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 stranded in Egypt wait to cross Rafah crossing to the Gaza Strip in Rafah, Egypt, as a temporary ceasefire went into effect Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Israel Forces Gazans to Head to Rafah Crossing With Egypt - Palestinian Ministry

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - the war between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas continues into its 60th day, leaving over a thousand Israelis dead and tens of thousands of Palestinians dead and injured, mostly children and women. The war has also created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, according to human rights groups.
The United Nations says there are no safe zones in Gaza, including shelters flying the UN flag, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

“There are no UN designated safe zones in Gaza. I think that all my senior colleagues have been very clear, including the Secretary-General saying there are no safe places in Gaza,” Dujarric told a briefing. “There are shelters that fly the UN flag… But we have seen since the beginning of the conflict that those places that fly the UN flag are not safe either.”

Dujarric was answering a question regarding the US State Department Spokesperson’s Matthew Miller comment during a briefing that people in Gaza should go to UN-designated stores that are listed on Israeli lists as “deconfliction zones that should not be the target of military campaigns.”
In the meantime, Hamas spokesman in Lebanon Osama Hamdan confirmed on Tuesday that there are no safe zones in the Gaza Strip, despite the statements of the United States and Israel on the matter.
"There are no safe zones in the entire Gaza Strip, despite the statements of the United States and the propaganda of the occupier [Israel], because the occupier has turned the entire territory into a zone of total war by its barbaric machine aimed at children and women," Hamdan told a press conference.
On October 7, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip, breaching the border and killing and taking captives in nearby Israeli military sites and communities. 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.
Later, 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 fighting was resumed.
The escalation of the conflict has resulted in the deaths of some 1,200 people in Israel and more than 16,000, mostly children and women, in Gaza. Meanwhile, at least 256 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli violence in the West Bank.
Table of contents
New firstOld first
17:19 06.12.2023
Clearing Gaza Strip of Unexploded Ordnance Could Take Many Years - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hundreds if not thousands of unexploded ordnance could render parts of the Gaza Strip uninhabitable, while clearing them will take many years and cost tens of millions of dollars, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing Charles Birch, an explosives clearance expert for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
Entire neighborhoods were reportedly reduced to dust by Israeli bombing of the enclave. Even more of the territory could suffer the same fate because of the fighting resuming and airstrikes intensifying in southern Gaza, the newspaper reported.
The unexploded ordnance includes makeshift rockets created by Palestinian movement Hamas and high-tech munitions provided to Israel by the United States. Birch said that "the contamination will be unbelievable, like something from World War II."
Birch was cited as saying that finding and defusing one bomb in the Gaza Strip could require up to 30 contractors digging through the rubble for more than a month. Each bomb would cost up to $40,000 for UNMAS.
13:19 06.12.2023
Palestinian Foreign Ministry: Israel Forces Displaced Gazans to Head to Rafah Crossing With Egypt
Israeli authorities are restricting the movement of displaced residents of the Gaza Strip and forcing Palestinians to head towards the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to the AlQahera News Channel.
11:39 06.12.2023
Journalists' Deaths in Israel-Palestine Conflict Show Rights Protection's Failure - Moscow
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The high death toll among journalists in the area of the Israel-Palestine conflict has shown that media rights protection mechanisms are dysfunctional, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"The surge of armed stand-off highlighted a total dysfunction of those media rights protection mechanisms which had been created for similar situations," Zakharova told a press briefing, adding that the overall situation with journalists’ safety in the area of the conflict is "catastrophic."
The world had never seen 40–50 journalists die over two months, the diplomat added.
08:45 06.12.2023
US Officials Expect Current Phase of Israel's Gaza Operation to End in January
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US officials expect the current stage of Israel's ground operation in the Gaza Strip to end in January before Israel resorts to a lower-intense and localized strategy targeting fighters of Palestinian movement Hamas, CNN has reported, citing multiple senior administration officials.
US officials believe that the operation conducted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the southern part of the enclave will last for several more weeks as Israel is unlikely to achieve its end goal to weaken Hamas until the end of the year to the extent that it would not be able to repeat an attack similar to the one occurred on October 7, the report said on Tuesday.
An unnamed Israeli official agreed that the current phase of the operation would likely come to an end in several weeks, CNN also reported.
