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Premature newborns receive treatment after being transferred from Al-Shifa Hospital to Al-Emarati Hospital in Rafah.

Hard Numbers: Gaza newborns evacuated, Old Joe keeps a low pro, Shakira shakes tax rap, Bolsonaro’s whale of a harassment charge, a long overdue story from Minnesota

28: On Monday, 28 critically ill premature babies previously evacuated from Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip were transferred to Egypt for ongoing care. Israeli forces seized control of Al Shifa last week, alleging – thus far without independently verified evidence – that there was a vast Hamas command center located beneath the hospital. As of late Monday, Israeli forces had surrounded another large hospital in Northern Gaza, forcing the evacuation of at least 200 patients, according to the Gaza health ministry.
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US soldier calls in information during operation in western Iraq

REUTERS/USAF/Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Handout

Fight between US and Iran’s proxies reaches boiling point

The United States and Iran’s proxy militias are locked in an escalating feud that’s raising fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East amid an already devastating war in Gaza. The situation is precarious, with the potential to spiral out of control.

On Wednesday, the US conducted an airstrike on a weapons storage facility in Syria used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups. The strike was in response to a string of attacks against US personnel in the region by Iranian proxies and came the same day a US drone was downed by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. It was the second time the US launched such a strike in a matter of weeks.

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Israeli soldiers walk through rubble, amid the ongoing ground invasion against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, November 8, 2023.

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

No one knows who will govern Gaza when the dust finally settles

Waging war without a plan for what comes after the fighting stops is a lot like jumping into an empty pool — it's a good way to get hurt, and yet it's exactly what Israel is doing in Gaza. The Jewish state's endgame is looking increasingly murky as the war against Hamas escalates and Israeli troops push farther into the territory.

The Biden administration this week scrambled to warn its top Middle Eastern ally against reoccupying the Gaza Strip. This came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns with an announcement that Israel intended to take indefinite control over security in Gaza.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with soldiers as he visits an Israeli army base in Tze'elim, Israel November 7, 2023.


Netanyahu flirts with a lengthy stay in Gaza

Less than two weeks since Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza, it appears that Israeli troops won’t be leaving the coastal enclave anytime soon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told ABC News that Israel will take “overall security responsibility” for Gaza for an “indefinite period” to prevent further Hamas attacks.

This raises a slew of questions and concerns about Israel’s goal of rooting out Hamas and the potential for sparking even more violence from Hamas and other Iranian proxies. Will this mean a purely military presence, or is it a slippery slope to the return of Israeli settlements in Gaza?

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Art by Jess Frampton

What should Israel do next?

An Israeli ground incursion into Gaza has been inevitable from the moment Hamas launched its shocking Oct. 7 surprise attack into southern Israel, where it brutally massacred more than 1,400 Israeli citizens and took over 200 to Gaza as hostages. Israel’s objective: to destroy Hamas once and for all, ensuring it can never pose a threat to Israeli security again.

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Israeli soldiers carry the body of a victim of an attack by militants from Gaza at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel.


Biden on Hamas attacks: “This was an act of sheer evil”

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday did not mince his words when he gave his second address about the Hamas terror attacks in Israel.

“The brutality of Hamas’ bloodthirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS,” he said, adding that he told Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive, and overwhelming.”

The aim was to show Israel’s enemies that there is little daylight between the US and Israel, and, crucially, to warn those who might be seeking to join the conflict – like Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon – not to dare. This comes after a barrage of rockets was fired at Israel from Lebanon on Tuesday, while Hamas rockets continued to rain down on southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv, the most populous city.

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Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from the city of Ashkelon, Israel.


After the Hamas massacre, Israel pounds Gaza

Days after Hamas’ deadly terror attacks across southern Israel – in which militants murdered residents of border towns and music festival attendees, resulting in more than 900 deaths – Israel has launched a war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

So far, the Israeli Air Force has begun intense bombardments from the air, but a ground operation is expected. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly told President Joe Biden that his government has no choice but to conduct a ground invasion to reinstate Israel’s deterrence capabilities, mobilizing 300,000 reservists.

What are the options facing Israel in the Strip as the war evolves? And what is currently the situation for Palestinians in the coastal enclave?

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Palestinian rescue workers inspect a house after an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip.

The latest from Israel and Gaza

After three days of fighting between Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip, there are no signs that the crisis is abating.

After Israeli forces took out a number of high-profile PIJ commanders in recent days, the group responded by firing more than 800 rockets at southern and central Israel. Many of those rockets have either been intercepted by missile defense systems, landed inside Gaza, or fallen in vacant areas inside Israel.

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