US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for over an hour in Ramallah in a surprise visit on Sunday.
Rina Bassist, Ezgi Akin, Beatrice Farhat, Elizabeth Hagedorn, Adam Lucente, Jack Dutton, Jared Szuba and Al-Monitor’s contributors on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel contributed to this blog.
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Live updates (all times EDT):
Monday, Nov. 6, 2023
3:30 pm: UAE to establish field hospital in Gaza Strip
The United Arab Emirates will establish a fully equipped field hospital in the Gaza Strip, the state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
WAM stated that five aircrafts carrying equipment departed Abu Dhabi for Al-Arish airport in Egypt but did not disclose whether the arrangement was cleared with Israel.
The report read, “The field hospital, with a 150-bed capacity, is set to be established in multiple stages. It will encompass departments for general surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and gynecology, in addition to anesthesia and intensive care units catering to both children and adults. The facility will also house clinics for internal medicine, dentistry, psychiatry and family medicine. Supplementary services will include CT imaging, a laboratory, a pharmacy and other medical support functions.”
1:05 pm: Biden speaks with Netanyahu, urges humanitarian pauses
US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to discuss potential pauses in the fighting to enable civilians to exit and aid to get into the Gaza Strip, the White House said.
“We consider ourselves at the beginning of these conversations, not the end,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told reporters.
More than 300 Americans have been able to evacuate Gaza and the White House expects more will emerge on Monday, Kirby said, adding that Washington still does not support a general cease-fire, which he said “would benefit Hamas.”
1:00 pm: 38 attacks on US troops since Gaza war started
US troops have come under attack 38 times since Oct. 17, Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder told reporters Monday. Some 46 personnel have reported new injuries in the aftermath of attacks at the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq and the Tanf garrison in Syria on Oct. 17-18. Read Al-Monitor’s report.
12:00 pm: Blinken ends Middle East tour in Turkey with no Gaza pause in sight
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan for urgent Gaza talks on Sunday as the top US diplomat’s Middle East tour failed to garner sufficient support for a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas war.
Blinken, who traveled to Turkey from Iraq, spoke with Fidan for more than two and a half hours in their first face-to-face meeting in Ankara. No press conference followed the meeting and as of the time of writing, the sides had not released a readout.
Turkish diplomatic sources speaking to the Turkish press said Fidan reiterated Turkey’s call for an immediate cease-fire during the meeting. Ezgi Akin reports.
11:00 am: Hamas political chief met with Iranian supreme leader in Tehran
Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’ political bureau, met recently with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, according to Iranian state media.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, reported on Monday that a meeting also took place in eastern Syria between leaders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah. Beatrice Farhat reports.
10:12 am: South Africa recalls diplomats in Israel, cites ‘genocide’ in Gaza
South Africa announced on Monday that it was recalling its diplomats from Tel Aviv for consultations amid Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. As the rift between the two deepens, a South African minister accused Israel of committing “genocide” in the enclave in a statement released Monday. Rina Bassist reports.
8:14 am: Israeli minister who called to nuke Gaza votes in cabinet meeting despite suspension
Israel’s far-right Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu participated in a Sunday cabinet vote over the phone, local media reported, despite having been suspended earlier in the day by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for saying that dropping an atomic bomb on the Gaza Strip was an "option."
Eliyahu, of the Jewish Power party, made the incendiary remarks on Sunday morning in an interview with Kol Barama radio station over humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
"We wouldn't have given the Nazis humanitarian aid. There's no such thing as innocents in Gaza," he said.
Asked by the interviewer whether he advocated dropping "some kind of atomic bomb [on Gaza] to kill everyone," Eliyahu replied, "That's one option."
After the interview, Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Eliyahu’s statements were not grounded in reality. Rina Bassist reports.
7:45 am: South Africa withdraws diplomats from Israel, citing Gaza ‘genocide’
South Africa will withdraw all of its diplomats from Tel Aviv for consultations over what it described as Israeli "genocide under the watch of the international community," Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said Monday. The minister said Pretoria was disappointed with Israel’s bombing of schools and clinics in the enclave. She added that the cabinet noted the “disparaging remarks of the Israeli ambassador to South Africa about those who are opposing the atrocities and genocide of the Israeli government” and that the Department of International relations has been ordered to “take the necessary measures within the diplomatic channels and protocols to deal with [his] conduct."
South African officials have consistently accused Israel of practicing apartheid against Palestinians, while the country’s third largest party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, have even endorsed Hamas’ use of violence against Israel.
7:23 am: Pope meets with European rabbis to decry antisemitism, war, terrorism
Pope Francis met Monday at the Vatican in Rome with a delegation of European rabbis, rejecting antisemitism, war and terrorism. As he was not feeling well, the pope handed the rabbis a written speech instead of reading it, reported AFP.
“Yet again violence and war have erupted in that land blessed by the most high, which seems continually assailed by the vileness of hatred and the deadly clash of weapons," it read.
3:10 am: Israeli fire reported in south Lebanon
Israeli bombardment struck the outskirts of the towns of Naqoura and Labouneh in southern Lebanon, the official National News Agency reported, amid ongoing cross-border fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border have been high since the Hamas-Israel war erupted last month. On Sunday, an Israeli airstrike hit a car in the southern town of Ainata, killing a grandmother and her three grandchildren. Lebanon’s caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib condemned the attack as a “crime” and said they were preparing to submit an urgent complaint to the United Nations Security Council.
3:04 am: Israel to enable passage at Salah al-Din Gaza Road for evacuation toward south of Gaza
Gaza's Salah al-Din Road will be open for passage between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, for Palestinians to travel from the north of the Gaza Strip to the safe zone in the south, said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Avichay Adraee. This is the third day in a row that the IDF has opened the passage for movement toward the south of Gaza.
2:36 am: Palestinian telecom company says communications resume in Gaza
Phone and internet services are gradually being restored in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel announced in a Facebook statement one day after Israel cut off communications in Gaza. Sunday’s near-total telecom blackout was the third since Israel launched its massive air campaign against the besieged enclave in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
2:03 am: UK temporarily withdraws some embassy staff in Lebanon
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office reported on its website that some British Embassy staff in Lebanon have been temporarily withdrawn from Beirut amid growing tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Britain had already advised against all travel to Lebanon and urged its citizens there to leave after the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and Israel engaged in cross-border fire.
1:48 am: Two Israeli border police officers stabbed in Jerusalem
A Palestinian assailant stabbed two Israeli border police officers just outside the Herod’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, said Jerusalem police. The assailant was apprehended as well as another suspect. Last week, a border police officer was stabbed in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
1:40 am: Israeli army arrests activist Ahed Tamimi in West Bank raid
Israeli forces arrested prominent Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi during a raid in the West Bank for “inciting violence and terrorist activities,” an army spokesman told AFP. The Palestinian official WAFA news agency had earlier reported the arrest of Tamimi, 22, from her family home in the village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah. Tamimi became an icon of the Palestinian resistance against Israel in the West Bank after videos of her slapping Israeli soldiers who were arresting her younger brother emerged in December 2017. She served an eight-month sentence before she was released in July 2018.
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