Pause and prisoner exchange, humanitarian, hospital, & West Bank updates, Pope says not a war, but “terrorism,” US statements
Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a similarly strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel).
Palestinian death toll: 13,854* (~13,629 in Gaza** (including at least 5,000 children and 3,300 women), and at least 225 in the West Bank). *IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation.
Palestinian injuries: 35,111** (including at least 32,300 in Gaza** and 2,814 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption.
Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined.
Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200*** (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – 4 killed in West Bank, 73 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,213 identified (about 33 of them children) are here.
RECOMMENDED READING: Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out
***NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 4-day pause in the war that will enable the release of about 50 people who have been held captive in Gaza October 7, in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails. For every additional 10 hostages released, the pause would be extended by a day, it said, without mentioning the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange.
Hamas released a statement, confirming that 50 women and children held in the territory would be freed in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. It said that Israel would also stop all military actions in Gaza and that hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel aid would be allowed into the territory.
There is consensus between Hamas and the Israelis that a truce period will start Thursday morning. Israeli media is saying it will start around 6:30am (04:30 GMT), while Hamas says 10am (08:00 GMT).
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has slammed the truce agreement, arguing that the pause in fighting sets a “dangerous precedent”.
A Hezbollah source has told Al Jazeera that the group is not part of the truce agreement between Hamas and Israel. The official added that any Israeli escalation in southern Lebanon or Gaza during the truce would be met with a response from Hezbollah. Hezbollah and Israeli forces have exchanged fire since the beginning of the conflict, killing more than 70 Hezbollah fighters and at least 10 Israelis, most of them soldiers. (11:40 GMT)
The list of 300 Palestinian prisoners slated for release, published by the Israeli Ministry of Justice, includes 33 female prisoners in addition to dozens of others, most of whom were arrested in the last two years. Most of the charges against them range from harming the security of the region, infiltrating into Israel without a permit, throwing stones, possessing weapons and causing damage.
Israel said it was releasing the names in order to allow Israelis who want to object and petition the Supreme Court to prevent this. (07:25 GMT)
Biden administration: Politico reports, ” T]here was some concern in the [Biden] administration about an unintended consequence of the pause: that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.”
Humanitarian update: 79 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered on 20 November. Overall, since October 21, 1,399 trucks of humanitarian supplies have entered Gaza (excluding fuel). Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day.
Mental health care needs are skyrocketing, especially for persons with disabilities, children and those with pre-existing complex conditions. However, many services have been destroyed and many staff are unable to work. Only limited psychosocial support (PSS) services and psychological first aid is being provided in some shelters across Gaza where protection actors are sheltering and have capacity to respond.
Hospital update: Dozens were killed in Israeli attacks near Kamal Adwan Hospital. color: #555555; font-weight: 400;”>The director of the hospital says the situation in and around the hospital is “catastrophic”.
Shelling and bombardment are increasing everywhere in the vicinity of the hospital. A lot of buildings have been badly affected. We need to keep in mind this hospital is now only one operating hospital from Wadi Gaza till the northern Gaza. The medical teams are very tired. We don’t have a single drop of fuel. We work in the dark using handheld searchlights.
Al-Kahlout said the hospital had received more than 60 dead and some 1,000 wounded people since last night. The latest images obtained by Al Jazeera show bodies lying across the courtyard of the facility in northern Gaza. Parents can be seen gathering to identify the bodies of their children, as some stand crying and consoling each other. (10:50 GMT)
Sites of recent Israeli bombardment and casualties include:
- During an ordered evacuation of northern Gaza, Israeli troops bombed sites in the south, including areas it had declared as safe. (12:05 GMT)
- A farm in Khan Younis was bombarded, and an attack was carried out on the Nuseirat refugee camp where dozens of Palestinians were killed.
- In the north, areas around the Indonesian Hospital and Kamal Adwan Hospital were targeted, and an ambulance was reportedly shelled.
- Several people were also killed in Israeli attack in the al-Falloujah area in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.
- Palestinian news agency Wafa says two more journalists have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said at least 53 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict since October 7: 46 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese citizens.
- Israeli soldiers raided the emergency department of Thabet Governmental Hospital in the occupied West Bank’s Tulkarem and forcefully arrested an injured patient.
- Four doctors were killed and patients injured when al-Awda Hospital in north Gaza came under Israeli attack on Tuesday.
- A WHO staff member was killed alongside her six-month-old baby, husband and two brothers when Israeli forces bombed her parents’ home in Gaza City.
Statement from the Pope: The Israel-Hamas conflict has gone beyond war to become “terrorism”, Pope Francis says, after the deaths of more than 14,100 Palestinians in Gaza and about 1,200 in Israel since October 7. “This is what wars do. But here we have gone beyond wars. This is not war. This is terrorism,” he said. (09:55 GMT)
West Bank news: While Israel has continued its attack on Gaza, killing at least 100 Palestinians across the enclave overnight and this morning, its targeting of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has also continued. Here are the latest developments:
- Five Palestinians have been killed and five injured in an Israeli raid on the Tulkarem refugee camp.
- One Palestinian was killed during an Israeli raid in Azzun, east of Qalqilya.
- At least 23 Palestinians were detained in a raid on Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem.
- Other raids took place in Awarta, southeast of Nablus; al-Dahiriyah and Idhna, south of Hebron; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. (08:55 GMT)
American news: US Central Command said it struck two facilities in Iraq “in direct response to the attacks against US and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups”. That includes an attack on Tuesday involving the “use of close-range ballistic missiles”, CENTCOM said. Washington has said US forces have been targeted dozens of times in Syria and Iraq since the war in Gaza began, raising fears of a wider escalation. (00:45 GMT)
Axios has reported that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials about the war in Gaza. “Blinken’s trip to the region hasn’t been totally finalized but is expected to take place after Thanksgiving [November 23] and before his participation in the NATO foreign ministers summit in Brussels next Tuesday,” Axios said, citing two unnamed sources. The report noted that this would be Blinken’s fourth trip to Israel since the October 7 Hamas attacks. (00:20 GMT)
The next few hours are crucial to the success of the ceasefire. News reports speak of intense Israeli bombardment of various residential targets in central Gaza. Many bodies are also being pulled from the rubble of destroyed homes.https://t.co/aoNLznDjzG pic.twitter.com/kNDSa2xBff
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) November 22, 2023
"We are at war and we will continue to fight"
Netanyahu warns there will be no letup in Israeli bombardment and invasion of besieged Gaza despite truce deal and exchange of prisoners pic.twitter.com/vGy799zDOK
— TRT World (@trtworld) November 21, 2023