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Gaza: At least 31 killed in Israeli attack on Jabalia refugee camp
31 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on Monday night, according to Wafa, while residential buildings were bombed the Nuseirat refugee camp and Deir el-Balah, both in central Gaza.
The bombings come as US President Joe Biden directly said that the Al-Shifa hospital must be protected, amid intensified Israeli assaults in and around Gaza's largest hospital.
Despite Biden's words, hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip are no longer operational, the local health ministry said Monday, as Israel's bombardment persists.
Youssef Abu Rish, deputy health minister in the Gaza Strip, told AFP all hospitals in the north of the enclave, including Al-Shifa and Al-Quds, were "out of service".
This comes as several premature baby and scores patients have died at Al-Shifa hospital on Monday, as the facility suffered fuel shortages. Israeli snipers have been targeting and firing at anyone near the hospital, trapping as many as 3,000 patients and medical staff inside.
Evacuation efforts have also been hindered due to fierce Israeli fighting.Gaza-based journalist Maha Husseini reported that food is scarce inside the hospital, and intense Israeli violence outside the premises has prevented people from retrieving and burying any bodies that lay outside the facility.
Stray dogs have been reportedly have been eating the bodies outside the hospital, Husseini said.
The hospital has become a flashpoint in Israel's war that has now entered its 38th day.
"The humanitarian operation in Gaza will grind to a halt in the next 48 hours as no fuel is allowed to enter Gaza," UNRWA's Gaza chief Thomas White wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
"No fuel has entered Gaza since October 7," he wrote, referring to the date when Israel began its military onslaught of Gaza, which has killed at least 11,240 Palestinians.
Aid agencies have repeatedly raised the alarm about the lack of fuel - used to power vital services such as hospitals which rely on generators, and for purifying and pumping drinking water.
Meanwhile, the UNRWA agency's fuel depot has "run dry", its chief Philippe Lazzarini said, while a request to the Israeli military to replenish it had "gone unanswered".
Al Jazeera is reporting that at least six Palestinians have been killed and several others injured in the latest Israeli strikes on Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
According to the report, two residential buildings were directly hit by the strike.
The death toll from Israeli strikes on Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank has risen to 5.
At least 9 others were also injured and taken to the Martyr Thabet Thabet Government Hospital for treatment.
The UN’s humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, says about 200,000 Palestinians have fled northern Gaza for southern parts of the strip since November 5 through an Israeli military “corridor”.
“Overcrowding and limited access to shelter, food and water, in the south, are of increasing concern,” the agency said.
Israel also continues to bombard the south.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday that finance ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries agreed to do everything they could to prevent Israel's war on Gaza from expanding into a regional conflict, as reported by Reuters.
Yellen told a press conference that while human suffering was top of mind, it was "critical" that the conflict not expand, and "that if it does, it could pose risks to the global outlook that all of us would be concerned about."
Brazil's president on Monday accused Israel of "killing innocent people without any criteria" in the Gaza Strip, deeming its actions there "as grave" as the October 7 surprise attack by Palestinian group Hamas.
"After the act of terrorism provoked by Hamas, the consequences, the solution of the state of Israel, is as grave as that of Hamas. They are killing innocent people without any criteria," said Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at an official ceremony in Brasilia.
The leader of Latin America's largest country also accused Israel of "dropping bombs where there are children, hospitals, on the pretext that a terrorist is there."
"This is inexplicable. First you have to save the women and children, then you fight with whomever you want," Lula said.
Read the full report here.
The New Arab's Arabic-language sister outlet Al Araby Al Jadeed is reporting that there have been several casualties in an Israeli airstrike in Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank. Reports suggest it was a drone attack and there have been several deaths and injuries.
Hours after becoming the new UK foreign secretary, David Cameron discussed the “conflict in the Middle East” on a call with his US counterpart Antony Blinken.
The pair discussed Israel’s “right to self defence” and the “need for humanitarian pauses to allow the safe passage of aid into Gaza”, according to a brief summary shared by the UK Foreign Office on X.
They also “reiterated the strength and depth of the relationship between the UK and the US”.
Read more here.
Israeli reinforcements, including a military bulldozer used to destroy Palestinian homes, have been seen travelling towards Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank where Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians earlier.
Wafa shared videos on social media showing a large force of Israeli forces heading towards Tulkarem.
