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Israel-Hamas war live: al-Shifa hospital ‘no longer functioning’, says WHO; US strikes two locations in Syria

Al-Shifa hospital ‘no longer functioning’, says WHO

Health officials and people trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital rejected Israel’s claims that it was helping babies and others evacuate Sunday, the Associated Press reports, saying fighting continued just outside the facility where incubators lay idle with no electricity and critical supplies were running out.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the X social media platform that Shifa has been without water three days and “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.” Several humanitarian groups told The Associated Press they weren’t able to reach the hospital Sunday.

The last generator ran out of fuel Saturday, leading to the deaths of three premature babies and four other patients, according to the Health Ministry.

It said another 36 babies are at risk of dying, the WHO said.

Newborns are placed in bed after being taken off incubators in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital.
Newborns are placed in bed after being taken off incubators in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital. Photograph: Obtained By Reuters/Reuters

Israel’s military asserted it placed 300 liters (79 gallons) of fuel near Shifa overnight for an emergency generator powering incubators for premature babies and coordinated the delivery with hospital officials.

A Health Ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Al Jazeera the fuel would not be enough to operate the generator an hour. “This is a mockery towards the patients and children,” Al-Qidra said.

Key events

Harriet Sherwood

Harriet Sherwood

Her vibrant paintings of Jerusalem’s holy sites and Palestinian women wearing traditional embroidered dresses were a way to send a message to the “outside world”, the Palestinian artist Heba Zagout said in a video about her work posted online in late September.

Two weeks later, the 39-year-old was killed with two of her children, Adam and Mahmoud, in an Israeli air strike. Her husband and two other children survived.

Palestinian artist Heba Zagout.
Palestinian artist Heba Zagout. Photograph: Palestinian artists/YouTube

Zagout is one of an unknown number of artists, writers and musicians – part of Gaza’s surprisingly once thriving arts scene – among more than 11,000 deaths in the coastal strip since 7 October.

Zagout, who studied fine art at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa university, painted scenes of Jerusalem’s Old City, Al-Aqsa mosque – the third holiest site in Islam – and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, precious to Christians as the site of Jesus’s birth.

She also painted images of women, some holding a dove or a key or an oud, symbolising peace, the return to home and ancient culture, respectively.

Here is our full report on the latest US strikes in Syria:

The United States carried out strikes against two Iran-linked sites in Syria on Sunday in response to attacks on American forces, the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, said.

It is the third time in less than three weeks that the US military has targeted locations in Syria it said were tied to Iran, which supports armed groups that Washington blames for a spike in attacks on its forces in the Middle East.

“US military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria,” Austin said in a statement.

“The strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Albu Kamal and Mayadeen, respectively.

“The president has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”

The US targeted a Tehran-linked weapons storage site in Syria on Wednesday, and also hit two Syrian facilities on 26 October that it said were used by Iran and affiliated organisations.

It was Washington’s assessment that none of the previous strikes resulted in casualties.

The US says the strikes are aimed at deterring attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria. The US says there have been more than 45 attacks on its troops in the region since 17 October, wounding dozens of US personnel.

More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Paris, marched peacefully on Sunday to protest against rising antisemitism.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, representatives of several parties on the left, conservatives and centrists of President Emmanuel Macron’s party as well as far-right leader Marine Le Pen attended Sunday’s march in the French capital amid tight security.

Macron did not attend, but expressed his support for the protest and called on citizens to rise up against “the unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism.”

The interior ministry said at least 182,000 people marched in several in French cities in response to the call launched by the leaders of the parliament’s upper and lower houses. No major incident has been reported, it said.

Demostrators march against antiSemitism in Paris.
Demostrators march against antiSemitism in Paris. Photograph: Antoine Gyori/Corbis/Getty Images

Indonesian president calls for ceasefire ahead of meeting with Biden

The president of Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, called for a ceasefire ahead of meeting US President Joe Biden in Washington on Monday.

“A ceasefire must be implemented soon, we also must accelerate and increase the amount of humanitarian aid, and we must begin peace negotiations,” President Joko Widodo said in a video recorded after he took part in an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Riyadh.

He said the world seemed “helpless” in the face of the suffering of the Palestinians. The extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit also urged the International Criminal Court to investigate “war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing” in the Palestinian territories.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photograph: SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/AFP/Getty Images

Three nurses killed at al-Shifa, says UN

In case you missed this earlier: the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory says that three of al-Shifa’s nurses have been killed

“Bombardments and armed clashes around the Shifa hospital in Gaza city intensified since the afternoon of 11 November. Critical infrastructure, including the oxygen station, water tanks and a well, the cardiovascular facility, and the maternity ward, was damaged, and three nurses killed,” the UN office reports in its most recent daily update.

Gaza death toll has not been updated since Friday

Muhammed Zaqout, director of hospitals in Gaza, said on Sunday that the Health Ministry has been unable to update the death toll since Friday as medics are unable to reach areas hit by Israeli bombardment.

UNOCHA confirmed this in its update on Sunday, writing, “On 12 November, for the second consecutive day, following the collapse of services and communications at hospitals in the north, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza did not update casualty figures.

US strikes two locations in eastern Syria

The US military conducted airstrikes on two locations in eastern Syria involving Iranian-backed groups, hitting a training location and a weapons facility, according to the Pentagon and US officials. It marks the third time in a bit more than two weeks that the US has retaliated against the militants for what has been a growing number of attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq and Syria.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a news conference in Riga, Latvia on 10 August 2022.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes targeted sites near Abukama and Mayadin and were used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as Iran-backed militias.

