BLOG – Israel at war; Hamas hostages: Day 56
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BLOG – Israel at war; Hamas hostages: Day 56

Israel-Hamas ceasefire extended for 24 hours; at least 8 hostages expected to be released on Thursday

Hostages released since the truce: Eitan Yahalomi with his mother and Emily Hand with her father
Hostages released since the truce: Eitan Yahalomi with his mother and Emily Hand with her father

2 Israeli hostages released from Gaza

Two Israeli women were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza on Thursday afternoon, crossing the border in to Israel where they will be brought to hospital for medical examination.

Blinken: ‘Imperative’ to protect Gaza civilians

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met Benjamin Netanyahu today, emphasised the need to protect civilians in southern Gaza, where many have fled. Blinken “stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there.”

Israel summons Spanish ambassador following PM’s Gaza remarks

The Foreign Ministry was asked by Prime Minister Netanyahu to summon Spain’s ambassador to Israel after the country’s Prime Minister said he has “Serious doubts Israel is complying with international humanitarian law. What we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable.”

Ben-Gvir calls on government to end ceasefire with Hamas following Jerusalem terror

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called on the government to end its ceasefire agreement with Hamas following a deadly terror attack committed by two Hamas members in Jerusalem on Thursday morning, leaving three dead and multiple wounded.

“We must end the deal with the devil and immediately intensify our attacks in order to achieve the supreme goal of the war: the complete destruction of Hamas,” Ben-Gvir tweeted.

2 soldiers wounded in West Bank car ramming attack

“A short while ago, a ramming attack was carried out at an IDF checkpoint adjacent to Moshav Beka’ot, in the Jordan Valley area. IDF soldiers at the scene shot and neutralized the assailant. Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured in the attack. The soldiers were evacuated to a hospital to receive medical treatment. Their families have been notified. The forces are searching the area for additional suspects,” IDF said.

 

Hamas claims it will return 3 dead bodies of hostages to Israel

Hamas official Basem Naim told the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed media that the terror group will release three bodies of hostages tonight as part of the ceasefire agreement with Israel.

Netanyahu: Israel will continue to ‘expand distribution of weapons to civilians’

Israel will continue to “expand the distribution of weapons to civilians,” Netanyahu said, adding that it’s a measure that has “proven itself time and time again in the war against murderous terrorism.”

Blinken meets Herzog in Israel: ‘Hope ceasefire will continue’

“We have seen hostages come home and be reunited with their families – and this should continue today. It also made it possible to increase humanitarian aid that reaches innocent citizens in Gaza who desperately need it. The process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it will continue,” U.S. Secretary of State told President Herzog on Thursday.

MP: Grey squirrels are Hamas of squirrel world

Grey squirrels have been labelled the “Hamas of the squirrel world” by a Member of Parliament.

The DUP’s Jim Shannon compared the animal to the Palestinian militant group, designated a proscribed terror group in the UK, as MPs considered ways to protect red squirrels.

Hamas was responsible for a deadly attack on Israel on October 7.

Mr Shannon, speaking during the debate on the control of the grey squirrel population, said: “The Ards Red Squirrel Group is full of fantastic volunteers who work tirelessly to protect the future of the red squirrel in my constituency of Strangford, particularly at Mount Stewart.

“The organisation is led by the National Trust Mount Stewart ranger team, and they are in constant contact with local landowners to monitor red squirrels and eradicate any greys that venture in.

“Indeed, the issue is the very presence of grey squirrels – grey squirrels are the Hamas of the squirrel world.”

Home Secretary pleased with the “more robust” police response to protests

Home Secretary James Cleverly said he was pleased with the “more robust” police response to protests.

Tory former minister Sir Desmond Swayne asked Mr Cleverly if he is doing enough to reassure Jewish people that the UK is safe.

Mr Cleverly replied in the Commons: “I have made it very, very clear to the police forces of the UK that when a minority group in this country tells us they are living in fear that we must take action.

“I’m pleased that the policing response this weekend was more robust than in previous weekends. The police are clearly listening to the conversations we are having with them and I commend them for doing so.”

Mr Cleverly said he will have a meeting with the chief rabbi to “make it absolutely clear” that the Jewish community in the UK has the “right to feel safe and this Government will take action to ensure they are safe”.

Ben Gvir tells Netanyahu to scrap truce deal

Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is pushing for Israel to scrap its truce deal with Hamas, after the IDF says that the terror group breached the agreement by targeting IDF forces in the Strip with explosives.

Ben Gvir urged Netanyahu not to “contain” the incident, but to unleash an Israeli response and “order the IDF to resume forcefully crushing Hamas.” “We cannot wait for them to kill our fighters,” wrote Ben Gvir, a member of the security cabinet.

Hamas attacks injure several Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza

“Over the last hour, three explosive devices were detonated adjacent to IDF troops in two different locations in the northern Gaza Strip, violating the framework of the operational pause. In one of the locations, terrorists also opened fire at the troops, who responded with fire. A number of soldiers were lightly injured during the incidents. In both incidents, the troops were located in positions as per the framework of the operational pause,” IDF said in a statement.

Hamas accused Israel of “violating” the ceasefire, causing the terror organisation to attack IDF.

Aunt of 12-year-old hostage: ‘He went through horrors’

The aunt of newly released hostage from Gaza, 12-year-old Eitan Yahalomi, said the boy went “went through horrors” while in Hamas’ captivity in Gaza.

“Every time a child cried, they threatened him with a rifle to keep quiet. When he arrived in Gaza, all the Gazans, they all beat him. We are talking about a 12-year-old boy!” Deborah Cohen told BFMTV.

“The Hamas terrorists forced him to watch films of the horrors, the kind that no one wants to see, they forced him to watch them,” she added.

Mossad chief meeting CIA chief in Qatar

Mossad chief David Barnea is meeting with his American counterpart, CIA director Bill Burns, in Qatar as negotiations over extension of ceasefire with Hamas continues, Israeli media report.

Report: U.S. tells Israel to avoid further displacement of Palestinians in Gaza

“You cannot have the sort of scale of displacement that took place in the north, replicated in the south. It will be beyond disruptive, it will be beyond the capacity of any humanitarian support network. It can’t happen.” a senior U.S. officials

“We have reinforced this in very clear language with the government of Israel – very important that the conduct of the Israeli campaign when it moves to the south must be done in a way that is to a maximum extent not designed to produce significant further displacement of persons,” the official added.

UN chief: Palestinians experiencing ‘one of the darkest chapters’ in their history

The Palestinians are experiencing “one of the darkest chapters” in their history, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Guterres also called for a “long-term humanitarian ceasefire, unrestricted access for lifesaving aid, the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians and an end to violations of international humanitarian law.”

Tommy Robinson charged with criminal offence after arrest at antisemitism march

Far-right figure Tommy Robinson has been charged with a criminal offence after allegedly refusing to leave a march against antisemitism at the weekend.

The Metropolitan Police said that the 40-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, is accused of failing to comply with a direction to leave an area and will appear in court on January 22.

Robinson was arrested near the Royal Courts of Justice in London, from where the demonstration began on Sunday, after organisers said he would not be welcome at the event.

Police said on Monday: “A man has now been charged in connection with this incident.

“Stephen Lennon, of Bedfordshire, has been charged with failing to comply with a section 35 direction excluding a person from an area.

“He has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 22.”

Two-day extension to humanitarian pause in Gaza is not enough, charities say

A two-day extension to the humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip is insufficient to meet the needs of people there, charities have said as they called for an immediate ceasefire.

The Qatari government announced on Monday that Israel and Hamas had agreed to “extend the humanitarian pause” for two more days.

Further releases of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails are expected as the deal is structured to allow more exchanges for every day the pause holds.

On Monday night, ActionAid welcomed a longer pause but warned it will not be enough to help women and girls sheltering in camps in southern Gaza.

It claimed the delivery of 187 trucks of aid in recent days “utterly fails” to meet the needs of Palestinians in the territory and amounts to less than half the amount of aid allowed in before the war.

Qatar announces 48-hour extension of Hamas-Israel ceasefire

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that a deal had been reached between Israel and Hamas to extend the ceasefire with 48 hours. As part of the deal, Hamas will release 20 hostages from Gaza and Israel will release 60 Palestinian prisoners.

Report: Hamas seeks to separate children from mothers in hostage deal, causing delay

Hamas is attempting to separate Israeli children and mothers held hostage in Gaza in violation of the ceasefire deal with Israel, according to a CNN report.

The report, citing Israeli officials, says the violation is what’s causing the delay of 11 hostages expected to be released on Monday.

Netanyahu: Hostage negotiations with Hamas ‘continuing’

“Negotiations on the list of those slated to be released under the framework of the hostages release outline are continuing. We are aware of the tension in the families and will release additional information when possible. We request to refrain from disseminating rumours and unreliable information,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

84-year-old released Israeli hostage still in critical condition

84-year-old Elma Avraham, who was released on Sunday after 51 days of captivity in Gaza, remains in critical condition, according to the hospital director.

Meanwhile, her daughter, Tali Amano lashed out at the Red Cross for medically neglecting her: “My mother didn’t deserve to return like this. My mother was medically neglected. The Red Cross refused to bring her her medications. She arrived with a heart rate of 40 bpm and a body temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, on the verge of losing consciousness and injured all over. She was abandoned twice — once on October 7, and a second time by all the organisations that should have saved her. I hope they haven’t managed to defeat her.”

President Isaac Herzog and German President visit Kibbutz Be’eri

“I’m proud and let me express my gratitude that we were invited by the President and his wife to Israel, and we are moved that he brought us here to Be’eri. In Germany we were able to listen to the news on 7 October. We were watching the TV, we saw the pictures – and it was easy to imagine what has happened here. But to be here, right in this place, is different. You know the ruins behind us, they are the silent witness of what had happened here. And it’s not easy to find the words to describe what we heard from those who have the knowledge and who were witnessing the deeds, the murders, the killings, the rapes by Hamas here on 7 October,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

“We are here in the Kibbutz and the Kibbutz movement is in a certain way linked to Europe and especially to Germany. This Kibbutz in Be’eri was founded by Jews from Germany, from Hungary, and from the former Czechoslovakia – and so therefore, the Kibbutzim are part of the history and they’re representing the soul of Israel. And being here means that we are able to witness how much this soul of Israel was touched and destroyed by the attack of Hamas on Israeli people and the Kibbutz of Be’eri and the neighbouring Kibbutzim close by.”

“I think what we have to do is to think about the next months, next years, when people are returning to the Kibbutz of Be’eri, and I think they need a sort of anchor. And therefore, the President and I we were deciding to take the patronage for the rebuilding of the art gallery, and the convening house in which the people in peaceful times were gathering every day. So therefore, I’m very grateful that the State Secretary of our Ministry for Construction is with us and that the Ministry is cooperating with their counterparts here in Israel. I’m grateful with regard to the German Parliament which has announced in the next year to give us 7 million Euros for the rebuilding of the art gallery and the convening centre and in addition to that, I hope that we create conditions that young people, craftsmen from Germany and from Israel, are meeting here to cooperate very closely in this rebuilding process.”

Two arrests at march against antisemitism – neither involved Jewish participants

There were two arrests during Sunday’s march against antisemitism, the Metropolitan Police said.

The force said in a statement: “The March Against Antisemitism has concluded.

“As the crowds left along Whitehall a man was heard to make antisemitic comments. He was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

“In total there were two arrests during today’s operation.”

The arrests were of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson and a man who was yelling antisemitic abuse at the crowd.

Tommy Robinson ‘pepper-sprayed by police’

English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson was pepper-sprayed by police as they arrested him at an antisemitism march in London.

Robinson, 40, was detained by dozens of officers near the Royal Courts of Justice, from where the demonstration began on Sunday, after march organisers said he would not be welcome.

Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who was still in police custody on Sunday evening, uploaded a video on social media of his partially closed eyes after officers used the synthetic pepper spray.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The arrested man resisted as officers attempted to put him in handcuffs. He was warned repeatedly before PAVA spray was used.

“Following its use, officers gained control of him and handcuffs were applied.”

NATO calls for four-day pause to be extended

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for more aid and the release of further hostages. “I call for an extension of the pause. This would allow for much-needed relief to the people of Gaza and the release of more hostages.”

Netanyahu shows Elon Musk Israeli kibbutz Kfar Aza

(Times of Israel) Benjamin Netanyahu has accompanied Elon Musk on a tour of an Israeli kibbutz ravaged by Hamas.

The tour of Kfar Aza shows Musk the horrors of the Hamas attack, which saw terrorists storm the community and 20 or so others, butchering and burning entire families and kidnapping scores of civilians to Gaza.

Musk hears briefings from a local council leader and from a representative of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit about the massacres in the kibbutz.

Irish minister: Decision to summon the Irish ambassador an ‘overreaction’

Ireland’s further education minister, Simon Harris, has said Israel’s decision to summon the Irish ambassador for a reprimand over comments made by the country’s premier was “a bit of an overreaction”.

FA’s decision not to light Wembley arch branded ‘antisemitic’ by Tory MP

The Football Association’s decision not to light the Wembley arch in honour of those who died in the Hamas attacks on Israel has been branded “antisemitic” by a Conservative former minister.

Sir Michael Ellis said the FA “seem to regret every death and injustice, apart from the death of Jews”.

Last month, the FA faced criticism when it chose not to light the arch in the colours of the Israeli flag after the attacks on its citizens by Hamas militants on October 7.

Following this, chief executive Mark Bullingham said his organisation would review its approach to lighting the arch.

The PA news agency understands it is now unlikely to be lit in future except for matters directly related to Wembley’s purpose as a sport and entertainment venue.

Hamas makes ‘additional demands’ over hostage exchange

BBC reports an Israeli source saying Hamas has made ‘additional demands’
to the delayed hostage deal… “although it’s not clear what those demands are.”

Hamas originally said the deal was supposed to go into effect this morning at 10, but late last night Israel noted that it was not going to begin until at least tomorrow. Qatar has promised an update on the situation imminently.

Cameron: ‘I’ve seen and heard things I will never forget’

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said he had “heard and seen things I will never forget” on his visit to Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the communities targeted by Hamas on October 7.

Lord Cameron visited the settlement with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen.

“I wanted to come here to see it for myself; I have heard and seen things I will never forget,” Lord Cameron said.

“Today is also a day where we hope to see progress on the humanitarian pause.

“This is a crucial opportunity to get hostages out and aid in to Gaza, to help Palestinian civilians who are facing a growing humanitarian crisis.”

Hezbollah chief meets with Iranian FM in Beirut

“If this ceasefire starts tomorrow, if it does not continue… the conditions in the region will not remain the same as before the ceasefire and the scope of the war will expand,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

David Cameron visits Kibbutz Be’eri

Israeli army arrests al-Shifa Hospital director

The IDF arrested the director of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital on Wednesday and brought him for interrogation, the hospital and the IDF confirmed.

His arrest follows IDF revelations of more evidence of a vast Hamas tunnel network under the hospital.

Gaza hostages expected to be released on Friday following last minute delay

The deal that would see 50 women and children released from Hamas captivity in return for a four-day ceasefire has been delayed until Friday, Israel said.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it would make an announcement in the coming hours about the final time set for the deal to be implemented.

“There is no cause for concern. The delay does not stem from a breakdown in talks, but rather from the need to resolve administrative matters, which are being addressed,” an Israeli source told Haaretz.

The U.S. also said the deal is on track: “We are hopeful that implementation will begin on Friday morning,” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

Israeli army strikes 300 Hamas targets in Gaza in past 24 hours

“IDF troops are striking terror targets in the area of Jabalya. With the direction of IDF troops, an IDF UAV targeted armed terrorists who approached IDF troops and struck an observation post that posed a threat to IDF troops using precise munitions. Furthermore, an IDF UAV and tanks eliminated a number of terrorist cells in the northern Gaza Strip, with the direction of IDF ground troops,” the IDF said.

“IDF soldiers also located a tunnel shaft inside a mosque. Additionally, in an agricultural area in Beit Hanoun, IDF troops located and struck a terror tunnel shaft. IDF soldiers also located numerous weapons and a terror tunnel shaft inside a civilian residence in the area. In total, during IDF activities in the Gaza Strip over the last day, aerial strikes were carried out on over 300 Hamas terror targets, including military command centres, underground terror tunnels, weapon storage facilities, weapon manufacturing sites, and anti-tank missile launch posts,” it added.

Report: Mossad chief arrives in Qatar to finalise hostage deal

Mossad Chief David Barnea arrived in Qatar on Wednesday to finalise the deal with Hamas and to receive the final list of hostages due to be released, according to Israeli media.

IDF says it destroyed 400 Hamas tunnels in Gaza

“Until now, IDF soldiers have exposed and destroyed approximately 400 terror tunnel shafts. The Yahalom special forces unit of the Combat Engineering Corps has played a significant role in uncovering and destroying these shafts using various methods. Hamas has embedded its network of terrorist tunnels below population centers across the Gaza Strip. Many of the shafts leading to its tunnel network are located within civilian hospitals, schools and homes,” the IDF said.

Sunak: We are clear about strengthening the Palestinian Authority

Rishi Sunak at PMQs: “Our position on the Middle East peace process more broadly is clear. We do support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.

“I have spoken to (Palestinian) President (Mahmoud) Abbas and met with him to discuss this issue and we are clear about strengthening the Palestinian Authority and reinvigorating efforts to find a two-state solution, and our longstanding position is that we would recognise the state of Palestine when it best serves the interests of peace.”

Sunak welcomes humanitarian pause

Rishi Sunak welcomed the humanitarian paused agreed in the Israel-Hamas conflict as a “crucial step towards ending the nightmare” for the families of those taken hostage.

The Prime Minister told the Commons: “We welcome the agreement reached overnight for a humanitarian pause in Gaza.

“This is something that we have consistently pushed for and is a crucial steps towards ending the nightmare for families of those taken hostage in Hamas’s terror attack and also addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

UN: Israel-Hamas deal ‘important step in the right direction’

“This pause must be used to its fullest extent to facilitate the release of hostages and alleviate the dire needs of Palestinians in Gaza. This is an important step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said.

Truce to start at ‘8am UK time tomorrow’

Terror group Hamas says the truce will start at 10am Israel time tomorrow as sides gear up for hostage releases. Israel has listed 300 Palestinian prisoners eligible to be freed.

Israel releases list of Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged with hostages

Israel’s Justice Ministry released a list of 300 Palestinian prisoners, of whom 150 are to be released in a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas. The youngest on the list are 14 years old and the oldest is a female aged 59. Their crimes range from attempted manslaughter to throwing molotov cocktails and attacking police officers.

Cameron welcomes Israel-Hamas truce which paves way for hostage release

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the truce between Israel and Hamas was a “crucial step” towards releasing hostages and providing humanitarian relief in Gaza.

Hamas will release dozens of hostages in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

The Israeli government said the deal will see Hamas free 50 of the roughly 240 hostages held in the Gaza Strip over a four-day period.

The lull will be extended by an additional day for every 10 hostages released.

Qatar, which helped broker the agreement, said it also includes “the release of a number of Palestinian women and children detained in Israeli prisons, the number of those released will be increased in later stages of implementing the agreement”.

Lord Cameron said: “This agreement is a crucial step towards providing relief to the families of the hostages and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Rocket sirens sound in southern, northern Israel

Rocket sirens went off in Gaza border communities as well as Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel near the Lebanese border.

David Cameron: Israel-Hamas deal a ‘crucial step’

“This agreement to release some hostages held in Gaza is a crucial step. This pause in the fighting is an opportunity to ensure much greater volumes of food, fuel and other life-saving aid can reach Gaza. I urge all parties to ensure the agreement is delivered in full. We want to see all hostages released immediately and families affected by the horrors of the October 7th terror attack reunited,” Cameron said.

Israel approves hostage deal with Hamas; 50 women and children to be released

The Israeli government approved a deal with Hamas late Tuesday night which will see the release of 50 children and women held hostage in Gaza in return for a four-day ceasefire.

The deal was announced after 8 hours of marathon meetings in Israel’s war cabinet, security cabinet and government.

The deal also includes the release of some 150 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, as well as an increase in humanitarian aid and fuel to Gaza. Israel’s Justice Ministry published a list on Wednesday morning with the names of 300 Palestinian prisoners who are candidates for release.

Editor’s opinion on the Guardian’s extreme content

At the end of a week when the Guardian was forced to remove a letter written by Osama bin Laden from its website, our editor has found other questionable content on the news platform.

The late al-Qaeda chief’s epistle had been seized on to make antisemitic comments on social media about the Israel-Hamas conflict. Read Richard Ferrer’s comment piece here

UNRWA: 400 people killed in the West Bank this year

UN agency is holding a press conference in Geneva on the situation in the ground in Gaza and the West Bank. It calls for an ‘urgent ceasefire, to ‘retain what is left of our humanity’.

UNRWA insists it does not allow its aid to be diverted

UNRWA is holding a news conference on Gaza. It insists it does not allow its international aid to be diverted [by Hamas]. It also says it is running out of fuel in Gaza and claims there is a “deliberate attempt to strangle” its work.

Starmer says he wants Labour to be ‘as united as we can’ after Gaza vote split

Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted Labour to be “as united as we can” following the loss of 10 shadow ministers and parliamentary aides in a major rebellion over his stance on the war in Gaza.

Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence, was among the frontbenchers who either quit or were sacked so they could back a ceasefire in a Commons vote.

A total of 56 Labour MPs defied their party leader’s position of advocating for pauses in fighting so they could support a cessation.

But Sir Keir claimed he was more focused on the plight of people in Gaza than managing the splits within Labour.

Biden: War will continue until Hamas no longer endangers Israelis

Times of Israel: US President Joe Biden has again firmly aligned himself with Jerusalem’s position on the duration of the war against Hamas, saying Israel can go on until it achieves its goal of eliminating the Gaza-ruling terror group’s ability to endanger Israelis.

Biden said Israel’s operation in Gaza, following the shock Hamas massacres in southern Israeli communities last month, “will end when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder, abuse, and do horrific things to the Israelis.” Biden added that Israel’s military has “an obligation to use as much caution as they can in going after their targets.”

‘Ceasefire now’ protesters removed from Commons public gallery

Protesters have been removed from the House of Commons after holding up “Ceasefire now” signs during the King’s Speech debate.

A group of five or six people stood up and held aloft the messages as shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper turned to the Israel-Hamas conflict in her speech.

Doorkeepers approached the group and removed them from the public gallery.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) claimed responsibility for the protest.

XR spokeswoman Rosie Merrifield said: “Parliament must today demand that the Government calls for an immediate ceasefire and commits to back an internationally-arbitrated resolution which ensures the absolute protection of human rights for all, and lasting safety and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli people.”

Photos and videos of hostages found inside Gaza hospital

Times of Israel: The IDF tells a BBC reporter, one of the two foreign journalists first taken into Shifa hospital in Gaza, overnight Wednesday-Thursday, that among the items discovered by troops was a laptop that contained photos and videos of hostages, taken after their abduction to Gaza.

Reporter Lucy Williamson is also told, but not shown, that the laptop also contains recently released footage, shared by Israeli police, of their interrogations of Hamas terrorists arrested after the October 7 assault.

Entering an MRI room at the hospital, the BBC’s Williamson reports that the IDF says it has recovered “more than a dozen Kalashnikovs, grenades, personal protective equipment, some of it with the Hamas military brigade insignia on it — you can see some of them here, hidden under these bags of medical supplies.”

IDF to BBC: We found photos and videos of hostages on laptop in Al Shifa hospital

51 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza since ground invasion

The Israeli army announced the death of 22-year-old Shlomo Ben Nun from Modi’in on Thursday. Nun served as a deputy company commander in the 202nd Paratrooper Battalion.

Sir Mark Rowley: Age-old principle of police impartiality ‘so apposite today’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the centuries-old principle of police remaining constantly impartial and operating “in complete independence of policy” is “so apposite today”.

Referring to the 19th-century Peelian principles, he told an Institute for Government event: “The fifth one I think captures the issues of the day, to seek and preserve public favour not by pandering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws.

“It’s interesting that that could have been written down 200 years ago and be so apposite today.”

The IfG event was rescheduled after a last-minute meeting in Downing Street between Sir Mark and the Prime Minister over the response to a pro-Palestinian protest which clashed with the original date.

Yousaf ‘beyond angry’ with MPs who refused to back ceasefire in Gaza

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he is “beyond angry” with MPs who refused to back an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and warned they were “on the wrong side of history”.

SNP leader Mr Yousaf, who was recently reunited with his Palestinian in-laws after they returned to the UK from the warzone in Gaza, said the vote was a chance to “put humanity before politics”.

‘Majority of people on marches’ would have opposed protesters climbing war memorial

James Cleverly said the majority of British people – and “the vast majority of people in those marches” – would have opposed the pro-Palestinian protesters climbing on a war memorial.

The Home Secretary told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We are looking at what additional powers the police may need.

“These – and the police have said this – are deeply disrespectful actions. The war memorials recognise the sacrifice people have made for our freedom, and abusing, desecrating, behaviour like this is deeply, deeply offensive.

“I will look at what further measures need to be taken so the police can take action on this.

“I have no doubt the vast majority of the British population, and indeed, I suspect, the vast majority of people in those marches, would find that behaviour completely unacceptable and they would want us to give the police the power to take action.

“I’ll be looking at that as part of my new job.”

Israeli jet bombs Gaza home of exiled Hamas leader

Times of Israel: An Israeli fighter jet struck the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh — who lives in Qatar — in the Gaza Strip overnight.

The Israel Defense Forces says the home was “used as terror infrastructure and, among other things, as a meeting place for the senior officials of the organization.”

The military releases footage showing the airstrike.

Hamas has previously said the IDF hit two homes belonging to Haniyeh and his family, but this is the first strike confirmed by the military.

Frontbenchers who broke ranks still want to see Starmer become PM

Shadow defence secretary John Healey said Labour frontbenchers who broke ranks to call for a ceasefire in Gaza still want to see Sir Keir Starmer become prime minister.

Mr Healey told TimesRadio: “I regret losing any of our frontbenchers. I know they all wrestled with this difficult decision and I know they all have said that they 100% want Keir Starmer in Downing Street and will work together to secure a Labour government.

“This is a difficult issue that we faced last night but Keir Starmer was right, when it comes to a parliamentary vote, to be firm to require collective responsibility and discipline.

“He was not going to change his principal position for the sake of internal party management, which we’ve seen time and time again with Rishi Sunak trying to control his own Conservative MPs.”

Laws could be changed to give police more powers over protesters

Home Secretary James Cleverly suggested laws could be changed to give police powers to prevent protesters clambering over war memorials.

Pro-Palestinian protesters climbed on the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in central London after a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday evening.

Mr Cleverly, who served in the Royal Artillery, told LBC Radio: “We’re going to look at this.

“We are absolutely determined to look at this. (Veterans minister) Johnny Mercer, a former gunner officer – the Royal Artillery was my regiment as well, that’s my regimental memorial.”

The Home Secretary added: “I’m not going to let my personal feelings cloud my judgment on this but it is clearly wrong, and the police have said that they recognise it is deeply disrespectful for people to climb on war memorials.

“We have made a commitment to review the legislation around public order policing.

“If the police – and I’m going to look at this in real detail – if the police need more powers to make sure that really deeply distasteful, provocative things like that do not happen for the public good, because of course this is about making sure it doesn’t stimulate violent action or any kind of violent responses, but if we need to take action specifically to give police more powers, we are looking at doing that.”

Cleverly declined to call the pro-Palestinian protests “hate marches”

Home Secretary James Cleverly declined to call the pro-Palestinian protests “hate marches” as his predecessor Suella Braverman did.

Mr Cleverly said “not everybody involved in these marches are motivated by antisemitism” and that the Government supports lawful protest.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I’ve met with the senior leadership of the Metropolitan Police; also had a meeting with the Mayor of London, who of course is the politician with direct responsibility for the Metropolitan Police force.

“We support peaceful, lawful protest. Of course we do.

“But the simple truth of the matter is we have seen numerous examples of deeply antisemitic comments.

“Now, not everybody involved in these marches are motivated by antisemitism, but the sad truth of the matter is some of the people on these marches are.

“That is a criminal offence, and we always expect the police to take action when they see criminality.”

Israeli actor Dvir Bendak to host musical event in London to raise money for Kibbutz Be’eri

Israeli actor Dvir Bendak will host an evening to raise money for Kibbutz Be’eri, featuring Israeli music and the remarkable talents of Israeli artists.

The event is on 5 December 2023 at 8:30pm at a London location.

Click here to buy tickets. 

 

UK considering ‘air and maritime aid options’ via bases in Cyprus

The UK is considering using “air and maritime options” to get more aid into Gaza, including through its bases in Cyprus, Andrew Mitchell has said.

Updating the Commons on the Government’s response to the situation in the Middle East, the Foreign Office minister said: “We also are urging the Israeli government to increase humanitarian access including by Rafah and by opening up the Kerem Shalom crossing.

“At this point we assess that land presently offers the most viable and safe way to get humanitarian aid into Gaza in the quantities needed, but we are also considering air and maritime options, including through our bases in Cyprus.”

