Israel-Hamas war: Biden says Gaza occupation would be ‘big mistake’ – as it happened from Rajesh Khatri's blog

                                   Arms Supplies to Hamas Disrupted by Egyptian Siege - Al-Monitor:  Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East

This blog is closing now, and our live coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict is moving here.

Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

  • The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will reopen for aid deliveries, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said. Speaking after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Blinken did not give any specifics about when the crossing would reopen. US media have reported that it will open at 9am for several hours.

  • UNRWA, the UN’s agency supporting Palestinian refugees, said on Sunday that Israel’s deadly strikes on Gaza have led to an “unprecedented human catastrophe” as Gaza’s death toll rises to 2,670 with 9,600 injured. Speaking to reporters, Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of UNRWA, said: “If we look at the issue of water, we all know water is life and Gaza is running out of water and Gaza is running out of life.”

  • Over 1,000 people were missing under the rubble of buildings in Gaza that have been targeted by deadly Israeli airstrikes, the Palestinian civil defence said on Sunday. In a statement, the civil defence team said many others were pulled alive out of the rubble, 24 hours after buildings were struck.


What is Hamas? What to know about its origins, leaders and funding | PBS  NewsHour

  • Gaza health officials have started to store bodies in ice-cream freezer trucks because moving them to hospitals is too risky and cemeteries are running out of space. Videos posted online showed bodies wrapped in white cloth stacked inside the empty trucks.

  • Israeli officials said they were restoring limited water supplies to southern Gaza, amid a wider water crisis, after a call between US President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • US and Israelis officials are discussing the possibility of a visit to Israel soon by Biden at the invitation of Netanyahu, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday. A potential visit by Biden would follow similar visits from other high-ranking US officials including secretary of state Antony Blinken and defense secretary Lloyd Austin. Blinken is due to return to Israel on Monday for a second round of talks with Netanyahu.

  • Biden, speaking to CBS, said he is “confident” Israel will act under the rules of war in its conflict with Palestine, and added deploying US troops is not necessary. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Biden said that while he believes Hamas must be eliminated entirely, there must be a path for a Palestinian state. And he cautioned that the threat of terrorism in the United States had increased due to unrest in the Middle East.

  • Reserves of fuel at all hospitals across the Gaza Strip are expected to last only about 24 more hours, the United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA) said on Monday. “The shutdown of backup generators would place the lives of thousands of patients at risk,” OCHA said on its website.

  • More than 600,000 GU.S. investigating whether Iran gave advanced training to Hamas militantsazans have so far moved to the southern part of the Gaza strip near the Egyptian border city of al-Arish, before an expected Israeli ground offensive. International aid workers in Gaza described an unprecedented situation of “humanitarian collapse”.

  • The US has warned that the war between Israel and militant group Hamas could escalate, as American warships headed to the area amid growing clashes on the country’s northern border with Lebanon. “There is a risk of an escalation of this conflict, the opening of a second front in the north and, of course, Iran’s involvement,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS.
    US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced deployment of a second aircraft carrier group late on Saturday, calling it a sign of “our resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war.”

  • Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said the US would suffer “significant damages” if the war in Gaza spills over into a larger conflict, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday. “We have conveyed our message to the Zionist regime through its allies that if they do not cease their atrocities in Gaza, Iran cannot simply remain an observer,” Iranian state media cited Amir-Abdollahian as telling the network.

  • UN secretary-general António Guterres called on Hamas to release hostages without conditions and called on Israel to allow for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian aid access to Gaza. “Each one of these two objectives are valid in themselves. They should not become bargaining chips and they must be implemented because it’s the right thing to do,” Guterres said. The Middle East is on the brink of an “abyss”, he said.

  • The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has said that he spoke by phone to the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday regarding the situation in Gaza. Maduro told Abbas that Venezuela would send 30 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza in the next few days, Reuters reports.

  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the actions and policies of Islamist group Hamas do not represent Palestinian people, according to official news agency Wafa, although it later removed direct references to Hamas from its report. In a phone call with Maduro, “the president affirmed his rejection of the killing of civilians on both sides and called for the release of civilians, prisoners and detainees on both sides,” added the news agency.

  • Amnesty International has verified six videos of an attack on Salah al-Din road – a supposedly “safe” route for Palestinians feeling Gaza – that killed at least 70 people. It went on to condemn Israel’s forced evacuations of Palestinians from Gaza, saying: “Israel’s order to ‘evacuate’ is NOT compliant w/ [international humanitarian law] & must be rescinded.”

  • France has warned Iran “against any escalation or extension of the conflict” between Israel and Hamas, the French presidential office announced on Sunday. During a phone call between the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, Macron warned against any conflict spillover into Lebanon.

  • Leaders from the EU’s 27 member states have issued a statement outlining their position on the situation in the Middle East. “The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms Hamas and its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks across Israel and deeply deplores the loss of lives,” the European Council said.

  • In a call with the Vatican, Israel’s foreign ministry said it expected the “Vatican to be more attentive to the suffering to Israelis.” The country’s foreign minister also called for a clear Vatican condemnation of deadly terrorism against Israelis and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself.

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By Rajesh Khatri
Added Oct 21 '23



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