Day 44-47

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Day 44-47
NIAS-Conflict Weekly Special Alert | The War in Gaza: Sixth Week

  IPRI Team


Israel-Hamas War: Day 50

Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND 

On 25 November, BBC quoted Israeli authorities who said that 14 hostages held by Hamas would be released on that day. As part of the Qatar-brokered deal, Israel will release 42 Palestinian prisoners.  A day earlier on 24 November, 24 hostages were released, comprising of 13 Israelis, ten Thais, and one Filipino national. 39 Palestinian prisoners were also released as part of the deal. 

 On 25 November, In the Gaza Strip, people have been lined up for gasoline and relief supplies, and it appeared as if the four-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas would last for another day. Although most of Gaza was without communication, images from the Strip showed lengthy queues for supplies and gasoline in Rafah, which is in the southern part of the territory. Early on Saturday morning, trucks were stationed on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, prepared to transport supplies such as food, water, fuel, and medical equipment. The Israeli military verified that on 25 November, four fuel-filled tankers and four more carrying cooking gas entered Gaza. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 61 relief vehicles loaded with food, medicine, and drinking water left Rafah and headed north into Gaza.

On 24 November, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the fate of Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, who was arrested earlier this week by Israel. According to the WHO, “Three medical personnel from the Palestine Red Crescent Society and three from the Ministry of Health were detained.” Two of the six who were freed said that they “do not have information about the well-being of the four remaining health staff, including the director of Al-Shifa hospital.” An Israeli army spokesperson announced on Saturday that Abu Salmiya was being questioned. Following an Israeli army raid on the hospital last week, Hamas and hospital officials have consistently refuted the Israeli army’s allegations that Hamas fighters utilised a tunnel complex beneath al-Shifa as a command centre. Israel has not offered any proof to support its assertion.

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 25 November, Arab News reported that UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, and the Arab League condemned a statement by Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, which called for the displacement of Palestinians to Jordan. The Embassy of the UAE in the Netherlands responded saying that it stands in solidarity with Jordan, respecting its sovereignty and also rejecting the denial of Palestinian right to an independent state. 

On 25 November, The Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt had received positive responses from all the parties on extending the humanitarian truce by one or two days. Diaa Rashwan, the head of the State Information Service (SIS) of Egypt, said that the country was conducting talks with the parties involved to extend the truce, which meant more hostages in Gaza and Palestinians in Israel would be released.

On 24 November, that the CMA CGM Symi, a container ship owned by an Israeli billionaire, was attacked by a drone in the Indian Ocean. An American defence official suspected that Iran was behind the attack, refused to explain why. The Automatic Identification System tracker was also turned off when the ship left Jabel Ali Airport in Dubai. 

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 24 November, Joe Biden, the President of the US, stated that the chances of extending the four-day truce are “real”. He expressed that the US and the Arab world want to “bring this to an end” soon, but reiterated his support for Israel by stating that the elimination of Hamas was a “legitimate” cause for Israel.

On 24 November, Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, denounced the “indiscriminate killing of Palestinians” in Gaza, calling it “unacceptable during a visit to the war-torn enclave. This statement has angered Israel, which responded by saying that such remarks boosted terrorism by “not placing the full responsibility of the crimes against humanity committed by Hamas.” Sanchez also called for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

On 24 November David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary of the UK, stated that casualties in the war in Gaza were “too high.” Cameron reiterated Israel’s right to self-defence but stated that a “continuous dialogue” with Israel was in place to discuss international humanitarian law as well as civilian casualties. He further condemned the violence caused by Israeli settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians, and emphasised the need for long-term security and stability for both Israel and Palestine.

About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


Israel-Hamas War: Day 49

Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND

On 24 November, BBC reported that a group of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas during the have been given over to the Gaza Red Cross. Their release follows the release of 12 Thai hostages by Hamas. 39 Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails were scheduled to be released to the West Bank later the same day. Additionally, more aid is being permitted into Gaza, with 60 lorries bringing fuel, medical supplies, and food from Egypt. 

