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 search for the bodies of the al Meghari family killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. - Sputnik Africa

Live Updates: Some 85% of Population Now Internally Displaced in Gaza Strip, UNRWA Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - In response to a Hamas attack on October 7, Israel launched retaliatory strikes and imposed a total blockade on Gaza Strip, home to over 2.5 million people, cutting off essential supplies and killing more than 18,000 civilians. The IDF is currently conducting a ground invasion of the Strip.
About 1.9 million people have been forced to leave their homes in the Gaza Strip, amounting to approximately 85% of the enclave's population, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said.
"As of 10 December, according to UNRWA, almost 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, were estimated to be internally displaced," UNRWA said in a report on Sunday.
The enclave saw a significant increase in some communicable diseases due to the difficult conditions at UNRWA shelters, according to the report.
"Due to the overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions at UNRWA shelters in the south, there have been significant increases in some communicable diseases and conditions such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, skin infections and hygiene-related conditions like lice," the report read.
According to the UNRWA, the number of internally displaced persons sheltering in facilities of the UN agency in the Gaza Strip has reached 1.3 million people.
"As of 11 December, nearly 1.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) were sheltering in 155 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, including in the North and in Gaza City," UNRWA said in a statement, adding that "more than 1.1 million IDPs are sheltering in 98 UNRWA facilities in the Middle, Khan Younis and Rafah areas."
The agency also said that the number of UNRWA personnel killed since the beginning of hostilities in Gaza has increased to 135.
UNRWA said earlier on Wednesday that 2023 has become the "deadliest year" on record for West Bank Palestinians, with 271 people, including 69 children, killed by Israeli security forces.
The latest round of escalation in the decades-long Palestine-Israel conflict started on October 7, when Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing over 1,200 people in nearby Israeli military sites and communities and abducting some 240 others.
Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and launched a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. At least 18,000 Palestinian civilians, about 70% of whom are said to be women and children, have reportedly been killed so far in Gaza as a result of the conflict.
On November 24, 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 and expired on December 1. Hamas is still holding over 100 people hostage. Israel moved its ground operation into the southern Gaza Strip.
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14:12 14.12.2023
Gaza No Longer Safe Place for Living - UNRWA Commissioner-General
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Gaza Strip is no longer a safe place for living, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on Thursday.
"I returned from Gaza to take part in this conference. This was my third visit to the site since the beginning of the war... And every time I go back, I always think it cannot get worse, but every time I see more misery, more grief, more sadness and have the feeling that Gaza is no longer habitable," Lazzarini told a press conference.
08:26 14.12.2023
At Least 2 Palestinians Killed, 10 Injured in Israeli Strike in West Bank - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least two Palestinians have been killed, and 10 others injured as a result of an Israeli drone strike on the city of Jenin in the West Bank, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Thursday.
Among those killed was a minor, WAFA reported, adding that three people of those injured had suffered serious wounds.
Earlier in the day, The Times of Israel newspaper reported that the Israeli military was conducting a large-scale operation in the Jenin refugee camp, with Israeli forces scanning about 400 buildings, detaining hundreds of Palestinians, as well as seizing weapons and other equipment.
08:25 14.12.2023
US Homeland Security Dept. Staff in Letter Denounce Handling of Gaza Conflict - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Over 100 staff members of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have signed an open letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas denouncing the department's handling of the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Al Jazeera broadcaster reported Thursday, citing the letter.
In the letter, obtained by the broadcaster and dated November 22, 139 staff members from DHS and its agencies, including US Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services, expressed frustration with the "palpable, glaring absence in the Department’s messaging" of "recognition, support, and mourning" for over 18,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza, the report said.
"The grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the conditions in the West Bank are circumstances that the Department would generally respond to in various ways ... Yet DHS leadership has seemingly turned a blind eye to the bombing of refugee camps, hospitals, ambulances, and civilians," the broadcaster quoted the letter as saying.
The staff members call on the department to "provide a fair and balanced representation of the situation, and allow for respectful expression without the fear of professional repercussions," the report cited the letter.
08:22 14.12.2023
Hamas Condemns US, UK Decision to Impose Sanctions on Movement's Members
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Palestinian movement Hamas on Wednesday condemned a decision by the United States and the United Kingdom to impose sanctions against its leading figures and other members.
Earlier in the day, the UK Foreign Ministry said that the UK in coordination with the US sanctioned seven individuals linked to Hamas.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the announcement by the US administration and the British government to impose sanctions on leading figures and cadres in Hamas movement. We consider this measure to be part of the collusion of the American and British governments with the Zionist entity in its aggression against our people and the demonization of its legitimate resistance," Hamas wrote on Telegram.
08:21 14.12.2023
UN Inquiry Board Will Probe Death of Staffers in Gaza After Conflict - Spokesman
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations would like to see a board of inquiry looking into the loss of lives of UN colleagues and damaged property after the Gaza conflict is finished, the UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday.
"I think a number of you have asked about what will happen after the conflict. After the conflict, there will need to be a board of inquiry from the UN which should look at the loss of property and the loss of UN lives," Dujarric told a UN briefing.
08:20 14.12.2023
Israeli Army Opens Fire at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Northern Gaza Strip - Health Ministry
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israeli military has opened fire at the Kamal Adwan hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip, endangering the lives of 12 children in the intensive care unit, the enclave's health ministry said on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the ministry said Israeli soldiers had been attempting to storm the hospital after shelling it for several days.
"The occupation [Israeli] forces are tightening the blockade and are shelling the Kamal Adwan hospital, shooting into patient rooms, denying access to water, food and electricity. We fear for the lives of 12 children in intensive care, as they have been left without milk and life support systems," the ministry wrote on Telegram.
Moreover, about 9,000 cancer patients in the Gaza Strip were left without treatment after an Israeli shelling of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only cancer hospital in the enclave, a health ministry spokesperson told Saudi broadcaster Al Hadath.