1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
ConflictsMiddle East

Israel-Hamas war: G20 backs two-state solution

Published February 22, 2024last updated February 22, 2024

Foreign ministers from the world's biggest economies have given their support to a two-state solution to the conflict. Meanwhile, Israeli strikes on Rafah have destroyed a mosque and several homes. DW has more.

South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting
Top diplomats from the Group of 20 discussed the Israel-Hamas war at a meeting in BrazilImage: Ricardo Moraes/REUTERS
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • G20 foreign ministers have broadly backed a two-state solution to the conflict
  • Overnight airstrikes on Rafah have killed several and destroyed buildings
  • There are signs of renewed cease-fire talks, says Israeli Minister Benny Gantz

This live blog is now closed. For the Friday latest, please click here

Skip next section UNRWA at 'breaking point,' chief says
February 22, 2024

UNRWA at 'breaking point,' chief says

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned on Thursday that it had reached "breaking point" as fighting in Gaza continues.

"It is with profound regret that I must now inform you that UNRWA has reached a breaking point, with Israel's repeated calls to dismantle it and the freezing of funding by donors at a time of unprecedented humanitarian needs in Gaza," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said.

"The agency's ability to fulfill the mandate given through General Assembly resolution 302 is now seriously threatened," he added.

Lazzarini said more medical personnel, UN staff, journalists and children had been killed in four months of fighting than in any other conflict.

"Over 150 UNRWA premises have been hit by bombardment or shelling, killing over 390 people, and injuring over 13,000. Many reports of UN premises being used by Hamas combatants or by the Israeli army are circulating on social media," he said. "The last remaining hospitals are collapsing, and doctors amputate children's limbs without anesthetic, which puts pain at a new level for children, their parents, and medical personnel. According to UN experts, famine is imminent."

He also reiterated that an investigation was ongoing into the 12 UNRWA employees who were dismissed after Israel alleged they had knowledge of the October 7 attacks by Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by several countries.

"I continue to call on the government of Israel to cooperate with the [UN Office of Internal Oversight Services] investigation to independently establish the truth. To date, no evidence has been shared by Israel with UNRWA," Lazzarini said. 

Skip next section G20 backs two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians
February 22, 2024

G20 backs two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians

Foreign ministers at the G20 group of nations meeting in Brazil have broadly backed a two-state solution to the conflict in the Middle East, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said.

There was "virtual unanimity for the two-state solution as the only possible solution for the conflict" between Israel and the Palestinians, he told journalists in Rio de Janeiro.

Earlier, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said every speaker who addressed the Israel-Hamas war, called for a two-state solution, which envisages an independent, democratic Palestinian state existing alongside Israel.

"Everybody here, everybody. I haven't heard anyone against it. There was a strong request for a two-state solution," he told reporters. "It is consensus among us," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads a far-right coalition government, has bluntly rejected Palestinian statehood.

In January, he told US President Joe Biden he would not compromise on full Israeli security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.

Skip next section Israeli forces withdraw from Gaza's Nasser hospital: Palestinian health authorities
February 22, 2024

Israeli forces withdraw from Gaza's Nasser hospital: Palestinian health authorities

Israeli troops have withdrawn from Gaza's Nasser hospital, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the territory said. 

There was no immediate confirmation from the Israel Defense Forces. 

Israeli soldiers raided the hospital in Khan Younis, the main medical complex in the southern Gaza Strip, last week. The facility stopped functioning after a siege that lasted several days.

The World Health Organization said it was seeking to evacuate more patients from the hospital after successfully transferring 50 patients on Wednesday. 

"The WHO will continue to try evacuation of those critically ill and critically wounded patients from the Nasser hospital to other hospitals in the south, including the field hospitals that have been established in Rafah," Ayadil Saparbekov, WHO Health Emergencies Team Lead in the Palestinian territories, said Thursday.

"However it's a very difficult and high risk mission."

The Health Ministry in Gaza said 110 patients were still waiting to be evacuated.

Israel says Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the US, Germany, and others, uses hospitals for cover.

Hamas has denied the allegations, saying Israel is using the claims as a pretext to destroy Gaza's health care system.

Skip next section Several die in Israeli strikes on Rafah as Gaza death toll rises
February 22, 2024

Several die in Israeli strikes on Rafah as Gaza death toll rises

Citizens inspect the effects of the destruction of Al-Farouq Mosque and the buildings destroyed by the Israeli raids
Israel is ramping up strikes on Rafah ahead of an anticipated ground offensive Image: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah have destroyed a mosque and several homes, with several people killed and injured, according to authorities and witnesses.

Some 1.4 million Palestinians are estimated to have sought shelter in the city on the Egyptian border, which was declared a "safe zone" by Israel in the first weeks of its war on Hamas.

