4,000 children among dead in Gaza

This morning's top world news, in a nutshell - Monday, 6th November 2023

The dead in the Gaza Strip rose to 9,770 on Monday morning. These include 4,000 children and over 2,400 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. More than 23,000 injured people need immediate treatment in overwhelmed hospitals.  

Israel says it has divided Gaza in two

Israel’s military said it has divided the besieged Gaza Strip into two. “Today there is north Gaza and south Gaza,” Head of the Israeli Defence force, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, told reporters, calling it a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against the Hamas militant group. Israeli media reported troops have encircled Gaza City and were expected to enter it within 48 hours. Meanwhile, Gaza lost communications Sunday in its third total outage of the Israel-Hamas war.

Photo credit: CNN

Iranian Foreign Minister warns “conflict will explode

“The (Israel-Hamas) war will inevitably expand if Israel continues with its attacks against civilians in Gaza,” Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, said in an exclusive interview with RAI TG1, adding: “we do not approve of the killing of children, but thousands of Palestinian children have already died in Gaza and this is also inhumane.” He warned other resistance forces operate in Lebanon and Yemen and could increase their actions and that “Italy should worry about its soldiers, since the Lebanese border area is very unstable. There are clashes every day and Hezbollah has its own strategy.” However, Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, said on ‘Che tempo che fa’ on RAI 1: “At the moment there are no dangers for our soldiers in Lebanon engaged in the Unifil mission. Our soldiers work for peace.”

Nuclear submarine joins US fleet in the Mediterranean

Ansa reports the US continues to flex its muscle in the Mediterranean as a deterrent against the widening conflict as an Ohio-class nuclear submarine has been deployed in its area of responsibility, which extends from Northeast Africa through the Middle East to Central and South Asia. The message comes two days after the US Navy announced that two carrier strike groups – the Gerald Ford and the Dwight Eisenhower – launched planes and practiced missile defence during a three-day exercise in the Mediterranean.

UN agencies call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Major UN aid agencies and international charities have called for an immediate “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza. The joint declaration – signed, among others, by the leaders of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), Unicef, the World Food Programme, WHO, Save the Children, and Care International – describes the situation in Gaza as “horrible” and “unacceptable”. “For almost a month the world has been observing the evolution of the situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories with shock and horror at the dizzying number of lives lost and torn apart. Rockets continue to traumatise families. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. This is horrible. However, the horrific killing of even more civilians in Gaza is an outrage, as is the exclusion of 2.2 million Palestinians from food, water, medicine, electricity, and fuel,” the humanitarian agencies continued. An entire population is besieged and under attack, deprived of access to essential goods for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable.” The UN announced that the are 48 refugee agency structures in Gaza have been damaged since the war began, writes the Guardian.

Blinken shuttles from the West Bank to Iraq

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took his diplomatic push on the Israel-Hamas war to the occupied West Bank on Sunday, trying to assure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the Biden administration was intensifying efforts to ease the plight of Gaza’s civilians and insisting that Palestinians must have a main say in whatever comes next for the territory after the conflict. Blinken travelled through the West Bank city of Ramallah in an armored motorcade and under tight security. It was his third day of shuttle diplomacy aimed at trying to limit the destabilising regional fallout from the war and overcome what has been Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to consider a UN proposal for intermittent pauses in its attack on Hamas long enough to rush vital aid to Gaza’s civilians. Blinken later flew to Baghdad for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as American forces in the region face a surge of attacks by Iranian-allied militias in Iraq and elsewhere. US forces shot down another one-way attack drone Sunday that was targeting American and coalition troops near their base in neighbouring Syria, a US official said. From Baghdad Blinken travelled to Turkey.

Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

CIA head lands in Israel

CIA chief William Burns has landed in Israel as the war in Gaza intensifies. The New York Times reports that William Burns will hold talks with Israeli leaders and intelligence officials, in the “first leg of a multi-country trip” through the Middle East. “As one of the Biden administration’s most trusted voices on Middle East issues, Burns has become something of a roving diplomat solving problems for the White House,” the New York Times noted.

Photo credit: Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times

Australia to ‘work constructively’ with China

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday became the first Australian leader to visit China in seven years, taking with him a message of constructive engagement. Xinhua says that, addressing the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Albanese emphasised the mutual benefits of a cooperative relationship and pledged to maintain “constructive engagement with China to mend strained relations”. According to Albanese his approach to the relationship with China has been “patient, deliberate, and measured”.

Photo credit: EFE/EPA/Lukas Coch Australia and New Zealand Out

Model sues after Berlusconis halt ‘compensation payments’

According to Corriere della Sera, Italian model Alessandra Sorcinelli is suing Silvio Berlusconi’s children for €3 million after they decided to cut off monthly cash payments made to her and other bunga bunga party-goers. The payments and free housing given to around 20 models and dancers were compensation for the “reputational damage” they suffered after becoming embroiled in the sex scandals. Sorcinelli currently lives in a villa outside Milan and claims Berlusconi had promised she could stay there in perpetuity. She said another model who was linked with the notorious bunga bunga sex parties, Barbara Guerra, had a similar arrangement. Berlusconi was accused of paying young women to perform stripteases and entertain him at homes near Milan, in Rome, and in Sardinia. The bunga bunga scandals spawned three criminal trials and were a factor in forcing Berlusconi’s resignation as prime minister in 2011.

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