Israel-Hamas War Updates December 2023

Israel-HamasWarUpdatesDecember2023

UAE urges UN Security Council to vote for Gaza ceasefire

Israel-Hamas war live: Israeli jets pound Gaza; UN to meet on ceasefire 7th December 2023

Why Are They Killing Children In Gaza?

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Egyptian foreign minister says Gaza displacement violates international law

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 At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, and some 1,150 in Israel.

UAE urges UN Security Council to vote for Gaza ceasefire

Israel-Hamas war live: Israeli jets pound Gaza; UN to meet on ceasefire

By Alastair McCready, Virginia Pietromarchi and Nils Adler, Published On 8 Dec 2023, 8 Dec 2023
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  • UAE urges UN Security Council to vote for Gaza ceasefire

    ‘My dream is to be treated and to walk like other children’

    “I can’t feel my legs,” she said.

    My Dream Is To Be Treated And To Walk Like Other Children

    Why Are They Killing Children In Gaza INL World News Film Promo

    Those are the words of a nine-year-old Palestinian girl whose legs were seriously injured following an Israeli attack on her family’s home in Gaza’s Beit Lahiya city.

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    In a viral video posted on Instagram by journalist Hani Aburezeq and verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad unit, the injured girl – identified as Retal Ashour – appeals for international medical help to prevent the amputation of her feet.

    “I can’t feel my legs,” she said.

    A Palestinian man grieves while carrying the body of a child outside the Nasser Hospital morgue, ahead of the funeral prayer in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.

    Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 23

    Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 9

     

    A Palestinian man grieves while carrying the body of a child outside the Nasser Hospital morgue, ahead of the funeral prayer in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.

    Israeli attacks on Gaza continue

    IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis

    U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres invoked a rarely used power to warn an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza risked a total breakdown in public order.

    Palestinians fled the Gaza Strip’s second-largest city of Khan Younis in the south of the territory as Israel’s forces were encircling the home of top Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar on Thursday.

    Sinwar is thought to be hiding underground. The encirclement comes as Israel’s military continues its military campaign against Hamas in all of the Gaza Strip.

    Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

    Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 10

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    Israel strikes 450 targets in Gaza; UN to cast rare vote

    Hamas Leader Yayha Sinwar In Gaza Is Top Israeli Target

    A meeting of the UN Security Council

    The United Arab Emirates has called on the UN Security Council to vote on Friday morning on a draft resolution that demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

    “The situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and close to irreversible. We cannot wait. The Council needs to act decisively to demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” the UAE mission to the UN said.

    The renewed push for a ceasefire was made after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for the first time in his tenure, invoked the powerful Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows him to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

    Guterres has warned of the global implications of the war and highlighted the suffering inflicted on Palestinian civilians.

    For a resolution to be adopted, at least nine of the 15-member UN Security Council must vote in favour and none of the council’s five permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK – must veto the resolution.

    Neither the US nor the UK supports a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that Israel has a right to take military action.

    The US has also said that it does not support any action at the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza war at this time.

    Washington abstained from a vote last month to allow the Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in fighting in Gaza. That allowed for a seven-day pause that saw captives in Gaza released by Hamas and Israel free Palestinian women and children from its prisons.

    The pause ended on December 1 amid a breakdown in negotiations.

    At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, and some 1,150 in Israel.

    IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis

    U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres invoked a rarely used power to warn an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza risked a total breakdown in public order.

    Palestinians fled the Gaza Strip’s second-largest city of Khan Younis in the south of the territory as Israel’s forces were encircling the home of top Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar on Thursday.

    Sinwar is thought to be hiding underground. The encirclement comes as Israel’s military continues its military campaign against Hamas in all of the Gaza Strip.

    But a focus for the U.S., too, is civilian casualties. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that “it remains imperative that Israel put a premium on civilian protection,” and that there is “a gap” between the intent to protect civilians and the “actual results.”

    The Israeli security Cabinet approved a “minimal” increase in supplies of much-needed fuel to Gaza to prevent a “humanitarian collapse” in the south of Gaza.

    President Joe Biden spoke with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “underscored the importance of the continuous and sustained flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” the White House said.

    Biden “welcomed the recent Israeli decision to ensure that fuel levels will meet requisite needs, but stressed that much more assistance was urgently required across the board,” the White House said.

    More than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, a densely-populated area that had around 2 million people living there, according to health officials in Gaza.

    Meanwhile, some hostages that have been freed by the Hamas terror group that abducted them returned home to find their kibbutz destroyed.

    Freed Hamas hostages come home to find kibbutz destroyed

     and 

    NIR OZ, ISRAEL — Irena Tati and her daughter Yelena Trupanov spent more than seven weeks in Hamas captivity in Gaza, and just over a week after being freed they returned to survey the wreckage of the burnt-out kibbutz that had been their home.

    Ordinarily, the residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz would be lighting candles Thursday for the first night of Hanukkah.

    But there are few residents around, the communal dining hall is riddled with bullet holes and the kitchen is burned out.

    For Tati, 73, the only thing that she’s thinking about is the return of her grandson Sasha, still held by Hamas in Gaza. While she is holding out hope, there are no immediate signs that the hostage negotiations that cleared the way for her release will resume.

    “Now Hanukkah is a holiday of light and joy and I am waiting for war to end on such a holiday,” Tati told NBC News. “And people close to us in Gaza must return home.”

    Read the full story here.

    Girl collecting firewood barefoot describes hardships in Rafah

     

    Israel-Hamas war live: Blinken notes ‘gap’ between Israel’s ‘intent to protect civilians’ in Gaza and ‘actual results’

    Story by Reged Ahmad (now), Léonie Chao-Fong, Richard Luscombe, Rachel Hall and Geneva Abdul (earlier)

    Palestinians displaced by the Israeli ground offensive on the Gaza Strip set up a tent camp in the Muwasi area.

    MSN

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    LIVE – Updated 

    US secretary of state says ‘it remains imperative that Israel put a premium on civilian protection’ as Hamas-run health ministry says 350 Palestinians killed in 24 hours.

    It’s just past 5am in Gaza and Tel Aviv and this blog is now closing. But first, here is a summary of the events so far:

    • The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said there is a “gap” between Israel’s “intent to protect civilians” in Gaza and what has been happening on the ground. Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Washington after a meeting with the UK’s foreign secretary, David Cameron, said: “It remains imperative that Israel put a premium on civilian protection.”

    • Reuters is reporting that Israel has agreed, at the request of the US, to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing for only the screening and inspection of the humanitarian aid delivered into Gaza via the Rafah crossing, a senior US official said on Thursday. But there has been no time frame given for when the crossing might open.

    • The United Arab Emirates has asked for the UN security council to vote tomorrow on a draft resolution that demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, according to diplomats. The renewed push for a ceasefire, reported by Reuters, was made after the UN secretary general, António Guterres, took the rare step of invoking article 99 of the UN charter on Wednesday to notify the security council that the crisis in Gaza represented a threat to world peace.

  • UN Says There Are No Safe Zones In Gaza As Israeli Ground And Air Strikes Continue

The bodies of people killed in Israeli airstrikes are brought to the morgue at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. 

LIVE UPDATES

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza as Israel-Hamas war intensifies

By Heather Chen, Sophie Tanno and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT) December 8, 2023

https://edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news-12-08-23/index.html

What we're covering

  • Both the Israeli military and Hamas have responded to images from Gaza that show Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men stripped to their underwear. At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, CNN found.
  • The UN Security Council is set to vote Friday on a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The emergency vote follows pressure from Secretary-General António Guterres, who invoked the UN Charter's rare Article 99.
  • The Israel Defense Forces said Friday it carried out strikes on about 450 targets in Gaza over the past day — the highest number reported since the end of a truce with Hamas last week. Videos geolocated Thursday showed heavy strikes in the southern city of Khan Younis.
  • The head of the main UN relief agency operating in Gaza warned that the organization is on the verge of collapse.
  • Here's how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.

Israel Unleaches Over 250 Airstrikes On Targets In Gaza

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 1

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 2

 

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 3

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 4

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 5

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 6

Israel-Hamas War Updates 7th December 2023

Witness Gaza Faces Heavy Israeli Bombardment Part 8

  • A resident of the Qatar-funded Hamad Town residential complex in Khan Younis salvages belongings following an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip

Israel vs Palestine - Israel - Palestine - USA - Britain

  • Israel’s Gaza attack ‘one of history’s heaviest conventional bombing campaigns’

    Analysts say destruction of northern Gaza in less than seven weeks has approached that caused by years-long carpet-bombing of German cities during second World War

  • Smoke billows over buildings following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip as the Israeli military says Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar is underground. Follow our live updates of the Israel-Hamas war.

Israel strikes 450 targets in Gaza; UN to cast rare vote

Israel forces have hit more than 400 targets in Gaza – the highest since the end of the truce – as UN Security Council prepares to vote on an “immediate ceasefire”. 

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Photos: Israelis rally to demand return of Gaza captives

Israelis have gathered to observe the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, turning the usually festive event into a solemn ceremony. Thousands marched in Tel Aviv to demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government do more to secure the release of captives still held in Gaza.

A child holds a candle during a torch march for Israeli hostages, who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People react as they stand near a set of candles lit for the Israeli hostages who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh KilcoynePeople hold candles and signs with photos of Israeli hostages, who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
People hold candles and signs with photos of Israeli hostages, who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, during a torch march as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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Video shows Gaza detainees stripped to underwear

  • Palestinians inspect the damage to their homes and search for belongings amid the rubble of destroyed buildings in Al-Zahra on the southern outskirts of Gaza City, on November 26th
  • Israel-Hamas War- UN's Guterres Invokes Article 99 Over Gaza

 

Israel Lambasts UN Chief For Invoking Article 99 In Rare Move -

Pressure Mounts On U.S. -  Israel Gaza War

 
 Israel-Hamas Conflict Fighting Rages In Gaza' South
 

Israeli forces continue to surround hospital in northern Gaza, Hamas-controlled health ministry says

From CNN's Abeer Salman, Kareem Khadder and Hamdi Alkhshali

Israeli forces are still surrounding Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said in statement Friday.

CNN has previously reported on a deteriorating security situation around the hospital. That same accusation of a siege was made Tuesday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

Dr. Munir Al-Bursh, general director of the health ministry in Gaza, told CNN that “the occupation forces have targeted the power generators at the hospital.”

"There are still six neonatal babies who are still on incubators who have five oxygen pipes, and the oxygen might run out by tomorrow morning," he added. "This is a maternity hospital to start with, and we have brought some surgical operations to the hospital after the Indonesian hospital was put out of commission."

The Israeli army is “surrounding the hospital on the walls of the hospital from outside; the military have taken over half of the Jabalya camp now and surrounding areas of Beit Lahiya. There are around 200 injured people inside Kamal Adwan hospital and around 5,000 displaced people and some 12 medical crews in the hospital,” Al-Bursh said. 

The health ministry in Gaza on Friday accused the Israel Defense Forces of “surrounding the hospital” and opening fire toward it.

CNN asked the IDF for a response to this claim, and has inquired about previous instances earlier in the week.

“Medical teams and the wounded are without water, food, or treatment,” according to the health ministry. “We appeal to all parties to protect those present in Kamal Adwan hospital and provide water, food, and treatment for the wounded and patients.”

On Tuesday, a journalist at the hospital sent CNN an audio message saying that the hospital was surrounded.

“The situation is very dangerous and (there is) heavy fire gunfire,” Mahmoud Al-Sabbah said. “The Israeli tanks and vehicles are advancing towards the hospital and are one block away." As he spoke, heavy fire could be heard in the background. In a separate video clip of about 30 seconds, the sound of gunfire and explosions was constant.

CNN's Tim Lister contributed previous reporting to this post.

Palestinian ambassador to UN urges Security Council to vote for immediate ceasefire

From CNN's Jennifer Z. Deaton

Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Gaza, at UN headquarters in New York City on December 8.
Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Gaza, at UN headquarters in New York City on December 8. 

