Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.
Palestinians look at the destruction by the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah, Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Gaza Strip Death Toll From Israeli Attacks Nears 16,000, Health Ministry Says

CAIRO (Sputnik) – The war between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas continues into its 58th day, leaving more than 1,200 Israelis dead and tens of thousands of Palestinians dead and injured, most of them children and women. The war has also created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, according to human rights groups.
Hamas spokesman in Lebanon Osama Hamdan urged on Sunday Arab and Muslim countries to send official and popular delegations to Gaza to lift the blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
"We call on Arab and Muslim countries to form official and popular delegations to visit the Gaza Strip to achieve the lifting of the blockade," Hamdan said during a press conference in Beirut.
On October 7, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border. The movement said its operation, Al-Aqsa Flood, was in response to Israeli provocations and occupation of Palestinian territories.
Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion into Gaza, ostensibly to eliminate Hamas fighters and rescue hostages.
Last week, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The truce was extended several times, but on Friday, the Israeli military resumed fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying the group had violated the humanitarian pause by opening fire on Israeli territory.
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17:37 04.12.2023
At Least 60 Palestinian Journalists Killed in Gaza Since October 7 - Int'l Federation
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least 60 Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October 7, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said on Monday.
"At least sixty Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed, several have been injured and others are missing during the war in Gaza," the statement read.
The IFJ, together with the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, published a list of confirmed deaths among journalists and media workers in the Gaza Strip and condemned the killings and continued attacks on journalists.
"In such dangerous conditions, the IFJ reminds journalists on the ground to take precautions, wear professional safety equipment and not to travel without their media providing them with all the professional safety equipment needed to cover events," the statement further read.
The IFJ called for an immediate investigation into the deaths of journalists and urged "all combatants in this conflict to do their utmost to safeguard journalists and media professionals."
17:37 04.12.2023
Qatari Prime Minister Meets With Jewish Businessmen, Jared Kushner in NY – Reports
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani has attended a meeting of Jewish business leaders organized by former White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Axios reported on Monday.
The meeting took place on Wednesday at a members-only restaurant in the General Motors building in Manhattan, the report said, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
During the meeting, Al Thani spoke of Doha’s efforts to release hostages held by Hamas since its October 7 attack on Israel, the report said. The prime minister also addressed questions about Qatar’s ties with Hamas.
The meeting took place amid increasing pressure and scrutiny by members of the US Congress and the Jewish business community regarding Qatar’s ties with Hamas, the report said.
During the discussion, Al Thani stressed that Qatar’s relationship with Hamas began as early as 2006 under former president George W. Bush, something that was subsequently supported by both Barack Obama and Donald Trump who sought to keep channels open to help address the situation in Gaza.
Although the US and the Jewish state have welcomed Doha’s mediation in releasing hostages, they are reportedly set to pressure Qatar on its relationship with Hamas once the war comes to an end, according to the report.
15:14 04.12.2023
Israel to Continue to Allow Humanitarian Aid to Gaza Strip - Defense Ministry
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel will continue to allow humanitarian aid, including fuel, to enter the Gaza Strip in same quantities like before the temporary ceasefire, Yotam Shefer, the head of Foreign Relations Branch in the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told Sputnik on Monday.
"We continue to get humanitarian aid in according to the mechanism … And we are continuing to get the amount, the quantities that were before the pause … including fuel. And again, we are not limiting the humanitarian aid needed in the Gaza Strip," Shefer said.
The spokesman added that COGAT experts are located inside the Gaza Strip to conduct regular assessments of the humanitarian situation.
15:03 04.12.2023
Communication Services Shut Down in Gaza, Northern Part of Enclave - Telecom Company
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The communication services have been completely shut down in Gaza City and the northern part of the enclave due to the damage to the main elements of the network, Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel said on Monday.
"We regret to announce that all telecom services in have been lost due to the disconnection of main elements of our network in light of the ongoing aggression," Paltel said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The company added that the technical teams are working hard to restore the services.
14:46 04.12.2023
Gaza Strip Death Toll From Israeli Attacks Nears 16,000 - Health Ministry
TUNIS (Sputnik) - Nearly 16,000 people died in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli attacks since October 7, and some 42,000 more have suffered injuries, the enclave’s Health Ministry said on Monday.
"The death toll from Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip since October 7 has risen to 15,899, with 42,000 injured," spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said, as quoted by the Gaza Strip government’s Telegram channel.
14:46 04.12.2023
Hamas Military Wing Says Attacks Tel Aviv in Response to Shelling of Civilians in Gaza
TUNIS (Sputnik) - The military wing of Palestinian movement Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades said on Monday that it launched rocket attacks on Israeli Tel Aviv in response to shelling of civilians in Gaza.
"The Al-Qassam brigades launched rocket attacks on Tel Aviv in response to the Zionist massacre of civilians," the organization said on the Telegram.
13:29 04.12.2023
Israeli National Security Council Raises Travel Warning Level for Number of Countries, Including Russia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israeli National Security Council on Monday raised travel warnings for a dozen of foreign countries, including Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“The threat level for many countries in Western Europe (including the UK, France and Germany), South America (including Brazil and Argentina), as well as Australia and Russia, has been raised to level 2, with the recommendation to exercise increased precaution. The threat level for countries in Africa (including South Africa and Eritrea) and Central Asia (including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan) has been raised to level 3, with the recommendation to reconsider non-essential travel to these countries,” the council said in a statement.
13:28 04.12.2023
Central Gaza's Only Hospital Surrounded by Israeli Soldiers - Director
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israeli armed forces have closed in on the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, the only hospital in the central part of the Gaza Strip, its director Khalil Al-Dakran said on Monday, adding that the medical facility is running short on medicine and fuel.
