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Israel-Hamas war live updates: UN warns of ‘widespread hunger’ as food, water and fuel run out in Gaza; Israel says tunnel shaft found

Disease will start spreading in Gaza if Israel keeps water cut off, rights group warns

Waterborne infectious diseases like cholera and typhoid will soon start spreading though Gaza because people don’t have access to clean water, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Israel imposed a siege on Gaza after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, severing the crowded strip’s access to water, power and fuel. A limited amount of water now comes in through Israel and Egypt but most people must drink from the local water supply — 96% of which is “unfit for human consumption,” according to the U.N.

“The lack of clean water is resulting in ‘grave concerns’ by public health experts of an imminent infectious disease outbreak in Gaza,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. The New York-based group called on Israel to immediately end its blockade of Gaza.

Palestinian children fill containers with water in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 13, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. 

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Children, adults are seen walking in water in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp located in Khan Younis, Gaza where displaced Palestinian families take shelter as Israeli attacks on Gaza continue on November 15, 2023. 

Mustafa Hassona | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Palestinian children fill containers with water in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 13, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. 

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Humanitarian crisis deepens as food, water and fuel are all running out, UN says

Editor’s note: The following post contains photographs with graphic content.

A boy stands among the rubble of buildings destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Nov. 15, 2023. Israel has been carrying out attacks on Gaza over the past weeks and has imposed a siege on the enclave to retaliate against Hamas attacks on southern Israel. The conflict has so far led to the deaths of over 11,500 Palestinians in Gaza. On the Israeli side, about 1,200 people lost their lives, the majority of whom were killed in the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Nearly every single person in the Gaza Strip doesn’t have enough food, and more than two out of every three people don’t have clean drinking water, the U.N. said Thursday.

Humanitarian aid deliveries to the besieged territory through the Rafah border crossing will not take place on Friday because internet and telephone services have collapsed across Gaza for lack of fuel, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said.

“We have seen fuel and food and water and humanitarian assistance being used as a weapon of war,” Juliette Touma, UNRWA communications director, told reporters in Amman, Jordan.

“Children are pleading for a sip of water and a piece of bread” at the 153 UNRWA facilities now jammed with 800,000 displaced Palestinians, she said.

Touma said UNRWA can’t operate because it has no fuel, and “It is simply outrageous that humanitarian agencies are reduced to begging for fuel.” Israel did provide UNRWA with limited fuel this week but only for the delivery of food, she said.

“Today Gaza look looks like it’s been hit by an earthquake — except it’s man-made and it could have been totally avoided,” she said. “We have just witnessed in the past week, the largest displacement of Palestinians since 1948.”

Abeer Etefa, a Mideast regional spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Program, said dehydration and malnutrition are increasing rapidly with only 10% of needed food supplies entering Gaza, and the “massive food gap” is growing while nearly the entire 2.2 million people in the territory need food.

“People are facing the immediate possibility of starvation,” she said, speaking from Cairo. “The existing food systems in Gaza are basically collapsing.”

A Palestinian woman covered in dust rushes with her child in her arms into the hospital following the Israeli bombardment of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. More than 11,000 people have been killed in relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, since the war erupted after Palestinian militants raided southern Israel on October 7 killing at least 1200 people, according to official Israeli figures.

Belal Khaled | Afp | Getty Images

(Editors note: Image contains graphic content) A child is brought to Nasser Medical Hospital on November 16, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Intense fighting has broken out in the northern Gaza Strip as Israel besieges the area, despite increasingly urgent calls for a ceasefire. Due to the lack of fuel to operate generators, hospitals are deprived of electricity. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people have taken refuge in hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. The World Health Organization, which again contacted Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, considered that “the situation is catastrophic and dangerous.”

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images News | Getty Images

‘Gaza faces widespread hunger as food systems collapse,’ UN World Food Programme warns

Children play in a charred car as people queue for bread in front of a bakery that was partially destroyed in an Israeli strike, in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on November 2, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned Thursday that with only 10% of necessary food supplies entering Gaza since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Gaza Strip now faces a massive food gap and widespread hunger.

