this war. They are the ones who targeted our civilians,” he said.
However, UN chief António Guterres criticised the evacuation order, calling it an impossible task, adding that “even wars have rules”.
“Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory of Gaza is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” Mr Guterres said.
“International humanitarian law & human rights law must be respected & upheld; civilians must be protected and also never used as shields. All hostages in Gaza must be released immediately,” he added.
Hamas holding over 120 civilians hostage, Israeli army says
05:38 , Vishwam Sankaran
Israel has provided a new update on civilians held hostage by Hamas militants.
Over 120 civilians are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas, according to Israeli defence forces.
“As of this time, the IDF has confirmed that over 120 civilians are being held captive in Gaza by the Hamas terrorist organization,” IDF posted on X.
BBC says journalist stopped and assaulted in Israel
05:30 , Vishwam Sankaran
A BBC journalist team covering the crisis unfolding in Israel was held and assaulted by Israeli police in Tel Aviv, the news organisation said yesterday.
The BBC said its journalists were “dragged from their vehicle,” shoved against a wall and searched.
“Journalists must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely,” a BBC spokesperson told CNN.
Several news organisations, including Reuters and Al Jazeera have reported of their journalists being attacked or injured amid the ongoing crisis.
“I want to pay tribute to the journalists who have lost their lives while carrying out their work of bringing the truth to people around the world. My deepest condolences to their families and loved ones,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said.
UN Secretary General condemns Israeli evac warning as IDF masses forces
05:30 , Josh Marcus
UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Israel on Friday for giving civilians in Gaza a day to flee northern areas of the territory expected to see brutal fighting.
“Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory of Gaza is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” he wrote on X.
IDF forces, including tank units, have been seen massing near Gaza ahead of a potential ground offensive.
Tens of thousands in Gaza flee south after Israel's deadline
05:00 , Vishwam Sankaran
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have fled south after Israel issued a 24-hours deadline to begin a ground offensive from the enclave’s north.
Before the deadline was issued, over 400,000 Palestinians had been internally displaced since the crisis began, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Israeli forces have begun raids to hit Hamas rocket crews and gather information about hostages, according to Israel’s defence forces.
This marks the first official account of ground troops in Gaza since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel last week.
The Palestinian workers who can’t return to Gaza, but were forced to flee from West Bank
05:00 , Josh Marcus
Sitting in a cramped room with peeling walls, Amir Badawi spoke of deep dread about the fate of his family in Gaza – his own future equally uncertain in the face of an impending Israeli ground assault.
He is among those from the territory working in Israel who had fled to the West Bank after facing retribution for the massacre carried out by Hamas in their assault across the border.
Amir and his companions say they arrived in Ramallah after being detained and beaten up by Israeli police. Other Gaza workers say they were rounded up by the security forces and dumped in the West Bank, or are asking for help to escape from Israeli settlers threatening to hold them hostage in revenge for captives taken to Gaza by Hamas.
Amir was in a room with half a dozen other workers in a dingy hotel near Ramallah while Palestinian authorities tried to organise relief. He had been working at a construction site near Tel Aviv until a few days ago when the situation became fraught.
UK may fast-track aid for fleeing Palestinians
04:30 , Vishwam Sankaran
UK’s International Development minister Andrew Mitchell has reportedly said the government is speeding up the delivery of “essential humanitarian supplies” to support Palestinians as they flee south of Gaza.
“We will do whatever is necessary to play our part in meeting humanitarian need,” Mr Mitchell told BBC.
He said steps are being taken to ensure the aid doesn’t leak to the Hamas administration in Gaza.
Israelis rush back to volunteer for war effort
04:15 , Josh Marcus
Anafa Ifshitcl was in Kathmandu when the news of the attack by Hamas in Israel broke last Saturday. With no direct flights to her home country, she took a 22-hour bus travelling around 1,100km from Nepal to India’s capital Delhi.
