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.
Destroyed buildings from Israeli airstrikes are seen in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Death Toll in Gaza Strip From Israeli Strikes Exceeds 17,000 - Health Ministry

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas has entered its third month, leaving over a thousand Israelis dead and tens of thousands of Palestinians dead and injured, mostly children and women. The ongoing fighting has also created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, according to the UN.
There is no hope that the armed confrontation between Israel and Hamas will end in the near future, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"There were wars, there were terrorist attacks, everything was there [in the Middle East], but what happened on October 7 and has been going on for two months now ... unfortunately, there is no hope that this will end in the near future," Zakharova told the Solovyov Live show.
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 18,000, mostly children and women, in Gaza. Meanwhile, at least 256 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli violence in the West Bank.
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18:04 07.12.2023
UN Humanitarian Aid to Gaza Being Processed at Rafah Crossing Amid Uncertainty - Official
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations is still processing humanitarian trucks in the Gaza Strip at the Rafah crossing amid great uncertainty what may happen, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths said on Thursday.
"We are still unloading trucks at the Rafah crossing. But what we don't have is any sense of clarity of planning, any sense of what's going to happen tomorrow," Griffiths said during a press briefing.
Griffiths emphasized that nobody knows where the Gaza residents who are in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave will go, nor when the military operations will end.
18:04 07.12.2023
US Resumes Drone Flights Over Gaza in Support of Hostage Recovery Efforts - Pentagon
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has resumed drone flights over the Gaza Strip in support of the ongoing hostage recovery efforts, Defense Department spokesperson Lisa Lawrence said on Thursday.
"In support of hostage recovery efforts, the US has resumed unarmed UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] flights over Gaza, and we continue to provide advice and assistance to support our Israeli partner as they work on their hostage recovery efforts," Lawrence said.
The US military had suspended drone flights in the region following a ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas on November 24.
17:29 07.12.2023
Putin, Iran's Raisi Exchange Views on Palestine Situation
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi shake hands before a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on December 7, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.12.2023
Israel-Palestine Escalation
Putin, Iran's Raisi Exchange Views on Palestine Situation
17:24 07.12.2023
Israeli Army Arrests Dozens of Men in Gaza to Check Their Hamas Links - Reports
16:56 07.12.2023
US Believes UNSC Resolution on Gaza Won't Be Helpful Now - Envoy
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United States believes that another UN Security Council resolution on Gaza will not be helpful right now, deputy US ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed said that the country has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds.
"Our position hasn’t changed." Wood told journalists. "We haven’t had any discussions with the UAE about their text so I don’t know what their plans are… but we don’t think another Security Council product right now is gonna be helpful in the situation."
Russia and the UAE have requested a UN Security Council meeting on Gaza for Friday.
16:32 07.12.2023
Over 11,700 People Evacuated to Egypt From Gaza Via Rafah Checkpoint - Information Center
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - In total, over 11,700, including foreigners and injured Palestinians, have been evacuated to Egypt from the Gaza Strip via the Rafah checkpoint since the beginning of the entry of aid into the enclave, the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) said on Thursday.
"[SIS] Chairman Diaa Rashwan reiterated that Egypt is permanently opening the Rafah crossing for individuals and goods, and that any obstacles at the crossing come from the other Israeli side, explaining that since the beginning of the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip, 3,313 trucks of food and relief supplies, fuel and household gas have been entered, and 682 injured people have been received, 11,067 Egyptians and foreign nationals were evacuated from the Strip," the center said in a statement.
The Rafah border crossing is the only point of entry into Gaza from Egypt. Foreign citizens have been allowed to leave the conflict-torn Gaza Strip through the checkpoint since November 1, but some obstacles periodically arise for border crossings.