“Supplies of food and water are practically non-existent in Gaza and only a fraction of what is needed is arriving through the borders. With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation,” said WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain. “There is no way to meet current hunger needs with one operational border crossing. The only hope is opening another, safe passage for humanitarian access to bring life-saving food into Gaza.”

The WFP confirmed the closure of the final bakery earlier this week that had been operating with the help of the agency due to a lack of fuel. According to the WFP, bread is now scarce or non-existent.

People queue for bread in front of a bakery that was partially destroyed in an Israeli strike, in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on November 4, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Majdi Fathi | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Children play in a charred car as people queue for bread in front of a bakery that was partially destroyed in an Israeli strike, in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on November 2, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

People carry bags of bread as others queue in front of a bakery that was partially destroyed in an Israeli strike, in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on November 4, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Majdi Fathi | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Israel says it found tunnel under Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli army says it finds tunnel, weapons at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital.

IDF | Reuters

Palestinian medics said on Thursday they are increasingly afraid for the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff at Gaza’s biggest hospital, cut off from all links to the outside world for more than a day after Israeli forces entered.

Israel said its commandos were still searching through Al-Shifa hospital on Thursday, more than a day after they entered its grounds as part of an offensive Israel says aims to wipe out Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave.

Israel believes a vast underground Hamas command headquarters was operating in tunnels beneath the hospital and on Thursday night the military said troops had found a tunnel shaft and vehicle with weapons inside the hospital complex.

“In the Shifa Hospital, IDF troops found an operational tunnel shaft and a vehicle containing a large number of weapons,” the military said, using the acronym for the Israel Defense Forces.

The military released videos and photographs which it said showed the tunnel shaft and weapons.

It also said the body of an Israeli woman, one of around 240 hostages taken by Hamas gunmen when they stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, was recovered by troops in a building near the hospital.

Military equipment including Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades were also found in the building, it said.

The IDF displays weapons found during a raid at Al-Sharif Hospital in Gaza on Nov. 16th, 2023.

IDF | Reuters

Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital shuts down, 45 patients left needing surgery, director says

Editor’s note: Graphic content: Images show injured Palestinians being treated at Indonesian Hospital in Gaza.

Medical team in Gaza’s Indonesian hospital use flashlights amid power cut


The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza has shut down and about 45 patients who urgently need surgery have been left in the reception area, hospital chief Atef al-Kahlout told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

“The Indonesian hospital has completely stopped serving and operating,” Kahlout said. “Due to our clinical inability to accommodate patients from Gaza and the north, we announce that the hospital has completely stopped operating.”

(EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) Palestinians are being treated on the floor of the Indonesia Hospital due to lack of beds as Israeli attacks continue on the 41st day in Beit Lahia, Gaza on November 16, 2023. 

Fadi Alwhidi | Anadolu | Getty Images

(EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) Palestinians are being treated on the floor of the Indonesia Hospital due to lack of beds as Israeli attacks continue on the 41st day in Beit Lahia, Gaza on November 16, 2023. 

Fadi Alwhidi | Anadolu | Getty Images

California protests demand cease-fire and block traffic as Biden and world leaders meet

Police respond to protestors who shut down westbound lanes on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge during the Asia-Pacific Econonmic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, on November 16, 2023. The APEC Summit takes place through November 17. (Photo by Jason Henry / AFP) (Photo by JASON HENRY/AFP via Getty Images)

Jason Henry | Afp | Getty Images

At least 50 protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza were detained and arrested Thursday after shutting down all lanes of a major bridge into San Francisco.

The protest comes as U.S. President Joe Biden, world leaders and CEOs gathered in the city for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ conference.

At least 15 vehicles were towed after protesters parked on the bridge and threw their keys into the sea shortly before 8 a.m., disrupting the morning commute, said California Highway Patrol division chief Ezery Beauchamp at a news conference on Bay Bridge. He said more arrests were expected.

