Hamas promises to free foreign captives; deadly strike reported at Gaza refugee camp

Hamas promises to free foreign captives; deadly strike reported at Gaza refugee camp
A Palestinian man walks among the rubble following an Israeli airstrike in Al Sheikh Redwan neighbourhood in northern Gaza City on 31 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Mohammed Saber)

Hamas said it would release several foreign captives within days, while fighting escalated inside Gaza.

Dozens of people were reported killed and wounded at a Gaza refugee camp. Health officials in the Hamas-controlled territory said the Jabaliya camp was hit by a series of Israeli airstrikes. Israel’s military said it targeted Hamas infrastructure in the area and killed a senior leader of the group. It also said two soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Gaza.

Egypt said it would open the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday to let some wounded Palestinians leave and was ready to allow more aid trucks in. The White House backed limited pauses in the fighting to help relief efforts. Authorities in Gaza say the death toll there since the war erupted on 7 October — when Hamas killed 1,400 people in southern Israel — has surpassed 8,500.

Latest developments

White House backs ‘pauses’ in Gaza, not ceasefire 

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said it was time for Israel and Hamas to consider limited pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and for people to be able to leave if they desire, but rejected calls for a “general ceasefire”.

“We’re continuing to work with partners in the region, including those who have a direct line of communication with Hamas, to see if that’s possible,” Kirby said during a Tuesday press briefing. He also said the US believed fuel supplies in Gaza could run out by Wednesday.

Israel says it hit Hamas network at Jabaliya 

The Israeli military said its ground and air forces targeted a network of Hamas militants in the Jabaliya area in northern Gaza that had taken control of civilian buildings, killing dozens of them including one of the group’s senior leaders. It said underground infrastructure used by the group collapsed after the strike.

Hamas says it will release foreign captives 

Hamas has told mediators it will release several foreigners in the coming days, the group’s spokesperson Abu Obaida said in televised comments. Earlier, the head of Israel’s National Security Council said there was no deal in sight for the release of more hostages via mediation from Qatar.

Egypt crossing to open for wounded Palestinians 

Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza would open on Wednesday to receive “a number of” wounded Palestinians, Al-Qahera News said on X. The Cairo-based broadcaster, which typically reflects authorities’ views, didn’t give further details.

An Egyptian official told reporters on Tuesday the north African country’s hospitals have the capacity to treat some of the injured.

Israel says two soldiers killed in Gaza fighting 

The Israel Defense Forces said two soldiers were killed in combat in the northern Gaza Strip. No further details were given about their deaths. The deaths were the first Israeli fatalities reported inside Gaza since the army stepped up ground operations inside the territory late last week.

Deadly strike reported at Gaza refugee camp 

Explosions at a crowded refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip left hundreds dead or wounded, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, which said the area was hit by a series of Israeli airstrikes. Bloomberg was not able to verify the reports.

Television pictures showed a deep crater in Gaza’s most densely populated area, and Agence France-Presse said its initial footage showed at least 47 bodies being removed from the rubble. There has been no immediate count of the victims.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry described the strike on the camp, where the United Nations registers refugees and provides services, as a violation of international law.

Blinken sees possible international rule for Gaza 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate that the US was examining a range of “possible permutations” for the future governance of Gaza, including “temporary arrangements” that might include other countries in the region or international agencies that could provide security in the strip before a longer-term solution is found.

Israel has said that Hamas’s continued rule in Gaza is unacceptable, but has also ruled out Israeli re-occupation of the territory, raising questions about who will govern the some two million inhabitants of the region. Ultimately, the US believes a two-state solution is necessary, Blinken reiterated.

Egypt says it’s ready to let more aid trucks into Gaza 

Egypt’s government was ready to allow thousands of aid trucks into Gaza, far more than the 250 that have been able to enter since the war started, and Israel was obstructing the process, said Diaa Rashwan, head of the country’s State Information Service, according to the official Middle East News Agency.

Rashwan cited the initial bombing of roads to the border crossing and Israeli inspection procedures that have slowed shipments. International organisations, warning of a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, say aid delivered so far is far too little. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer said on Monday that aid deliveries should rise to 100 trucks per day by midweek.

Israel reports exchanges of fire with Hezbollah 

Israel’s soldiers hit militants planning to launch anti-tank missiles into its territory, while separately, missiles were fired from Lebanon toward two Israeli military outposts. Israel responded to the sources of that missile fire as well as to earlier failed Hezbollah launches that fell in Lebanon.

Earlier, Hezbollah said they targeted a group of Israeli forces with guided missiles near the border with Lebanon, according to the militant’s Al-Manar TV.

Read More: Israel battles Hamas as troops push deeper into Gaza Strip

Israel reports fierce battles deep in Gaza

Combined Israeli forces attacked a Hamas outpost, killing dozens of Hamas militants, including those about to launch rockets, the army spokesperson’s unit said in a text message. The Israeli soldiers confiscated weapons, including bombs and guns. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East Crisis News Hub


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    Interesting to note that about the only fact-based reporting that DM carries on this issue can be found in these articles from Bloomberg. No hyperbole. Israel not portrayed as genocidal revengeful maniacs and Palestinians not portrayed as innocent victims. Honest reporting.

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