Mr Mitchell also told MPs more British nationals had escaped Gaza via the Rafah crossing into Egypt, but did not give exact numbers.

He said: “Since I spoke to the House last week more British nationals and their families have left, and we will continue to offer all the support we can to those British nationals still in Gaza so that they too can cross into Egypt.”

‘No good reason’ to not proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Conservative former cabinet minister Liam Fox said the Government has not provided a “good reason” for why it has not proscribed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror organisation.

Dr Fox told the Commons the “Hamas mindset” is “funded and supported by Iran”, adding: “When will the Government take further measures?

“We have asked across this House when the IRGC, for example, will be proscribed, and we’ve never been given a good reason why not. What is the answer?”

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said: “We don’t carry on a running commentary on issues like proscription. But the House and the Foreign Secretary have heard what he said.”

Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw challenged the minister over whether the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction over all parties’ conduct in Gaza.

Mr Mitchell said: “It is not for ministers to seek to state where the ICC has jurisdiction. It is for the chief prosecutor.”

Government should consider urging the UN to deploy peacekeepers to West Bank

The Government should consider urging the UN to deploy peacekeepers to prevent violence in the West Bank, a Conservative former cabinet minister suggested.

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire) drew the attention of ministers to the “unfolding tragedy taking place in the West Bank”, telling MPs there were “getting on for 200 Palestinians who have been killed by settlers and the IDF” in the region.

Mr Malthouse added: “He rightly in his statement urged Israel provide protection from them. If the state of Israel declines to do so and the killings continue, would he consider the intervention perhaps of the UN peacekeeping force to keep the peace in that part of the world?”

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell responded: “We have condemned the settler violence without qualification, and in terms of the work of the United Nations, where there are many opportunities I hope in the future, we will be neglecting none of them.”

Elsewhere in the debate, Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) appeared to suggest that humanitarian pauses alone would not address a “grave humanitarian crisis now unfolding in Gaza”, describing them as only a “first step”.

Mr Dhesi, who serves as a shadow Treasury minister, said: “The damage to water pipelines, sewage pipes, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure needs to be urgently rebuilt. That, I think, will require a much longer negotiated ceasefire from both sides and a release of all hostages.”

Powers available to police to deal with protests will be kept under review

As Rishi Sunak met Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the powers available to police to deal with protests would be kept under review to see if they need to be beefed up.

“The public rightly expect that the full force of the law is used to bear down on some of the shocking scenes of criminality we saw over the weekend, whether it was EDL protesters or those seemingly supporting Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organisation,” the spokesman said.

He added: “The Prime Minister continues to be grateful to police officers, a number of whom were injured over the weekend.

“They have an extremely difficult job to do and he was grateful to them for doing it.”

The spokesman said the Prime Minister would be speaking to Sir Mark to “get a shared understanding of how to approach these protests should there be significant protests in the future”.

“It’s important that police have the powers they need to carry out their role and we will continue to keep that under review.”

IDF announces death in captivity of Noa Marciano, soldier shown in Hamas video

Military says two troops killed, raising death toll in Gaza ground op to 46.

Police say a further four people have been charged over protests

The Metropolitan Police said a further four people have been charged over violent scenes involving far-right and pro-Palestine protesters at the weekend.

Mark Austen, 58, of Turnford, Hertfordshire, has been charged with three counts of assault of an emergency worker and section 4 of the Public Order Act and was due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Ryan Ramadan, 25, of no fixed address, was charged with possession of a knife and also appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Raheem Ahmed, 21, of Nottingham, has been charged with assault of an emergency worker and possession of a knife. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 28.

Grigore Flutar, 41, of Clapham, south London, has been charged with section 4 of the Public Order Act and racially aggravated assault. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 5.

‘Our bodies hurt from crying’ say family of Irish-Israeli girl feared kidnapped

The Irish father of an eight-year-old Israeli girl who is feared taken to Gaza has asked for a renewed focus on the Israeli hostages taken to Gaza.

Emily Hand was originally feared dead after the Hamas assault on Kibbutz Be’eri in Israel on October 7.

However, the eight-year-old’s family have been informed she may still be alive and being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, Hamas launched thousands of rockets and militants killed 1,400 Israeli civilians, as well as taking an estimated 200 other citizens hostage to Gaza.

Israel has responded with missile attacks and a blockade on the war-torn enclave, as part of an operation to target Hamas’s leaders and operations.

More than 11,000 people have been killed in the region and aid agencies have warned that low supplies of food, water and medicines are creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Thomas Hand, originally from Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, described his daughter Emily as a “fun-loving child” who loves music, dancing and singing.

“Even my dog misses her. She used to use him as a pillow, stick her head down and fall asleep. Funny, the things that you miss, and now she’s kidnapped in Gaza along with many others.

“I want to hug Emily again, love her, fix her.”

He was speaking in Dublin on Monday after travelling there along with his older daughter Natali in order “to drum up as much sympathy and support” as possible.

Sunak riles the Tory right over sacking of Suella Braverman

Rishi Sunak has stoked anger on the right of the Conservative Party by sacking Suella Braverman, as one of his MPs formally called for his departure as the Prime Minister.

Deputy Tory chairman Lee Anderson was among hardline MPs at a meeting in Parliament on Monday where concerns were shared about Mrs Braverman’s ousting as home secretary.

Former minister Dame Andrea Jenkyns submitted a furious letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak to the Tory backbench 1922 Committee during his Cabinet reshuffle.

She argued that Mrs Braverman “was the only person in the cabinet with the balls to speak the truth of the appalling state of our streets and a two-tier policing system that leaves Jewish community in fear for their lives and safety”.

IDF says it has killed Hamas brigade’s anti-tank commander

Times Of Israel: The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed a number of Hamas commanders in airstrikes in the Gaza Strip over the past day. Among the senior officers is Yakub Ashur, the commander of Hamas’s anti-tank guided missile array in the terror group’s Khan Younis Brigade, the IDF says. The IDF says Ashur, “as part of his role, took part in leading and directing offences against IDF forces.”

Netanyahu: Hezbollah ‘playing with fire’

“There are those who think they can expand their attacks against our troops and against civilians. This is playing with fire. Fire will be met with much stronger fire. They must not try us, because we have displayed only a little part of our power. We will harm those who harm us,” Netanyahu said.

IDF releases video of terrorists firing from within hospital compound in Gaza

Gaza and China top agenda for Foreign Secretary Cameron

David Cameron will face a more complex and unstable world on his return to Government as Foreign Secretary, with crises across the globe demanding his attention.

Most pressing is the Israel-Hamas conflict, which could still escalate into a regional conflagration.

As recently as Thursday, James Cleverly was in Saudi Arabia discussing efforts to prevent escalation with Middle Eastern foreign ministers, and Lord Cameron will face an immediate task of carrying on that diplomatic effort.

The ongoing war in Ukraine will continue to make demands on the new Foreign Secretary’s attention, with Ukrainian President Zelensky warning of a “winter onslaught” from Russia that will require further support from the West.

As prime minister, Lord Cameron deployed UK troops to train Ukrainian forces in 2015 following Russia’s seizure of Crimea, which he described as a “flagrant breach of international law”.

In the longer term, it is the UK’s relationship with China that is likely to be the most challenging of Lord Cameron’s tasks.

Hamas demands ‘complete exchange’ of Palestinian prisoners, hostages

“Our position on the prisoner file has been clear from the start, and it is a complete exchange of prisoners,” Hamas official Osama Hamdan said.

Micheal Martin to travel to Israel and Palestine this week

Ireland’s deputy premier has announced he is to travel to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory later this week.

Micheal Martin, who is also foreign affairs minister, will also travel to Egypt as part of the visit.

Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels this morning, Mr Martin said: “The situation in the region is at a critical point, with a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and continued risks of regional escalation.

“I have been engaging intensively with regional counterparts since October 7 and will return to the region this week, following my visit in September, to continue that engagement.

“In Egypt, I hope to meet with foreign minister Sameh Shoukry and secretary general of the Arab League, Aboul Gheit.

“In Israel, I plan to see foreign minister Eli Cohen and hope also to visit the south of Israel and the communities that were devastated by the October 7 attacks.”

EU: Humanitarian pauses in Gaza have to be ‘meaningful’

“It is urgent to define and respect humanitarian pauses. These pauses have to be meaningful. Fuel needs to get in. As you could see, more than half of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip stopped working, primarily because of lack of fuel, and fuel is desperately needed,” said Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management.

Israeli army targets Hamas infrastructure at university and mosque in Gaza

“IDF troops are continuing to conduct raids on the outskirts of the Al-Shati Camp, targeting terrorist infrastructure located in central governmental institutions in the heart of the civilian population, including schools, universities, mosques, and residences of terrorists. Hamas’ terror infrastructure was deliberately located inside civilian structures, including in the “Al-Quds” University, and inside the “Abu Bakr” mosque,” the IDF said.

“The troops uncovered a section of the mosque which housed a large number of explosive devices and flammable materials. During the activity, the troops seized dozens of weapons, military equipment, and operational plans belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation,” it added.

Police officer poses with child dressed as a Hamas terrorist

Defies belief: A female police officer poses with a child dressed as a Hamas terrorist during the ‘pro-Palestine’ demo in London on Saturday. Jewish News is looking into the picture’s authenticity and speaking to police.

Michael Gove thanks police after he was mobbed by pro-Palestinian protesters

Michael Gove has thanked police for getting him “home safely” after he was mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Victoria station.

The senior Cabinet minister said he was “very grateful for so many kind messages” after footage was posted on social media showing him flanked by a large police contingent trying to keep dozens of demonstrators away, as he passed through the London railway station.

It came on a day fraught with tensions over a rally and counter-protests held on Armistice Day.

The flag-waving protesters crowding him were heard chanting “shame on you” as officers shouted at them to “get back”.

In another clip, the Levelling Up Secretary was seen walking down a London street as protesters followed him chanting the same slogan.

Sunak pledges ‘hard-headed’ foreign policy

Rishi Sunak will outline his vision for a “hard-headed” foreign policy approach that defends UK values from adversaries at a time for “moral clarity” as war rages in the Middle East and Ukraine.

The Prime Minister will speak of the UK’s desire to “shape the world” as he highlights his record on forging international partnerships on defence, trade and migration.

Mr Sunak, who has claimed he represents change from his Tory predecessors, will pledge to leave behind “past dogmas, assumptions and structures” in dealing with other nations, Downing Street said.

In a major foreign policy speech on Monday, he will tell international dignitaries and business leaders: “In these dangerous times, we’re not just defending a better vision of the future against those who would destroy it, we’re marshalling our expertise, our people and our alliances to bring that future into being.

Lib Dems call for ceasefire

The Liberal Democrats have come out in favour of a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war, adding to pressure on Sir Keir Starmer over his stance on the crisis.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said on Sunday that only an “immediate bilateral ceasefire” will resolve the conflict in the Middle East.

It comes ahead of an attempt by the SNP to use an amendment to the King’s Speech to force a Commons vote on Wednesday demanding a Gaza ceasefire.

Sir Ed, who had previously called for a temporary humanitarian ceasefire, said that “it is increasingly clear that a military solution to eliminate Hamas is not possible”.

He added: “Liberal Democrats are urging the UK Government to call for an immediate bilateral ceasefire, as the best option to achieve a political solution.

IDF names two more troops killed in fighting – total now 44

Maj. Isachar Natan, 28, from Kiryat Malachi, left, and Staff Sgt. Itay Shoham, 21, from Rosh Ha’ayin. Both, members of the Commando Brigade, were killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2023 (courtesy)

Police appeal after incidents at London train stations on Armistice Day

Appeals have been launched to identify five people after footage circulated online of incidents at London train stations on Armistice Day.

British Transport Police released images of four men they want to speak to after what the force say was a racially aggravated altercation at Waterloo station on Saturday.

The force also released an image of a woman they want to speak to after an alleged antisemitic hate crime at Victoria station.

The 90-second video posted online of the incident at Waterloo station shows men swearing repeatedly, including shouting “terrorist f******” and “we were born in this country”.

A separate video was shared on social media which shows an argument before one person appears to shout “death to all the Jews” at Victoria station.

It comes after dozens of counter-protesters were arrested as hundreds of thousands of people took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in central London on Saturday.

Anyone who recognises the woman is asked to contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 217 of November 12.

And anyone who can identify the group of men is asked to contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference number 217 of November 12.

You can submit information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Scottish Labour MPs urged to back Gaza ceasefire

Scotland’s First Minister has called on Scottish Labour’s two MPs to back his party’s push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

An SNP amendment to the King’s Speech – which calls for an end to hostilities – is expected to come to a vote in the House of Commons this week, with the party urging other MPs to support it.

In a letter to Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Humza Yousaf asked him to confirm his MPs will vote for the motion.

Mr Sarwar has broken with the UK Labour leadership on the issue, despite his initial reticence to confirm he supports calling for a ceasefire.

Sir Keir Starmer has come under increasing pressure to back the calls, both from inside and outside Labour.

Six Israelis wounded in missile attack from Lebanon

Six civilians have been wounded, one critically, in anti-tank missile attack from Lebanon. Some of the victims are Electric Corporation employees working to repair power lines damaged in previous attacks by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah claims responsibility for anti-tank missile attack

The Lebanese Hezbollah terror group claims responsibility for the anti-tank guided missile attack targeting civilians near the northern community of Dovev on the Lebanon border.

In a statement, the terror group falsely claims it hit soldiers installing surveillance equipment.

The Israel Electric Corporation said its employees were hit in the attack while repairing power lines.

Ireland fully supports International Criminal Court’s Gaza probe, Martin says

The Irish deputy premier has said Ireland is a “consistent and strong supporter” of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in investigating the Israel-Hamas conflict.

It comes after the opposition Sinn Fein party announced its intention to bring a motion to the Dublin parliament seeking a referral of Israel to the ICC by Ireland.

Micheal Martin, who is also foreign affairs minister, said the ICC is the “cornerstone of the system of international criminal justice”.

In a statement on Sunday, he said: “Ireland is a consistent and strong supporter of the court, and of its independence and impartiality.”

Mr Martin said the ICC has jurisdiction over “the situation in Palestine” and the prosecutor opened an investigation into Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in March 2021.

The investigation covers all crimes within the jurisdiction of the court, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, alleged to have been committed since the date of referral in 2014.

“This gives the court jurisdiction over any crimes committed within Palestine, and/or by Palestinian nationals outside it, including in Israel.

“Importantly, the current prosecutor, Karim Khan, has made absolutely clear on a number of occasions over the last month that this investigation covers the current conflict, including all events on and from October 7 this year.

“He has confirmed that there is an active investigation ongoing in relation to the situation in Palestine.”

Mr Martin added: “Ireland will continue to fully support the ICC in its vitally important work in investigating all the situations before it, whether that be in Ukraine, Darfur, Palestine, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or elsewhere.

“All victims, everywhere, are equally deserving of justice and accountability.”

IDF: No siege at Shifa hospital, we’ll help move babies to safety

Times of Israel: IDF spokesman asserts Hamas losing control as some 200,000 more evacuate Strip’s north; four fallen Israeli troops killed by booby-trapped tunnel shaft.

Sadiq Khan paid tribute to police for handling Armistice Day protests

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan paid tribute to police for handling Armistice Day protests as he condemned cases of far-right violence and “hate and racism” at the pro-Palestinian march.

In a statement, he said: “I’d like to pay tribute to the Met police who have dealt with a very difficult day with exceptional professionalism. The overwhelming majority of people who used their democratic right to protest on the streets of London today did so peacefully.

“Sadly however, we have seen far-right thugs attacking the police and some who have used the pro-Palestinian protest to spread hate and racism, including antisemitism. This is unacceptable – as is attempting to intimidate politicians.

“The far right have clearly been encouraged and emboldened by what they have heard this week, including from senior politicians like the Home Secretary. I hope everyone takes the time to reflect on the impact their words and actions can have on others.

“The Met have my full support in taking action, without fear or favour, against those who broke the law. I continue to support them in taking a zero-tolerance approach against anyone found committing violent offences or spreading hate.”

Netanyahu vows to defeat Hamas even if Israel has to ‘stand firm against the world’

Times of Israel: Defiant PM rejects international criticism, blasts Macron for accusing Jerusalem of bombing civilians; says PA can’t rule Gaza after war; Gallant rejects world’s ‘moral

126 people arrested in London at protests

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said 126 people had been arrested in London.

He added: “There are many officers still deployed across central London responding to any outbreaks of disorder and ensuring key sites are protected ahead of tomorrow’s remembrance events.

“Many more are working in custody suites dealing with the 126 people who have been arrested so far.

“I am extremely proud of what our officers have achieved in challenging circumstances, including the many officers who came from across the country to help us keep London safe.”

Boris Johnson denounces antisemitism at pro-Palestinian march.

Boris Johnson has denounced antisemitism displayed by some on the pro-Palestinian march.

Without mentioning cases of far-right violence on Armistice Day, the former prime minister said on social media site X: “Almost 80 years after the end of the Second World War it is shocking to hear nakedly anti-Semitic chants on the streets of London today.

“There are people who plainly want to ignore the Hamas massacre of October 7. They want to wipe Israel off the map. That is what they were chanting for today. They must not and will not succeed.

Police doing ‘everything’ in its power to ensure Jewish Londoners feel safe

The Metropolitan Police is doing “everything” in its power to ensure Jewish Londoners feel safe during Saturday’s pro-Palestine protest.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “We’ve got a policing operation that is double the size of the first weekend.

“We’ve got nearly 1,850 officers working on Saturday, 1,350 working on Sunday.

“I’ve used all of the powers that are available to me to use over the weekend to limit the impact, to manage the impact, whilst people go about their lawful business and their right to protest.

“So for the Jewish communities in particular, we are engaged, we are absolutely aware of the fear and concerns and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that they are safe, and they must feel safe.

“But if people are frightened, or see things that they’re frightened of, they must report it to us so we can respond.”

Prime Minister and Suella Braverman “work very closely” together

Number 10 said that the Prime Minister and Suella Braverman “work very closely” together.

It comes after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said earlier that he had a “productive relationship” with the Home Secretary.

Asked if the same could be said of the relationship between Rishi Sunak and Ms Braverman, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “Yes, they work very closely as they have been on protests and preparations for the weekend, tackling small boats and on the legislation set out in the King’s Speech to make our streets safer.”

Chancellor distances himself from Suella Braverman

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt distanced himself from the comments made by Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

He told reporters: “As many other Cabinet ministers have said, the words that she used are not words that I myself would have used.

“But I have a productive relationship with her as a colleague and I have always given her the money that she needs to fund police, bring down crime and to fund the immigration and asylum system.”

‘Unity’ call in Labour Party after frontbench resignation over Gaza war

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has urged for “unity” in the Labour Party after the frontbench resignation of Imran Hussain over Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on the Gaza war.

Speaking to broadcasters on a visit to Leeds, she said: “I’m really sorry to see good colleagues like Imran Hussain feel like they have to leave the frontbench.

“And I understand why they are calling for a ceasefire but in the end I think that the most realistic and the quickest way to get the support we need for the people in Gaza is through the humanitarian pauses backed by other G7 leaders and backed by the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer.

“I hope we can have unity in the Labour Party and people can stick together but I also do recognise the strength of feeling about these issues.

“We all want to see an end to that bloodshed, and whether that is through humanitarian pauses or ceasefires our objective is the same, to avoid the loss of innocent civilian life.”

Hundreds of trade unionists blockade BAE Systems factory in Israel-Gaza protest

Hundreds of trade unionists under the banner “Workers for a Free Palestine” have blockaded weapons manufacturer BAE Systems’ factory in Kent in protest over the Israel-Gaza war.

Activists descended on the site in Chatham, Rochester, at about 7am on Friday and blocked its two entrances as part of an international day of action called for by Palestinian trade unions to “end complicity in Israel’s war crimes”.

Sunak under pressure after Braverman defied No10 with Met criticism comments

Rishi Sunak is facing calls to sack Suella Braverman after she defied Downing Street by writing an article accusing police of bias over protests in support of Palestine.

The Home Secretary’s widely-criticised claim that there is a perception some senior officers “play favourites” was not signed off by No 10, the Prime Minister’s spokesman made clear on Thursday.

Reports of antisemitic incidents up 800% in Netherlands since 7 Oct

Reports of antisemitic incidents have spiked over 800% in the Netherlands since Oct. 7, a leading Dutch-Jewish watchdog has reported.

The surge only reflects antisemitic acts reported to the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), not all incidents filed to police departments and other anti-discrimination bureaus.

CIDI would not release specific incident numbers but said the barrage of reports it has received since the start of the Israel-Hamas war is 818% higher than its monthly average recorded over the past three years. The group tallied 183 total incidents for all of 2021.

Starmer: ‘Home Secretary is out of control’

Sir Keir Starmer said of the Prime Minister: “He’s got a Home Secretary who is out of control and he is too weak to do anything about it. That’s the worst of all combinations.

“And that’s why across the country, repeatedly, people are coming up to me and saying we just need change now. We’ve just had enough of this.”

Sir Keir was asked if a likely vote in Parliament next week on calls for a ceasefire in Gaza would be a free vote for frontbench MPs.

He answered: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We haven’t got to the end of the debate yet. We don’t know what the amendments are, and we certainly don’t know what’s going to be called forward for a vote.

“So I am not going to speculate as to a vote that may or may not happen next week.”

Ceasefire ‘understandable’ but Israel ‘taking action to secure its own stability’

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said calling for a ceasefire is “understandable”, but Israel is “taking action to secure its own stability”.

Speaking to reporters from the foreign ministers preparatory meeting in Riyadh ahead of the emergency Arab League summit for Gaza, he said: “The UK has long been committed to a two-state solution, the Israelis and the Palestinians living side by side in peace.

“The terrible circumstances that we are seeing, triggered by the brutal terrorist attacks on the seventh of October, remind us that we need to redouble our efforts to bring about that peaceful two-state solution. I’ve discussed that at length with my friends in the Arab world, also with the Israelis, and recently in the G7 meeting in Tokyo.

NYPD reports 69 antisemitic hate crimes in October

The NYPD reported 69 antisemitic hate crimes in October, marking a major increase in anti-Jewish incidents in the city following Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel and Israel’s ensuing war against the terror group.

The number of antisemitic crimes in October marked a 214% increase over the same month last year, according to police data released on Wednesday.

The total for October was far higher than in any other month this year. The previous high-water mark was in March, which saw 32 antisemitic incidents reported to police, fewer than half of last month’s number.

October’s tally of anti-Jewish crimes was the highest single month total since October 2021, when hate crimes against all groups spiked, and in which anti-Jewish crimes made up a smaller proportion of the total.

Suella Braverman ‘encouraging extremists on all sides’, says Labour

MPs have suggested Suella Braverman should be sacked as Home Secretary amid warnings she is “encouraging extremists on all sides” over her response to pro-Palestinian protests.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper led the criticism of Ms Braverman during an urgent question in the House of Commons focused on the operational independence of the Metropolitan Police.

The exchanges were prompted by Ms Braverman’s article in The Times in which she said aggressive right-wing protesters were met with a stern response by officers while “pro-Palestinian mobs” were “largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law”.

The SNP and opposition backbenchers questioned if Ms Braverman should be sacked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, while Labour former minister Sir Chris Bryant accused the Home Secretary of “inciting hatred”.

IDF launches ‘Mission Brief’ podcast

“As part of our broader strategy to engage directly with people around the world, the IDF has launched our Mission Brief media brand, currently consisting of two digital media channels that can engage directly with people. The first is a podcast hosted by Major (res.) Libby Weiss, an IDF spokesperson and the former head of the Digital Media Desk,” the IDF said.

Click here to listen

 

Defence Minister: IDF suppresses significant part of threat to home front

Yoav Gallant said the Israeli army “suppresses a significant part of the threat to the home front. The rocket fire by Hamas these days is mainly intended to disturb the routine of life. We need to make sure that the citizens are given security and the ability to have an uninterrupted daily routine.”

“We are in a prolonged war, and the issue of the civilian economy is a main factor in the management of the war. We need to resolve things quickly, even if not perfectly. We will have to operate with an expanded budget policy and shorten lengthy administrative work,” he added.

Macron: Protection of civilians in Gaza is ‘not negotiable’

“The civilians must be protected, that is absolutely indispensable. It is not negotiable,” the French President said.

Theresa Villiers ‘deeply troubled’ by the march planned for Saturday

Conservative former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers told the Commons she is “deeply troubled” by the march planned for Saturday.

She acknowledged the police are in a “really difficult position” and that their powers are “constrained by law”, but speaking about the Jewish community, she said: “I have never known fear and anxiety as I have seen over the last few weeks.”

Home Office minister Chris Philp said he would be raising the fears of the Jewish community with senior police officers on Thursday, and told MPs: “We do expect the police, of course, to protect the Jewish community across London and across the whole country.”

Conservative former minister Sir Michael Ellis said he is “concerned” the Metropolitan Police commissioner “keeps saying he has no powers to stop the march or arrest people in these marches”.

He added: “Does he also agree that the Home Secretary has a power … where the Home Secretary feels that the police are failing to exercise their discretion reasonably to demand special measures to take action herself?”

Mr Philp said the Met commissioner’s power to ban marches is “rarely used” and has a “quite high threshold”, but said the Home Secretary would consider any such request carefully.

UN accuses Israel, Hamas of war crimes

“The atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups on 7 October were heinous, brutal and shocking, they were war crimes — as is the continued holding of hostages. The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, says.

Israeli army says it destroyed 130 tunnel shafts in Gaza

“As part of the ground forces’ activity in the Gaza Strip, IDF soldiers are currently working to expose and destroy Hamas’ tunnels. Since the beginning of the fighting, 130 tunnel shafts have been destroyed,” the IDF says.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrives in Saudi Arabia for crisis talks

The foreign secretary will hold high-level talks with Middle East counterparts in diplomatic efforts to prevent the escalation.

Cleverly will meet with foreign ministers , who are gathering in Saudi Arabia ahead of a League of Arab States emergency meeting on Gaza on Saturday.

He is expected to raise efforts to prevent wider regional escalation, including in Lebanon and Yemen, and offer continued UK support to bolster deterrence and counter threats from malign groups in the region.

Cleverly said: “I have been focused on diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages, to ensure that foreign nationals can leave Gaza, to deter any escalation regionally and to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid at scale.

“I will continue this essential work in Saudi Arabia where I will meet with a number of my counterparts in the region to explore how we achieve those aims quickly and also look to the future of a lasting, peaceful, and prosperous two-state solution for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Former police commissioner calls for police op discussions to be held privately

A former Metropolitan Police Commissioner has called for discussions around police operations for protests to be held privately, rather than aired publicly.

His comments came after Home Secretary Suella Braverman publicly called for the police to crack down on pro-Hamas protests amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Independent crossbench peer Lord Hogan-Howe said: “We all know that there is a real challenge, both for politicians and the police, in deciding whether to ban a march. Never easy, very rarely done…

“These are difficult decisions where you are trying to balance the right to protest against the problem of serious disorder.”

He said: “I do think the discussions around this topic should be done privately, not publicly,” and raised concerns over the implications of public discussions on the “operational independence of the police”.

Lord Hogan-Howe added: “I do worry that the pressures that are being placed on the police at the moment don’t always form wise judgments in the end.

“So I do think it’s important that these discussions, which are important, take place privately, and they observe the process, which is that the police call for the politicians to make the decision, not that the politicians call on the police to make the request, even though there is an element of both in the private discussions.

“So I think it’s vitally important that those conventions are respected.”

Global investor launches resilience fund to help Israeli startups

Leading investment platform OurCrowd has launched a Resilience Fund to support its Israel-based portfolio companies that are being impacted by the war.

The Israel Resilience Fund will also will focus on Israeli pipeline companies, including incubator ones, that are negatively impacted by the ongoing crisis, and/or produce technologies relevant to addressing problems arising from the current situation.

Our Crowd is waiving all management fees and carried interest for all investments in the fund.

Its founder and CEO Jon Medved said: “We have launched the Israel Resilience Fund so investors can support Israel in its time of need by investing in the country’s critical tech ecosystem, strengthening startups and employment during time of crisis.”

Hamas: 10,569 killed since beginning of war

The Hamas run health ministry announced on Wednesday that the total death toll since the beginning of the war on October 7 rose to 10,569, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women. Hamas doesn’t clarify how many terrorists were killed.

Sunak to hold Met Commissioner ‘accountable’ for giving go-ahead to Gaza rally

Rishi Sunak has said he will hold the Metropolitan Police Commissioner “accountable” for his decision to greenlight a “disrespectful” pro-Palestinian demonstration to take place on Armistice Day.

The Prime Minister will meet Sir Mark Rowley to discuss the issue later on Wednesday.

MDA Ofakim station honours murdered ambulance driver

2 defibrillators were given to Magen David Adom First Responders in Ofakim in memory of MDA Senior EMT Aharon Haimov z”l.

He was murdered on 7 October by terrorist gunfire on the morning of Simchat Torah, while he was driving an ambulance, on his way to save lives.

