Israelis and Israelis in the Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, after the September 11, 2001 Israeli attack on a ship carrying a bomb
TEL AVIV, Israel — A scattered group of runners hustled along the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv’s Jaffa Port early Saturday morning.
They gathered not to run for themselves, but for the more than 240 hostages still held by Hamas. In order to bring the runners home, each wore a flag that said “Bring them home” with pictures and names of people taken by Hamas.
The same night, people gathered in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for demonstrations to show their support for the hostages. Other protests were held criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for a perceived failure of properly preparing for, and reacting to, the attack by Hamas.
There were makeshift memorial at the Tel Aviv art museum square after a large rally Saturday night. Friends and families of the kidnapped and concerned Israelis wore shirts and carried signs with the names and faces of those being held hostage.
After calling on the hostages to be returned during a rally Saturday, a 77-year-old Israeli woman said her trust in her government and safety in Israel have been shattered.
I really can’t sleep. She said it was terrible. I can’t comprehend what has happened. It’s impossible. And I think our government shouldn’t do anything before all of them are back home safe.”
Israel and the Gaza Strip: A United States War on Hamas and the Problem of Children and Families in the Early Aftermath of the First Day of the War
The ultimate goal was to eliminate Hamas after Israeli forces launched an intense response that included a bombardment on Gaza.
There appears to be no end in sight to the now-month-old war as Netanyahu continues to reject calls for any kind of cease-fire or pause in the fighting.
Netanyahu said that Israel wouldn’t allow any temporary ceasefire that wouldn’t involve the release of the kidnapped Israelis.
Israeli warplanes struck the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, killing at least 33 people and wounding dozens, health officials in the region said.
Hospitals that haven’t been touched by attacks are overcrowded and barely functioning due to low supplies and little to no fuel, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
WHO warned this week that the bombardments, lack of food, barely working health centers and collapsing infrastructure poses particular risks for pregnant women and children.
“There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, with more than 180 giving birth every day. Fifteen per cent of them are likely to experience pregnancy or birth-related complications and need additional medical care,” the WHO said this week.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other officials have been working U.S. partnerships in the Middle East to broker a deal that would allow more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and for civilians to be protected.
He made an unannounced visit to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank on Sunday following a visit to Jordan. The spokesman for Abbas said that the president called for an immediate cease-fire and the delivery of aid to Gaza.
After negotiations between Egypt, Israel, and Hamas, officials agreed to allow one border crossing to open in Rafah, allowing some aid to enter, and a few Palestinians to leave.
This weekend the exit from Gaza was closed because foreigners won’t be allowed to leave if patients from the hospitals in Gaza City and northern Gaza are not permitted to get to the crossing.
On Saturday, the IDF announced a brief three-hour window for the roughly 300,000 people estimated to be trapped in northern Gaza to travel safely on the road to southern Gaza. The so-called safe passageway was not open to many people.
The IDF claimed that the road was attacked by Hamas. Hamas said the availability of a safe corridor was “a lie” and that the Israeli military was using it to attack civilians.
More than 400 trucks have delivered aid through the Rafah crossing since October 21, according to the Red Crescent Society.
The movement by Palestinians in other parts of the world have been limited. The permits for more than 100,000 Palestinian workers in Israel have been stopped by Israeli authorities.
In a statement on Sunday morning, Israel said “over 2,500 terror targets have been struck” in the combined activities of its ground, air and naval forces in the Gaza Strip during their offensive over the past four weeks.
Israel’s war with Hamas: a message to our enemies, and to our enemy’s enemies, as voted by thousands of Palestinian demonstrators in Washington, D.C.
Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for a protest that was the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in the United States.
Chris Murphy is a senator and he has expressed concerns about Israel’s response to Hamas.
“Our forces are operating on all of fronts, with full power. Our victory is certain and decisive. It will send a message to our enemies – one that will echo for generations,” Netanyahu said on Friday.
Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah has not announced an all-out war with Israel, but stated that the group’s actions will depend on developments in Gaza.
According to Yaacov Amidror, the goal to remove Hamas is a large military challenge that could take between two and six months.
It might be easy to take full control of the enclave. Finding a viable replacement to take over running Gaza, is another thing entirely.
The military said Israeli forces split the area in half and cut off the north from the south after they reached the coast of Gaza.
“Bounds to destroy terrorism”: the Israeli defense force’s response to a deadly attack on Gaza, as revealed by a Palestinian group
“In the last 12 hours, the soldiers of the division struck around 50 targets, including combat zones, operational residences, outposts, military positions and underground infrastructure, and eliminated terrorists in close-quarter combat,” the military said.
Phone, 4G cellular networks as well as internet services were cut off in Gaza for several hours. By Monday morning, the networks had appeared to have been partially restored.
As the Israel Defense Force continues its military operations around Gaza City, many Palestinians have been trying to head south.
The ones that have managed to flee have mostly traveled by foot for miles — adults carrying babies or pushing wheelchairs with the elderly, and holding the hands of children lugging bags full of whatever belongings they could grab. Some waved white pieces of cloth to show they were civilians.
NPR spoke with a group traveling in Gaza who said they had to walk past dead bodies rotting in the street as bombs dropped in the distance. They declined to provide their names over security concerns.
On Sunday, he made an unannounced visit to Iraq and met with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for more than an hour. Blinken also made trips to Israel and Jordan and had a sit-down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank.