Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations called for a ‘humanitarian cease-fire’ in the Gaza Strip and Israel on Friday, while blaming the United States for the ongoing conflict. Meanwhile thousands of protesters rallied in New York calling for an end to ‘Israeli occupation’. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
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6:08am: Israel says more than 120 civilians held hostage in Gaza
The Israeli Defense Forces have confirmed that more than 120 civilians were currently being held hostage in the Gaza Strip. Their families have been notified.
5:58am: EU foreign policy chief says Gaza evacuation ‘utterly impossible’
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Saturday that a plan by Israel to evacuate more than one million people out of northern Gaza in a single day was “utterly impossible to implement”.
“I am saying that, representing the official position of the European Union,… (the evacuation plan) is utterly, utterly impossible to implement,” Borrell told a press conference in Beijing on the final day of a three-day diplomatic visit to China.
“To imagine that you could move one million people in 24 hours in a situation like Gaza can only be a humanitarian crisis,” he added.
3:17am: 16 Palestinians killed in West Bank on Friday
The Palestinian Health Ministry reported 16 Palestinians killed Friday in the occupied West Bank, bringing to 51 the total number of West Bank Palestinians killed since Hamas waged its brutal assault on Israel last Saturday.
The United Nations says attacks by Israeli settlers have surged there since the Hamas assault.
1:48am: Russia calls for ceasefire during UN Security Council meeting
The Russian draft resolution, presented to the Security Council and seen by AFP, calls for an “immediate” ceasefire and the secure release of all hostages, and “strongly condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism.”
Here’s the latest from FRANCE 24’s Washington correspondent Fraser Jackson.
1:30am: Protesters in New York call for a ‘free Palestine’
Cries of “Free Palestine” rang out in New York on Friday, as thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip.
Calling for an end to “Israeli occupation” and the “liberation” of the Palestinian territories, protesters took up multiple blocks in a city that serves as a crossroads for religions and nationalities spanning the world.
The largely youthful protest – which drew demonstrators of all origins, some sporting Palestinian flags and keffiyehs – accused Israel of “genocide” and called for the US to withdraw support for its Middle Eastern ally.
Key developments from Friday, October 13:
The Israeli military on Friday dropped flyers on Gaza warning residents to flee “immediately” to the south, AFP correspondents in the Palestinian territory said. “Evacuate your homes immediately and go south of Wadi Gaza,” read flyers dropped by drones and seen by AFP.
Hezbollah deputy chief said on Friday that the powerful Iran-backed group was “ready” and would “contribute” to confrontations against Israel according to its own plan, despite foreign powers asking them to stay on the sidelines.
The Reuters news agency has said that one of its journalists was killed during shelling in southern Lebanon that also injured several other reporters. “We are deeply saddened to learn that our videographer, Issam Abdallah, has been killed,” Reuters said, adding that, he “was part of a Reuters crew in southern Lebanon.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)