MDA Ofakim Monday 6 November 2023

His father in law and the manager of Ofakim MDA station, Dani Shtarkman, lit memorial candles at the memorial stand in the station.

He said: “Aharon z”l was a devoted man who gave everything he had to save lives. He was a responsible and professional person, who always cared about the patients’ welfare before anything else. The giving of the defibrillators in his memory is a direct continuation of his way – of the sanctity of life. We all miss Aharon deeply, may he rest in peace.”

Medical staff protest for hostage intervention outside Red Cross

A demonstration by medical staff and health professionals in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in London is calling for an immediate intervention in the case of the hostages kidnapped from Israel on 7th October.

The group of medical, nursing, mental health and allied healthcare professionals in the UK said they “appeal to the Red Cross for their immediate intervention in the hostage crisis of 241 hostages kidnapped from Israel on Saturday 7 October 2023, the same day when over 1400 were brutally massacred by the terrorist organisation, Hamas.

“We call for the immediate release of the hostages who were abducted by force from Israel to Gaza and now held by Hamas, a proscribed terror organisation. The hostages include babies, children, disabled, elderly, women, and men, some of whom have urgent medical needs. We have grave concerns about the physical and mental wellbeing of the hostages and demand that the Red Cross visit the hostages to assess their medical condition and needs.

“We act as part of a global initiative in collaboration with the hostages and missing families’ forum. On Thursday (9 November) doctors and allied healthcare professionals from medical institutions in the UK, together with the forum for the families of the hostages will demonstrate in front of the offices of the ICRC in London.

“The demonstration will begin at 16:30 and speeches will be made by the demonstrating health care professionals, including Mr. Elliot Sorene, whose son, a British citizen, survived the Re’im Nova Music Festival massacre on 7 October 2023.

Sorene, a consultant trauma, orthopaedic and hand surgeon in London said: “As medical and healthcare professionals, we will not rest, nor will we be silent until the ICRC fulfils its professional and moral duty to visit the hostages in the Gaza strip and to allow them to receive essential and lifesaving medical treatment.  Infants, children, men, women, elderly and disabled, are being held in captivity by Hamas for over a month and have received no humanitarian visits from the ICRC. The argument that the ICRC is ‘doing everything in its ability’ is a denial of the substance of the organisation and its role, and raises serious questions about its unbiased,neutral and apolitical responsibilities, as it purports to be.”

The demonstration will take place on Thursday, 9 November, 16:30 Near the ICRC (Red Cross) Offices in London 44 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AL

‘Ongoing discussions’ after the Met gives the go-ahead to Armistice Day demo

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said there would be “ongoing discussions” after the Met gave the go-ahead for a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza to take place on Armistice Day.

He told Sky News: “I think there’ll be ongoing discussions on this.

“There is a legal threshold and the commissioner is of the view that that legal threshold has not been met.

“Obviously, the Home Office and colleagues will discuss that over the course of the day.”

Starmer under pressure after frontbencher resigns over stance on Gaza

Sir Keir Starmer has come under fresh pressure over his stance on the conflict in Gaza after a shadow minister became the first frontbencher to quit in protest at his leader’s refusal to back a ceasefire.

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said he was quitting his role as shadow minister for the New Deal for Working People to be able to “strongly advocate” for a ceasefire.

The Labour leader has been grappling to maintain discipline in his top team over the Gaza conflict.

At least 16 shadow ministers have either called for a ceasefire or shared others’ calls on social media while around 30 councillors have resigned.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said Mr Hussain had “reached his own decision” on the matter.

G7 countries: Israel, Hamas must allow unimpeded humanitarian support for civilians

“All parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian support for civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter, and access for humanitarian workers,” a statement from G7 said.

Israeli army kills senior Hamas commander, attacks terror cells in Gaza

“IDF troops are continuing to operate inside the Gaza Strip to kill terrorists and direct aircraft to strike terror infrastructure. Based on ISA and IDF intelligence, an IDF fighter jet killed Mohsen Abu Zina, Hamas’ Head of Weapons and Industries in its manufacturing department. As part of his role, Mohsen Abu Zina served as one of Hamas’ leading weapons developers and was an expert in developing strategic weapons and rockets used by Hamas terrorists,” the IDF said.

“Overnight, IDF troops also identified a terrorist cell that planned to fire anti-tank missiles at the forces. The troops directed an aircraft that struck the cell and killed several terrorists. Furthermore, IDF troops directed an aircraft to a strike on a terrorist cell responsible for launching rockets toward Israel. Several terrorists were killed in the strike,” it added.

Israel is operating in the “heart” of Gaza City

“In the south, the war is moving forward with force that Hamas has never seen. Gaza City is surrounded. We are operating within it, we are deepening the pressure on Hamas every hour, every day,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

Israeli soldier killed in Gaza, bringing death toll since ground offensive to 31

Sgt. First Class (res.) Yaacov Ozeri, 28, from Kfar Shamai, was killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists in northern Gaza.

Israeli ambassador says Ireland is not ‘politically neutral’ in Gaza conflict

The Israeli Ambassador in Dublin has said she does not believe Ireland is politically neutral in respect of the Israel-Hamas conflict, as she warned of a rising “wave of antisemitism” internationally.

Dana Erlich was speaking after a screening of footage for reporters at the Israeli embassy which showed Hamas’ October 7 attack.

She said the footage, which included an attack on a kibbutz and Re’im music festival one month ago, was “historically important”.

Ms Erlich said: “It is the most horrific attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

She said the footage in the 43-minute video was collected from the cameras of victims, emergency personnel, and dead Hamas operatives.

Netanyahu: We are reaching deeper into Gaza than Hamas ever imagined

Times of Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu says the IDF has been reaching deeper into Gaza than Hamas ever imagined, and warns Lebanon’s Hezbollah that it would be making the “greatest mistake of its life” if it opens a new full-on war front.

Speaking from the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu says he is addressing the nation in order to update Israelis on the war.

“In the south, the war is moving forward with force that Hamas has never seen,” he says. “Gaza City is surrounded. We are operating within it, we are deepening the pressure on Hamas every hour, every day.”

Rocket alarms sound throughout central Israel

Times of Israel: Rocket alarms sound throughout central Israel, in Gaza border area. Air raid sirens are sounding throughout central Israel — in Tel Aviv and its suburbs, as well as the Sharon area, Ashdod and the Gaza border area. There are no immediate reports of impacts or injuries.

Halifax ‘sorry’ for letter describing Israeli city as Palestinian territory

Halifax bank has apologised after it sent a letter to a British-Israeli man in Tel-Aviv telling him he lived in occupied Palestinian territory.

David Bender said he was “shocked” when he received the letter with his new credit card, describing the Israeli city as “Palestine Territory, Occupied” in the address line.

Mr Bender, 75, originally from Manchester, said he feared it was a “conscious and cold” act of antisemitism by someone who had access to his personal data.

But the bank blamed human error on the part of an employee who was “confused” and “ignorant” about the geography of the region and said it was not a malicious act.

They said the mistake was made in August – before an attack by Hamas which left 1,400 Israelis dead – and that the letter had been sent before they could rectify it.

Halifax apologised for the “regrettable” mistake and said the employee in question would be given the “right training” to ensure similar mistakes are not made in the future.

SNP calls again for ‘humanitarian ceasefire’

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn called for a “humanitarian ceasefire” to end the fighting in the Middle East, in contrast to the pause backed by the Government and Labour.

Mr Flynn told the Commons: “Thousands and thousands of people have been killed. People don’t have access to food, they don’t have access to clean water, they don’t have access to fuel, they cannot turn on the lights, they don’t have access to medicine.”

He added: “What we are seeing is collecting punishment. What we so badly need to see is a humanitarian ceasefire.

“Not a humanitarian pause which fills people’s bellies to then be blown up again in the days to follow.

“What we believe in unequivocally is a humanitarian ceasefire, and I sincerely hope that Members across this Chamber will join us in coming to that position in the not-too-distant future, because those are our values.

“We believe in peace and we believe in the protection of civilians.”

Army poised for prospect of a evacuation operation in Mid East

The British Army is posturing itself for the prospect of a non-combatant evacuation operation in the Middle East in the event the conflict expands, General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff has said.

Appearing before Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, he was asked about the readiness of the armed services and the steps taken in light of the fighting.

“I don’t think it’s likely that we are going to find ourselves drawn into combat or conflict in the region, or certainly we would seek to avert that,” he said.

Minister urges former military personnel not to hold demos this weekend

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer urged former military personnel not to hold demonstrations over the weekend amid concerns about clashes with pro-Palestinian marches.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is organising a major march through London on Armistice Day, sparking fears of disorder, although Mr Mercer stressed the route was not intended to go anywhere near the Cenotaph on Whitehall.

Mr Mercer, in a letter to Metropolitan Police chief Sir Mark Rowley, said he had spent the weekend “dissuading various veterans groups from organising marches or protests this Saturday”.

But he urged police to protect veterans who were marking the Armistice or Remembrance Sunday.

“I have particular concern towards our elderly veterans for whom travelling to London once a year is an important part of their Remembrance and have expressed genuine fears to me around their ability to travel to London, particularly through our rail stations, unmolested,” he said.

“Whilst wholly respecting the police’s operational independence, I ask that your organisation make full use of the powers at their disposal to ensure that these concerns do not materialise.”

CAA: ‘Consider military reinforcement of police’

An antisemitism charity has written to the Home Secretary about the ‘failures’ of the Metropolitan Police during recent pro-Palestinian marches across the UK.

Pic: CAAS, Twitter

On Twitter/X, Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We have written to @SuellaBraverman, whose support for our community at this time has been rock solid. Given the failures of @MetPoliceUK, we have asked her to consider military reinforcement of police and an exceptional use of her power under section 40 of the Police Act 1996 to issue a direction for the police to address the failures.”

Met Police: Not appropriate to hold protests this weekend

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who leads public order policing in the English capital, said on Monday: “The risk of violence and disorder linked to breakaway groups is growing.

“This is of concern ahead of a significant and busy weekend in the capital.

“Our message to organisers is clear: please, we ask you to urgently reconsider. It is not appropriate to hold any protests in London this weekend.”

Deputy Prime Minister will chair meeting of the Cobra emergency committee

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee to consider the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict in the UK.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “it will look a wide range of areas but it’s obviously particularly focused on the impact of the terrorist attack on the UK domestically” and how to address important issues around “community cohesion”.

‘Enormous fears’ Israel Hamas conflict could escalate and widen

Leo Varadkar has said he has “enormous fears” that the Israel Hamas conflict could escalate and widen.

“I think all of us, all of us watching what we see on our TV news or on social media every day just can’t be struck by the number of children who are being killed, often pretty thin and malnourished children, for other reasons,” he told the Dail parliament.

“The number of journalists who have been killed, and also the number of UN aid workers who have been killed – and these are real heroes, aid workers who stayed behind in Gaza and not just risked their lives but lost their lives too and they’re real heroes in my view.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer: The hostages to be released now

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, turning to the Israel-Gaza conflict as he responded to the King’s Speech, told the Commons: “It is now one month exactly since the senseless murder of Jews by the terrorists of Hamas and the taking of hostages on October 7.

“And every new day in Gaza now brings with it more pain, more suffering, more agony. Hostages still held. Thousands of civilians dead, including so many innocent women and children, millions struggling for the basics of life – food, water, sanitation, medicines and fuel.

“We cannot and we will not close our eyes to their suffering. We need a humanitarian pause now. The hostages to be released now.

“Israel has the right and duty to defend herself but it is not a blank cheque, it must comply with international law and this House must commit to do whatever it can to keep alive the light of peace, so we welcome the address’s clear commitment to support the two-state solution.”

Thousands gather in NY for a vigil and rally marking 30 days since attack

Thousands have gathered next to Central Park for a vigil and rally marking 30 days since Hamas’ attack.

Speakers at the event, held along Central Park West on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, mourned 1,400 victims, demanded the release of the more than 200 hostages and decried rampant antisemitism in the U.S. in recent weeks.

Participants carried photos of the hostages and signs reading, “Bring our children home,” “Let my people go,” and “We stand with Israel.” Thousands streamed past police cruisers on their way to the event chanting, “Bring them home” and singing Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.”

Sunak: ‘Fairly large number of arrests frankly terrifying for Jewish communities’

PM says “any instances of antisemitism is one to many”. He pointing to a “fairly large number of arrests” made and language being used that is “frankly terrifying” for Jewish communities.

Ministers will ‘stand fully behind’ police if they ban Armistice Day protest

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said ministers will “stand fully behind” police if they choose to ban a protest planned for Armistice Day.

She told Sky News: “If they were to choose to ban those protests then the Government would stand fully behind them. It is a decision that rests with the police. The ministers involved have made it very clear that they have serious concerns.

“I think people in this country want to make sure that veterans and the memories of fallen soldiers are respected.”

She said “people should think very carefully” and it would be “very out of touch” with the culture of Britain to disrupt the day.

Edgware barber closes on Shabbat in solidarity with Israel

A Jewish barber from Edgware is showing his respect for Israel by closing his shop to observe Shabbat for the next four weeks.

Craig Morris, 47, has been running his barber shop for twenty years.

Pic: Craig Morris

Speaking to Jewish News he said: “I have been raised personally and in the business sense by the community that surrounds me and has supported me for all this time. I have decided to try and give something back, especially to the clients who walk past me on Shabbos who deserve to see me do something in respect for Israel.

“It is the smallest gesture I can give by closing and trying to keep Shabbos for the next month. This will hopefully help raise the spirits of the community who help pray everyday for the safety of our family in Israel.

“We shall now be open full working hours on Sundays to make up for closing down on Saturdays. It’s not a grandstand moment, just a small thing I can do.”

British embassy staff temporarily withdrawn from Lebanon

The Foreign Office said some staff and family members have been temporarily withdrawn from the British embassy in Lebanon due to the “security situation” in the region.

Guidance on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website said: “FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon due to risks associated with the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and air strikes in South Lebanon, on the boundary with Israel. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning, which could affect or limit exit routes out of Lebanon.

“There is also a risk of civil unrest. There have been large protests outside embassies, including outside the US and French embassies on October 17. Further protests are expected. British nationals should exercise caution and avoid areas where demonstrations may be held.

“Due to the security situation, some staff at the British embassy and all family members of staff have been temporarily withdrawn. The embassy continues with essential work including services to British nationals.”

Metropolitan Police: ‘Urgently reconsider’ Armistice weekend protest

The Metropolitan Police has asked demonstrators planning to hold a pro-Palestinian rally in London on Armistice Weekend to “urgently reconsider” their protest.

The force said it had met organisers from a range of groups on Monday to discuss concerns about the march, which is due to take place in central London on Saturday, although the planned route will not go past the Cenotaph.

It said organisers had declined to postpone the demonstration.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “The risk of violence and disorder linked to breakaway groups is growing. This is of concern ahead of a significant and busy weekend in the capital.

“Our message to organisers is clear: Please, we ask you to urgently reconsider. It is not appropriate to hold any protests in London this weekend.”

Downing St: Pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day ‘an affront to British public’

Holding a pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day would be “an affront to the British public”, Downing Street has said.

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said: “To plan these sorts of protests in and around Armistice Day is provocative, it’s disrespectful.

“Should memorials be desecrated or should we see some of the instances of racial hatred for which there were arrests at the weekend be expressed on these days? I think that would be an affront to the British public.”

Asked about powers to prevent such a protest, the official said there are powers under the Public Order Act 1986 “which are for chief constables to use and they were able to apply to the Home Secretary and Mayor of London in the case of the Met”.

“It is obviously rightly still the case that operational decisions are for the police to make.”

Sunak: Not all pro-Palestinian protests are hate marches

Rishi Sunak does not believe all pro-Palestinian protests are hate marches, Downing Street has said, while emphasising there has been “some evidence of hateful behaviour”.

No 10 appeared to be seeking to distance the Prime Minister from Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s description of the demonstrations as “hate marches” when pressed on whether he saw them as such.

“We saw some evidence of hateful behaviour at the marches including arrests for inciting racial hatred, but obviously it remains the case rightly that people are able to, peacefully within the law, express their views,” Mr Sunak’s official spokesman told reporters.

He denied that the Prime Minister saw all the protests over the last few weeks as hate marches.

“Any instances of antisemitism is one to many,” he added, pointing to a “fairly large number of arrests” made and language being used that is “frankly terrifying” for Jewish communities.

Israeli forces push further into the Gaza Strip

IDF pushing deeper into the Gaza Strip – reportedly nearing main Shifa Hospital located above Hamas’s command centre.

Israeli army guiding Palestinian civilians along humanitarian corridor

Palestinian civilians have reached the Israeli Army lines south of Gaza City. They are walking along the humanitarian corridor created for civilians moving south & are carrying white flags. The Israeli Army is letting them through to South Gaza.

Via Visegrad 24.

European heritage association condemns vandalism of Jewish sites

The European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ) is “deeply concerned about recent vandalism at historic Jewish heritage sites in Europe, like the synagogues in Izmir, Türkiye, and Besalú, Spain. These acts are truly disheartening.”

“We strongly condemn these senseless actions that harm both local communities and our shared historical heritage. These sites are vital for understanding and dialogue, promoting cultural diversity.

“Let’s stand against hate and support the preservation of our rich Jewish heritage. #AEPJ #HeritagePreservation #UnityAgainstHate”

See the full message on Twitter/X here.

UAE, France preparing field hospitals in Gaza, Egypt

The United Arab Emirates is preparing to establish a field hospital in Gaza while France is doing the same on the Egyptian side of the border, both intended for wounded Palestinians.

Expat community in south of Israel fundraise for IDF

Pic: Shimon Mayerfeld
Pic: Shimon Mayerfeld

This week, a community of expats in Carmei Gat, a suburb of Kiryat Gat in the south of Israel, fundraised for and received roughly 300 boxes of supplies from America.

More than 50 volunteers, including children, then spent three hours in the hot weather packing the items for distribution to bases around the country.

Pic: Shimon Mayerfeld

To date, the community has raised more than £50,000 for soldiers and their families.

Their efforts can be supported at https://causematch.com/Israel-at-War/friendsofcarmeigat   

ANC government withdraws unilaterally from brokering peace in the Middle East

The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) says today in a press statement that the South African government is ‘choosing to side with Hamas militants responsible for abducting South African hostages’.

Rowan Polovin, SAZE national chairperson said: “The South African government’s failure, once again, to use its influence and act as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, or to contribute to broader peace initiatives in the Middle East, does not come as a surprise to the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). This follows the ANC government’s decision to withdraw its diplomats in Tel Aviv this week, and unilaterally remove itself from having any role to play in ending the conflict.

“Instead of using the diplomats we have on the ground to help create peace and assist South Africans in Israel, the ANC government continues to behave in a manner that sows division and hate between groups back in South Africa.

“This appalling decision effectively cuts off the millions of South African Christians, as well as Jews and other faith groups, from their spiritual and religious connection to the Holy Land of Israel. This has already been met with widespread condemnation in our country, with protest action scheduled to take place in Johannesburg later today.”

Israeli media: Residents in northern Israel asked to stay indoor

Residents of the northern border towns of Kfar Giladi, Misgav Am, Manara, Malkia, Kfar Yuval, Margaliot, Metula, Yiftah and Ramot Naftali have been asked to stay indoor until further notice due to an unspecified security warning, Ynet reported.

Netanyahu conditions temporary ceasefire with release of hostages

“There would be a ceasefire for that purpose, and we’re waiting for that to happen. It hasn’t happened so far,” Netanyahu told ABC News.

“As far as practical, little pauses — an hour here, an hour there. We’ve had them before. We’ll check the circumstances [to have additional pauses] in order to enable humanitarian goods to come in or our hostages, individual hostages to leave,” he added.

IDF says it took control with another Hamas stronghold in Gaza

“Over the past day, IDF troops secured a military stronghold belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation in the northern Gaza Strip. Anti-tank missiles and launchers, weapons, and various intelligence materials were located in the compound by the troops. In coordination with soldiers on the ground, an IDF fighter jet struck a cell of approximately 10 terrorists. Following this, IDF ground troops identified an anti-tank missile cell operating in their vicinity,” the IDF said.

“The troops directed an IDF aircraft that struck the terrorist cell. Dozens of Hamas mortar shell launchers were also struck overnight. In addition, IDF naval forces struck with precise ammunition strategic targets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization, including posts containing technological assets. Furthermore, IDF troops located a number of Hamas terrorists who barricaded themselves in a building adjacent to the al-Quds Hospital, and planned to carry out an attack on the forces from there. IDF soldiers directed an aircraft to strike the Hamas terrorists. The attack led to significant secondary explosions which indicate the presence of a Hamas weapons depot in a civilian area,” it added.

Jewish man dies after confrontation during protests in California

A 69-year-old Jewish man has died in Los Angeles after a violent altercation at protests over the Israel-Hamas war on Sunday.

According to reports, Paul Kessler was hit over the head with a megaphone during the Pro Israel and Pro Palestinian rallies, and was taken to hospital where he died the following day.

Police continue to investigate and have not released any information about suspects. Authorities are also not ruling out a hate crime.

 

 

Family of Irish Israeli girl feared kidnapped living a ‘constant nightmare’

The half-sister of an Irish-Israeli girl feared kidnapped in Gaza has said the family is living a “constant nightmare”.

Emily Hand was originally feared dead after the Hamas assault on Kibbutz Be’eri in Israel on October 7.

However, the eight-year-old’s family have been informed she may still be alive and being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Emily’s father, Thomas, is originally from Dublin.

Natalie Hand, her half-sister, said the family has got hope back after initially being told Emily was dead.

“We’ve been informed by the military and other authorities that the first line was that she’s kidnapped and alive, and they have a few intelligence, that they get all the sources combined and then they cross all the information together, we don’t know exactly the details, but we do know she’s kidnapped,” she told RTE Radio One.

20-year-old female police officer stabbed to death in Jerusalem

Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin, 20, was stabbed to death near the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday. Lupin, from Kibbutz Sa’ad, moved to Israel from the U.S. in 2021.

US sends nuclear-capable sub to region

US sends nuclear-capable sub to Middle East to support its aircraft carriers already in the region.

Hamas says 10,022 killed, including 4,104 children; doesn’t clarify number of civilians

Hamas’ Health Minister in Gaza said the death toll in Gaza had risen to 10,022, including 4,104 children. The terror organisation doesn’t clarify how many of those are civilians and how many are terrorists.

Two border police officers stabbed, one critically hurt

Two officers were stabbed in Jerusalem on Monday, one was critically hurt.

‘Significant’ damage to Hamas underground and aboveground infrastructure

Times of Israel: The Israel Defense Forces believes heavy overnight strikes in the northern Gaza Strip caused significant damage to underground and aboveground infrastructure belonging to Hamas. The military had said it was carrying out “widespread strikes on terror infrastructure, below ground and above it.” Hamas described the strikes as “intense bombings.” The IDF says it has also killed more than a dozen Hamas field commanders, at the battalion and brigade level, since the beginning of the war, which is disrupting the terror group’s operations.

Vigil outside Scottish Parliament

A peaceful vigil for the hostages taken by Hamas was held outside the Scottish Parliament.

Fortnum & Mason’s delivery decisions ‘entirely technical’

The upmarket department store Fortnum & Mason has issued a statement about its shipping arrangements following confusion caused by messages on its website about delivery to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

“To clarify, we have not been able to ship to Israel for several years due to complex food import restrictions,” the speciality food retailer in Piccadilly, central London, said.

“More recently, our delivery partner has advised they are no longer able to deliver to the Palestinian Territories.”

It added: “We apologise unreservedly for any confusion or offence that this may have caused. Any decisions we make around our delivery territories are entirely technical and we are updating our messaging to reflect this.”

Help the Wiener Holocaust Library to preserve its collections

The word ‘Gaza’ was daubed in red paint outside the Wiener Holocaust Library in central London last week. Here’s how you can help support the library. CLICK HERE

EU calls for humanitarian pause, release of hostages from Gaza

“I think that a humanitarian pause counterbalanced by an access to hostages with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a first step to their release is an initiative on which we should work,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says.

IDF announces ‘safe’ corridor for Palestinians to leave northern Gaza

The IDF announced that it would allow another safe passage between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM local time for residents in northern Gaza to go south.

US ‘told Iran and Hezbollah it would intervene if they attack Israel’

Officials said the Biden administration has sent messages to Iran and Hezbollah through regional partners that the US would be prepared to intervene militarily against them if they launched attacks against Israel, the New York Times reported.

‘What Hitler did to you was a joke’: IDF arrests Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi

“Our message to the herds of settlers is that we’re waiting for you in all cities in [the West Bank], from Hebron to Jenin. We’ll slaughter you, and you’ll say that what Hitler did to you was a joke. We’ll drink your blood and eat your skulls. Let’s go, we’re waiting for you,” Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi wrote in a post on social media.

30 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza so far, IDF says

The Israeli army announced that another soldier was killed in Gaza on Wednesday, identifying him as 22-year-old Staff Sgt. Shahar Cohen Mivtach from Karmiel.

U.S. Navy deploys nuclear-capable submarine to Middle East

The United States Navy announced on Monday that it had deployed the Ohio-class nuclear-capable submarine to the Middle East, in what is seen as signal to Hezbollah and Iran to stay out of the Israel-Hamas war.

Irish criticism of Israel ‘not harming bid to get citizens out of Gaza’

Ireland’s deputy leader has said there is no evidence his Government’s criticism of Israel is hindering efforts to get Irish citizens out of the Gaza Strip.

Around 35-40 Irish passport holders remained in the territory on Sunday and none had been included on the lists of international citizens able to leave through the Rafah crossing to Egypt.

Tanaiste Micheal Martin insisted Israeli authorities and officials in Egypt were helping Irish diplomats in their efforts to get the citizens out.

Ireland has been critical of the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas rocket launchers found near playground

IDF says troops found Hamas rocket launchers near playground and swimming pool in Gaza.

British citizens trapped in Gaza ‘face leaving without family members’

British citizens trapped in Gaza are facing the “excruciating” prospect of leaving without their family members after the Foreign Office left those without UK passports off the safe passage list, a group representing them has said.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has begun putting names of British citizens on to the list of those allowed to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing to Egypt.

But some British citizens have said their dependants without British passports have not been included on the safe passage list.

The Rafah crossing is the only route out of Gaza for foreign nationals and the sole entry point for incoming aid.

IDF announces deaths of four more soldiers

They are:

Maj. Yehuda Natan Cohen, 25, a company commander in the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, from Shadmot Mehola.

Master Sgt. Lior Arazi, 25, a combat medic in Shaldag, from Givat Haim-Ihud.

Staff Sgt. Gilad Nehemya Nitzan, 21, a soldier in the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, from Shilo.

Staff Sgt. Yonadav Raz Levenstein, 23, a soldier in the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, from Ma’ale Adumim.

Their deaths bring the toll of slain soldiers since Israel launched its ground operation in the Gaza Strip last week to 28 and 345 since October 7.

WATCH: Shocking video Hamas supporter in central London

Filmed 1/11/23, 8pm, Oxford St. Most explicit, shocking video yet of destroying kidnap posters while supporting terror. ‘Hamas, my mujahadeen brothers. I love them, I support them, I pray for them. Tell Rishi Sunak
we love them.’

WATCH IT HERE

Jewish-Arab school in Israel wins global education prize

A bilingual and integrated Jewish-Arab school in Israel has won a global education prize in recognition of its efforts to heal longstanding divisions.

The Max Rayne Hand In Hand Jerusalem School – where Jewish and Arab students learn together in both Hebrew and Arabic – has been crowned winner of the T4 Education World’s Best School prize for overcoming adversity.

It comes as thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of Israelis have been taken hostage by the militants in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war broke out nearly a month ago.

The leadership of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School reflects the diversity of its student body, with an Arab elementary school principal and a Jewish secondary school principal.

There is also equal representation of Jewish and Arab staff, who work closely together to create an inclusive learning environment for all the students.

Five arrests at King’s Cross station

Five people have been arrested during a pro-Palestinian sit-in at London’s King’s Cross station after the demonstration was banned.

UK pressing for a key border crossing to remain open

Britain is pressing for a key border crossing to remain open after more UK nationals secured safe passage out of Gaza, according to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Thousands of protesters gather in Trafalgar Square

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters have gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Some demonstrators climbed on top of the square’s famous fountains as the mostly peaceful group waved flags and banners and let off fireworks on Saturday afternoon.

At least one protester was seen carrying a banner which read “Let’s keep the world clean” with a picture of an Israeli flag being thrown into a bin.

A similar banner displayed at a protest in Warsaw was condemned by the Israeli ambassador to Poland as “blatant antisemitism”.

Other protesters chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, despite controversy around the slogan’s meaning.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously branded the slogan antisemitic and claimed that it is “widely understood” to call for the destruction of Israel.

Andy Burnham has denied being disloyal to Labour leader

Andy Burnham has denied being disloyal to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer over his call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

When the question was put to him on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the mayor of Greater Manchester said: “No, not at all.