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, urged members of the United Nations Security Council to vote for a resolution on an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Mansour said that in two months, the Israel war effort had killed or wounded thousands of Palestinians.

The war has "besieged and destroyed and neutralized virtually all the hospitals. It bombed the bakeries. It attacked UN shelters. It attacked journalists. It cut off the electricity. It placed every possible impediment on humanitarian aid and access," Mansour said.  

"Enough is enough," Mansour said, adding that "this is the moment of truth."

"If you are against the destruction and displacement of the Palestinian people, you have to be in favor of an immediate ceasefire," he said.  

Mansour also claimed Israel's efforts were to end the question of Palestinian statehood, alleging that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has been searching for an opportunity to put a definitive end to the national aspirations of the Palestinian people and to the aspiration for peace among Palestinians and Israelis."

"This war is part of the assault to end the Palestinian people as a nation, and to destroy the question of Palestine. If you do not share this objective, you must stand against the war," Mansour said.

"This is Netanyahu's war," he added. "This is the war of the extremist coalition in power in Israel No one should get sucked into it any further. Its aim is not security. Its aim is to prevent forever any prospect of Palestinian independence and of peace."

At the opening of his remarks, Mansour thanked UN Secretary-General António Guterres for "his relentless efforts, for the clarity of his voice, for having upheld his sacred mission to stand up for the UN charter and for the protection of civilians, by calling early on and ever since for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire."

The Security Council has delayed the vote to 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday.

Rockets intercepted over Tel Aviv 

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza above Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 8.
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza above Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 8. 

A CNN team in Tel Aviv witnessed approximately 10 Iron Dome interceptions over the city Friday evening, moments after sirens were activated.

It was the third time on Friday that rockets were fired at the city, or near it.

In the first instance, around midday local time, two rockets fell into the ocean, and sirens were not activated. In the second instance, Friday afternoon, there were at least three interceptions of rockets over the city, following the activation of sirens.

IDF and Hamas respond to images that show dozens of men in Gaza detained and stripped to underwear

From CNN's Abeer Salman in Jerusalem and Jake Tapper in Washington, DC

Images from Gaza show a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear.
Images from Gaza show a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear. Obtained by CNN

Both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas on Friday responded to images from Gaza that showed a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear, kneel on the street, wear blindfolds, and pack into the cargo bed of a military vehicle.

“Hamas members and suspect Hamas members,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the IDF, told CNN about the images. “Without clothes in order to make sure they’re not carrying explosives.”

It was not possible Friday for CNN to reach Hamas for comment on the allegations. 

Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political office, accused Israel in a statement of "kidnapping, invasive searches, and disrobing" what he said was "a group of displaced Palestinian civilians.”

He called it a "reprehensible crime" and urged human rights organizations to intervene.

At least some of the men detained were civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, according to a conversation CNN had with one of their relatives and a statement by one of their employers, a news network.

CNN spoke on Thursday with Hani al-Madhoun, the brother and relative of some of those detained. He denied they had any affiliation with militant groups.

Al-Madhoun posted on social media Friday that his relatives had been released.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said Thursday that among those detained was one of its correspondents, Diaa Al-Kahlot, along with his family. As of Thursday evening, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said that they were considered missing, and the Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the reporter’s release.

Palestinian poet and writer Refaat Alareer killed in Gaza, friends and colleagues say

From CNN’s Abeer Salman and Sana Noor Haq

Friends of the Palestinian writer and poet Refaat Alareer said he was killed by a strike in Gaza Thursday.

Alareer's friend and colleague, Mosab Abu Toha, confirmed his death to CNN. 

Abu Toha wrote on Facebook Thursday:

“My heart is broken, my friend and colleague Refaat Al-Areer was killed with his family a few minutes ago. Refaat is a university professor and writer and editor of ‘Gaza Writes Back.’”

"Gaza Writes Back" is an anthology of short stories from 15 young writers in Gaza.

Abu Toha added, “I don’t want to believe this. We both loved to pick strawberries together…This is very brutal.”

CNN has attempted to reach members of Alareer’s family.

Alareer, 44, was a professor of comparative literature and co-editor of "Gaza Unsilenced," which was published in 2015. A native of Gaza City, he received his master's degree from University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London between 2006 and 2007. 

Alareer began teaching literature, creative writing, poetry, translation and Shakespeare at the Islamic University of Gaza in 2007. He described himself as a writer and educator.

He was also a co-founder of "We Are Not Numbers" – a nonprofit organization that aims to amplify the voices of Palestinian youth living in Gaza and the refugee camps. 

The group said that “the pain of this loss is immeasurable as we mourn the passing of a true advocate for justice and understanding.”

In an interview shortly before his death, Alareer said the situation in Gaza was very bleak and there was no way out of the enclave. 

“What should we do?” he asked. “Drown? Commit mass suicide? Is this what Israel wants?”

“We have nothing to lose,” he said.

Alareer had also written a poem anticipating that he might be killed, which began:

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail).

UN agency in Gaza is on the verge of collapse, commissioner-general says

From CNN's Ben Wedeman and Hamdi Alkhshali

A woman looks out of her tent in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp located in Khan Younis, Gaza, where displaced Palestinian families take shelter on November 15.
A woman looks out of her tent in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp located in Khan Younis, Gaza, where displaced Palestinian families take shelter on November 15. #

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Philippe Lazzarini, has addressed on Friday the deteriorating situation in Gaza, expressing deep concern over the agency's limited ability to fulfill its mandate.

In a letter to the president of the UN General Assembly, Lazzarini highlighted the severe challenges faced by UNRWA, including constant bombardment, insufficient humanitarian supplies, and overcrowded shelters.

“I must inform you that UNRWA's ability to implement its General Assembly mandate in Gaza is today severely limited with immediate and dire consequences for the UN humanitarian response and the lives of civilians in Gaza,” Lazzarini said in his letter.

Lazzarini warned that the UNRWA is on the verge of collapse.

“Today, as a result of Israel's military operation, nearly 1.2 million civilians are sheltering in UNRWA premises. The Agency has become the primary platform for humanitarian assistance to over 2.2 million people in Gaza — a platform on the verge of collapse,” he said.

The commissioner-general revealed the tragic toll on UNRWA staff, with over 130 colleagues killed, many with their families, and 70% of the remaining staff displaced.

Lazzarini called for immediate action from member states, urging the implementation of a humanitarian ceasefire and the enforcement of international law to protect civilians, UN staff, and vital infrastructure.

He said calling for an end to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza is not a denial of other conflicts but a recognition of the equal rights of all people, emphasizing the historic responsibility of the General Assembly and the entire UN in responding to the crisis.

Fighting continues in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Israeli military says 

From Tamar Michaelis, Amir Tal and Chris Liakos 

Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Nasser Hospital to receive medical treatment following Israeli attacks in Khan Younis, Gaza, on December 8.
Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Nasser Hospital to receive medical treatment following Israeli attacks in Khan Younis, Gaza, on December 8. Abed Zagout/Anadolu/Getty Images

The Israeli military continues to fight in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, which it says is a “main stronghold” of Hamas, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released Friday.  

The IDF said soldiers “eliminated dozens of terrorists, conducted searches, destroyed tunnels and directed precise strikes from the ground and air."

"We launched a rapid, powerful, and focused operation, moving from tunnel to tunnel, from house to house,” the IDF added.  

A spokesperson for the military claimed Wednesday that Israeli forces have breached Hamas "defense lines" in the city. 

The IDF said Friday that approximately 450 targets in Gaza were struck over the past day – the highest number reported since the end of the truce a week ago.  

In Khan Younis, Gaza's second biggest city, it said “IDF troops directed IAF aircraft to kill numerous terrorists in a two-hour series of precise strikes.” 

A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing above buildings during Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza on December 8.
A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing above buildings during Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza on December 8. 

Videos geolocated Thursday showed a series of heavy strikes in the city. Dozens of casualties were admitted to hospitals in the area. 

The Israeli military also said they had "struck compounds" and found "numerous" weapons and underground infrastructure at the Al-Azhar University in Gaza. 

According to the IDF, the "underground tunnel ran from the university's yard and continues to a school one kilometer away." 

In a separate raid, the military said it found 200 radios and "dozens" of cameras at an observation post near Al Shati Hospital. 

CNN cannot independently verify the claims, but the IDF provided photos of what it said were the weapons and the entrance to the tunnel shaft. 

UN chief calls for ceasefire in Gaza and says current situation is a threat to global peace and security

From CNN's Michael Bodenhorst

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting about his invoking Article 99 of the United Nations charter at the UN headquarters in New York City, on December 8. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In an address to the Security Council Friday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned of an impending crisis in Gaza, emphasizing a high risk of the collapse of the humanitarian support system that could lead to devastating consequences.

Guterres expressed concern that the ongoing situation could result in a complete breakdown of public order and escalate pressure for mass displacement into Egypt, potentially causing a spillover effect throughout the entire region.

Calling for urgent action, Guterres appealed for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, describing the current situation as a threat to international peace and security.

He highlighted the unprecedented threat to the safety of United Nations staff, noting that more than 130 personnel had died during the conflict so far, marking the largest loss of life in the organization's history.

UN Security Council convenes to address proposed resolution urging humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

From CNN's Michael Bodenhorst

The United Nations Security Council has convened to address the situation in Gaza as the Israel-Hamas war continues.

The discussion is centered around a proposed resolution urging an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the region. A vote on the resolution was delayed to 5:30 p.m. ET.

The initiative came after UN Secretary-General António Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter on Wednesday, allowing him to bring issues that could escalate existing threats to international peace and security to the Security Council's attention. 

In a letter to the 15-member council, Guterres employed the rarely used diplomatic tool, urging collective action to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and calling for a comprehensive humanitarian ceasefire.

This post has been updated with details on the timing of today's vote.

US secretary of state discusses efforts to free more hostages with Qatari counterpart

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to speak about efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas.

Qatar was a key broker in the agreement that saw the release of an initial group of hostages, but that deal broke down last week.

In his meeting with Al Thani, Blinken "expressed appreciation for Qatar’s critical efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and the recent humanitarian pause in Gaza," according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Matt Miller.

The two discussed the need to prevent the conflict from spreading and continuing humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, it added.

Their meeting took place ahead of Blinken's meeting later Friday with a delegation of Arab ministers.

Relations between UN and Israel reach "low point" after rare Article 99 invoked, former ambassador says

From CNN's Abbas Al Lawati and Nadeen Ebrahim

Israel’s relations with the United Nations have sunk to a historic low after a spat between the two escalated this week.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday invoked a rarely used but powerful tool in his determined push for a ceasefire in Gaza, causing outrage among Israeli diplomats.

Article 99 of the UN charter allows the UN chief to raise to the Security Council’s attention “any issue that may aggravate existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.” Guterres, in a letter to the 15-member council, used that diplomatic tool and urged for the body to “press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe” and unite in a call for a full humanitarian ceasefire.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen lashed out at the secretary-general for his letter, saying the UN chief’s tenure was “a danger to world peace” and that his call for a ceasefire in Gaza amounted to supporting Hamas and the October 7 attack.

Guterres’ letter was the seventh time in the UN’s 78-year history in which Article 99 had been invoked, and the first time it was used since 1989, when then Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar urged the council to call for a ceasefire during the Lebanese civil war, according to Daniel Forti, a senior UN analyst at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.

It was a “symbolic punch,” Forti told CNN of Guterres’ move. “An urgent plea for diplomatic action to stop the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza from crossing a point of no return.”

The Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis at 10 a.m. local time Friday in New York. The UAE on Thursday submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council calling for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire, saying it has the support of Arab and Islamic nations.

Gabriela Shalev, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN from 2008 to 2010, said Israel-UN relations are at a historic low now, noting that ties had become strained soon after Israel was established following a UN General Assembly resolution in 1947.

