As the conflict between Israel and Gaza enters its 23rd day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Monday, October 30, 2023:
- Israeli forces said their offensive was in its “second stage” as they clashed with Hamas fighters in northern Gaza while continuing air raids.
- Thousands of patients and displaced people at al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City remain in fear after Israel ordered an “immediate” evacuation of the area on Sunday.
- Palestinians on Sunday stormed the United Nations warehouses and distribution centres for basic necessities such as wheat flour after three weeks of total siege and relentless bombardments.
- Hamas said it would return all Israeli captives in exchange for all Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails. Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant doubted that Hamas would follow through.
- Israel said early on Monday that its fighter jets struck rocket launchers in Syria and Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. They claimed it was in response to earlier rocket launches into the Israeli territory.
Human impact and fighting
- More than 8,000 people, including some 3,000 children, have been killed in Gaza since October 7. Save the Children reported that the number of children in Gaza killed since October 7 has exceeded the number of children killed in conflicts around the world annually since 2019.
- Overnight Israeli air raids have killed more than 30 people and caused “significant damage” to Turkish Hospital in southwest Gaza. Early on Sunday, Gaza’s largest al-Shifa hospital was also hit by air raids, according to The Associated Press news agency.
- Internet connectivity is gradually being restored in Gaza after a communications blackout swept the enclave on Friday. Israeli air raids targeted communication nodes, prompting people around the world to push for alternate sources of internet. Elon Musk said his company Starlink would provide internet connectivity to “internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza” while Vodafone Egypt said it would send mobile units to the Rafah border, according to Egypt Independent. A senior American official told The Washington Post that the United States pressured Israel to restore communications.
- A Reporters Without Borders (RSF) investigation found that “it is unlikely” that the journalists killed at the Israel-Lebanon border were mistaken for fighters.
- Hundreds stormed the main airport in Russia’s Dagestan region to protest against an incoming flight from Israel. Twenty people were wounded before police forces contained the unrest. The airport closed for flights as security checks took place, according to the AP.
- Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said it targeted the Beit Hanoon crossing to Israel with shells and rockets.
- Combined with its air attacks on Gaza, Israeli forces have reportedly been using artillery shelling and flares – an aerial, infrared countermeasure against heat-seeking missiles. Israel’s military has also published pictures of tanks at Gaza’s western border, according to Reuters news agency.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed the need for engaging with regional leaders and providing humanitarian aid in Gaza, according to a briefing of the call released by the White House on Sunday.
- The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, held a news conference in Cairo on Sunday. He said the ICC has “active investigations ongoing” on possible war crimes committed in Gaza and Israel since October 7, as well as in the occupied West Bank since 2014.
- Amid rising regional tensions, Jordan asked the US to aid its defence by deploying its patriot missile system at the border.
- After failing to pass four resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war, the UN Security Council will convene again on Monday, according to Reuters.
- Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on Monday that the US was fuelling geopolitical tensions to uphold its “hegemony”, according to the AP.
Escalation in the occupied West Bank
- Continued overnight raids in the West Bank killed two people and injured nine in Jenin, according to medical sources and Palestinian news agency WAFA. Up to 50 armoured vehicles and military-grade bulldozers were seen entering the city.
- Armoured Israeli vehicles were also spotted in Nablus while Israeli forces carried out raids in Qalqiya.