“I would point to the fact that the statement issued by myself, the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester Kate Green, all 10 leaders on a cross-party basis, it was a careful, considered statement that sought to reflect the views of our communities here in the city region and come to an approach which we think is the right approach.

“Of course we abhor the terrorist attacks of October 7, we recognise Israel’s right to take targeted action against Hamas. Our concern was with the widespread bombing causing such huge number of casualties — that was the point that we have made.

“Keir, in his speech earlier this week, I think made many similar points so I don’t think the difference between us is too great.

“And this issue cannot become all about the Labour Party. These are really difficult judgments that everybody is trying to make and I think Keir, the shadow cabinet, the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) needs to be given the space to come to those judgments.”

Varadkar: Israel’s actions ‘more approaching revenge than self-defence’

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said that some of Israel’s actions in Gaza were not just self-defence and resembled “something more approaching revenge”.

The Taoiseach reiterated his belief that Israel has a right to defend itself, and to “go after Hamas”, but said what he is “seeing unfolding at the moment isn’t just self-defence”.

He said Israel will not consider Ireland a close friend or ally as it has a different stance on Palestine than most western countries.

“I strongly believe that, like any state, Israel has the right to defend itself, has the right to go after Hamas so that they cannot do this again,” he told Irish media in South Korea.

“But what I’m seeing unfolding at the moment isn’t just self-defence, it looks, resembles, something more approaching revenge.

“That’s not where we should be and I don’t think that’s how Israel will guarantee its future freedom and its future security.”

Blinken: Two-state solution must be a goal of war

Times of Israel: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken argues that the goal of the war cannot only be to defeat Hamas but also to create a brighter future that includes a two-state solution.

Starmer says focus is on stopping Gaza suffering not on dissenting party members

Sir Keir Starmer has sought to play down the divisions within Labour over his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, as he insisted his focus was on stopping the suffering in Gaza not on the “individual positions” of party members.

It comes after two Labour council leaders called on him to resign, in the latest sign of internal divisions within Labour amid unhappiness among some MPs and members over the refusal of Sir Keir to back a ceasefire as the crisis continues to escalate.

Sadiq Khan thinks it is “important” there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he thinks it is “important” that there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

Mr Khan told the PA news agency: “It is a fact that I think it’s important there should be a ceasefire.”

“I think the way to get to a peaceful resolution is a de-escalation of violence, a de-escalation of what you’ve seen in the Gaza Strip, and the way to get there is a ceasefire.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a humanitarian pause rather than a ceasefire.

Mr Khan said there were “many areas” regarding the Middle East that he agreed with Sir Keir, including the “two-state solution” and the need for a “safe, secure, viable Israel and Palestine”.

Rishi Sunak: ‘To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful’

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful, and there is a clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated, something that would be an affront to the British public and the values we stand for.

“The right to remember, in peace and dignity, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms must be protected.

“I have asked the Home Secretary to support the Met Police in doing everything necessary to protect the sanctity of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.”

Councillors call on Starmer to quit over Gaza stance

Sir Keir Starmer has come under fresh pressure over his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, as two Labour council leaders called on him to resign.

The Labour leader, who has faced dissent from his frontbench and grassroots party members over his stance on the escalating conflict, is due to give an address later ahead of the King’s Speech next week.

Nearly 100 British citizens on list to leave Gaza to Egypt

Nearly 100 British citizens are expected to be able to leave Gaza for Egypt on Friday.

The latest list published by the Palestinian border authority includes 92 people described as British citizens, out of a total of 127 people named under the UK section of the list.

IDF carries out massive strike on Hezbollah after rocket fire

Times of Israel: The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out wide-scale airstrikes on Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to rocket attacks on northern Israel earlier. The IDF says that among the targets hit so far by fighter jets, tanks, and artillery are military headquarters, rocket launching positions, weapons storage sites, military complexes, and other infrastructure belonging to the terror group.

Police boss says image of Hamas ‘fighter’ in Londonderry ‘could be AI generated’

An image of a person dressed as a Hamas fighter during a Halloween event in Northern Ireland may have been generated by artificial intelligence, the chief constable has said.

Police are investigating a report of the costume following the circulation of an image on social media which appeared to show a person in the Guildhall Square in Londonderry dressed in a uniform with ‘HAMAS’ spelt on it.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s interim chief constable Jon Boutcher said he been made aware of a suggestion it could have been generated by artificial intelligence.

“None of our police officers saw anybody in that outfit. Nobody has made a complaint to either the staff who were stewarding or security for the event, and the event took place over three or four days,” he told a meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

“There is no trace of it whatsoever, and there has been a suggestion made to me – and this will be interesting if this is the case – that it might even have been some sort of artificial intelligence image that was presented and has been circulated.

“I don’t know at the moment, I can’t give you an answer on that, but that was the suggestion last night.

“The officers were very alive to the irresponsibility and the potential criminality of somebody dressing like that.

“At the moment we can’t find any witnesses or anybody saying that someone was walking around dressed like that during the events of Halloween so the jury is out on that.”

More Britons manage to flee Gaza through the Rafah crossing

British nationals have been able to get out of Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt for a second day amid intensive diplomatic efforts as Israeli forces continue to advance through the territory.

Two UK aid workers managed to leave the territory on Wednesday, but around 200 British nationals were facing an anxious wait for permission to make the journey to safety.

UJS cites ‘constructive meeting’ with UCL Provost over union incitement to Israel violence

From @UJS Twitter/X

“Yesterday, we met with @ucl’s Provost to discuss this issue. We had a constructive meeting and we are pleased that UCL has condemned this incitement of violence. We call for them to match this condemnation with urgent action against those responsible for this grotesque motion.”

Board of Deputies president visits Qatar for ‘high-level’ talks about hostage release

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) says that the Qataris “acknowledged the gravity of the situation and reassured the WJC delegation of their unwavering commitment to the hostages’ immediate freedom. This priority aligns with their shared vision of humanitarianism and regional peace”.

British nationals cross from Gaza into Egypt

Brits are among 400 foreign nationals and injured people to leave Gaza as the Rafah Crossing opens. The Foreign Office says it has agreed a list of British nationals who want to leave Gaza with Egyptian and Israeli authorities. We will be informed in advance when those on the list can use the crossing to ensure we can prove assistance.

Defence Minister: ‘There are very important achievements being made in the field’

“I am impressed by the activities of our forces. This is a determined, decisive action. There is strong cooperation between ground and air forces. There are very important achievements being made in the field — hitting terrorists of all levels, from fighters in the field to high-ranked ones,” Defence Minister Gallant said.

Swastikas painted on Jewish cemetery in Vienna

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer condemned in “the strongest terms” an arson attack on the Jewish section of Vienna’s central cemetery as well as swastikas painted on the external walls.

“Antisemitism has no place in our society,” he said.

Investigation under way after police officers seen removing kidnap posters

An investigation is under way after police officers from a second force were seen taking down posters of people kidnapped by Hamas.

In a widely circulated video on social media, officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) can be seen removing the posters from a wall in north Manchester, an area with a large Jewish population.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police said some of their officers took down posters in Edgeware, London, in a bid to ease community tension.

A large number of posters of people kidnapped from Israel by the terror group Hamas have gone on display since violence erupted in the Middle East earlier this month.

Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, of GMP, said: “We share concerns raised regarding the removal of posters in the north Manchester area and can confirm that an investigation is under way.

“The action taken last night, in response to complaints, is contrary to guidance that the force had already issued to staff in relation to flyposting.

“We will continue to work with local authorities and the community to ensure posters can be displayed. We regret any offence caused.”

Pro-Palestinian activists stage sit-in at London’s Liverpool Street station

A group of pro-Palestinian activists staged a sit-in at Liverpool Street station in London in protest at the Israel-Hamas conflict.

More than 500 people joined the protest at around 5.30pm on Tuesday to demand an immediate ceasefire to Israel’s attacks on Gaza and an end to arms exports to Israel.

Palestinian music and chants such as “ceasefire now” could be heard from the crowds at the sit-in, which was organised by direct action group Sisters Uncut.

Members from other activist groups including the Palestinian Youth Movement and International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network also spoke at the demonstration.

The British Transport Police said later on Tuesday: “Our officers dealt with a protest earlier this evening at Liverpool Street station. The station is back to normal operations.

“Anyone wishing to make a report related to the protest at Liverpool Street can text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40 with reference 324 of 31 October 2023.”

Rafah Crossing likely to open today for foreign nationals

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said that the Rafah Crossing is likely to open today for a first group of foreign nationals. Writing on X (formerly Twitter)he said: “UK teams are ready to assist British nationals as soon as they are able to leave.

“It’s vital that lifesaving humanitarian aid can enter Gaza as soon as possible.”

IDF targeted 11,000 Hamas positions since beginning of war

“Overnight, combined IDF troops struck several terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including operational command centres and Hamas terrorist cells. During battles yesterday (Tuesday), IDF troops identified several Hamas terrorists who barricaded themselves in a multi-story building – located near a school, medical centre and government offices – in the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

“IDF troops directed the IAF to strike the terrorists. Furthermore, IDF troops identified a vehicle carrying anti-tank missiles driving toward the forces operating in the Gaza Strip. In response, the troops directed and aircraft to fire toward the vehicle. A hit was identified,” it added.

11 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza so far

The IDF identified the soldiers as: Staff Sgt. Roei Wolf from Ramat Aviv; Staff Sgt. Lavi Lipshitz from Modi’in, Ariel Reich, 24, from Jerusalem; Asif Luger, 21, from Yagur; Adi Danan, 20, from Yavne; Halel Solomon, 20, from Dimona; Erez Mishlovsky, 20, from Oranit; Adi Leon, 20, from Nili; Ido Ovadia, 19, from Tel Aviv; Lior Siminovich, 19, from Herzliya; and Roei Dawi, 20, from Jerusalem.

Israel solidarity concerts in London and Leeds

*Bishnat Concert Series 2023* In solidarity with Israel
7th November – Leeds
8th November – London
Book Tickets – http://www.bishnat2021.org/

Norwegian student Marie Andersen suspended by the Medical University of Warsaw.

Medical student Marie Anderson has been suspended by the Medical University of Warsaw.

The 5th year student, whose husband is Jordanian, sparked international outrage when she was pictured at a demonstration in the Polish capital on Saturday 21st October, carrying a poster showing the Israeli flag being binned next to the words “KEEP THE WORLD CLEAN”.

Twitter: Visegrad24

in London, two women have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences following an incident during a protest in Trafalgar Square. Two women were seen with images of paragliders on their tops on Saturday 14 October.

Iran-backed group in Yemen claims responsibility for aerial attacks against Israel

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the aerial attack against Eilat, saying it was done “out of a sense of religious, moral, humanitarian, and national responsibility for the people of Gaza, in the face of the weakness of the Arab world, and of the collusion of some Arab countries with Israel.”

Protesters mob Sir Keir Starmer’s car in anger at his stance on Israel-Hamas war

Police were forced to intervene after pro-Palestinian protesters mobbed Sir Keir Starmer’s car.

The Labour leader, who had just delivered a speech defending his approach to the crisis, was ushered into the back of a waiting Land Rover Discovery as protesters shouted at him and demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Police officers pushed them aside, but the protesters ran at the car carrying the Labour leader and drummed on the window.

After the police cleared a path for the vehicle, protesters ran after it up the road.

The incident happened outside the Chatham House foreign affairs think tank in central London, where Sir Keir has been setting out why he was not demanding an immediate ceasefire.

The Labour leader believes that freezing the situation in its current state would do nothing to free the hostages taken by Hamas and would leave the group able to repeat its October 7 atrocities in future.

Instead, he has suggested that a humanitarian pause to let aid in and hostages out of Gaza is the only credible approach to the crisis.

Conference of European Rabbis issues Call to Action

Today, the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) released a joint statement calling for European governments to continue to support and protect Jewish communities following a rise in antisemitic incidents and attacks.

Pic: CER

CER is calling for governments to do whatever it takes to stop these attacks.

Sir Keir Starmer addresses rebellion over Labour’s stance on conflict

Sir Keir Starmer has said he has a duty to address collective responsibility in his party amid rebellion over Labour’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Asked by the BBC if he would allow ministers to undermine his responsibility if he were to become prime minister, the Labour leader said: “I think it is impossible for anyone to see the suffering we are seeing in Gaza and not feel compelled to try and do something about it.

“That is why I said in my short speech that I understand why people are asking for a ceasefire.”

He added: “There is unity and yet I am obviously engaging with my frontbenchers, but there is unity in what we want to see, which is the alleviation of the awful situation in Gaza.

“It is for me to address collective responsibility, I recognise that.

“It matters and I take that duty extremely seriously, but I put it in the context of understanding what is driving people in the call for a ceasefire, which is in my judgment not the call that we should be making as things stand for the reasons I have set out.”

Israel’s “Arrow” missile defence shoots down missile over Red Sea

“A surface-to-surface missile was fired toward Israeli territory from the area of the Red Sea and was successfully intercepted by the “Arrow” Aerial Defense System. IAF detection systems tracked the trajectory of the missile, which was successfully intercepted by the “Arrow” Aerial Defense System at the optimal operational moment and location,” the IDF said.

“Furthermore, IAF fighter jets were scrambled this morning due to an aerial threat identified in the area of the Red Sea and intercepted aerial threats that flew in the area. All aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory. No infiltrations were identified into Israeli territory,” it added.

Sarwar: Starmer’s comments on Israel and Gaza ‘hurtful’

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said comments by Sir Keir Starmer which appeared to back Israel cutting off water and power to Gaza were “hurtful”.

The Labour leader has since rowed back on the remarks, made to broadcaster LBC, which resulted in resignations among Labour councillors and sparked anger among the party’s MPs.

Speaking to the Daily Record on Tuesday, the Scottish party leader said: “It was hurtful and I think he would accept it was hurtful. He accepts that it is not his position and it never was his position. But (that) language, framed as it was, did cause hurt.”

He went on to say that the comments could have been clarified and “rebuffed” sooner.

Mr Sarwar, along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, are among the most high-profile members in the party to call for a ceasefire – something the UK’s party leadership has appeared resistant to.

On the relationship with Muslim members of the party, Mr Sarwar said there is “repair work to do” to restore “that trust and relationship”.

Israel, Egypt to allow 80 trucks to enter Gaza

IDF arrests 8 Hamas members in West Bank

Israeli forces arrested eight members of Hamas in the West Bank. More than 1,000 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank, including at least 600 Hamas terrorists.

Candle-lit cathedral vigil calls for ‘human solidarity’ amid conflict

A vigil has been held at Canterbury Cathedral urging people to “come together in human solidarity” as the Israel-Hamas conflict continued.

The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev David Monteith, organised Monday’s event in reaction to the “horror and disbelief” in what has happened for “all peoples in the Holy Land” since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Dozens of people gathered in the rain holding electric candles and lights, while some tied ribbons of peace to railings outside the cathedral.

Ahead of the gathering, Mr Monteith said: “It’s easy to feel very helpless and hopeless in these situations but I think one of the things we can do is come together with a sense of solidarity, and with each other as human beings, as sisters and brothers.

“Even though separated by distance and culture and other things that separate us, in the end we are all human beings.”

The Anglican cleric invited representatives of the Jewish, Muslim and

Police and Shin Bet arrest three Israelis suspected of ISIS affiliation

The three are suspected of conspiring to commit terrorism, and came from the northern Israeli Arab towns of Arraba and Sakhnin.

IDF strikes 300 targets in Gaza, kills numerous Hamas terrorists

“Over the last day, combined IDF combat forces struck approximately 300 targets, including anti-tank missile and rocket launch posts below shafts, as well as military compounds inside underground tunnels belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation,” IDF said on Tuesday.

“During the forces’ ground operations, the soldiers had several engagements with terrorist cells that fired both anti-tank missiles and machine gun fire toward them. The soldiers killed terrorists and directed air forces to real-time strikes on targets and terror infrastructure.”

BREAKING: UCL trade union votes for ‘intifada until victory’

The trade union for the second largest university in the UK, University College London, has tonight voted for “Intifada until victory” and a “mass uprising” against Israeli civilians.

In response to the motion by @ucl_ucu, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) says: “This is a horrific incitement to violence and terror. We have written to UCL’s Provost to express disgust at the motion & call for urgent action in the wake of this.”

Pic: UJS Twitter

UJS adds in a post on Twitter/X: “The full motion, attached in screenshots, appears to be similar to that discussed at Cambridge SU and proposed at Oxford UCU last week.

BREAKING: Two women arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences

BREAKING: Two women arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences following an incident during a protest in Trafalgar Square. Two women were seen with images of paragliders on their tops on Saturday 14 October.

Father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid compares Israelis to Nazis

Mohamed Hadid, the father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid, has published a post in which he uses a chart to compare Israel to the Nazis.

Footballer Anwar El Ghazi to return after distancing himself from Instagram post

Anwar El Ghazi is set to play for Mainz again after the German club said he has “distanced” himself from a social media post about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The former Aston Villa forward was suspended on October 17 by the Bundesliga club, who called the now-deleted Instagram post “intolerable”.

It was widely reported that El Ghazi would have his contract terminated, but Mainz have confirmed that the 28-year-old Dutchman will be staying.

A club statement read: “Anwar El Ghazi is warned by 1. FSV Mainz 05 for publishing a post on social media two weeks ago.

“After the publication, the club immediately released its player from training and games.

“Since then, in several conversations with the club’s board, El Ghazi has distanced himself from his post on his Instagram channel, which he himself deleted after just a few minutes.

“He regretted the publication of the article and its negative impact, especially for the entire club.

“In this context, El Ghazi also clearly distanced himself from terrorist acts such as those by Hamas, which led to a renewed escalation of violence in the Middle East two weeks ago, to the board.”

The club added: “He (El Ghazi) emphasised his sympathy with the victims of this attack as well as with all victims of this conflict. He made it clear that he did not question Israel’s right to exist.

“The club’s board clearly emphasised to Anwar El Ghazi in the discussions that it requires its employees to commit to the club’s values.

“This implies a special responsibility towards the State of Israel and the Jewish people, which derives from German history, but also the history of the club with its Jewish club co-founder Eugen Salomon.

“Against the background of El Ghazi’s commitment and the remorse he has shown, the club’s culture of dealing with mistakes requires that the player be given a chance for rehabilitation.

“Anwar El Ghazi will therefore return to training and games at 1. FSV Mainz 05 as soon as possible.”

El Ghazi joined Mainz on a free transfer last month from PSV Eindhoven and has made three substitute appearances.

He played for Lille and Ajax before moving to Villa in 2018. He made nearly 120 appearances in four years at Villa and also had a loan spell at Everton during his time in England.

IDF, Shin Bet save Israeli soldier from Hamas in Gaza

The IDF and Shin Bet announced in a joint statement that they managed to save a female soldier held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

British Ambassador to Israel joins volunteers at food centre

British Ambassador Simon Walters volunteered yesterday morning (Sunday) at Asif – Culinary Institute of Israel, which for the past three weeks has been functioning as a centre for cooking, packing and shipping food to families evacuated from their homes, hospitals, and more.

The ambassador joined the dozens of volunteers and staff members and helped in packing the food and preparing it for shipment.

Pic: British Ambassador

Walters said yesterday: “I was moved by the strength, unity and generosity I saw today in Asif, and in Israel in general in recent weeks. It was a refreshing moment of optimism in these difficult days. I hope that my small contribution today will be able to help, even if a little bit, to the families and citizens who are in such great difficulty.

“I share in with the grief of the citizens of Israel after the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas on the seventh of October. The British government will continue to work non-stop in order to bring all the hostages home safely.”

Jewish Women’s Aid: we condemn rape as a weapon of war

The charity that supports Jewish women through sexual violence and domestic abuse says it is “devastated” by the recent atrocities committed by Hamas.

In a statement seen by Jewish News, Caroline Ratner, chair of trustees at Jewish Women’s Aid (JWA) says the organisation has “heard harrowing reports of acts of sexual violence and rape of Israeli women and girls by Hamas. We strongly condemn all forms of sexual violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. Sexual violence against women during armed conflict is a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Such acts have a permanent impact on survivors and damaging psychological effects on women, particularly women who are victim-survivors of sexual violence.

“As an organisation that works tirelessly to protect women from abuse and violence, the appalling crimes committed against innocent women and girls are having a detrimental effect on the women we support, as well as our helpline volunteers, our advocates, and therapists who are directly supporting our clients.

“The public silence from many UK domestic/sexual abuse sector organisations further impacts the isolation and fear our clients are experiencing.

JWA says: “Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these traumatic reports, we stand together with you in grief and horror.”

https://www.jwa.org.uk/

Interfaith tree planting brings Jews and Muslims together

Despite personal threats to stop working together, a group of Jews, Muslims and committed neighbours of diverse faiths decided instead to plant 15 trees in Dulwich Common, south London.

The Interfaith Tree Planting project is part of the  memorial for Faiths Forum for London’s former co-chair Leonie Lewis. 100 trees will be planted in London in memory of her legacy and vision for peace.

Pic: Strengthening Faith Institutions

Rabbi Natan Levy said: “It’s difficult to talk to my Muslim friends at the moment because our political views are so very different and opinions so deeply divided. But I hear more and more about women with hijabs being threatened and yelled at in our neighbourhoods, and I feel that right now is  precisely the time we need to  stand together.  By digging the earth, planting these trees with imams, priests, and people of different faiths, I do feel a small seed of change is being planted with these trees, and that’s so desperately needed right now.”

Mustafa Field, director of Faiths Forum for London said: “These trees will create a space of gathering together and overcoming differences, not just for us today, but for our children.  It will stand as a living witness to the small fact that Jews, Muslims, and people of all faiths can come together to protect our environment, care for our neighborhoods, and work together for the good.  I know from my Jewish friends that anti-semitic attacks are on the rise, and though a few trees in the ground won’t stop this hatred altogether,  it will show both communities how much more effective we can be when we work together.”

Hamas releases propaganda video of 3 Israeli hostages

The video shows three women sitting on chairs, with one speaking in Hebrew on camera. The woman is raging against Prime Minister Netanyahu for his failure to prevent October 7 and for not getting the hostages out.

Jewish primary school children in the UK sing Hatikva

Jewish primary school children in the UK SING HATIKVAH, Israel’s national anthem, in solidarity with the people of Israel. Thanks to the United Synagogue for organising this.

 

 

 

Lebanese PM: ‘My duty to prevent Lebanon from entering the war’

“I am doing my duty to prevent Lebanon from entering the war. Lebanon is in the eye of the storm. For now Hezbollah has managed the situation rationally and wisely, and the rules of the game have remained constrained to certain limits. But at the same time I feel like I cannot reassure Lebanese” Najib Mikati told AFP.

Jewish schools in Paris evacuated after ‘bomb threat’

A number of Jewish schools across Paris and its suburbs were evacuated earlier today because of a bomb threat, according to emerging reports. Police are said to be searching the schools after an anonymous bomb threat was called in.

It is thought that the threat was targeted 20 Jewish schools in the Paris area.

The incident is the latest in a rise in antisemitic episodes that have taken place in France since the terror attacks on October 7.

 

Yair Lapid calls on Israel to kill 6 Hamas leaders

“The State of Israel must not stop and must not let go until we kill six people: Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, Ismail Haniyeh, Saleh al-Arouri, Khaled Mashaal and Marwan Issa. All six have to die. Until they die, Israel will not avenge the murdered of Be’eri and Sderot, Kfar Aza and Ofakim. Until they die, the Middle East will not understand that we are not messing around,” Lapid said.

IDF kills four ‘prominent’ Hamas commanders

“Over the last few hours, the IDF continued to expand its ground operations in the Gaza Strip. During engagements with terrorists in the Gaza Strip, several terrorist cells that attempted to attack the forces were thwarted by IDF troops, with support from IAF helicopters and UAVs,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The troops also destroyed terror infrastructure, including anti-tank missile launchers and other launch pads. In addition, based on IDF and ISA intelligence, IDF troops killed four prominent Hamas operatives in the last few hours. Among the operatives killed were: – Jamil Baba, commander of Hamas’ naval forces in its Central Brigade – Muhammad Safadi, commander of the anti-tank missile unit in the Tuffah Battalion – Muwaman Hijazi, a prominent operative in Hamas’ anti-tank missile unit – Muhammad Awdallah, a senior operative in Hamas’ production department,” it added.

Hundreds arrested at Grand Central Station in New York City

Hundreds of protesters were arrested as they crowded Grand Central Station in New York City on Friday afternoon for a rally sponsored by a Jewish group calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The rally came a day ahead of a series of other pro-Palestinian rallies worldwide. It was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist group that has accused Israel of genocide and blamed its policies for Hamas’ massacre of Israel on Oct. 7, which killed and wounded thousands.

Sunak to chair Cobra meeting on domestic threat linked to Hamas and Israel war

Rishi Sunak is to chair an emergency Cobra meeting amid fears that the conflict between Hamas and Israel could have increased the domestic terror threat in Britain.

The Prime Minister will assemble police and national security officials and Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Downing Street on Monday morning, Whitehall sources said.

Education minister Robert Halfon stressed before the meeting that the Government has to ensure British citizens are “safe and secure from the threat of terrorism”.

He declined to say whether the terror threat level might be raised. It currently stands at “substantial” in England, Wales and Scotland, meaning an attack is likely.

It has been at that level since February last year when it was lowered from “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley warned on Sunday that terrorism is being “accelerated” by events in the Middle East, as he raised concerns about “state threats from Iran”.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is in Abu Dhabi for talks on getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and allowing civilians, including British nationals, to leave.

Israeli-German citizen Shani Louk confirmed to have died

The body of Israeli-German Shani Louk, who was seen in footage on the day of the attack laying motionless in the back of a truck, was found on Monday, Louk’s sister, Adi, has confirmed on Instagram.

Prevention of 200 British citizens leaving Gaza by Hamas is ‘form of hostage taking’

The prevention of 200 British citizens leaving Gaza by Hamas is “a form of hostage taking”, an education minister has said.

Asked on Sky News about reports that around 200 British nationals in Gaza are being prevented from leaving by Hamas, Robert Halfon said: “I’m sure that we’ll have more details as they come through. But I think it illustrates a wider point, the nature of the Hamas movement as a terrorist network, they carried out the biggest atrocity against Israelis against Jews since the Holocaust.

“They have their terrorist network. They’ve got 300 kilometres of tunnels underneath Gaza. We don’t know where the 200 hostages are being kept from all over the world, not just from Israel. And that is why it’s right to support Israel and its right to self defence to take out the Hamas terror networks.”

Sky News presenter Kay Burley asked him: “If I could just take you back to the 200 British citizens, including, as we know, the First Minister of Scotland’s in-laws, still there, given that they are not being allowed to leave, can we consider them as hostages?”

Mr Halfon replied: “If people are being kept in a place against their will, are not allowed to travel out, then that is a form of hostage taking. But, as I say, it shows the nature of Hamas, it shows what Israel has to deal with and explains why the Government has said that it supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”

‘Fearful’ time for Jews in the UK, says education minister Robert Halfon

It is a “fearful” time for Jews in the UK, education minister Robert Halfon has said.

Mr Halfon, who is Jewish, was asked on LBC if he agrees with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, who said she believes there is a problem with rising antisemitism in London.

He said: “Yes, I do. I think it’s a fearful time for Jews in the UK. I’m the higher education minister, as you mentioned – there are ever-increasing incidents of antisemitism on campus.”

Asked what action Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer should take after Middlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonald used the “between the river and the sea” chant during a rally at the weekend, Mr Halfon said: “Well, I’m absolutely not going to get involved in what goes on in the Labour Party. I’m proud that the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, my boss the Education Secretary are doing everything possible to support Jewish people at this very awful time.

“The one thing I would say that it’s incumbent on everyone, especially those in politics, not to chant slogans that are known antisemitic slogans, and I think I’d leave it at that.”

UK to hold emergency meeting on threat of domestic terrorism

“We have to make sure that British systems are safe and secure from the threat of terrorism as the government always does,” higher education minister Robert Halfon told Times Radio.

UK ambassador: ‘We’re extremely concerned about antisemitism’

Britain’s Ambassador to Israel Simon Walters told Army Radio that the UK is “extremely concerned about antisemitism.”

Walters also said that “Hamas must not remain in control in the Gaza Strip.”

 

Israeli airstrikes hit Hezbollah in Lebanon

The airstrikes hit Hezbollah targets in response to rockets fired at Israel on Sunday evening.

33 trucks with humanitarian aid entered Gaza on Sunday

“This is the largest delivery of humanitarian aid since 21 October, when limited deliveries resumed,” UN said.

IDF troops kill dozens of terrorists in Gaza

Overnight, the IDF continued ground operations in the Gaza Strip. During clashes with terrorists in the Gaza Strip, IDF troops killed dozens of terrorists who barricaded themselves in buildings and tunnels, and attempted to attack the troops.

In one incident, an IDF aircraft guided by IDF ground troops struck a staging post inside a building belonging Hamas, with over 20 terrorist operatives inside it.