Residents told Reuters news agency the bombing overnight to Thursday was the heaviest since an Israeli raid on the city 10 days ago in which two Israeli hostages were freed and scores of civilians were killed.

Reuters reported seeing at least seven corpses in body bags outside a morgue in the city.

The attacks come as Israel threatens to launch a ground offensive in the city in its bid to root out militants from Hamas, which carried out deadly attacks in the south of Israel on October 7, when around 1,200 were killed.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza now says that at least 29,410 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the Israeli military operation in October began.

Israel strikes Rafah in southern Gaza

Skip next section Gunmen kill one Israeli and injure several others in West Bank
February 22, 2024

Gunmen kill one Israeli and injure several others in West Bank

Three gunmen have fired on several vehicles near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, killing one Israeli and wounding at least eight other people, Israeli police said on Thursday, calling the incident a "terror attack." 

The shootings occurred near the settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, police said.

They said that two of the gunmen were "neutralized" at the scene and the third was also killed after he tried to escape.

According to the Israeli domestic intelligence service Shin Bet, the perpetrators were three Palestinians from Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Violence in the West Bank has escalated dramatically amid the war between Israel and the Islamist militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with frequent Palestinian attacks on Israelis and raids by the Israeli military. The Israeli military often conducts the raids on what it says are areas where armed groups are operating in the West Bank.   

Skip next section Suspected Houthi attack sets ship ablaze: UK maritime security agency
February 22, 2024

Suspected Houthi attack sets ship ablaze: UK maritime security agency

A suspected missile attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels has caused a fire on board a ship transiting the Gulf of Aden, according to the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center.

"A vessel was attacked by two missiles, resulting in a fire onboard," the center said, adding that "coalition forces are responding."

The ship has so far not been named.

Yemeni Houthis have been carrying out attacks on ships in the region in what they say are acts of solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip amid Israel's offensive there against the Islamist-militant group Hamas.  

The ship attack comes as as Israel intercepted what appeared to be another Houthi attack near the port city of Eilat. 

Skip next section Israel intercepts suspected Houthi attack on Eilat
February 22, 2024

Israel intercepts suspected Houthi attack on Eilat

Israel's military says its Arrow missile defense system has "successfully intercepted a launch which was identified in the area of the Red Sea" near the port city of Eilat.

Although no group has so far claimed responsiblity for the attack, Eilat has in the past been the target of long-distance aerial attacks by Yemeni Houthis, who say they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians amid Israel's war against the Islamist militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The statement came after sirens were heard early on Thursday in Eilat, and videos were alter posted online appearing to show a target being intercepted in the sky over the city.

According to the Israeli military, "the target did not cross into Israeli territory and did not pose a threat to civilians."

The Houthis normally delay claiming attacks for several hours after they have been carried out. 

Skip next section Israeli minister sees first signs for a hostage deal
February 22, 2024

Israeli minister sees first signs for a hostage deal

New attempts are underway to reach a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas that could pause the war in Gaza, a member of Israel's war cabinet said.

"Initial signs indicate a possibility of moving forward," said Benny Gantz, a former military chief and defense minister who is a minister without portfolio in the Israeli government. It's the first Israeli indication of renewed cease-fire talks since negotiations stalled a week ago.

But Gantz repeated his vow that Israel will launch a ground offensive on the crowded southern town of Rafah during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan unless Hamas agrees to release the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza.

According to Israeli sources, at most 100 of the remaining hostages are still alive.

Egypt, Qatar and the US are again trying to negotiate an extended cease-fire in the Gaza war. Under an agreement, hostages still held in Gaza would be exchanged in stages for Palestinian prisoners in Israel. 

Negotiations with Hamas are currently underway in Cairo. According to Israeli media, senior mediators will also meet in Paris on Friday.

During a weeklong cease-fire last November, 105 hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners under an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli anger grows over hostage crisis

Skip next section First US air carrier to resume flights to Israel in March
February 22, 2024

First US air carrier to resume flights to Israel in March

United Airlines announced that it will resume flights to Israel next month. The airline will be the first US carrier to resume flights since they were suspended last fall with the outbreak of war in Gaza.

United plans initial flights to Tel Aviv from its New York-area hub in Newark, New Jersey, on March 2 and 4. The goal is to restore daily nonstop service by March 6.

"United conducted a detailed safety analysis in making this decision, including close work with security experts and government officials in the United States and Israel," the US carrier said in a press release.

United and US rivals Delta Air Lines and American Airlines suspended service to Israel after the October 7 attack by Hamas, which was followed by an ongoing Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.

Other airlines that have resumed service to Israel include British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Ryanair.

dh/sms (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)