Israel and Hamas at war, day 45 | Talks accelerate for truce and release of hostages

Talks accelerate Tuesday for the release of hostages in the hands of Hamas in exchange for a truce in the Gaza Strip where the Palestinian Islamist movement accuses Israel of a deadly strike on a besieged hospital.

What there is to know

  • At least 12 patients and their relatives killed and dozens injured in Israeli strike on Gaza hospital;
  • 28 premature babies who were still in Gaza’s al-Chifa hospital after its evacuation on Saturday have arrived in Egypt;
  • Qatari prime minister says reaching deal on hostage release rests on minor practical issues;
  • Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed to have seized a commercial ship owned by an Israeli businessman in the Red Sea;
  • According to Hamas, 13,300 people were killed in the Gaza Strip, including more than 5,600 children and 3,550 women.
  • On the Israeli side, the Hamas attack left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians killed on October 7;
  • The Israeli military estimates that around 240 people were taken hostage.

” Movement [Hamas] delivered his response to the brothers of Qatar and the mediators. We are getting closer to concluding a truce agreement,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday, quoted in a brief message on the Palestinian movement’s Telegram account.

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric, met Monday evening with leaders of Qatar and Mr. Haniyeh, based in the Gulf emirate, in order to “move forward on humanitarian issues linked to the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States are currently working on an agreement to try to free hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas in exchange for a truce in the Gaza Strip.

Although the ICRC assured that it would not participate in these talks, it insisted that its “teams be authorized to visit the hostages in order to ensure their well-being and to administer medication to them, and so that the hostages are able to communicate with their families,” according to a press release.

“We have never been so close, we are confident. But there is still work to do. Nothing is done until everything is done,” said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

And to a journalist who asked him the following question: “Is an agreement to release the hostages close?” », US President Joe Biden replied in Washington: “I believe”.

Any final details?

Two sources close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday that the talks focused on an agreement to release “50 to 100” hostages in exchange for the release of 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including children and women.

The transfer would take place in stages at the rate of “ten” Israeli hostages against “thirty” Palestinian prisoners per day and would include the entry of food, medical aid and fuel and above all a “renewable five-day humanitarian truce”.

But Israel insists on “family reunification” – meaning that if a civilian was released, his partner would also be released, even if he was a soldier – which Hamas, opposed to the release of soldiers, refuses for the moment, according to these two sources.

Relatives of the hostages met on Monday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his “war cabinet”, under pressure to bring the approximately 240 hostages back to Israel.

“Recovering our hostages is a sacred and supreme task and I am committed to it,” declared Benjamin Netanyahu on the social network

“We will not stop the fighting until we bring our hostages home, destroy Hamas and ensure that there are no more threats from Gaza,” he added.

The recovery of hostages is one of the objectives of the ongoing Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip and launched in the wake of the bloody attack of October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement.

In Israel, 1,200 people, the vast majority civilians, were killed, according to the authorities, in this attack of unprecedented scale and violence in the history of the country.

In retaliation, Israel has vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel, and has relentlessly shelled the Palestinian territory, where its army has also been carrying out a ground offensive since October 27. .


The Jabaliya area in northern Gaza

In the Gaza Strip, more than 13,300 people were killed in Israeli bombings, including more than 5,600 children, according to the Hamas government.

According to the UN, nearly 1.7 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants have been displaced by the war in the Gaza Strip, subject since October 9 to a “complete siege” by Israel, which blocks the deliveries of food, water, electricity and medicine.

Indonesian hospital

The army indicated overnight that its soldiers “continued to fight” in the north of the Gaza Strip while Palestinian sources reported tensions at the Indonesian hospital, targeted the day before Israeli strikes which killed 12 patients and their loved ones and caused “dozens of injuries according to Hamas.

The Islamist movement continues to repeat that Israel is waging “a war against hospitals” in Gaza, almost all of which in the north of the territory are no longer functioning.

Israel, for its part, accuses Hamas of using hospitals for military purposes and of using the civilians there as “human shields”, which the Palestinian movement denies.

The head of Indonesian diplomacy Retno Marsudi condemned this “Israeli attack […] which has killed many civilians and is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.”

According to local hospital sources, more than a hundred injured people were transferred in the evening and night from this hospital to the Nasser complex in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip.


The town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, November 20, 2023

“We escaped miraculously. A strike hit the school [où les personnes déplacées se sont réfugiées] “, a young man transferred testified to AFP. “We were at the Zeitoune school in Gaza City, and from the school we went to the Indonesian hospital. I just can’t [à parler] “.

And during the night the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported an Israeli strike causing deaths and injuries on a residence in the Nuseirat camp, located in the center of the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, 28 premature babies evacuated over the weekend from al-Chifa hospital, the largest in Gaza and stormed on November 15 by the Israeli army, were transferred “in complete safety” to Egypt, announced the World Health Organization (WHO).

Update on the situation at 45e war day

The war between Israel and Hamas, entering its 45the day Monday, was triggered by the bloody attack of the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7 on Israeli soil from the Gaza Strip, where it took power in 2007.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, relentlessly shelling the besieged territory where 2.4 million Palestinians are crowded and launching a ground operation on October 27.

Here are the latest developments:

Indonesian hospital

At least “12 patients and their relatives” were killed and “dozens injured” in an Israeli strike on the Indonesian hospital, north of Gaza City, Ashraf al-Qidreh, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said on Monday. Hamas Health.

“There are around 700 patients and caregivers in the Indonesian hospital” located on the edge of the Jabaliya refugee camp, according to him.

28 premature babies evacuated to Egypt

Twenty-eight premature babies who remained in Gaza’s al-Chifa hospital after its evacuation on Saturday arrived in Egypt on Monday via the Rafah crossing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A total of 31 premature babies were evacuated on Sunday from al-Chifa, which the WHO, which participated in the evacuation of infants to the Emirates hospital in Rafah, had described as a “death zone”.

Three other babies continue to receive treatment at the Emirates Hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, according to WHO.

First field hospital to enter Gaza

A field hospital and caregivers from Jordan, the first of its kind since the start of the war, entered the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to Palestinian medical officials. The hospital must be set up in Khan Younès (south). The Hamas government lists 30,000 injured in the Palestinian territory.


Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdelrahmane Al-Thani said on Sunday that reaching an agreement on the release of hostages kidnapped during the Hamas attack now rests on “minor” practical issues, without providing a timetable.

US President Joe Biden’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer, clarified that the agreement included the release of “several dozen” hostages in exchange for an “extended extended period of break, several days » in fights.

Cargo captured in the Red Sea

Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Sunday they had seized a commercial ship owned by an Israeli businessman in the Red Sea in retaliation for Israeli bombings in Gaza.

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused Iran, there were “no Israelis” among the 25 crew members of various nationalities who were on board.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa called for the release of the Galaxy Leader, operated by the Japanese company Nippon Yusen (NYK), and crew members.

Lebanese-Israeli border

Lebanese Hezbollah announced Monday that it had carried out a series of attacks using drones, missiles and artillery shells against the Israeli army in northern Israel bordering Lebanon. In response, the Israeli army said it had bombed Hezbollah “infrastructure” using artillery, fighter jets and helicopters.

Balance sheets

According to the latest report from the Hamas government, 13,300 people have been killed in Israeli bombardments on the Gaza Strip since the start of the war, including more than 5,600 children and 3,550 women.

On the Israeli side, the Hamas attack left 1,200 dead, mainly civilians killed on October 7, according to the authorities. Three Israeli soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip, the army announced Monday, bringing to 67 the number of soldiers killed in this territory since the start of the war.

The Israeli military estimates that around 240 people were taken hostage.

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