“I think it is a very low point in relations between Israel and the UN… a very low point in our relations with the world,” except for the United States, Shalev, who is also an emeritus professor at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law, told CNN. “We have the feeling that organizations of the UN all over the world don’t understand that Israel is now at war for its existence as a Jewish and democratic state, it is (facing) an existential threat from all sides.”

Read more about the diplomatic tension.

Israeli authorities confirm death of Israeli man presumed to be among the hostages in Gaza 

From CNN's Richard Allen Green and Chris Liakos

The Israeli prime minister's office confirmed Friday the death of an Israeli man, who was presumed to be held hostage in Gaza.

The exact circumstances, location and time of his death are currently unclear.

The Bat Yam municipality named the man as 53-year-old resident Eitan Levy, a taxi driver who "was driving his client from the center of the country to Kibbutz Be’eri," when the October 7 Hamas attack occurred.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum separately described Levy on Friday as a "warm, loving family man who always cared for others over himself," saying in a statement that his family has been informed of the news.

"Eitan was a responsible and dedicated man in all his endeavors. He has an only son, Shachar, and together they loved hiking and dining at fine steakhouses. Eitan loved animals, dogs in particular," the forum added.

A family takes cover under a building after a rocket fired from Gaza triggers the red alert alarm on December 8, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
A family takes cover under a building after a rocket fired from Gaza triggers the red alert alarm on December 8, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Sirens went off a few minutes ago in Tel Aviv, and at least three loud bangs — likely Iron Dome interceptions — were heard, according to CNN teams on the ground in the city.

US officials to discuss post-war Gaza governance plans with Palestinian Authority and Arab nations

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Jennifer Hansler

US officials are discussing post-war Gaza governance plans with the Palestinian Authority, along with Arab nations — making it a key focus as they try to look beyond the immediate conflict.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Friday afternoon with a delegation of Arab counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority, where the topic of Gaza after the Israeli offensive is expected to be a main point of discussion.

US officials have said they ultimately envision both Gaza and the West Bank being ruled by a unified government led by a "revitalized" PA. 

What the Palestinian Authority is saying: President Mahmoud Abbas, who initially rebuffed the idea of the PA ruling Gaza on the heels of the Israeli offensive, has shifted his position. Still, many questions remain about the immediate "day after" for Gaza once the war ends. US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Wednesday that the United States understands that there will be "some kind of transition period" in which Israeli forces remain in Gaza after the end of combat operations, but that cannot be permanent.

What Arab nations are saying: A Western diplomat told CNN that in past conversations, the Arab delegation has made clear that they are not eager to be involved with an international force to provide security in Gaza after the war. The ministers have also said that if the world wants Arab states to play a role in reconstruction and support of the PA, there must be a path toward a Palestinian state.

A senior administration official said that privately there is some consternation within the administration over the Arab allies’ reluctance to play any role in a post-war international peacekeeping force, since they have been among the loudest in condemning Israel’s assault on Gaza. One Arab ambassador told CNN that their country would “absolutely not” place any of its own forces in Gaza after the war. Part of that is because the Arab states do not want to be seen as subjugating the Palestinians, the ambassador explained. 

More on the Palestinian Authority: The PA is a government body with limited self-rule in the West Bank. It was established in the 1993 Oslo Accords, a peace pact between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that saw the PLO give up armed resistance against Israel in return for promises of an independent Palestinian state. The PA has recognized Israel and engaged in multiple failed peace initiatives with it. Hamas controls Gaza and presents itself as an alternative to the PA.

Read more about the possible post-war plans.

137 hostages believed to be held in Gaza, Israel says

From CNN's Richard Allen Greene in Jerusalem

Kibbutz Be’eri announced in a statement the death of 68-year-old resident Dror Kaplun.
Kibbutz Be’eri announced in a statement the death of 68-year-old resident Dror Kaplun. Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum

The number of hostages believed to be held in Gaza now stands at 137, the Israeli prime minister’s office said Friday.

An Israeli man presumed to be among them was confirmed to have been killed during the October 7 Hamas attack. Kibbutz Be’eri announced the death of 68-year-old resident Dror Kaplun on Thursday. 

His remains were identified by the Israel Defense Forces with the assistance of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which normally does archaeology.

The announcement comes nine weeks after the October 7 attack, as Israeli authorities continue their investigation efforts.

Nearly 57,000 pounds worth of US aid en route to Egypt for Gaza humanitarian assistance

From CNN’s Larry Madowo in Cairo

A satellite image shows a UN aid centre and Rafah camp in Gaza on December 3.
A satellite image shows a UN aid centre and Rafah camp in Gaza on December 3. Maxar Technologies/Reuters

Nearly 57,000 pounds worth of US aid is being delivered from Jordan to Egypt on Friday via a third flight for humanitarian assistance to Gaza, a statement from the USAID press office shared exclusively with CNN said. 

The statement said that at the USAID’s request, the US Department of Defense (DoD) and US Central Command is set to deliver nearly 57,000 pounds worth of United Nations medical supplies and food and nutrition assistance via a third flight of humanitarian assistance to address immediate needs on the ground in Gaza. 

The third flight is currently en route to Egypt’s El-Arish, which lies roughly 28 miles from the Rafah crossing, which links Egypt to Gaza. It is unclear when the aid will be delivered to Gaza once it has arrived in Egypt. 

The first humanitarian relief flight of supplies for Gaza was delivered on November 28, which gave more than 54,000 pounds worth of UN supplies and the second supplied another 36,000 pounds worth, the statement said. 

“In addition, the United States recently delivered more than 500,000 pounds of emergency food supplies to help the civilians in Gaza,” the statement continued.  

When previous aid arrived to Egypt, it was loaded on trucks and shipped to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

Israeli military kills 6 in West Bank refugee camp, Palestinian officials say

From CNN's Abeer Salman

Israeli troops shot six Palestinians dead at the Al Faraa refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Friday.

Al Faraa is located near the northeastern town of Tubas.

CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment.

The Israel-Hamas war has increasingly spilled over into the West Bank with settler attacks and clashes leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.

More than 400 targets struck in Gaza, Israeli military says

From CNN's Tim Lister and Elliott Gotkine

Smoke rises over Gaza, as seen from southern Israel on Thursday.
Smoke rises over Gaza, as seen from southern Israel on Thursday. 

The Israel Defense Forces said Friday it carried out strikes on more than 400 targets in Gaza over the past day — the highest number reported since the end of a truce with Hamas a week ago.

"Approximately 450 targets were struck from the air, sea, and ground as IDF troops operating in the Gaza Strip continued extensive battles with terrorists," the IDF said in a statement. "The troops continue to operate to locate and destroy underground tunnel shafts, weapons, and additional terror infrastructure."

Troops also directed Israeli aircraft "to kill numerous terrorists in a two-hour series of precise strikes" in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the IDF said.

Videos geolocated on Thursday showed a series of heavy strikes in Khan Younis. Dozens of casualties have been admitted to hospitals in the area.

In a separate operation carried out overnight, the Israeli Navy struck dozens of sites used by Hamas naval forces in central and southern Gaza, the IDF said.

At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, a spokesperson for the Hamas-controlled health ministry said Thursday. Some 46,000 people have been injured, and the majority of wounded people are children, women, and the elderly, it added.

Israel’s bombing and military campaign in Gaza came following Hamas’ deadly October 7 terror attack which killed some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and saw more than 240 hostages seized.

Since then Israel has turned much of the strip into a wasteland. The airstrikes have reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble and nearly 1.9 million people — 85% of Gaza’s population — have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. 

Fewer aid trucks entering Gaza, UN agency says

From CNN's Jennifer Hauser

Just 69 trucks carrying desperately needed aid entered Gaza from Egypt on Thursday, less than half the daily average during the Israel-Hamas truce last week, the United Nations' humanitarian agency said.

Meanwhile, only 61,000 liters of fuel made it through on Thursday, far below the average of 110,000 liters during the temporary ceasefire.

It comes after UN Secretary-General António Guterres formally referred the situation in Gaza to the UN Security Council, urging its members to "avert a humanitarian catastrophe" in the besieged enclave.

Before the October 7 attacks, a daily average of 500 truckloads of aid entered Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It has been difficult for Gaza to receive aid because of telecommunications blackouts and many UN staff are unable to report to the Rafah crossing because of the conflict, OCHA said.

Glimmers of hope: For the first time since November 29, World Health Organization officials on Thursday delivered trauma and emergency supplies to the European Gaza Hospital and the Nasser Medical Complex in the southern city of Khan Younis — enough supplies to cover 4,500 patients, OCHA said.

Meanwhile, Israel on Thursday said it will open the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza for the inspection of aid trucks in the "next few days" as the UN aid chief hailed the "promising signs" pointing toward this development. 

Journalist group demands release of reporter allegedly detained by Israeli troops in Gaza

From CNN's Kareem El-Damanhoury and Eyad Kourdi 

A US-based press freedom group on Thursday urged Israel to release a journalist reportedly detained by troops in Gaza.

Diaa Al-Kahlout, a correspondent for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, was arrested at gunpoint by Israeli forces in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, the London-based newspaper reported Thursday.

"We are deeply concerned by reports of the arrest of Al-Araby Al-Jadeed journalist Diaa Al-Kahlout in northern Gaza along with his family members," the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement.

Videos circulating on social media on Thursday, geolocated by CNN to Beit Lahia, showed Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men, stripped to their underwear, kneeling on the streets and wearing blindfolds. It is unclear if Al-Kahlout is among those seen in the videos. 

17 members of one family killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, relative says

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman in Cairo and Eyad Kourdi 

Seventeen members of the same family were killed in Gaza City on Thursday after their home was hit by a series of Israeli airstrikes, a relative told CNN.

Speaking in a phone interview from the war-torn enclave, Rafaat Abu Shiha, 56, said four children were among those killed in the attacks, while multiple others remained trapped under the rubble waiting desperately for emergency services to respond.

“The building was hit twice with missiles from a drone and once with a missile from a fighter jet," said Rafaat, who was not present at the time of the strikes, which he learned about from neighbors.

CNN has reached out to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for a comment but did not receive an immediate response. Israeli has repeatedly said that it only targets Hamas fighters, not civilians.

Israel’s bombing and military campaign in Gaza came following Hamas’ deadly October 7 terror attack which killed some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and saw more than 240 hostages seized.

Since then Israel has turned much of the strip into a wasteland. The airstrikes have reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble and nearly 1.9 million people — 85% of Gaza’s population — have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

Rafaat, who is among those displaced, appealed to “all those capable” to deploy ambulances to the site of the wreckage. 

"The building was fully demolished," he said. "Eight children and three women are still under the rubble with no ambulances helping."

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said Wednesday it was stopping its ambulance operations in northern Gaza after the lack of fuel and the closure of hospitals in the area made it impossible to evacuate civilians.

"Unimaginable loss" in Gaza as people struggle to survive. Here's the latest on Israel's war with Hamas

From CNN staff

The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Gaza as Israeli forces expand their operations throughout the Palestinian enclave.

Since Tuesday, the military has been operating in the southern city of Khan Younis, engaged in "intense battles" with Hamas fighters.

The conflict has caused "unimaginable loss, destruction and misery" and "everyone in Gaza is hungry," the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said.

Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday approved a "minimal" increase in the amount of fuel entering Gaza, but global leaders and aid groups say there needs to be much more assistance entering the enclave.