Protest organizers say 200 people took part. Photos provided by organizers showed demonstrators on the ground with white sheets over their bodies as part of a “die-in.” Aisha Nizar with the Palestinian Youth Movement said in the statement that Biden was “hosting cocktail parties in San Francisco” while thousands of people were being killed in Gaza.

Beauchamp said the highway patrol supports free speech rights but not a traffic shutdown that could prevent emergency vehicles from crossing the bridge.

“This is the wrong way to do it,” he said. “This is 100% wrong, it’s unacceptable and it’s illegal.”

Associated Press

Hostage found dead in a structure adjacent to Al-Shifa Hospital, IDF says

Yehudit Weiss, a hostage abducted from her home by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack, was found dead in a structure “adjacent” to Al-Shifa Hospital, the IDF said in a statement today.

Weiss’ body was identified in a process by the medical personnel and institute of forensic medicine and the Israel Police. Her family was informed today that she has been declared dead.

“The IDF sends its heartfelt condolences to the family,” the statement said. “The national task before our eyes is to locate the missing and return the abducted persons home.”

The IDF added that in the structure where Weiss was found, the military found equipment including Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

— Yael Factor, NBC News

California authorities arrest man in death of Jewish demonstrator

A person places flowers at a makeshift memorial at the site of an altercation between 69-year-old Paul Kessler, who was Jewish, and pro-Palestinian protestor on November 7, 2023 in Thousand Oaks, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

California authorities have arrested a man in connection with the death of a Jewish protester during demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said the 50-year-old suspect was arrested Thursday and will be booked into jail in the investigation of involuntary manslaughter — the unintentional killing of another person. The district attorney will decide whether there is enough evidence to bring a formal charge.

Paul Kessler, 69, died early Nov. 6 at a hospital following a Nov. 5 confrontation with a pro-Palestinian demonstrator in Thousand Oaks, a suburb northwest of Los Angeles.

Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said subsequently that that deputies determined Kessler had fallen backward and struck his head on the ground.

The pro-Palestinian demonstrator stayed at the scene and told deputies he had called 911, Fryhoff said.

Authorities did not say in a news release why an arrest was warranted. They are still seeking more video evidence in the case. In a news conference days after Kessler’s death, Fryhoff said authorities briefly detained a 50-year-old man from Moorpark and searched his home, but he was then released.

— The Associated Press

IDF continuing its operations within al-Shifa hospital

This image taken from a video released by the Israeli Defense Forces, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, shows a cache of weapons the IDF says were found in a closet at the MRI center at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.


The Israeli Defense Forces said Thursday that they are continuing their operations within Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital.

“The soldiers are proceeding one building at a time, searching each floor, all while hundreds of patients and medical staff remain in the complex,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement seen by NBC News.

“The operation is shaped by our understanding that there is well-hidden terrorist infrastructure in the complex,” they added.

Israel has maintained that the hospital in northern Gaza — the enclave’s largest — is being used as a Hamas military base. Hamas has rejected the claims as nothing but “lies and cheap propaganda.”

The IDF said earlier Thursday that it had found Hamas grenades and assault rifles inside the hospital, although CNBC has not been able to verify the claims. The military has not provided any evidence that Hamas tunnels have been found underneath the facility.

— Karen Gilchrist

‘It’s time’: Israel’s opposition leader calls for Netanyahu’s removal

Former Israeli prime minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid holds a press conference on the upcoming state budget, in Tel Aviv on May 16, 2023.

Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images

Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid said Thursday that the time had come to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noting that there would be broad support to form a unity government led by Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.

“It’s time,” Lapid wrote in a social media post, which was accompanied by a photograph of himself and members of his centrist Yesh Atid party.

In a separate, earlier post, Lapid said that a “national reconstruction government” was needed, replacing Netanyahu and “extremist” elements.

