Israel-Hamas war live updates: News on Gaza conflict
Israel-Hamas war live updates: News on Gaza conflict

Why three premature babies retrieved from Al-Shifa hospital are staying in the Gaza Strip

Palestinian premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital, receive care ahead of their transfer from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. Twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on November 20, Egyptian media said, after their evacuation from Gaza’s largest hospital which has become a focal point of Israel’s war with Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) / “The erroneous DATE appearing in the metadata of this photo by SAID KHATIB has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [November 20] instead of [November 19]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.” (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Three of the 31 premature babies evacuated over the weekend by U.N. and health groups are staying behind in the Gaza Strip because one infant has not been identified and the parents of two others refused to send them abroad, BBC News reports.

Earlier on Monday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said that ambulance teams were transporting the remaining 28 babies to Egypt for treatment.

All three babies who are remaining behind in the Gaza Strip, where they have been moved to Al-Ahli Emirates hospital in the southern part of the enclave, are in stable condition, a local doctor told BBC News.

The 31 infants were removed from the besieged Al-Shifa hospital by a combined effort of the U.N. human rights agency, the World Health Organization and the PRCS on Sunday. Fuel shortages at Al-Shifa had depowered the life support equipment necessary to sustain them, with two out of an initial 33 babies dying as a result.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel’s temporary and long-term joblessness rate spikes in October

Israel’s rate capturing the unemployed and those who were temporarily absent from work surged to 9.6% in October, compared with 3.6% in September, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.

This meant that a combined 428,400 people were fully or temporarily absent from work in October, up from 163,600 people in September.

The country’s main unemployment rate was steady at 3.4%, unchanged on the month.

Last month saw the brutal Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7, which killed hundreds of people in Israel and led to the abduction of over 240 hostages. Israel has since summoned roughly 360,000 reservists to take up arms against the Palestinian militant group, in one of the largest mobilizations in the country’s history.

Ruxandra Iordache

Twenty-eight evacuated babies taken to Egyptian hospitals

Palestinian medics prepare premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al- Shifa hospital, for transfer from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Ambulance teams are transporting 28 rescued premature babies from the Gaza Strip for onward treatment at Egyptian hospitals, the Palestine Red Cross Society said on social media.

It comes after the PRCS, World Health Organization and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs orchestrated the weekend evacuation of 31 premature babies from the Al-Shifa health facility, once the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, now reduced to basic care and no longer able to operate as a hospital.

A Palestinian medic cares for premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al- Shifa hospital, ahead of their transfer from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

The babies — who are all fighting infections, according to a WHO assessment — had to be removed from life support at Al-Shifa that no longer functioned as a result of fuel shortages. Following their evacuation, they were first taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Helal Al-Emarati Maternity Hospital in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The staff carrying the infants will traverse the Rafah crossing that bridges Egypt and the Gaza Strip — the only land route out of the enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

Ruxandra Iordache

Yemen’s Houthi capture ship on suspicion of Israeli connection

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants have captured what they called an Israeli ship in the Red Sea and taken it to the Yemeni coast, the group’s spokesperson Yahya Saree said on social media on Sunday.

“The Yemeni armed forces reiterate their warning to all ships belonging to or dealing with the Israeli enemy that they will become a legitimate target for armed forces,” he added, urging the international community to avoid working with Israeli ships or owned by Israeli individuals.

“Yemeni armed forces confirm that they will continue to carry out military operations against the Israeli enemy until the aggression against Gaza stops,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Japan’s top government spokesperson confirmed the capture of the Nippon Yusen-operated ship, Galaxy Leader, according to Reuters. Tokyo is now appealing with the Houthis for the release of the vessel and seeking the help of Saudi, Omani and Iranian authorities.

“The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence,” the Israeli military said on social media.

“The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office qualified the vessel as owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese business, stating no Israeli people were present on the vessel.

“This is another act of Iranian terrorism which expresses a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world, and creates international implications regarding the security of global shipping lanes,” Netanyahu said, according to a Google translation.

Iran, which supports the Houthis and Hamas groups that are inimical to Israel, rejected claims of involvement in the ship’s capture, according to Google-translated comments by Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani, carried by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Ruxandra Iordache

Thirty-one babies evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital

Palestinian premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital, are transported in a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance through the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Thirty-one babies were evacuated on Sunday from the Al-Shifa hospital to a medical facility in the south of the Gaza Strip, in a joint mission between the World Health Organization and the U.N., working in collaboration with the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

Born prematurely with low birthweight, these infants had previously been moved from the neonatal unit of the Al-Shifa hospital to a safe area on site, because of electricity shortages to power their life support and security risks at the facility.

Two other babies passed away before the evacuation took place.

Palestinian medics transfer premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital, from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. 

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Eleven of the infants who were removed are in critical condition, and all the babies are fighting “serious” infections because of a lack of supplies, the WHO said. The children are not accompanied by family members, who could not be found.

