Live blog: Israel rejects UN call for ‘extended humanitarian pauses’ in Gaza

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has rejected a resolution that was passed by the UN Security Council calling for “extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” in Gaza.

In a statement cited by the Haaretz newspaper, the ministry said “there is no place for extended humanitarian pauses” as long as hostages are being held by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a draft resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” throughout Gaza.

Twelve countries voted in favor of the resolution spearheaded by Malta, while the US, the UK and Russia abstained from voting.

0521 GMT — Israel cannot leave a vacuum in Gaza: Herzog

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has said Israel cannot leave a vacuum in Gaza and would have to maintain a strong force there for the near future to prevent Hamas from re-emerging in the Palestinian enclave, the Financial Times reported.

“If we pull back, then who will take over? We can’t leave a vacuum. We have to think about what will be the mechanism; there are many ideas that are thrown in the air,” Herzog said in an interview with the FT.

0426 GMT — Jordan describes Israeli bombing near its field hospital in Gaza as ‘war crime’

Jordan’s foreign minister has issued a statement condemning an Israeli bombing in the vicinity of the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, describing it as a “war crime.”

Speaking in an interview with the local Al-Mamlaka TV channel, Ayman Safadi said Jordan is awaiting the results of an investigation by its army into the bombing in order “to take necessary legal, diplomatic and political measures.”

He also affirmed that Israel as the occupying power under international humanitarian law is not only obliged to protect the hospital but to not obstruct its operations.

0350 GMT — ASEAN defence chiefs call for the fighting in Gaza to cease

Southeast Asian defence ministers have called for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian war and for the world to collaborate on setting up humanitarian aid corridors in Gaza.

“Indonesia is deeply saddened by the deteriorating situation in Gaza, particularly the horrid humanitarian conditions,” Indonesia’s Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto said, adding violence against civilians “must stop.”

Malaysia’s Defence Minister Mohammad Hasan also condemned the bombings of civilians, homes and hospitals in Gaza and “the consequential massacre of innocent lives, children, women and men.”

0142 GMT — Biden says told Israel it would be mistake to reoccupy Gaza

US President Joe Biden has said he had made it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a two-state solution was the only answer to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict and that reoccupying Gaza would be a mistake.

Biden told reporters he was doing everything in his power to free detainees held by the Hamas resistance group in Gaza, but that did not mean sending in the US military.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself here because I don’t know what’s happened in the last four hours, but we have gotten great cooperation from the Qataris,” he said when asked about progress on freeing detainees taken on October 7.

0315 GMT — US police make arrests after protest outside Democratic HQ calling for ceasefire in Gaza

Police in the nation’s capital have responded to a protest outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee calling for a ceasefire in the Israel’s war on Gaza. US Capitol Police said about 150 people were “illegally and violently protesting” near the DNC headquarters building in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Washington.

Members of Congress were evacuated from the building as the protest erupted. Video posted on social media showed protesters shoving police officers and trying to grab hold of metal barricades as the officers moved in to make arrests.

Many of the protesters were wearing black shirts that read “Cease Fire Now.” Protesters included members of If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace, who have organised other demonstrations in Washington. If Not Now posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “police are being extremely violent.”

“We are linking arms, threatening no one, and begging our politicians to support an end to the killing and the suffering in Gaza. Begging, peacefully, for a ceasefire,” the group posted.

The Metropolitan Police Department said its officers were also responding to the disturbance. Officials sent an alert to congressional staffers telling them no one would be permitted to enter or exit any House office buildings. Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, said he was evacuated from the building by police after protesters began “pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building.”

2100 GMT — UNSC calls for ‘humanitarian pauses’ as Israel issues ultimatum for south Gaza residents

The UN Security Council has called for “extended humanitarian pauses” in besieged Gaza, the first time it has broken its silence since the start of Israel’s brutal war on the blockaded enclave.

The resolution, prepared by Malta and adopted with 12 votes in favour, “calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout besieged Gaza for a sufficient number of days” to allow aid to reach civilians in the blockaded territory.