“I just got a flight back to Israel, [almost] all of the flights got cancelled,” she tells The Independent, standing in a dingy back street near Chabad House, a Jewish community centre in the heart of the city. “I hope I make it to Israel because a lot of my friends were kidnapped in the [Supernova] party or died.”
Ifshitcl’s brother, who is serving in the Israeli army, is among those who disappeared in the weekend’s fighting and has possibly been taken hostage, she tells The Independent. “We don’t know what happened with him or with his team … This is just a terrible situation.”
Having already served two years in the Israeli army, she is now racing to return in the hopes of serving again.
At least 100 people have joined her, travelling from the UK to Israel to serve in the Israeli military following the attacks by Hamas.
Activists occupy Elizabeth Warren’s office in call for ceasefire
02:15 , Josh Marcus
On Friday, members of IfNotNow, an activist movement seeking to end what it deems Israel’s “apartheid” regime, occupied the office of US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
The group argued that Israel, with US support, was about to “ethnically cleanse over 1 million Palestinians from Gaza,” a reference to Israel’s recent urging that numerous civilians, many with nowhere to escape to, evacuate northern Gaza as fighting continues.
Israel intercepts ‘unidentified targets’ over Haifa
01:50 , Josh Marcus
The Israel Air Force’s Aerial Defense Array intercepted two “unidentified targets” above the city of Haifa, officials said on Friday.
The northern seaside city lies closer to Lebanon than to southern Israel and Gaza, where the heaviest fighting has taken place.
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system has been intercepting projectiles around the clock since the outbreak of war with Hamas last week.
Hamas fighters used light, hang glider-style aircraft to launch their initial brutal cross-border attack.
Israel ‘categorically’ denies using white phosphorus in Gaza
01:30 , Josh Marcus
Israel said it “categorically” denies claims that it used white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon.
The denial follows allegations from Human Rights Watch and the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza that the IDF used the restricted chemical weapon in strikes on a children’s hospital in Gaza and on targets at the Israel-Lebanon border.
“Categorically, no,” IDF spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner told CNN.
White phosphorus, which can burn flesh down to the bone, is illegal under international human rights law when used specifically to cause burn injuries.
Here’s more reporting on the allegations.
Russia proposes Israel-Hamas ceasefire at UN: report
01:10 , Josh Marcus
Russia is circulating a draft United Nations resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, Reuters reports.
The proposal to the Security Council on Friday also reportedly condemned violence against civilians and acts of terrorism, and called for the release of hostages and the permitting of humanitarian aid access.
West Bank settler shoots Palestinian in village, rights group video shows
Saturday 14 October 2023 00:50 , Josh Marcus
An Israeli settler shot a Palestinian at point-blank range in the village of At-Tuwani, in the occupied West Bank, according to video from Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
The man is reportedly in critical condition.
The settler was accompanied by an Israeli soldier, The Intercept reports, and was part of a hostile group of Israelis harassing Palestinians in the territory, which is considered by many in the international community to be illegally occupied by Israel.
Two villages in the region have been entirely depopulated amid ongoing violence from settlers, according to the outlet.
Settlers have killed 51 Palestinians in the West Bank since the beginning of the war last week, per the Ramallah-based Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israel recovers bodies of captives in Gaza
Saturday 14 October 2023 00:35 , Josh Marcus
After ordering numerous civilians to flee northern Gaza, Israel Defense Forces have recovered the bodies of some of the Israelis held captive by Hamas inside the Palestinian territory, Haaretz reports.
The IDF also said it “destroyed terrorist infrastructure and squads” during the operation.
Over 130 Israelis were taken as captives by the militant group, according to officials.
US intelligence warned that risk of Hamas violence was rising before war began: report
Saturday 14 October 2023 00:20 , Josh Marcus
US intelligence officials were concerned that the risk of Hamas violence was ratcheting up in the days just before the militant group unleashed its brutal cross-border attack on Israel, CNN reports.
A 28 September intelligence update suggested Hamas was in a position to increase rocket attacks on Israel, while a 5 October CIA wire theorised that Hamas aggression could be growing more likely, unnamed sources told the network.
