Two months have passed since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, and the conflict has now spread throughout the entire Gaza Strip. This escalation comes after negotiations between Israel and Hamas failed to extend the temporary ceasefire for a hostage and prisoner exchange last week.
Latest Updates as of Thursday, Dec. 7:
High-Level Diplomatic Discussions:
President Joe Biden engaged in a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, addressing the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, CNN reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also had a Thursday morning discussion with Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer. He commended the Israeli security cabinet for allowing more fuel into Gaza but stressed the need for increased efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the war-affected region.
King Abdullah II of Jordan called for an immediate ceasefire in a phone call with Biden on Thursday, emphasizing the protection of civilians in Gaza.
Allegations Of Civilian Casualties:
Investigations by two news organizations and two human rights groups, made public on Thursday, suggest that Israeli tank shells killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah and injured six other journalists in southern Lebanon in October.
According to information obtained by CNN from sources within the Lebanon National News Agency (NNA), there were claims made on Thursday that Israeli artillery had targeted the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Rmeish, with suspicion surrounding the potential use of “phosphorus” munitions. Video evidence captured columns of white smoke rising above the town, although there is currently no confirmed verification regarding the utilization of phosphorous munitions.
UN Security Council Meeting:
The UN Security Council is scheduled to convene tomorrow after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked article 99. It was reported by Al Jazeera that Deputy US Envoy to the UN, Robert Wood, maintained Washington’s stance against a ceasefire, arguing that such a move would benefit Hamas.
I’ve just invoked Art.99 of the UN Charter – for the 1st time in my tenure as Secretary-General.Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe & appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. pic.twitter.com/pA0eRXZnFJ
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 6, 2023
Market Reactions: Israeli stocks, as monitored through the iShares MSCI Israel ETF (NYSE:EIS) rose 0.3% Thursday, after falling 0.7% Wednesday. The Israeli shekel (ILS) edged 0.2% higher vis-à-vis the dollar.
Cathie Wood’s ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF (NYSE:IZRL) strengthened 0.8%. UroGen Pharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:URGN), up 7.5%, was Thursday’s top performing stock in the IZRL ETF.
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