More Israeli military reinforcements, including a bulldozers, are heading towards Tulkarm, north of the occupied West Bank. pic.twitter.com/Pl8y40VcqU— Wafa News Agency - English (@WAFANewsEnglish) November 13, 2023
Dozens of Palestinian civilians were Monday evening killed and injured in an Israeli bombing on Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip.
31 Palestinians were killed and a number of others were injured after Israeli aircraft bombed 12 homes in the Jabalia Services Club area in the northern Gaza Strip, Wafa reported.
The raid by Israeli forces in Tulkarem is ongoing and intensifying, according to Al Jazeera.
Eyewitnesses have said the Israeli army vehicles have arrived on the scene, and that those raids have expanded from within the Tulkarem refugee camp to outside of that and inside Tulkarem city.
There are numerous videos online showing Israeli armoured bulldozers coming in.
Medical sources have reported that two Palestinian men have been killed thus far – both shot in the chest.
Residents of Tulkarem are expecting this will be a long night and that more Israeli forces will be arriving in the next few hours.
Tulkarem has become a flashpoint in the past few weeks. Many residents believe what is happening to them is collective punishment and the Israeli army taking out revenge on them over the Hamas attacks on October 7.
With the two deaths today, the death toll among Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7 is now at 190.
The Israeli army confirmed Tuesday the identity of a soldier held hostage by Hamas, after the publication by the armed wing of the Palestinian group showed the young woman in captivity.
The army wrote in a statement that "our hearts go out to the Marciano family, whose daughter, Noa, was brutally kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organisation", officially confirming a hostage's identity for the first time.
There are over 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, with many being held arbitrarily and facing harsh conditions.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Monday that Israeli snipers had shot at patients at Al-Shifa hospital. In a statement released by the group a few hours ago, they detailed what they witnessed:
"There’s ... a sniper who attacked patients, they have gunshot wounds. We operated on three of them.
The situation is very bad, it is inhuman. It’s a closed area no one knows about us. We don’t have an internet connection – you managed to call me now, [but] maybe you’ll [have to] try 10 times before you can reach me again.
The medical team agreed to leave the hospital only if patients are evacuated first. We don’t want to leave our patients. There are 600 inpatients, 37 babies, someone who needs an ICU. We can’t leave them.
We need a guarantee that there is a safe corridor [to leave] because we saw some people trying to leave al-Shifa and they killed them, they bombed them, the sniper killed them. Inside al-Shifa Hospital, there are injured patients and medical teams. If they give us guarantees and evacuate the patients first, we will evacuate."
More than 30 US-based civil society and faith-based organisations, including Amnesty International USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Oxfam America and the Project on Middle East Democracy, have signed on to an open letter urging the Biden administration not to transfer 155mm artillery shells to Israel for use in Gaza, as reported by Al Jazeera.
The letter, addressed to US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, points out that international humanitarian law requires that there be a distinction between the targeting of civilian and military personnel, and that the use of weapons that cannot discriminate are therefore prohibited.
“In Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated places, 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate,” the letter said, emphasising that on average 90 percent of the victims of attacks by explosive weapons in populated areas are civilians. “These munitions are unguided and have a high error radius, often landing 25 meters away from the intended target. Upon impact, 155mm shells expel 2,000 sharp metal fragments in every direction, risking injury, death, and permanent disability to civilians within 300 meters of the blast.”
The UN child rights agency said those hundreds of thousands of children have been “forced to leave everything behind”.
“As humanitarian needs grow, UNICEF calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, for sustained and unimpeded access to provide assistance and safe release of all abducted children,” UNICEF said.
In Gaza, more than 700,000 children have been displaced - forced to leave everything behind.— UNICEF (@UNICEF) November 13, 2023
As humanitarian needs grow, UNICEF calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, for sustained and unimpeded access to provide assistance and safe release of all abducted children. pic.twitter.com/J2KaKjGSqB
Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on US President Joe Biden during a visit to the White House on Monday to "do more" to end the bloodshed in Gaza and bring about a ceasefire.
"Indonesia appeals to the US to do more to stop the atrocities in Gaza. Ceasefire is a must for the sake of humanity," Widodo said as the two leaders met in the Oval Office.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said it received reports that Israeli forces “conducted interrogations and arrests” of internally displaced Palestinians in the installations in Gaza City.