In addition, over the last few days, the IDF struck over 600 terror targets, including weapons depots, dozens of anti-tank missile launching positions, as well as hideouts and staging grounds used by Hamas.

Overnight, IDF troops identified armed terrorists and an anti-tank missile launching post in the area of the Al-Azhar University, and guided a fighter jet to strike them.

Home Secretary to hold emergency Cobra meeting to assess ‘increasing’ UK terror risk

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is holding an emergency meeting with national security bosses today to discuss concerns the Israel-Hamas war could “accelerate” the chance of a terror attack in the United Kingdom.

Ministers and national security bosses will meet in Downing Street to discuss the domestic security risk in the UK. It comes after Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and a former head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said that the country was facing a “particularly challenging time” as a result of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

 

 

IDF ‘troubled’ by the rise in antisemitism in the UK

Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), said he was “troubled” by the rise in antisemitism in the UK since Hamas’s attack on Israel.

In a video recorded on Friday and played during an online Jewish community briefing organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews on Sunday, the military spokesman said: “I’m aware and troubled by the many manifestations of antisemitism and Jew hatred in Britain.

“We see it, it is reported in Israel as well. My best wishes go out to you and, just as we are going to be strong in what we are going to endure here and already have endured, I hope you will find it within you to be brave, strong, unrelenting and be able to stand up against the masses of thinly-veiled Israel haters and Jew haters who claim to be speaking about the rights of Palestinians and political solutions.

“That is all nonsense. None of this is about Palestinian rights or the end to a conflict.

“This is about a terrorist organisation that invaded our communities, butchered more than 1,000 Israeli civilians in their homes on purpose, by design, and also went on to take more than 224 hostages.

“That is what this is about, nothing else and please don’t get confused about it.”

Zelensky speaks out as crowds storm Russian airport looking for Israelis

Ukrainian president, Volodmyr Zelensky, has spoken out on X (formerly Twitter) after crowds of people infiltrated Makhachkala airport, in the Russian republic of Dagestan, reportedly looking for Israelis on an incoming flight from Tel Aviv, forcing the airport to temporarily close.

Videos have been circulating on social media showing people bursting onto the runway after the arrival of a flight from Tel Aviv, seemingly looking for Israeli citizens. In some videos numerous individuals can also be seen in the airport car park. Following the riots, authorities have opened criminal proceedings, according to reports.

On X, the Ukrainian president, Volodmyr Zelensky, commented:

“Appalling videos from Makhachkala, Russia, where an angry mob broke into the airport searching for Israeli citizens on the flight from Tel-Aviv. This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala, but rather part of Russia’s widespread culture of hatred toward other nations, which is propagated by state television, pundits, and authorities. The Russian foreign minister has made a series of antisemitic remarks in the last year. The Russian President also used antisemitic slurs. For Russian propaganda talking heads on official television, hate rhetoric is routine. Even the most recent Middle East escalation prompted antisemitic statements from Russian ideologists. Russian antisemitism and hatred toward other nations are systemic and deeply rooted. Hatred is what drives aggression and terror. We must all work together to oppose hatred.”
 

Mobs storm through Russian airport looking for Israeli arrivals

Earlier today, a flight from Israel to the Russian Republic of Dagestan was forced to divert from its intended destination in the capital of Makhachkala after pro-Palestinians protesters stormed the airport, seeking to lynch the Israeli arrivals, according to multiple reports.

The plane landed at an alternate airport, but also faced riots. It has been reported that passengers were instructed to remain inside the plane and riot police were called to the scene.

Footage on X showed crowds rampaging through a Dagestan airport terminal looking for the Israeli arrivals.

Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron speak after expansion of military operatio

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French president Emmanuel Macron have spoken following the expansion of Israel’s military operation against Hamas, No 10 has confirmed.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The leaders stressed the importance of getting urgent humanitarian support into Gaza. They agreed to work together on efforts both to get crucial food, fuel, water and medicine to those who need it, and to get foreign nationals out.

“They expressed their shared concern at the risk of escalation in the wider region, in particular in the West Bank. The Prime Minister and President Macron updated on the conversations they have had with leaders in the region to stress the importance of working to ensure regional stability.

Over 200 people gather at Qatar embassy calling for return of hostages

Click here for video

A human chain of 229 people formed outside the Embassy of Qatar in Mayfair, London. Qatar harbours Hamas leaders and has positioned itself as a lynchpin in negotiations for the release of the hostages, who were taken from their homes and a musical festival by Hamas terrorists on 7 October.

London volunteers send combat clothing to Israel

 

Jackie Benjamin with Alan Jacobs and bags of army clothing on route to a paratrooper unit in Israel

When Jackie and Jeremy Benjamin were asked by their nephew, Harel, if they could help with tactical combat uniforms for his reserve paratrooper reconnaissance unit serving in the Northern Command, they swung into action.

With help from family and friends they sourced military-grade kit from the Far East and asked those travelling to Israel to help out by taking the bags with them on the flights. Jewish News trustee Alan Jacobs was only too happy to help this wonderful initiative this afternoon.

Two women arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred in Trafalgar Square

Two women have been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred following an incident in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police said.

“Following our appeal yesterday evening, two women have now been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred in Trafalgar Square,” the force tweeted.

“We’d like to thank the public for their assistance in sharing our appeal and for reporting the incident at the time. The suspects remain in custody.”

Online briefing for the Jewish community tonight at 6.30pm

There will be a special online briefing today (Sunday 29 October) for all members of the Jewish community, at 6:30pm, hosted by the Board of Deputies, JLC, CST, UJIA and BICOM.

Please click here to join the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNOG0ClAW30

Jewish News’ Justin Cohen debates rights and wrongs of a ceasefire

Watch the debate that aired on GB News on Sunday morning.

Labour unlikely to sack senior MPs rebelling over Israel stance – Peter Kyle

Labour will not sack shadow cabinet members rebelling over the party’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict, Peter Kyle has suggested.
The shadow science secretary said the Labour leadership would likely “continue engaging” with its own frontbenchers who do not agree with Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on the conflict.

Sir Keir has called for a humanitarian pause in the fighting to allow for aid to be delivered to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, a call echoed by the UK’s allies including the United States.

But he finds himself at odds with senior Labour figures, including shadow equalities minister Yasmin Qureshi, who called during Prime Minister’s Questions for Rishi Sunak to back a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Imran Hussain, a shadow minister working in Angela Rayner’s team, is among 39 Labour MPs who have signed a parliamentary

Some pro-Palestinian protestors have crossed the line, says Cabinet minister.

Some pro-Palestinian protestors have crossed the line during demonstrations, according to a Cabinet minister.

Science Secretary Michelle Donelan said the UK Government “100% respects the right to protest and the right of freedom of speech” but said there “is a line and when that line is passed it can be dangerous for the rest of the British public”.

Asked on Sky News whether individuals at some of the pro-Palestine demonstrations had “crossed that line”, Ms Donelan said: “Yes, there have been individuals holding up placards of those images to represent those people who went in just a few weeks ago…”

Sir Trevor Phillips said: “The (Hamas) paragliders?”

Ms Donelan replied: “Yes — and killed innocent babies and raped women and massacred people. And that is inciting hatred and promoting violence and terrorism.”

Humza Yousaf has said he has spoken to his in-laws trapped in Gaza

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he has spoken to his in-laws trapped in Gaza amid the ongoing conflict.

He had said on Saturday that he and his wife, Nadia-El Nakla, had not been able to contact her parents since the previous day after communications were knocked out and they did not know if they were dead or alive.

Ms El-Nakla’s parents, Elizabeth and Maged, travelled to Gaza from Scotland prior to the conflict to visit family.

On Sunday, Mr Yousaf said on X, formerly Twitter, that he has now heard from them.

Layla Moran: UK and international allies “failing” to prevent civilian casualties

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats foreign affairs spokeswoman who has extended family in Gaza, said the UK Government and other international allies were “failing” to prevent civilian casualties in the region with its stance on the Israel-Hamas war, as she described the desperation felt by Palestinians.

Speaking to BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme, Ms Moran said: “I heard the Secretary of State (Michelle Donelan) now suggest it is Hamas that is stopping them from leaving.

“That is not what is happening. I find it deeply offensive to suggest that Hamas is giving my family any kind of marching orders. They have nothing to do with Hamas.

“The reason they are there is because it is three generations: one is frail; you’ve got 11-year-old twins. They can’t move. There is bombing in the south — there is bombing on the so-called safe route that they were given to get to the south.

Police chief would support a review into legal definition of extremism

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has said he would support a review into the legal definition of extremism and how it should be policed.

He told the Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme on Sky News: “There is scope to be much sharper in how we deal with extremism within this country.

“The law was never designed to deal with extremism, there’s a lot to do with terrorism and hate crime but we don’t have a body of law that deals with extremism and that is creating a gap.”

Demonstration outside Qatari embassy calling for the release of hostages

A demonstration will be held outside Qatari embassy in London at 3pm this afternoon calling for the release of the hostages kidnapped from Israel.

Man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill

A man was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill as at least 100,000 pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets of central London demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

IDF warns north Gaza is now a ‘battlefield’

Times of Israel: Ground forces hit Hamas as IDF warns north Gaza residents area is now a ‘battlefield’. Multiple rocket barrages target south and central Israel, with no casualties; army says it will start allowing significantly more humanitarian aid to enter southern Gaza

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to London streets

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters have taken to London streets, demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Rallies have also been organised elsewhere in the UK – including in Manchester and Glasgow.

In London on Saturday, demonstrators gathered with banners and posters and let off fireworks and red and green flares.

Some chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, despite controversy around the slogan’s meaning.

A woman was knocked over by a police horse after the animal was startled by fireworks but appeared to be fine when she was brought back to her feet.

More than 1,000 Metropolitan Police officers are on duty for the demonstration, the force announced on X, formerly Twitter.

Police deploy officers to represent the interests of families in Israel

The Metropolitan Police has deployed officers to represent the interests of families in Israel, it has said.

Dominic Murphy, from the force’s Counter Terrorism Command, told a briefing: “I can now say that we have deployed officers in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in order to represent family’s interests in Israel alongside the FCDO.

“We continue to have family liaison officers deployed to families all around the UK and city police network colleagues are supporting that activity.

“And our purpose for being there is to support the investigation by a coroner here in the UK, and any other investigation that we may run as a direct result of the Hamas terrorist attack.

“We have seen two UK citizens who were were killed in that attack return to the UK and they now come under the jurisdiction of a coroner and my team here will be supporting that coroner’s investigation.”

BBC’s refusal to call Hamas terrorists was wrong says Badenoch

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has criticised the BBC’s refusal to call Hamas terrorists after the attacks on Israel which sparked the growing conflict.

She told the Daily Telegraph a “false equivalence” has been made in “an attempt to be impartial”.

Andy Burnham latest senior Labour figure to call for a ceasefire

Andy Burnham has become the latest senior Labour figure to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

In a statement with deputy mayor Kate Green and 10 leaders of Manchester councils, the group said: “We are deeply concerned about events in the Middle East and the anguish being experienced by people in Greater Manchester, most acutely in our Jewish and Muslim communities.

Son of Hamas hostage says Palestinian protests ‘celebrate his pain’

The son of a 75-year-old hostage kidnapped by Hamas said he is going through “psychological torture” and accused Palestinian protesters in the UK of “celebrating his pain”.

Noam Sagi, 51, from London said his mother Ada Sagi was kidnapped by Hamas militants from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, Israel on October 7. She is among the 220 hostages currently held by Hamas.

Mr Sagi addressed attendees at a vigil held at JW3 (Jewish Community Centre) in North London, alongside speakers including Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis.

The vigil included a table of empty seats, displayed to raise awareness of the hostages taken by Hamas.

A name and face of one of the hostages was displayed on each of the 220 vacant seats.

The table represented the Jewish Sabbath, Shabbat, a time when Jewish communities traditionally come together for a family dinner on Friday evenings.

New York’s leading Imam to meet Jewish student leaders to hear their concerns

Amidst dramatic rise in anti-semitic incidents on US college campuses, Imam Shamsi Ali and Rabbi Marc Schneier will meet 30 Jewish student leaders from New York City colleges to discuss ways to combat hatred and violence.

Sir Keir Starmer is under growing pressure to call for a ceasefire

Sir Keir Starmer is under growing pressure to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the party’s leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, both broke ranks to challenge his stance.

Party sources made clear the Labour leader was not about to strengthen his position on Friday beyond pushing for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid and essential supplies into Gaza, despite the demands from the senior figures.

Tel Aviv apartment block hit by rocket

A Tel Aviv apartment block has been hit by rocket – two people have been injured.

UK ‘reliant’ on a humanitarian pause to get support into Gaza

The UK is “reliant on” a humanitarian pause in the Middle East conflict to get support into Gaza, a minister has said, but the Government is continuing to resist calls for a ceasefire.

Empty Shabbat table at JW3

Empty Shabbat table at JW3 to raise awareness for Israeli hostages, with Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis and Noam Sagi, son of hostage Ada Sagi. Report to follow…

Flash vigil in Borehamwood for kidnapped children

Around 80 people gathered at a flash vigil in Borehamwood on Friday as a tribute to the more than 200 men, women and children kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Participants placed a pair of shoes next to posters as a way of creating a visual representation of the hostages.

US strikes facilities in Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

The United States has carried out strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups, Times of Israel reports.

The strikes are a response to a recent series of attacks against American personnel based in Iraq and Syria by Tehran-backed militias, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said. US bases and personnel in the Middle East have been targeted repeatedly in drone and missile attacks since 17 October.

Government wants Border Force ‘ready’ to help British citizens

Gillian Keegan said the government wants UK Border Force “prepared and ready” to help British citizens in the Middle East.

The education secretary told Sky News: “We’ve been in intense discussions with partners in the region, but we want the Border Force to be there to be prepared and ready if and when we can get the hostages out.

“So it’s preparation so that we can be there, so we’ve got everything available if we can get them out.

“But right now we still need to agree that and it still needs to be facilitated.”

Shadow minister empathises with colleagues who disagree with party’s over conflict

Shadow environment secretary Steve Reed has said he understands and empathises with Labour colleagues who disagree with the party’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

He told Sky News: “I completely understand and empathise with colleagues who are seeing what’s going on in Gaza and are just feeling desperate, so many viewers will be looking at those scenes today and feel just anguish at the pain and suffering that is going on.

Jordanian ceasefire draft resolution does not mention Hamas

Jordan has circulated a draft resolution that is still under discussion, which is meant to be put to vote tomorrow.

Three senior Hamas terrorists killed, says IDF

The Israel Defense Forces says it has killed three senior commanders in Hamas’s Daraj-Tuffah Battalion in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip today, Times of Israel reports.

The IDF says the strike killed the battalion’s commander, Rifaat Abbas, the deputy commander, Ibrahim Jadba, and a combat support commander, Tarek Maarouf.

President Herzog meets family members of Bedouins held captive by Hamas

President Isaac Herzog meets in the southern town of Rahat with family members of Bedouins held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

“We came to say that we share deeply in the grief of the entire Israeli Arab population, and the Bedouin society in particular,” Herzog says. “This is not a war between Jews and Muslims. This is a war between the people who seek to bring light and the people who seek to bring darkness.”

EU talks on common Gaza stance must consider all perspectives, says Taoiseach

Ireland must appreciate the differing perspectives of EU members on the Israel-Hamas conflict as the bloc strives to agree a united call for a humanitarian ceasefire, the Taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar expressed hope that a common declaration would emerge from talks at the European Council summit across Thursday and Friday.

He said the precise language of the statement did not matter as much as ending the violence.

Mr Varadkar arrived at the summit a day after Ireland advised all its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country amid fears the conflict in Gaza could escalate.

Ireland’s deputy premier Micheal Martin said on Thursday that the “precautionary” step was taken due to the possibility of a “sudden” escalation.

Buckinghamshire holds inter-faith peace vigil

Rabbi Neil Janes (right) of South Bucks Jewish Community and other participants of the vigil
Rabbi Neil Janes (right) of South Bucks Jewish Community and other participants of the vigil

On 26 October in the Bucks Council Chamber in Aylesbury, Rabbi Neil Janes, of South Bucks Jewish Community, led a call for peace and against hate in the county, alongside other faith leaders, and introduced by The Countess Howe, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant in Buckinghamshire.

The faith leaders affirmed it was unacceptable that there has been a more than five-fold increase in antisemitism in the area since the Hamas attack in Israel on 7th October, alongside an increase in Islamophobia which they also condemned.

The faith leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baháʼí, Hindu, and Quaker communities read out a statement together which called on all residents in Buckinghamshire to speak out against every form of hatred and to share prayers for an end to war.

Rabbi Janes said, “This is about being responsible for our local society, ensuring it reflects the values we hold dear of justice, compassion and peace and against hate. We want to bridge the divides between us in person and online to show there is more that unites us.”

“There is anxiety, fear, and sadness in our local communities and we were gathered together to model the society we all wish to live in – one of love, respect, tolerance, justice, and peace.”

Auschwitz Museum director receives an OBE in Warsaw

Pic shows Lord Pickles (centre, Dr Piotr Cywinski, director of Auschwitz Museum, and (right Anna Clunes, British ambassador to Poland
Pic shows Lord Pickles (centre, Dr Piotr Cywinski, director of Auschwitz Museum, and (right Anna Clunes, British ambassador to Poland

Dr Piotr Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz Museum was presented with an OBE by the British ambassador to Poland, Anna Clunes, in a ceremony in Warsaw, during a session of the International Committee of Auschwitz Birkenau Foundation.

Lord Pickles was there in his capacity as Special Envoy of the UK for post-Holocaust issues.

Dr Piotr Cywinski, expressing his gratitude for the honour, said: “On this day I would like to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilian hostages in Gaza. This must be the first step in building peace in the  Middle East”.

Lord Pickles said: “The Order of the British Empire is a very rare form of recognition for individuals outside of the United Kingdom. It is granted not because people do their jobs, but because they do their jobs in an exceptional way. Poland is the curator of former German camps, and I believe that the Auschwitz Memorial fulfills a unique mission in providing an understanding of the past”.

He added: “Every year, two students from each high school in the United Kingdom visit the Auschwitz Memorial as part of the Holocaust education programme. The way the Museum welcomes these young people and the way it preserves the truth is truly exceptional. And we will need that truth when the last survivors are no longer with us.”

Press statement by the South African Friends of Israel

The South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) has confirmed that it has been made aware of two South African hostages, both elderly females, that were abducted by Hamas from Israel into Gaza on 7 October 2023, and are being held captive alongside over 200 others.

Western Marble Arch Synagogue installation highlights scale of hostage crisis

Rabbi Daniel Epstein at Western Marble Arch Synagogue uses the pews to highlight the scale of the hostage situation.

Abraham Accord countries condemn Israel’s ‘collective punishment’ of Gaza

United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Morocco condemn what they call Israel’s “collective punishment” of Gaza, saying: “Self-defence does not justify violations of international law, and deliberate disregard for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

Israel’s Ministry of Finance commits NIS 400m to help tech companies cope in the war

Israel’s Ministry of Finance is increasing the budget of the Innovation Authority’s Fast Track channel to aid hi-tech companies struggling during the war by NIS 300 million ($73.8 billion). The overall budget will stand at about 400 million NIS ($98.4 billion). The finance ministry’s decision follows a meeting between Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich, senior ministry officials and leaders from the high-tech industry to discuss the impact of the war on the high-tech industry, the required steps in the current crisis, and long-term plans for the Israeli high-tech sector.

Israeli army arrests 46 Hamas members in West Bank raid

The army has arrested more than 1,000 suspects in the West Bank since the war began, including around 660 Hamas members.

UN: ‘Nowhere is safe in Gaza’

“For people who can’t evacuate – because they have nowhere to go or are unable to move – advance warnings make no difference. When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices. Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory said

Netanyahu: IDF preparing for ground invasion

“We are raining down hellfire on Hamas. We have already eliminated thousands of terrorists – and this is only the beginning. At the same time, we are preparing for a ground incursion. I will not detail when, how or how many, or the overall considerations that we are taking into account, most of which are unknown to the public, and this is how it needs to be, in order to better safeguard the lives of our soldiers,” Netanyahu said in a speech to the nation.

“I would like to be clear. The timing of the IDF action will be determined unanimously by the War Cabinet, together with the IDF Chief-of-Staff. Together with the Security Cabinet, we are working to ensure the optimal conditions for our soldiers in the coming actions. When we go into Gaza, in the continuation of the fighting, we will exact the full price from the murderers, those who perpetrated Hamas-ISIS’s horrors. I again call on the non-combatant population in Gaza – evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.”

The 2023 Sacks Conversation to be held in New York City on October 31; in person and webcast

On Tuesday, October 31, The Rabbi Sacks Legacy will host The 2023 Sacks Conversation at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

The theme for this year’s event is “To Heal a Fractured World,” featuring a keynote from Shari Redstone. The emcee is Joe Lieberman, and speakers include Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Imam Abdullah Antepli, Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, and Gila Sacks, daughter of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Click here for details.

At least one arrest made outside Scotland Yard as 1000 demand updated policing policies

Calls for “Enforce the law” and “Make arrests, not excuses” at protest rally organised by Campaign Against Antisemitism, as another “National March for Palestine” is called for this weekend.

Campaign Against Antisemitism chief executive, Gideon Falter, told a 1,000-strong multi-faith crowd: “Last Saturday saw an exhibition of Jew-hate as rarely seen before on the streets of London. Britain’s capital was effectively closed to Jewish people.

“We cannot and will not endure weekly processions featuring terrorist sympathisers and antisemites through our streets. We are fortunate to live in a country with the freedom to demonstrate, but there are limits set by law and those laws must be enforced. The demands of an unlawful mob must not supersede the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Photo credit: Nathan Lilienfeld

Lord Ian Austin demanded that the forthcoming King’s speech be used to introduce new policing powers to strengthen the police response.

The leader of Christian Action Against Antisemitism described his treatment by police as they repeatedly told him that he and his supporters would be in danger if they proceeded with two solidarity rallies for British Jews, leading to their cancellation.

Israeli author and activist Hen Mazzig told the crowd: “My Israeli family asked if they should come to London for respite and safety after the terrorist atrocity, and I told them that I am not so sure that’s what they would find here.”

Israeli Opera soloists perform ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Misérables in English and Ivrit

Two soloists from The Israeli Opera have recorded a version of the song Bring Him Home, from the musical Les Misérables.

Anat Czarny (mezzo soprano) and Oded Reich (baritone) sing in English and Hebrew in an empty auditorium, accompanied by David Sebba at the piano, who arranged the music.

A film of their performance has been published for World Opera Day, 25 October, which The Israeli Opera is not celebrating this year. The video, directed by Tal Almog, shows still and moving images of Israeli children who were taken captive by Hamas on 7 October, and walls of posters of the kidnapped youngsters.

Jewish Community briefing on Sunday at 6:30 pm

The Jewish Leadership Council, the British Board of Deputies, BICOM, UJIA and CST will be updating the community on the situation in Israel on Sunday evening.

They will also share information about their collective work and what you as community members can do to assist. Click here for info.

Israel ally Mike Johnson elected as US Speaker of the House

Republican Mike Johnson has been elected as the US Speaker of the House following a unanimous Republican vote.

Johnson is considered to be one of the most pro-Israel members of the United States Congress.

Israeli music fundraiser being held in London for MDA and Kibbutz Nir Oz

A charity concert of Israeli music, in Hebrew, is being held on Saturday 28 October, 8pm-9.30pm.

Concert for Hope will be “a moment to come together and sing the most loved Hebrew songs, thinking about Israel”, say the organisers.  It will be in West Hampstead, NW6.

All the funds raised from the event will go directly to Magen David Adom and to Kibbutz Nir Oz families.

UPDATE: This event has now SOLD OUT

Londoners rally tonight at Scotland Yard demanding police uphold the law

Campaign Against Antisemitism reports that a group will be seeking police action as another ‘National March for Palestine’ is planned through London for this weekend.

In a statement, the organisation says:

“The Metropolitan Police Service, like police forces across the country, has a responsibility to defend every community, including the Jewish community, which is all too familiar with the threats that face it.

“What we have seen over the past two-and-a-half weeks, however, is an unprecedented 1,350% surge in antisemitic hate crimes met with relative inaction on the part of the police.

“Too few arrests, lax policing, and excuses posted on social media for why certain chants and signs and phrases are not hate crimes — all to the incredulity of the Jewish community, the mainstream media and the Government.

“As Jews, we are enormously grateful to the police for protecting our Jewish community and for keeping our cities safe. But over the past two weeks, our cities have felt less and less safe for Jews.

“It has hardly been reassuring to see such lax policing of demonstrations featuring genocidal chants, antisemitic signs, calls for Jihad against the Jewish state, and more. Given that a “March for Palestine” and other demonstrations are planned for this weekend and are likely to continue week after week, the Met must be seen to make urgent changes to its policing policy.

“It adds insult to injury when the police take so little action against offenders on these marches but still find the time to stop our digital vans from displaying the faces of children taken captive by Hamas, to raise awareness of their plight, from driving around London.

“Londoners of all faiths are demonstrating this evening to show the depth of feeling.”

The rally will be held at New Scotland Yard, Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JL

Germany bans antisemites from acquiring citizenship

“Our draft for the new citizenship law, which we will now discuss in the Bundestag, provides a clear exclusion of anti-Semites,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

Yad Vashem slams UN chief for Hamas remarks

“The slaughter of Jews by Hamas on October 7 was genocidal in its intents and immeasurably brutal in its form. Part of why it differs from the Holocaust is because Jews have today a state and an army. We are not defenceless and at the mercy of others,” Yad Vashem chief Danny Dayan said.

“However, it puts to test the sincerity of world leaders, intellectuals and influencers that come to Yad Vashem and pledge ‘Never Again.’ Those who seek to ‘understand,’ look for a justifying context, do not categorically condemn the perpetrators, and do not call for the unconditional and immediate release of the abducted – fail the test. UN Secretary General António Guterres failed the test,”he added.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Hamas is not a terrorist organisation

“Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, it is a group of mujahideen defending their lands. Targeting our Palestinian brothers, including children, patients and the elderly, even in schools, hospitals and mosques, is a crime against humanity,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

StandWithUs UK hosts Rabbi Leo Dee

StandWithUs UK hosted Rabbi Leo Dee with other communal and student leaders in a gathering of solidarity and unity on Monday evening.

Represented at the gathering were leaders from the Board of Deputies, UJIA, the S&P Sephardi Community, Israel Bonds and other key communal groups.

Edwin Shuker, vice president of the Board of Deputies said: “Rabbi Leo Dee combines a unique blend of spirituality with pragmatism. He has managed to turn a personal tragedy into inspiration and grief into hope”.

Pic: StandWithUs

In his address, Rabbi Dee encouraged leaders in the community to go out and educate their communities and supporters on Israel, as well as to support as much as we can the ability for young people to create and share educational content with their circles. He emphasised how important it was for each organisations to frame the war as one of ‘good versus evil’.

Isaac Zarfati, executive director for StandWithUs UK, said: “Rabbi Leo Dee is an inspirational figure. His personal story encapsulates the struggle of the Jewish people in their homeland. The optimism and wisdom that emanate from him strengthen all of us in the righteous struggle we are currently engaged in.”

This event was part of StandWithUs UK’s efforts to engage with the community, providing them with the necessary support during these critical times.

Blake Ezra hosts award-winning Israel educator Samuel Green

50 people gathered in north London last week in the home of Blake and Yamit Ezra to hear from award-winning Israel educator Samuel Green.

Samuel flew to the UK shortly after the outbreak of the war with Gaza and has been lecturing in homes, schools, religious institutions and workplaces about the history of the Gaza Strip and his experiences of the war. The Ezra family hosted a mixture of Jewish and non-Jewish friends who were interested in learning more about the situation.

Pic: Blake Ezra

Blake, himself a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies, opened the evening by sharing his thoughts and fears about the situation in Israel and the rise in anti-Semitism in the UK, before Samuel delivered his lecture and then they took questions together.

“Samuel delivered a clear and concise history of the situation in Gaza together with a powerful account of his personal experiences that left a lasting impression on all of us,” said Blake.

Samuel is available for talks in the UK and can be found on Instagram at @myisraeliguide. Blake is best known as a photographer, but uses his large platform to educate on the situation, and can be found on Instagram at @blakeezraphoto.

Israel calls for UN secretary general to resign

Following UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ speech in which he said it was “important to also recognise the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum”, Israel has called on him to resign.

Our full story is here

Scottish Government ‘unequivocally condemns abhorrent Hamas’

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has said that the Scottish Government “unequivocally condemns the abhorrent terrorist attacks of Hamas”.

Giving a statement at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, he said: “Let us unite in unequivocally condemning the terror Hamas unleashed on the 7th of October in southern Israel.

“The more we learn about Hamas’s barbaric attacks which took place on the Jewish sabbath, on a Jewish holy day, the more we are sickened by their brutality.”

He said that Israel, like every other country in the world, has a right to protect itself from terror but that it must be done within the confines of international law.