Here's what to know:

  • Hunger in Gaza: In northern Gaza, 97% of households have inadequate food consumption and approximately 83% in southern Gaza are "adopting extreme consumption strategies" to survive, the WFP said. The agency said a quarter of households reported burning waste as their main source of cooking fuel with the rest of households using firewood or wood rubbish. On average, households said they had less than half a gallon of safe drinking water per person per day in northern Gaza.
  • Emergency operations crippled: The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said work has stopped at its ambulance center in northern Gaza because there is no fuel. The PRCS also said bodies continue to be retrieved from the streets and from under rubble but recovery efforts are hampered because of the lack of fuel. Doctors Without Borders reported the number of corpses arriving at Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza has now surpassed the number of injured.
  • Israeli military operations: Israeli forces have arrested and questioned hundreds of suspects in Gaza allegedly involved in terror activities, according to a military spokesperson. Meanwhile, images circulating on social media showed a mass detention of men who were made to strip to their underwear, kneel on the street, wear blindfolds and pack into the cargo bed of a military vehicle. At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, according to a conversation CNN had with one of their relatives and a statement by one of their employers, a news network.
  • Alleged Hamas launch site: The Israeli military released a satellite image and video it said showed Hamas rocket launches next to a “humanitarian zone” and UN facility in southern Gaza. Because the IDF satellite image of the rocket location is cropped, and the video is cropped and low resolution, it was not possible for CNN to corroborate its location.
  • Gaza death toll: At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, a spokesperson for the Hamas-controlled health ministry said Thursday. Some 46,000 people have been injured, and the majority of wounded people are children, women, and the elderly, they added.
  • In and out of Gaza: At least 634 people crossed into Egypt on Thursday through the Rafah border crossing, officials said, including more than 400 dual nationals. A total of 70 aid trucks also entered Gaza, including nearly 21,000 gallons of fuel, according to the Rafah Crossing Authority. Meanwhile, Israel will open the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza soon for the inspection of aid trucks. The UN has been calling for several weeks for the crossing to be opened, saying it would facilitate deliveries of more vital humanitarian aid to Gaza. 
  • Global voices: Talking with an Israeli official, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commended the fuel allowed into Gaza but said more humanitarian assistance is still needed, according to a State Department official. US President Joe Biden also reiterated to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the need for Israel to protect civilians, the White House said.
  • Journalist death investigation: Investigations by two news organizations and two human rights groups made public Thursday said Israeli tank shells killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah and injured six other journalists in southern Lebanon in October. Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the Israeli government, said he was “not familiar” with the new reports, but reiterated Israel only targets Hamas, "we do not target civilians."
  • Regional strikes: Following the death of an Israeli civilian in northern Israel from an anti-tank missile from Lebanon, Israeli fighter jets struck “a series of terror targets” of Hezbollah on Thursday, the IDF said. Lebanon alleged that Israel shelled the outskirts of a town with "phosphorus" — a claim the IDF denies, saying it only uses "legal weapons and ammunition." The IDF also struck targets in Syria and Lebanon after missiles were reportedly launched toward Israel on Thursday evening.

Images from Gaza show Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men stripped to underwear

From CNN's Abeer Salman in Jerusalem

Images from Gaza circulating on social media Thursday showed a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear, kneel on the street, wear blindfolds and pack into the cargo bed of a military vehicle.
Images from Gaza circulating on social media Thursday showed a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear, kneel on the street, wear blindfolds and pack into the cargo bed of a military vehicle. Obtained by CNN

Images from Gaza circulating on social media Thursday showed a mass detention by the Israeli military of men who were made to strip to their underwear, kneel on the street, wear blindfolds, and pack into the cargo bed of a military vehicle.

The exact circumstances and dates of the detentions are unclear, but some of the detainees’ identities were confirmed by colleagues or family members.

At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, according to a conversation CNN had with one of their relatives and a statement by one of their employers, a news network.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor posted an image of one detainment and said in a statement on its website Thursday that “the Israeli army detained and severely abused dozens of Palestinian civilians.”

“Euro-Med Monitor received reports that Israeli forces launched random and arbitrary arrest campaigns against displaced people, including doctors, academics, journalists, and elderly men,” it said.

The Israel Defense Forces has not responded to CNN’s request for comment on the images. CNN has geo-located some of the images to Beit Lahia, north of Gaza City.

Read more.

What to know about Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader Israel has called a "dead man walking"

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and David Shortell

The Israeli prime minister said Wednesday that Israeli forces had surrounded the house of Yahya Sinwar, potentially closing in on the top Hamas official in Gaza — and the man most wanted by Israeli authorities.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Sinwar was not in the house and was believed to be hiding underground in Gaza, but a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that it was “only a matter of time before we get him.”

Israel has publicly accused Sinwar of being the “mastermind” behind Hamas’ terror attack against Israel on October 7 — though experts say he is likely one of several — making him one of the key targets of its war in Gaza.

A longtime figure in the Islamist Palestinian group, Sinwar was responsible for building up Hamas’ military wing before forging important new ties with regional Arab powers as the group’s civilian and political leader.

He was elected to Hamas’ main decision-making body, the Politburo, in 2017 as the political leader of Hamas in Gaza branch. However, he has since become the Politburo’s de facto leader, according to research by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

He has been designated a global terrorist by the US Department of State since 2015, and has been recently sanctioned by the United Kingdom and France.

Harel Chorev, senior researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, said that while Sinwar is a key player within Hamas, he shouldn’t be seen as its sole leader.

“He is perceived as the most senior one because he has a very high public profile, but Hamas doesn’t work this way,” he said. “Hamas is a decentralized organization with several separate power centers and he is one of them.”

Read more about the Hamas leader.

Israel Says It Has Killed 5 Hamas Commanders

Israeli forces have been targeting the Hamas leadership since the group launched an attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/06/world/middleeast/israel-hamas-commanders-gaza-photo.html

  • A photo of 11 men seated at a low table with food and drinks. Red circles labeled “eliminated” are around five of their faces.
An annotated photo released by the Israeli military shows 11 senior Hamas military leaders.
The army said the photo had been taken in a tunnel in northern Gaza.
 

reporting from Tel Aviv Dec. 6, 2023

The Israeli military has released a photo of 11 senior Hamas military leaders gathered in a tunnel beneath Gaza and said that five of them had been killed.

Among those in the annotated photo the army said it had eliminated were the head of Hamas’s aerial division, two battalion commanders, a brigade commander and a deputy brigade commander.

The rare photo of the Hamas leaders released on Tuesday, the Israeli military said, was taken while the group hid in a tunnel underneath a residential neighborhood near the Indonesian hospital in the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahia.

An Israeli intelligence unit analyzed the picture after it was seized in Gaza but did not reveal who took it. Some of the photograph’s details, including its exact date and location, could not be independently verified.

Israeli forces have targeted the Hamas leadership since the group launched an attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, the deadliest day in Israeli history.

Since then, Israel has declared war on Hamas with the intent of destroying the organization. It has placed Gaza, which the group has controlled since 2007, under siege, cutting civilians off from regular supplies of food and fuel, and subjected the strip to a deadly bombing campaign.

“Hamas wanted to tear us apart; we are tearing it apart,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, after meeting with the families of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza. Mr. Netanyahu’s government is under pressure over whether to continue to pummel Hamas or broker another truce that would allow for more exchanges. 

Israel, he said, in a nod to the current strategy, had killed “about half of Hamas’s battalion commanders.” But he did not provide the names and details of all of those killed.

The leaders in the photo are seen sitting at a long, low table festooned with fruit, drinks and other foods. Beneath the enclave are hundreds of tunnels Hamas has constructed to hide and transport weapons, fighters and materiel.

The military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, confirmed last month that at least three of the men in the picture had been killed, including Ahmed al-Ghandour, the northern Gaza military leader known as Abu Anas, and his deputy, Wael Rajab. Another was Rafet Salman, a Hamas battalion commander. In November, a spokesman for the Israeli military said its forces had attacked an underground site where Mr. al-Ghandour had been hiding.

Two other men in the picture that Israel said it had killed were accused of taking part in the planning of the Oct. 7 attacks. One, Asem Abu Rakba, oversaw Hamas’s drone program, the military said.

The killings are a setback for Hamas amid a powerful Israeli invasion that has leveled parts of northern Gaza, displaced what the United Nations says is more than 90 percent of the population and killed more than 15,500 people, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.

Israeli military commanders this week estimated they had killed several thousand Hamas fighters since the war began. Israeli officials said those estimates were based in part on the assumption that between 200 and 250 Hamas fighters had been killed if Israeli troops said they wiped out a Hamas battalion, and that if a commander was targeted and killed, a team of five or six people had died with him. Confirmation that a commander had been killed could take days to arrive, officials said, so the estimate was an “evolving reality.”

About 400 Israeli soldiers have died in fighting since Oct. 7, according to the Israeli military.

Israeli forces have in recent days advanced into southern Gaza in an attempt to find and kill top Hamas leaders believed to be hiding there. That group includes Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, and Mohammed Deif, the chief of the Qassam Brigades.

At one point, Mr. Sinwar and Mr. Deif were thought to be in Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza, where the army and Hamas fighters are engaged in heated urban combat.

On Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu said in a video posted on the X platform: “Our forces are encircling Sinwar’s house. He can escape, but it is only a matter of time until we reach him.”

An Israeli military spokesman said later that Mr. Sinwar was “not above ground,” but did not disclose further details.

Even if Israel manages to kill the group’s current leaders, there is no guarantee that Israel will accomplish its stated goal of eliminating Hamas and removing it from power.

The U.S. has fought wars against the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, badly battering both terror groups but not destroying either.

The Israeli military did not say why it decided to release the annotated photo.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Israeli military also said that the northern brigade, Hamas’s second largest, had been “significantly damaged.” The Israeli military also claimed it had inflicted serious damage to battalions from the Gaza City Brigade.

Adam Goldman writes about the F.B.I. and national security. He has been a journalist for more than two decades. 

More about Adam Goldman

Israel-Hamas War

  • In Israel, Hanukkah begins in the shadow of two months of war.

  • New arrivals in Rafah, fleeing the fighting in the north, face food shortages and airstrikes.

  • Israel announces limited steps aimed at easing Gaza’s humanitarian crisis.

  • British defense minister says the Palestinian Authority would need improvements before ever assuming governance of Gaza.

  • The son of an Israeli war cabinet member was killed in action in Gaza.

  • Here are some key moments in two months of war.


Our Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War


 
 
18 hr 22 min ago

Son of Israeli war cabinet minister killed in Gaza, IDF says

From CNN's Tamar Michaelis in Tel Aviv, Israel

Gal Meir Eisenkot, the son of Israeli government minister Gadi Eisenkot, has been killed in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Thursday.

Master Sgt. (Res.) Gal Meir Eisenkot, 25, a combat soldier in the 551st reserve commando Brigade’s 699th Battalion, died in battle, the IDF said in a statement.

His father was chief of the general staff of the IDF from February 2015 to January 2019, and served in the military for more than four decades.

Gadi Eisenkot joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wartime cabinet as minister without portfolio in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 attack.

He was elected to the Knesset in 2022 and is a member of Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party.

Gantz paid tribute to Gal Meir Eisenkot, saying in a statement: “May the memory of Gal and the memory of all those who fell in the battle for the home of all of us be blessed. Also in his name, also in their name, we continue the mission.”

Netanyahu also expressed his condolences to Gadi Eisenkot.

“The government of Israel and the citizens of Israel mourn together with you. Our heroes did not fall in vain. We will continue to fight until victory,” Netanyahu wrote on X.

A total of 88 IDF soldiers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

 
17 hr 19 min ago

Hostages' desperate families plead with White House to secure release of their loved ones

From CNN's MJ Lee

For some of the family members of the Israeli-Americans that Hamas is believed to have taken hostage, evenings can feel especially excruciating.

Ruby Chen, whose 19-year-old reservist son Itay, has been missing since October 7, recently spoke with CNN just before midnight in Israel.

“This is the most difficult part of the day,” Chen said, because that is when he finally lets himself pause long enough to wonder: “How productive have I been in moving the release of my son an inch?”

For Iris Haggai Liniado, whose parents are believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas two months ago while they were on their morning walk, every meal can serve as a painful reminder of how little she knows about her mother and father’s whereabouts.

“Today I sat and ate dinner with my sister,” Haggai Liniado told CNN one evening this week. “I’m having this huge plate of food — and my mom is not eating at all. Or maybe eating rice. Or maybe not even alive.”

