Strain Rises on Israel to Pause Combating and Ease Siege as Battles Intensify Close to Gaza Metropolis

Strain Rises on Israel to Pause Combating and Ease Siege as Battles Intensify Close to Gaza Metropolis

By Wafaa Shurafa, Jack Jeffery and Lee Keath

Israeli troops fought with Hamas militants and encircled Gaza Metropolis on Thursday, the navy mentioned, because the Palestinian demise toll rose above 9,000. U.S. and Arab leaders raised strain on Israel to ease its siege of Gaza and at the least briefly halt its assaults with a view to support civilians.
Practically 4 weeks after Hamas’ lethal rampage in Israel sparked the struggle, U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken was heading to the area for talks Friday in Israel and Jordan following President Joe Biden’s suggestion for a humanitarian “pause” within the preventing. The purpose could be to let in support for Palestinians and set free extra overseas nationals and wounded. Round 800 folks left over the previous two days.
Israel didn’t instantly reply to Biden’s suggestion. However Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has beforehand dominated out a cease-fire, mentioned Thursday: “We’re advancing … Nothing will cease us.” He vowed to destroy Hamas rule within the Gaza Strip.

An airstrike Thursday smashed a residential constructing to rubble within the Bureij refugee camp a number of miles south of Gaza Metropolis.

One boy, his face coated in blood, cried as staff dug him out of the grime and wreckage. Others rushed wounded women and men, coated in mud, away on stretchers or wrapped in blankets. At a close-by hospital, docs tried to stanch the move of blood from the pinnacle of a kid laid out on the ground.

At the least 15 folks had been killed, Gaza’s Civil Protection spokesperson mentioned, and residents mentioned dozens extra had been believed buried. The strike occurred within the southern zone the place Israel has informed residents of the north to flee.

Arab international locations, together with these allied with the U.S. and at peace with Israel, have expressed mounting unease with the struggle. Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel and informed Israel’s envoy to stay in a foreign country till there’s a halt to the struggle and the “humanitarian disaster” it’s inflicting.

A flurry of heavy explosions raised clouds of smoke over Gaza Metropolis on Thursday. Al Jazeera tv, which continues to broadcast from the town, mentioned Israeli airstrikes had been hitting an space of house towers within the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood.

The barrage hit round 100 meters (yards) from Al-Quds Hospital, the Palestinian Purple Crescent Society mentioned in publish on X. It mentioned there have been deaths and accidents however gave no extra particulars.

There was no instant remark by the Israeli navy on the strikes. Israel says it targets Hamas fighters and infrastructure and that the group endangers civilians by working amongst them and in tunnels beneath civilian areas.


The U.S. has pledged unwavering help for Israel after Hamas militants killed a whole lot of males, ladies and kids on Oct. 7 and took some 240 folks captive.

However the Biden administration has pushed for Israel to let extra support into Gaza amid rising alarm within the area over the destruction and humanitarian disaster within the tiny Mediterranean enclave.

Greater than 3,700 Palestinian youngsters have been killed in 25 days of preventing — greater than six instances the 560 youngsters that the U.N. has reported killed in 19 months of struggle in Ukraine as of Oct. 8. Bombardment has pushed greater than half the territory’s 2.3 million folks from their houses. Meals, water and gasoline are operating low beneath Israel’s siege, and overwhelmed hospitals warn they’re on the snapping point.

Israel has allowed greater than 260 vehicles carrying meals and medication by the crossing, however support staff say it’s not practically sufficient. It has refused to permit gasoline in, saying Hamas is hoarding gasoline for navy use and would steal new provides.

White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby mentioned the U.S. was not advocating for a basic cease-fire however a “momentary, localized” pause.

Israel and the U.S. appear to have no clear plan for what would come subsequent if Hamas rule in Gaza is introduced down — a key query on Blinken’s agenda on his upcoming go to, in response to the State Division.

Earlier within the week, Blinken recommended that the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza. Hamas drove the authority’s forces out of Gaza in its 2007 takeover of the territory. The authority now holds restricted powers in some components of the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.


The Israeli navy’s chief of employees, Herzi Halevy, mentioned his forces had been encircling Gaza Metropolis from a number of instructions and “preventing in a built-up, dense, advanced space.”

Navy spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari mentioned Israeli forces had been in “head to head” battles with militants, calling in airstrikes and shelling when wanted. He mentioned they had been inflicting heavy losses on Hamas fighters and destroying their infrastructure with engineering gear.

Casualties on each side are anticipated to rise as Israeli troops advance towards the dense residential neighborhoods of Gaza Metropolis. Israeli officers say Hamas’ navy infrastructure, together with tunnels, is concentrated within the metropolis in and beneath civilian areas.

On Thursday, Israeli planes dropped leaflets warning residents to right away evacuate Shati refugee camp, a densely built-up district on the Mediterranean coast bordering Gaza Metropolis’s middle.

“Time is up,” the leaflets learn, warning that strikes “with crushing pressure” towards Hamas fighters had been coming.

A whole lot of hundreds of Palestinians stay within the path of the preventing in northern Gaza, regardless of Israel’s repeated requires them to evacuate to the south, which can be being bombarded. Many have crowded into U.N. services, hoping for security.

4 U.N. schools-turned-shelter in northern Gaza and Bureij had been hit previously day, killing 24 folks, in response to Philippe Lazzarini, secretary-general of the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees, often known as UNRWA.

At the least 9,061 Palestinians have been killed within the struggle, largely ladies and minors, and greater than 32,000 folks have been wounded, the Gaza Well being Ministry mentioned Thursday, with out offering a breakdown between civilians and fighters. The demise toll is with out precedent in a long time of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Over 1,400 folks have died on the Israeli facet, primarily civilians killed throughout Hamas’ preliminary assault, additionally an unprecedented determine.

Nineteen Israeli troopers have been killed in Gaza for the reason that begin of the bottom operation. A suspected militant shot to demise an Israeli reserve soldier driving close to a West Financial institution settlement Thursday, the navy and medics mentioned.

Rocket hearth from Gaza into Israel, and day by day skirmishes between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants, have disrupted life for hundreds of thousands of Israelis and compelled an estimated 250,000 to evacuate border cities.

Rockets fired from Lebanon injured two folks once they hit the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona, medical companies mentioned. Movies confirmed a avenue ablaze, a wrecked automotive and a broken constructing. Hamas mentioned earlier on Thursday it fired 12 rockets from Lebanon.

Hezbollah attacked Israeli positions within the north with drones, mortar hearth and suicide drones. The Israeli navy mentioned it retaliated with warplanes and helicopter gunships on Hezbollah command facilities, arms depots and websites from the place the rockets had been fired inside Lebanon. 4 Lebanese civilians had been killed, state media there mentioned.

4 Palestinians, together with three youngsters, had been shot lifeless in several components of the occupied West Financial institution early Thursday, the Palestinian Well being Ministry mentioned. Greater than 130 Palestinians have been killed within the West Financial institution for the reason that begin of the struggle, primarily in violent protests and gunbattles throughout Israeli arrest raids.


On Thursday, 342 Palestinians with overseas passports, 21 injured within the preventing, and an extra 21 companions, left Gaza by the Rafah crossing into Egypt, in response to Wael Abu Omar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Crossings Authority.

U.S. officers mentioned 79 People had been amongst those that have gotten out to date. The U.S. has mentioned it’s attempting to evacuate 400 People with their households.

Jeffery and Keath reported from Cairo. Najib Jobain in Rafah, Gaza Strip; Kareem Chehayeb in Beirut and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Up to date November 2, 2023 at 5:05 p.m. ET with newest particulars.