On 24 November, as displaced Palestinians tried to make the most of the ceasefire in the fight to return home, Israel declared that northern Gaza is off limits. As many displaced people were making their way back home throughout Gaza, Israel warned that entry to the war-torn enclave’s northern region will not be permitted. From occupied East Jerusalem, Mohammed Jamjoom of Al Jazeera reported, “The Israeli military has stated that it expects Hamas to try to encourage or push civilians to return to the northern part of the Gaza Strip and that it was prepared to prevent it from happening.” 

On 24 November, the UN welcomed the arrival of relief trucks in the Gaza Strip from Egypt following the start of the Israel-Hamas truce, but it has stated that more work must be done to address the severe humanitarian crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was planning additional hospital evacuations because Israeli forces have attacked them on multiple occasions. According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief of WHO, aid reaching Gaza was a “step in the right direction, but “much more is needed.” Aid organizations have stated that their goal is to transport supplies to the northern part of Gaza, where hospitals have collapsed due to Israeli bombings and fuel shortages, and where there are serious worries about disease outbreaks and dehydration. As of 24 November, Gaza’s only permitted border crossing is with Egypt, which is located in the southern portion of the enclave, while crossings with Israel are not permitted.
On 23 November, 80 trucks of aid had arrived from Egypt.

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 24 November, Reuters reported that Bahrain has been trying to ease the anger erupting from the public at the conflict and safeguarding the deal with Israel. The US is an important nation for Bahrain because of anti-Sunni monarchy sentiments developing in the Shia-dominated Iran. 

On 23 November, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of Iran, warned that the operations of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the Gaza Strip would not go unanswered. He said: “This bombing will not make up for the crushing defeat that the Zionist entity suffered (October 7). This bombing will shorten its life, while the deprivation and atrocities will not remain unanswered.”

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 24 November, the UK promised an additional aid of GBP 30 million to Gaza. David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary of the UK, during his visit to occupied Palestinian territories, further stated that “a fourth UK flight carrying critical supplies landed in Egypt.” He expressed that the four-day truce would see the release of hostages as well as “allow access for life-saving aid” to those in Gaza. It has further been reported that Cameron will be meeting key Palestinian leaders and aid agencies.
On 24 November, Reuters quoted UN agencies expressing hope over the flow of aid into Gaza during the four-day pause. The agencies are targeting getting humanitarian aid into northern Gaza, where the bombings and lack of fuel have created a major humanitarian crisis. Aid has been passing through the Rafah crossing point into Gaza. The WHO, OCHA and the Red Crescent were working on aid deliveries during the truce.

On 24 November, Sreetha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, said the twelve Thai captives had been released in Gaza following the truce between Hamas and Israel.

On 23 November, tens and thousands of Cubans marched to the US embassy in Havana. It was led by Miguel Diaz Canel, the President of Cuba. The crowd chanted "free, free Palestine, Israel is genocide,” and “up with Palestinian freedom." 

About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


Israel-Hamas War: Day 48

Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND 

On 23 November, BBC reported that important information about the anticipated ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza has been made public by Qatar. According to an official, the first group of 13 hostages will be released at 16:00 on 24 November, with the temporary ceasefire set to start at 07:00 local time. The Israeli government source told the BBC that Hamas had made additional demands, even though the fighting was originally scheduled to cease earlier. In the first phase of the agreement, Israel will release 150 Palestinian detainees and Hamas is expected to release 50 hostages from Gaza. 

On 23 November, according to the press release by Israel Defense Force (IDF), the 401 Brigade that fought in the ‘Grad Valley’ Jabalya, uncovered weapons under children’s beds. The ‘Grad Valley’ is said to be an area from which wide range of anti-aircraft was fired targeting Israel. The IDF subsequently discovered tunnel shafts that were connected to the electricity portal that supplies electricity to Hamas officials. 