"In one health centre, five people were reportedly killed. According to the reports, IDPs [internally displaced persons] were subsequently forced to leave the UNRWA installations and move south towards Wadi Gaza. Witnesses reported that Israeli forces then struck the two health centres with artillery fire,” UNRWA said, adding that it was verifying the reports
“If confirmed, the military use of UNRWA facilities raises serious concerns, as such use puts civilians at serious risk of harm. Directing attacks against civilian objects is a serious violation of international law. Health centres, in particular, are also afforded special protection against attack."
Each time Dr. Emad Shehada’s phone rings, the suburban Detroit pulmonologist worries that it could be more bad news about loved ones in Gaza.
He said that so far, 20 cousins and other relatives have been killed since the start of Israel's war on Gaza following Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on October 7 which itself came after months of deadly Israeli violence in the West Bank and Gaza.
Read the full report here.
The Center for Constitutional Rights in the US says the federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of Palestinian human rights organisations against President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“The US is failing to uphold its legal obligation to prevent genocide, and President Biden and other high-level officials are actively aiding and abetting Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people,” the legal human rights group said.
BREAKING: Palestinians are suing @POTUS, @SecBlinken, & @SecDef to stop U.S. support for Israel’s unfolding genocide, asking a U.S. Court to enforce the most basic & important legal—and moral—obligation in the world – preventing genocide.— The CCR (@theCCR) November 13, 2023
Read more: https://t.co/GbdzQqH5Ty pic.twitter.com/oa5o8kTQ3a
US President Joe Biden urged Israel on Monday to protect Gaza's main hospital as heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas raged around the complex.
"It's my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office when asked if he had expressed concerns to Israel on the issue.
"The hospital must be protected."
Biden, who spoke as he was signing a women's health research initiative alongside First Lady Jill Biden, added that he was "in contact with the Israelis" on the matter.
He said that a deal for the "release of prisoners" was still being negotiated with the help of the Gulf state of Qatar.
Many consider Biden's words to signify a significant change in rhetoric from the Biden administration, with the US signalling to Israel that its current actions are causing too many civilian casualties.
The armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Monday they told Qatari mediators that the group is ready to release up to 70 women and children held in Gaza in return for a five-day truce, Reuters reported.
"The truce should include a complete ceasefire and allowing aid and humanitarian relief everywhere in the Gaza Strip," Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Alqassam Brigades,. said in a recorded audio published on the group's Telegram channel.
He went on to accuse Israel of "procrastinating and evading" the price of the deal.
Hundreds of people stranded in Gaza's biggest hospital were enduring "inhuman" conditions on Monday while Israel continued to wage war around them, a doctor said as the Gaza health ministry reported a rising patient death toll.
UN agencies and doctors in the facility warned a lack of generator fuel was claiming lives, including infants.
Witnesses reported intense air strikes, with tanks and armoured vehicles just meters from the gate of the sprawling Al-Shifa compound at the heart of Gaza City, which Israel has turned into an urban war zone as it presses ahead with a ground invasion and continues its bombardment.
"The situation is very bad, it is inhuman," a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the medical charity group, wrote on social media.
"We don't have electricity. There's no water in the hospital," added the doctor, who was not named.
Read the full report here.
Lack of fuel means UNRWA will not be able to receive aid that comes through the Rafah crossing.
“Our trucks have runout of fuel,” White wrote on X. “We will not be able to receive aid coming thru Rafah crossing tomorrow”.
White earlier said fuel is also needed to produce clean drinking water, pump sewage and power hospitals.
After 3 weeks of emptying a bulk reservoir of fuel - @UNRWA trucks have run out of fuel.— UNRWA (@UNRWA) November 13, 2023
We will not be able to receive aid coming through the Rafah crossing tomorrow.
The humanitarian operation in📍#GazaStrip will grind to a halt within 48 hours as no fuel is allowed to enter. https://t.co/7c11O9vZRh
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has refuted a video posted by Israel’s military today claiming to show a fighter firing a rocket propelled grenade launcher from Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City.
The PRCS said it “sees these claims as a blatant attempt to incite further targeting and besieging of the hospital, constituting a clear violation of international humanitarian law”.
Health workers and Hamas officials have repeatedly rejected Israel’s claims that fighters are operating from within medical facilities in Gaza.
The PRCS further clarified that Israel tanks were stationed “in front of and shielded by the hospital, endangering the lives of medical teams and patients”.
It added that “there are no armed individuals inside the hospital, and no shots have been fired from within. Everyone within the hospital are patients, their families, and the medical staff”.