He added: “The Scottish Government reiterates our call for hostages to be released, for an immediate ceasefire, for an end to collective punishment, for more aid to be allowed into Gaza, and for those who want to leave to be given safe passage.”

Irish Government has no plans to expel Israel’s ambassador

Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar has made clear the Irish Government has no plans to expel Israel’s ambassador.

The Taoiseach was responding to a call from opposition party People Before Profit in the Dail following controversial remarks by ambassador Dana Erlich.

Ms Erlich told the Sunday Independent at the weekend that she was frustrated at what she said was “misinformation” shared by President Michael D Higgins in relation to whether Israel had breached international law. She also said that Ireland was not a neutral country in relation to Israel-Palestine.

“In relation to the ambassador, we don’t have any plans to expel any ambassador,” Mr Varadkar told the Dail.

IDF ground offensive ‘delayed by strategic considerations’

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi: “Israel is in the midst of a war that was launched by the Hamas terror group. It already regrets it. We’ve prepared for this. The IDF and the Southern Command have prepared quality offensive plans to achieve the goals of the war. The IDF is ready for the manoeuvre, and we will make a decision with the political echelon regarding the shape and timing of the next stage.”

Woman’s release ‘gives hope’ to families of Hamas hostages

A British psychotherapist whose elderly mother is being held hostage by Hamas has said the recent release of another Briton’s mother gives him “some hope” for the future.

Noam Sagi’s 75-year-old mother Ada was taken hostage after the militant group entered Kibbutz Nir Oz near the border with Gaza on October 7.

Speaking after a press conference at the Israeli embassy on Tuesday, he described the release of London-based Sharon Lifschitz’s mother Yocheved as the “best bit of news” he has had since the invasion.

He told the PA news agency: “She is a very, very dear friend and a close member of the community where I grew up.

“I am intensely happy. It is the best bit of news that I have had since all this started.

“I am very, very happy that she is back in safe hands. It gives me hope of course.

“It is a paradoxical situation; we are speaking about crimes against humanity but we are expecting humanity to prevail.”

IDF chief: ‘Tactical and even strategic considerations’ delaying ground offensive

“The IDF is ready for the (ground) maneuver, and we will make a decision with the political echelon regarding the shape and timing of the next stage,” IDF chief Herzl Halevi said.

“We are making use of every minute to be even more prepared. And every minute that passes on the other side, we strike the enemy even more. Killing terrorists, destroying infrastructure, collecting more intelligence for the next stage,” he added.

UN agency says 35 staff members killed in Gaza so far

WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “I’m speechless over this tragedy. We cannot say loud enough how much a ceasefire is needed in Gaza to stop the suffering of civilians and humanitarians.”

Newham’s community and faith leaders join together in hope.

Newham moment of reflection, Sunday 22nd October 2023
Newham moment of reflection, Sunday 22nd October 2023

Together with other community and faith leaders, the Mayor of Newham led a moment of reflection in Stratford on Sunday 22nd October as part of an interfaith candlelight vigil bringing residents together from across Newham.

The event was held at St John’s Church in Stratford, with a prayer given by The Right Reverend Monsignor John Armitage from St Margaret’s Catholic Church in the parish of Canning Town; and words of hope given by Edwin Shuker, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Dr Farzana Hussain from the Project Surgery in Plaistow.

Cllr Canon Ann Easter, the Commissioner for Interfaith and Interreligious Dialogue at Newham Council, led a candlelight vigil for all lives lost and hostages taken by terrorist group Hamas.

Edwin Shuker, a prominent member of the Iraqi Jewish community in the UK said: “We must not allow the Jew haters to sever and destroy the ties built over decades between the British Jewish community and our compatriots of all faiths and none.”

Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham, said: “Our greatest strength is the diversity of our people and our community in Newham must be our hope. A big concern for all of us is the impact that the war is having on our communities in Newham, from all faiths and none. As well as the dangerous surge in antisemitism and Islamophobia, we know that there are attempts to try to tear our communities apart, when we need to come together as a community to provide comfort, encourage dialogue to deepen understanding, respect and peace.”

“Our interfaith vigil was a truly beautiful moment, with heartfelt speeches from faith leaders and guests from our Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities providing hope and light in this moment of darkness facing the world.”

France’s Macron in Israel: First priority is to release all hostages

“The first objective we should have today is the release of all hostages, without any distinction, because this is an awful crime to play with these lives of children, adults, old people, civilians and soldiers,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

IDF asks Gaza residents to provide information on hostages

“If you want a better future for you and your children, take action and provide us with solid and useful information as soon as possible regarding the hostages in your area. The Israeli army assures you that it will put forth maximum effort to provide you and your home with security, as well as a financial reward. We guarantee you complete confidentiality,” the message says.

Refugee scheme for Palestinian people is not the “right response”

A refugee scheme for Palestinian people is not the “right response” at this stage of the conflict in the Middle East, a minister has said, despite calls from British charities for the provision of safe passage.

Netanyahu: Gaza is ‘an enclave of ISIS’

“We are doing everything we need to do to destroy Hamas in Gaza. We will dismantle its terror machine, we will dismantle its political structure. We will make every effort to release our hostages. And we will take every effort to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way,” Netanyahu said.

“As in the Second World War, when the French supported the anti-Nazi resistance, today the international community is uniting in support of Israel. Hamas barbarism threatens the Jews, it threatens the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the world,” he added.

Released hostage’s daughter Sharone Lifschitz speaking to the BBC

Sharone Lifschitz told the BBC that her father, who is still thought to be held hostage in Gaza, regularly drove Palestinians to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

She said: “He was part of a local organisation. It’s the tragedy that so many of the people killed were the immediate neighbours of Gaza who truly believed in working towards peace and who thought that was very much possible.

“It’s a twist of history that these peace-loving communities were the ones that sustained such a horrendous massacre.”

Six British nationals still missing

There are thought to be six British nationals still being held hostage by Hamas, a UK Government minister has revealed, after two more captives were released yesterday. Sharone Lifschitz’s mother Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, were released after being kidnapped and taken to Gaza on 7 October.

Sharone Lifschitz said her mother does not yet know about the destruction of her kibbutz.

She told the BBC: “I am not there yet – we don’t have a plan. It’s so off the scale.

“We are just trying to live one day at the time. It’s just about getting the rest (of them). That will be my mum’s priority.

“She was sitting with people she knew all her life – the children and grandchildren of her friends “

Minister: Hamas’s useful idiots on uni campuses represent a fifth column

There are a number of “Hamas’s useful idiots” on some university campuses who “represent a fifth column supporting terrorism”, an education minister has said.

Robert Halfon was speaking in the Commons as MPs raised concerns over antisemitism and what one described as the “glorification” of the terror attack on Israel on university campuses.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan told MPs she has written to schools, colleges and universities reminding them of their duties under the Government’s anti-terror Prevent programme and to underscore that antisemitism will not be tolerated.

She said that “disturbingly” she had seen evidence of students and academics appearing to support Hamas.

The remarks came during a session of questions to education ministers in the Commons, where a number of MPs raised concerns over the impact for both Jewish and Muslim students of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Conservative MP Bob Blackman (Harrow East) said: “In the wake of the massacre that occurred in Israel… the cases of antisemitism in this country have risen by 582%.

BREAKING: Two further hostages to be released

Terror group Hamas claims it is preparing to release two female hostages by tomorrow.

‘Kidnapped’ posters torn down in St John’s Wood

Georgia Walters, Tom Cantor and Annabel Sutton who went to the rally in Trafalgar Square yesterday collected posters from attendees and put them up in St John’s Wood High Street last night. Within the hour a few were removed and by this morning most had been torn down and left on top of a wheelie bin.

Tube driver suspended over ‘Free Palestine’ chant

TfL confirms the employee has been removed after video emerged on Saturday.

No plans for more police powers over ‘jihad’ chants, signals Sunak

Police are unlikely to be given more powers to address chants deemed to be extremist after comments at a Palestine rally over the weekend, the Prime Minister has signalled.

That is despite suggestions from the Metropolitan Police chief that laws may need to be redrawn, amid concerns about gaps in current anti-extremism legislation.

Rishi Sunak duels with Jeremy Corbyn over past description of Hamas as ‘friends’

The Prime Minister has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons, criticising the former Labour leader for describing Hamas as “friends” in the past.

Rishi Sunak said that Hamas, which is designated as a terror organisation by the UK Government, had “perpetrated an absolutely appalling act of terrorism on over a thousand people” in response to calls from Independent MP Mr Corbyn for a ceasefire.

The Islington North MP has previously said he regrets the comments from 2009, in which he described both Hezbollah and Hamas as friends.

As Mr Sunak updated MPs on his recent visit to Israel, Mr Corbyn condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel in early October.

“The killings on October 7 were appalling and they have to be totally condemned as everyone has done today,” he said.

Mr Corbyn added: “The loss, however, of 5,000 Palestinian lives in Gaza is continuing and getting worse.

“The question is, why did the Prime Minister instruct Britain’s representative at the UN not to support the call for a very minimal thing, which is a humanitarian pause to allow aid to go in, and a ceasefire to take place to start to bring about a process of peace.

“Ultimately that is the only way forward, ultimately the only way forward is the end of the occupation, ultimately the only way forward is recognition of the rights of the people of Palestine.”

Mr Sunak responded: “Our regional diplomatic engagement has extensively been focused about how we can bring about a better, brighter future for the people of Palestine and the Palestinians.

“But I would say to him, I am surprised he hasn’t made any reference to the fact that an organisation that he once described as a ‘friend’ has perpetrated an absolutely appalling act of terrorism on over a thousand people.”

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No plans to give police more powers after outcry over ‘jihad’ chants

Police are unlikely to be given more powers to address chants deemed to be extremist after comments at a Palestine rally over the weekend, Downing Street has signalled.

It comes as Home Secretary Suella Braverman met Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley to urge the use of the “full force of the law” after video emerged of a pro-Palestinian protester chanting “jihad”.

WATCH: Jewish News editor on ‘jihad’ protest chants and Israel solidarity rally

Watch a clip of Monday afternoon’s GB News interview with Richard Ferrer HERE

Emily Thornberry speaks at Islington synagogue

On a visit to a synagogue at the weekend, Islington South MP Emily Thornberry said that when the borough lost 12 people to terrorism in the 7/7 bombings in 2005, it expected “the whole world to stand with us”, writes Beatrice Sayers.

The shadow attorney general also told the congregation at the Chabad shul that while it was vital to speak out against terrorism, it was also important for politicians to be even-handed.

Thornberry was attending a Q&A session following the Shabbat morning service at the only synagogue in her constituency, at the invitation of its rabbi, Mendy Korer.

“I’ve always done my absolute utmost personally to be as even-handed as I possibly can and have never, I hope, fallen for the siren voices who say on issues like this, ‘Pick a side,’” the MP said. “I don’t want to pick a side.”

She was asked by the rabbi about community members saying they felt unsafe as a result of the protests and chants on London’s streets over the past two weeks. Thornberry said: “I suspect that the vast majority of the people who chant ‘Free Gaza’ would expect there to be a two-state solution, and they’re not one-stateists and not people who wish Israelis to be pushed into the sea.”

A community member in the neighbouring constituency of Islington North, represented by Jeremy Corbyn (now an independent MP), said she was concerned that he had not deleted his tweet, whose contents are generally agreed to be false: “Israeli airstrikes have hit Al Ahli hospital in Gaza. More than 500 people – patients, doctors & those sheltering – have been killed.”

Thornberry commented that Corbyn showed double standards and had a “clarity” on waiting for evidence in some instances but not in others. For example, when it came to the Salisbury poisonings in 2018, he did not condemn them immediately as being the Russians and wanted there to be evidence: “How is that consistent if he takes the view he does in relation to the hospital?”

Transport for London: ‘We will scrutinise the footage’

Statement from Transport for London, following Palestine chant on tannoy by tube driver.

Statement from TFL. 

Jewish students faced ‘an anti-Jewish mob vocalising their desire for an intifada against Jewish people’

University College London student tells Jewish News ‘the demonstrators were shouting through a megaphone the slogan ‘Intifada until victory’.

Click here for the full story.

Maureen Lipman says artists should feel shame for stance on Gaza

Dame Maureen Lipman has said artists should feel “shame” for advocating for Palestinians following the Hamas attack on Israel.

Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton, Game Of Thrones star Charles Dance, I’m Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan and Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes are among more than 2,000 artists to back an open call for humanitarian support in Gaza.

The letter, written by Artists For Palestine UK, calls for “an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered”.

It has also urged governments to “end their military and political support for Israel’s actions”.

On the front page of Monday’s Daily Telegraph, Dame Maureen said liberal artists have espoused the Palestinian “cause at the expense of every other oppressed people of the world”.

She added: “The Palestinians are not Hamas, I agree; they just elected them. And, 17 years later, Hamas has done nothing for the Palestinians save stealing the millions donated in aid money while keeping them in penury.”

Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 and has not held a public vote for representatives in Gaza since.

Dame Maureen also said: “I would love the signaturists to answer me this question: If your beloved country had been under attack for 70 years… how angry and exhausted and how determined to defend your country against any future attacks would you be?”

No Israel or Palestine flags will allowed into Tottenham’s stadium on Monday

No Israel or Palestine flags will be allowed into Tottenham’s stadium on Monday, which was a club-wide move by the Premier League in an attempt to ease any potential tension among supporters during this weekend.

A minute’s silence has occurred in all top-flight matches but Postecoglou was eager to focus on football in its purest form when quizzed about the feeling of fans affected by the Israel-Hamas war.

He added: “When we go out there on Monday night there will be 60,000 – and hundreds of thousands around the world – who just want to see their football team play some exciting football and win a game and give them that joy that only football can bring.

“Because, you know, when you score in that last minute to win a game of football, you don’t care who is next to you. Do you?

“You don’t care where they come from, what they think or what they believe. You are united as one for that moment. That’s what football provides.”

Postecoglou did also reveal support is on hand for Israel international Manor Solomon, who is currently out with a knee injury while the war is impacting his home nation.

“Not specifically (about the war). I have spoken to Manor because he’s dealing with a couple of things. He has just had his surgery as well. I have been helping him through that process,” the Spurs boss revealed.

“Again, it’s not about me trying to extract information from him. I am there.

“He’s going through what he is going through, like a lot of people in his position. Hopefully like I said, he feels like there’s a place here where he feels if he needs some extra help or guidance, we can give it to him.”

UK teenager Noiya Sharabi murdered in same attack that killed sister

The family of British 16-year-old Noiya Sharabi have said that she was murdered in the same Hamas attack that her 13-year-old sister and mother were killed in.

UK ‘working intensively’ to free Britons trapped at border crossing

The UK is working intensively to allow Britons trapped in Gaza to leave but the border crossing remains closed because of Egypt’s legitimate concerns, ministers said.

Amnesty International UK: Brutal attacks against Israeli civilians were war crimes

Amnesty International UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: “It is right that the Prime Minister and other leading UK politicians are calling for restoring water and humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

“But the fact that neither the Government nor the main opposition party are willing to condemn Israel’s clear breaches of international law is wrong and fails to hold Israel to account in a consistent way.

“The brutal attacks against Israeli civilians by Palestinian armed groups were war crimes.

“But Israel is responding to war crimes with more war crimes, which can never be justified, rationalised, or ignored. UK politicians must explicitly oppose all war crimes, whether by Palestinian armed groups or the Israeli authorities.”

Government to speak to Met about why no action taken over ‘Jihad’ chant video

Chanting “Jihad” on the streets of London is “inciting terrorist violence” and the Government will speak to the Metropolitan Police about its decision not to act over a video showing protesters, a Cabinet minister has said.

The force said no offences were identified in a video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain protest showing a man chanting “Jihad”.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said “a lot of people” will find the Met’s analysis “surprising”, adding: “That’s something that we intend to raise with them and to discuss this incident with them.”

A video posted on social media shows a man speaking into a microphone in front of a banner reading “Muslim Armies! Rescue the People of Palestine”, with the name of the group “Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain” on it.

Updated number of Israeli hostages in Gaza

The number of people being held now stands at 212.

Israel to evacuate 14 more communities on Lebanon border

IDF strikes terror cells carrying out new missile attacks; military spokesman says Iran-backed group risks ‘dragging Lebanon into a war’

Former director general of BBC: In a crisis, BBC gets attacked by both sides

The former director general of the BBC has said that the corporation “always gets attacked in times of crisis” and suggested that criticism of its reporting on the Israel and Hamas conflict is inevitable.

Greg Dyke told Sky News: “At times of crisis, the BBC always gets attacked by both sides, always, go back to Falklands.

“I seem to remember back in the Falklands (war), (Prime Minister) Mrs. (Margaret) Thatcher attacked the BBC for not saying that ‘our boys’ as opposed to British troops.

“I think (the message) for the BBC (is)… ‘Don’t lose your nerve, keep trying.”

He added that Israel ambassador’s complaints to the BBC “outnumbered everyone else” during his time leading the corporation.

UK working on getting trapped Britons out of Gaza as humanitarian crisis unfolds

The UK is working intensively to allow Britons trapped in Gaza to leave but the border crossing remains closed because of Egypt’s legitimate concerns, ministers said.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said opening the Rafah crossing to allow aid into Gaza and foreign nationals to escape the humanitarian crisis unfolding there is a priority.

Former PA minister Hanan Ashrawi on 7 October horrors: ‘Call that a massacre?’

Speaking to BBC News on Sunday about Israel’s response to the 7 October attacks that killed 1,400 civilians, former Palestinian Authority minister of higher education and research Hanan Ashrawi said: “Call that a massacre? You should see what Israel does.”

 

Labour’s Lisa Nandy ‘understands why party faced backlash from some Muslims

Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy said she understood why the party had faced a backlash from Muslim members over Sir Keir Starmer’s comments on Israel.

The Labour leader appeared to suggest on an LBC interview that “Israel does have that right” to cut off power and water, before later clarifying that he was referring to Israel’s right to defend itself.

Asked if she understood why some Muslim Labour members felt alienated by his comments, shadow international development minister Ms Nandy told the BBC: “I completely understand why people in the Muslim community are in extraordinary amounts of pain right now and heard those words and felt very concerned and I’m glad that we’ve clarified that, I’m glad that we’ve been consistent about that.”

She repeatedly declined to say whether she believed Israel had broken international law by laying siege to Gaza. “I’m not going to sit in your studio and grandstand and tell you that I’m going to make big pronouncements about what Israel is and isn’t doing in what is a very complex, difficult situation,” she said. “Israel is still having rockets fired against its own people from a proscribed terrorist organisation and where you’ve got 200 hostages sitting in basements in Gaza who haven’t yet been released.

“What we’ve got to ensure is that international law is upheld. That’s why the 20 trucks that went into Gaza were very important yesterday, but not sufficient and that’s why all of our efforts are focused on keeping that window open, keeping that crossing open and scaling up those efforts urgently.

“There is a humanitarian catastrophe looming for people in Gaza. And that’s where we’ve got to focus.”

Actor Steve Coogan says he condemns Hamas’s attacks on Israel

Actor Steve Coogan has said he condemns Hamas’s attacks on Israel following criticism over an open letter he signed calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for the government to “end their military and political support for Israel’s action”.

More than 2,000 actors and musicians signed the letter but it was criticised for NOT MENTIONING Hamas and the attacks on Israeli citizens.

In a statement on Sunday, Coogan said: “I do of course condemn the recent Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel; their deliberate murder of civilians and their taking of hostages. All right thinking people do.

“The Jewish people have been uniquely the target of hate and prejudice for millennia and anyone who cares about human rights should be vigilant and call it out when they encounter it.”

Without explaining why he agreed to sign a letter with no mention of Hamas in the first place, he added: “It goes without saying that what Hamas did is evil beyond imagination. It was horrific and brutal.

“It is in no way inconsistent with condemnation of the Hamas atrocity, to express grave concern for the lives and welfare of innocent Palestinian civilians facing a humanitarian disaster, deprived of food, water, medicine fuel and shelter.”

Palestinian ambassador: People who intimidate Jews ‘should shut up’

The Palestinian ambassador to the UK has said people attending demonstrations to sow division and intimidate Jews instead of supporting Palestine “should shut up”.

It was put to Husam Zomlot that some people have carried Hamas flags and chanted slogans that are “intimidating” for Jewish people, while two women had pictures of paragliders taped to the back of their jackets in apparent support for Hamas.

He told Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: “This is abhorrent, unacceptable. Those people hijack our cause for their own twisted logic.

“The Jewish people have nothing to do with it. This is not a religious conflict. Many of those who demonstrated for Palestine yesterday were Jews.

“Many of those strong voices are the Jewish people defending us.

“Those who have hate in their hearts for Jews would have hate in their hearts for Muslims and Christians, we have nothing to do with them and they should shut up.”

The Metropolitan Police said officers are outside the Israeli Embassy

“Officers are on scene on Kensington Hight Street, Bayswater Road and outside the Israeli Embassy,” the force said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“There are groups of protesters on both Kensington High Street and Bayswater Road who officers are engaging with.”

Professor sorry for saying he was “exhilarated” by Hamas’ terror attack

A Cornell University professor has apologised after saying at a rally that he was “exhilarated” by Hamas’ terror attack on Israel, in the latest example of American university faculty caught up in heated rhetoric over Israel and Gaza on college campuses.

The apology by Russell Rickford, a history professor, was published the same day as another apology from a different university professor in Chicago over her own anti-Israel social media comments.

Both appear to have been prompted by condemnations from their respective university presidents, which came as donors have pulled support from other elite universities over their perceived failure to sufficiently or promptly condemn the attacks.

WATCH: At rally in Milan protesters chant ‘Kill the Jews’ in Italian

At a pro-Palestinian rally in Milan this afternoon protesters could be heard singing a chant which translates as: “Open us the borders, so we can kill the Zionists, Open up the borders, so we can kill the Jews.”

Click here to watch

Police make two arrests after fireworks aimed at officers

The Metropolitan Police said: “Whitehall is now mostly clear with a small demonstration remaining at the gates to Downing Street.

“Officers are now focusing their efforts on clearing Trafalgar Square, as fireworks have been launched at officers from within the crowd.

“Two arrests have been made for offences under the Explosives Act 1875.”

Tube staff urged to focus on ‘day job’ after ‘driver leads free Palestine chant’

A Tube driver has been criticised for leading a chant of “free, free Palestine” on a London Underground train.

Minister for London Paul Scully said staff should “focus on the day job” and warned against stoking tension in the capital.

As around 100,000 protesters took part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration, footage posted online by journalist Ruby Lott-Lavigna appeared to show the chant being led over the train’s speaker system.

The driver of the Central line service said “free, free” to which the passengers responded “Palestine” – a popular chant at protests.

Tory minister Mr Scully said: “At a time when there’s not enough emphasis on the difference between the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas and the legitimate concerns of Palestinians in Gaza, it’s really important that Londoners don’t stoke the tension in our capital where Jews live peacefully alongside Muslims.

“Informed protest can bring change. But on-trend bandwagons can cause rifts and fear in communities, increasing the threat to the safety of some passengers travelling among those crowds.”

He suggested Labour mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) “need to get staff focused on the day job of safely moving people from A to B”.

Marble Arch protest: Chants included ‘Judaism yes, Zionism no, the state of Israel must go’

Thousands of protesters gathered at Marble Arch in central London on Saturday as part of a pro-Palestine march.

Attendees held signs that read “Freedom for Palestine” and “Stop Bombing Gaza”.

Chants included “Judaism yes, Zionism no, the state of Israel must go”, and “5, 6, 7, 8, Israel is a terrorist state”.

The platform at Marble Arch Tube station was briefly closed due to the crowds.

WATCH: Tube driver leads a chant of ‘Free Palestine’ over the tannoy in London 

Passengers could be heard singing along on the packed train. Click here to see. It is thought that many of the passengers were travelling to today’s protest rally in support of Palestinian civilians.

WATCH: Pianist Kevin Chen opens Carnegie Hall recital with Hatikvah

Kevin Chen, winner of the 2023 Rubinstein Competition, opens his recital 19 October at Carnegie Hall with Hatikvah.

Kevin Chen, winner of the 2023 Rubinstein Competition, opens his recital 19th October at Carnegie Hall with Hatikvah ???????????????? #BringThemHome #AmYisraelChai

Posted by Judith Ornstein on Saturday, October 21, 2023

‘700,000 people in the north of Gaza have moved south’

IDF update from Tel Aviv: “So far 700,000 people in the north of Gaza have moved south. Humanitarian supplies, food, water and medicine, has arrived in the southern part of the strip – we have not let in any petrol.”

IDF spokesperson update: IDF fatalities now stands at 307

“There have been 307 IDF fatalities,” the spokesperson confirms, while also amending the number of known hostages to 210.

Hostage numbers updated – now stands at 210

IDF spokesperson update on the situation on the ground:

“We have updated the number of hostages taken – it now stands at 210. Our mission is to bring them home.”

 

 

 

Pro-Palestine marchers warned: ‘Be mindful of the distress felt by many in UK’

Downing Street has urged people attending today’s pro-Palestine marches to “be mindful” of the “fear and distress felt by many families in this country”.

A No 10 spokeswoman said demonstrators must be “free to peacefully express their views”, but that police should “take the strongest action” where antisemitism and other forms of hate are promoted.

“We’re clear that people must remain free to peacefully express their views and protest is an important part of our democracy, but we also recognise that this is clearly a deeply distressing time for many, and we would appeal to everyone across the country and those who are considering joining these protests to be mindful of that – and to consider the fear and distress felt by many families in this country over the distressing events that we’ve seen,” she said.

Rockets launched at southern Israel

Times of Israel: Warning sirens sound in several Gaza border communities. The Magen David Adom rescue service says there are no immediate reports of direct hits or injuries.

Gaza aid contingent on preventing misuse by Hamas

Aid has begun to flow into Gaza after the border crossing with Egypt was opened, with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly saying it was a “lifeline”.

More than 300 aid trucks usually enter Gaza every day from Israel, with Hamas using them to smuggle weapons and explosives inside items such as speakers, shoes and tyres.

This picture was taken at the Kerem crossing on the southern border in July.

 

 

Egypt hosting summit on Israel-Hamas war

Egypt is hosting dozens of regional leaders and senior Western officials for a summit on the war between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.

The meeting today in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, just east of Cairo, will discuss ways to de-escalate the fighting and seek a cease-fire amid mounting concerns about a regional conflict, Egypt’s state-run media reports. Among those attending the summit are the leaders of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Authority.

Man held on suspicion of supporting Hamas as pro-Palestine protest due

A 31-year-old man arrested on suspicion of supporting Hamas during a protest in Whitehall has been bailed by police as Palestinian supporters are expected to take to the streets in London on Saturday.

The suspect was arrested by the Metropolitan Police for allegedly carrying a banner supporting the proscribed organisation Hamas on Tuesday which is an offence under section 13 of the Terrorism Act.

He was also later arrested on suspicion of inviting support for a proscribed organisation under Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

A Met Police spokesman said: “The man was taken into custody at a London police station, and later bailed to a date in November.

“As part of the investigation, being led by the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command, officers conducted searches at addresses in east London and in County Durham.

“Inquiries are ongoing.”

Antisemitic offences in London increase by over 1,000%

Antisemitic offences in London have increased by over 1,000% this month compared to last year, police have said.

And since the Hamas attack on Israel, Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) has recorded a six-fold increase in reports compared to the same period last year.

The Metropolitan Police said there had been “a significant increase in hate crime across London” and that officers had made 21 arrests for hate crime offences, amid the Israel-Hamas war.

These arrests included a man detained on suspicion of defacing posters of missing Israelis in Camden and another man in relation to 10 incidents of Islamophobic graffiti on bus stops in New Malden and Raynes Park.

The Metropolitan Police said there had been 218 antisemitic offences between October 1 and 18, compared to 15 in the same period last year – an increase of 1,353%.

Palestinian supporters to march in London as Gaza aid efforts intensify

Thousands of Palestinian supporters are expected to converge on Downing Street on Saturday as diplomatic efforts intensify to allow access for humanitarian aid to Gaza and secure the release of hostages.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced following his meetings with Middle East leaders that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza should be reopening “imminently” and he had discussed how the UK could offer support “on the ground” to get aid into the besieged territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resigning Oxford City councillors say party leadership ‘complicit in war crimes’

Six Labour councillors on Oxford City Council have resigned after remarks from party leadership on the Israel-Hamas conflict sparked concern.

Councillors Imogen Thomas, Edward Mundy, Paula Dunne, Duncan Hall, Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini and Jabu Nala-Hartley said on Friday they were stepping down from the party in the wake of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer appearing to suggest that Israel has “the right” to withhold energy and water from Gaza.

The councillors said in a statement: “At a time when it’s been crucial to call for an immediate ceasefire and a de-escalation, and to insist Israel abides by international law, Keir Starmer and the shadow Foreign Secretary have instead endorsed collective punishment, blockade, siege and mass civilian casualties.

“As Starmer has said, ‘Israel has that right’ to continue deadly attacks on Gazans. This is complicity in war crimes.