On 23 November, a spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf Al-Qidra, confirmed that a week after their contentious raid at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Israeli forces have taken the Director of the hospital, Mohammed Abu Salmiya, into custody for interrogation. An ER doctor inside Al-Shifa told Al-Jazeera that AbuSalmiya was evacuating with a World Health Organisation (WHO) envoy, he was detained at a checkpoint. Israel’s military explained that the Israeli Intelligence Agency Shin Bet is questioning Salmiya “due to evidence indicating that al-Shifa Hospital, which was directly under his supervision, functioned as a Hamas command and control center.” Both Salmiya and Hamas have refuted these claims. 

There have also been reports of intense fires near another hospital in north Gaza, Indonesia Hospital. Israeli troops ordered for a complete evacuation of the hospital, according to a physician at the hospital. 

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 23 November, Saudi Arabia's first humanitarian aid was launched by specialists and officials led by Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the Chief of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief). Al-Rabeeah signed a cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the International Red Cross, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, WHO, and the World Food Programme. The launched aid is worth USD 40 million. 
On 22 November, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of Iran, warned that the “scope of the war” in Gaza would “expand” if the ongoing ceasefire “does not continue.” 

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 23 November, David Cameron, the new Foreign Secretary of the UK, visited Israel, amidst the delay in the beginning of the truce period. He met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to “see just the true nature of the horrific attacks” faced by Israel, and to assert that the UK stands with “the people of Israel. Cameron also spoke on the humanitarian pause, describing it as an “opportunity to crucially get the hostages out and aid into Gaza.” He is expected to meet with Palestinian leaders as well. 

On 22 November, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that Gaza is currently the “most dangerous place in the world to be a child”. Catherine Russel, the Executive Director of UNICEF, reported to the UN Security Council that at least 5,300 Palestinian children have been killed as a result of the war. Russel further stated that “the true cost of this latest war in Palestine and Israel will be measured in children’s lives.” 


About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


Israel-Hamas War: Day 47

Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND 

On 22 November, a four-day ceasefire between the Israel and the Hamas had been reached, during which some of the prisoners taken during the 7 October Hamas attack would be exchanged for Palestinian detainees held by Israel. About 50 of the 200 prisoners held by Hamas will be released as per the agreement. According to a statement released by the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, 50 captives will be freed over four days, including civilian women and children.  The Israeli government added that at least half of all the prisoners held by Hamas have dual or international citizenship from about 40 countries, including the US, Thailand, the UK, France, Argentina, Germany, Chile, Spain, and Portugal.

On 22 November, BBC reported that the start date of the pause had not yet been announced by Israel, but Eli Cohen, the Foreign Minister of Israel, stated he anticipated that the first hostages would be received on 23 November. The agreement calls for the release of 50 Israeli hostages held by Hamas and the release of 150 Palestinian women and teenagers detained in Israeli jails. Families of those detained in Gaza have declared that every prisoner “needs to come home” and that every hour is “critical”. Before the pause began, Israel confirmed on Wednesday morning that its air and ground operations in Gaza were ongoing. The Israeli government reiterated its pledge to “complete” the war, insisting that it is not over.

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 22 November, the foreign ministers of Arab countries welcomed the agreement calling for a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas. They said that this agreement should be taken as a starting point to resume talks on the two-state solution and full cessation of hostilities. Incumbent Hakan Fidan, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, called the humanitarian truce a “positive development.” The foreign ministry of Jordan voiced similar views, and expressed hope that the truce would allow the required aid reaching the Gaza strip.

 On 22 November, The Jerusalem Post reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, said that he might visit Egypt soon to accelerate the pace of patient evacuation from Gaza. Erdogan said that the Islamic world should work in the spirit of unity and solidarity in Gaza and ensure Israeli compliance with international law. 

On 21 November, a Council of Ministers presided over by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, advocated for international accountability measures in Gaza. They discussed the Saudi’s insistence on an immediate ceasefire. Salman Bin Youssef, the Saudi Minister of Information, said that the council was monitoring the developments in Gaza.