🚨The @PalestineRCS strongly condemns the false claims by the occupying forces about armed individuals launching projectiles from inside Al-Quds Hospital. The PRCS sees these claims as a blatant attempt to incite further targeting and besieging of the hospital, constituting a… pic.twitter.com/uyILwaM7jq— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) November 13, 2023
Following Israel's bombing of the surroundings of the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza on Thursday evening, an account on the X platform published a video of footage aired by Al Jazeera depicting the panic caused by the explosions. The account claimed that it showed armed individuals from Hamas holding weapons inside the Indonesian hospital during the bombing, accusing Al Jazeera of deleting the footage after airing it.
The "Israel in Arabic" account reposted the video, with the caption, "Hamas armed terrorists take cover among Gazan civilians. Al Jazeera unwittingly exposed this method! Imagine how many similar scenes were hidden by Hamas and their operatives at Al Jazeera?"
However, The New Arab's fact-checking partner Misbar has analysed the claims surrounding the video and found them to be misleading. The footage does not show armed individuals holding weapons inside the Indonesian hospital.
Upon closer examination, it became evident that what appeared to be weapons were more likely batons used by security guards at institutions and hospitals. These batons were raised while some were calling the crowd that entered the hospital after the violent Israeli raids not to jam the place.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Hamas does not have the power to stop Israel’s military, saying Israeli forces have intensified operations against Hamas tunnels in Gaza, according to Al-Jazeera.
“Hamas has lost control of Gaza. Terrorists are fleeing south, civilians are looting Hamas bases,” he said, without providing evidence for the looting claim.
He added that “each day” Israel kills more Hamas commanders and fighters, adding Israel’s army continues to operate “in the heart of Gaza City”.
Frank Hoogerbeets, who describes himself as a seismologist, despite the absence of any published research papers under his name on the internet, sparked controversy with a tweet posted on his X account a few days ago. He attached an image published by the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights showing the size of the explosives thrown by the Israeli army on Gaza so far, and cliamed that they would lead to an earthquake along the Dead Sea fault.
The New Arab's partners at the fact-checking outlet Misbar have refuted his claims, citing the United States Geological Survey which clarified that even massive amounts of explosives do not induce earthquakes, even if small, and it may take hundreds and thousands of small earthquakes to equal one large earthquake if it could be triggered.
More Swedish citizens or residents will be able to leave war-hit Gaza on Tuesday after the first group was given permission to leave from Monday, the foreign ministry said.
The ministry had said earlier that 80 people were given an opportunity to leave Gaza on Monday as fighting goes on in the Israel-Hamas war, and some had done so by crossing the Rafah border into Egypt.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been informed that another 100 Swedes will be given the opportunity to cross the border tomorrow," it said in an email to Reuters. "We expect that more Swedes will soon be able to leave Gaza."
There are more than 500 people with Swedish citizenship or residence permits who have asked for assistance to leave Gaza.
The total death toll in the Gaza Strip increased to 11,240 on Monday, according to Hamas' media office in the Israeli-besieged and war-hit enclave.
The toll since October 7 includes 4,630 children and 3,130 women, according to the spokesperson.
The Al-Ahli Baptist hospital is the "only" functioning medical establishment in Gaza City, British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu Sittah told Al-Jazeera on Monday.
This comes after Al-Shifa and Al-Quds hospitals have ceased to function due to fuel shortages imposed by Israel.
The Baptist hospital is functioning despite it being bombed by Israel in the beginning of the war, where it killed close to 500 Palestinians. Israel denied it targeted the hospital, but has bombed several medical facilities since.
"After the collapse of Al-Shifa, we turned the forecourt and the grounds of the hospital into a field hospital. We have over 500 wounded here. There’s only three surgeons here and two operating rooms," he said.
Israel is facing mounting international pressure over the human cost of its war with Gaza but is working to expand its "window of legitimacy", its top diplomat said Monday.
"We have two or three weeks until international pressure really steps up but the foreign ministry is working to broaden the window of legitimacy, and the fighting will carry on for as long as necessary," Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said, as quoted by his spokesman.
Bodies are piling up outside Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital - the enclave's biggest - as Israel strikes intensify amid a siege cutting off fuel supplies to the facility.
100 bodies were reportedly outside the hospital before the siege began, with more and more patients dying because of fuel and medical supply shortages.
Speaking to The New Arab, health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra said: "Our medical teams neither could reach the bodies no bury them," stressing that the Israeli occupation is committing crimes against humanity in Gaza."
Read more here.