Gaza humanitarian access ‘must not be one-off’, says Cleverly

Aid has begun to flow into Gaza after the border crossing with Egypt was opened, with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly saying it was a “lifeline” for those suffering in the territory.

But he said the opening of the Rafah crossing could not be a one-off event and he would continue to push for humanitarian access to Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has been besieged and bombarded by Israel after its Hamas rulers launched a series of terrorist raids on October 7.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt was opened on Saturday morning to let desperately needed aid flow to Palestinians running short of food, medicine and water in the territory.

More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid had been positioned near the crossing for days before heading into Gaza.

On the Gaza side of the border, hundreds of foreign passport-holders have been trying to leave the besieged territory.

Verbal abuse and intimidation – a year’s worth of antisemitic incidents on campus since 7th October

With reports of messages like ‘f*****g dirty Jewish c***s’ and ‘murdering b******s’, Union of Jewish Students (UJS) received 150 calls from anxious students in a two week period

Click here for the full story.

 

 

Adopt a soldier for £525 – Londoners kitting out IDF soldiers on the front line

Three members of the Jewish community have, over the course of the past two weeks, raised £40,000 across various fund raising initiatives to provide vital pieces of equipment to Israeli soldiers.

Many of them are lone soldiers. All soldiers are personally known to them and have come from units including the Medical Corps, Paratrooper Brigade, Kfir Brigade, Givati Brigade and the Oz Brigade (Commandos).

Speaking to Jewish News, a spokesperson for the group said:
“We are looking to equip soldiers who we know and their colleagues from the above units with full sets of decent tactical gear. £525 will allow us to provide:

2 x Tactical shirts
Combat boots
2 sets of high quality socks
Cold weather waterproof jackets
Waterproof jackets
Fleeces
Headlamps
Medical pouches
CAT tourniquets
Bandages

“To provide one soldier with the above would cost £525. There are of course more items we would love to send, such as backpacks and other tactical gear but this is what we are being asked to provide as a priority.

“We have the network to get these things to Israel and the units who are asking for them.

“If you can help, please use this link to give what you can. If you want to discuss more about our work then please contact us.

If you have already given then please share this with your network.
https://pay.collctiv.com/kit-for-the-troops-95919

UJIA, Leket Israel and United Synagogue partner to provide hot Shabbat meals for evacuees

The United Synagogue has teamed up with UJIA and Leket Israel to provide thousands of meals to people in need.

“An act of kindness you can do right now, if you’re able, is to help provide hot Shabbat meals for people evacuated from southern communities in Israel.”

The cost for a family of five is £25, but if you can, they are asking if you can cover the cost of 2 families (£50) or 4 families (£100). And to inspire us all, the first 5,000 meals (£25,000) will be matched by a generous anonymous donor. Donations can be made now via www.ujia.org/shabbatmeals.

 

Kiryat Shmona to be evacuated

The northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona is to be evacuated.

IDF ‘ready to repel Houthi attacks’ from Yemen

Times of Israel: IDF says ready to repel Houthi attacks, is striking Gaza ‘at rate not seen in decades’. Military says it’s prepared to protect against potential assaults by the Iran-backed Yemen group.

World leaders must do ‘everything possible’ to prevent violence spilling over

World leaders must do “everything possible to prevent” the violence in Israel and Gaza from spilling over into a wider Middle East conflict, Rishi Sunak and the Qatari leader have agreed.

Help us create an installation for kidnapped/murdered children in Israel

In solidarity with grieving Israeli families, members of the community are creating an installation called ‘Empty Buggies’ to symbolise the heartbreaking loss of these children, both those whose lives were cruelly taken and those we hope will soon return.

They ask London parents who share this pain to please lend them your buggies for only 2 hours for a safe and peaceful ‘flash installation piece’ and join them on Sunday, October 22nd at 11:00am in central London to help create this installation (exact location to be provided).

More info and sign up via this link and join our WhatsApp group (link in the form)

Labour Party headquarters demo expected over party’s Israel support

Hundreds of people are expected to gather outside the Labour Party headquarters in London to demand the party change its position on the Israel-Hamas war. The action is being organised by London Palestine Action.

President Isaac Herzog visits wounded IDF soldiers at Beilinson Hospital

President Isaac Herzog has today visited wounded soldiers being treated at Beilinson Hospital. The soldiers are being treated in the orthopedics, surgery and intensive care departments as well as in the protected underground hospital.

More than 160 wounded civilians and soldiers have been treated at Beilinson since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th.

He was accompanied by Dr. Eitan Wertheim, director of the Beilinson and HaSharon hospitals, and members of the medical staff who explained the journey of treatment and rehabilitation of the wounded from the moment they were admitted to the hospital.

Photo (courtesy of Kobi Gidon / GPO

The President thanked the medical team for their hard work and added: “We are here in the protected underground hospital, opened especially for this war. People who arrived in extremely difficult situations are being treated here – soldiers and civilians. It is truly amazing and impressive, and I encourage the public to appreciate the value and contribution of this hospital.”

Dr. Eitan Wertheim, director of the Beilinson and HaSharon hospitals, “This is the largest manned underground complex in Israel with 180 beds and – if necessary – we are prepared to receive dozens more wounded. It includes a general intensive care unit, three internal medicine wards, and a dialysis unit. It allows us to provide the best care in the safest way and without risk to the staff and patients. I thank the President and his wife for coming to give us strength.”

Our Home is Your Home – World Zionist Organisation housing initiative

The World Zionist Organization has launched an initiative to help house evacuated families in Israel.

It is reaching out to Jews from abroad who own apartments in Israel to put them up for the benefit of evacuated families who lost their homes.

Receiving the apartments, handing them over to the evacuees and the guarantee for their return is all under the full responsibility of the World Zionist Organization.

Please help us spread the initiative and click here.

UJIA, Board of Deputies and JLC partner for solidarity rally on Sunday afternoon

Join UJIA, the Jewish Leadership Council and the British Board of Deputies on Sunday afternoon to demand the safe release of the hostages held by Hamas.

Exact time and location to be released Saturday night. Police and CST will be in attendance.

Solidarity rally UJIA

 

Defence minister: Gaza incursion ‘coming soon’

IDF Southern Command chief says ground operation will be ‘long and intense’.

Sunak arrives in Saudi Arabia after Israel tells UK to brace for ‘long war’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has arrived in Saudi Arabia for the second leg of his Middle East tour that included a visit to Israel, where he was told to brace for a “long war” with Hamas.

Mr Sunak is set to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday evening as he urges leaders in the region not to allow the Israeli-Hamas battle escalate into a wider conflict.

Irish soldiers ‘not nervous’ ahead of deployment to Lebanon

Irish soldiers about to be deployed to a peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon have said they are not afraid as they prepare to travel to a region of high tensions.

Violence between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon has flared in recent days as fears grow that the fighting between Israel and Hamas could disrupt other areas across the Middle East.

No UEFA competition matches to be played in Israel ‘until further notice’

European football’s governing body has announced that no UEFA competition matches will be played in Israel until further notice.

Israel’s national teams and club sides Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv, who are both competing in Europe, must find alternative venues outside the country to fulfil their UEFA fixtures.

During Israel-Hamas hostage crisis, World Jewish Congress meets with the Pope

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder met today with Pope Francis at the Vatican. 

During their audience Thursday, Lauder appealed to the pope to continue to leverage his moral authority to urge for the safe return of Israeli hostages held in Gaza in the aftermath of Hamas’ assault on the Jewish State.

The pope called for the release of all hostages and concern about their fate. He has also previously acknowledged of Israel’s right to self-defense.

Israeli NGO Yad Sarah ups emergency efforts

Yad Sarah, Israel’s leading volunteer-staffed organization has rapidly expanded its operations.*

Its large-scale relief efforts are coordinated in collaboration with hospital administrations, the IDF, Israel Police, and population intake centers for evacuees.

To date it has:

  1. Supplied emergency aid to thousands of individuals wounded in the war

2. Provided medical and rehabilitation equipment for over 1,000 soldiers

3. Delivered over NIS 250,000 worth of medicines free of cost to individuals in the South

The wheelchair-accessible van (nechonit) unit evacuated nearly 100 residents of Southern Israel, including people with disabilities. Over 300 volunteer drivers working around the clock to deliver medical equipment and medicines as well as to transport the sick and elderly
Yad Sarah has expanded branch operating hours and activity, especially at those located in hospitals, to meet heightened requests for equipment loans, particularly crutches and wheelchairs.

It also opened three new forward-facing branches (Dead Sea, Bat Yam and Bnei Zion Hospital, Haifa) within days of the initial attacks on Israel.

Yad Sarah has an agreement with the IDF whereby soldiers can access any branch and receive equipment without the need for a deposit.

To donate from the UK, click here.

Hendon United Synagogue charity event for Israeli soldiers and victims of terror

Hendon United shul are running an event this Sunday, 22nd Oct 2023 18 Raleigh Close, 2-4 pm to raise funds which are needed urgently in the unfolding shocking and terrible tragedy that is taking place in Israel.

Hendon United

This event is fully endorsed and supported by the shul and Rabbi Ginsbury.

A spokesperson said: “The whole community is coming together to help Klal Yisroel in a time of horror and heart break not seen since the Shoah. We hope to raise as much money as possible. All funds raised will be sent to Beit Halochem, this excellent charity which was established just after the War of Independence.”

‘The whole world needs to scream – free the hostages’

Families of the kidnapped are holding a press conference urging the nations of the world to bring their loved ones home. “We cry for them every day… We are asking the whole world… 203 terrified people are being held…I can hear my son scream ‘Save me, mum!”…I’m asking you all… bring our children home.”

Families of children snatched by Hamas hold news conference

Heartbreaking scenes as families warn of ‘small window’ remaining to rescue their loved ones, who have been held captive since 7 October.

FA chief executive accepts the ‘hurt’ caused to the Jewish community

The Football Association will review whether to continue lighting the Wembley arch as an act of tribute following criticism over its response to the Israel-Palestine conflict, its chief executive Mark Bullingham has said.

Bullingham accepted the “hurt” caused to the Jewish community by the FA’s decision not to light the arch in the colours of the Israeli flag for last Friday’s England friendly against Australia, following attacks on Israeli citizens by Hamas militants earlier this month.

Daily update from Magen David Adom UK

The Minister of Health, Uriel Busso (Shas), yesterday (Wed 18 Oct) visited the National Dispatch Center of Magen David Adom in Kiryat Ono and met MDA Director General Eli Bin and the senior management team of the organisation. He said: “The entire nation of Israel salutes the Magen David Adom”

Last night (Wed 18 Oct) MDA UK CEO Daniel Burger and MDA Paramedic Aryeh Myers spoke at a young professionals Q&A fundraiser hosted by JLE. They said: “Magen David Adom is the Red Shield of David, and in 2005, a significant date, was the year that MDA was admitted to the International Red Cross – making it a truly global organisation, above any politics. We purely focus on the sanctity of saving lives.”

Daily update from BICOM

President Biden flew to Israel yesterday, in a further show of support for Israel and its right to respond to Hamas’s brutal attacks of 7th October.

In addition to announcing both military aid to Israel and humanitarian aid for Gaza, the US president backed the Israeli evidence that the blast at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City had been caused not by an IDF bomb but by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket.

Read BICOM’s full News Update here:

WATCH: Jewish News witnesses the aftermath of attack inside a bomb shelter

WATCH: Jewish News’ @mrconfino witnesses the aftermath of an attack inside a bomb shelter in the town of Sderot. #Israel

WATCH: Jewish News reports from the scene of Hamas massacre in Sderot

WATCH: Jewish News’ @mrconfino reports from the scene of a Hamas massacre in the town of Sderot. #Israel

https://x.com/JewishNewsUK/status/1714977681102491673?s=20

‘Head of Hamas security forces killed overnight’

Claims that terror group’s head of security forces has been killed in an overnight air raid. Earlier, the widow of a Hamas’ founder was also reported to have been killed.

Jewish News recently visited the Kerem Crossing on Gaza’s border

Jewish News recently visited the Kerem Crossing on Gaza’s border, where 300 trucks a day enter the Strip from Israel. Israel tries to keep goods flowing in even under rocket fire from the place where the trucks are bound. Thousands of items including shoes, speakers and tyres conceal Hamas weapons and explosives.

Security minister says pro-Palestine stage near Cenotaph was ‘disgraceful’

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said it was “disgraceful” that a stage was erected near to the Cenotaph at a pro-Palestine march.

Images and videos posted on social media show a stage standing close to the 103-year-old war memorial on Whitehall during demonstrations at the weekend expressing support for the Palestinian people in the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

The memorial in central London is dedicated to those who died in the two world wars and in every conflict afterwards. It is a focal point during Britain’s Remembrance Sunday service in November.

Mr Tugendhat, who was formerly an officer in the British Army reserves, told Sky News: “It is disgraceful. To many of us the Cenotaph is sacred ground.

“There is a reason it matters so much to our national consciousness.

“It is not just a memory of wars past, where many of our grandparents … fought in the First and Second World Wars.

Sunak: To have a child taken from you is a parent’s worst nightmare

Earlier today the Prime Minister met with families whose loved ones have been held hostage by Hamas following the attacks on October 7.

In a post on X, Rishi Sunak is pictured hugging a woman, who was not identified.

The post said: “To have a child taken from you is a parent’s worst nightmare.

“This morning I heard from families going through this unbearable agony.

“Working with our partners, we’re determined to secure the release of the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists.”

Rishi Sunak going from Israel to Saudi Arabia

Downing St has just confirmed that the prime minister will leave Israel later today for meetings with the Saudis.

Rishi Sunak expresses Britain’s “deep condolences”

Rishi Sunak expressed Britain’s “deep condolences” to Israel during a press conference alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In comments after their bilateral meeting on Thursday, the Prime Minister said: “Thank you for your warm words and for welcoming me to Israel. I’m just sorry to be here in such terrible circumstances. In the last two weeks this country has gone through something that no country, no people should have to endure, least of all Israel, which has lived through some of the most awful scenes, the spectre of violence and terrorism every day of its existence.

“And I want to share the deep condolences of the British people and stress that we absolutely support Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law, to go after Hamas, to take back hostages, deter further incursions and strengthen your security for the long term.

“Now, I know that you are taking every precaution to avoid harming civilians — in direct contrast to the terrorists of Hamas, which seek to put civilians in harm’s way.

“But I also want to thank you for the support that your government has given to the families of British nationals caught up in this horror, including your efforts to release the hostages, to secure their release.

“And I know that we will continue to co-operate, particularly with regard to British nationals that are involved.”

Israeli President to Rishi Sunak: We are extremely grateful to you

Israeli President Isaac Herzog expressed his gratitude to Rishi Sunak for “your support and your decisions and your leadership”.

“We are extremely grateful to you, Prime Minister, for your support and your decisions and your leadership,” he said as the two met in Israel.

He said the military capabilities of “an empire of evil led by Tehran” must be uprooted so that Israelis can “live in peace with our Palestinian neighbours.”

Penny Mordaunt: BBC must meet required broadcasting standards

Penny Mordaunt has suggested the BBC needs to “kick the tyres” to ensure it meets the required broadcasting standards when reporting on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Conservative former minister Theresa Villiers told the Commons: “Could we have a debate on the reporting of the conflicts in the media between Israel and Hamas so that we can hold to account those media outlets that chose to rush to blame Israel for the hospital tragedy without having a sound evidential basis.

“Accurate reporting is crucial, failing to deliver that makes the situation worse, could cost lives and fuel hatred and antisemitism back here in the UK.”

Commons Leader Ms Mordaunt replied: “There are two issues here. One is the Ofcom Code and certain broadcasters’ adherence to it. In the guidance for that code it says ‘broadcasters should have regard to the list of proscribed terror groups or organisations in the UK’, and that is incredibly important.

JLC chair Keith Black speaking at Hertsmere solidarity event 

Event held last night at Hertsmere Borough Council Civic Offices:

“This has been among the darkest days we have ever experienced.”

“We must go about our daily life, vigilant yes, but we must stay strong.”

“The plight of the Palestinians is a great human tragedy but it has been brought about by their (Hamas’) leadership.”

“This is not just a war of self-defence but also one of liberation, to release the Palestinian people from a merciless inhumane regime and to free the hostages.”

“Israel cannot live with this monstrous regime on their border, they must be removed.”

Beit Halochem is ‘aware of over 780 wounded soldiers’

Veteran support charity Beit Halochem UK (BHUK) tells Jewish News “we’re already aware of over 780 wounded soldiers, and we anticipate that this number will significantly increase.”

The charity raises awareness and funds for Israel’s wounded veterans and victims of terror,

Spencer Gelding, chief executive of BHUK, tells Jewish News: “We have recruited thousands of volunteers and alongside our dedicated staff we have been able to deliver the following service:

– Established 24/7 helpline for veterans
– Conducted welfare checks for 13,100+ disabled veterans
– Mobilised resources to distribute 1,000+ WASH aid kits
– Relocated 48 families from Gaza border to Tel Aviv and Eilat
– Older veterans visiting the newly injured in hospital
– Volunteers prepare and deliver care packages wounded soldiers

To support Beit Halochem UK, click here.

IDF says 203 hostages are being held in Gaza

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has so far notified the families of 203 hostages that their loved ones are being held in the Gaza Strip.

The number is not final. The IDF has been scanning the Gaza border area for bodies of missing Israelis, locating some, and many bodies are still waiting to be identified.

Families of hostages slam government decision to allow aid to Gaza via Egypt

Times of Israel: Group representing relatives of captives fume following agreement pushed by US to let some 20 trucks of humanitarian assistance into enclave with backing from Cairo.

GlobeX halves fees to support Israel

In the wake of terror attacks in Israel, GlobeX, a leading foreign exchange service provider, has taken action to support victims and their families and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) by halving its fees for transfers to Israel.

The move not only aids the victims but also serves as an incentive for further financial support to Israel.

Since the atrocious terrorist attacks, there has been a 20% surge in shekels being sent to Israel from the UK with GlobeX. The Pound (GBP) is currently at a six-year high to the Shekel (NIS).

Maurice Adler and Willis Godlewsky, senior traders at GlobeX, said:
“In these challenging times, we stand united with the victims of terror, the IDF, and the entirety of Israel. We felt compelled to contribute our part to support those who wish to aid people in Israel during this difficult period. As a demonstration of solidarity, we are extending a special offer: for the rest of October, anyone using GlobeX to send money to Israel will receive a minimum 50% reduction in costs. Our prayers are for peace and a swift resolution to this conflict, with all hostages being safely returned to their families.”

Click here.

Rishi Sunak says he stands with Israel “against evil terrorism” as he arrives in country

Rishi Sunak said he stands with Israel “against the evil that is terrorism” as he made a visit to the country.

In a post on X, he said: “I am in Israel, a nation in grief. I grieve with you and stand with you against the evil that is terrorism. Today, and always.”

‘Irresponsible speculation’ over hospital blast led to Arab leaders calling off talks

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said “irresponsible speculation” over the al Ahli hospital blast led to Arab leaders calling off talks with US President Joe Biden.

He told Times Radio: “The reason we’re going to be so careful about this is that the premature speculation comes at a cost. Let’s be clear that the reality is there were beginning of talks promised between President Biden and some Arab leaders, and irresponsible speculation led to some of those leaders walking away as they thought that it would be unacceptable to discuss such matters after Israel had been accused of this attack.”

He added: “It now appears that that was at best speculation and at worst propaganda by a terrorist organisation.”

Mr Tugendhat said he would not “name names” over who in particular was responsible for the speculation but pointed to commentary on social media platforms.

Leeds Jewish community to hold vigil for 199 kidnapped by Hamas

The Leeds Jewish community together with Leeds Jewish Representative Council are holding a peaceful gathering on Sunday 22nd October.

The vigil is a show of support for the families of every man, woman and child who were abducted by Hamas during the 7th October attacks in Israel.

The vigil will welcome everyone who wants to show support and solidarity.

Vigil in Leeds

A spokesperson said:

“We come from many different backgrounds and political views. At this vigil we will respect all that diversity and we are committed to creating a civil and safe environment.

“The event will consist of moments of silence, prayers, and the public recitation of the names of all those we know have been killed or injured. We acknowledge and mourn their loss and offer our thoughts and our feelings to their families.

“In keeping with that approach, we are asking everyone to adhere to the following standards:

1.            There will be no calls for violence, and no expressions of hatred or racism. That is not who, or what, we are.

2.            We will welcome signs or props to express views and feelings, but there can be no messages directed against individual citizens, or (to repeat) calls for violent, hateful or racist messages in any form.

3.            This will not be about politicians or public representatives (in Israel or in England). It is not a political rally.

4.            We will all refrain from graphic descriptions (visual or oral) of the horrific incidents. Children may be in attendance, and it is inappropriate to display images without the express permission of a bereaved family.

5.            We will avoid any confrontations with passers-by. If people wish to engage then we will engage with them. If they wish to jeer, to express racist views, or to shout, the police will deal with them.

6.            We will follow all instructions from the police, and respect the public space we are in.

“We trust attendees to ensure that this is a vigil. In the unlikely event that people choose to reach the standards, they will be asked to leave.”

Israel says won’t prevent humanitarian assistance from Egypt to Gaza

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement regarding humanitarian aid in to Gaza:

1. Israel will not allow any humanitarian assistance from its territory to the Gaza Strip as long as our captives are not returned.

2. Israel demands Red Cross visits with our captives and is working to mobilize broad international support for this demand.

3. In light of President Biden’s request, Israel will not prevent humanitarian assistance from Egypt as long as it is only food, water and medicine for the civilian population located in the southern Gaza Strip or which is evacuating to there, and as long as these supplies do not reach Hamas. Any supplies that reach Hamas – will be prevented.

Exclusive: Senior UK Muslim clerics condemn Hamas attacks on Israel in landmark statement

Some of Britain’s most senior Muslim leaders have said they “denounce Hamas’s killing and abduction of innocent people” on 7 October and have steered clear of apportioning blame for the Gaza hospital killings. In a significant intervention by leading Muslim clerics in the UK on the war between Hamas and Israel, clerics say they “unequivocally condemn the killing of civilians” in both Israel and Gaza, in a statement seen by Jewish News. Signed by some of the most influential figures in the British Muslim community, it includes condemnation of the IDF’s “excessive” use of force and calls for humanitarian aid to be let into the Gaza Strip. In the letter, the 15 imams and scholars urged “restraint from Israel.”

Biden compares Hamas massacre to Holocaust

“Hamas committed atrocities that recall the worst ravages of ISIS unleashing pure, unadulterated evil upon the world. There’s no rationalising, No excusing period, or brutality we saw would have cut deep anywhere in the world. It cuts deeper here in Israel, October 7, which was sacred to a sacred Jewish holiday became the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, who’s brought to the surface painful memories, who scars left by millenia of antisemitism the genocide of the Jewish people,” Biden said.

Foreign Secretary: ‘Rushed, inaccurate reporting costs lives’

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said “rushed, inaccurate reporting costs lives” as he responded to concerns over the coverage of the blast in a hospital in Gaza.

Conservative former minister Sir Michael Ellis said: “Last night an evil terrorist organisation that murders Jews and oppresses Palestinians was instantly believed in a number of quarters whereas many refused to acknowledge Jewish babies had been brutally murdered without demanding graphic proof.

“Does he agree that unsubstantiated reports like those that we saw last night may actually cost lives because it helps inflame tensions in an already highly volatile region?”

Mr Cleverly said Sir Michael is “absolutely right”, adding: “Everything has a cost and rushed, inaccurate reporting costs lives.

“And everybody whether they are formally involved in the reporting process or whether they are a citizen journalist or whether they are just active on social media should be very conscious that this involves real lives in the most sensitive of circumstances and could have repercussions not just in the area, not just in the region but in this country as well.”

Biden to Israel: ‘You are not alone’

“In the wake of Hamas’s appalling, terrorist assault, brutal, inhumane – almost beyond belief what they did – this cabinet came together and is standing strong, standing united” Biden continued. “And I want you to know you are not alone. You are not alone,” President Biden said during a press conference with Israel’s war cabinet.

Daily update from MDA (Magen David Adom)

Approx. 30 doctors and paramedics from the MDA International Unit are flying in from the US and France to Israel in order to aid the medical staff in MDA.

– US President Joe Biden arrives in Israel. An MDA ambulance forms part of his convoy.

Gaza hospital news coverage: how to make your views known to the BBC and Sky News

A tale of two stories
A tale of two stories

To complain to the BBC and Sky about last night’s coverage, here are two links to use.

Sky News: viewerR@sky.uk

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

Suggested language for your complaint:

“I am disgusted that the BBC and Sky News reported at face value, with no time to verify what had actually happened, claims from the Hamas controlled Gaza Ministry of Health that 500 deaths had been caused by an Israeli airstrike on the Al Ahli hospital.

“This rush to accept Hamas’ framing of a horrific incident in a way that both demonised Israel and inflamed tensions in the wider Middle East is completely irresponsible and falls far short of the standards the public should expect from broadcasters and journalists covering this war.”

Update briefing from BICOM

As President Biden visits Israel, the IDF has presented evidence that a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad misfired and hit a hospital inside Gaza. In the immediate aftermath, leaders across the Arab word accused Israel of hitting the hospital, prompting attacks on the Israeli embassy in Jordan, the US Embassy in Lebanon and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

See BICOM’s full Morning Brief here:

Cleverly on Gaza hospital explosion: ‘Wait for the facts’

“Last night, too many jumped to conclusions around the tragic loss of life at Al Ahli hospital. Getting this wrong would put even more lives at risk. Wait for the facts, report them clearly and accurately. Cool heads must prevail,” James Cleverly said.

Berlin synagogue attacked with Molotov cocktails early Wednesday morning

From AP: The Kahal Adass Jisroel community said its synagogue in the city’s Mitte neighborhood was attacked with two incendiary devices. Police confirmed the incident.

Herzog to Biden: ‘Bless you for protecting Israel’

President Isaac Herzog’s office says he told US counterpart Joe Biden upon arrival: “Welcome Mr. President. God bless you for protecting the nation of Israel.”

Chief Rabbi statement on explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza

Writing on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis says:

“In all the pain and frustration of the clamour to wrongly blame Israel for the horrific loss of Palestinian life at the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, let us not lose sight of what is, above all, a most awful human tragedy. Every life is sacred and I have written directly to the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, to express my condolences.”

Click here to view.

President Biden arrives in Israel

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv to discuss the war with Hamas in Gaza, as well as the ongoing conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

900+ Friends of IDF supporters gather in New York to raise emergency funds

Fauda cast member Itzik Cohen and pop star Noa Kirel attend event.

Deputy PM to attend Herts community solidarity event tonight

UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden and Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat MP for St. Albans to stand in solidarity with Jewish community at 7.15pm this evening outside Hertsmere Borough Council.

IDF tells JN: ‘We are still trying to ascertain who is dead and missing’

“We have a 1,300-person puzzle… trying to ascertain who is dead, presumed dead, taken hostage or missing. We have 286 fallen soldiers.”

IDF spokesperson tells JN: ‘The air force has not operated in the area (of Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza)’

IDF spokesperso on tonight’s news that Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza has been hit during an Israeli air strike: “The air force has not operated in that area.”

IDF says failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch hit Gaza hospital

IDF says assessment shows failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch caused Gaza hospital blast.

IDF makes clear that it does not target hospitals

IDF issues statement making clear that it does not target hospitals, two hours after a blast at Gaza Hospital, blamed by Hamas on Israel, said to have caused hundreds of fatalities.

Abbas ‘cancels’ Biden meeting after hospital explosion

A senior Palestinian official says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled his participation in a meeting scheduled for tomorrow with US President Joe Biden and other leaders.

‘Hundreds killed’ in explosion at hospital in Gaza City

Hamas blaming Israel; Israeli military says investigating the incident.

BREAKING: Rishi Sunak to visit Israel

Prime minister expected in the Middle East as soon as Thursday.

Madeley ‘sorry viewers were upset’ by Gaza question to MP Layla Moran

TV presenter Richard Madeley is “sorry he upset viewers” with a question to MP Layla Moran about her family in Gaza City.

The broadcaster was interviewing the Liberal Democrat MP on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Tuesday when he asked if “there was any word on the street” before Hamas launched its attack on Israel.

The comments drew criticism on social media, with some calling the question “appalling”.

A GMB spokesman said: “Richard is sorry that he has upset viewers with his question to Layla Moran.

“His intention was to understand the mood and atmosphere amongst the civilian population of Gaza immediately before the attacks.

“He asked Layla about her family in Gaza City because she had discussed speaking to them earlier in the interview. He did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks.”

Scotland’s First Minister: UK and rest of world must create Gaza refugee scheme

Scotland’s First Minister has called on the international community to create a refugee programme for those fleeing the hostilities in the Middle East.

Speaking to the SNP conference on Tuesday, Humza Yousaf urged the Israeli government not to use “collective punishment” against the Palestinian people for the actions of Hamas, which he said “can never be justified”.

The First Minister told the party faithful there were currently one million people displaced within the Gaza Strip, after Israeli warnings to leave ahead of an expected ground invasion.

