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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news
The Israeli military launched what it termed a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas” in a specified area at Al-Shifa hospital this morning. Eyewitnesses said Israeli tanks and military vehicles were “inside the courtyard” of the hospital, where the military were “conducting search and interrogation operations with the young men amidst intense and violent gunfire inside the hospital.” Thousands of people are sheltering at the hospital which is no longer operational due to a lack of fuel. A doctor at Al-Shifa hospital said they were given 30 minutes’ warning before the Israeli military began their operation.The ground operation comes after Israel’s long-standing accusations that Hamas has a command center under the hospital, which they say “jeopardizes the hospital’s protected status under international law.” Kareem Khadder, Celine Alkhaldi, Elene Giokos, and Sahar Akbarzai report for CNN.
A doctor at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital said staff are hiding from gunfire as the Israeli force begins its raid on the complex. “Bombardment. Shooting around the hospital and within the hospital. It’s really horrible you can feel that it’s very near to the hospital. And then we realised that the tanks are moving around the hospital [sic],” the doctor told reporters today. He added that there are “all kinds of weapons” being “used around the hospital…they targeted the hospital directly. We try to avoid being near the windows.” Abir Al Ahmar and Nadine Awadalla report for Reuters.
Three out of the originally reported 39 premature babies have died following their removal from incubators due to a lack of fuel, with the lives of the remaining 36 babies, who range in weight from 700g to 3.3.lbs, hanging in the balance as of yesterday, according to medical staff. The Israeli military announced yesterday that efforts were underway to supply incubators for an evacuation, although it was unclear how this would assist when the hospital remains without fuel. A spokesperson for Gaza’s Hamas-health run ministry said there is no objection to evacuating the babies but there was no “clear mechanism” which allowed for the plan to be executed. Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams report for Reuters.
The Israeli military today shared photos of boxes containing medical supplies and baby food for Al-Shifa hospital, according to their post on X, formerly Twitter. “We can now confirm that incubators, baby food and medical supplies, provided by the IDF, have successfully reached the hospital,” their post said. Yuliya Talmazan reports for NBC News.
Israeli forces control the “aboveground area” of the northern Gaza Strip and emphasized the difference between above ground control and below, the Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant said yesterday. Gallant said he presented fighting plans which required “long months” of fighting and included “both the north and the south” of Gaza. Tayla Minsberg and Aaron Boxerman report for the New York Times.
Israel approved 24,000 liters of diesel fuel to be used exclusively by U.N. aid trucks in the Gaza Strip yesterday, according to a humanitarian source, marking the first time Israel has allowed any fuel delivery into Gaza since the war started. Aid agencies have long called for increased assistance into Gaza, including increased food, water, and medical supplies. The head of an Israeli defense ministry body said Israel “will coordinate and facilitate the entrance of fuel when it (is) needed.” Maya Gebeily and Emily Rose report for Reuters.
The U.N. Chief of Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths reacted to reports of military raids at Al-Shifa hospital. In a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter, Griffiths wrote: “The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns. Hospitals are not battlegrounds.” Alex Therrien reports for BBC News.
Approximately 50,000 women in Gaza are currently pregnant and about one in 10 are due to give birth next month, resulting in around 180 births per day, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a sexual and reproductive health agency. In addition to the lack of food, water, and adequate medical care in Gaza, reports previously have detailed pregnant women becoming seriously injured from collapsing buildings. Gynecologist Dr Haya Hijazi said that pregnant women are arriving at hospital with third or fourth degree burns and missing limbs, and that a woman who was full term suffered a stillbirth while running from an explosion. Farnaz Fassihi reports for the New York Times.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – REGIONAL RESPONSE
Iran’s Supreme Leader reportedly delivered a message to the head of Hamas in early November stating that Tehran would not enter the Israel-Hamas War directly, according to unnamed Iranian and Hamas officials. Iran – a longtime supporter of Hamas – allegedly told the group it gave no warning of the Oct. 7 attack and that Iran would not intervene in the war beyond r moral and political support. Parisa Hafezi, Arshad Mohammed, Tom Perry, Jonathan Saul, Idrees Ali, and Phil Stewart report for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The U.N. Security Council is trying for a fifth time to pass a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war, as the current draft text would demand “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” throughout the Gaza Strip to provide aid. It would also require that all parties would comply with international humanitarian law. The Council has been in a state of limbo due to internal divisions, with members China and Russia calling for an immediate cease-fire, but the U.K. and the U.S. allying with Israel and objecting to any mention of a ceasefire. In the four previous attempts, the U.S. vetoed a Brazil-drafted resolution, Russia and China vetoed a U.S. drafted resolution, and two Russian drafted resolutions failed to reach the minimum nine votes required for adoption. Edith M Lederer reports for AP News.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the “killing of women, of children, of babies” in Gaza must end, in his most strongly worded statement to date. Canada has maintained Israel’s right to self defense following the Oct. 7 attacks. Trudeau said he “urge[s] the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching, on TV, on social media – we’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents.” David Ljunggren reports for Reuters.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR – US RESPONSE
The United States has intelligence showing Hamas is using hospitals in Gaza as command centers and ammunition storage, National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday. Kirby said the intelligence – which was derived from a variety of intelligence methods and not just Israeli sources – supported Israel’s allegations that Hamas has been operating out of hospitals, which Kirby said amounted to a war crime. “I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them, to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages,” Kirby told reporters. Michael D.Shear reports for the New York Times.
