Israel-Palestine live: Israel bombs Unrwa building in Gaza
This blog is now closed. Click here for live updates of Israel's war on Gaza.
Good evening Middle East Eye readers,
The death toll from Israel’s war on Gaza has increased to 29,410 since 7 October the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
At least 69,465 people have been wounded.
Since 7 October, at least 702 children have been among the 4,528 Palestinian people injured across the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, and in Israel said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
In other developments:
- Yemen's Houthis say that they will ban all American and British-owned ships from passing through the Red Sea.
- Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called for restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians after a shooting that killed an Israeli at a checkpoint near Jerusalem.
- There has been a more than threefold increase in anti-Muslim hate cases in the UK since 7 October.
- Shortly after pulling out, Israeli forces conducted a raid on the Nasser Medical Complex again, according to a statement from the health ministry of the Palestinian enclave on Thursday.
- White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that Brett McGurk, the US envoy for the Middle East, conducted "constructive" discussions in Egypt and Israel.
On Thursday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that Brett McGurk, the US envoy for the Middle East, conducted "constructive" discussions in Egypt and Israel.
Kirby emphasised that Washington is dedicated to facilitating a deal that would exchange hostages for an extended pause.
During a virtual briefing with journalists, Kirby did not verify reports from Axios that CIA director Bill Burns would be meeting in Paris with officials from Qatar, Egypt, and Israel.
"I can't confirm the specific reports about Paris but I can absolutely reassure you that discussions are ongoing," Kirby said.
Shortly after pulling out, Israeli forces conducted a raid on the Nasser Medical Complex again, according to a statement from the health ministry of the Palestinian enclave on Thursday.
The World Health Organisation had reported that the hospital in Khan Younis, which is the second largest in Gaza and essential for the area's strained health services, ceased operations last week.
This shutdown occurred after an Israeli blockade lasting a week, succeeded by a raid.
In a televised speech on Thursday, the military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi group announced they carried out three military actions.
These included attacking the Islander ship in the Gulf of Aden with naval missiles, as well as launching ballistic missiles and drones at Israel’s Eilat, according to the spokesman Yahya Sarea.
Sarea added that they also targeted an American destroyer in the Red Sea with a number of drones.
On Thursday, the Palestinian enclave's health ministry announced in a statement that Israeli forces had pulled out from the Nasser medical complex in Gaza, one week following their incursion into the facility.
According to the World Health Organisation, the hospital in Khan Younis, which is the second-largest in Gaza and vital to the territory's health services, ceased operations last week.
This halt in services came after a week-long Israeli blockade, succeeded by an incursion.
On Thursday, a British-owned cargo ship in the Red Sea was struck by two missiles launched by the Houthis, resulting in damage and a minor injury, according to the US military.
Earlier that day, the US intercepted six Houthi drones over the Red Sea, which were deemed an immediate danger to US and allied naval vessels, the US Central Command announced in a social media update.
Fareed Taamallah, a Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah, has argued in a column for Middle East Eye that recent talks of Palestinian statehood in western capitals "feel like a blatant hoax".
He writes: "If these countries were honestly interested in establishing a Palestinian state, they would have taken the initiative years before this genocidal war. Globally, around 140 countries recognise Palestinian statehood, but this goal has been obstructed by the western states now using this issue as a political tool.
If the recent talk is actually serious, then a Palestinian state must be recognised immediately, without waiting on Israel’s approval. If the West has learned from past mistakes, it would move to stop the war on Gaza, freeze settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, and ensure the application of international law.
Talking about the recognition of a Palestinian state while the population of Gaza is being exterminated feels like a blatant hoax."
You can read the full column below.
The head of the main organiser of pro-Palestine rallies in the UK has rejected "smears" against protesters, after concerns about politicians' safety were cited as a reason why a Gaza ceasefire motion was controversially amended on Wednesday evening.
Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which has organised the biggest marches in the UK since October, told MEE: "The issue of MP security is serious and important, but it cannot be used to evade democratic accountability."
"When people see a genocide occurring with UK political, military and diplomatic support, they have every right to object and every right to demand action."
The Scottish National Party (SNP), one of the opposition parties in the UK parliament, put forward a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which included condemnation of Israel for its "collective punishment" of the Palestinian people.
Labour, the largest opposition party, then sought to table an amendment, which removed wording such as "collective punishment" and the "slaughter" of innocent civilians.
There has been a more than threefold increase in anti-Muslim hate cases in the UK since 7 October, according to a monitoring group.
Tell MAMA, which logs and measures anti-Muslim incidents, said there had been been 2,010 cases of online and offline abuse since war broke out in Gaza.
The organisation said it was the largest number of cases over a four month period since it had begun recording in 2011.
It comes just days after the Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity, said there were more than 4,000 antisemitic incidents in the UK last year, an all-time high.
The Israeli army has posted footage of strikes it carried out in southern Lebanon.
Air strikes hit Maroun al-Ras, Kfar Kila and al-Khyam, in southern Lebanon, with Israel claiming it was targeting “terrorist infrastructures” belonging to Hezbollah.
Yemen's Houthis have warned shipping insurers and firms that any ships wholly or partially owned by Israeli individuals or entities or Israel-flagged vessels are banned from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea.
According to Reuters, statements sent to shipping from the Houthi's Humanitarian Operations Coordination Center also said ships owned by US or British individuals or entities, or sailing under their flags were now banned.
Casualties are being reported from an Israeli bombing of a Unrwa building housing displaced people in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera is reporting.
Footage of the incident, verified by Al Jazeera, indicates the death of at least one person as well as the injuries of several others.
“An Israeli reconnaissance plane bombed the car, and we found martyrs and wounded in the street,” one witness told Al Jazeera.
The far-right minister also promised to distribute more weapons to Israeli citizens, saying it had already prevented Thursday's shooting from being deadlier.
"A very big disaster was avoided here thanks to the fact that all the police officers have weapons and the citizens have weapons," he said, arriving on the scene of the shooting, which also left 10 people wounded.
At least 23 US citizens have been killed fighting for the Israeli army since the start of the ground operation in Gaza started. The number comprises almost 10 percent of the IDF death toll, the Washington Post reports.
Thousands of Americans and American Israelis rushed to join Israel's war on Gaza, which has killed more than 29,000 people, mostly women and children.
An estimated 23,380 American citizens currently serve in Israeli ranks, according to the Israeli army, the Washington Post reported.