Nov 20, 2023 at 9:08 PM Update: 5 minutes ago
NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In this overview: according to Israeli media and the US, a deal is near on the release of people held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Developments in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are following each other in rapid succession. We therefore regularly list recent events. Subscribe to the tag ‘Gaza conflict update’ to receive a notification when we post another overview.
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White House spokesman John Kirby said a new deal on the release of Hamas hostages is “closer than ever.” However, he warns that a lot still needs to be done before that happens. Earlier on Monday, US President Joe Biden also hinted that progress has been made.
Israeli channel Channel 13 went one step further by stating that a deal is near on the release of seventy people held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In return, Israel would have to release several hundred Palestinian prisoners.
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross has traveled to Qatar to meet with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh “to move forward on humanitarian issues related to the armed conflict.” According to the Red Cross, consultations have also taken place with the Qatari authorities, who mediate between Hamas and Israel.
WHO and Indonesia condemn violence at hospital
Several people have been killed in an attack on the Indonesian hospital in the Gaza Strip. This was reported by the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization WHO. The hospital in the north of the coastal area is surrounded by Israeli tanks, according to news channel Al Jazeera.
The ministry in the Gaza Strip also reports that dozens of people have been injured. Among the people who died were patients and their companions, a spokesman said. According to him, there are approximately seven hundred people in the hospital. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says in a statement to be “shocked” about the incident. Indonesia, which built the hospital, also condemned the attack.
Israeli forces told Reuters they had come under fire “by terrorists from the hospital”. There was a return fire.
Hamas’ health ministry is in talks with the Red Cross about the evacuation of patients from the Indonesian hospital, writes the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Health authorities say they are still waiting for guarantees from the Israelis that the patients can be removed safely.
The Indonesian hospital was forced to no longer function as a hospital for some time. In recent days it was mainly a shelter location. Photo: Getty Images
UN: Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remain deprived of aid
The United Nations estimates that another 20,000 people fled to the south of the Gaza Strip on Sunday. The UN Humanitarian Affairs Organization (OCHA) bases this on observations by staff in the area.
Based on figures from the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank, the OCHA estimates that around 800,000 people are still present in northern Gaza. Israel has called on Gazans to move to the south of the Gaza Strip for security reasons.
The OCHA also reports that Palestinians in northern parts of the Gaza Strip have not had access to aid supplies for about two weeks. Gazans there are forced to feed on raw vegetables and unripe fruit, the OCHA says. Bakeries are closed, farmers can no longer cultivate their land and animals are slaughtered because there is no more animal feed. Cooking would also not be possible in many cases.
The conflict explained
Jordan provides a field hospital with 41 beds
Meanwhile, multiple sources report that a field hospital from Jordan arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday. It would be the first time that such a mobile hospital has arrived there since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
The field hospital will be located in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. It should relieve hospitals. According to Jordanian authorities, the emergency hospital has 41 beds. Forty trucks with medical supplies and 170 employees are also said to have arrived with the Jordanian field hospital.
Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah of Jordan flew on the transport plane carrying the field hospital. Photo: Getty Images / Royal Hashemite Court RHC / Handout
Premature babies from Gaza hospital arrive in Egypt
The premature babies evacuated from Al Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip have arrived in Egypt. They were allegedly taken from Gaza via the Rafah border crossing. Dozens of premature babies were in Al Shifa Hospital who needed care because the power had gone out in that hospital. In addition, the hospital was shelled and invaded by Israeli forces.
According to Al Jazeera, the Palestinian Red Crescent aid organization and the WHO, 28 babies have been taken from Gaza. WHO chief Ghebreyesus writes that twelve babies have now been transferred to Cairo.
Earlier, WHO doctor Rick Brennan told Reuters that 11 or 12 babies were in critical condition. “They all have serious infections,” the doctor said.
Premature babies transported in incubators from Gaza to Egypt