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Israel-Hamas war: Israel agrees to pauses in Gaza, says US

Published November 9, 2023last updated November 10, 2023

According to the White House, Israel has agreed to implement four-hour daily "pauses" in its military operations in northern Gaza. Meanwhile, Germany's top diplomat is embarking on a new Middle East tour. DW has more.

Palestinians flee to the southern Gaza Strip along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, Gaza Strip
The US says the 'pauses' in fighting would allow people to flee northern Gaza and get out of harm's wayImage: Hatem Moussa/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • The White House says Israel has agreed to begin daily four-hour "pauses" of military operations in northern Gaza 
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his position that there would be no cease-fire talks until the militant Islamist group Hamas releases the more than 200 people it is holding hostage
  • Over 50 Western and Arab nations as well as non-governmental organizations are meeting in France to coordinate aid for civilians in the Gaza Strip

These live updates have been closed. For the latest development on the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, please click here

Skip next section Shots fired at two Jewish schools in Canada
November 10, 2023

Shots fired at two Jewish schools in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned antisemitism on Thursday after shots were fired at two Jewish schools in Montreal.

There were no injuries, according to police.

Trudeau said "violence, hate, antisemitism, Islamophobia and scenes such as the ones we saw in Concordia University or shots fired at Jewish schools overnight" are all "unacceptable."

The shooting incidents at the two schools follow a violent altercation at Concordia University between people aligned with opposing sides in the conflict. 

"I know emotions are high, and people are scared. But attacking each other is not who we are as Canadians," Trudeau said during a visit to Montreal.

"If anywhere in the world is going to start building the kinds of understandings that we're going to need to see peaceful resolution in the Middle East... it starts in a place like Canada."

Skip next section IDF strikes Hezbollah targets in Lebanon
November 10, 2023

IDF strikes Hezbollah targets in Lebanon

Israeli fighter jets, artillery, and mortars attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). 

In a social media post, the IDF said it carried out the strikes in response to an earlier attack from Lebanese territory.

Compounds, infrastructure and observation posts belonging to the Iran-backed group were targeted. 

There was no immediate reaction from Hezbollah about the strikes. 

Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants have traded fire repeatedly since the Hamas attack on Israel from Gaza on October 7.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has praised the Hamas attacks on Israel.

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Germany and several Sunni Arab countries, while the EU lists its armed wing as a terrorist group.

Skip next section Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of Israel
November 9, 2023

Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of Israel

A person rides a bike past the Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colours of Israel and the Star of David
Germany has experienced a significant rise in incidents of antisemitism since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas warImage: Lisi Niesner/REUTERS

The Brandenburg Gate in Germany's capital, Berlin, was illuminated in the colors of Israel and the Star of David on Thursday.

It came as the country marked the 85th anniversary of the Nazi November pogroms against Germany's Jews.

The German words projected on the landmark translate to "Never again is now."

Germany has seen a sharp rise in antisemitism after the Hamas terror attack that killed 1,400 people in Israel on October 7, which triggered an ongoing war in Gaza.

You can read more about the 1938 pogroms here.

Skip next section Leaders of Germany and Egypt discuss Gaza war, humanitarian situation
November 9, 2023

Leaders of Germany and Egypt discuss Gaza war, humanitarian situation

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi about the war in Gaza.

"Chancellor Scholz reiterated that Germany is strongly committed to the protection of civilians and also in favor of humanitarian pauses to enable safe and sufficient humanitarian supplies for the people in the Gaza Strip," government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said.

Scholz and El-Sissi agreed that it remains essential to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from spreading regionally and that only a political solution can bring long-term peace, Hebestreit said. 

Egypt has been a key player in diplomatic efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Egypt's Rafah border crossing is the only one that does not enter Israel, making it the only exit point for people trying to flee Gaza and the only way for desperately needed aid to enter.

Skip next section Israel says unidentified drone hits southern city of Eilat
November 9, 2023

Israel says unidentified drone hits southern city of Eilat

A drone of unknown origin has hit a building in the southern Israeli city of Eilat, the Israeli army said.

No one was physically hurt in the explosion, but paramedics were treating seven people for shock. Israeli media reported that a school had been damaged.

"The identity of the UAV and the details of the incident are under review," the military said in a statement, referring to an unmanned aerial vehicle.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed repeated missile and drone attacks aimed at Israel. The group has stepped up a campaign of disruptive strikes, also targeting US forces in the region, during Israel's war with Hamas.

Skip next section Islamic Jihad group in Gaza releases new hostage video
November 9, 2023

Islamic Jihad group in Gaza releases new hostage video

The armed wing of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in Gaza has released a video showing an older woman and a young boy who were among around 240 hostages seized by militant gunmen who attacked Israel on October 7.

