31 babies evacuated from Gaza’s Al-Shifa; Biden says he believes a hostage deal will come soon






Survivors mourn for dozens killed in refugee camps

Palestinians carry a person injured in an Israeli strike in Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023, amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

In central Gaza, mourners recited funeral prayers as they stood over dozens of bodies recovered after a barrage of Israeli airstrikes that hit two refugee camps Monday.

The bodies, wrapped in white sheets and makeshift plastic body bags, were laid on the ground in the city of Deir Al Balah. Medics said dozens more remain unaccounted for and are believed to be trapped or buried under the rubble of multiple collapsed buildings.

At the scene of the bombing, residents sat in small groups in the rubble next to mangled steel reinforcement bars. The recovered bodies were placed in a truck to be buried nearby.

Palestinians search through the rubble of a collapsed building searching for survivors and victims following the Israeli bombardment of Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.
(Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

200 evacuated from Indonesian Hospital in Gaza

About 200 people have been evacuated from a northern Gaza hospital that was caught up in fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants on Monday.

Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesperson for Hamas’ Health Ministry, said the evacuees from Indonesian Hospital were taken to southern Gaza in a rescue effort coordinated by the United Nations and the International Committee for the Red Cross. Many of the injured evacuees are being treated at al-Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, he said.

Between 400 and 500 more wounded people remain at Indonesian Hospital, al-Qudra said in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

The evacuations came after 12 people were killed when a shell struck the second floor of the hospital, according to the Health Ministry and a medical worker at the hospital. Both blamed Israel, which denied shelling the hospital, saying its troops returned fire on militants who targeted them from inside the 3.5-acre compound.

Associated Press

Israeli soldiers transfer detained Palestinian men out of the Gaza Strip

Israeli soldiers detain blindfolded Palestinian men in a military truck while watching Palestinians (not pictured) fleeing the fighting in war-torn Gaza walk by on a road in the Zeitoun district of the southern part of the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

Israeli soldiers detain blindfolded Palestinian men in a military truck while watching Palestinians (not pictured) fleeing the fighting in war-torn Gaza walk by on a road in the Zeitoun district of the southern part of the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

Israeli soldiers transfer detained Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip on November 20, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue.

Gil Cohen-magen | AFP | Getty Images

— Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

Biden says he believes a hostage deal will come soon

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 20: President Joe Biden addresses reporters after pardoning turkeys, Liberty and Bell, from Willmar, Minn., during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, November 20, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

President Joe Biden, at today’s White House turkey pardoning ceremony, was asked by a reporter if a deal is near to release hostages taken by Hamas.

“I believe so,” he said.

When asked again if he believes so, Biden responded by crossing his fingers and said, “Yes.”

NBC News

Status of 700 patients and staff at Indonesian Hospital is unknown, WHO can’t establish contact

GAZA CITY, GAZA – NOVEMBER 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts graphic content) A screen captured grab from a video shows an injured people including children are taken to Indonesian Hospital after an Israeli attack in Jabalia region as Israeli attacks continue in Gaza City, Gaza on November 13, 2023. (Photo by Ahmed Alarini/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu | Getty Images

The World Health Organization is trying to establish contact with the Indonesian Hospital following reports of bombings and gunfire in the area.

“We are trying to get a communication line into the hospital to find out the status of the patients,” Rob Holden, the WHO’s senior emergency officer, told a news briefing at the United Nations from Gaza.

The organization has “no direct information from anybody inside the hospital of the current status,” he said.

“We currently know that there are 700 patients and staff within that hospital,” Holden said.

NBC News

UN health agency ‘appalled’ by attack on the Indonesian hospital in Gaza, WHO chief says

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said via social media on Monday that the United Nations health agency “is appalled by the attack on the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza.”

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes on Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia region as Israeli attacks continue on the 37th day in Gaza City, Gaza on November 12, 2023.

Fadi Alwhidi | Anadolu | Getty Images

In a post via X, formerly known as Twitter, Tedros said the attack on the medical complex in northern Gaza had reportedly resulted in 12 deaths, “including patients, and tens of injuries, including critical and life-threatening ones.”

“Health workers and civilians should never have to be exposed to such horror, and especially while inside a hospital,” he added.

CNBC could not independently verify the figures.

— Sam Meredith

Demand for clay ovens increases due to ongoing gas crisis in Gaza

Abu Siraj Al-Shaer, who made a living as a construction worker before, starts producing clay ovens and selling them to people at low prices due to the cessation of work and Israeli attacks in Khan Younis, Gaza on Nov. 20, 2023.

The demand for clay ovens has increased as a result of people making bread by lighting fires with the cardboards and woods they can find due to the ongoing gas crisis in Gaza. 

Abu Siraj Al-Shaer, who made a living as a construction worker before, starts producing clay ovens and selling them to people at low prices due to the cessation of work due to Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 20, 2023. 

