Video Duration 02 minutes 17 seconds
Here’s how things stand on Tuesday, December 19, 2023:
The latest developments
- On Monday, United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a “multinational security initiative” to protect trade in the Red Sea after a series of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels forced several shipping companies to suspend operations. The US, United Kingdom and Bahrain are some of the countries in the 10-nation force.
- Hamas posted a video to its Telegram channel on Monday of three captives pleading to Israel for their immediate release.
- Iran claimed on Monday that the Israel-linked group Predatory Sparrow was behind a cyberattack that disrupted services at more than 70 percent of Iran’s petrol stations.
- Israel’s chief rabbi David Lau has announced a special court to help women streamline divorce proceedings if they lost their husbands in the Gaza war, the Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
Human impact and fighting
- At least 29 people have been killed after Israeli forces targeted residential buildings in Rafah in southern Gaza, previously declared a safe zone.
- Following Israeli attacks on Nasser hospital in southern Gaza, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the hospital’s “ability to function has deteriorated drastically since WHO’s last visit on 7 December”.
- US Central Command reported two attacks on Red Sea vessels from Houthi-controlled areas on Monday. Swan Atlantic, a Cayman Islands-flagged tanker and M/V Clara, a cargo ship, were targeted.
- Meanwhile, Israeli forces carried out an intense overnight raid in Nablus, firing stun grenades and tear gas, arresting two men from the town, and blowing up a multi-storey structure, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency and videos verified by Al Jazeera’s fact-checking unit, Sanad.
- The United Nations Security Council member countries are expected to vote on Tuesday on a ceasefire draft resolution introduced by the United Arab Emirates.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the continuing Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in a call with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Monday, according to a White House readout. Saudi Arabia has fought the Houthis since 2015 on behalf of the Yemeni government.
- The Israel-Gaza war will be on the agenda as UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron heads to France and Italy for meetings on Tuesday. A statement from his office said Cameron would reiterate his call for a “sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza, which has been ravaged by more than two months of Israeli bombardment. Nearly 19,000 people have been killed in the bombardment.
- Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani criticised Israeli forces on Monday for allegedly shooting and killing people in a Christian compound in the Gaza Strip, reported Reuters.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies