Israel confirms two more hostages released from Gaza

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A Palestinian carries a child killed in Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah, the Gaza Strip, Monday, October 23, 2023 [Adel Hana/AP Photo]


No one is left to mourn in Gaza, as Israel’s bombs deliver daily death-Aljazeera


A Palestinian carries a child killed in Israeli bombardment in Deir el-Balah, the Gaza Strip, Monday, October 23, 2023 [Adel Hana/AP Photo]

Conflict boosts support for Hamas – Palestinian polling expert

Every time there is a war between Israel and Hamas, support for Hamas among Palestinians grows, Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research based in Ramallah, has told the BBC.

Shikaki says that support for Hamas is usually much higher in Gaza, which is “more religious, more Islamist” than in the West Bank, which is comprised of “mostly secular nationalists” and is run by Hamas’s rival Palestinian Authority.

Before the latest conflict, a survey carried out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip showed support for Hamas was at 22%, he says. However, over the last two weeks, support for Hamas in the West Bank has “definitely” grown, he says.

This is something he sees every time the two sides enter a war, but support “does revert back to where it was within a few months after that”, he adds.

Israeli troops entering the Gaza Strip and the casualties which would result from the fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas will boost support for the “Palestinian cause”, he says, adding that Israel needs to consider what it wants to achieve in the long run.

“If Israel wants to keep the Palestinians divided, wants to keep the Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip, then obviously having Hamas seems to have served that purpose,” he says.

  1. Macron arrives in Israel to meet Netanyahu

    French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the Ben Gurion airport

    French President Emmanuel Macron has just touched down at Ben Gurion airport in Israel, and will be meeting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later today.

    The purpose of the visit is to show France’s solidarity with Israel, assist in the release of hostages still being held by Hamas, and to prevent any escalation of the current conflict, his advisers told Reuters.

    Macron will also meet Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and centrist leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid from the opposition during his visit.

  2. Hamas ‘brutalises and subjugates Palestinians’ – UK foreign secretary

    Alex Binley

    Live reporter

    UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

    The UK foreign secretary James Cleverly has told the BBC that Hamas “has habitually brutalised and subjugated the Palestinian people for its own political ends”.

    “It’s worth remembering that Hamas published videos of water pipes funded by the EU being torn up and turned into missiles,” he said on Radio 4’s PM programme.

    His claim is thought to refer to a 2021 video released by the al-Qassam Brigades – Hamas’s military wing – in which they appear to be digging water pipes out of the desert and turning them into missiles. The BBC has not verified this video.

    Cleverly also claimed that Hamas is using “fuel which could be used for the desalination plants to turn sea water into drinkable water… is being used to send rockets into Israel”. The BBC could not immediately verify this claim either.

    Israel has refused to allow fuel into the Gaza Strip as it believes Hamas may use it for weapons.

    Cleverly also said Israel must act within the framework of international law, adding that the UK government had received assurances from the Israeli president and government on this.

  3. Biden calls for ‘continuous flow’ of aid into Gaza

    US President Joe Biden has underscored the need for the “continuous flow” of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, in a call with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu.

    Speaking with Netanyahu on Monday, Biden also welcomed the release of Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz, two elderly women who were being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

    Biden then reiterated his commitment to Israel’s “ongoing efforts to secure the release of all the remaining hostages taken by Hamas” while calling for the safe passage of civilians out of Gaza.

    Earlier on Monday, the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry said that the overall death toll in the enclave had risen to 5,087 since Israel began its response to Hamas’s cross-border attack.

    The figure included 436 casualties – 182 of whom were children – who had been killed in the previous 24 hours.

    US President Joe Biden (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meet in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023.
    Image caption: Biden flew to Israel last week to meet Netanyahu in person
  4. ‘It’s wonderful to see my mum’ – daughter of released hostage

    The BBC’s Fergal Keane has spoken to Sharone Lifshitz, the London-based daughter of released hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, on a flight to Tel Aviv.

    This is what she told our correspondent:

    Quote Message: I’m bursting. I’m very excited. I’ve just seen photos of my mum. I’m very worried for my dad. It’s a very mixed emotion… I’m anxious to know about other members of the kibbutz that my mum might have been with. We still have over 200 people held hostage and we cannot stop until we bring all of them back. It’s wonderful to see my mum. I’m so proud of her. This is on another scale. There is nothing that can prepare you for a massacre with hundreds dead.”

  5. your questions answered

    Is there a red line for Western leaders?

    Frank Gardner

    BBC News, Security Correspondent

    One reader, Sam, asks: Do Western governments have a red line for Israel in this conflict?

    If they do then we have heard very little about it. There is also no one single unified “Western position” on this conflict in the way that there has been within Nato over the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.

    The sheer savagery and cruelty of Hamas’s attack on civilians in southern Israel on 7 October meant that many Western leaders rushed to offer Israel their full support.

    However as Israel’s retaliatory air strikes have subsequently pummelled Gaza, causing appallingly high civilian casualties, there are growing misgivings among Israel’s friends that the Netanyahu government is going too far.

    “Don’t be blinded by anger in the way we were in the US after 9/11” is the message President Biden gave Israel during his brief visit there last week.

    All Western leaders have called on Israel not to breach international humanitarian law.

    Yet that is exactly what UN agencies are now accusing Israel of doing as it bombs crowded areas and forces more than a million people out of their homes.

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