Belal Khaled | Anadolu | Getty Images

Abu Siraj Al-Shaer, who made a living as a construction worker before, starts producing clay ovens and selling them to people at low prices due to the cessation of work due to Israeli attacks in Khan Younis, Gaza on November 20, 2023. 

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu | Getty Images

Abu Siraj Al-Shaer, who made a living as a construction worker before, starts producing clay ovens and selling them to people at low prices due to the cessation of work due to Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 20, 2023. 

Belal Khaled | Anadolu | Getty Images

The demand for clay ovens has increased as a result of people making bread by lighting fires with the cardboards and woods they can find due to the ongoing gas crisis in Gaza.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu | Getty Images

The demand for clay ovens has increased as a result of people making bread by lighting fires with the cardboards and woods they can find due to the ongoing gas crisis in Gaza.

Belal Khaled | Anadolu | Getty Images

The demand for clay ovens has increased as a result of people making bread by lighting fires with the cardboards and woods they can find due to the ongoing gas crisis in Gaza.

Belal Khaled | Anadolu | Getty Images

— Belal Khaled | Anadolu | Getty Images

Gaza death toll surpasses 13,000, including 5,500 children, Gaza media office says

EDITORS NOTE- Graphic Content: This post contains an image depicting death in Khan Younis, Gaza.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the media office of the Hamas-controlled government.

That figure includes 5,500 children and 3,500 women, the media office said. Over 6,000 people have been reported missing, including 1,800 children who are thought to be under the rubble.

A Palestinian man holds a child’s dead body in a body bag in his arms as he mourns at Nasser Hospital, where the bodies of those who lost their lives in Israeli attacks were brought to in Khan Younis, Gaza on November 18, 2023.

Mustafa Hassona | Anadolu | Getty Images

28 babies retrieved from Al-Shifa hospital safely reach Egypt, WHO says

Egyptian medics wheel a premature Palestinian baby evacuated from Gaza to an ambulance on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. 

– | Afp | Getty Images

The 28 premature babies evacuated from the Al-Shifa hospital have now safely reached Egypt for treatment at local hospitals, a World Health Organization spokesperson told CNBC by email.

The infants, along with three other babies who remain in the Gaza Strip, were removed from the Al-Shifa medical complex on Sunday through a joint effort between the WHO, the U.N. human rights office and the Palestine Red Cross Society and first taken for immediate care at the Emarati hospital in Rafah, in the south of the enclave.

All babies were in stable condition as of Monday. Two remained in Gaza Strip at the preference of their parents, while one was held back in the absence of any parents identified to give parental consent for their travel.

The infants were removed from the besieged and resource-deprived Al-Shifa hospital, where fuel shortages took offline the life support machines required for their care. They are fighting serious infections and continue to need health care, the WHO told CNBC.

Ruxandra Iordache

An aid convoy transporting a Jordanian field hospital arrives in Khan Younis

An aid convoy transporting a Jordanian field hospital arrives in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 20, 2023, after crossing through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

An aid convoy transporting a Jordanian field hospital is seen parked upon arrival in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 20, 2023, after crossing through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. 

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

An aid convoy transporting a Jordanian field hospital is seen parked upon arrival in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 20, 2023, after crossing through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

— Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

Israel-Hamas hostage release talks still underway, official says

Negotiations between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas over the release of hostages are ongoing, a senior Hamas official told NBC News on Monday.

“We were several times close and they undermined the whole process,” spokesperson Osama Hamdan said.

Several U.S. officials have, in recent days, signaled that a breakthrough on the release of the 237 captives held by Hamas could be reached in the coming days, although concrete terms remained elusive.

“We think that we are closer than we have been, perhaps at any point since these negotiations began weeks ago,” U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. have previously been influential in brokering humanitarian aid and hostage release agreements between Hamas and Israel.

The two sides remain contradictory in purpose, however: Israel refuses to discuss a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip before the hostages are returned, while Hamas officials have previously said such an amnesty is a pre-requisite for the release of captives.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel, Hezbollah trade fire

Israel and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said they exchanged fire on Monday.

Hezbollah said it achieved “direct hits” to Israeli positions west of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, according to a Google-translated news flash carried by Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar.

The Israel Defense Forces on Telegram reported sirens blaring in northern Israel, without specifying the reason. It said that earlier on Monday, it had struck several locations in Lebanon, following launches from the country into the Israeli areas of al-Aramshe, Biranit and Bar’am.

Later, the IDF said that it identified 25 launches from Lebanon, and said it struck a “terrorist cell” in the country that attempted to launch anti-tank missiles.

CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.

