Thailand’s foreign minister begins an urgent visit to Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday for talks on the fate of 22 Thais taken hostage by Hamas in its attack on Israel. Meanwhile the UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on Monday that the respect of humanitarian law in Gaza is not an “option” but an “obligation”. Follow our live blog for the latest updates. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
Thailand‘s foreign minister begins an urgent visit to Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday for talks on the fate of 22 Thais taken hostage by Hamas in its attack on Israel. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said Monday his government was working hard to get Thai citizens home.
Israel is running a hard-hitting online campaign targeting mostly Europeans with shocking images and testimonies from the attacks carried out by Islamist militant group Hamas on October 7. Dozens of clips of burnt bodies, bereaved families, fast-cuts of screams and sirens, rescue workers and pathologists are featured on the Israeli foreign ministry’s official social media channels and in paid advertising campaigns.
Israeli officials are going back on their promised refusal to grant entry visas to UN officials. Martin Griffiths, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tweeted Monday that he was in Israel – less than a week after Israel’s UN ambassador said it had “refused” to grant Griffiths a visa. Israeli officials had expressed outrage over comments last Wednesday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants “did not happen in a vacuum.”
Israel has warned its citizens to leave the northern Caucasus after a mob stormed an airport in Russia‘s Dagestan region when a flight from Israel landed there. The attack seemed to be partly fueled by anger at Israel’s actions in Gaza, where it has been at war with Hamas following a deadly incursion by the militant group earlier this month.
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Key developments from Monday, October 30:
Hamas on Monday released a video it said showed three women from the more than 230 people Israel says were abducted by militants and taken to Gaza during the October 7 attacks. Sitting on plastic chairs against a white tile wall, one of the women urges Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree a prisoner exchange for the release of all captives. Speaking in Hebrew, she becomes very agitated and starts shouting, almost screaming by the end, as the other two sitting on either side of her remain silent.
A female Israeli soldier was released from captivity in the Gaza Strip, the army said Monday, following an operation in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory. “Last night, soldier Ori Megidish was released during a ground operation after being kidnapped by Hamas on October 7,” the army said in a statement. “The soldier was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family.”
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists in Tel Aviv that a ceasefire in Gaza “will not happen”. Despite mounting criticism over the growing number of civilian casualties in Gaza amid ongoing Israeli strikes, Netanyahu vowed to continue fighting Hamas “barbarians”. The US said it does not back a ceasefire at this time.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)