Israel has killed 8525 Palestinians since 7 October as the war on Gaza enters its 25th day. Israel continues its assault on the Strip, taking 216 lives in the past hours.
Update 5: The Rafah Crossing on the border between Egypt and Gaza is set to open tomorrow, Wednesday, 1 November, to receive a number of wounded and injured Palestinians, sources confirmed.
The Crossing was previously opened to allow a limited number of aid trucks into Gaza.
Update 4: Dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed by an Israeli air raid on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on 31 October, according to Palestinian authorities.
At least 50 people were killed in the strike, director of the Indonesian Hospital Atef al-Kahlout confirmed. The hospital still cannot provide the precise number of total casualties.
Update 3: 216 Palestinians were killed by Israel in the past few hours, most of which came from the south of Gaza, spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qudra said on 31 October.
The number of Palestinians killed by Israel since 7 October now sits at 8525, including 3542 children, as well as 21,543 injured.
Update 2: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu strictly rejected calls for a ceasefire in a press conference on Monday, 30 October.
He said that “this is a time for war” and that his country would not halt military activity “just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the terrorist attack of 9/11.”
Netanyahu also condemned Hamas and said that operations will “escalate.”
A video released by Hamas showed three Israeli hostages calling for their release and accusing Netanyahu of “political and national neglect.” In response to criticism of his position on Israeli hostages taken by Hamas, Netanyahu described the video as “cruel psychological propaganda.”
Update 1: Following four failed attempts to reach a consensus on a Gaza resolution, the United Nations (UN) Security Council met in an emergency meeting on Monday, 30 October, to further discuss the crisis amidst the expanding on-ground Israeli escalations.
The meeting was called for by China and the United Arab Emirates, the only Arab state currently sitting on the council.
During the meeting, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini noted that nearly 70 percent of those killed in Gaza have been children and women; nearly 3,200 children have been killed in Gaza in the past three weeks, surpassing the number of children killed annually across the world’s conflict zones since 2019.
This cannot be ‘collateral damage,” he stressed, adding that Israel is carrying out “collective punishment.”
Lazzarini also stressed the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that has left a scarcity in medicines, food, water, and fuel, adding that thousands of people fled to UNRWA aid warehouses and distribution centers.
“More than 420 children are being killed or injured in Gaza each day – a number which should shake each of us to our core,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.
Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, reiterated Israel’s stance on defending itself against annihilation. He compared Hamas to the Nazis, a comparison previously made by US Secretary Antony Blinken on Thursday, 12 October.
“Entire communities were exterminated, only this time the murderers were Hamas Nazis. Entire Israeli families were turned into smoke and ash – no different than the fate my grandfather’s family met in Auschwitz,” Erdan said.
Israeli authorities have repeatedly compared Hamas to ISIS.
On his part, Palestinian representative Riyadh Mansour described Gaza as a “hell on earth,” pleading for a ceasefire and mourning the killing of children.
“Every five minutes, a Palestinian child is killed […] Our children who are, like yours, children of God, children of light. The angels on Earth. Enough darkness, enough death,” Mansour said.
No resolution on a ceasefire was put forward. The UN General Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday, 31 October to continue its emergency special session on the crisis.
The Conflict So Far
After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,405 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.
At least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including 3,542 children — and 21,543 others injured. Meanwhile over 125 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and around 2,050 have been injured.
The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been deescalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and 80 aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.
Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.