175 medical personnel killed since October 7: Health minister
Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila stated in the 31 days since the start of the Israeli-Hamas war, a total of 175 medical personnel and 34 civil defence workers have been killed in the Gaza Strip.
The health minister also added during the same period, 16 out of 36 hospitals and 51 out of 72 clinics have gone out of service due to the Israeli bombing, or the lack of fuel and medicine to keep the facilities from operating.
Numerous incidents have been recorded of medical facilities, such as al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and ambulances being hit by Israeli air raids, killing patients as well as medical workers.
Earlier, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine, Francesca Albanese, described the collapse of the health system in Gaza as a “catastrophe”.
Save the Children warns of population displacement in Gaza
In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, the director of Save the Children in Palestine said that the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza is not only an issue of deaths and injuries among Palestinians.
Jason Ian Lee stated that the situation is also “an issue of population displacement” under very difficult humanitarian conditions.
Since October 7, an estimated 1.5 million of the besieged enclaves 2.3 million people, roughly 65 percent, have already been internally displaced, according to the UNRWA.
Seven Gaza water facilities directly hit, damaged: UN
The UN relief agency has confirmed that seven water facilities in the Gaza Strip were “directly hit and sustained major damage” on Saturday and Sunday.
According to UNOCHA’s latest update, the seven facilities included:
- Two water wells in Rafah
- Three sewage pipelines in Gaza City
- Two water reservoirs.
The Gaza municipality has warned of the imminent risk of sewage flooding.
Nearly 90 UNRWA staff killed in Gaza
The UN has confirmed that 88 UNRWA staff members have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, the highest number of such deaths in a single conflict.
The UN made the announcement in a rare joint statement issued together with several non-UN humanitarian organisations.
The statement further added, “We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now.”
UN rapporteur for human rights in Palestine decries ‘catastrophe’ in Gaza
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, stated that a total collapse of the health system in Gaza “reveals a catastrophe”.
Albanese said that Israel is not fighting another country, but “a people in an occupied land”.
The comments come as the UN aid agency in the Palestinian territories, UNRWA, reported that it has not been able to contact its team in Gaza after Israel imposed another communication blackout on the besieged enclave.
World Food Programme says five days of food left in Gaza
The director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Cindy McCain, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that the current stockpile of essential food commodities for people in Gaza will only be sufficient for five more days.
“We need to be able to get our trucks in. It’s not just food, it’s water, it’s, as you know, fuel is another one, medical supplies. And yet, we’re getting a dribble in,” McCain added.
US guided missile sub surfaces in Middle East, sending message of deterrence to regional adversaries
In a rare announcement, the US military said a guided missile submarine has arrived in the Middle East, a message of deterrence clearly directed at regional adversaries as the Joe Biden administration tries to avoid a broader regional conflict amid the Israel-Hamas war.
US Central Command said on social media Sunday that an Ohio-class submarine was entering its area of responsibility. A picture posted with the announcement appeared to show the sub in the Suez Canal northeast of Cairo.
The military rarely announces the movements or operations of its fleet of ballistic and guided missile subs. Instead, the nuclear-powered vessels operate in near-complete secrecy as part of the US nuclear triad, along with intercontinental ballistic missile silos and strategic bombers.
The announcement is a clear message of deterrence directed at Iran and its “proxies” in the region. The sub, which is not named, joins a number of other US Navy assets already in area, including two carrier strike groups and an amphibious ready group.
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
In October 2022, the US made public a ballistic missile submarine in the Middle East, when the commander of US Central Command, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, boarded the USS West Virginia. Kurilla’s visit occurred at an “undisclosed location at sea in international waters,” Central Command said at the time.
The announcement of a guided missile sub in the region comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been holding a series of meetings with US partners in the Middle East. In a whirlwind trip, Blinken has visited Turkey, Iraq, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Cyprus.
Jordan airdrops medical aid package to field hospital in Gaza
Jordan air-dropped a medical aid package to a Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, King Abdullah II said on social media.
“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,” King Abdullah II wrote.
The king has been critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza and repeatedly called for a ceasefire.
‘Ready to strike’ Lebanon: Israel military chief
Israeli Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi says his military is prepared for an attack on southern Lebanon as fighting escalates with Hezbollah.
“We are ready to strike in the north at any time,” stated Halevi during a troop visit to the border.
“We know that it can happen. We have the clear goal of restoring a much better security situation on the borders – not just in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israel-Lebanon border has seen escalating exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah over the past month, stoking fears of a wider war in the region.
WHO is “very concerned” about reports of communications outage in Gaza: Chief
The World Health Organization is “very concerned” about reports of another communications outage in Gaza, the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, wrote in a post on social media Sunday.
“Without connectivity, people who need immediate medical attention cannot contact hospitals and ambulances. All channels of communication must be restored immediately,” the WHO chief said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The main United Nations agency supporting Palestinians in Gaza has lost contact with the “vast majority” of its team in the territory, it said earlier Sunday.
The WHO has documented 102 attacks on health care establishments in the Gaza Strip since October 7, it said in a separate post Sunday.
The WHO announced these attacks have killed hundreds of people, wounded hundreds more, and caused damage to dozens of health care facilities, while also damaging ambulances that serve the strip.
“Over half of health attacks and over a half of hospitals damaged were in Gaza City,” the WHO added, referring to the main population center in the territory.
Humanitarian agencies have lost contact with aid workers in Gaza, as the Palestinian enclave faces its third communications blackout of the Israel-Hamas war, according to operators.
sraeli military is conducting a significant strike on Gaza: IDF spokesperson
The Israeli military is currently conducting a significant strike in the Gaza Strip, spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Sunday night.
