Israel-Hamas war live updates: UN human rights chief accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes; U.S. reportedly discussing pause in fighting


BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 06: The lettering Israel is seen on a 10 agorot coin stands on a table on January 06, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The currency of the State of Israel is called New Israeli Shekel (NIS). The shekel consists of 100 agorot. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

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Israel’s economy took a weekly hit of $2.3 billion shekels ($596 million) in the three weeks following the Oct. 7 terror attacks carried out by Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Israeli bank said in a Google-translated report on Thursday.

Israel launched a war campaign targeting Hamas following the attacks.

“The absence of workers resulted from the complete closure of educational institutions (1.25 billion NIS), evacuations of residents from areas that were damaged or are at high risk of being damaged (0.6 billion NIS) and extensive recruitment of reserve personnel (0.5 billion NIS),” the bank said, referring to the New Israeli Shekel.

The bank said this does not reflect the total impact of the war on the labor market and overall economy. In addition to these losses, the institution noted costs resulting from a decline in demand and the absence of Palestinian and foreign workers.

The damage to the labor market is expected to decrease as education facilities reopen, employees adapt to activity from evacuation zones, and the threat of missiles lowers.

Ruxandra Iordache

The al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City has received its second delivery of medical supplies and medicines since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the World Health Organization and U.N. Agency for Palestine Refugees said in a joint statement Wednesday.

A first bath of medical supplies was delivered to the hospital — the largest in the Gaza Strip — on Oct. 24, the agencies said. They described conditions at the medical facility as “disastrous,” with “overflowing” emergency wards, depleting supplies and almost two patients for every bed available.

“The northern areas of Gaza cannot and should not be isolated nor deprived of the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Patients there cannot be denied the health care to which they are entitled and urgently need,” the agencies said, stressing the need for additional fuel deliveries to operate medical equipment and desalinate water.

WHO and UNRWA further called for the protection of medical facilities and personnel, unimpeded passage of supplies and for the medical evacuation of the critically sick and injured.

Ruxandra Iordache

The Israel Defense Forces has announced another evacuation window for Palestinian civilians to leave Gaza City and head southward.

In a Google-translated social media post, Avichay Adraee, IDF spokesperson for Arab media, said the Israeli military will allow free movement through the main Salah al-Din road between 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time.

Roughly 50,000 residents of the northern Gaza Strip headed south of the Wadi Gaza wetlands on Wednesday, the spokesperson said. CNBC could not independently verify these numbers.

The humanitarian corridors come amid increasing fears that the Israeli military is preparing to storm Gaza City.

Ruxandra Iordache

The U.S. is in talks with Israel and Qatar over a proposed pause in the hostilities in the Gaza Strip of up to three days, in exchange for the potential release of some hostages held by Palestinian militant group Hamas, NBC News reports two foreign diplomats and a U.S. official as saying. The news organization did not name its sources.

The pause would allow the delivery of further humanitarian aid and create opportunities for the safe passage of Palestinian civilians looking to flee the north of the Gaza Stirp southward.

A final agreement has yet to be brokered. Qatar, which hosts the Hamas political bureau on its territory, has been in talks with the Palestinian militant group over the past two weeks over the proposal, NBC News says.

“We are at a critical stage of the negotiations,” a senior Arab source told NBC News.

Israel has previously said it is unwilling to pause its offensive in the Gaza Strip until hostages are released and Hamas is fully demilitarized. An official of the Palestinian militants has meanwhile said that captives will not be returned before a cease-fire is instituted. Hamas has only released four of the over 200 hostages it took captive on Oct. 7, with another rescued by the Israel Defense Forces.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration has been facing increasing pressures from the international community over the exacerbating humanitarian crisis for civilians stranded in the Gaza Strip, with even close ally U.S. President Joe Biden now floating the possibility of a humanitarian pause.

CNBC has reached out to the Israeli prime minister’s office, IDF, U.S. State Department and Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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A World Health Organization truck at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

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The Palestine Red Crescent Society said on Wednesday that it received 106 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent branch that delivered humanitarian aid, along with five ambulance vehicles from Kuwait.

The latest trucks carried food, water and medical supplies.

The organization said 756 trucks — or about 39 trucks per day — have entered the resource-deprived and besieged Gaza enclave since Oct. 21, when humanitarian deliveries started. No fuel has been allowed in so far, the PRCS says.

Israel sealed the Gaza Strip off from its own supplies of water, food, fuel and electricity in the early days of the conflict, and the Israeli military has repeatedly accused the Palestinian militant group Hamas of denying stocks of fuel to the population and rerouting them toward its war efforts.

The Gaza Strip received roughly 500 trucks of supplies per day before the conflict, the U.N. noted in the past.

