(Bloomberg) -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken took US calls for “humanitarian pauses” in the Israel-Hamas war to key Arab allies, who publicly insisted on an immediate cease-fire instead. The rift played out on Blinken’s tour of the Middle East against the backdrop of a growing backlash against the death toll in Gaza as Israeli forces seek to eliminate Hamas as a threat after the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
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Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations. The decision was taken “in view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said. Hamas says deaths in Gaza are approaching 9,500.
A deal to allow foreigners and dual nationals to start leaving the Gaza Strip is at risk of collapse, as Hamas and Israel accuse each other of undermining its terms. A US official said Hamas was using the deal to evacuate some of its wounded fighters.
For more on the Israel-Hamas war, click here.
(All time stamps are Israeli time)
UN Says Number of Gaza Deaths Nears 9,500 (1:22 a.m.)
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the fighting in Gaza has left a total of 9,488 people dead, including 3,900 children. Another 2,000 are missing, presumably under rubble. The agency said the tolls were reported by the Hamas-run health ministry. Four Israeli soldiers were reported killed in Gaza on Saturday, for a total of 28 since the start of the ground war.
No foreigners, people with dual nationalities or patients left Gaza on Saturday, the agency said. Thirty trucks with humanitarian supplies entered the strip through Egypt to the south, for a total of 451 aid trucks since Oct. 21.
Biden Cites Progress on Pause (11:06 p.m.)
US President Joe Biden said efforts to organize a “humanitarian pause” in the Israel-Hamas war are moving forward. In a brief comment to reporters near his private home in Delaware, Biden said “yes” when asked whether there’s progress. He didn’t elaborate.
Jewish Woman Stabbed in France, Antisemitism Suspected (9:29 p.m.)
A Jewish woman was stabbed at her home in Lyon, and an “antisemitic inscription” was found on her door, the city’s mayor, Gregory Doucet, said on X, formerly Twitter. “Such a surge in violence is unacceptable,” he wrote.
A probe for attempted murder was opened, and her injuries aren’t life threatening, AFP reported, citing the local prosecutor’s office.
Israel Calls on Gazans to Kill Hamas Leader (8:15 p.m.)
Israel’s defense minister called on Palestinians in Gaza to kill Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, saying it would spare them suffering.
“We will get to Yahya Sinwar, and we’ll eliminate him,” Yoav Gallant said in a televised news conference Saturday evening. “I say here to the people of Gaza — if you get to him before us, it will shorten the war.”
Gallant, who spoke after the IDF chief of staff visited Gaza for a situation assessment earlier Saturday, said the army completed the encirclement of Gaza City from north and south in the past few days and is waging fierce battles in built-up areas.
Gaza Evacuation Deal at Risk of Collapsing (8:04 p.m.)
A deal to allow foreigners and dual nationals to start leaving the Gaza Strip is at risk of collapse, as Hamas and Israel accuse each other of undermining its terms.
Osama Hamdan, the militant group’s representative in Lebanon, said in Beirut that Israel is targeting ambulances and blocking Palestinians wounded in Israeli airstrikes from seeking treatment in neighboring Egypt.
The Israeli military said its planes bombed an ambulance that was identified as being used by Hamas militants that was in a “battle zone,” while a US official said Hamas had been trying to use the deal to evacuate some of its injured fighters.
Blinken Opposes Gaza Cease-Fire in Mideast Trip (6:52 p.m.)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken took US calls for “humanitarian pauses” in the Israel-Hamas war to key Arab allies, who publicly insisted on an immediate cease-fire instead.
The rift played out on Blinken’s tour of the Middle East against the backdrop of a growing backlash against the death toll in Gaza as Israeli forces seek to eliminate Hamas as a threat after the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
“It’s our view that a cease-fire now would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” Blinken told reporters in Amman on Saturday alongside Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi.
Arab Leaders Demand Halt to Fighting (6:52 p.m.)
But Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister, said the humanitarian crisis in Gaza demands an immediate, unconditional halt in hostilities.
“I think we need to remind each other of our humanity,” Safadi said. “I think we need to accept that killing more people will not bring those who were lost on both sides, as tragic as the loss is.”
Turkey Recalls Ambassador in Tel Aviv (6:43 p.m.)
Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel, Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, to Ankara for consultations, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The decision was taken “in view of the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza caused by the continuing attacks by Israel against civilians, and Israel’s refusal of calls for cease-fire and continuous and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid,” the ministry said.
Israel Says Hamas Attacked During Evacuation Window (6:15 p.m.)
Israel’s army said Hamas took advantage of a three-hour window the IDF declared Saturday for civilians to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip, attacking troops with mortars and anti-tank missiles to prevent them from opening a humanitarian corridor. “This incident further proves that Hamas exploits the Gazan population and prevents them from acting in the interest of their own safety,” the IDF said in a statement on its Telegram channel. No Israeli troops were injured in the attack, the IDF said.
Read more: Middle East Foreign Ministers Set to Discuss Gaza With Blinken
US Says Hamas Demands Delayed Gaza Evacuation Deal (3:30 p.m.)
The militant group’s demands to get some of its fighters out of the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to allow the evacuation of foreigners and people with dual nationalities led to delays in finalizing the deal, according to a senior US official.
Hamas wanted some of the Palestinians wounded in Israeli attacks to be transferred to Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, a demand the US didn’t oppose, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive issues.
But about one third of the people put forward by Hamas were actually fighters for the militant group, which the US didn’t consider viable, the official said. Hamas later withdrew the names, and the first people able to leave Gaza under the framework went through Rafah on Wednesday.
UN Set For $1.2 Billion Donation Appeal for Palestinians (2:45 p.m.)
The United Nations is set to make an appeal for $1.2 billion in donations for 2.7 million Palestinians, including the entire population of Gaza.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Nov. 6 will issue an appeal for the donations by year-end to meet the needs of 2.2 million people in Gaza and 500,000 in the West Bank.
An original appeal made on Oct. 12 asked for $294 million to support nearly 1.3 million people.
Israeli Jets Strike Hezbollah Targets After Shooting From Lebanon (2:04 p.m.)
Israeli aircraft bombed targets in response to earlier firing from Lebanese territory, alongside strikes using artillery and tanks, the army said. The locations targeted included military infrastructure, rocket warehouses, and compounds used by Hezbollah, it added.
Hezbollah said it fired missiles and other weapons into Israel, destroying military equipment, according to a statement carried by Al Mayadeen television station.
Blinken Heading to Turkey From Jordan (2 p.m.)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is headed to Turkey, where he plans to again “underscore the importance of protecting civilian lives in Israel and the Gaza Strip” and commit to facilitating increased delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.
Israel Gives Gaza Residents 3-Hour Safe Passage to South (1:30 p.m.)
Israel’s defense ministry gave residents of Gaza three hours — from 1. p.m to 4 p.m. local time — of safe passage to move to the south of the coastal strip to escape fighting.
“For your safety, take advantage of the upcoming time to move south” via Gaza’s main highway, the Salah al-Din road, the ministry’s department for coordinating civilian issues in the Palestinian territories, said in a Facebook post in Arabic.
Israeli ground forces are battling Hamas in and around Gaza City and the north of Gaza. Israel is conducting air strikes focused on the north but is also hitting targets in the south.
Israel Backs Aid Ramp-Up, US Official Says (12:10 p.m.)
The Israeli government’s position has shifted since the start of the almost month-old conflict, from refusing to allow delivery of humanitarian assistance into Gaza to seeking to maximize those deliveries, according to a senior US State Department official.
The official said the limiting factor in scaling up aid is now the capacity of the entities, led by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, who are implementing the deliveries. As many as 500 or 600 trucks per day — up from roughly 100 a day now - could potentially deliver aid if humanitarian pauses are implemented to ensure the safety of truck routes, the official added.
Gaza Health Ministry Says 12 Killed at School Blast (11:42 a.m.)
The Hamas-run Ministry of Health said 12 people were killed and 54 others were injured in a strike on a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip being used as a civilian shelter.
It wasn’t immediately possible to verify the Hamas claim that Israel had struck the school, and the Israel Defense Forces didn’t immediately comment.
Blinken Meets With Lebanon’s Caretaker PM (11:30 a.m.)
The top US diplomat met with Najib Mikati in Amman to express “deep concern about exchanges of fire along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel,” according to a readout from his spokesman.
In the face of near-daily skirmishes on Israel’s border with Lebanon, Blinken stressed the importance of ensuring the Israel-Hamas conflict doesn’t spread.
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