— Ruxandra Iordache

Why three premature babies retrieved from Al-Shifa hospital are staying in the Gaza Strip

Palestinian medics care for premature babies evacuated from Al Shifa hospital to the Emirates hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 19, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

Three of the 31 premature babies evacuated over the weekend by U.N. and health groups are staying behind in the Gaza Strip because one infant has not been identified and the parents of two others refused to send them abroad, BBC News reports.

Earlier on Monday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said that ambulance teams were transporting the remaining 28 babies to Egypt for treatment.

All three babies who are remaining behind in the Gaza Strip, where they have been moved to Al-Ahli Emirates hospital in the southern part of the enclave, are in stable condition, a local doctor told BBC News.

The 31 infants were removed from the besieged Al-Shifa hospital by a combined effort of the U.N. human rights agency, the World Health Organization and the PRCS on Sunday. Fuel shortages at Al-Shifa had depowered the life support equipment necessary to sustain them, with two out of an initial 33 babies dying as a result.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israel’s temporary and long-term joblessness rate spikes in October

Israel’s rate capturing the unemployed and those who were temporarily absent from work surged to 9.6% in October, compared with 3.6% in September, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics showed Monday.

This meant that a combined 428,400 people were fully or temporarily absent from work in October, up from 163,600 people in September.

The country’s main unemployment rate was steady at 3.4%, unchanged on the month.

Last month saw the brutal Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7, which killed hundreds of people in Israel and led to the abduction of over 240 hostages. Israel has since summoned roughly 360,000 reservists to take up arms against the Palestinian militant group, in one of the largest mobilizations in the country’s history.

Ruxandra Iordache

Twenty-eight evacuated babies taken to Egyptian hospitals

Palestinian medics prepare premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al- Shifa hospital, for transfer from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Ambulance teams are transporting 28 rescued premature babies from the Gaza Strip for onward treatment at Egyptian hospitals, the Palestine Red Cross Society said on social media.

It comes after the PRCS, World Health Organization and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs orchestrated the weekend evacuation of 31 premature babies from the Al-Shifa health facility, once the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, now reduced to basic care and no longer able to operate as a hospital.

A Palestinian medic cares for premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al- Shifa hospital, ahead of their transfer from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

The babies — who are all fighting infections, according to a WHO assessment — had to be removed from life support at Al-Shifa that no longer functioned as a result of fuel shortages. Following their evacuation, they were first taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Helal Al-Emarati Maternity Hospital in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The staff carrying the infants will traverse the Rafah crossing that bridges Egypt and the Gaza Strip — the only land route out of the enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

Ruxandra Iordache

Yemen’s Houthi capture ship on suspicion of Israeli connection

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants have captured what they called an Israeli ship in the Red Sea and taken it to the Yemeni coast, the group’s spokesperson Yahya Saree said on social media on Sunday.

“The Yemeni armed forces reiterate their warning to all ships belonging to or dealing with the Israeli enemy that they will become a legitimate target for armed forces,” he added, urging the international community to avoid working with Israeli ships or owned by Israeli individuals.

“Yemeni armed forces confirm that they will continue to carry out military operations against the Israeli enemy until the aggression against Gaza stops,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Japan’s top government spokesperson confirmed the capture of the Nippon Yusen-operated ship, Galaxy Leader, according to Reuters. Tokyo is now appealing with the Houthis for the release of the vessel and seeking the help of Saudi, Omani and Iranian authorities.

“The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence,” the Israeli military said on social media.

“The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office qualified the vessel as owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese business, stating no Israeli people were present on the vessel.

“This is another act of Iranian terrorism which expresses a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world, and creates international implications regarding the security of global shipping lanes,” Netanyahu said, according to a Google translation.

Iran, which supports the Houthis and Hamas groups that are inimical to Israel, rejected claims of involvement in the ship’s capture, according to Google-translated comments by Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani, carried by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Ruxandra Iordache

Thirty-one babies evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital

Palestinian premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital, are transported in a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance through the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | Afp | Getty Images

Thirty-one babies were evacuated on Sunday from the Al-Shifa hospital to a medical facility in the south of the Gaza Strip, in a joint mission between the World Health Organization and the U.N., working in collaboration with the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

Born prematurely with low birthweight, these infants had previously been moved from the neonatal unit of the Al-Shifa hospital to a safe area on site, because of electricity shortages to power their life support and security risks at the facility.

Two other babies passed away before the evacuation took place.

Palestinian medics transfer premature babies, evacuated from Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital, from a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to Egypt, on November 20, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. 

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Eleven of the infants who were removed are in critical condition, and all the babies are fighting “serious” infections because of a lack of supplies, the WHO said. The children are not accompanied by family members, who could not be found.

Six health workers and 10 of their family members, who had taken shelter at the hospital, were evacuated alongside the children. The mission was “deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces and with the defacto authorities,” the WHO said. Israeli military last week raided and has since been inspecting the Al-Shifa hospital on suspicion that the hospital is used for Hamas operations.