16:26 07.12.2023
Global 'Dynamics of Gaza War' Prompt Putin's Middle East Tour
Visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the United Arab Emirates on December 6, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.12.2023
Global 'Dynamics of Gaza War' Prompt Putin's Middle East Tour
15:02 07.12.2023
EU to Review 'Terminology' for Events in Gaza Strip on December 11 - Commission
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union's foreign ministers on December 11 will discuss the terminology they will use moving forward to refer to "humanitarian pauses" and other events related to hostilities in the Gaza Strip, European Commission foreign affairs and security policy spokesman Peter Stano said on Thursday.
"The member states are constantly discussing with partners in the region, with international partners, among themselves, and the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council on Monday will be another opportunity to review the situation, the position and the terminology of the EU almost at the highest level. And if the member states agree that now is the time to call the humanitarian pauses a ceasefire or something else, they will do so," Stano told a briefing.
The spokesman also said that the EU was very concerned by the situation in Gaza and its impact on civilians, adding that "how to get there and how to call it, now this is something that is constantly evolving."
15:02 07.12.2023
Death Toll in Gaza Strip From Israeli Strikes Exceeds 17,000 - Palestinian Health Ministry
TUNIS (Sputnik) - The death toll from the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip has increased to 17,177 people since October 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Thursday.
"The death toll from Israeli strikes on Gaza since the start of the war [between Israel and Hamas] has risen to 17,177," the ministry said, as quoted by Al Arabiya.
15:01 07.12.2023
US Tells Israel to Leave Houthi Response to US Military – Reports
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has told Israel to let it handle the military response to attacks by Yemen’s Houthis, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing US and other government officials.
The officials said the US reasoned that this approach would avoid the risk of a backlash to an Israel response that could expand the conflict.
Since Israel’s war on Gaza began two months ago, the Houthis have destabilized global shipping routes by launching a series of attacks on US or Israel-linked ships in the Red Sea, as well as drones and missiles on Israel.
On Sunday, the Houthis’ maritime attacks escalated to an hours-long assault with ballistic missiles on three commercial ships in the Red Sea. The ships sustained minor damage, while the USS Carney Navy destroyer intervened to shoot down incoming drones.
15:00 07.12.2023
Turkey to Set Up Field Hospital Near Rafah Border Crossing - Health Minister
ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey is considering setting up a field hospital near the Rafah border crossing to treat those injured in Gaza and has discussed the issue with Israel, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.
"I have held talks with the Israeli and Egyptian health ministers. In the coming days, we will have the opportunity to establish a field hospital at this location with better infrastructure," Koca was quoted as saying by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
Feasibility studies were carried out to find a suitable location for deploying the field hospital, the minister added.
"Our team examined three settlements in Gaza. We concluded that all three settlements were not suitable in terms of infrastructure. Feasibility studies were conducted for a fourth settlement. We believe that the fourth location, closer to the Rafah border gate, would be suitable," Koca said.
15:00 07.12.2023
Russia, Saudi Arabia Concerned Over Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza - Statement
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia and Saudi Arabia are concerned over the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, and called for halt to military operations, the countries said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The statement was published by the Kremlin following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
"Both sides discussed the developments in the situation in Palestine, expressed deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and emphasized the need to end military operations in the Palestinian territories, as well as the need to protect civilians in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law," the statement read.
14:59 07.12.2023
Israel to Adjust Gaza Fuel Supply to Humanitarian Situation in Enclave - Gov't
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Security Cabinet of Israel has approved the amount of fuel to be delivered to the Gaza Strip, which will be determined depending on the humanitarian and epidemic situation in the conflict-torn enclave, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Thursday.
"The Security Cabinet, this evening [on Wednesday], approved the recommendation of the War Cabinet to allow a minimal supplement of fuel – necessary to prevent a humanitarian collapse and the outbreak of epidemics – into the southern Gaza Strip. The minimal amount will be determined from time to time by the War Cabinet according to the morbidity situation and humanitarian situation in the Strip," the office said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Israeli media reported that Israel approved an increase in the daily supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip from 60,000 liters (15,850 gallons) to 120,000 liters, the amount agreed under the recent truce deal, which expired on December 1.