Jordan's King Abdullah rejected any plans by Israel to occupy parts of Gaza or to create security zones within the enclave, saying the root cause of the crisis was Israel's denial of Palestinians' "legitimate rights", state media said on Monday.
In comments he made at the royal palace, the king was quoted as telling senior politicians that there could be "no military or security solution" to Israel's war on the Palestinians.
He said the war-ravaged enclave of Gaza should not be severed by Israel from the other Palestinian Territories.
The monarch told the politicians that the "root of the crisis was Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its denial of Palestinians legitimate rights".
"The solution starts from there and any other path is doomed to failure and more of a cycle of violence and destruction," he said.
King Abdullah said he had long warned about Israeli violations in the occupied West Bank, with which Jordan shares a border, and Jewish settler attacks on Palestinian civilians could "expand the conflict and push the region "to the abyss".
At least three Palestinians have been killed and 20 others injured after an Israeli air strike hit Bani Suhaila, a town east of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, health officials on Monday said.
Among those killed is reportedly a woman, Reuters said.
Two Lebanese nationals have been killed by Israeli strikes in Ainata, Nabatieh province in the country's south, the Lebanese National News Agency said.
A number of people were also wounded in the strike, the report said.
Al-Jazeera photographer Issam Mawasi has been injured following an Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese town of Yaroun, the Qatari news agency said.
Al-Jazeera's broadcast vehicle was damaged during the assault, which targeted a group of journalists in the area.
The area surrounding the group of journalists was struck twice by Israeli fire.
مباشرة على الهواء. زميلتنا ريف عقيل وعدد من الزملاء تعرضوا لاستهداف مباشر من قبل اسرائيل . استهداف الصحفيين واضح والجرائـ ـم الاسرائيلية لا تتوقف وكأنها لم تكتف بقتل زميلنا عصام وجرح كارمن وكريستينا وايلي وآخرين. ها هو الدليل على هذه الوقاحة التي لا تتوقف يوميا من غزة الى جنوب… pic.twitter.com/QiNyfK5MXb— Salman Andary (@salmanonline) November 13, 2023
The Al Jadeed News channel was broadcasting live from Yaroun when a bomb landed metres away from its reporter.
This comes after a month a day since Israeli strikes killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah in October, amid the outbreak of Israel's war on Gaza and subsequent skirmishes on the border with Lebanon.
The number of students killed in Israel's relentless war on Gaza has reached 3,117 individuals, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said in a new statement on Monday.
4,613 students are among the injured in the war-torn enclave.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians made the arduous journey from northern Gaza and Gaza City and arrived southwards after being forcibly displaced by Israeli forces, who are waging a deadly onslaught on the territory.
Read more from The New Arab's Gaza correspondent here.
The UN Palestinian refugee agency's fuel depot in Gaza has run dry and within a few days UNRWA will no longer be able to resupply hospitals, remove sewage and provide drinking water, its chief said on Monday.
The agency chief, Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, told donors on Monday that it had been slowly emptying a fuel depot on the Israeli border containing strategic reserves.
A request to the Israeli military to replenish it had gone unanswered, he said.
"That reservoir is now empty," Lazzarini said.
"If we project out a couple of days, by the 14th of November this will severely impact ambulances and major hospital operations. Some of them (hospitals) have a bit of solar but it is marginal, so those hospitals cease functioning," he said.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland's First Minister, has stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in the besieged and war-torn Gaza Strip, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"Children in Gaza don't need a pause in the killing, they need it to stop," he said.
Yousaf's post was in response to Labour MP David Lammy's call for humanitarian pause, rather than a ceasefire.
The Scottish minister urged Lammy to be "on the right side of history".
"This is not a radical proposition. It's backed by the UN, countries across the world and by the majority of the public," he emphasised.
The health ministry in Gaza confirmedt on Monday the death toll at Al-Shifa hospital rose to 34 since the weekend as the facility suffered fuel shortages.
The latest toll included 27 adult intensive care patients and seven babies, deputy health minister in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has urged the United Nations and the European Union to 'parachute aid' into war-hit Gaza, as Israel's intense bombardment and complete siege deprive the territory from basic necessities such as food, water and fuel.
Israel has banned reporters of the Lebanese television news channel Al-Mayadeen from operating, citing "harm" to state security during wartime, a joint statement from the Israeli ministers of defence and telecommunications said.
Read more from The New Arab's Jerusalem correspondent Ibrahim Husseini here.