Girl collecting firewood barefoot describes hardships in Rafah NBC News

Do’a Atef, 12, and her younger brother were barefoot as they collected firewood at the Rafah refugee camp. Rafah, on the border with Egypt, has seen waves of those fleeing the war and Israel's warnings of continued attacks.

Without shoes, Do'a and her siblings are plagued with thorns as they search for wood in order to cook. She said she had knocked on doors in the area asking for food for her siblings and was given some tomatoes and peppers. They drink dirty water from a well, Do'a added. "At night, we sleep in fear. It’s dark, like a grave," she said. "We die from the cold."

Man federally charged after firing shots outside New York synagogue, officials say

A man arrested in connection with shots that were outside an Albany, New York, synagogue today has been federally charged, officials said.

Mufid Fawaz Alkhader was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, FBI spokesperson Sarah Ruane told NBC News.

Alkhader is 28, according to two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter.

No one was injured in the incident, in which two shots were fired from a shotgun outside Temple Israel around 2 p.m., Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Police don’t know in what direction the shots were fired, he said. 

Read the full story here.

Israel agrees to open Kerem Shalom border crossing for aid to Gaza, official says

Israel has agreed to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza for screening and inspections of humanitarian aid, a senior U.S. official said.

The opening was agreed to on the request of the U.S., the official said. The Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt has been allowing aid to enter Gaza, and Kerem Shalom crosses into Gaza from Israel near the Egyptian border. “This is an important step, and we will continue to be in touch with our Israeli counterparts to ensure it happens," the U.S. official said.

Biden speaks with Netanyahu, says ‘much more assistance’ is required in Gaza

President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today and “underscored the importance of the continuous and sustained flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” the White House said.

Biden “welcomed the recent Israeli decision to ensure that fuel levels will meet requisite needs, but stressed that much more assistance was urgently required across the board,” the White House said in a statement about the call.

“The President emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and to separate the civilian population from Hamas including through corridors that allow people to move safely from defined areas of hostilities,” the statement said.

UNICEF spokesperson: Safe zones risk being 'zones of disease'

A spokesperson for the aid organization UNICEF in Gaza warned today that “safe zones” from the war carry the risk of spreading disease through poor sanitation.

“They risk being zones of disease and human suffering,” spokesperson James Elder said in a voice message the agency posted online. “These zones are tiny patches of barren land with no, no facilities, no shelter from the cold and the rain, no sanitation,” Elder said. Israel has said it has established and will establish safe zones as it pushes its military campaign in Gaza into the south of the territory. Elder said conditions at shelters right now are already dire, with one toilet for 400 children and families. Elder said that "expecting hundreds of thousands of people to relocate again and again, in the middle of a war with no pause in fighting, is simply unworkable.”

UNICEF today again called for a humanitarian cease-fire.

Over 600 leave Gaza through Rafah crossing

On Thursday, 580 foreigners and 18 wounded people left Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, the Rafah Crossing Authority said. An additional 18 people were escorts, it said, bringing the total to 616. Ten people from the United Nations were allowed into Gaza. The authority reported that 70,000 liters of diesel fuel and 80 aid trucks entered Gaza, which officials say is suffering a humanitarian crisis, today. A U.S. State Department spokesman said this week that 70,000 liters of fuel a day is not enough and urged that more aid to be allowed.

Israeli soldiers celebrate first night of Hanukkah on Gaza border

Israeli soldiers light candles on the first night of Hanukkah near the Gaza border on Dec. 7, 2023 in southern Israel.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Israeli soldiers lit candles and ate sufganiyot, a jelly-filled pastry, to mark the first night of Hanukkah near the Gaza border today in southern Israel.

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza as Israel-Hamas war intensifies

By Heather Chen, Sophie Tanno and Adrienne Vogt, CNN

December 8, 2023

https://edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/israel-hamas-war-gaza-news-12-08-23/index.html

What we're covering

  • Both the Israeli military and Hamas have responded to images from Gaza that show Israeli soldiers detaining dozens of men stripped to their underwear. At least some of the men are civilians with no known affiliation to militant groups, CNN found.
  • The UN Security Council is set to vote Friday on a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The emergency vote follows pressure from Secretary-General António Guterres, who invoked the UN Charter's rare Article 99.
  • The Israel Defense Forces said Friday it carried out strikes on about 450 targets in Gaza over the past day — the highest number reported since the end of a truce with Hamas last week. Videos geolocated Thursday showed heavy strikes in the southern city of Khan Younis.
  • The head of the main UN relief agency operating in Gaza warned that the organization is on the verge of collapse.
  • Here's how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.

Israeli forces continue to surround hospital in northern Gaza, Hamas-controlled health ministry says

From CNN's Abeer Salman, Kareem Khadder and Hamdi Alkhshali

Israeli forces are still surrounding Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said in statement Friday.

CNN has previously reported on a deteriorating security situation around the hospital. That same accusation of a siege was made Tuesday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

Dr. Munir Al-Bursh, general director of the health ministry in Gaza, told CNN that “the occupation forces have targeted the power generators at the hospital.”

"There are still six neonatal babies who are still on incubators who have five oxygen pipes, and the oxygen might run out by tomorrow morning," he added. "This is a maternity hospital to start with, and we have brought some surgical operations to the hospital after the Indonesian hospital was put out of commission."

The Israeli army is “surrounding the hospital on the walls of the hospital from outside; the military have taken over half of the Jabalya camp now and surrounding areas of Beit Lahiya. There are around 200 injured people inside Kamal Adwan hospital and around 5,000 displaced people and some 12 medical crews in the hospital,” Al-Bursh said. 

The health ministry in Gaza on Friday accused the Israel Defense Forces of “surrounding the hospital” and opening fire toward it.

CNN asked the IDF for a response to this claim, and has inquired about previous instances earlier in the week.

“Medical teams and the wounded are without water, food, or treatment,” according to the health ministry. “We appeal to all parties to protect those present in Kamal Adwan hospital and provide water, food, and treatment for the wounded and patients.”

On Tuesday, a journalist at the hospital sent CNN an audio message saying that the hospital was surrounded.

“The situation is very dangerous and (there is) heavy fire gunfire,” Mahmoud Al-Sabbah said. “The Israeli tanks and vehicles are advancing towards the hospital and are one block away." As he spoke, heavy fire could be heard in the background. In a separate video clip of about 30 seconds, the sound of gunfire and explosions was constant.

CNN's Tim Lister contributed previous reporting to this post.

Threats of violence surrounding Jewish, Muslim communities skyrocket in N.Y.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of violent language and non-specific threats surrounding Jewish and Muslim communities since the Oct. 7 terror attacks against Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza, according to numbers from the governor’s office. Threats of violence against Jewish communities numbered 24,615 since Oct. 7, compared to a baseline six-month average of 4,691, the governor’s office said. Threats of violence against Muslim communities since Oct. 7 totaled 3,490, compared to a six-month average of 675, it said.

The threats were tracked on a variety of social media and other platforms, including X, Telegram, Reddit, Gab and 4chan. Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced $3 million to go toward the threat assessment and management training to all college campuses, along with other actions.

“The rising tide of hate is putting all New Yorkers at risk,” Hochul said.

Person who fired shots outside N.Y. synagogue said ‘Free Palestine,' police say

A man arrested in connection with shots fired outside an Albany, New York, synagogue said “Free Palestine," and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Albany's police chief said.

No one was injured in the incident, in which a man with a shotgun fired two shots outside Temple Israel in Albany at around 2 p.m., Police Chief Eric Hawkins said. Police don’t know in what direction the shots were fired, he said.

The 28-year-old suspect fled after the shots were fired but was confronted by another person in a vehicle in a lot, Hawkins said. “The suspect at that point made some statement to this person who was in the vehicle to the effect of he feels that he’s being victimized,” Hawkins said. The suspect then dropped the shotgun, and officers arrived and arrested him, Hawkins said. The suspect’s name was not released. He was being interviewed by police detectives and the FBI this evening. Hawkins stressed that the suspect acted alone and that there is no further threat to the community. There was no damage to the building.

“We were told by responding officers that he made a comment, ‘Free Palestine,’” Hawkins said.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Hawkins said, but what charges could be filed were not clear. They could include federal charges, he said.

Blinken: There is a ‘gap’ between intent to protect civilians and ‘actual results’

 and 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that Israel must prioritize the protection of civilians in Gaza as it attacks Hamas, saying there is "a gap” between the intent to protect civilians and the “actual results.” Israel has expanded its military campaign in Gaza to include the south of the territory, and Blinken said the U.S. has seen “some important additional steps” by Israel toward the protection of civilians.

“The Israelis have been evacuating neighborhoods, instead of entire cities, so focusing in on a much more deliberative way on those who may be in harm’s way,” he said. But, Blinken said, “it is imperative, it remains imperative, that Israel put a premium on civilian protection.” “And there does remain a gap between exactly what I said when I was there — the intent to protect civilians, and the actual results,” he said. Health officials in Gaza — the territory has been controlled by Hamas — have said that the death toll has now surpassed 17,000 after weeks of Israeli attacks.

Heightened security for Hanukkah across Europe as E.U. warns of 'huge' terror risk

LONDON — Cities across Europe are stepping up security and protections for Jewish communities as the Hanukkah holiday gets under way, as the European Union warns of a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” amid the Israel-Hamas war.

In London, the Metropolitan Police tells NBC News they’ve made 75 arrests linked to sentiments around the war, stemming from threats to both Jews and Muslims. One London-area municipality even canceled its Hanukkah celebration, before reversing course under public pressure. And in France, the government is urging extreme vigilance after a fatal terrorist attack over the weekend by a man who told police he was angry about the war and the treatment of Muslims. This week, the E.U. announced it will devote more than $32 million (€30 million) to protecting places of worship. In the U.K., Claudia Mendoza, head of the Jewish Leadership Council, says many synagogues and Jewish schools across Europe now have guards and police protecting their facilities. “It’s an indictment on society, to be honest, that people can’t go to their place of worship and feel free to worship without having to have security,” Mendoza said in an interview. “I think the level of concern is probably higher than it’s ever been, Hanukkah or not.”

Video shows Gaza detainees stripped to underwear

Shots fired outside of New York synagogue, suspect in custody

Shots were fired outside of Temple Israel in Albany today, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

No one was injured or killed and a 28-year-old male suspect is now in custody, according to Hochul. The FBI is assisting law enforcement in New York with the ongoing investigation.

Hochul said she directed the New York State Police and the New York National Guard to be on "high alert" at at-risk locations like synagogues, yeshivas and community centers as the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins tonight.

“Any act of antisemitism is unacceptable, and undermining public safety at a synagogue on the first night of Hanukkah is even more deplorable," Hochul said. "We reject hate, antisemitism and violence in all forms. And we have no tolerance for the forces of evil who are trying to tear our communities apart.”

Iranian president condemns Gaza ‘genocide’ in meeting with Putin NBC News

Israel considers flooding Hamas tunnels as it pursues top leader thought to be hiding underground

 and 

Israeli soldiers show the media a tunnel found underneath Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Nov. 22, 2023. Israel says that Hamas militants sought cover on the grounds of the hospital and used the tunnel for military purposes.
Israeli soldiers show the media a tunnel found underneath Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Nov. 22. Victor R. Caivano / AP

As Israel’s military assaults southern Gaza above ground in pursuit of Hamas leaders, it is also considering a plan to disable the militant group’s vast labyrinth of underground tunnels by flooding them with seawater, two U.S. officials told NBC News.

The plan to pump water into the tunnels, the officials said, is among the options being explored by Israel to destroy the system, which has emerged as a central goal of the Gaza campaign. Israel’s military declined to comment on the flooding tactic, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal

But in the past, it has said the tunnels have been used to conceal hostages, weapons and fighters who can travel across the Gaza Strip without exposing themselves to airstrikes and ambush invading ground forces. Hamas leaders have boasted the tunnels are hundreds of miles long and full of traps.

Read the full story here.

