• Israeli attack sparks global condemnation, angry protests around Muslim world
  • WHO says it has no supplies or equipment left in Gaza warehouse

GAZA: The death toll from the barbaric airstrike on a Gaza hospital rose to 471 while total number of killing from Israeli bombardment on the enclave reached 3,478, deepening tensions in the Middle East with The World Health Organisation has said it has no supplies or equipment left at its Gaza warehouse and hospitals are relying on their last reserve of supplies.

The Israeli attack sparked global condemnation and angry protests around the Muslim world.

In the meanwhile US President Joe Biden who is in Israel, pledged solidarity with Tel Aviv in its war against Hamas and backed its account that a blast that killed huge numbers of Palestinians at a Gaza hospital had been caused by Palestinian fighters.

Gaza death toll reaches 3,478: Health Ministry

At least 3,478 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip since fighting between Hamas and Israel began on October 7, says Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

Another 12,065 Palestinians have been injured, with 70 percent of the victims being women, children, and the elderly, the ministry said.

At least 1,300 others also remain missing under the rubble, including 600 children.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said: “I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.”

“But there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot, we’ve got to overcome a lot of things,” Biden added.

“The world is looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does, and other democracies, and they are looking to see what we are going to do.”

Palestinian officials said an Israeli air strike hit the hospital, with the Palestinian Authority’s health minister accusing Israel of causing a “massacre”.

The catastrophe has inflamed the region. Palestinian ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qudra said rescuers were still pulling bodies from the rubble.

Al Jazeera carried footage showing a frantic scene as rescue workers scoured blood-stained debris for survivors. Rescuers and civilians were shown carrying away multiple victims in body bags. A Gaza civil defence chief gave a death toll of 300, while health ministry sources put it at 500.

Biden’s complex diplomatic mission to the Middle East was supposed to calm the region and shore up humanitarian efforts for Gaza, but after the strike, Jordan cancelled a planned summit with the US president, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Abbas also cancelled plans to meet Biden, as Palestinian security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse anti-government protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah as popular anger boiled.

Protests also took place at Israel’s embassies in Turkey and Jordan and near the US embassy in Lebanon, where security forces fired tear gas toward demonstrators.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that a strike on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians was a shocking crime, adding that Israel should provide satellite images to prove that it was not involved in the attack.

 

Humanitarian aid

The Israeli military urged Gaza City residents to relocate southward on Wednesday, saying there was a “humanitarian zone” with aid available in Al-Mawasi, 28 km (17 miles) down the coast of the Palestinian enclave.

“The IDF calls on #GazaCity residents to evacuate south for their protection,” said a social-media post by the military.

Speaking to reporters as Biden flew to Tel Aviv, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Biden would put “tough questions” to Israeli leaders but did not give details.

Biden will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet seeking to get a sense of Israel’s plans and aims, Kirby said. He also aims to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, where millions of Palestinians are surviving with scant food, fuel and water due to Israel’s siege.

“He’ll be asking some tough questions, he’ll be asking them as a friend, as a true friend of Israel, but he’ll be asking some questions of them,” Kirby said.

It was unclear what Biden could accomplish during his visit. Kirby said the US president planned to speak with Abbas and Sisi on his way back to Washington.

“This sort of murky but horrific event makes diplomacy harder and increases escalation risks,” said Richard Gowan, UN director at International Crisis Group.

Biden has previously said the United States does not want the conflict to flare up into a wider war.

Iran has warned Israel of escalation if it failed to end aggressions against Palestinians.

The US State Department told Americans not to travel to Lebanon after exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon’s south.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “horrified” by hundreds of people killed in Tuesday’s strike on the hospital.

Guterres appealed to Hamas for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, and to Israel to allow immediate unrestricted access to humanitarian aid for Gaza.

 

WHO says it has no supplies or equipment left in Gaza warehouse

The World Health Organisation has said it has no supplies or equipment left at its Gaza warehouse and hospitals were relying on their last reserve of supplies.

In a post on X, it said four out of 35 hospitals were not functioning.

 

“Health workers are having to make impossible choices to ration what little they have left in supplies, incl. operating without anaesthetics,” WHO said.