The strike, which Hagari described as very extensive, is targeting Hamas infrastructure above and underground, as well as fighters and senior commanders, he added.
Earlier, the Israel Defense Forces claimed its soldiers had reached positions along the coast of Gaza as part of the expansion of its ground operations.
Lebanon to complain to UN after Israeli strike kills civilians
Lebanon will submit a complaint to the UN over an Israeli strike in south Lebanon which killed four civilians, including three children.
Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told Reuters on Sunday that Beirut was collecting information and pictures and will likely submit its complaint on Monday.
An Israeli strike on a car near Bint Jbeil, in southern Lebanon, killed three children and their grandmother, according to Lebanese media and lawmakers.
CIA director traveling to Middle East to meet with leaders and intelligence counterparts: Official
US CIA Director Bill Burns is traveling to several countries in the Middle East to meet with “multiple intelligence counterparts and country leaders”, according to a US official.
The visit comes in the midst of the war between Israel and Hamas, as the US seeks to prevent a wider conflict and negotiations over hostages taken from Israel to Gaza continue.
Burns “will discuss issues of mutual concern including the situation in Gaza, support for hostage negotiations, and the US commitment to continuing to deter state and non-state actors from widening the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The Director will reinforce our commitment to intelligence cooperation, especially in areas such as counterterrorism and security”, according to a statement from the official.
US secretary of state arrives in Turkey for another key diplomatic meeting
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Turkey just after midnight Monday local time (4 p.m. ET on Sunday) — his last stop in the region before heading to Asia.
Blinken is expected to meet with Turkish officials Monday morning to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been immensely critical of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, calling the actions “crimes against humanity” and saying this weekend he was suspending communications with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Turkey has also recalled its ambassador to Israel for “consultations”.
Blinken has traveled to Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Cyprus, and Iraq so far as part of a whirlwind diplomatic trip.
Blinken makes unannounced visit to Iraq amid concerns about broader regional conflict
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Iraq Sunday — a significant stop on his whirlwind trip through the region.
Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for more than an hour.
He also visited the US Embassy, where he received a security briefing on the threat to US facilities.
US officials have repeatedly warned against other parties becoming involved in the conflict in Israel. In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, armed groups have scaled up attacks aimed at US troops in Iraq and Syria.
“We need to continue to prevent escalation of this conflict, its spread to other areas and other theaters. The United States has and we will continue to respond to attacks by Iran’s proxies to defend our personnel in the region, personnel who are here in Iraq and in Syria to help prevent the resurgence of Daesh. We will do what is necessary to deter and, as I said, respond to any attacks,” Blinken said at a news conference in Tel Aviv Friday.
Ahead of his stop in Iraq, Blinken made stops in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Cyprus. From Iraq, he will travel on to Turkey.
Speaking to reporters after the Iraq meeting Sunday, Blinken stated his discussion with the prime minister was “good” and “productive”, and added that he made clear that attacks by “Iranian-backed militias” against US personnel are totally unacceptable.
They also discussed making sure the conflict in Gaza does not spread into the wider region, the top US diplomat added.
Regarding Gaza, Blinken said negotiations on a humanitarian pause in the fighting are a “process,” but that US and Israeli teams are meeting Sunday to “work through the specifics, the practicalities of these pauses.”
“Israel has raised important questions about how humanitarian pauses would work. We’ve got to answer those questions. We’re working on exactly that,” he added.
Palestinian ambassador to UK says Abbas’ meeting with US secretary of state was tense
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom slammed the United States on Sunday for failing to be an “honest mediator” in the Israel-Hamas war.
“We need to see the US playing the role of an honest mediator, not adopting the Israeli narrative,” the ambassador, Dr. Husam Zomlot, said on CBS shortly after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We needed a grown-up in the room and that is the US — unfortunately, we haven’t heard that, and we have not come up with a joint statement.”
Zomlot, who also served as the last Palestinian ambassador to the US, added Blinken’s meeting with Abbas was tense.
“Our president demanded an immediate ceasefire to the atrocious, murderous assault by Israel on our civilians and people. This is not a war against Hamas,” Zomlot said, adding, “It’s clear since it started that it’s a war against our people, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank.”
The ambassador also slammed the US for refusing to call for a ceasefire and instead opting for the term “humanitarian pause”.
“This whole talk, Margaret, about ‘humanitarian pauses’ is simply irresponsible,” he told CBS’ Margaret Brennan.
“Pauses of crimes against humanity — we’re going to pause for six hours killing our children, and then we resume killing the children? I mean, this doesn’t stand even international laws.”
Zomlot declined to formally condemn the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and instead called on the US to “empower the state of Palestine that will be able to protect its people.”
Zomlot added he does not consider the conflict to be a war, because “a war does not happen between the occupied and an occupier” and “only happens between two sovereign states.”
He stated the situation in the West Bank is “very volatile and dangerous” and that he is concerned about it escalating into a broader regional war.
“Every minute we wait, there is a risk of spreading over,” he warned.
Abbas stated on Sunday the Palestinian Authority (PA) could return to power in the Gaza Strip only if a “comprehensive political solution” is found to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Pope Francis issues plea for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas conflict
Pope Francis said on Sunday that he “begs” in God’s name for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
“I continue to think about the serious situation in Palestine and in Israel where many, many people have lost their lives. In God’s name, I beg you to stop: cease using weapons!” the pope said on X, formerly Twitter.
“I hope that avenues will be pursued so that an escalation of the conflict might be absolutely avoided,” the pontiff added.