Kirby reiterated that the United States does not support air strikes on Al-Shifa hospital or firefights in the hospital. He said, “to be clear, we do not support striking a hospital from the air, and we do not want to see a firefight in the hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people are simply trying to get the medical care that they deserve — not to be caught in a crossfire.” Yuliya Talmazan reports for NBC News.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington yesterday for a “March for Israel.” People in the crowd can be seen holding up signs showing those being held hostage by Hamas, as well as placards saying “civilians who praise the slaughter of Jews are not innocent.” Jonathan Landay and Patricia Zengerle report for Reuters.
President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the first time in a year today, with discussions expected to include Taiwan, the South China Sea, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, North Korea, and human rights. Biden is also expected to press China to use its influence to urge Iran not to provoke or encourage its proxies in the war, in hopes of avoiding a widening regional escalation of the conflict. John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson, said he hopes it will “be a very productive, candid, constructive conversation.” Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland, Michael Martina, and Jeff Mason report for Reuters.
The UK Supreme Court ruled today that the government’s Rwanda immigration policy of sending asylum seekers to that country is unlawful. Flights were prevented from leaving in June 2022 following the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the policy was unlawful due a lack of safeguards. In a unanimous decision, five Supreme Court justices agreed with the judgment and said the government failed to undertake a proper assessment of the safety of Rwanda. Dominic Casciani and Sean Seddon report for BBC News.
Germany’s constitutional court ruled today that the government’s reallocation of $65 billion of unused pandemic era debt to a climate fund was illegal, in a significant decision for fiscal policy in Germany. The ruling means the government needs to find money for the climate fund from other reserves, at a time of an already tight budget environment. Maria Martinez, Christian Kraemer, and Ursula Knapp report for Reuters.
Russia says “hell” awaits Ukrainians after confirming Ukrainian forces have crossed the Dnipro river into the Russian occupied bank of the river in Kherson, a Russian official said today. The Kherson region, located in southern Ukraine, is partially occupied by Russian forces, following their offensive to take the city last year which led to Russian forces withdrawing to the eastern bank of the river. “Bombs, missiles, ammunition from heavy flamethrower systems, artillery shells, and drones are flying at [Ukrainian forces]…over the last two or three days alone, the enemy’s total losses amounted to about a hundred militants,” a Russian official said. Yesterday, Ukraine reported its forces had a foothold on the eastern bank. “For now, we will ask for informational silence…which would allow us to report later on great successes,” a spokesperson for the Ukrainian southern military command said. Holly Ellyatt reports for CNBC News.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
The House Intelligence Committee is planning to reform a controversial surveillance program which would reauthorize and reform Section 702 and an associated surveillance court, according to leaked reports. The forthcoming bill follows months of closed-door negotiations. The bill would require a warrant for “evidence of a crime” searches as well as for a subset of searches for U.S. residents’ information under Section 702. The bill would expand Section 702 authorities for use to track fentanyl and drug cartels. The Intelligence Committee has not finalized their proposal and it is not expected to be rolled out until after Thanksgiving. Jordan Carney reports for POLITICO.
The Senate voted yesterday (51-48) to block a motion to proceed on the House-passed bill that would provide $14.3 billion in emergency aid to Israel, funded from Internal Revenue Service cuts. The vote came after a group of conservatives offered Democrats a surprise motion to proceed on the House bill, following President Biden’s previous threats to veto. The vote ended in a Senate standoff which saw objection from the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash), resulting in business being suspended to block Republicans from proceeding to the vote. Alexander Bolton reports for The Hill.
President Joe Biden condemned former President Donald Trump for his use of the word “vermin” to refer to political enemies, saying it parroted Nazi Germany rhetoric. Trump spoke at a recent rally and alleged he would “root out” his opponents including “communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin.” “Trump also recently talked about quote, ‘the blood of America is being poisoned’… Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany,” Biden said. Trevor Hunnicutt and Nandita Bose report for Reuters.