Six health workers and 10 of their family members, who had taken shelter at the hospital, were evacuated alongside the children. The mission was “deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces and with the defacto authorities,” the WHO said. Israeli military last week raided and has since been inspecting the Al-Shifa hospital on suspicion that the hospital is used for Hamas operations.

Over 250 patients and 20 health workers remain at Al-Shifa and request immediate evacuation, the WHO said, noting that such a procedure would take several days because of the “complex security and logistics constraints.”

Egyptian medics stand by with incubators to receive premature Palestinian babies evacuated from Gaza on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. Twenty-nine premature babies were evacuated from war-torn Gaza to Egypt on November 20, as the Hamas-run health ministry accused Israel of launching a deadly strike on a hospital. 

– | Afp | Getty Images

The organization reiterated it is “deeply concerned about the safety and health needs of patients and health workers who remain at Al-Shifa Hospital” and said the medical complex is no longer able to function because of a lack of clean water, fuel, medical supplies and food, along with active hostilities.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it killed three further Hamas commanders

The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Securities Authority said they killed three further company commanders of Palestinian militant group Hamas during ground operations, according to an IDF update on Telegram.

The military did not name the deceased or state when they were killed.

IDF troops also identified and killed Hamas operatives in a cell, as well as striking a weapons depot in which they took shelter, the military said.

CNBC could not independently confirm the report.

Ruxandra Iordache

Sewage pumps in Gaza Strip at 55% capacity, UN branch aid director says

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Palestinians fleeing the fighting in war-torn Gaza walk on Salaheddine road in the Zeitoun district of the southern part of the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

Sewage pumps in the Gaza Strip can only run at 55% capacity amid ongoing fuel shortages, according to Thomas White, director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine.

“Some difficult decisions have had to be made about what lifesaving aid is prioritised – sewage will continue to follow in the streets,” White said.

White and UNRWA previously drew alarm bells over the critical state of fuel-deprived infrastructure and services in the Gaza enclave, with sanitation, water desalination and medical equipment slipping offline. The World Health Organization has repeatedly warned of the health and infection risks if these services no longer function.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it found a tunnel, weapons and boobytrapped car at Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli military has released further details of its findings following its ground incursion at the Al-Shifa hospital, including what it says is footage of a tunnel beneath the medical complex proving Hamas carried out operations on the premises.

In an operational update delivered by Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, the IDF showed a clip of what appeared to be a tunnel it said spans over 50 meters and is located beneath the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip. In addition to weapons, vests, intelligence and communication resources, the military said it found a car similar to those deployed in the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7 on the site of the hospital, adding that the vehicle was boobytrapped.

“What does it mean to boobytrap a car that is at the center of the hospital complex? They did not only want to kill Israeli soldiers that they knew were coming there. They were willing and deliberately wanting also the patients and staff that is in the hospital to get hurt in that event,” Shefler said.

He added that the military was able to carry out its raid of Al-Shifa without “any kind of friction with the medical team” and to “facilitate” what hospital staff required. He added that the IDF brought medical equipment and supplies to Al-Shifa — but did not clarify how these resources will be powered, amid severe fuel and electricity shortages that have rendered unusable the previous equipment of Al-Shifa, according to local health officials.

CNBC could not independently verify the video footage and report.

The IDF has been subject to intense pressure to provide evidence of Hamas using the Al-Shifa hospital as a command center and justify its ground incursion on a civilian site. Hamas and the Al-Shifa staff have previously denied the Palestinian militant group carries out operations from the medical site.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military releases video footage claiming to show hostages brought at Al-Shifa

The Israel Defense Forces have released video footage they say show hostages being brought into the Al-Shifa hospital on the day of the Oct. 7 terror attacks carried out by Hamas.

CNBC has not independently verified the videos.

A first clip appears to show an individual forcibly marched into a hospital’s premises. The second footage shows a heavily wounded individual with a blurred-out face transported on a gurney, while one of the men who brought the patient in carries a rifle.

The IDF say that the two individuals are a Nepalese and Thai civilian, who were taken captive by Hamas.

“These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the massacre as terrorist infrastructure,” the IDF said.

Israeli military has justified its widely criticized siege of the Al-Shifa hospital on the basis that the medical complex has been utilized as a Hamas compound and has faced mounting international pressure to prove that claim.

Ruxandra Iordache

Negotiators closing in on a deal to release hostages: NBC News

An Israeli couple holding their national flag walk in front of graffiti calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, in Jerusalem on November 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Gil Cohen-magen | Afp | Getty Images

NBC News reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the negotiations, that U.S., Israeli and Hamas negotiators are closing in on a deal to release some hostages taken during the Oct. 7 attack.

That would be in exchange for a pause in fighting, NBC News reported, with the sources cautioning that nothing was finalized.

“We have not reached a deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get to a deal,” spokesperson Adrienne Waston posted on X in response to a Washington Post report about a possible agreement.

Read the NBC report here.

— Matt Clinch

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage:

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