A look at the top developments from Israel’s war on Gaza:
- Palestinian officials said on Friday that Israel launched air strikes on or near at least three hospitals, reported Reuters. “The Israeli occupation launched simultaneous strikes on a number of hospitals during the past hours,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra told Al Jazeera. The courtyard of Al Shifa, the biggest hospital in Gaza City, was targeted in an air strike. Israel said that Hamas has command centres and tunnels beneath the Al Shifa hospital. Al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital and Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital were also targeted.
- Israel has not agreed to ceasefires but will allow four-hour localised pauses in its armed operations in Gaza to let in humanitarian aid, the country’s military said on Thursday, reported Reuters. This comes as the Israeli military encircled Gaza city to crack down on Palestinian militant group Hamas. The Israeli military also said that it would allow civilians safe passage for three hours each day.
- The United States National Security Spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday that there will be two humanitarian corridors allowing Palestinians to flee to southern Gaza. “The first such corridor, open between four and five hours every day for the past few days, has already enabled many thousands of people to reach safer areas in the south, away from the main area of ground operations,” Kirby told reporters.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that his country does not seek to conquer, occupy or govern Gaza after the war, but a credible force would be needed in the Palestinian territory to prevent the emergence of militant threats. This comes after Netanyahu had said on Monday that Israel may manage Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period”. In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Netanyahu also said that though a civilian government would be needed in Gaza, Israel will make sure that Hamas does not attack his country again.
- The Palestinian toll since October 7 has reached 10,812, including 4,412 children. Besides Gaza, the Israeli military has killed at least 182 Palestinians in the West Bank region since October 7, reported Al Jazeera. “Since October 7, we have seen a dramatic increase in violence from Israeli forces in Jenin [in West Bank],” Doctors Without Borders said in a social media post on Friday. “Since then, our teams have treated over 30 patients with gunshot and blast wounds.”
- Israeli media watchdog HonestReporting suggested on Wednesday that Palestinian journalists, who took pictures of the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel, may have been part of the plan. However, Gil Hoffman, the executive director of HonestReporting, said on Thursday that there was no evidence to back up the suggestion, the Associated Press reported. Hoffman also said that he was satisfied with explanations from several Palestinian journalists who said that they had not been tipped off about the attack.
- India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with their United States counterparts Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin in New Delhi on Friday. Among other things, they are expected to discuss Israel’s war in Gaza. Jaishankar said that the situation in West Asia is a big concern and reiterated India’s position that supports direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent and viable state of Palestine within secure and recognised borders, side-by-side at peace with Israel, the Associated Press reported.