"We are ready to release them on humanitarian grounds when the security conditions on the ground are met," the group's spokesperson, Abu Hamza, said in the video. 

Israeli military spokesperson Richard Hecht described the video as "psychological terrorism."

The vast majority of the hostages taken during the terror attacks on Israeli communities a month ago are believed to be in the hands of Hamas. 

Islamic Jihad, a smaller militant group in Gaza that is allied to the territory's ruling movement, has said previously it was holding at least 30 captives.

The video is the third film showing hostages to be released by Gaza militants, who have so far freed four captives.

Families of hostages held by Hamas call on EU to help

Skip next section Israeli, US spy chiefs in Doha for talks on Gaza hostage deal — reports
November 9, 2023

Israeli, US spy chiefs in Doha for talks on Gaza hostage deal — reports

Israeli and US spy chiefs have met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha for talks on the parameters of a deal for hostage releases and a potential humanitarian pause to the war in Gaza, news agencies reported. 

David Barnea, head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, CIA Director William Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani held the meeting after Qatari mediators met officials from the Hamas political office on Wednesday night.

Burns and Barnea "are both visiting Doha for trilateral talks with the Qataris to work through the details of a potential humanitarian pause that would see the release of hostages and more aid entering Gaza," an official was quoted by AFP as saying.

"Talks have been progressing well towards a deal in the past few days," the official added.

Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are based, has been leading efforts to mediate between the militant group and Israeli officials for the release of hostages.

Hamas militants took more than 240 hostages when they stormed into Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people.

A source told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday that the talks focused on the release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day humanitarian pause in the war.

Qatar: Adept but controversial broker in Israel-Hamas war

Skip next section Germany criticized at UN rights council for its stance on Gaza
November 9, 2023

Germany criticized at UN rights council for its stance on Gaza

Germany has come under sharp criticism from Muslim countries during a review of its human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Arab and Muslim countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Libya, denounced Germany's stance on the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Egypt's representative Ahmed Moharam said Cairo "deeply regrets the unfavorable positions taken by Germany vis-a-vis the rights of the Palestinian people." Turkey urged Berlin to "halt the provision of any military material or equipment to Israel that may be used in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity."

The statements were made during the Universal Periodic Review of Germany, which all 193 UN countries must undergo every four years. 

Germany responded to the criticism by reiterating Israel's right to defend itself after the deadly October 7 Hamas attacks.

"Israel's security and right to exist are not negotiable for Germany," said Luise Amtsberg, Germany's commissioner for human rights policy.

Amtsberg also pointed to a rise in antisemitism, which Germany has cited as the reason for cracking down on several pro-Palestinian protests.

"The protection of Jewish life and our commitment to 'never again' is non-negotiable," Amtsberg said. "Jews no longer feel safe," she told the gathering. "We cannot accept this." 

Amstberg also said that "people in Germany are also justifiably worried about the civilian population in Gaza and the Palestinian territories."

Skip next section Israel to begin four-hour pauses in northern Gaza, says US
November 9, 2023

Israel to begin four-hour pauses in northern Gaza, says US

Israel will begin daily four-hour pauses in northern Gaza to allow people to flee fighting in the territory, the White House said.

US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that the first humanitarian pause would be announced Thursday and that the Israelis had committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance.

Kirby said the pauses would allow people to get out of harm's way and for deliveries of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. He added the breaks in fighting could also be used as a way to get hostages out.

"We've been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today," Kirby said.

The White House said US President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a Monday call.

'Humanitarian pause' would allow aid to get into Gaza

Skip next section Gaza death toll rises to 10,812: Hamas-run Health Ministry
November 9, 2023

Gaza death toll rises to 10,812: Hamas-run Health Ministry

The death toll in the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been under heavy Israeli bombardment for over a month, has risen to 10,812, Hamas' health authorities in Gaza said.

The death toll includes 4,412 children, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Some 26,905 more individuals have been injured, it added.

The conflict in Gaza followed the October 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel, which Israel says left more than 1,400 dead. The militant group also captured some 240 people as hostages.

Israel, the US, Germany and the EU have listed Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Skip next section Germany's top diplomat Baerbock to embark on new Middle East tour
November 9, 2023

Germany's top diplomat Baerbock to embark on new Middle East tour

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is to travel to the Middle East on Friday, where she's scheduled to stop in Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The German Foreign Office said Baerbock will hold talks focused on the release of German hostages held by the militant group Hamas, as well as the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and efforts to prevent the conflict from expanding.

It is the foreign minister's third trip to the region in a month.

Skip next section Aid coming in through Rafah 'blatantly inadequate,' UNRWA chief says
November 9, 2023

Aid coming in through Rafah 'blatantly inadequate,' UNRWA chief says

The volume of aid coming into the besieged Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt is "blatantly inadequate," said Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA).

Addressing an international conference on Gaza in Paris, Lazzarini called for all border crossings into the territory to be opened, "in particular, crossing points with Israel like Kerem Shalom."

The UNRWA chief mourned the 99 members of staff at the UN agency killed since the start of the conflict, describing the period since Hamas' bloody October 7 attacks on Israel as a "painful month for UNRWA."

The UNRWA death toll is "the highest number of UN aid workers killed in a conflict in such a short time," Lazzarini said.

Some 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the war, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Palestinian enclave. 

Lazzarini, who visited Gaza last week, said what he had seen there was "heartbreaking." He warned of a "looming public health hazard" due to poor sanitary conditions.

"Thousands of children killed cannot be 'collateral damage,'" he said. "Pushing a million people from their homes and concentrating them in areas without adequate infrastructure is forced displacement. Severely limiting food, water and medicine is collective punishment."

Lazzarini also warned of a potential spillover of the conflict to the occupied West Bank, where he said "military incursions by the Israeli Forces and settler violence have caused record high death tolls among Palestinians."

Skip next section Several killed in Israeli raid in West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry says
November 9, 2023

Several killed in Israeli raid in West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry says

At least 14 people were killed during an Israeli raid on Jenin, a Palestinian city in the northern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Twenty more people were injured as a result of the raid, the ministry added.

The Israeli military said its forces were conducting counterterrorism raids in Jenin.

The IDF said it carried out aerial attacks on "armed men" who shot at the forces and "threw explosives," leading the IDF forces to respond by shooting at them.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it and other security forces arrested nine wanted individuals in the Jenin refugee camp overnight, with a demolition order signed for the house of a person accused of carrying out a stampede attack in August.

Four more Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in separate incidents across the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Skip next section Scholz 'ashamed and outraged' at recent wave of antisemitism
November 9, 2023

Scholz 'ashamed and outraged' at recent wave of antisemitism

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed on Thursday to protect Germany's Jewish community against an upsurge in antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas deadly attacks of October 7 on Israel and the subsequent conflict in Gaza.

Scholz said the antisemitic wave left him "ashamed and outraged," as he spoke in a Berlin synagogue on the anniversary of the 1938 November Pogroms, which ultimately led to the Holocaust.

"Essentially, this is about keeping the promise given again and again in the decades since 1945," Scholz said. "The promise 'never again.'" 

The synagogue where he spoke was among 1,000 that were damaged or destroyed across Germany and Austria by Nazi mobs on November 9, 1938. At least 91 Jews were murdered that night, with some 7,500 Jewish businesses ransacked and some 30,000 Jews arrested.

The same synagogue where Scholz was speaking was the target of a Molotov attack that followed the October 7 attacks, amid a rise in antisemitism.

The November Pogroms of 1938 were previously known as "Kristallnacht," or the "Night of Broken Glass," a reference to the shattered glass of the many Jewish-owned shops destroyed by the authorities. Today, those terms are considered trivializing of the murder, violence and destruction that took place.

Skip next section Britain's interior minister accuses police of pro-Palestinian bias
November 9, 2023

Britain's interior minister accuses police of pro-Palestinian bias

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman has criticized London's Metropolitan Police, accusing them of ignoring lawbreaking by "pro-Palestinian mobs."

In an article published in The Times of London newspaper, Bravermen accused the police of acting more leniently toward pro-Palestinian demonstrations, happening almost weekly since the October 7 attacks, compared to their response to right-wing protesters or football hooligans.

"Terrorists have been valorized, Israel has been demonized as Nazis and Jews have been threatened with further massacres," she wrote.

Braverman added, "There is a perception that senior police officers play favorites when it comes to protesters," and called demonstrations calling for a cease-fire in Gaza "an assertion of primacy by certain groups," particularly Islamic extremists. 

She described demonstrators calling for a cease-fire in Gaza as "hate marchers."

Marches in support of Palestinians have taken place in Germany and around the world. 

Several officials and politicians condemned Braverman's article, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his Labour Party.

Braverman's article comes after tensions between the Conservative government and the police force over marches to show support for Palestinian civilians scheduled for the weekend. 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had criticized the protests, which will coincide with Remembrance Day in Britain, as "provocative and disrespectful." However, following talks with police chief Mark Rowley, Sunak said the government backed "the right to peacefully protest."

Remembrance Day in Britain marks the end of World War I, and is commemorated every year on November 11 with two minutes of silence to honor those who lost their lives in the war.

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