Lapid, who briefly served as prime minister last year, said he believed around 90 of the 120 lawmakers in the Knesset, or parliament, would agree to such a coalition.

Lapid refused to join Netanyahu’s war cabinet at the onset of the war in early October, though other centrist lawmakers agreed to do so to help navigate the conflict.

— Karen Gilchrist

Gaza communications out of service as fuel runs out, leading telcos say

All telecom services in the Gaza Strip went down Thursday as the remaining energy sources sustaining the network ran out, Gaza’s main telecommunications companies Paltel and Jawwal said, according to Reuters.

— Karen Gilchrist

UN humanitarian chiefs say they won’t take part in unilateral proposals for Gaza ‘safe zones’

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends an ACANU briefing on global health issues, including COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine in Geneva, Switzerland, December 14, 2022. 

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The head of several United Nations humanitarian agencies said in a statement Thursday that they would not make any unilateral proposals to create “safe zones” in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement seen by Reuters, signatories including the World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the head of the U.N. aid agency, Martin Griffiths, noted that doing so would risk causing harm to civilians.

— Karen Gilchrist

U.S.’s Sullivan ‘deeply concerned’ that attack injured Jordanian medics in Gaza

The United States’ national security advisor Jake Sullivan said Thursday that the White House was “deeply concerned” that medics from Jordan were injured in shelling near their field hospital in Gaza.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House on November 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. 

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

“We are deeply concerned that Jordanian medical personnel in Gaza were wounded in an attack near their field hospital, and we are profoundly grateful to medical professionals providing critical care to Palestinians in Gaza,” Sullivan said in a post on social media.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said earlier Thursday that seven staff members at the field hospital in northern Gaza were wounded by Israeli shelling.

The Israeli Defense Forces did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the reports.

— Karen Gilchrist

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Watch the video to find out more.

WHO studying ways to evacuate al-Shifa patients

The U.N. is looking to evacuate the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, al-Shifa, but options are limited by security and logistics restrictions, a World Health Organization official told Reuters.

“We are looking at the case for full medical evacuation but there are a lot of security concerns, there are a lot of logistics constraints. Our options are rather limited but we hope to have some better news in the next 24 hours or so,” said Rick Brennan, WHO regional emergencies director.

The al-Shifa hospital has been raided by Israeli military, who suspect the site was being used in a military capacity by Hamas.

Brennan says ongoing challenges remain, as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society — which removed civilians from the al-Quds hospital earlier this week — lacks fuel to carry out evacuation. Egypt would be willing to send its ambulances for the procedure, but would require safe passage, Brennan said.

WHO estimates there are 600 patients currently at al-Shifa, of whom 27 are in critical condition.

Human rights groups have repeatedly protested the Israeli Defense Forces’ incursion at al-Shifa, citing harm to Palestinian civilians who have already been severely deprived of electricity, medical supplies, food and clean water.

Ruxandra Iordache

Egypt urges truces, humanitarian relief in Gaza Strip

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at a joint news conference in Turkiye’s capital Ankara in April.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The Egyptian foreign ministry issued a statement welcoming the U.N. Security Council resolution passed Wednesday on Israeli and Palestinian territories, stressing the need for truces, humanitarian corridors and urgent humanitarian relief.

The ministry emphasized, according to a Google translation, the need to stop the deprivation of civilians and to protect them and medical and humanitarian aid workers, urging for immediate implementation of the U.N. measure.

Cairo has been instrumental in assisting Palestinian people since the start of the conflict, with humanitarian supplies arriving into Egypt, then proceeding by truck into the Gaza enclave through the Rafah crossing — the only land route not controlled by Israel.

Reuters reports that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also on Thursday expressed hopes that the U.S. will support a stance leading to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, adding that there is no possibility of displacing Palestinian people outside of the territory.

Ruxandra Iordache

EU’s top diplomat urges Israel not to be consumed by rage

EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell talks to the press as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at the Palacio de Congreso in Granada, southern Spain on October 5, 2023.