11:10 07.12.2023
UAE Presents Draft Resolution on Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Strip to UNSC - Minister
DOHA (Sputnik) - The United Arab Emirates has presented a draft resolution on the immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds to the United Nations Security Council, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed said on Thursday.
"The UAE has submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds in response to the catastrophic situation in the [Gaza] Strip and the worsening suffering of the brotherly Palestinian people, as stated in the statement of UN Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] on this matter," the minister wrote on X.
09:35 07.12.2023
Iranian President Says Will Discuss Situation in Gaza Strip at Moscow Talks
TEHRAN (Sputnik) - The Palestinian issue and stopping the bombing of the Gaza Strip will be one of the main topics of negotiations in Moscow, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Thursday.
"One of the central topics of negotiations on this trip is the Palestinian issue and efforts to stop the bombing of the Gaza Strip, lift the blockade and provide assistance to the oppressed Palestinian people," Raisi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
The agenda of the negotiations also includes the completion of the construction of the International North–South Transport Corridor, the president added.
According to Iranian state media, President Raisi has already departed to Moscow on Thursday morning.
08:54 07.12.2023
US Presidential Candidate Christie Says Would Send US Troops to Gaza
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The former New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate, Chris Christie, said he would be willing to send the country's military into the Gaza Strip to free US hostages if he became president.
The fourth Republican primary debate is taking place on Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and is being televised by the NewsNation broadcaster. During the debate, a host asked Christie if he would rescue eight US hostages believed to remain in Gaza.
"Absolutely. If they [the US Army] had a plan, which showed me that we could get them out safely. ... I'd send the American army in there to get our people home and get them home now," he said.
Christie was joined on stage for the debate by other Republican presidential candidates, including entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
On Wednesday, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the White House believed eight Americans remained hostage in the Gaza Strip.
08:53 07.12.2023
Israel Allows Minimal Supplement of Fuel to Gaza Strip - Prime Minister's Office
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel's Security Cabinet has approved a minimal increase in fuel supplies to the southern Gaza Strip to prevent a humanitarian crisis and outbreaks of epidemics, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
"The Security Cabinet, this evening (Wednesday, 6 December 2023), approved the recommendation of the War Cabinet to allow a minimal supplement of fuel – necessary to prevent a humanitarian collapse and the outbreak of epidemics – into the southern Gaza Strip," the statement said.
08:52 07.12.2023
IDF Says 138 Israelis Held Hostage Still Missing in Gaza, Their Location Unclear
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - There are still 138 Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) do not know exactly where they are, an IDF official said.
“Hundred-thirty-eight are still held hostage. It's still an ongoing process, we don't know exactly where everyone is,” the IDF official told journalists on Wednesday.
08:50 07.12.2023
G7 Leaders Say Humanitarian Pause in Gaza Strip Achieved Partially Through Efforts of US
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The G7 leaders said on Wednesday, following a virtual summit, that the recent humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip had been achieved through the efforts of the United States, Qatar and Egypt.
"While welcoming the recent pause that allowed the release of hostages and vital humanitarian aid into Gaza, achieved by the leadership of the United States, Qatar, Egypt, and other countries in the region, we deeply regret that Hamas refused to release all of the female hostages and military operations have resumed. Hamas has shown that it still poses a security threat to Israel," the G7 leaders said in a statement.
The group called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas without any preconditions.
In addition, the G7 leaders vowed to continue their efforts to isolate Hamas, emphasizing Israel's right to defend itself against the movement.
"Hamas offers nothing but suffering to the Palestinian people, and it is an obstacle to a better future for them and for the region. We will continue to coordinate our efforts to isolate Hamas and ensure it cannot threaten Israel," the statement read.
08:49 07.12.2023
At Least 17 People Killed by Israeli Strike on Refugee Camp in Central Gaza - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least 17 people have been killed as a result of an Israeli strike against a building in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reported on Wednesday.
Many others have been injured as a result of the Israeli airstrike, Palestinian broadcaster Al-Aqsa reported.