The assessments did not describe the sort of massive, well-coordinated attack that eventually took place, and it’s unclear how much of the intelligence was shared with Israel, a US ally.
As the war rages on, many in- and outside of Israel are asking how the country’s vaunted security apparatus appeared to overlook the threat of an imminent invasion force and be caught initially unprepared against an adversary with far less technical capabilities than Israel’s high-tech, modern military force.
Within Israel, 86 per cent of respondents to a recent poll said the Hamas offensive represents a failure of the country’s leadership, while over 75 per cent said the current government holds responsibility for the lack of preparedness, The Jerusalem Post reports.
At least 11 journalists have been killed in Israel-Hamas war
Saturday 14 October 2023 00:05 , Josh Marcus
Multiple journalists have been killed or gone missing since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
At least 11 members of the media have been slain, the majority of them while reporting
inside Gaza, though multiple members of the Israeli press corps have also been killed or remain unaccounted for, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties,” Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said in a statement on the group’s website. “Journalists are making great sacrifices across the region covering this important conflict. Measures to ensure their safety must be taken by all parties to stop this deadly and heavy toll.”
The deaths most recently include Issam Abdallah, a Beirut-based videographer for Reuters, who was killed in an IDF strike near the Lebanese border.
As observers, including The Independent’s Richard Hall note, Abdallah was part of a party clearly wearing clothing identifying them as members of the press.
Israel has been accused of targeting members of the press in the past, including Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera correspondent who was shot in the head by the IDF on 11 May, 2022, while covering a raid in the West Bank, according to the United Nations.
Watch: Demonstrators rally to support Palestine in New York’s Times Square
Friday 13 October 2023 23:50 , Josh Marcus
Protests and demonstrations with a variety of different messages have broken out worldwide in response to the brutal Hamas attack on Israel.
Here’s footage from one such event in New York City’s famed Times Square.
Did MSNBC intentional pull three Muslim broadcasters off the air?
Media observers are raising alarm bells that MSNBC intentionally pulled three of its most high-profile Muslim broadcasters off the air amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
Semafor reports that the network didn’t air a pre-taped episode on Thursday of the Medhi Hasan Show on Peacock, while the network reversed plans for segments featuring reporters Ayman Mohyeldin and Ali Velshi.
The network insisted that the decisions weren’t related to the identity of the broadcasters, but rather programming decisions, such as a desire to keep Peacock content more up-to-the-moment. It also pointed to appearances from Mohyeldin and Velshi elsewhere on the network in recent days.
“We have and will continue to cover the barbaric terrorist attacks on defenseless civilians in Israel last weekend and the tragic war it has provoked thoroughly and in all their dimensions,” NBCUniversal Executive Vice President of Communications Stephen Labaton told the outlet.
Meanwhile, inside the liberal news network, staff have hotly debated how to cover the war and how to support employees grieving for endangered friends and colleagues in Israel and Gaza.
Israel must ‘avoid harm’ to civilians, Blinken says during regional visit
During a visit to Arab states to address the ongoing war, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken both called on Israel to limit rapidly escalating civilian casualties in Gaza and defended the US ally against criticisms it is retaliating against innocent Palestinians.
“We have urged the Israelis to use every possible precaution to avoid harm to civilians,” the top diplomat said during a news conference in Qatar.
However, he took issue with critiques that Israel is punishing the Palestinian people, citing “unconscionable” attacks from Hamas as a legitimate provocation justifying an armed response.
“What Israel is doing is not retaliation. What Israel is doing is defending the lives of its people,” he said.
“Any country, faced with what Israel has suffered, would likely do the same thing.”
US and Egypt working on deal to allow foreigners out of Gaza, reports claim
Friday 13 October 2023 23:05 , Josh Marcus
As Israel pushes for over a million people to evacuate north Gaza, US and Egyptian officials are reportedly working on a deal to allow some of the civilians trapped in the densely occupied enclave to flee the ongoing Israeli bombardment.
