The UN chief’s invocation of a rare power and a warning from the ICC chief prosecutor – here are major updates.
Here’s how things stand on Thursday, December 7, 2023:
The latest developments
- On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 – considered among the most powerful tools at his disposal – to get members of the UN Security Council to work towards an Israel-Gaza ceasefire.
- Israel’s security cabinet approved the entry of “minimal” additional fuel into Gaza on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said. Earlier in the day, 69,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt – well below the 110,000 litres that were entering each day during the week-long humanitarian pause.
- On Wednesday, the United States Senate blocked an aid package bill that involved sending Israel $14bn to restock its missile defence systems, according to Reuters.
- Jordan’s military said on Wednesday that it deployed parachutes to airdrop “urgent relief aid” of medical and therapeutic supplies to a private Jordanian field hospital in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis.
- On Wednesday, the US and Turkey rejected the idea of Israel establishing a “buffer zone” in Gaza on grounds that it would reduce the enclave’s size, according to Reuters.
Human impact and fighting
- Rafah has been hit by an intense Israeli bombardment, with one reported dead and several others injured, medical sources told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
- At least 10 bodies were recovered by civil defence workers and other rescuers in Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza late on Wednesday, reported Al Jazeera Arabic. Many are believed to remain trapped under the rubble.
- An Israeli raid on Wednesday morning killed the parents and 20 other family members of an Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza, Momin Alshrafi.
- Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen said on Wednesday that he has revoked UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings’ residence visa to Israel. The move came shortly after Hastings stated that “Nowhere is safe in Gaza”, and that the enclave does not have the conditions needed to send aid to people.
- State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Wednesday that the US is reviewing an Amnesty International report that said US-made munitions have killed civilians in air strikes in Gaza.
- The United Kingdom’s Defence Secretary Grant Shapps will visit Israel and the occupied West Bank this week to meet with their officials. He plans to discuss humanitarian aid for Gaza and preventing the escalation of the war, his office announced on Thursday.
- Several world leaders including the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have backed the UN chief’s invocation of Article 99 to call for a ceasefire.
- The Israel-Gaza war was one of the central themes at the United States’ fourth Republican debate on Thursday. Four Republican party members vying to be the party’s presidential nominee shared measures they would have taken in the war, including sending troops to rescue Americans in Gaza, or banning refugees in Gaza from entering the US.
- The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan called for humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza “immediately and at scale” in a post on X on Wednesday. He added that “willfully impeding relief supplies to civilians may constitute a war crime” under the ICC Rome Statute.
- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Netanyahu during a phone call that civilian casualties in Gaza should be minimised and international law should be followed, Japan’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
- Saudi Arabia has asked the US to show restraint in responding to Yemen’s Houthis attacks in the Red Sea, reported Reuters on Wednesday, citing “two sources familiar with Saudi thinking”.