Jorge Guerrero | Afp | Getty Images

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged Israel not to be “consumed by rage” in its retaliation for the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7, stressing that “one horror does not justify another,” according to Reuters.

Borrell is currently visiting Israel and was speaking alongside the country’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

“I understand your rage but let me ask you not to be consumed by rage. I think that’s what the best friends of Israel can tell you,” he said.

“But one thing is to defend Israel and another thing’s to take care of the people in need,” he added, emphasizing an EU call for humanitarian aid to the civilians of the Gaza Strip.

He likewise condemned the terror attacks of Hamas and the taking of hostages.

“In the name of the European Union, I ask for the immediate and unconditional release [of captives],” Borrell said.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military announces new humanitarian corridor

Palestinian families walks past destroyed buildings in Bureij, in the central of Gaza Strip, on November 14, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces announced on social media they will stop fighting between 10:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time for the southward evacuation of civilians from the neighborhoods of Shuja’iyya and Turkmen.

The evacuation corridor will remain open for the residents of the Tal Al-Hawa, Al-Sabra, Al-Zeitoun, Al-Gharbi, Darj Al-Tuffah, Al-Shuja’iyya and Jabalia until 4 p.m., allowing civilians to go through the Salah al-Din routes south of the Wadi Gaza wetlands.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says its operations at al-Shifa hospital are ongoing

In this image taken from a video released by the Israeli Defense Forces on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Israeli soldiers walk in the area of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. The Israeli military released footage on Tuesday that it said shows joint operational activity of two army brigades in its advancement on the ground in Gaza Strip. 


A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told NBC News that the military “can confirm operations in Shifa are ongoing.” The message was sent via a WhatsApp chat designed for press enquires.

The Palestinian National Authority’s official press agency said Thursday that Israeli forces had raided al-Shifa — the largest hospital in Gaza — for the second time in 24 hours.

It cited local sources as saying that bulldozers and tanks had raided the hospital via its western entrance.

It comes after Israel on Wednesday said its forces were conducting a “precise” operation against Hamas in a specific area of the al-Shifa medical complex. The country has faced widespread international criticism over the humanitarian impact of its decision to raid the hospital.

The IDF says that Hamas uses medical facilities as operational bases with large underground networks of tunnels underneath them, but it has so far failed to release any evidence of tunnels found at al-Shifa.

Katrina Bishop and Ruxandra Iordache

Israel and Hezbollah trade fire

The Israeli military completed a raid on Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, including military sites, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson for Arab media Avichay Adraee said on social media, according to a Google translation.

An artillery unit moves near the Israeli northern border with Lebanon on November 8, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Amir Levy | Getty Images

He added that the Israeli Defense Forces also “recently attacked a terrorist who worked inside Lebanon near the Shlomi area.”

In an earlier update, the IDF said that it was retaliating against sources of fire coming from Lebanon, following a “number of launches toward Israeli territory.” IDF tanks also struck a Hezbollah observation post in Lebanon, the military said.

The Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV channel said that Israeli artillery shelled the town of Kafr Kila in southern Lebanon. It also noted that the Miskav’am and al-Marj sites in Israel were targeted, although it did not directly state whether Hezbollah had committed the attacks.

Israel and Hezbollah have been trading fire since early October, bolstering fears that the Israel-Hamas conflict could spill over into the broader Middle East.

CNBC could not verify developments on the ground.

Ruxandra Iordache 

U.N. human rights chief warns of risk of diseases in Gaza Strip, intensification of violence in West Bank

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk speaks during a press conference in Cairo on November 8, 2023, following a visit to Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Khaled Desouki | AFP | Getty Images

U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk has warned of “inevitable” outbreaks of disease and hunger in the Gaza Strip and the potential intensification of violence in the occupied West Bank.

In a wide-spanning briefing following his tour of the Middle East, Turk urged Israel and Hamas to consider the value of civilian lives.