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 22 November, David Petraeus, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), stated that Israel would continue its war on Gaza for “months, not weeks”. He said that Israel has not specified its intentions in the Gaza war beyond destroying Hamas, and that it would resume the war to prevent Hamas from restoring itself. Petraeus added that in Israel’s war, the US holds no choice but to remain its “steadfast ally” to prevent attacks from China over “abandoning of friends”. 
On 22 November, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, said that the European Union (EU) would step up the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza during the four-day truce window. Von der Leyen stated that the EU would “do its utmost to use this pause for a humanitarian surge to Gaza”, expressing her support for the newly reached agreement between Israel and Hamas.

On 22 November, Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church and Vatican City, met separately with the families of hostages held by Hamas as well as families of Palestinians stuck in Gaza. He expressed that “both sides are suffering.” and commented that the situation has gone beyond a war. According to the Associated Press, Francis called it terrorism and demanded an end to “the passions that are killing everyone”. He has continued to maintain the Vatican’s neutrality in conflicts.

On 22 November, Russia said it is in favour of a ceasefire agreement concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict. It said humanitarian pauses are “the only way to make progress towards settlement.” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman of Russia, emphasised that through such pauses, "a sustainable settlement" can be achieved. 

On 22 November, Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, said that he hoped the deal between Israel and Hamas would help achieve an end to the “current conflict."

About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


The Israel-Hamas War: Day 46
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND 
On 21 November, in an interview with Al Jazeera, the Gaza Health Ministry stated that all hospitals in its northern region are currently completely out of service. Ashraf al-Qudra, the ministry spokesperson, stated that hospital occupancy in the northern part of the territory has reached 190 per cent. Due to Israeli attacks and a shortage of fuel, hospitals in Gaza City and the northern region have experienced power outages. Besides, they have also experienced acute shortages of supplies, water, and necessary medications.

On 21 November, Al Jazeera reported that Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian group that controls the besieged enclave, claimed that after weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials are “approaching a truce agreement” with Israel. In a statement to the Reuters news agency on the same day, Haniyeh said that the group had responded to the Qatari mediators in the ongoing negotiations. An official from Hamas told Al Jazeera that the talks focused on how long the ceasefire would last, how supplies would be delivered to Gaza, and how Israeli captives held by Hamas could be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israel. 

According to Ezzat el-Reshiq, a member of Hamas’ negotiating team, both parties will release women and children, and specifics will be disclosed by Qatar, which is mediating the talks. He stated that the agreement would cover a ceasefire, plans for relief trucks to supply every part of Gaza, and the movement of injured people to other nations for medical care. He added that the Israeli side was holding up the agreement, pointing out that the warring parties had been in talks for weeks. The agreement was reached over the phone by all the Gaza brigades, according to the Hamas official, “because we are always united, whether it is on the battlefield or in making political decisions.” Separately, senior Hamas official Yahya Sinwar stated in statements cited by Israel’s Walla news website that the agreement would forbid Israeli aircraft from operating in Gaza during the truce.

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 21 November, Arab News reported that the National News Agency (NNA), the official media of Lebanon, said that four civilians were killed in Israel’s bombardment of Southern Lebanon, of which two were journalists. The Israeli military responded saying that it is “looking into the details.” NNA also reported that “enemy aircrafts raided inhabited houses in Kfar Kila” in Southern Lebanon.
On 21 November, Arab News reported that Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and general supervisor of the Saudi aid agency KSrelief, discussed with Andrew Mitchell, the Minister of State in the British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, the issues of humanitarian conditions and aid delivery to Gaza. Mitchell applauded Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian and relief efforts through KSrelief. The officials met at the Global Food Security Summit in London.

On 21 November, The Jerusalem Post reported that the agreement between Israel and Hamas, being mediated by Qatar is in its “final stages” and is “closer than ever has been.” The deal is for a pause in hostilities, the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas, and the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 21 November, according to BBC, a senior US official stated that a deal for the release of hostages taken by Hamas is “closer than ever before”. John Kirby, the US National Security Council spokesperson, expressed his hope for the release of hostages soon but stated that “there’s still work to be done.” The same was reiterated by Joe Biden, the President of the US, who separately stated that an agreement on the same was in. 

On 20 November, the Red Cross stated that Mirjana Spoljaric, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, met with Ismail Hanniyeh, the Hamas chief, to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The meeting took place in Qatar, and Spoljaric additionally met the “authorities of the state of Qatar.” 