A senior Egyptian official told The Wall Street Journal on Friday an agreement is in the works to allow “foreigners” to leave, though it’s unclear who precisely that refers to.
A potential deal could involve safe passages for Americans and other foreign nationals trapped in Gaza, Axios reports.
Palestinian officials update death tolls
Friday 13 October 2023 22:50 , Josh Marcus
Nearly 2000 people have been killed in Palestinian territory since the outbreak of war with Israel, according to Palestinian officials.
In an announcement via WAFA, the Palestinian state news agency, the Ministry of Health reported that 1949 people had been killed in total, 1900 in Gaza and 49 in the West Bank.
More than 8,000 others have been wounded.
ICYMI: Israel-Hamas debate sparks explosive debates on US college campuses
Friday 13 October 2023 22:34 , Josh Marcus
It began with a letter.
On 7 October, the same day Hamas launched a surprise cross-border attack on Israel, a group of student organisations at Harvard University released a statement on social media arguing that Israel’s “apartheid regime” created the conditions leading to and was “entirely responsible” for the war, which has now killed over 2,600 people in Israel and Gaza, including numerous civilians.
“Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum,” the statement read. “For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison.”
The statement has prompted fierce criticism, doxxing, and a debate about free speech on US university campuses. More details in our full story.
United Nations relief condemns ‘dangerous and outrageous’ Israeli demand that 1.1m Gazans evacuate
Friday 13 October 2023 22:18 , Josh Marcus
Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, argued that Israel’s recent order that roughly 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza evacuate is a “dangerous and outrageous” tactic.
The diplomat pointed to the enormous impact on civilians already under heavy bombardment. The UN official said in a statement on X on Friday the evacuation order “defies the rules of war and basic humanity.”
“Gaza is under intense bombardment,” he said. “Roads have been reduced to rubble. There is nowhere safe to go.”
“Forcing scared and traumatised civilians, including women and children, to move from one densely populated area to another, without even a pause in the fighting and without humanitarian support, is dangerous and outrageous,” he continued.
The official called for Israel to allow civilians in Gaza safe passages and access to basic services.
Charter flight for US citizens fleeing Israel lands in Athens
Friday 13 October 2023 22:01 , Jane Dalton
The first State Department charter flight ferrying Americans away from the war in Israel landed on Friday in Athens, Greece, a White House official said:
BBC journalists ‘assaulted and held at gunpoint' by Israeli police
Friday 13 October 2023 21:51 , Jane Dalton
BBC journalists covering the attack on Israel were assaulted and held at gunpoint after being stopped by police in Tel Aviv, the corporation reports.
Their car was intercepted and they were dragged from the vehicle, marked “TV” in red tape.
The team were searched and pushed against a wall.
A BBC spokesperson said journalists “must be able to report on the conflict in Israel-Gaza freely”.
Muhannad Tutunji, Haitham Abudiab and a BBC Arabic team had been driving to a hotel when they were stopped. They said they identified themselves as BBC journalists and showed police their press ID cards.
While filming the incident, Mr Tutunji said his phone was thrown on the ground and he was struck on the neck.
The BBC said it had contacted Israeli police for comment.
Israel ‘gives agency two hours to evacuate hospital'
Friday 13 October 2023 19:19 , Jane Dalton
A humanitarian medical aid agency says Israel gave it just two hours to evacuate a key hospital.
Médecins Sans Frontières International said it had been told to get everyone out of the Al Awda hospital while staff were still treating patients.
“ We unequivocally condemn this action, the continued indiscriminate bloodshed and attacks on health care in Gaza. We are trying to protect our staff and patients,” MSF wrote on social media.
Al Awda Hospital, established in 1997, is the first-line hospital in the Gaza Strip.
US trying to secure release of Hamas American hostages, Biden tells families
Friday 13 October 2023 19:10 , Jane Dalton
President Joe Biden on Friday assured families of American citizens who’ve been taken hostage by Hamas that his administration is undertaking efforts to secure their freedom.