Fighting raged on Monday, November 20 in Gaza, more than six weeks after an unprecedented Hamas attack sparked an air and ground offensive by Israel, which has vowed to destroy the Palestinian militants.
In Gaza, more than 13,300 people, at least 5,600 of them children, have been killed in the war, officials in the territory said.
About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Israel during the October 7 attack, and around 240 were taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
Babies Arrive in Egypt
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said that 29 premature babies evacuated from Gaza’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, had been taken to safety in Egypt through the Rafah crossing, revising down by one a number given by Egyptian media.
“All babies are fighting serious infections and continue needing health care,” the WHO said, while the Israeli army said that it had “helped facilitate” the transfer.
The infants were transferred south on Sunday from Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, which the WHO called a “death zone” as Israel seeks to uncover what it says is a Hamas base under the facility.
Hamas and medical staff have denied that a command center is under the hospital.
Deadly Hospital Strike
The Gaza Health Ministry said on Monday that an Israeli strike on a hospital in the north of the territory killed 12 people, including patients and their companions.
According to Ministry Spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, they “were killed and dozens wounded as a result of the Israeli occupation targeting the Indonesian Hospital.”
Around 700 people remained at the hospital where they were being “besieged” by Israeli forces, Qudra said.
Field Hospital Sent In
Palestinian officials said that a field hospital sent by Jordan entered Gaza on Monday, the first since the war erupted.
There are around 30,000 wounded people across Gaza, according to Hamas, with most hospitals no longer functioning.
Mohammed Zaqout, Director-General of Gaza hospitals, said that the field facility will be established in Khan Yunis, in the south, “to receive the wounded and the sick.”
The field hospital has a 41-bed capacity, the Jordanian royal palace stated, and Aed Yaghi, head of medical aid in Gaza, said that it was accompanied by 170 personnel and 40 trucks of medical aid.
Hostage Talks Progress
US President Joe Biden stated on Monday that he believes a deal to free hostages in Gaza is close, as hopes grew for a Qatari-mediated accord to release some captives in exchange for a pause in fighting.
“I believe so,” Biden said, before holding up crossed fingers, when asked at a White House ceremony whether a deal was near.
The Israeli Broadcasting Authority announced that Israel had given the green light for a deal to be reached, but that it was still awaiting a response from Hamas.
White House spokesman John Kirby says that Washington is “hopeful” a deal can be reached, but nothing is finalized.
“But there’s still work to be done and nothing is done until it’s all done, so we’re going to keep working on this,” Kirby told reporters.
Khalil Wakim, with AFP