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of US personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” Austin said.

A US official said one site also included weapons storage. The official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss details of a military operation.

Al-Shifa hospital ‘no longer functioning’, says WHO

Health officials and people trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital rejected Israel’s claims that it was helping babies and others evacuate Sunday, the Associated Press reports, saying fighting continued just outside the facility where incubators lay idle with no electricity and critical supplies were running out.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the X social media platform that Shifa has been without water three days and “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.” Several humanitarian groups told The Associated Press they weren’t able to reach the hospital Sunday.

The last generator ran out of fuel Saturday, leading to the deaths of three premature babies and four other patients, according to the Health Ministry.

It said another 36 babies are at risk of dying, the WHO said.

Newborns are placed in bed after being taken off incubators in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital.
Newborns are placed in bed after being taken off incubators in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital. Photograph: Obtained By Reuters/Reuters

Israel’s military asserted it placed 300 liters (79 gallons) of fuel near Shifa overnight for an emergency generator powering incubators for premature babies and coordinated the delivery with hospital officials.

A Health Ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Al Jazeera the fuel would not be enough to operate the generator an hour. “This is a mockery towards the patients and children,” Al-Qidra said.

Opening summary

This is the Guardian’s live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, with me, Helen Sullivan.

Our top story this morning: Health officials and people trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital rejected Israel’s claims that it was helping babies and others evacuate Sunday, the Associated Press reports, saying fighting continued just outside the facility where incubators lay idle with no electricity and critical supplies were running out.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on the X social media platform that Shifa has been without water three days and “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.” Several humanitarian groups told The Associated Press they weren’t able to reach the hospital Sunday.

Meanwhile the US military conducted airstrikes on two locations in eastern Syria involving Iranian-backed groups, hitting a training location and a weapons facility, according to the Pentagon and US officials. It marks the third time in a bit more than two weeks that the US has retaliated against the militants for what has been a growing number of attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq and Syria.

Here are the other key recent developments:

  • The World Health Organization said al-Shifa hispital in Gaza “is not functioning as a hospital any more.” WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “The world cannot stand silent while hospitals, which should be safe havens, are transformed into scenes of death, devastation, and despair.”

  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society announced Sunday that the al-Quds hospital in the Gaza Strip was “out of service and no longer operational”. It states that “the cessation of services is due to the depletion of available fuel and power outage”. The health authority in Gaza has said it is unable to issue updated casualty statistics in the Gaza Strip “due to the targeting of hospitals”.

  • Hamas on Sunday said it was suspending hostage negotiations because of Israel’s handling of the al-Shifa hospital, a Palestinian official briefed on the hostage talks has told Reuters. Israel’s three major TV news channels, without citing named sources, had reported there was some progress toward a deal, which would involve 50 to 100 women, children and elderly being released in stages during a three- to five-day pause in fighting.

  • Thirty-six babies are at risk of dying at al-Shifa hospital after fuel ran out on Saturday. Israel military spokesperson Lt Col Richard Hecht said plans to try to evacuate babies from the al-Shifa hospital were still being developed. On Saturday Israeli military spokesperson Rear Adm Daniel Hagari said “We will provide the assistance needed” to remove the babies from the hospital.

  • Eighteen Israelis have been injured, one critically, after the Iranian backed Hezbollah militia fired anti-tank missiles from southern Lebanon in a further sign that the skirmishes along the border are steadily escalating.

  • The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah party said its armed wing had used new types of weapons and struck new targets in Israel, and pledged that the front against its sworn enemy would remain active. In a televised address, only his second speech since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah had shown “a quantitative improvement in the number of operations, the size and the number of targets, as well as an increase in the type of weapons”.

  • Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant warned Hezbollah not to escalate fighting along the boundary. “Hezbollah is dragging Lebanon into a war that might happen,” Gallant told troops in a video aired by Israeli television channels.

  • The US military conducted airstrikes on two locations in eastern Syria it said were linked to Iranian-backed groups, hitting a training location and a weapons facility. It marks the third time in just over two weeks that the US has retaliated against the militants for what has been a growing number of attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq and Syria.

  • Brett McGurk, Biden’s senior Middle East adviser, will visit Israel on Tuesday and meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with further visits planned in Brussels, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar, a US official told Reuters.

  • The regional directors of Unicef, the UN Population Fund and the World Health Organization have called for “immediate action to halt attacks on healthcare in Gaza”. They added: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians are unacceptable and are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and conventions … The right to seek medical assistance, especially in times of crisis, should never be denied.”

  • US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the US does not believe Israel intends to re-occupy Gaza after its ongoing war with Hamas. “This is not our understanding of the Israel government’s position,” said Sullivan, his words in apparent contrast to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who told separately CNN, “The first thing we … will do … [is] destroy Hamas. The second thing we have to understand is that there has to be an overriding and overreaching Israeli military envelope.”

  • Egyptian security sources told Reuters that on Sunday at least seven injured Palestinians arrived on Egyptian soil through the Rafah border crossing, and that 32 Egyptians crossed over, alongside 80 foreign nationals and dependents. Russians and Poles were among those said to have crossed. Egyptian security sources also told the news agency that at least 80 aid trucks had moved from Egypt into Gaza by Sunday afternoon.

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