"We are in a high-intensity operation in the coming weeks, then probably moving to a low-intensity mode," the official told CNN.
08:44 06.12.2023
Spanish Foreign Minister Urges Israel to Stop Settlement Policy in Palestine
MADRID (Sputnik) - Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has urged Israel to stop its settlement policy in Palestine, saying that the Palestinian Authority should take control over the Gaza Strip and restore its government there.
"We have to support the Palestinian Authority, as it is our partner in fight for peace, and work for the end of Israel's settlement policy, violence against the Palestinian people must stop. Palestinians should have hope for the creation of their own state, while Israel should have security guarantees," Albares said in his address to the parliament on Tuesday.
The minister also said that he condemned "terrorist attacks" by Palestinian movement Hamas and expressed full solidarity with the Israeli people. At the same time, he also expressed criticism over attacks against civilians in the Gaza Strip, while calling for the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions on the settlement in the region.
"Spain has a clear vision of what must happen. The Palestinian national administration should effectively control Gaza and we have to unite our efforts so that the Palestinian authority will be able to legally restore the government in the Gaza Strip," Albares added.
Last week, Israel recalled its ambassador from Madrid for consultations over the statement of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez about the military operation in the Gaza Strip. During his visit to Egypt, Sanchez said that he had serious doubts about Israel’s compliance with international law due to the high death toll in the Gaza Strip.
08:43 06.12.2023
US Has Not Seen Adequate Israeli Actions to Hold Extremist Settlers Accountable - State Dept.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has not witnessed a satisfactory commitment from the government of Israel in holding extremist settlers accountable for violence, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Tuesday.
"They need to do more, to take action, to stop extremist settler violence and to hold accountable extremist settlers who commit acts of violence... We have not seen actually a sufficient level of actions by the government of Israel that we think hold people properly accountable," Miller said during a press briefing.
Miller said that the government of Israel has taken certain measures, providing assistance to some individuals and placing others in administrative detention.
"We have made clear, we think, that when the facts support it, people should be prosecuted, if they've committed acts of violence. And so we've taken the actions that we, the United States government, can take that does not obviate the need for the government of Israel to take its own actions, and we will continue to be clear with them about it," Miller said.
Furthermore, when asked whether the US would publicly disclose individuals associated with the settlers' movement, Miller said that the US is restricted by law from publicly disclosing the names of those designated for visa restrictions or as a result of the implemented policy.
Today, the US announced the initiation of a new visa restriction policy, targeting individuals implicated in actions undermining peace in the West Bank, including committing violence against Palestinians, with potential impacts extending to their immediate family members.
08:41 06.12.2023
Israeli Defense Minister Says Hamas Losing Control Over Gaza Strip
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Palestinian movement Hamas is losing control over the Gaza Strip, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday.
"Hamas is losing control. Our results are very impressive, but unfortunately, in the war we have to pay a high price in the form of the best of us who have fallen and many of whom I know personally. There is only one way to justify the sacrifices — to win. And the victory will be achieved with great success," Gallant said in a televised address to the nation.
08:41 06.12.2023
Netanyahu Says No International Forces Capable of Ensuring Demilitarization of Gaza Strip
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that no international forces are capable of ensuring the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, which can be guaranteed only by the Israeli military.
"I want to talk about the day that will come after Hamas. Gaza must be demilitarized. There is only one force that is able to take care of the demilitarization [of the enclave]. This force is the Israel Defense Forces. No international force can be responsible for this," Netanyahu said in a televised address to the nation.
08:40 06.12.2023
US Announces New Visa Policy Covering Violence Against Palestinians in West Bank - Blinken
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is implementing a new US visa restriction policy to holding accountable individuals using violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.
"Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities," Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken added that the immediate family members of the targeted individuals may also be subject to visa restrictions.
08:38 06.12.2023
Gaza Death Toll From Israeli Strikes Up to 16,248, Another 43,616 Injured - Government
TUNIS (Sputnik) - The death toll from the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip has increased to 16,248 people since October 7, and another 43,616 people have been injured, the enclave government's information center said on Tuesday.
"The number of bodies admitted to hospitals has increased to 16,248... The number of missing persons who may be under the rubble has reached 7,600, the number of injured has reached 43,616," the statement said.