On 20 November, a group of Democrats in the US Senate wrote to Biden, encouraging him to push Israel towards humanitarian assistance in Gaza. The letter, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen, expressed the need to protect civilian lives as required under International Humanitarian Law, and to “eliminate the threat posed by Hamas.” There has been no response from the White House so far.

On 21 November, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, called upon regional and BRICS member-states to play an active role in de-escalating the ongoing conflict in Gaza, during a virtual BRICS summit. He stated that due to the “sabotage” of the UN’s two-state solution, “more than one generation of Palestinians” have faced “injustice”, and Israelis are unable to “guarantee the security of their state.”


About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


The Israel-Hamas War: Day 45
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND
On 20 November, the Gaza Health Ministry stated that at least 12 Palestinians were killed by artillery fire inside the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, prompting Israeli tanks to surround the facility. Ashraf al-Qudra, the ministry’s spokesperson, told Al Jazeera on the same day that hundreds of people are still trapped in the Indonesian hospital and that “the situation is catastrophic.” The employees of the Indonesian hospital are adamant that they will remain to tend to the injured. Qudra said that the  hospital is home to roughly 700 individuals, including injured patients and medical personnel. The Israeli military, which doesn’t usually make troop movements public, didn’t immediately respond. 

The Beit Lahiya facility in the northeastern Gaza town was hit by artillery fire, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa. Health officials in Palestine reported that there were desperate attempts to get civilians out of harm’s way. The hospital’s staff refuted reports that any armed militants were present. Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, denounced the actions of Israel and urged Tel Aviv’s allies to “end its atrocities” which violate international humanitarian law. Marsudi stated: “All nations, especially those with close ties to Israel, must use all of their influence and capabilities to urge Israel to stop its atrocities.”

On 20 November, 40 trucks full of medical supplies arrived at the Rafah crossing after Jordan announced that it would establish a second field hospital in the Gaza Strip. The new Jordanian field hospital will be located in Khan Yunis, in the southern half of Gaza, where tens of thousands of people are reportedly displaced in schools and tents as a result of the intense bombardment of the besieged strip’s north, according to a report on Monday by the government-owned Al-Mamlakah TV. About 50 doctors are scheduled to arrive in Khan Yunis within two days to run the hospital, and the facility is anticipated to be operational in 48 hours. Established after the 2008 Israel-Hamas war, a field hospital in Gaza has been run by Jordan since 2009.  

On 20 November, a group of 28 prematurely born infants who had been evacuated from the largest hospital in Gaza were flown to Egypt on Monday for immediate medical attention. Meanwhile, Palestinian health officials reported that fatalities had occurred inside a second hospital in Gaza that was surrounded by Israeli tanks. The babies were in the al- Shifa hospital in north Gaza. During Israel’s military attack on Gaza City, multiple other infants perished there after their incubators failed. A spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that every baby who was evacuated was “fighting serious infections.” 

REGIONAL RESPONSES
On 20 November, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, and his counterparts from Arab and Islamic countries arrived in Beijing, on the first leg of tour to permanent member states of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Farhan said that the international community should take responsibility to end Israel’s violations in Gaza. He added that the leaders of Arab countries are ready to cooperate with countries that understand the seriousness of the situation.
On 20 November, BBC reported that a group of premature babies evacuated from besieged hospitals in Gaza had reached Egypt. It is believed that they will be taken to the Egyptian airport before being assessed and moved into hospitals. 
On 20 November, two drones were launched toward Israel after its artillery forces struck terror targets in Lebanon. Rocket sirens were heard in Kiryat Shmona and the nearby border towns of Shlomi, Manara, and Margaliot.

GLOBAL RESPONSES
On 20 November, according to Al Jazeera, Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, told Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, that there were “too many civilian losses” in Gaza. Macron stated that differentiation needs to be made between terrorists and civilians, further affirming the need for humanitarian truces that lead to a ceasefire. France is sending additional aid supplies to Gaza. Macron condemned the violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and discussed the matter with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority.