Ruxandra Iordache

The Israel Defense Forces said in a social media update they have discovered water and oxygen storage in the wide-spanning tunnel network beneath the Gaza Strip, which “indicates Hamas’ preparations for prolonged stays underground.”

This comes after the Israeli military on Wednesday announced it had destroyed 130 tunnel entrances, amid a broader refocus on eliminating Hamas’ underground infrastructure. CNBC could not independently confirm this figure.

A key advantage in the Gaza territory in the event of a ground incursion, the tunnel network can facilitate transport, weapons and explosives storage and ambushes for Hamas operatives.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel carried out an aerial attack targeting military sites in southern Syria leading to some material losses, Syrian state media said on Wednesday, citing a military source.

The source quoted by state media said missiles flying over Lebanon’s Baalbek region had targeted several sites, but it did not identify them.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran’s influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.

The strikes are believed to have targeted Syrian army air defence base and a radar station in Tel Qulaib and Tel Maseeh in the Sweida province in southwestern Syria, according to two Syrian military defectors familiar with the matter.

Reuters

KHAN YUNIS, GAZA – NOVEMBER 8 : A Palestinian child receives treatment after Israeli air raids at Nasser Medical Hospital on November 8, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Heavy fighting rages in the northern Gaza Strip as Israel encircles the area, despite increasingly pressing calls for a humanitarian truce. The leaders of the main UN agencies issued a rare joint statement to express their indignation. More than 40 per cent of the dead in Gaza after nearly four weeks of war are children. (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

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The U.N. human rights chief said collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians and their forced evacuation, as well as atrocities committed by Palestinian armed groups on Oct. 7 and their continued holding of hostages, amount to war crimes.

Volker Türk, standing in front of Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza, told reporters Wednesday: “These are the gates to a living nightmare.”

“We have fallen off a precipice. This cannot continue,” he said later in Cairo.

Türk said international human rights and humanitarian law must be respected to help protect civilians and allow desperately needed aid to reach Gaza’s beleaguered population of some 2.3 million people.

He said the U.N. rights office received reports in recent days about an unspecified orphanage in northern Gaza with 300 children who need urgent help, but communications were down and access were impassable and unsafe, so “we cannot get to them.”

I feel, in my innermost being, the pain, the immense suffering of every person whose loved one has been killed in a kibbutz, in a Palestinian refugee camp, hiding in a building or as they were fleeing,” Türk said. “We all must feel this shared pain — and end this nightmare.”

GAZA CITY, GAZA – NOVEMBER 8: Palestinians who left their houses and live at the Nassr hospital, are trying to feed their children during food shortages as the Israeli attacks continue in Gaza City, Gaza on November 8, 2023. (Photo by Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A newborn is seen at Nasser Hospital, born after his mother was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 24, 2023. The Palestinian doctor said the baby is now in a stable condition. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Hospitals in Gaza are nearing collapse under Israel’s wartime siege, which has cut power and deliveries of food, fuel and other necessities to the territory.

Inside the maternity department at Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis, the workload has doubled because of the mass displacement from Gaza’s north. That’s according to neonatal specialist Dr. Asaad al-Nawajha, who said Wednesday his team has seen an increase in premature births as the monthlong war intensifies.

Shouq Hararah is one of those mothers. She says her delivery took place with “no proper birth procedures, no anesthesia, painkillers or anything.”

“I gave birth to twins. The boy was discharged, but the girl remains in the maternity ward,” she said.

Standing before a row of beeping incubators, al-Nawajha emphasized the war’s life-threatening consequences.

“All of our work depends on electricity; all the machines you see here rely on it,” the doctor said. “When the electricity is cut, these devices stop working, and all the babies will face certain death.”

Associated Press

A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down on Wednesday by Yemen’s Houthis, two U.S. officials and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement said.

While U.S. drones have been shot down by Houthis in the past, this incident comes at a particularly tense time in the region.

Washington is on heightened alert for activity by Iran-backed groups as regional tensions soar during the Israel-Hamas war.

The U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone, made by General Atomics, had been brought down off the coast of Yemen. They did not say if it was taken down in international airspace.

In a statement, a Houthi military spokesperson said they shot down the drone in airspace over Yemeni territorial waters.

In 2019, U.S. drones were brought down on two separate occasions by the group in Yemen.

The Pentagon has surged thousands of troops to the region to try and contain the conflict, including two aircraft carriers. Some of those troops have been in the Red Sea aboard military vessels.

Last month, a U.S. Navy warship intercepted four cruise missiles and more than a dozen drones launched by the Houthis from Yemen headed toward Israel.

Reuters





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