2300 GMT — Gaza authorities say Israel deployed bulldozer at Al Shifa Hospital

Authorities in besieged Gaza have said that the Israeli army had deployed bulldozers at the Al Shifa Hospital, which Israel alleges sits above a Hamas command centre.

“Israeli bulldozers destroyed parts of the southern entrance” to the hospital, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli army told the AFP news agency that its raid is currently under way at the hospital complex.

2009 GMT — Israel signals expansion of invasion toward south Gaza

The Israeli army has issued an ultimatum, demanding residents of several neighbourhoods in the city of Khan Yunis, located south of Gaza, to flee their homes.

“For the first time, the army called on residents of some neighbourhoods in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, to evacuate their homes,” the Israeli army radio said.

The Israeli army also dropped leaflets to the residents of eastern Khan Younis. “To the residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Khan Yunis, Al Qarara, Khuzaa, Bani Suheila, and Abasan, for your safety, you must evacuate your homes immediately and head to the known shelters,” the leaflets read.

The army radio said this is an “important step that indicates an expected expansion” of Israeli military invasion toward southern Gaza.

On Monday, the government media office in Gaza said there were bodies of hundreds of displaced Palestinians on roads that Israel had declared “safe” toward southern Gaza.

“We receive dozens of reports and appeals about the presence of hundreds of bodies of martyrs on the streets in various areas of Gaza City who tried to head to the alleged safe passage,” the office said on Telegram.

This comes after Avichay Adraee, the spokesman for the Israeli army, renewedly asked the people of Gaza to move south “for their safety.”

2130 GMT — Türkiye rejects Netanyahu’s ‘unfounded slander’ against President Erdogan

Türkiye has rejected “unfounded slander” from Israel’s prime minister against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying Israeli officials have “no right to talk about the law”.

“Israeli officials, who have entered the dark pages of history with the oppression and massacres committed against the Palestinian people, have no right to talk about the law.”

“The (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and (Foreign Minister) Eli Cohen, who are both uncomfortable with the truth being expressed, will not be able to cover up their own crimes with their unfounded slander about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Türkiye,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Israeli authorities, who have already lost their legitimacy in the conscience of humanity, will not be able to conceal the crimes they committed by bombing hospitals and killing women and children in front of the whole world and will not be able to divert attention,” it added.

The instigators and perpetrators of the crimes against humanity, which have caused deep indignation in global public opinion, will sooner or later be tried, the ministry stressed.

Türkiye will continue to stand against the massacre in Gaza and support the just cause of the Palestinian people, it added.

2200 GMT — Irish Parliament defeats motion calling for expulsion of Israeli ambassador

A motion in the Irish Parliament calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador was defeated, with the government introducing a countermotion.

The Irish government’s amendment to the Social Democrats’ expulsion motion passed in an 85-55 vote, removing the sanctions it called for against Israel.

“When did EU leaders lose their humanity?” said the leader of the Social Democrats, Holly Cairns, in her introduction of the motion.

“The EU position now is that we want a pause in the bombing for a few hours – and then the ethnic cleansing can continue,” she said.

“I reject this statement. Those who wrote it are cowards, and their position is indefensible.”

“More children died in Gaza in just the first three weeks of this onslaught than those killed in every global conflict since 2019,” Cairns added.

“What is happening now in Gaza is utterly, utterly unacceptable,” said Cian O’Callaghan, deputy leader of the Social Democrats in parliament.

“Hospitals, schools, ambulances, refugee camps, bakeries, medics have been bombed and attacked,” he added.

“The Israeli government must be held accountable for the war crimes they are committing in Gaza.”

2040 GMT — UK Parliament votes against motion calling for ‘immediate ceasefire’

The UK Parliament has voted against a motion calling for an “immediate” ceasefire in besieged Gaza.

The Scottish National Party’s [SNP] amendment to the King’s Speech sought to call on the government to “join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.”

Some 125 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 293 others against.

The ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party’s leadership made it clear that they would not back the motion.

Prior to the voting session, Labour brought up its own motion, which was denied by the majority of the chamber.

The Labour amendment called for humanitarian “pauses” as the party believes a ceasefire would harm Israel’s “right to self-defence.”



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