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  • November 22, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Tulkarm refugee camp, killing 6 Palestinians and injuring 3 in a drone strike, uprooted streets, and put 2 hospitals under siege. Israeli forces also shot...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Tulkarm refugee camp, killing 6 Palestinians and injuring 3 in a drone strike, uprooted streets, and put 2 hospitals under siege. Israeli forces also shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a child, during raids in ‘Azzun and Burin. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian in Beitunia. Israeli forces also notified a Palestinian landowner that it will seize 2.5 dunams (.62 acres) of his land in Beit Dajan to construct a settler road. Meanwhile, Israeli forces demolished 6 residential structures and 1 agricultural structure in Shaab al-Butum in the Masafer Yatta area, displacing 20 people. 38 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Qalqilya, and Tubas. In Gaza, Israeli forces attacked Khan Yunis, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, and the Indonesian and Kamal Adwan hospitals, killing at least 80 people. The number of fatalities was likely much higher given the lack of communication with hospitals and civil defense members in northern Gaza. 3 premature babies died at the Kamal Adwan Hospital due to the incubators failing as a result of a lack of fuel. The administration at the Indonesian Hospital said it had been ordered by Israel to evacuate the hospital. 14 ambulances arrived at al-Shifa Hospital to start evacuating the 250 remaining patients. The Red Crescent said 3 paramedics and a companion of a wounded Palestinian were detained by Israeli forces, with 1 of the paramedics being arrested, and that Israel obstructed the evacuation efforts. 190 patients were evacuated from the hospital over a 20-hour period. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed. Rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel; no injuries were reported. In Lebanon, Israeli airstrikes killed 5 people in Beit Yahoun, including the son of Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad. In Syria, Israeli forces fired 2 missiles at Damascus, causing damage. In the Red Sea, Israel said it intercepted a cruise missile fired from Yemen. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 11/22; AJ, HA, UNOCHA 11/23; HA 11/24)

The Gaza Media Office reported that 14,532 Palestinian have been killed, including 6,000 children and 4,000 women, and around 35,000 have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 217 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 53 children. More than 2,885 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. 75 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.7 million Palestinians, more than 70% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israel blockade. As of 11/18, at least 45,000 housing units had been destroyed and 233,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 111 Palestinians were buried in a mass grave in Khan Yunis. The bodies were initially seized by Israel at al-Shifa Hospital and in Beit Hanun and handed over to Palestinian authorities prior to arriving in Khan Yunis in a shipping container. About 250 people fled northern Gaza to the south. Around 18,000 gallons of fuel and 80 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing. 433 foreign nationals and 17 wounded people were evacuated to Egypt. (AJ, HA, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 11/22; NYT 11/23)

UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths called the humanitarian crisis in Gaza the “worst ever,” adding “I do not say that lightly. I started off in my twenties dealing with the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields.” (HA 11/22)

Israel and Hamas agreed to the terms of a 4-day ceasefire that would see 50 women and children held in Gaza released in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children being released from Israeli prisons. The start of the ceasefire would be announced within 24 hours, awaiting the Israeli High Court of Justice’s consideration of Israeli public appeals against the deal. The ceasefire could be extended for one additional day for every 10 additional captives released from Gaza. There are about 240 captives held by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel agreed to stop military movement and allow people to travel from the north of Gaza to the south on Salah al-Din road, but said it would not allow movement to the north. 300 trucks carrying aid, including fuel, would be allowed into Gaza every day. Furthermore, Hamas said Israel had agreed to stop drone flights over southern Gaza during the period of the ceasefire and not fly over northern Gaza for 6 hours a day and that Israel could not attack or arrest anyone during the 4-day period. Israel published a list of 300 Palestinian prisoners, including 123 children, that it deemed eligible for release. Most of the prisoners on the list were arrested in the past 2 years for minor offenses. Islamic Jihad said the Israeli soldiers it is holding captive will not be released until all its members are released from Israeli prisons. PA president Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the agreement and thanked Qatar and Egypt for their mediation efforts. The Israeli cabinet approved deal in the early hours of the day after a 6-hour meeting. 3 ministers from the Otzma Yehudit party voted against it while 35 ministers voted in favor. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would resume its attacks on Gaza after the ceasefire.  (HA, NYT, NYT 11/21; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, AX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 11/22)

Hamas deputy political leader Khalil al-Hayya and Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan met with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, discussing the ceasefire. It was reported that Hezbollah would enter the ceasefire if Israel did not attack Lebanon during the 4-day period. (HA 11/22)

The PA cabinet held an emergency session on the situation in Gaza and the PA’s financial situation given the Israeli decision to withhold more funds from the PA tax revenue and the PA’s refusal to accept the reduced sums. The cabinet decided to allow each ministry to find ways to reduce their expenses and indicated that civil servants will not be paid their salaries or will receive reduced salaries due to the financial crisis. President Abbas discussed the situation in Gaza and the West Bank with Finnish president Sauli Niinistö. (WAFA, WAFA 11/22)

A delegation of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries, including the PA, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and Nigeria met with UK foreign secretary David Cameron in London, discussing the situation in Gaza. (WAFA 11/22)

Mossad director David Barnea arrived in Doha to discuss the final details of the prisoner exchange with Qatari officials. (AX, HA 11/22)

Israel claimed to have found a 525-foot-long tunnels underneath al-Shifa Hospital, saying it was used by Hamas. Videos of the tunnels released by Israel showed the tunnels were completely empty, aside from an air-conditioning unit. Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week that Israel constructed tunnels under al-Shifa in the 1980s. Prime Minister Netanyahu said he had instructed the Mossad to attack Hamas leaders outside of the occupied territories. (AJ, NYT 11/22; HA 11/23)

U.S. president Joe Biden released a statement welcoming the temporary ceasefire, thanking the leaders of Qatar and Egypt. Biden told President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that the U.S. opposes forced deportation of Palestinians in Gaza to Egypt and the redrawing of the Gaza borders. Biden also spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu, emphasizing the “importance of maintaining calm along the Lebanese border as well as in the West Bank,” according to the U.S. readout of their conversation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. It was reported that the U.S. was using the ceasefire to push Israel to set up safe areas in Gaza and allow more aid and fuel into Gaza. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU 11/22)

Politico reported that the Biden administration was worried that an unintended consequence of the ceasefire would be journalists being able to “illuminate the devastation” in Gaza since they would have more access. (AJ 11/22)

Palestinians who met Pope Francis at the Vatican said he described the situation in Gaza as genocide. A Vatican spokesperson later said that he was not aware that the pope used the word. Pope Francis also met with Israeli relatives of people held captive in Gaza by Hamas. (AJ, HA, WAFA 11/22)

The Yemeni naval commander spoke to the crew members of the cargo ship Galaxy Leader the navy had captured on 11/19, assuring them that they would be treated as guests. (HA 11/22)