U.S. ambassador to Israel helps lead Hanukkah ceremony honoring hostages

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew lights the first candle of a menorah in honor of those still held hostage by Hamas on the first night of Hanukkah in Tel Aviv.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew lights the first candle of a menorah in honor of those still held hostage by Hamas on the first night of Hanukkah in Tel Aviv.

TEL AVIV — The first night of Hanukkah is usually a time of celebration, but for families with relatives still held hostage by Hamas, today marks a painful milestone: Exactly two months since their loved ones were taken.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew helped lead a ceremony in Tel Aviv this evening honoring those still held hostage on the first night of the Jewish festival.

Lew lit the first candle of a menorah installed in what has come to be known as “Hostage Square,” while 138 other candles were also lit for each person still believed to be held captive, with the loved ones of hostages participating in the ceremony.

It took Lew several attempts to light the menorah, bringing a brief moment of levity to a somber occasion after the U.S. ambassador had to switch from using the shamash, or the helper candle, to a hand-held lighter.

“The United States stands with Israel now and always, and we’re committed to pursuing lasting peace and security,” Lew told a crowd of dozens of people.

“Let the miracle of light once again overcome the darkness of despair,” he said.

Chantal Da Silva
Dozens of people, including the relatives of those taken hostage by Hamas, gathered tonight in Tel Aviv to light candles in honor of those still held captive as they marked the first night of Hanukkah.

Amnesty International: Israeli attack on Lebanese journalists 'must be investigated as war crime' Natalie Kainz and Amnesty International said Israeli strikes on a group of seven journalists in south Lebanon on Oct. 13 "must be investigated as a war crime." The strike by an Israeli Apache helicopter killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others, the human rights organization said in a press release on its website. The journalists were on a reporting trip to south Lebanon.  Amnesty said it analyzed videos and photographs, weapons fragments from the site, and interviews with nine witnesses to determine that the group was visibly identifiable as a party of journalists. "The Israeli military knew or should have known that they were civilians yet attacked them anyway in two separate strikes 37 seconds apart," the press release said.

In its own investigation of the incident, Reuters stopped short of saying the journalists were intentionally targeted. "We don’t target journalists," IDF international spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in response to Reuters' investigation.

IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis (nbcnews.com)

Baby Jesus placed in rubble for Nativity scene at Bethlehem church

A woman arranges a nativity scene with baby Jesus surrounded by rubble at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Dec. 6, 2023.
Hazem Bader 

The pastor at a church in Bethlehem assembled a Christmas Nativity scene that reflects the destruction in Gaza, with a baby Jesus figure placed on top of piles of rubble.

“This is what Christmas now means to us that we see Jesus being born among those who have lost everything, who are under the rubble,” Munther Isaac, pastor of Bethlehem’s Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, told The Washington Post.

Blinken told Netanyahu adviser Israel must do more to protect Gaza civilians

 and 

In a call this morning to Ron Dermer, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel must do more to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, a senior State Department official said. The U.S. has been pushing Israel to increase the flow of assistance into Gaza since the end of the seven-day pause in the Israel-Hamas war, when Israel prevented fuel from entering Gaza.

Blinken told Dermer that the decision by the Israeli war Cabinet on Wednesday night to let more fuel into Gaza was good, but said the country needs do more to protect civilians.

On Tuesday, 70,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza — far below the 110,000 liters that entered during the humanitarian pause. According to Juliette Touma, director of communications for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, humanitarian operations in Gaza need at least 120,000 liters of fuel each day.

Senior Netanyahu adviser says Gazans are heeding Israel's warnings to move

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that those in Gaza who have been warned of Israeli military operations are relocating based on instructions. Many in increasingly crowded southern Gaza have said they feel there is no safe place to go, despite the warning. "We're fighting against an enemy who has been in power there for 16 years," said Regev, referring to Hamas, in comments to "Morning Joe" on MSNBC. "This is serious fighting, often in close quarters."

 IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis (nbcnews.com)

State in Germany will require applicants for citizenship to declare support for Israel

 and 

MUNICH — Applicants for German citizenship in the state of Saxony-Anhalt will need to declare in writing their support for Israel’s right to exist, a press release from the state’s Ministry for Interior and Sport said. Saxony-Anhalt is one of 16 constituent states of Germany and has a population of 2.17 million. The state’s minister for the interior and sport said the new requirement is intended to prevent foreigners with antisemitic attitudes from obtaining German citizenship.

The decree recommended the following wording for applicants:

“I expressly recognize the special German responsibility for the State of Israel and the right to exist of Israel and condemn any anti-Semitic tendencies. I neither pursue efforts that are against the right to exist of the state of Israel, nor have I pursued such efforts.”

Maggots in wounds, kids getting amputations without anesthetic — Gaza is 'not survivable,' aid groups warn

Representatives for several international humanitarian groups rang alarm bells about conditions on the ground in Gaza, which they described as "not survivable" in a press call with international journalists on Thursday. Groups including Oxfam, Action Against Hunger and Save the Children participated in the call. Bushra Khalidi, Oxfam policy lead, echoed U.N. comments that "the situation in Gaza is not just a catastrophe, it’s apocalyptic."

Khalidi shared her sister-in-law's messages from Gaza on the Zoom call.

"She said since the bombings resumed, every thought is on our next forced displacement. Our previous evacuation was marked by panic, terrifying the children. My son, only 7, asked for a separate emergency bag, knowing that I might not make it with him," Khalidi said of the messages she received from her sister-in-law.

"The scarcity of aid has led to desperate struggles over water tearing at our social fabric," she added.

Displaced Palestinians who fled Khan Younis set up camp in Rafah near the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt on Dec. 7, 2023.
Displaced Palestinians who fled Khan Younis set up camp today in Rafah near the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

"Those who survived the bombardment and now face imminent risk of dying of starvation and disease," said Alexandra Saieh of Save the Children, a group whose country director is on the ground in Gaza. "Our teams are telling us of maggots being picked from wounds and children undergoing amputations without anesthetic."

In response to questions on how much aid is entering Gaza, Chiara Saccardi, head of Action Against Hunger in the Middle East, said that before the current hostilities, 80% of the population was already "highly dependent on aid."

"So what was already highly dependent of aid, now it's completely dependent on aid. It is a matter of life and death. It is simple as that. If aid does not enter Gaza, it is a matter of death," Saccardi said.

She, along with others on the call, called for a cease-fire.

"We do need unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers to reach the population in need of aid, to come in with a sustained flow that can actually have an impact," she added.

Palestinian with disabilities shot in the leg, his brother says

A Palestinian man who is known to have mental disabilities was shot in the leg by Israeli soldiers in Hebron in the West Bank, his brother told NBC News. ‏"My brother wanted to pass the checkpoint. The army stopped him and asked him where is your ID? His ID was at home," Amer Abu Aber, 30, said. "He wanted to continue on his way, and the soldiers shot him at the checkpoint. My brother is known to everyone as having special needs."  Aber said that his brother, Tariq Ghazawi, was taken to the hospital and has a bone fracture from the shooting. He added that his brother's wife gave birth yesterday to a baby girl.

NBC News has reached out to Israel Defense Forces for comment.

Scenes of grief outside Khan Younis hospital morgue

A Palestinian man grieves while carrying the body of a child outside the Nasser Hospital morgue, ahead of the funeral prayer in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.

Israeli attacks on Gaza continue
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Israel-Hamas war: 57 journalists killed in conflict, Committee to Protect Journalists says – as it happened
 
A leaflet dropped by Israeli aircraft in the eastern areas of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres invoked a rarely used power to warn an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza risked a total breakdown in public order.
 
 
 
Israel-Hamas War Continue to Rage On
 
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Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies

By Kathleen Magramo, CNN  December 7, 2023

 
 
Hear how the Israel-Hamas war affects Secy. Blinken and Charles Barkley personally
Grant Shapps speaks during a joint press conference in Mountain View, California, on December 1.
Grant Shapps speaks during a joint press conference in Mountain View, California, on December 1.
 
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  • A meeting of the UN Security Council
  • UAE urges UN Security Council to vote for Gaza ceasefire

    The United Arab Emirates has called on the UN Security Council to vote on Friday morning on a draft resolution that demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

    “The situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and close to irreversible. We cannot wait. The Council needs to act decisively to demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” the UAE mission to the UN said.

    The renewed push for a ceasefire was made after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for the first time in his tenure, invoked the powerful Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows him to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

    Guterres has warned of the global implications of the war and highlighted the suffering inflicted on Palestinian civilians.

    For a resolution to be adopted, at least nine of the 15-member UN Security Council must vote in favour and none of the council’s five permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK – must veto the resolution.

    Neither the US nor the UK supports a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that Israel has a right to take military action.

    The US has also said that it does not support any action at the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza war at this time.

    Washington abstained from a vote last month to allow the Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in fighting in Gaza. That allowed for a seven-day pause that saw captives in Gaza released by Hamas and Israel free Palestinian women and children from its prisons.

    The pause ended on December 1 amid a breakdown in negotiations.

    At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, and some 1,150 in Israel.

    Egyptian foreign minister says Gaza displacement violates international law

    Sameh Shoukry has said Palestinians “themselves don’t want to leave” the enclave so “they should not be forcibly displaced”.

    “Any form of displacement, whether internal or external, is a violation, and we will not become a party, basically, to such a violation,” he told CNN.

    “The liquidation of the Palestinians caused by removing all Palestinians from their territory is unacceptable, and as I said, is a violation of humanitarian law.”

    There are growing concerns around the mass displacement of Palestinians into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, as large swathes of Gaza’s south have come under heavy bombardment in recent days, leaving few safe places for people to find refuge in the besieged enclave.

    Aerial strikes target Jabalia : Mosque and houses hit in latest Israeli raid

    ‘My dream is to be treated and to walk like other children’

    Those are the words of a nine-year-old Palestinian girl whose legs were seriously injured following an Israeli attack on her family’s home in Gaza’s Beit Lahiya city.

    In a viral video posted on Instagram by journalist Hani Aburezeq and verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad unit, the injured girl – identified as Retal Ashour – appeals for international medical help to prevent the amputation of her feet.

    “I can’t feel my legs,” she said.

    A member of the al-Hopi family carries the body of a child killed during Israeli bombardment in Rafah in southern Gaza on December 7, 2023 

    Biden, Jordan’s King Abdullah discuss latest developments in Gaza

    Biden reiterated his call to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians displaced in Israel’s continued offensive in Gaza in talks with King Abdullah II.

    “The President and King Abdullah affirmed their commitment to work together and with other regional partners to set the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East to include the establishment of a Palestinian state,” the White House said in a readout of the talks.

    In an interview with US network NBC, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi earlier said that the kingdom strongly opposes any plan to displace Palestinians from Gaza.

    Safadi also said that neither Jordan nor Egypt would accept the displacement of Palestinians from their own land or allow Israel “to proceed with its policies of transferring the crisis to the region”.

    Biden, Jordan’s King Abdullah discuss latest developments in Gaza

    Biden reiterated his call to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians displaced in Israel’s continued offensive in Gaza in talks with King Abdullah II.

    “The President and King Abdullah affirmed their commitment to work together and with other regional partners to set the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East to include the establishment of a Palestinian state,” the White House said in a readout of the talks.

    In an interview with US network NBC, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi earlier said that the kingdom strongly opposes any plan to displace Palestinians from Gaza.

    Safadi also said that neither Jordan nor Egypt would accept the displacement of Palestinians from their own land or allow Israel “to proceed with its policies of transferring the crisis to the region”.

    President Biden @POTUS
     
    I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan today to discuss the latest developments in Gaza, reiterating my commitment to increasing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We agreed we cannot stop working together towards a durable, sustainable… Show more

    UAE urges UN Security Council to vote for Gaza ceasefire

    The United Arab Emirates has called on the UN Security Council to vote on Friday morning on a draft resolution that demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

    “The situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and close to irreversible. We cannot wait. The Council needs to act decisively to demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” the UAE mission to the UN said.

    The renewed push for a ceasefire was made after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for the first time in his tenure, invoked the powerful Article 99 of the UN Charter, which allows him to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”.