Over 250 patients and 20 health workers remain at Al-Shifa and request immediate evacuation, the WHO said, noting that such a procedure would take several days because of the “complex security and logistics constraints.”

Egyptian medics stand by with incubators to receive premature Palestinian babies evacuated from Gaza on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. Twenty-nine premature babies were evacuated from war-torn Gaza to Egypt on November 20, as the Hamas-run health ministry accused Israel of launching a deadly strike on a hospital. 

– | Afp | Getty Images

The organization reiterated it is “deeply concerned about the safety and health needs of patients and health workers who remain at Al-Shifa Hospital” and said the medical complex is no longer able to function because of a lack of clean water, fuel, medical supplies and food, along with active hostilities.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it killed three further Hamas commanders

The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Securities Authority said they killed three further company commanders of Palestinian militant group Hamas during ground operations, according to an IDF update on Telegram.

The military did not name the deceased or state when they were killed.

IDF troops also identified and killed Hamas operatives in a cell, as well as striking a weapons depot in which they took shelter, the military said.

CNBC could not independently confirm the report.

Ruxandra Iordache

Sewage pumps in Gaza Strip at 55% capacity, UN branch aid director says

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Palestinians fleeing the fighting in war-torn Gaza walk on Salaheddine road in the Zeitoun district of the southern part of the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

Sewage pumps in the Gaza Strip can only run at 55% capacity amid ongoing fuel shortages, according to Thomas White, director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine.

“Some difficult decisions have had to be made about what lifesaving aid is prioritised – sewage will continue to follow in the streets,” White said.

White and UNRWA previously drew alarm bells over the critical state of fuel-deprived infrastructure and services in the Gaza enclave, with sanitation, water desalination and medical equipment slipping offline. The World Health Organization has repeatedly warned of the health and infection risks if these services no longer function.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military says it found a tunnel, weapons and boobytrapped car at Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli military has released further details of its findings following its ground incursion at the Al-Shifa hospital, including what it says is footage of a tunnel beneath the medical complex proving Hamas carried out operations on the premises.

In an operational update delivered by Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, the IDF showed a clip of what appeared to be a tunnel it said spans over 50 meters and is located beneath the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip. In addition to weapons, vests, intelligence and communication resources, the military said it found a car similar to those deployed in the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7 on the site of the hospital, adding that the vehicle was boobytrapped.

“What does it mean to boobytrap a car that is at the center of the hospital complex? They did not only want to kill Israeli soldiers that they knew were coming there. They were willing and deliberately wanting also the patients and staff that is in the hospital to get hurt in that event,” Shefler said.

He added that the military was able to carry out its raid of Al-Shifa without “any kind of friction with the medical team” and to “facilitate” what hospital staff required. He added that the IDF brought medical equipment and supplies to Al-Shifa — but did not clarify how these resources will be powered, amid severe fuel and electricity shortages that have rendered unusable the previous equipment of Al-Shifa, according to local health officials.

CNBC could not independently verify the video footage and report.

The IDF has been subject to intense pressure to provide evidence of Hamas using the Al-Shifa hospital as a command center and justify its ground incursion on a civilian site. Hamas and the Al-Shifa staff have previously denied the Palestinian militant group carries out operations from the medical site.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli military releases video footage claiming to show hostages brought at Al-Shifa

The Israel Defense Forces have released video footage they say show hostages being brought into the Al-Shifa hospital on the day of the Oct. 7 terror attacks carried out by Hamas.

CNBC has not independently verified the videos.

A first clip appears to show an individual forcibly marched into a hospital’s premises. The second footage shows a heavily wounded individual with a blurred-out face transported on a gurney, while one of the men who brought the patient in carries a rifle.

The IDF say that the two individuals are a Nepalese and Thai civilian, who were taken captive by Hamas.

“These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the massacre as terrorist infrastructure,” the IDF said.

Israeli military has justified its widely criticized siege of the Al-Shifa hospital on the basis that the medical complex has been utilized as a Hamas compound and has faced mounting international pressure to prove that claim.

Ruxandra Iordache

Negotiators closing in on a deal to release hostages: NBC News

An Israeli couple holding their national flag walk in front of graffiti calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, in Jerusalem on November 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Gil Cohen-magen | Afp | Getty Images

NBC News reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the negotiations, that U.S., Israeli and Hamas negotiators are closing in on a deal to release some hostages taken during the Oct. 7 attack.

That would be in exchange for a pause in fighting, NBC News reported, with the sources cautioning that nothing was finalized.

“We have not reached a deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get to a deal,” spokesperson Adrienne Waston posted on X in response to a Washington Post report about a possible agreement.

Read the NBC report here.

— Matt Clinch

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage:










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