Heavy gunfire has continued around Al-Quds hospital in northern Gaza on Monday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said on X, formerly Twitter.
Shelling and violent explosions were heard in area, they said, while the convoy of vehicles that set off from the southern Gaza Strip towards the hospital, accompanied by the ICRC to secure the evacuation of patients and medical staff from Al-Quds Hospital was stopped in the Al-Wusta Governorate.
The convoy is still waiting for the situation to settle down in the surrounding area of the hospital to be able to reach it to start the evacuation process, the NGO added added.
Israeli air strikes have killed another Palestinian journalist in Gaza on Monday, according to local reports.
The journalist has been identified as Ahmad Fatima.
At least 40 journalists have been killed by Israeli strikes since Tel Aviv's brutal onslaught began on October 7. Most of the killed journalists are Palestinian.
A Turkish vessel carrying materials for field hospitals arrived in Egypt's port of El Arish on Monday near the Rafah border crossing with the war-hit Gaza Strip, a port official said.
A Turkish health official told AFP that the vessel was carrying "materials, generators, ambulances to establish eight field hospitals".
The delivery comes as Hamas government officials said all hospitals in northern Gaza were "out of service" as Israeli bombing and shelling intensified around the hospital.
Thousands are said to be trapped inside, including medical patients and staff.
Flags flew at half-mast at United Nations compounds across Asia on Monday, as staff observed a minute's silence in memory of colleagues killed in Israel's deadly war on Gaza.
The blue and white UN flag was lowered at 9:30 am local time at offices in Bangkok, Tokyo and Beijing, a day after the world body reported "a significant number of deaths and injuries" in strikes on a facility in war-hit Gaza.
Events were also held in Kathmandu and Kabul, where the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Roza Otunbayeva led about 250 people in observing the minute's silence.
The UN agency for supporting Palestinians (UNRWA) announced on Friday that more than 100 of its employees had died in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war.
A Czech citizen and a family member left Gaza and were in Egypt, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said on Monday.
"I can confirm that one Czech citizen and one family member have successfully crossed the border crossing from Gaza and are in Egypt at the moment," he said before a meeting of European Union ministers in Brussels.
The EU's humanitarian aid chief called Monday for "meaningful" pauses in the fighting in Gaza and urgent deliveries of fuel to keep hospitals working in the territory.
"It is urgent to define and respect humanitarian pauses," Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said at a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers in Brussels.
"Fuel needs to get in. As you could see, more than half of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip stopped working, primarily because of lack of fuel, and fuel is desperately needed."
The appeal went out as Israeli violence continued to rage around Gaza's largest hospital, which has become a flashpoint in the five-week-old deadly war.
Hamas has denied comments from the Israeli army saying the group had blocked the delivery of fuel to Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital, where the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the facility was no longer functioning.
The Israeli army had said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that it had delivered "300 litres of diesel fuel for urgent medical purposes" adding that the army later "received evidence that Hamas officials prevented the hospital from receiving the fuel".
Its English-language post specifically blamed a senior official at what it called the "Hamas health ministry".
In a statement posted on its Telegram channel yesterday, Hamas said it is not part of the administration of the hospital "nor is it present within its decision-making structure".
It added that the offer of 300 litres of fuel "belittled the pain and suffering of patients, premature babies and medical staff", as the quantity was not sufficient to power the hospital for more than 30 minutes.
Hamas said Israel was seeking “to launch a cheap propaganda campaign… to hide its crimes against humanity."
Additionally, Al-Shifa director Mohammad Abu Salmiya contested the Israeli claims, telling AFP that the army had called him and said the fuel would be dropped off 500 metres from Al-Shifa.
"I told them 'if you want to help, I need at least 8,000 litres to run the main generators and save hundreds of patients and injured'," he said.
"They refused and we no longer have any idea" of the status of the fuel that was dropped off, he added.
A premature baby and two patients have died in Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital bringing the toll to six babies and nine patients, the health ministry said on Monday.
Youssef Abu Rish, deputy health minister in Gaza, also told AFP that all the hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip are "out of service".
Israel forces shot and killed an elderly Palestinian man on Monday during a raid on the Islamic Charitable Society for the Care of Orphans' administrative buildings, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA said.
The victim was identified as 66-year-old Issa Ali Tamimi, 66.
According to WAFA, witnesses said Israeli troops fired at him when he drove in his car near the building, striking his head and immediately killing him.