    Guterres has warned of the global implications of the war and highlighted the suffering inflicted on Palestinian civilians.

    For a resolution to be adopted, at least nine of the 15-member UN Security Council must vote in favour and none of the council’s five permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK – must veto the resolution.

    Neither the US nor the UK supports a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that Israel has a right to take military action.

    The US has also said that it does not support any action at the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza war at this time.

    Washington abstained from a vote last month to allow the Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in fighting in Gaza. That allowed for a seven-day pause that saw captives in Gaza released by Hamas and Israel free Palestinian women and children from its prisons.

    The pause ended on December 1 amid a breakdown in negotiations.

    At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, and some 1,150 in Israel.

    Canadian lawmaker accuses Israel of committing ‘cultural genocide’

    The remark by Don Davies, a Canadian parliament member from the left-wing New Democratic Party, comes just hours after news broke that Palestinian academic and poet Refaat Alareer was killed in an Israeli attack in Gaza.

    “Israel is now using sophisticated technology to target and kill leading Gazan academics, authors, historians, poets, artists, journalists, teachers,” Davies wrote on X. “These are not Hamas leaders. This is cultural genocide.

    “The world must intervene to stop this brutal crime against humanity.”

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has failed to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.  

     
     Don Davies MP @DonDavies
     
    Israel is now using sophisticated technology to target and kill leading Gazan academics, authors, historians, poets, artists, journalists, teachers. These are not Hamas leaders. This is cultural genocide. The world must intervene to stop this brutal crime against humanity.

    Injured Palestinians arrive in Gaza hospital as Israel strikes overnight 

    Injured Palestinians have been treated at central Gaza’s  Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital following an Israeli attack overnight on Gaza’s Deir el-Balah city.

    In an Al Jazeera video, the injured were seen being carried from ambulances into the hospital by civil defence workers and volunteers.

    In one scene, an injured toddler is treated on the floor of the hospital as no beds are available due to the high number of patients requiring treatment.

    It was reported earlier that the attack took place in the vicinity of the hospital. The exact number of casualties was not known.

    [Translation: A child cries in pain after being injured from the Israeli bombing of Deir el-Balah.]

    • Editor’s Choice: What to read and watch right now

      We’ve published several new pieces of content covering all aspects of the conflict.

      Here are a few highlights:

      • From the ground: ‘No other land is home’ – Amid Israeli bombs, a Gaza City family won’t leave
      • Watch: Is Israel’s Gaza war the most destructive yet with conventional weapons?
      • Explainer: Two months of Israel-Gaza war – How divided is the world?
      • Photo Gallery: Death and devastation in Gaza after two months of Israel-Hamas war

      And there’s plenty more here.

      • Overcrowded conditions in Gaza’s Rafah area getting worse: UN 

        Conditions in the Rafah area of southern Gaza are extremely overcrowded and there is a lack of basic resources, the UN’s humanitarian office says.

        “Thousands of people wait for hours in large crowds around aid distribution centres as people are in desperate need of food, water, shelter, health[care], and protection. There are concerns of a breakdown in law and order under these conditions,” it said in its daily report on the situation.

        It also said:

        • UN partners say “overcrowded conditions, lack of toilets and sanitation services in shelters in Rafah have forced people to implement open-air defecation”.
        • Residents of northern Gaza lack adequate access to water for drinking and domestic purposes, leading to “grave concerns about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources”.image.png
        • A displaced Palestinian family who fled Khan Younis sets up camp in Rafah, on December 6, 2023

      WATCH: Suffering and carnage as Israeli aerial strikes target Jabalia

      Survivors of Israeli aerial strikes stand bloodied and bewildered.

      Limp, terrified children are carried from the rubble of destroyed buildings; parents weep over the bodies of deceased newborn babies.

      Hundreds of young Palestinian men are captured, stripped naked and taken away by Israeli soldiers to an unknown location.

      These are the scenes emerging from the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where renewed Israeli bombardments in recent days have reduced homes to rubble and killed dozens of Palestinians.

      “Massacres are everywhere, the displaced are being killed in the streets,” one man cries out, holding his young son’s hand.

      Watch our video to learn more:

      • Aerial strikes target Jabalia : Mosque and houses hit in latest Israeli raid

        ‘My dream is to be treated and to walk like other children’ 

        Those are the words of a nine-year-old Palestinian girl whose legs were seriously injured following an Israeli attack on her family’s home in Gaza’s Beit Lahiya city.

        In a viral video posted on Instagram by journalist Hani Aburezeq and verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad unit, the injured girl – identified as Retal Ashour – appeals for international medical help to prevent the amputation of her feet.

        “I can’t feel my legs,” she said.

        ‘Legacy will live forever’: Gaza mourns loss of literary ‘giant’ Refaat Alareer

        Ahmed Nehad, a friend and former pupil of the prominent Gaza academic and poet, says Alareer’s “legacy will live forever”.

        The 44-year-old lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza, who has been described as one of the enclave’s “most prominent English professors”, was killed by Israeli bombardments in southern Gaza.

        Alareer also co-founded the We Are Not Numbers project, which provides writing workshops for young Gazans.

        “He coached thousands of Gazan youth, men and women to write about Palestine,” Nehad told Al Jazeera. “I remember writing and reciting my first lines of poetry for him five years ago, and I remember how he loved to hear them, and how he always helped us.”

  • Israel-Hamas war live: Israeli jets pound Gaza; UN to meet on ceasefire 7th December 2023
  • Israel-Hamas war live: Israeli jets pound Gaza; UN to meet on ceasefire
    By Alastair McCready, Virginia Pietromarchi and Nils Adler, Published On 8 Dec 2023, 8 Dec 2023
  • The UN secretary-general says Gaza is facing a “severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system”. António Guterres has invoked a rarely used article to push for a ceasefire. His letter to the council said Gaza’s humanitarian system was at risk of collapse after two months of war that has created “appalling human suffering.”

    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

    Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, which says the secretary-general may inform the council of matters he believes threaten international peace. He is expected to address the council to press for a cease-fire.

    But Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan has reacted to the move, saying the secretary-general invoked Article 99 to pressure Israel, accusing the UN chief of “a new moral low” and “bias against Israel.”

Israel-Hamas war live: Gaza aid system at ‘severe risk of collapse’, says Guterres; Hamas leader ‘hiding underground’, says IDF 

Jewish American activists hold ‘Chanukah for Ceasefire’ event urging end to Gaza war

Rabbi Miriam Grossman says the demonstrators who gathered in New York City tonight are “horrified by Israel’s brutal siege, denying children food and water, and by decades of occupation and dispossession done in our name”.

Grossman said activists are mourning the killings and kidnappings in southern Israel on October 7, as well as the “horrifying mass murder” of more than 17,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

“We fight the war, and fight to end the occupation and fight to end apartheid together.”

Prominent Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour also urged unity in an address to the crowd.

“Not only do we resist those who cheer on war and who cheer on the mass murder of Palestinians, we resist those who want to divide our communities, those who want to convince Jews that when Palestinians call for freedom, that somehow my freedom means that you don’t have freedom.”

Injuries reported as Israeli military makes raids across occupied West Bank

 

At least 18 Palestinians were reported injured in clashes with Israeli forces who raided al-Khader town, west of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, five of the injured suffered bullet wounds and a sixth was hit in the eye with shrapnel. Two of the injured were reported to be in critical condition

Israeli forces also carried out night raids in:

  • Tulkarem – Israeli forces clashed with residents and injured at least five people, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
  • Sanjar, Hebron – Verified video footage showed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.
  • Tiflit, south of Nablus.
  • Rummana, west of the Jenin refugee camp.

Raids were also reported to be under way in the occupied West Bank towns of Rujib, Kafr Qaddum and al-Fawwar.

[Translation: Israeli occupation forces are deployed inside the neighbourhoods of the town of Rummana, west of Jenin Camp in the occupied West Bank.]

Israel to open border crossing to speed screening of Gaza aid: US official

Reuters news agency is reporting that Israel has agreed with a US request to open the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossing – between Israel and Gaza – for the inspection of aid deliveries that will still enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Citing a senior US official, the news agency said the opening of the crossing was aimed at speeding up the screening and inspection of trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza “via the Rafah crossing”.

The US official did not give a timeframe as to when Israel will implement the agreement.

United Nations humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Thursday the opening of Karem Abu Salem would be “a huge boost to the logistical process and logistical base of a humanitarian operation” in Gaza.

Griffiths also said that the situation in Gaza was now so dire that “we do not have a humanitarian operation in the south of Gaza that can be called by that name any more”.

A view of Palestinian goods trucks in front of the commercial crossing of Kerem ShalomPalestinian goods trucks in front of the Karem Abu Salem border crossing in September 2023 [File: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]
 

Photos: Israelis rally to demand return of Gaza captives

Israelis have gathered to observe the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, turning the usually festive event into a solemn ceremony.

Thousands marched in Tel Aviv to demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government do more to secure the release of captives still held in Gaza.

A child holds a candle during a torch march for Israeli hostages, who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYPeople react as they stand near a set of candles lit for the Israeli hostages who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh KilcoynePeople hold candles and signs with photos of Israeli hostages, who are being held in the Gaza Strip after they were seized by Hamas gunmen on October 7, as the country observes the Jewish festival Hanukkah amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
 

Let’s just recap what the Israeli military have said about Yehya Sinwar.

The Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari says Hamas’ top leader in Gaza is “not above ground, he is underground,” but would not elaborate on where Israel believes him to be. ”Our job is to find Sinwar and kill him.”, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli forces had encircled the Khan Younis house of the Hamas leader. Netanyahu said in a video statement:

His house may not be his fortress and he can escape but it’s only a matter of time before we get him

The Israeli military said its special forces at Khan Younis had broken through defence lines of Hamas fighters and were assaulting their positions in the city center. It said warplanes destroyed tunnel shafts and troops seized a Hamas outpost as well as several weapons caches. The Israeli accounts of the battle could not be independently confirmed.

Hamas posted video it said showed its fighters in Shujaiya moving through narrow alleys and wrecked buildings and opening fire with rocket-propelled grenades on Israel armored vehicles. Several of the vehicles are shown bursting into flames, according to Associated Press.

The UN secretary-general says Gaza is facing a “severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system”. António Guterres has invoked a rarely used article to push for a ceasefire. His letter to the council said Gaza’s humanitarian system was at risk of collapse after two months of war that has created “appalling human suffering.”

Thirty Palestinian children and three women released from Israeli jails – reports

Thirty-three Palestinian women and children have been released from Israeli jails following the freeing of 11 Israeli hostages from Gaza, various media outlets have reported.

Reuters cited Hamas-affiliated as reporting that 30 children and three women were released. AFP said the Israeli prison authority had confirmed the release of 33 prisoners without saying how many were children and how many women.

The Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network posted footage on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing Palestinians in the West Bank cheering and clapping as a bus carrying freed prisoners drove through a street.

Palestinians warmly welcome the arrival of the fourth batch of freed prisoners as part of the deal with the Israeli occupation state. #Palestine pic.twitter.com/bLm1TjHcl3

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 27, 2023

image.png

Small children were among 11 hostages handed over by Hamas on Monday

Closing summary

This blog is closing soon but you can follow our live coverage on our new blog here.

In the meantime, here are the key developments:

  • A deal to extend the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas by two days has been agreed. Hamas said it had agreed to the extension of the four-day truce by 48 hours after the intervention of Qatar and Egypt, the principal mediators for the initial agreement, and with the same conditions. The extension came after a frantic dash by mediators with just over 12 hours remaining before hostilities in Gaza were due to resume.

  • Israel has confirmed the release of 11 hostages from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Among those released include three-year-old twins, and all were kidnapped from their homes in the same kibbutz. It brings the number of Israelis freed under the truce to 50 – out of roughly 240 hostages captured on 7 October – along with 19 hostages of other nationalities. Israel has said it would extend the ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released.

