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Israel to take ‘security responsibility’ for Gaza, Hamas attack anniversary, Blinken urges G7 unity

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The latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.

Netanyahu vows to take responsibility for Gaza after war

Israel will take “overall security responsibility” in Gaza indefinitely when its war with Hamas ends, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

Palestinian walk away after Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

It is the clearest indication yet that Israel plans to maintain control over the Palestinian enclave one month into a conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives and levelled whole neighbourhoods.

In an interview with ABC News, Netanyahu expressed openness to “little pauses” in the fighting to allow aid into Gaza or the release of some of the 240 hostages seized by Hamas in its 7 October attack on Israel.

But he ruled out any general ceasefire without the release of all the hostages.

The White House said there was no agreement on US President Joe Biden’s call for a broader humanitarian pause after a phone call between the leaders.

The war has come at a staggering cost. Airstrikes have reduced entire city blocks to rubble, and around 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes.

Many have heeded Israeli orders to head to the southern part of the besieged territory, which is also being bombed.

A senior Hamas official has previously said the Islamist movement would not accept “a Vichy government” in Gaza, referring to the French collaborationist regime under Nazi occupation during World War II.

Israeli troops, 6 November, 2023.
Israeli troops, 6 November, 2023.Ohad Zwigenberg/Copyright 2023
The AP. All rights reserved

In silence and tears, Israel commemorates the 7 October attack

Israel on Tuesday paid tribute to the victims of Hamas’ unprecedented attack exactly one month ago, which has traumatised the nation.

At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, more than a thousand people, mainly students and teachers, observed a minute of silence together, then prayed and sang the national anthem.

“The atrocities have left a terrible scar, trauma on a personal level but also on a national level,” said Asher Cohen, the president of the university, several graduates of which were killed.

“But there is hope, there will be a rebirth,” he added.

More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed by Hamas militants on 7 October, one of the deadliest attacks on Israeli soil, according to Israel.

In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to “annihilate” Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s army has battered the Palestinian enclave, killing more than 10,000, including more than 4,000 children, say Hamas.

Palestinians look for survivors following an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.
Palestinians look for survivors following an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.Fatima Shbair/AP

Blinken urges G7 to speak with ‘one voice’ on Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday called on the G7 group of nations to “speak with one clear voice” on the Israel Hamas war at a meeting in Tokyo.

“This is a very important moment when the G7 must come together in the face of this crisis and speak with one clear voice,” he said before the gathering of foreign ministers from Japan, UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.

Top diplomats from the G7 will meet Tuesday and Wednesday in Japan to try and find common ground on the situation in the Middle East, while reaffirming their support for Ukraine. Other issues in the Caucasus and Asia Pacific will be discussed.

However, the G7 may struggle to find unity when it comes to a ceasefire or humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip.

The UN Security Council itself cannot achieve either of these things for the moment. Meanwhile, Israel remains opposed until those kidnapped by Hamas have been released.

Jewish man dies after clashes between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators

California police said on Monday they were investigating the death of a Jewish man following a fray between supporters of Israel and Palestine.

Clashes broke out Sunday between demonstrators at two rallies – one pro-Palestinian and the other pro-Israeli – in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, according to local police.

At the scene, officers found the victim, 69-year-old Paul Kessler, had “suffered from head trauma,” the statement said. “Witnesses indicated that Kessler was involved in a physical altercation with one or more demonstrators” from the pro-Palestinian camp.

“During the altercation, Kessler fell backwards and hit his head on the ground,” the statement added.

He died Monday as a result of his injuries, according to the same source.

Suspend arms to Israel and Palestinian armed groups – HRW

Allies of Israel and backers of Palestinian armed groups should suspend arms transfers given the real risk they will be used to commit grave abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

“Providing weapons that knowingly and significantly would contribute to unlawful attacks can make those providing them complicit in war crimes,” it added in a press release.

Data shared with Euronews by several organisations last week showed that multiple European states have supplied Israel’s army with key weapons and equipment it is likely using on the ground in Gaza.

HRW urged Israel’s “key allies” – which it listed as the US, UK, Canada and Germany –  to “suspend military assistance and arms sales to Israel so long as its forces commit widespread, serious abuses amounting to war crimes against Palestinian civilians with impunity.”

A young Palestinian girl is treated in a hospital after she was injured in an Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.A young Palestinian girl is treated in a hospital after she was injured in an Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023.Fatima Shbair/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

It also called on Iran and other governments to cease providing arms to Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, “so long as they systematically commit attacks amounting to war crimes against Israeli civilians.”

Both sides have been accused of committing serious abuses and war crimes during the current hostilities.

HRW pointed to the deliberate killing of hundreds of civilians in Israel on 7 October by Hamas and other Palestinian militants.

Israel then cut electricity, fuel, food and water to Gaza’s population and severely curtailed life-saving humanitarian aid, all of which are acts of collective punishment, it continued.

“Civilians are being punished and killed at a scale unprecedented in recent history in Israel and Palestine,” said Bruno Stagno, chief advocacy officer at HRW. “The United States, Iran and other governments risk being complicit in grave abuses if they continue to provide military assistance to known violators.”

Jewish activists demand ceasefire

Hundreds of Jewish activists in the US peacefully occupied the Statue of Liberty on Monday to demand a ceasefire from Israel and an end to the “genocidal bombing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

Dressed in black t-shirts emblazoned with the slogans “not in our name”, demonstrators held banners “the whole world is watching” and “the Palestinians should be free” at the foot of the emblematic monument in New York.

“The famous words of our Jewish ancestor [19th-century American poet and activist] Emma Lazarus engraved on this monument compel us to act to support the Palestinians of Gaza who aspire to live free,” said Jay Saper from the Jewish Voice for Peace.

“As long as the people of Gaza are screaming, we must scream louder, whatever the attempts to silence us,” added photographer Nancy Goldin, also at the demo.

The US megalopolis, a mythical world city for immigration and multiculturalism, has been shaken for a month by demonstrations in favour of Israel and Palestinians.

Populated by some two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, New York has so far escaped violence but tensions are palpable, particularly on university campuses like Columbia.

Part of a progressive American Jewish youth – with Jews voting overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party – is fiercely critical of Israel, which they accuse of perpetrating “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

They also denounce President Joe Biden’s military and diplomatic support for the Jewish state.

Organisations like the Jewish Voice for Peace gathered tens of thousands of demonstrators in Washington on Saturday to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, while criticising US policies supporting Israel.

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