‘Nobody knows’: Palestine Red Crescent Society chief on Gaza aid

The director general of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Marwan Jilani, has said “nobody knows” whether humanitarian assistance would get into the besieged Gaza Strip.

“There are preparations, yes,” he told Al Jazeera when asked about the aid deliveries.

“We are getting ready so that whenever this border crossing opens, we will be using this opportunity to get critical relief for the people inside Gaza, especially for the patients, the hospitals, and the people at large,” Jilani added.

 

UN Security Council has ‘not fulfilled its responsibility’ in Gaza: Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the United Nations Security Council for its failure to pass a resolution in favour of a pause in Israeli forces’ continued attacks on Gaza so that aid could reach civilians.

In a post on X, Erdogan said Turkish efforts to establish calm in the region had been hindered by the “wholesale punishment” being given to the Palestinians, cutting off aid supply as well as the deployment of US aircraft carriers in the region.

 

“The United Nations Security Council, which has become even more ineffective, has once again not fulfilled its responsibility,” Erdogan said.

“Western countries, which leave no stone unturned when it comes to human rights and freedoms, have taken no steps other than adding fuel to the fire,” he added.

Bahraini police crackdown on pro-Palestine protest

Bahraini police appear to have cracked down on a small demonstration in Manama in support of Palestinians in Gaza, a video on X (formerly Twitter) posted by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights shows.

The handful of activists gathered in front of the cordoned-off Israeli embassy were calling for Bahrain to break off diplomatic ties with Israel and to expel its ambassador, the rights group said.

 

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Beirut sprayed with water cannon, teargas

Lebanese security forces used teargas and water cannon to repel scores of protesters demonstrating near the US embassy in Beirut against Israel’s attack on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians, Reuters reports.

Demonstrators were prevented from reaching the embassy’s boundary by barricades blocking roads hundreds of metres (yards) from the mission in a north Beirut suburb.

Some protesters waved Palestinian flags while others hurled stones at the security forces, who pushed them back with water cannon and volleys of teargas.

 

Lebanese security forces use water cannons as they clash with protesters outside the US Embassy in Awkar east of Beirut on Wednesday. — AFP

 

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in The Hague urge ICC action

Several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside The Hague headquarters of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to urge it and the international community to take action against what they call “genocide” against Palestinians, Reuters reports.

“We are against killings of any (parties), however when it comes to Gaza the world is always (turning) a blind eye. We came here to say enough is enough,” Rafat Alkayyali, 50, said, adding that he came to the ICC to protest because he believes in international law.

People protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza at the headquarters of the International Criminal Court. — Reuters

Protesters carried signs that said: “Justice for Palestine — Stop the Genocide” and “How many children will die until Israel is prosecuted”.

 

Delhi University students burn Israeli flags to protest atrocities in Gaza: journalist

Indian journalist Alishan Jafri has shared a video on X that shows students of Delhi University burning Israeli flags to protest atrocities in Gaza.

 

The clip was not independently verified.

Saudi Arabia urges citizens to depart Lebanon ‘immediately’

Saudi Arabia has called for all its citizens to leave Lebanon “immediately” as tensions mount along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel, Reuters reports.

The Gulf kingdom’s embassy in Beirut said it was “closely following the developments” in southern Lebanon, where at least 18 people have been killed in exchanges of fire between Hezbollah fighters and Israel.

After a rocket strike on a Gaza hospital killed hundreds on Tuesday, Hezbollah called for a “day of rage”. Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters gathered in Beirut’s southern suburbs to protest the strike.

The Saudi embassy statement said citizens remaining in Lebanon should “exercise caution and stay away from places where gatherings or demonstrations are taking place”.

Kuwait this week also warned its citizens against travelling to Lebanon.

 

UN relief chief, Egyptian FM discuss aid access to Gaza

United Nations relief chief Martin Griffiths held a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss the dire need for humanitarian conditions in Gaza and aid access to the Palestinian people.

 

French court rules pro-Palestinian protests should be banned case by case

France’s highest administrative court has said pro-Palestinian protests must be banned on a case-by-case basis, while upholding the validity of an instruction from the French interior minister banning all pro-Palestinian protests.

