As Israel enters a new, dangerous phase in its conflict with Hamas, The Algemeiner is rounding up developments in the region and around the world.
Initial IDF Probe Finds Hospital Explosion in Gaza Caused by Failed Hamas Rocket Launch: Reports
An initial investigation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) found that a deadly blast in a hospital in the Gaza Strip was caused by a failed Hamas rocket launch, according to Israeli media reports.
The Al Ahli Arab Hospital explosion, which according to the Hamas terror group killed hundreds, has triggered international outcry. Hamas and others have blamed Israel. However, i24 News was among those to report that an initial IDF probe showed the blast was caused by a failed Hamas rocket.
Hamas routinely fires rockets into Israel. Many often fail at the launch, landing instead in Gaza.
The IDF told Fox News in a statement that it does not target hospitals: “A hospital is a highly sensitive building and is not an IDF target. The IDF is investigating the source of the explosion and, like always, is prioritizing accuracy and reliability.”
Similarly, Talya Lankri, a senior reserves officer and former deputy head of the National Security Council, told Channel 12 news that the IDF “does not hit hospitals. That is not a target.” She added that the IDfF investigation will “either show some kind of technical malfunction or a failed launch of some kind or another from within Gaza.”
Scholz: “The Palestinians are Not Hamas”
In a plea for continued humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz asserted during a solidarity visit to Israel on Tuesday that the “Palestinians are not Hamas and Hamas has no right to speak for them.”
Addressing a press conference held jointly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Scholz argued that Gaza’s civilian populace was being used as “human shields by Hamas.”
“We are continuing our humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population,” he emphasized. The Algemeiner’s Ben Cohen has more.
Global Antisemitism Taskforce Warns of Dark Days Ahead
An international task force of Jewish organizations focused on combating global antisemitism has highlighted the spiral in attacks on Jews since the Hamas invasion of Israel on Oct. 7, warning that it expects more “such worrying reports from other Jewish communities across the globe in the days and weeks ahead.” The Algemeiner’s Ben Cohen has more.
Iranian Leaders Escalate Rhetoric Against Israel
Iran continues to ratchet up its bellicose rhetoric targeting Israel, with the regime’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging that “the occupying Zionist regime…be executed for its ongoing atrocities against the Palestinian people,” the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
“If these crimes continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them. They should know this. This is a fact that exists,” Khamenei said during a meeting with academics in Tehran.
Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that “time was running out” for a political solution to the conflict.
“Amirabdollahian underlined the need for an immediate stop to the Zionist massacre and war crimes in Gaza, as well as the urgency of speedy dispatch of humanitarian aid to this region,” IRNA reported.
IDF Confirms Elimination of Senior Hamas Commander
The IDF has confirmed the elimination of a leading Hamas terrorist hours after Hamas reported his death.
“We just eliminated Ayman Nofal, a senior Hamas operative,” the IDF announced on Twitter/X on Tuesday. “Nofal was the Commander of Hamas’ Central Brigade in Gaza and the former Head of Military Intelligence.”
Earlier, Hamas said that Nofal had been killed during an Israeli air strike on the Bureij refugee camp.
We just eliminated Ayman Nofal, a senior Hamas operative.
Nofal was the Commander of Hamas’ Central Brigade in Gaza and the former Head of Military Intelligence.
Nofal directed many attacks against Israeli civilians and besides being one of the most dominant figures in the…
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 17, 2023
German Parliament to Debate Antisemitism Resolution on Wednesday
Germany’s parliament will tomorrow debate a draft resolution calling for an end to the “glorification of terror” as well as decisive measures against antisemitism. The resolution was tabled against the background of strident anti-Israel protests in Germany in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities. It has been introduced with cross-party support from the SPD, CDU/CSU, Alliance 90/The Greens and FDP factions in the Bundestag.
French Jews Feel ‘Abandoned by Republic:’ Jewish Leader
A leader of the Jewish community in the French city of Strasbourg has highlighted the rise in antisemitism in France since the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught against Israel.
“French Jews are very worried about their future, they have the impression of being abandoned by the republic,” Pierre Haas, who represents the Strasbourg community in the national Jewish organization Crif, told broadcaster France3. “Citizens must support them in the face of this aggression. ”
Haas said that over the last week, antisemitic graffiti had appeared in several locations in Strasbourg. He added that he had received multiple messages of concern from local Jews.
‘Harry Potter’ Author J.K. Rowling Calls Hamas Kidnappings ‘Despicable and Wholly Unjustifiable’
The British author has repeatedly taken to social media to denounce the violent, barbaric attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians. In her latest post on X/Twitter, she condemned the kidnapping of children and even shared a picture of one Israeli hostage, a 12-year-old autistic girl, who is a massive “Harry Potter” fan. Rowling previously said that the rape, murder, and torture carried out by Hamas targeting Israeli civilians can never be justified. The Algemeiner’s Shiryn Ghermezian has more.
Macron: “Intense Discussions” Underway to Secure Hostage Release
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that “intense discussions” are underway to secure the release of the nearly 200 hostages seized by Hamas terrorists during their Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.
Speaking during an official visit to the Albanian capital Tirana, Macron told reporters that negotiations for the release of the hostages “are progressing and we are following these talks hour by hour.” He said that French officials were in regular contact with their Israeli counterparts, adding, without giving detail, that Hamas had been contacted through an intermediary with the aim of achieving the “liberation of all the hostages.
Macron was speaking after Hamas released a video of Mia Schem, a 21-year-old French-Israeli citizen currently being held hostage, in a move denounced as “psychological warfare” by Israel. Schem was kidnapped at the desert rave party near Re’im in the Negev where Hamas massacred more than 200 revelers and wounded in the arm during her ordeal. Macron condemned the video as “blackmail,” excoriating Hamas for the “ignominy of taking people hostage and their odious staging” in a video.
In the video, Schem’s right arm is bandaged to the elbow and someone is seen off-camera, attending to her arm. She also delivers a statement, asking to be returned to her family.
“I see that she’s very terrified, in a lot of pain, and I can see that she’s saying what they’re telling her to say,” Keren Schem — Mia’s anguished mother — said after seeing the video.
Jessica Chastain Pleads for Return of Israeli Hostages Taken by Hamas
“This is not a political issue,” wrote the actress and producer on X/Twitter. “This is not part of the Israeli advocacy and doesn’t try to justify any war acts. It’s a human and humanitarian issue. Innocent civilians should not be part of a war.” Chastain also shared a video on social media, from the new #BringThemHomeNow campaign, showing an Israeli woman talking about her various family members who were abducted by Hamas. The Algemeiner’s Shiryn Ghermezian has more.
To catch up on Monday’s developments in Israel and Gaza, click here.