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Israel plans to increase strikes on Gaza; UN agencies call for ceasefire
Israel’s military spokesman said on Saturday evening that Israel plans to step up its attacks on the Gaza Strip as preparation for the next stage of its war on Hamas. His statement comes after a joint statement from several UN agencies, which called for a ceasefire and humanitarian access throughout the besieged Palestinian territory. Earlier on Saturday, a mass pro-Palestine protest took place in London, with nearly 100,000 people calling for “an end of the war on Gaza”. Read our blog to see how the day’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
Issued on: 21/10/2023 – 07:28Modified: 21/10/2023 – 11:45
The latest news in brief:
- Israel’s military spokesman said Israel plans to step up its attacks on the Gaza Strip starting Saturday as preparation for the next stage of its war on Hamas.
- Several UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, the World Food Program and others, called for a ceasefire and humanitarian access throughout the besieged Palestinian territory, saying in a joint statement that more than 1.6 million people were in critical need of humanitarian aid.
- A 20-truck humanitarian aid convoy entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on Saturday, the 15th day of the war between Israel and Hamas.
- Arab leaders gathered at a Cairo peace summit condemned Israeli bombardment of Gaza as Europeans said civilians should be shielded, but with Israel and senior US officials absent there was no agreement on containing the violence.
- About 100,000 people joined a pro-Palestinian demonstration in central London, marching through the British capital to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
This blog is no longer being updated. For more coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, please click here.
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Key developments from Friday, October 20:
Israel confirmed on Friday that Hamas had released two Americans among more than 210 hostages abducted earlier this month. No details were given on their condition, but US President Joe Biden quickly said he was “overjoyed” at the news.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the release of the two hostages, highlighting Qatar’s role and saying he hoped similar initiatives would happen in the coming days, including for French nationals.
The death toll in Gaza rose to 4,137 since the Israeli bombardment began, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
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- Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Palestinian Territories
- Gaza Strip
- Israel-Hamas war