He said the lack of resources and fuel supplies in the Gaza Strip are set to lead to “the complete collapse of water, sewage and crucial healthcare services, and ending the trickle of humanitarian assistance that has been permitted to date. Massive outbreaks of infectious disease, and hunger, seem inevitable.”

Recognizing casualties in both Israel and the Gaza Strip, Turk said: “The killing of so many civilians cannot be dismissed as collateral damage. Not in a kibbutz. Not in a refugee camp. And not in a hospital.”

He stressed the current crisis “extends well beyond Gaza” and said he is “deeply concerned about the intensification of violence and severe discrimination against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

Turk added that disproportionate attacks, or those that do not distinguish between civilians and combatants, are prohibited, as is forced displacement and the taking of hostages.

“Extremely serious allegations of multiple and profound breaches of international humanitarian law, whoever commits them, demand rigorous investigation and full accountability,” he said.

Ending with a call for a cease-fire on humanitarian grounds, Turk said it is “clear that the Israeli occupation must end” and endorsed a two-state solution that would create an independent Palestinian state, while noting “it is essential to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist.”

Ruxandra Iordache

Netanyahu says will not be lectured by Erdogan, accuses Turkish leader of supporting terrorists

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz (not pictured) in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023.

Abir Sultan | Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting terrorist factions after the Ankara leader’s criticisms on Wednesday.

“I have to say that the world today appears to be divided by two forces: those who support Israel in its just fight against Hamas terrorism, and those who support Hamas terrorism,” Netanyahu said in a video clip shared on social media, stressing that his country tries to minimize civilian casualties in its ongoing hostilities.

“I have to say that, by contrast, you know, there are forces that support the terrorists, and one of them is President Erdogan of Turkey, who calls Israel a terrorist state but actually supports the terrorist state of Hamas, has himself bombed Turkish villages inside Turkey itself, so we’re not going to get any lectures from them,” Netanyahu added.

Erdogan on Wednesday accused Israel of acting as a “terror state” in light of the civilian casualties of Israel’s ongoing armed campaign in the Gaza Strip. Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel, but diplomatic relations have drastically deteriorated over humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, culminating in the Mavi Marmara incident of 2010.

Turkey has taken a vocal and categorical stance against Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since the start of the latest hostilities.

CNBC has reached out to the Turkish foreign ministry and presidency for comment.

Ruxandra Iordache

U.N. relief agency warns of schools hit by strikes, impending telecom breakdowns

Two schools run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine have been directly hit by strikes, while another sustained collateral damage, UNRWA said in a Wednesday update.

The agency has repurposed most of its schools as shelters for displaced Palestinian civilians. It is now sheltering 813,000 internally displaced persons in 154 of its facilities in the Gaza Strip and estimates that almost 1.6 million people have been displaced in total across the territory.

“In some areas, the telecommunications companies have stopped operating. It is expected that communications will start to fail as of Thursday 16 November, when telecommunications companies run out of fuel to operate their data centres and major connection sites,” UNRWA warned.

A total of 103 UNRWA staff members have been killed since the start of the conflict, the agency said, adding that this is the highest death toll for U.N. aid workers incurred in a conflict in the organization’s history.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel foreign minister strikes back at Erdogan over comments

Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks during a press conference at the European Office of the United Nations, Palais des Nation, in Geneva on November 14, 2023. (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY / AFP) (Photo by PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images)

Pierre Albouy | Afp | Getty Images

Israel’s foreign minister has struck back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who on Wednesday accused the Middle Eastern country of acting as a “terror state” in its operations in the Gaza Strip.

“The President of Turkey is distorting reality and once again can be found on the wrong side of history, standing next to those who glorified the October 7 massacre of Israelis: Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen,” Eli Cohen said on social media.

“Israel is a law-abiding state, which acts in accordance with international law. Israel will proceed with its war against the Hamas terrorist organization, which is worse than ISIS.”