In a note sent to regional police authorities, dated Oct 12, the interior minister had ordered that “pro-Palestinian protests, because they are likely to generate disturbances to public order, must be banned”, Reuters reports.

The appeal on the blanket ban instruction was brought by the organisation Comite Action Palestine, arguing that a total and absolute ban is not justified and encroaches on freedom of expression and assembly.

The Conseil d’Etat upheld the validity of the note but said that local authorities could not ban a protest based solely on the note or the fact that a protest is in support of Palestinians.

 

‘Imagery, intercepts’ show Israel not behind Gaza strike: White House

US intelligence based on aerial images and intercepted communications shows Israel was not to blame for a strike on a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds, the White House has said.

“While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on social media.

UN agencies send humanitarian supplies to Egypt

UN agencies have sent supplies to meet the huge needs of children and families in Gaza to Egypt near the crossing to Gaza, the Unicef has said.

“We need an immediate humanitarian pause to ensure unhindered and safe delivery of life-saving supplies,” it said on X.

 

Biden announces $100m for humanitarian assistance in Gaza, West Bank

US President Joe Biden has announced $100 million for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

In a post on X, he said the money would support over a million displace and conflict-affected Palestinians.

 

‘You are not alone,’ Biden tells Israel

President Joe Biden has said that he has come to Israel with a sole message for its close ally: “You are not alone.”

In a statement posted on X, the US president vowed to stand with the Israel “forever”.

Aid to be allowed into Gaza via Egypt

Israel would let aid enter Gaza via Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has announced, saying only “food, water and medicine” will be allowed into the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid from Egyptian NGOs for Palestinians wait for the reopening of the Rafah crossing at the Egyptian side, to enter Gaza

“In light of (US) President (Joe) Biden’s demand, Israel would not foil the supply of humanitarian aid via Egypt,” AFP reports quoting the prime minister’s office as saying.

The statement noted that aid to civilians in the southern Gaza Strip would be allowed “so long as these supplies do not reach Hamas”.

 

Saudi FM meets Iranian counterpart, discusses current military escalation in Gaza

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, where they discussed the current military escalation in Gaza and surrounding areas, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said on X.

The Saudi foreign minister “affirmed the Kingdom’s firm position towards the Palestinian cause and supporting efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive and just peace that guarantees the Palestinian people’s access to their legitimate rights”, it added.

 

US vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian pause in conflict

The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict between Israel and the Hamas group to allow humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.

The vote on the Brazilian-drafted text was twice delayed in the past couple of days as the United States tries to broker aid access to Gaza. Twelve members voted in favour of the draft text on Wednesday, while Russia and Britain abstained.

Washington traditionally shields its ally Israel from any Security Council action.

The draft resolution urged Israel — without naming it — to rescind its order for civilians and UN staff in Gaza to move to the south of the Palestinian enclave.

 

Israeli troops kill two Palestinian teens in West Bank amid Gaza anger

Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinian teenagers near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank after protests against Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The deaths brought the toll of Palestinians killed in the latest flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence to at least 64 in the West Bank.

A statement from the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said Israeli forces shot a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old in the village of Shuqba west of Ramallah. It did not elaborate.

Residents told Reuters that the two boys were trying to light tyres in protest against Israel when they were shot.

 

Protest in Lahore tomorrow against Israel’s war crimes

Activist Ammar Ali Jan has urged people to participate in a protest organised at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk tomorrow against Israel’s war crimes.

 

Biden says US ‘data’ shows Israel not behind Gaza hospital strike

President Joe Biden says he had seen “data” from the US Defense Department backing his assertion that Palestinian fighters, not Israel, were to blame for a devastating strike on a Gaza hospital, AFP reports.

Asked by reporters in Tel Aviv what made him sure that Israel was not responsible for the strike that killed hundreds on Tuesday, Biden replied, “The data I was shown by my defense department”.

OIC condemns Israel’s ‘state terrorism’, calls it a ‘war crime’ that must be punished

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has condemned Israel’s “state terrorism” against the Baptist hospital in Gaza, which was hit by a strike on Tuesday night.

In a statement, OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha urged the international community to compel Israel to adhere to international law and UN resolutions.

 

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