In a joint press conference with Turkey’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani of Qatar expressed the hope that there might be some movement on the release of hostages “soon”.
The prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar said: “If we can keep going between both parties, we should see some sort of breakthrough, hopefully soon.”
Turkey’s foreign minister has warned the world that the only possible outcomes for Israel and Palestine are “a lasting peace or a world war”.
In comments made in Doha, Al Jazeera quotes Hakan Fidan saying:
We are at a turning point in history. Either we reach a lasting peace or a world war will break out. We call on all parties, regional and international stakeholders, to listen to the voice of reason. And those who are encouraging Israel to continue its crimes are also liable. If we don’t act fast, we will have darker days to come.
Israel must realise it cannot have peace and security with violence. Today’s victory might lead to future defeat. The only solution is to have an independent Palestinian state established on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Qatar’s Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has condemned what he termed “the collective punishment policy” inflicted by Israel on Gaza, while saying that the only way to reach a peaceful solution in Gaza is to keep communication channels open.
Reuters reports al-Thani, who is Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, was speaking in Doha in a press conference with the Turkish foreign minister, Hakan Fidan. Al-Thani said Qatar will continue coordinating with Turkey and regional partners to de-escalate the crisis.
Fidan said that an Israeli ground operation into Gaza would turn the fighting there into a massacre. He said that those supporting Israel’s actions under the pretence of solidarity are “accomplices to its crimes”.
The Israeli national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, this morning welcomed Qatar’s intervention on humanitarian issues, saying on social media: “I’m pleased to say that Qatar is becoming an essential party and stakeholder in the facilitation of humanitarian solutions.”
It has just gone noon in Gaza City and in Tel Aviv. Here are the latest headlines …
Israel says it has refused a visa to the UN humanitarian affairs chief, Martin Griffiths, as a result of comments at the UN by secretary-general António Guterres. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said on army radio: “Due to his remarks we will refuse to issue visas to UN representatives. We have already refused a visa for the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Martin Griffiths. The time has come to teach them a lesson.”
Israel called on UN secretary general Guterres to resign after he said the “appalling attacks” by Hamas against Israel on 7 October cannot justify the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people”, and spoke of “the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza”.
Guterres had said: “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets against civilian targets. All hostages must be treated humanely and released immediately and without conditions.”
Addressing the UN, the secretary-general went on to say the attack on Israel did not happen “in a vacuum” and followed “56 years of suffocating occupation” for the Palestinian people by Israel, adding: “They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”
Erdan said Guterres should resign, calling the speech “shocking”, saying “he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner”.
The UN’s agency for the relief of Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) last night warned it would be forced to halt its operations in Gaza due to a lack of fuel as of Wednesday night. UNRWA also said that its shelters are now four times over-capacity, with more than 600,000 internally displaced people sheltering in 150 facilities. It said “many people are sleeping in the streets as current facilities are overwhelmed”. In response, Israel’s military posted a picture of what it said were fuel tanks inside Gaza. “They contain more than 500,000 litres of fuel,” it wrote. “Ask Hamas if you can have some.”
Israel’s ambassador to Australia has insisted the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “fair” after the Australian foreign minister Penny Wong’s warning that the besieged strip had “nowhere near enough” access to aid supplies.
The rate of death and injuries of children in Gaza is “simply staggering”, Unicef’s regional director for the Middle East and north Africa has said. The UN’s children’s organisation said that a reported 2,360 children had been killed in Gaza due to “unrelenting attacks”. Adele Khodr said the number of child casualties were a “growing stain on our collective conscience”.
Eight aid trucks were allowed into Gaza late Tuesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said as the US President, Joe Biden, said efforts to deliver help via a crossing from Egypt were “not fast enough”. The UN had earlier said about 20 trucks had been unable to cross into Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah crossing.
Eight Syrian military personnel have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on Deraa, Syrian state media has reported. The strikes targeted the Daraa countryside overnight, and came from the direction of the Golan Heights.
Three people were killed in the West Bank, medics have said, after the Israeli military launched a drone attack on what it said was a group of armed Palestinians who “fired and hurled explosive devices”.
The Israeli military has accused Iran of having ordered recent attacks by Tehran-backed militias in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. It also claimed Iran was providing Hamas in Gaza with intelligence, and helping stoke anti-Israel sentiment globally with an online messaging campaign.
Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich has said the 2023-24 national budget was “no longer relevant” given the war against Hamas and would be amended. He put the direct cost of the war at $246m a day (£202m/€232m).
French president Emmanuel Macron will meet today the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo. Czech prime minister Petr Fiala and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer are to arrive in Israel. Commentators have speculated that the stream of international leaders arriving in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem may also be partly aimed at delaying the expected ground invasion of Gaza.
Pope Francis has renewed his calls for the release of hostages held by Hamas and for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Gaza Strip.
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, has written to prime ministers and presidents across the EU ahead of a summit tomorrow afternoon to express “grave concern” at the growing crisis in Gaza.
UK immigration minister Robert Jenrick has suggested that visitors to the UK will be removed if they incite antisemitism, even if their conduct falls “below the criminal standard”.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will meet the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo today, Reuters reports.
The Israeli military has accused Iran of having ordered recent attacks by Tehran-backed militias in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.
Reuters reports the IDF spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, also claimed Iran was currently providing Hamas in Gaza with intelligence, and was helping stoke anti-Israel sentiment globally with an online messaging campaign.
The UK immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, has suggested that visitors to the country will be removed from the UK if they incite antisemitism, even if their conduct falls “below the criminal standard”.
Jenrick said he could not get into “specific cases” of visa-holders whose conduct is being reviewed, saying there was a “legal process that must be followed properly”, but noted some people had been seen “glorifying” terror activities and “praising Hamas”.
It comes after he told the UK’s parliament on Tuesday that the process of revoking visas and expelling foreign nationals who spread “hate and division” had already begun “in a small number of cases”.
Pope Francis has renewed his calls for the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants and for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Gaza Strip.
“I am always thinking about the grave situation in Palestine and Israel. I encourage the release of hostages and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” Reuters reports he said during his weekly audience.
Francis said that on Friday he will lead special prayers for peace in St Peter’s Basilica in a “a day of fasting, prayers, penance”.
The UN agency for refugees in Palestine (UNRWA) has said that its shelters are now four times over-capacity, with more than 600,000 internally displaced people sheltering in 150 facilities.
On social media it wrote that at least 40 UNRWA installations have been affected by airstrikes. It said “many people are sleeping in the streets as current facilities are overwhelmed”.
The UK government has said it does not agree with the assessment of the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, that there have been “clear violations of international humanitarian law” by Israel in Gaza, where more than 5,700 civilians are reported dead since 7 October.
Minister Robert Jenrick told Sky News:
We don’t agree with that. If he is referring to what has happened over the course of the last two weeks, we don’t believe Israel has broken international law. There is a clear right in international law for a nation to defend itself, and that is what Israel is doing.
We do want to see Israel, wherever practical – and it is immensely difficult to do – to surgically degrade and eradicate Hamas. That is what they are trying to do and we obviously hope they succeed because the world will be a better place … it will be a blessing if we can rid the world of Hamas.
The Israeli military has ordered the civilian population to evacuate south below the Wadi Gaza, and Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip. It has continued to bombard the southern area of Gaza where it has told civilians to relocate to.