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Hamas-Israel Conflict, 5 key developments

JERUSALEM: Fighting raged on Monday (20th of Nov, 2023) in Gaza, more than six weeks after a shock Hamas attack sparked an air and ground offensive by Israel, which has vowed to destroy the Palestinian group.

In Gaza, around 13,000 people, more than 5,500 of them children, have been killed in the conflict, officials in the Hamas-run territory have said.

About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Israel during the October 7 attack and around 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.

Here are five key developments from the past 24 hours:

– Deadly hospital strike –

The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Monday said 12 people were killed in an Israeli strike on a hospital in the north of the Palestinian territory.

The 12 people, including patients and their companions, “were killed and dozens wounded as a result of the Israeli occupation targeting the Indonesian Hospital”, said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

Around 700 people remain at the hospital where they are being “besieged” by Israeli forces, Qudra said.

– Babies arrive in Egypt –

Twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on Monday, Egyptian media said, after they were evacuated from Gaza’s largest hospital which has become a focal point of Israel’s war with Hamas.

The infants were evacuated Sunday from the Al-Shifa hospital, which the World Health Organization has described as a “death zone” as Israel seeks to uncover what it says are Hamas bases in tunnels underneath the facility.

An initial 31 babies were reported evacuated from Al-Shifa and it was not immediately clear why only 29 arrived in Egypt.

– Ship seized in Red Sea –

Yemen’s Huthi rebels said on Sunday that they seized a ship owned by an Israeli businessman in the Red Sea.

Huthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said the rebels “seized an Israeli ship and took it to the Yemeni coast”.

The announcement came days after the rebel group threatened to target Israeli vessels in the waterway.

– 13,000 deaths –

Gaza’s Hamas government said Sunday the death toll from Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment of the Palestinian territory, and fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas militants had reached 13,000 since hostilities began on 7th October.

The Hamas government said more than 5,500 children were among the dead, alongside 3,500 women, with 30,000 more people wounded.

Its health ministry has previously said it can no longer give exact tolls as intense fighting has prevented bodies from being recovered.

– Talks toward a hostage deal –

The prime minister of Qatar, a mediator which has helped broker talks to free hostages held in Gaza in return for a ceasefire, said on Sunday that “very minor” challenges remain in the talks, but did not provide details or a timeline.

“I think that I’m now more confident that we are close enough to reach a deal,” said Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

US deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told US media they were “closer than we have been in quite some time” to securing a deal, but added later: “The mantra that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed really does apply.”