On 20 November, according to Arab News, a US envoy met with the Foreign Minister of Kuwait to discuss the war in Gaza. Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Foreign Minister of Kuwait, expressed his unwavering “support for the Palestinians and their statehood rights” to Barbara Leaf, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Al-Sabah further expressed the need for an immediate ceasefire as well as increased humanitarian aid in Gaza.
On 20 November, the news agency RIA reported that Sergei Lavrov will host member-states of the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on 21 November in Moscow.
On 19 November, the foreign ministers of Russia, Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, called for a ceasefire in Gaza. They discussed the need to extend support to the civilians. 


About the Authors

Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By

Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.


The Israel-Hamas War: Day 44
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

WAR ON THE GROUND
On 19 November, 31 premature Palestinian babies were evacuated from the al-Shifa hospital, The infants were transferred to an Emirati hospital near the Egyptian border in the southern city of Rafah. On 18 November, hundreds of people, including patients, left al-Shifa. The Israeli military has been searching the complex for evidence of it being Hamas’s headquarters. Despite the evacuation, more than 30 premature babies and about 300 critically ill patients remain in the hospital. The Red Crescent and the Gaza Health Ministry, run by Hamas, first announced the evacuation of the 31 babies. Israel has not yet responded, but it has previously stated that it would assist in evacuating infants to a safer hospital. The evacuation of the babies was following  a visit to the hospital by a UN humanitarian assessment team headed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

On 19 November, Al Jazeera reported that sewage is flowing in the streets of Gaza due to the closure of all major sanitation facilities. There is a possibility of a sharp increase in gastrointestinal and infectious diseases, including cholera, among the local populace. For the 2.3 million people living in Gaza, access to clean drinking water has nearly disappeared. While 44,000 cases of diarrhoea and 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections have been reported to the WHO, the actual numbers may be much higher. The United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA)expressed concern over the situation potentially worsening due to rain and flooding during the upcoming winter season.

According to Richard Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency Director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, "People are engaging in open defecation because we are hearing reports of several hundred people using each restroom at UNRWA centres, which have been overflowing.” He further stated that open-air defecation, inadequate sanitation, inadequate solid waste management, and overcrowding all contribute to the spread of diseases like scabies, respiratory infections, and diarrhoea. 

REGIONAL RESPONSE
On 19 November,  Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar, expressed confidence in achieving a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas. He said that the deal is going through ups and downs but has come close enough to be reached. He added that the challenges in the deal are very minor.

On 19 November, Arab News reported that Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia said that the ministers from Arab and Muslim countries will visit China to carry out the decisions that were reached at the Arab-Islamic summit. The ministers will also visit other countries to convey the message of achieving a ceasefire and sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

On 19 November, Yahya Sarea, a spokesperson for Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi military said that they would target all the ships owned by Israeli companies, including those carrying Israeli flags. The group warned other countries to withdraw their crew working on those ships.

GLOBAL RESPONSE
On 19 November, the WHO stated that it had led an assessment mission to the al-Shifa hospital, concluding that it has become a “death zone.” The hospital, which is the largest in Gaza, held traces of shelling and gunfire, and was reported to be a mass grave of over 80 people. The WHO announced that it is trying to evacuate the remaining patients and staff in the hospital while reiterating its call for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza. 

On 19 November, according to Reuters, a tentative deal between Hamas, Israel and the US was reached over the release of several women and children held hostage by Hamas is close to being reached. There will be a five-day pause in fighting in exchange. 

On 18 November, Joseph Biden, the President of the US, stated that the West Bank and Gaza “should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority” . Biden said that after the war, a single governing structure must govern the two Palestinian enclaves until a two-state solution is reached. He further stated that “no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory” must take place.

On 19 November, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation stated that 550Russians, including 230 children, were evacuated from the Gaza Strip. On the messaging app Telegram, the ministry said that among 408 who had arrived in Moscow, 120 Russians were brought by a special flight from Egypt. 


About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated By
Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini are Research Assistants at NIAS.

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NIAS Africa Team

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GP Team

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TLP is back again
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IPRI Team