"The situation is extremely sad. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital is surrounded from the south and north. It is the only hospital in the province [of Deir al Balah] and there is a shortage of medicine, drugs and fuel there," the director told Lebanese broadcaster Al Mayadeen.
13:03 04.12.2023
Hamas’ Military Wing Says Launched Rockets Toward Israel’s Ashkelon After Shelling of Gaza
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The military wing of the Palestinian movement Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades, said on Monday that it had launched rockets towards the city of Ashkelon after Israel shelled the Gaza Strip.
"Al-Qassam Brigades bombard 'Ashkelon' with a missile barrage in response to the Zionist massacres against civilians," the military wing wrote on Telegram.
12:45 04.12.2023
Over 80% of Gaza Strip Population Displaced Since Start of Israel-Hamas War - UNRWA
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 80% of the population of the Gaza Strip has been displaced across the Palestinian enclave since the Israel-Hamas war began, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Monday.
“Almost 1.9 million people- over 80% of the population - have been displaced across the #GazaStrip since the war began,” the UNRWA wrote on X.
12:17 04.12.2023
UNRWA Says Death Toll Among Staff in Gaza Strip Since October 7 Rises to 111
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of employees of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) killed during strikes on the Gaza Strip since October 7 has risen to 111, the UNRWA said on Monday.
"UNRWA confirms that one colleague was killed during strikes before the humanitarian pause. In total, 111 UNRWA colleagues have been killed since 7 October," the UN agency said in a statement.
10:42 04.12.2023
Hamas’ Military Wing Says Attacked 5 Israeli Tanks in Eastern Gaza
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The military wing of the Palestinian movement Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades, said on Monday that it targeted five Israeli tanks and five personnel carriers in eastern Gaza with missiles.
"From this morning until this moment, the Mujahideen of the Qassam Brigades were able to target 5 Zionist tanks and 5 personnel carriers in the eastern Gaza axis with "Al-Yassin 105" missiles," the military wing wrote on its Telegram page.
08:53 04.12.2023
Gaza Contact Group to Hold Negotiations With US Gov’t This Week - Source
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The contact group on the settlement of the Gaza conflict will hold negotiations with the US administration in the United States this week, a diplomatic source in Ankara told Sputnik.
"We expect contact group negotiations to be held in the United States this week," the source said, refusing to comment on expectations from the talks.
The foreign ministers of Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia created a contact group on Gaza following the joint summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States in Riyadh on November 11. The group has already held negotiations in Beijing, Moscow, London and Paris.
08:53 04.12.2023
Erdogan to Meet With Qatari Emir on Monday to Discuss Renewal of Truce in Gaza
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Doha on Monday to discuss with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani efforts to restore the hard-negotiated humanitarian pause between Hamas and Israel, which Qatar helped mediate.
The leaders are also expected to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues. After the visit, Erdogan will return to Turkey.
08:53 04.12.2023
US' Harris Tells Abbas Palestinians Entitled to Security, Self-Determination
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Vice President Kamala Harris has spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the security situation in the Palestinian territories and issues related to their governance after the end of the Hamas-Israel conflict, the White House said.
"The Vice President reiterated U.S. support for the Palestinian people and their right to security, dignity and self-determination. She underscored our commitment to a two-state solution and said that the Palestinian people must have a clear political horizon," the statement, issued following Harris's departure from Dubai late on Sunday, read.
Harris specifically raised the question of a common Palestinian governance after the end of the Hamas-Israel conflict and "reiterated U.S. support for a unified West Bank and Gaza under a revitalized Palestinian Authority."
With regard to the West Bank, governed by Abbas's administration, Harris said the US was concerned about steps that could escalate tensions, including "extremist settler violence."
She said her National Security Advisor Phil Gordon would travel to Israel and the West Bank this week for additional discussions.
08:52 04.12.2023
Red Crescent Says Israeli Soldiers Attack Ambulances in Gaza Injuring 3 People
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Monday that two health workers and a civilian were injured when the Israeli military fired on two ambulances in the northern Gaza Strip.
"Two PRCS paramedics and an accompanying injured person were wounded as IOF fired upon two ambulances in the Faluja area, north of the Gaza Strip, while transporting an injured individual," the organization said on X.
08:43 04.12.2023
West Bank Deaths From Israeli Army Fire Reach 464 in 2023, Including 256 Since October 7
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The death toll in the West Bank as a result of clashes with Israeli forces has reached 464 since the beginning of 2023, including 256 since October 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Monday.
"The death toll in the West Bank from Israeli army fire is 464 since the beginning of the year, including 256 since October 7," the ministry said in a statement.
08:40 04.12.2023
Israeli Military Says 3 More Soldiers Dead in Gaza Conflict - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the death of three more soldiers in the ongoing escalation of conflict in the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The three soldiers died in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the IDF was cited as announcing on Monday morning.
This brings the total number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the escalation of conflict in the Gaza Strip to 401, according to the list published on the IDF's website.
08:40 04.12.2023
Israel Hits About 200 Hamas Targets in Gaza Strip Overnight, Fighting Continue - IDF
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israeli armed forces attacked about 200 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, with ground forces continuing fighting in the enclave, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday.
"IDF ground troops are continuing to operate in the Gaza Strip in parallel to IAF strikes on approximately 200 Hamas terror targets," the IDF wrote on Telegram.
08:39 04.12.2023
Israeli Strike on Residential Building in Southern Gaza Kills at Least 15 People - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least 15 people were killed and over 125 were injured in an Israeli strike on a residential building in the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Quds reported on Sunday.