Erdogan has increasingly ramped up his rhetoric against Israel, citing solidarity with the Palestinian cause and deploying humanitarian aid for the embattled Gaza enclave following Israel’s retaliatory war campaign in the region.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military alleges weapons found at al-Shifa hospital

In this image taken from a video released by the Israeli Defense Forces, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, points to a cache weapons the IDF says were found in an MRI center at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.


The Israel Defense Forces said it found weapons, grenades, uniforms and a laptop at the al-Shifa hospital they stormed on Wednesday.

In a video purporting to be shot on the site of the medical complex, IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said: “Israeli troops breached here a few hours ago, and we have cleared the area, made sure that it’s safe.”

“Hamas systematically uses hospitals in their military operations in violation of international law, and what we have found, I think, is only the tip of the iceberg,” he added.

CNBC could not independently confirm Conricus’ claims.

Over the course of the nearly seven-minute footage, the spokesman walks through what he identifies as the MRI unit of the al-Shifa hospital, pointing out security cameras obstructed with black tape, “grab and go” bags for Hamas operatives, AK-47 rifles, cartridges, ammo, grenades, uniforms, knives, an insignia allegedly belonging to Hamas and a laptop.

This image taken from a video released by the Israeli Defense Forces, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, shows a cache of weapons the IDF says were found in a closet at the MRI center at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.


The equipment is said to have been found hidden behind a MRI machine, alongside bandages and medical gear.

“These weapons had no business being inside a hospital. The only reason they are here is because Hamas put them here, because they use this place, like many other hospitals and ambulances and sensitive facilities inside the Gaza Strip, for their illicit military purposes,” Conricus said.

Israel has faced international backlash over the humanitarian impact of its decision to raid al-Shifa, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip. The IDF says that Hamas uses medical and civilian facilities as its operation bases and houses beneath its large underground network of tunnels. Israel has yet to release evidence of tunnels found at al-Shifa.

Ruxandra Iordache

‘We can’t leave a vacuum’ in Gaza Strip, Israeli president says

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress at the U.S. Capitol on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said his country will need to retain a “very strong force” in the Gaza enclave to prevent a future resurgence of Palestinian militant group Hamas, according to an interview with the Financial Times.

“If we pull back, then who will take over? We can’t leave a vacuum. We have to think about what will be the mechanism; there are many ideas that are thrown in the air,” Herzog said. “But no one will want to turn this place, Gaza, into a terror base again.”

Herzog, whose post lacks executive power, speaks amid an ongoing Israeli ground campaign and bombardment in the Gaza Strip, in response to the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7. The Gaza enclave has been under Hamas control since 2007.

U.S. President Joe Biden, whose country has closely supported Israel, has said that the only long-term solution in the Gaza Strip beyond the current conflict is the creation of two independent Israeli and Palestinian states. U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken has previously said a transition period may be required, but that Israel cannot reoccupy the Gaza Strip after the war.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it struck the house of the leader of the Hamas politburo

Ismail Haniya, the Head of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, delivers a speech in Gaza City on April 30, 2018. (Photo by Momen Faiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces said it struck the residence of Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas political bureau.

“The residence was used as terrorist infrastructure and a meeting point for Hamas’ senior leaders to direct terrorist attacks against Israel,” the Israeli military said on social media.

CNBC could not independently verify the report.

Haniyeh is believed to reside in Qatar, where the Hamas politburo moved from Syria in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. Hamas did not immediately comment on the strike on its Telegram account.

Haniyeh replaced Khaled Meshaal as head of the Hamas political wing in 2017, leaving Yahya Sinwar as leader of the militant group in the Gaza Strip.

Ruxandra Iordache

U.N. Security Council adopts resolution on Israel-Hamas conflict

The U.N. Security Council has adopted a resolution on Israel and Palestinian territories, after four previous attempts failed to gain sufficient support.

Under the Malta-penned measure, the Council calls for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all hostages held by Hamas and for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” throughout the Gaza Strip to allow access for aid workers.

It also urges “all parties to refrain from depriving the civilian population in Gaza of basic services and aid indispensable to their survival” in line with humanitarian law and does not condemn the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7.

The resolution — passed with 12 members in favor, none against and three abstentions — is the first UNSC pronouncement on Israel and Palestinian territories since 2016. Russia, the U.S. and U.K. were the three members who abstained.

Reactions varied:

  • Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative Brett Jonathan Miller criticized the measure as “detached from the reality on the ground,” saying it “falls on deaf ears when it comes to Hamas and other terrorist organizations”.
  • Riyad Mansour, permanent observer of the state of Palestine, said the Security Council should have called a ceasefire by now and “at least echoed the call of the General Assembly for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.
  • Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia stressed that “humanitarian pauses cannot replace a ceasefire or truce,” he said, while emphasizing the urgency of bringing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
  • U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington could not endorse a text that did not condemn Hamas and reaffirm the right of self-defense from terrorist attacks, expressing horror that some member councils “still cannot bring themselves” to condemn Hamas offensive of Oct. 7.
  • November Council President China, represented by Ambassador Zhang Jun, said that the coalition should have adopted a more robust resolution at an earlier time.

Ruxandra Iordache

Biden reiterates two-state solution is the ‘only answer’ to Israel-Hamas conflict

US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ week in Woodside, California on November 15, 2023. US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping shook hands and pledged to steer their countries away from conflict on November 15, 2023, as they met for the first time in a year at a high-stakes summit in California. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Brendan Smialowski | Afp | Getty Images

U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated the “only” lasting answer to the Israel-Hamas conflict is a two-state solution, but ongoing Israeli action in the Gaza Strip is justified given that Hamas has said publicly it plans to attack Israel again.

“I’ve made it clear to the Israelis that … the only answer here is a two-state solution. We have got to get to the point where there’s the ability to even talk without having to worry about whether Hamas is going to engage in the same activities they did [in] the past,” Biden told reporters after meeting with China President Xi Jinping in Woodside, California.

“Hamas has already said publicly they plan on attacking Israel again … and so the idea they are going to just stop and not do anything is not realistic,” Biden said.

He added that Israeli action against Hamas is going to stop when Hamas “no longer has the capacity to do horrific things to the Israelis.”

— Clement Tan

Bipartisan U.S. coalition returns from Israel, reports hostage deal is ‘very close’

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 11: U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) leaves a House Republican caucus meeting where the conference met to vote on a Speaker of the House nominee in the Longworth House Office Building on October 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House Republicans nominated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) to replace recently ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

U.S. House Reps. Mike McCaul, R-Tx., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., said on Wednesday after their trip to Israel that a hostage deal is nearing, which could also result in a temporary cease-fire.

“They’re actually very close to a potential deal, particularly with women and children, to be able to get them out of Gaza – and it would entail a potential short cease-fire, but I think that was the most encouraging news we had,” McCaul said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that there “could be” an incoming hostage deal with Hamas but did not provide further clarity on the timeline. He has also repeatedly made it clear that Israel will not consider a cease-fire until all of Hamas’ hostages are released.

McCaul and Meeks joined a bipartisan congressional delegation on a visit to Israel, where they met with Netanyahu and other Israeli military officials.

The two representatives have led a bipartisan coalition in support of Israel since the early days of the war, even as financial aid measures have divided the parties at large. In the Wednesday interview, McCaul and Meeks both expressed optimism that Congress would fund support for both Israel and Ukraine after the holidays.

“We think we should have the funding for Israel, funding for Ukraine, funding for humanitarian purposes. And I think we also need funding for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific,” Meeks said.

Rebecca Picciotto

Israel found weapons inside Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, Netanyahu’s advisor says

Israeli forces found weapons during a raid on Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, an advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told MSNBC Wednesday.

“We have discovered weapons and other things. We entered the hospital on the basis of actionable intelligence,” advisor Mark Regev said.

CNBC was unable to independently verify the claims.

— Karen Gilchrist

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage:

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Amit Ghosh
Amit Ghoshhttps://serpways.com


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