Mr Yousaf’s in-laws: Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla are in Gaza with his wife Nadia’s cousin having been injured by shrapnel.

London man writes ‘coloniser’ on posters for children kidnapped by Hamas

The incident happened in West Hampstead today, on West End Lane.

Click here to view the story.

Humza Yousaf’s wife calls for urgent ceasefire in Gaza after family injured

Humza Yousaf’s wife has asked for an urgent ceasefire in the Gaza strip after her relatives were wounded by shrapnel in a drone attack.

Nadia El-Nakla, an SNP councillor for Dundee City Council, spoke on LBC news about the dangers faced by her family who have become caught in the midst of the ongoing conflict.

Speaking to presenter Shelagh Fogarty, she revealed her mother, Elizabeth, had to pull shrapnel from her young cousin’s skin as hospitals are dangerous and low on medical supplies.

The First Minister revealed last weekend that his wife’s family were trapped in Gaza after the Hamas attack on southern Israel.

Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary visits Jewish school

Labour’s Shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson MP, expressed her support for Britain’s Jewish community in a visit to a London school this morning (Tuesday 17 October).

Speaking to school and community leaders as part of a tour of a primary school, Phillipson reiterated Labour’s support for Britain’s Jewish community after the terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas, and amidst CST recording increased antisemitic incidents in the UK.

Campaign Against Antisemitism CharityExtra appeal

Campaign Against Antisemitism is appealing for funds after reporting a surge in antisemitism.

The organisation says: “The wave of incidents has massively increased our workload…..and requires us urgently to recruit lawyers and other professionals to ensure that our team has the resources to monitor, document and prosecute antisemitic crimes and glorification of terrorism.

“We know that you have many worthy causes asking for your help at this time, and any donation that you make to CAA’s Fightback Fund will be matched and will go directly to the fight against antisemitism in the UK.”

Click here to support the campaign:

‘Your pain is my pain’. Julie Siddiqi MBE assures Jews in Leeds that they have friends among UK Muslims

Last Shabbat (Saturday 14th October) Sinai Synagogue in Leeds welcomed Julie Siddiqi MBE, to address their congregation at the end of a devastating week for Jews in Israel and around the world.

She said: “I know that so many of you feel scared, and this week has been so tough for everyone. In the Jewish community here and around the world, your pain is my pain”.

Photo caption: (left to right): Sinai Community Director, Becky Teiger; Julie Siddiqi MBE; Cantor Rachel Weston

“I believe in a loving and merciful God, and I continue to pray for you all that your pain is eased. Please know that you have friends and supporters among UK Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths and none. And we will stand by you with love and support as and when you need it”.

“There are no easy or quick answers to any of this, but let’s stand together in love and solidarity as friends and as cousins in faith.”

Steve Bell will ‘not apologise’ for Netanyahu art after Guardian ends contract

Cartoonist Steve Bell said he will “not apologise” for his artwork depicting the Israeli prime minister after The Guardian said it has decided not to renew his contract.

His sketch of Benjamin Netanyahu was “spiked” by the newspaper, according to Mr Bell, in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel.

Netanyahu speaks with UAE president in first call with Arab leader since attack

The two leaders discussed the crisis and agreed to remain in contact.

Sderot, Ashkelon and Rishon Le Tzion continually hit by rocket fire

Our correspondent is currently reporting from a shelter in Tel Aviv. Other towns and cities still being targeted from Gaza include Sderot, Ashkelon and Rishon Le Tzion.

PM updates Cabinet about missing Brits

Rishi Sunak told his Cabinet that Hamas was responsible for the “murder and suspected abduction of British nationals”, Downing Street said.

Asked if it is believed that some of the 10 missing British citizens may have been kidnapped, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s a dynamic situation.

“I think sadly the full details of this attack are still becoming clear.”

Downing Street has urged Israel to allow water into Gaza

Downing Street has urged Israel to allow water into Gaza, while refusing to say whether it believes the tactic to shut off the supply was in line with international law.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We continue to urge Israel as a democracy we work closely with to act within international law in their actions, I think they are taking steps to do that.

“We are in discussions and are keen to see water restored to the area.

“We want to do everything possible to relieve the unfolding humanitarian issues in Gaza. Water is an important part of that.”

Former CIA director: Israel understands magnitude of the difficulty ahead

Former CIA director general David Petraeus has said the “Israeli military leadership clearly understand the magnitude of the difficulty that lies ahead”.

In a pre-recorded interview Mr Petraeus, the former leader of US and international forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “They (Israeli military chiefs) understand the challenges of fighting an enemy who doesn’t wear a uniform, in a densely populated area with a lot of civilians and doesn’t have the regard for civilian life that we do, who will have booby traps, rooms that blow up, improvised explosive devices, even suicide vest bombers.

“And of course, there are nearly 200 hostages, not to mention, the challenge for Israeli soldiers and the losses they’ll incur as they have to clear and hold areas if they’re truly to destroy Hamas to the extent that they can, by the way that means destroying every headquarters, base, facility, many of which will be underneath hospitals, weapons storage in mosques.

“But then how do you keep them from reconstituting? And there should be a vision provided not just for what they’re going to do to Hamas, but also for what they’re going to do for the people of Gaza once they have destroyed, inevitably, a lot of their basic services, their infrastructure, dwellings and so on. So the enormity of the challenges here just can’t be overstated.”

The BBC “expects” and “welcomes” scrutiny of the way it covers conflict

The corporation has come under fire for not referring to Hamas as a terrorist organisation and has been accused of bias both against Israel and against Palestine.

A statement from the BBC board, following its regular monthly meeting, said: “No one who has watched or listened to harrowing reports over the last ten days could be left in any doubt about the horror brought about by Hamas’s attack on defenceless civilians in Israel.

“As this war continues, with so many deaths of innocent civilians in both Israel and Gaza, the BBC will no doubt continue to come under scrutiny about the way in which we cover it – that is to be expected and also welcomed. The BBC is listening.

“We believe that our Editorial Guidelines serve us well, and continue to serve us well in difficult circumstances; we do periodically review them as a matter of course, and when we do so at our next planned review in the Spring, we will consult and debate these issues just as we always do.”

Bye, Alicia. Superstar singer slammed for ‘sick ode to Hamas terror attacks on Israel’

In a now deleted post, Alicia Keys asks fans if she should take up paragliding, following Hamas terrorists using gliders in Israel attacks on October 7th.

Click here for the full story.

President Joe Biden to visit Israel tomorrow

President Joe Biden will visit Israel during wartime to hear in person about its strategy as its conflict with Hamas intensifies, and to press for humanitarian relief for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

In a snap call with reporters on Monday night, John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, outlined Biden’s plan for a one-day visit on Wednesday to Tel Aviv, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president will also head to Amman, Jordan, where he meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

Mum of young girl in Hamas hostage video: ‘I screamed when I saw Mia’

Times of Israel: “I screamed when I saw the video of Mia, because I saw she’s alive, but when I watched it again, I saw that she’s wounded,” says Keren Schem, mother of Mia Schem, who was shown in a Hamas video from Gaza last night.

Schem said they had heard rumors that Mia was shot in the shoulder or leg, but could see from the video that she was shot in the shoulder, and had undergone surgery.

“I see that she’s very terrified, in a lot of pain, and I can see that she’s saying what they’re telling her to say,” says Schem.

 

JK Rowling shares image of autistic Harry Potter fan kidnapped by Hamas

Author shares post on X, formerly known as Twitter, of 12-year old Noya Dan, the autistic young Harry Potter fan kidnapped by Hamas.

Click here to see the full post.

WATCH: Angry scenes outside the BBC tonight

Angry scenes outside the #BBC tonight at a Jewish community protest against the corporation’s use of the term ‘militant’ to describe Hamas terrorism.

Hundreds of protesters gather outside the BBC

The demonstration condemns the broadcaster for labelling Hamas terrorists as ‘militants’. Crowd shouts “Liars, liars” and “Defund the BBC”.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran: Member of my family in Gaza had their home bombed

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran told the Commons that members of her extended family in Gaza had their home bombed but are “too old” to flee the area.

The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon said: “My immediate family is from the West Bank, but we have extended family in Gaza City.

“Their house was bombed by the IDF (Israel Defence Forces). They went to seek sanctuary in a church because we’re Christian Palestinians, and I’m afraid they are still there because they are too old to go, and they say to me that they have nowhere to go.

“Because of this, not despite it, I attended a vigil in Oxford organised by the Jewish community, because it is between our communities that we now share profound emotions – loss and grief.”

She sought assurances that “it will be never again” and that “whenever we get through whatever is going to happen in the next few days, that he keeps the promise he made to my great grandfather, and that there will be a Palestinian state to call our own at the end of it”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his sympathies, and paid tribute to “the fact that she looks forward to a more positive future – it’s an ambition that I share”, adding “we must find a way to move forward, to secure a more stable, peaceful settlement”.

Labour MP calls on PM to meet the family of a woman taken hostage by Hamas

A Labour MP has called on Rishi Sunak to meet the family of a woman taken hostage by Hamas.

Dawn Butler (Brent Central) told the Commons: “Noam Sagi, his wife… and their son are here today and they are watching you give your statement.

“Ada Sagi, Noam’s mum, has been taken hostage by Hamas on Saturday October 7 from her home and is currently being held in Gaza.

“Ada booked a ticket to the UK to celebrate her 75th birthday. Noam has written to you asking for your immediate intervention and assistance. Joe Biden has made personal calls to his citizens.

“I’m asking if you will, please, and remember the family are watching you Prime Minister, would you please just spare five minutes to have a quick conversation?”

The Prime Minister replied: “Of course I’m happy to have a quick conversation, but I’m also engaged actively with our partners in the region to try and ensure the safe release of our hostages. Something which I’m sure the House will support me in doing any which way we can.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure their safe return.”
More items above

Today’s hard-hitting Evening Standard front page

…ask: Why have those who should support the Jewish community lost their voice?

BBC has given ‘careful consideration’ to all aspects of its coverage

The BBC said it has given “careful consideration” to all aspects of its coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The broadcaster has received complaints that its reporting has been biased against both Israel and Palestinians.

In a published statement, the BBC said: “Careful consideration has been given to all aspects of our coverage to ensure that we report on developments accurately and with due impartiality in line with the BBC editorial guidelines, which are publicly available.”

It added: “We understand that this is an extremely worrying time for people not only in the region, but also in the UK and around the world, and we have reflected this in our coverage.

“BBC News has provided our global audiences with coverage and first-hand testimony of the atrocities committed by Hamas and the suffering in Gaza.”

Speaking about its decision not to describe Hamas as a terrorist organisation, it said: “The BBC, along with many other UK and global news organisations, does use the word ‘terrorist’, but attributes it. We have made clear to our audiences that Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK and other governments.”

The numbers of complaints are in the higher hundreds, not in the thousands, and there is a handful of numbers difference between the complaints totals for perceived Israeli and Palestinian bias, the PA news agency understands.

News Editor Justin Cohen holds back tears in describing the fears of British Jews on BBC News

Justin Cohen, News Editor, Jewish News
Justin Cohen, News Editor, Jewish News

Justin Cohen, News Editor, Jewish News:

Click here to view.

UK must ensure no stone left unturned in ensuring the conflict does not escalate

The Prime Minister must ensure no stone is left unturned in ensuring the conflict in the Middle East does not escalate, Theresa May has said.

The Conservative former prime minister told the Commons: “The attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists was barbaric. Terrorists must be defeated whoever they are, wherever they are.

“Can I commend the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary for the stance that the Government has taken in support of the Jewish community here in the UK, in support of Israel and its right to defend itself.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that action must be taken in line with international humanitarian law.

“But will he commit today that the Government will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to prevent regional escalation of the conflict, and in doing so will he reflect on the role of Iran?”

The Labour leader has said ‘innocent lives must be protected’

Sir Keir Starmer told the Commons: “Israel’s defence must be conducted in accordance with international law. Civilians must not be targeted, innocent lives must be protected. There must be humanitarian corridors, there must be humanitarian access, including food, water, electricity, and medicines, so that hospitals can keep people alive and so that innocent people do not needlessly die.

“And there must be proper protection for all those who work selflessly, so aid can be delivered to victims.

“There can be no doubt the responsibility for this crisis lies with Hamas. They have no interest in Palestinian rights, no interest in the security of the people of Gaza, they unleash terror…”

He added: “They are destroyers of lives, of hope, of peace, and we cannot give them what they want. We must keep striving for a two-state solution. A Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.”

British Immigration Minister delivers message of solidarity to the Jewish community

At a meeting this morning, The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, immigration minister addressed the Asian Business Network.

He said:

“I know there will be people in the room today fearful that Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence will be used as pretext to stir up hatred in the UK in the coming weeks and months. We have already seen an appalling rise in antisemitic and indeed islamophobic incidents over the last week. People who would ordinarily have attended today may have chosen not to.

“So I have one very simple message to you all: there is no space for that kind of hate here. Not in Britain, not in our name.

“And for those that saw fit over the weekend to glorify terrorism and mock the murder of Jewish people: the police are coming for you. We will do everything we possibly can to protect Jewish people in our country. And if anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it.

“On days like these, the work of the business network is more important than ever. It showcases the very best of our Jewish and Asian communities and the significant contributions they make to our society – and I hope that today’s conference is as successful as it always is.”

Edgware community supporting Israel

The Edgware Community has come together in support of Israel.

In addition to the cross communal prayers being said, a fundraising campaign has been launched to twin Edgware with the beleaguered town of Sderot.

What makes this campaign so unique is that it is truly cross communal with people from all different backgrounds coming together with one common purpose to support Israel.

It’s the first time a cross communal campaign like this has ever been launched with an initial target of £500,000 and facilitated by myIsrael.

Sderot was chosen as a similar size to Edgware and will allow locals to support in a strategic way both in the immediate short term and in the long term rebuilding.

The chosen charity is Reut-Sderot.

Reut-Sderot is a front line charity providing welfare support to residents of Sderot.

Examples of their immediate work include aid to the 5,000 citizens remaining in the city made up primarily of the elderly, the sick, and mourners who have lost their loved ones. Reut-Sderot also serves as a centre for soldiers arriving in the south before fighting or for a brief respite from it.

Anna Maman, Resource Development Coordinator for Reut-Sderot said: “The situation on the ground is horrific as you have seen from the images on your screens. But knowing that there is a small town of strangers called Edgware, who are helping us in our hour of need is incredible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Brian Gordon, Chairman of Edgware United Synagogue commented: “We are very proud that Edgware is playing its part in supporting Israel generally and Sderot specifically in its hour of need.”

You can donate by clicking here.

At least six Britons killed in Hamas’s ‘pogrom’ in Israel, Sunak says

At least six British citizens were killed in Hamas’s “pogrom” in Israel and a further 10 are missing, Rishi Sunak has told MPs.

The Prime Minister told the Commons that more than 1,400 people were murdered, over 3,500 wounded and almost 200 taken hostage.

PM: We’ve brought home 500 people from Israel so far

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, addressing the situation of British nationals in Israel, told the Commons: “We’ve organised eight flights so far, bringing out over 500 people, with more flights leaving today.

“We are working with neighbouring countries on land evacuations for our citizens in Gaza and the West Bank.”

He said he has spoken to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about “supporting civilians to leave Gaza by the Rafah border crossing”, adding a border force team is in Egypt to help citizens when they are able to cross.”

Rishi Sunak in the Commons: We stand with British Jews now and always

Addressing the British Jewish community, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in the Commons: “We stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people.

“I understand why it has shaken you to your core, and I am sickened that antisemitic incidents have increased since the attack.

“We are doing everything we can to protect you.”

He added: “We are working with the police to ensure that hate crime and the glorification of terror is met with the full force of the law.”

He went on: “We stand with the Jewish community.”

On average 20% of Jewish students did not attend school on Friday

Figures from PaJes, Partnerships for Jewish Schools.

PM to give Commons statement at 3.30pm

Sunak will address Parliament on Hamas’ attack in Israel and the developing crisis at 3.30pm.

Head of Islamist Ra’am Party: Send humanitarian aid to Gaza and release hostages

Times of Israel: Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, calls on the government to immediately enable humanitarian aid to civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip, while urging the Hamas terror group to release the some 200 hostages kidnapped from Israel on October 7. “I called on Saturday [October 7] and I’ll continue to call on the groups in Gaza to release those held by them,” Abbas says, outside his Knesset faction meeting.

The Prime Minister: ‘Abhorrent that pro-Palestinian protesters display Hamas images

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was “abhorrent” that pro-Palestinian protesters reportedly displayed images of Hamas attackers during demonstrations.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police appealed for information about two women who had pictures of paragliders taped to the back of their jackets at protests in London at the weekend.

Rishi Sunak’s spokesman told reporters: “It is abhorrent.

“It is hard to conceive of a situation where people would want to show support for individuals that committed a terrorist attack which saw children, babies slaughtered. It is hard to put into words.”

He said such alleged behaviour was an example of “why we must rightly show support for the Jewish community in the UK”.

The No 10 official also said police forces had been given “clarity” on behaviour at protests so they could apply the “full force of the law” where necessary.

Armed forces minister: Israel doing ‘everything it reasonably can’

Armed forces minister James Heappey said he believes Israel is doing “everything it reasonably can” to tell people in Gaza where to move ahead of an imminent offensive.

“They are telling the population of Gaza where they can move to in order to be safe and that is in stark contrast to Hamas who are telling them to stay put in order to maintain their human shield,” he told Sky News.

Asked about photos surfacing over the weekend which appeared to show two women, one of whom appeared to be wearing a sticker of a paraglider, at a pro-Palestine march, the minister said: “I think that that celebration and glorification of what happened last Saturday is despicable.

“I’m glad the police are acting and I hope that those two particularly are found,” he added.

Liberman: Make humanitarian aid to Gaza contingent on hostage welfare

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman calls for making humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip contingent upon a Red Cross welfare check upon hostages. Addressing himself to “everyone who speaks now about humanitarian aid,” he demands that it be “provisioned that they get don’t get one crumb, that one liter of water won’t be transferred until the Red Cross sees our abductees.”

There is ‘no restriction’ on the BBC calling Hamas terrorists, Downing Street has said.

 

Asked about the broadcaster’s decision not to use the description, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I think ministers have set out our position on this already.

“The legal position is that Hamas is a proscribed terrorist group – the term terrorist is an accurate legal description.

“The BBC has described other attacks as terrorism – 9/11, 7/7, the Bataclan. To put it into context, the attack we witnessed in Israel was the third deadliest terror attack in the world since 1970.

“So there is no restriction on the BBC using that term, certainly not from Ofcom who have made it clear that, as long as they meet Ofcom rules on accuracy in news and due impartiality in news, it is for broadcasters to think about very carefully what they use to describe unfolding events.”

He added: “A number of reporting organisations are accurately describing Hamas as a terrorist group. I think accuracy is important in the circumstances.”

Rishi Sunak: Gorify Hamas and risk a long jail sentence

Rishi Sunak has warned that glorifying Hamas in the UK can result in long jail sentences.

Speaking to broadcasters on a visit to a Jewish secondary school in north London, the Prime Minister said: “Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation, it’s very clear under the law, the support and glorification of Hamas is illegal, and those offences are punishable with up to almost 14 years in jail.

“But it’s not just about Hamas, more broadly actions that incite violence or stir up religious hatred and racial violence are also not acceptable and that’s why, as I said, there’s no place in our society for that type of hatred and division, and it will be met with the full force of the law where it happens.”

Rishi Sunak to provide update on British nationals in Gaza this afternoon

Rishi Sunak will provide the latest possible update about British nationals in Gaza this afternoon, Downing Street said, but warned the situation was “fast-moving and complicated”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We know that several British nationals sadly have been killed. Others are missing. You can expect the Prime Minister to provide the latest possible updates on this in his statement later today.

“In the meantime we are assisting families and our thoughts are with those who are facing unimaginable uncertainty and fear because of these despicable attacks.”

WATCH: How are British Jews feeling? Justin Cohen tries to make sense of it all

@jewishnewsuk

“There’s a deep sense of sadness” News Editor Justin Cohen attempts to put the British Jewry’s feelings into words. ???????????????? #israelunderfire

♬ original sound – Jewish News

WATCH: IDF soldier sings at fellow soldier’s wedding

@jewishnewsuk

Amazing moment as @Shlomo lipmanm sings at fellow IDF soldier’s wedding near Gaza border. ❤️???????? #israelunderfire

♬ original sound – Jewish News

WATCH: Residents of Tel Aviv come together to sing the Israeli national anthem

@jewishnewsuk

Dizengoff Square, before last night’s rockets. ❤️???????? A community gathers to sing hatikvah together. #israelunderfire

♬ original sound – Jewish News

rchbishop of Canterbury warns ‘cancer of antisemitism must not be allowed to spread in UK’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a new statement warning:”The cancer of antisemitism must not be allowed to spread in the UK. ”

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Justin Welby wrote: “I stand in full solidarity with the Jewish community in the face of the disgraceful hatred and prejudice we’re seeing on our streets, online and on campuses.”

Guardian sacks cartoonist Steve Bell after Netanyahu cartoon

The Guardian has sacked cartoonist Steve Bell after Netanyahu cartoon it refused to publish is accused of being antisemitic.

Armed forces minister: UK urging Israel to balance military and humanitarian efforts

Armed forces minister James Heappey said the UK is encouraging Israel to ensure it balances military and humanitarian efforts.

Asked whether the Government supports the blockade of water, medical supplies and power from Gaza, he told LBC: “I think what we are recognising is that there is military necessity rubbing up against humanitarian necessity and what we’re saying to Israel is that they need and are, need to show the balance between those two imperatives.”

Echoing US secretary of state Antony Blinken, Mr Heappey said democracies hold themselves to a “higher standard” and “of course we are encouraging Israel to make sure it does hold itself to that higher standard.”

He added: “It is the devil’s own choice that Israel has got to make but for my money they are balancing correctly the need to preserve innocent human life as best they possibly can while accepting that the adversary that they will soon launch an attack on, uses humans and shields and deliberately seeks to hide within civilian population and infrastructure.”

Armed forces minister: ‘Almost inevitable operation in Gaza will see civilians suffer

Armed forces minister James Heappey said it is “almost inevitable” that the operation in Gaza will see an “innocent civilian population that is very badly affected”.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think you have to be clear that international law allows Israel to prosecute a mission that is legal, proportionate and necessary, and that, I’m afraid, does not necessarily mean that Israel has to be able to guarantee that there will be no civilian loss of life.

“It is almost inevitable, given the complexity of the mission, that there will be (an) innocent civilian population that is very badly affected. I just don’t think there’s any point pretending otherwise.”

Asked about the possibility of opening the Rafah crossing into Egypt for people fleeing Gaza, Mr Heappey welcomed the prospect but said it is important to “sound a note of caution that the reports might be more optimistic than reality”.

Hamas continuing to prevent Palestinians from evacuating southward

IDF’ spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari: “Hamas prevents the residents of Gaza from moving to the south of the Strip. Hamas has proven its cruelty to the residents of Israel and now it is doing the same to the residents of Gaza City.”

199 people confirmed to be held hostage in Gaza

The new official number is significantly higher than the 130 believed to have been taken.

Sunak to address MPs as Israeli invasion of Gaza looms

Rishi Sunak will address MPs on Monday about the escalating crisis in Israel and Gaza, as politicians return to Westminster amid renewed conflict in the Middle East.

Palestinians in Gaza remain braced for an imminent Israeli invasion, a week after Hamas militants launched a deadly assault on the country.

The Prime Minister is expected to make a visit on Monday morning to re-iterate his Government’s support for the Jewish community, after a weekend that saw growing international efforts to stop the conflict escalating further.

King Abdullah II of Jordan was welcomed to Downing Street on Sunday evening, as the ruler embarked on a diplomatic tour of Europe to rally international support to stop the war.

Number 10 said that the Prime Minister would hold talks with other leaders and international partners in the days to come, as the conflict showed little sign of coming to a swift conclusion.

‘The stench of murderous antisemitism clings to it’

Senior academic slams Israel statement from Goldsmiths University that specifically omits any mention of Hamas.

Click here for full story.

BBC Arabic Channel journalists ‘taken off air’

Jewish News understands the move has been taken pending investigation after facing claims of backing Hamas on social media.

Click here for the full story.

‘One message from our community to Israel — your fight is our fight. You are not alone’

JLC, UJIA, Board of Deputies, CST, IDF and BICOM convene live on air to update the community on how they are responding to the crisis in Israel.

Click here for the full story.

Jewish community briefing about to start – 6.30pm WATCH HERE

The Jewish Community is invited to a high level briefing update on the situation in Israel.

Likud minister to those who paid price of Hamas massacre: We ask your forgiveness

Miki Zohar, the Likud’s culture and sports minister, issues an apology on behalf of the government to the residents of the southern communities slaughtered by Hamas on Saturday and to those who paid the ultimate price. “The preparations were not in place for an attack like this…. The government, the state, was not ready for an attack like this,” Zohar says on Army Radio.

King Abdullah II of Jordan at No 10 for a meeting with Prime Minister

King Abdullah II of Jordan has arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the situation in Israel and Gaza. The pair shook hands before the Prime Minister led the Jordanian king inside.

Harif charity lecture: Who are HAMAS

Hamas. Pic: Harif
Hamas. Pic: Harif

The UK charity representing Jews from North Africa and the Middle East is hosting a lecture on Thursday 19 October to explain the background to the creation of Palestinian jihadist group, Hamas.

Harif will host Professor Norman Stillman for the special talk.

The author of the acclaimed ‘Jews of Arab Lands: a history and source book’, Dr Stillman is an internationally recognised authority on the history and culture of the Islamic world, as well as on Sephardi and oriental Jewry.

7:00 pm UK/ 11:00 am PT/ 2:00 pm ET /  8:00 pm Europe / 9:00 pm Israel

For further details, contact info@harif.org 

30 first generation Holocaust refugee and survivors hold a 1-minute silence for Israel

Pic: AJR
Pic: AJR

Members of The Association of Refugees (AJR), led by over 30 of its first generation Holocaust refugee and survivor members, gathered to light a candle and hold a 1-minute silence for Israel, followed by singing Hatikva.

Officials say Qatar pressing Hamas to release women, children and elderly

Times of Israel: Qatar is working to coax Hamas to release the women, children and elderly hostages that the terror group is currently holding in Gaza after taking them captive during last week’s onslaught in southern Israel, a diplomatic official tells The Times of Israel.

Israel vigil beginning in Parliament Square

Hundreds gathering this afternoon to stand in solidarity and call for the safe return of the kidnapped.

 

Missile fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel for fifth time today

Times of Israel: The Israel Defence Forces says another military post on the Lebanon border has come under fire by an anti-tank guided missile.

It marks at least the fifth missile launched from Lebanon at northern Israel today, in attacks claimed by the Hezbollah terror group.

The IDF does not immediately report injuries in the latest attack.

Man to face court accused of making racist comments at pro-Palestine march

A man accused of making racist comments at a pro-Palestine march in London will appear in court next month.

The Metropolitan Police said a 67-year-old man has been charged with intentionally causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress after being arrested on Saturday.

He is alleged to have made racist remarks towards people gathered in Whitehall and a police officer.

The force said on X, formerly Twitter: “The man was arrested after shouting racial abuse at those gathered in Whitehall and making similar racist comments to an officer who spoke with him.

“The man was in possession of a UK flag. This was in no way the reason for his arrest and forms no part of the charges against him.”

How to support the IDF

UK Friends of AWIS (Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers) is the only UK charity sanctioned by the IDF and the Ministry of Defence of Israel to make donations directly to the IDF.

They have launched a campaign to raise £1,000,000 to provide vital supplies of clothing, underwear, personal hygiene goods and confectionary for the 360,000 soldiers and many thousands more volunteers engaged in Operation Swords of Iron.

Click here.

 

Iran warns that ‘no one can guarantee’ control of situation if Israel invades Gaza

Iran has warned that “no one can guarantee” control if Israel enters Gaza, ahead of an expected ground offensive by Israeli forces. “If the attacks of the Zionist regime against the defenceless citizens and people of Gaza continue, no one can guarantee the control of the situation and the non-expansion of the conflicts,” its foreign ministry quoted Foreign Minster Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying during his meeting with Qatar’s Emir.

Israeli Brit psychotherapist reaches out to offer help

Following the Hamas terrorist atrocities in Israel, an Israeli Brit training in psychotherapy is offering to speak to any member of the Jewish community who feel they would benefit.

Mother of four Lee Grant tells Jewish News:

“We know what our country is going through now is unprecedented and we are all struggling to come to terms with the immense pain and heart ache the seemingly never ending cycle of violence against us is bringing.

“Countless stories, each somehow feeling worse than the last, compounding our pain and despair, especially as we are so far from our loved ones there.

“Whilst we may not be able to lend our hands and minds to the efforts in Israel, we can certainly and wholeheartedly lend them here.

“If anyone needs a compassionate heart and mind to listen and help you carry your pain, please get in touch.

Contact Lee at LKG2879@gmail.com.