  • Thirty-three Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, 30 children and three women, were released late Monday. The release was marred by clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians awaiting the prisoners outside Ofer prison with one Palestinian killed by Israeli forces, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

  • There are widespread fears that any break in the conflict that has devastated swaths of Gaza and killed many thousands of civilians will only be brief. Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, told troops on Monday that when fighting recommenced its “strength will be greater, and it will take place throughout the entire strip”. “You now have a few days, we will return to fighting, we will use the same amount of power and more,” Gallant said.

  • Aid agencies have welcomed the two-day extension of the truce in Gaza but voiced concern that the expected resumption of Israel’s attack on Hamas would lead to an even deeper humanitarian crisis among Palestinians. A particular concern was the impact on people in the crowded south of the strip, where about 2 million people are now living around Khan Younis and elsewhere. Many fled south after Israel demanded they evacuate the northern area around Gaza City last month.

  • More than 14,800 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN has said. Thousands more remain under the rubble, he wrote in a letter to the UN security council on Monday.

  • The EU’s top diplomat has said that “Palestinian people cannot pay for the action of Hamas” as he urged for the truce in Gaza to be extended to a permanent one. Josep Borrell, at a press conference on Monday, said “it makes no sense to give food to somebody that will be killed the day after. We need to stop the bombardment.”

  • A London surgeon has described witnessing a “massacre unfold” during 43 days spent under bombardment in Gaza, saying the destruction of the Palestinian health system was a military objective of the war. Prof Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, told of horrific scenes at al-Ahli Arab and Dar al-Shifa hospitals as they ceased to function and said he witnessed the use of white phosphorus munitions.

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 57 journalists have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The conflict was already the deadliest on record for journalists.

  • A suspect was arrested on Sunday in the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont, the night before, police said. Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmed were on their way to Awartani’s grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner when they were fired on. Jason J Eaton, 48, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing on Monday. Joe Biden expressed horror at the shooting and reiterated that “there is no place for violence or hate in America”.

  • The far-right leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has been charged after attending a march against antisemitism in London on Sunday. The Metropolitan police said Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the name Tommy Robinson, has been charged with failing to comply with an order excluding him from the area of the march.

  • We’re still waiting to hear more from the Israeli hostages released today, but in the meantime their relatives have been speaking to Israeli media.

    According to Haaretz, Diego Engel-Bert, whose sister Karina Engel-Bert and nieces Mika Engel, 17, and Yuval Engel, 11, were released on Monday, told Channel 12 News:

    We are all here glued to the screen and full of happiness and longing. It’s good to have a chest to stop the heart from escaping. We’re starting to see a little light in the darkness we are in, waiting for them to come so we can hug. Just hug, no need to talk, everything else will come later.

    Yaniv Yaakov, whose 17-year-old nephew Or Yaakov and 13-year-old nephew Yagil Yaakov were also released, told Channel 13 News:

    Even in the difficult bits, everyone wants to be with us, and also in happiness. What excites me the most is my mother, the children’s grandmother, a mother with a smile at last.

    US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin has spoken to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant to get an “update on hostage recovery and the Israel Defense Forces’ operational pause in Gaza,” the Pentagon has said in a statement.

    Austin gave an update on US security assistance to Israel, “reiterated that humanitarian aid into Gaza must increase; and called for state and non-state actors to avoid expanding the current conflict,” the statement continued.

    Austin also updated Gallant on US efforts to protect its own forces in the region, it said.

    The US has been putting pressure on Israel to extend the ceasefire and increase aid into Gaza.

  • Palestinians warmly welcome the arrival of the fourth batch of freed prisoners as part of the deal with the Israeli occupation state. #Palestine pic.twitter.com/bLm1TjHcl3

    — Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 27, 2023

    Closing summary

    This blog is closing soon but you can follow our live coverage on our new blog here.

    In the meantime, here are the key developments:

    • A deal to extend the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas by two days has been agreed. Hamas said it had agreed to the extension of the four-day truce by 48 hours after the intervention of Qatar and Egypt, the principal mediators for the initial agreement, and with the same conditions. The extension came after a frantic dash by mediators with just over 12 hours remaining before hostilities in Gaza were due to resume.

    • Israel has confirmed the release of 11 hostages from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip on Monday. Among those released include three-year-old twins, and all were kidnapped from their homes in the same kibbutz. It brings the number of Israelis freed under the truce to 50 – out of roughly 240 hostages captured on 7 October – along with 19 hostages of other nationalities. Israel has said it would extend the ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released.

    • Thirty-three Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, 30 children and three women, were released late Monday. The release was marred by clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinians awaiting the prisoners outside Ofer prison with one Palestinian killed by Israeli forces, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

    • There are widespread fears that any break in the conflict that has devastated swaths of Gaza and killed many thousands of civilians will only be brief. Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, told troops on Monday that when fighting recommenced its “strength will be greater, and it will take place throughout the entire strip”. “You now have a few days, we will return to fighting, we will use the same amount of power and more,” Gallant said.

    • Aid agencies have welcomed the two-day extension of the truce in Gaza but voiced concern that the expected resumption of Israel’s attack on Hamas would lead to an even deeper humanitarian crisis among Palestinians. A particular concern was the impact on people in the crowded south of the strip, where about 2 million people are now living around Khan Younis and elsewhere. Many fled south after Israel demanded they evacuate the northern area around Gaza City last month.

    • More than 14,800 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN has said. Thousands more remain under the rubble, he wrote in a letter to the UN security council on Monday.

    • The EU’s top diplomat has said that “Palestinian people cannot pay for the action of Hamas” as he urged for the truce in Gaza to be extended to a permanent one. Josep Borrell, at a press conference on Monday, said “it makes no sense to give food to somebody that will be killed the day after. We need to stop the bombardment.”

    • A London surgeon has described witnessing a “massacre unfold” during 43 days spent under bombardment in Gaza, saying the destruction of the Palestinian health system was a military objective of the war. Prof Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, told of horrific scenes at al-Ahli Arab and Dar al-Shifa hospitals as they ceased to function and said he witnessed the use of white phosphorus munitions.

    • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 57 journalists have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The conflict was already the deadliest on record for journalists.

    • A suspect was arrested on Sunday in the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont, the night before, police said. Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmed were on their way to Awartani’s grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner when they were fired on. Jason J Eaton, 48, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing on Monday. Joe Biden expressed horror at the shooting and reiterated that “there is no place for violence or hate in America”.

    • The far-right leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has been charged after attending a march against antisemitism in London on Sunday. The Metropolitan police said Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the name Tommy Robinson, has been charged with failing to comply with an order excluding him from the area of the march.

      Thirty Palestinian children and three women released from Israeli jails – reports

      Thirty-three Palestinian women and children have been released from Israeli jails following the freeing of 11 Israeli hostages from Gaza, various media outlets have reported.

      Reuters cited Hamas-affiliated as reporting that 30 children and three women were released. AFP said the Israeli prison authority had confirmed the release of 33 prisoners without saying how many were children and how many women.

      The Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network posted footage on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing Palestinians in the West Bank cheering and clapping as a bus carrying freed prisoners drove through a street.

     

    We’re still waiting to hear more from the Israeli hostages released today, but in the meantime their relatives have been speaking to Israeli media.

    According to Haaretz, Diego Engel-Bert, whose sister Karina Engel-Bert and nieces Mika Engel, 17, and Yuval Engel, 11, were released on Monday, told Channel 12 News:

    We are all here glued to the screen and full of happiness and longing. It’s good to have a chest to stop the heart from escaping. We’re starting to see a little light in the darkness we are in, waiting for them to come so we can hug. Just hug, no need to talk, everything else will come later.

    Yaniv Yaakov, whose 17-year-old nephew Or Yaakov and 13-year-old nephew Yagil Yaakov were also released, told Channel 13 News:

    Even in the difficult bits, everyone wants to be with us, and also in happiness. What excites me the most is my mother, the children’s grandmother, a mother with a smile at last.

    US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin has spoken to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant to get an “update on hostage recovery and the Israel Defense Forces’ operational pause in Gaza,” the Pentagon has said in a statement.

    Austin gave an update on US security assistance to Israel, “reiterated that humanitarian aid into Gaza must increase; and called for state and non-state actors to avoid expanding the current conflict,” the statement continued.

    Austin also updated Gallant on US efforts to protect its own forces in the region, it said.

    The US has been putting pressure on Israel to extend the ceasefire and increase aid into Gaza.

    The scenes we are seeing unfold in Israel and Gaza mark a new chapter in the Middle East conflict. The consequences and scale of losses are already devastating, and the recent attack – and the war that now follows – is likely to shape global politics for years to come. 

    With correspondents on the ground and reporters updating this liveblog 24/7, the Guardian is well-placed to provide comprehensive, fact-checked reporting, to help all of us make sense of this perilous moment for the region. Reader-funded and free from commercial influence, we can report fearlessly on world events as they develop.

    Death toll of journalists killed in Israel-Hamas war reaches 57, CPJ says

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 57 journalists have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

    The first month of the Israel-Gaza war was the deadliest month for journalists since CPJ began documenting journalist fatalities in 1992, the New York-based non-profit said in a statement.

    It said that as of Monday:

    • 57 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead: 50 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 3 Lebanese.

    • 11 journalists were reported injured.

    • 3 journalists were reported missing.

    • 19 journalists were reported arrested.

    • Multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and killings of family members.

    The CPJ said it was also investigating numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists “being killed, missing, detained, hurt, or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes”.

    Sherif Mansour, the organisation’s Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator, said:

    CPJ emphasizes that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties. Journalists across the region are making great sacrifices to cover this heart-breaking conflict.

    Those in Gaza, in particular, have paid, and continue to pay, an unprecedented toll and face exponential threats. Many have lost colleagues, families, and media facilities, and have fled seeking safety when there is no safe haven or exit.

     

    We are now at our fourth group of hostages released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

    Have a look at this video which covers the latest, including footage released by Hamas showing the hostages being handed over to the Red Cross. There’s also pictures of a released Palestinian prisoner being reunited with his mother

    Fourth group of Israeli hostages released as more Palestinians freed after truce extended – video

    Fourth group of Israeli hostages released as more Palestinians freed after truce extended – video
     
    Reged Ahmad

    A survey out of Princeton has been published looking at how Palestinians in Gaza felt about Hamas. Agence France-Presse reports that the survey showed many were hostile to Hamas before the group’s attack in Israel on 7 October

    “We find in our surveys that 67% of Palestinians in Gaza had little or no trust in Hamas in that period right before the attacks,” said Amaney Jamal, dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.

    “This is especially important because of the (erroneous) argument that all of Gaza supports Hamas, and therefore all of Gaza should be held accountable for the actions, atrocious actions of Hamas.”

    Jamal is one of the driving forces behind the Arab Barometer which conducts surveys and polling in the region, including in Gaza where fieldwork concluded on the eve of the attacks on Israel.

    She said that Hamas, which won elections in the Palestinian territories in 2006 and is designated a “terrorist” organisation by Washington and the EU, was seen as “corrupt” and “authoritarian” by many respondents.

    “Seventy-five per cent said in the previous 30 days, they could not afford to feed their households. So again, this is an impoverished society, a society that is basically saying the Hamas-led government has some levels of corruption,” said Jamal.

    “When we ask people, who do you blame? … we thought that the number-one culprit was going to be Israel because of the blockade. But most people cited Hamas corruption, more so than they cited the Israel blockade.”

    One of the Palestinian children released from an Israeli prison has told Al Jazeera he was beaten by Israeli guards last week and his hand and finger were broken.

    Mohammed Nazzal, a teenager originally from Jenin, said he was given no treatment in the prison in the Negev desert despite his injuries and had only had his arm put in a sling after he was released, by the Red Cross.

    “They gave me nothing,” he said, referring to the Israelis. “I broke my hand, I can’t move my finger.”

    His mother, who stood next to him as he was interviewed, said she had had no idea of what was happening to him.

    “There were no calls, no visits, nothing,” she said.

    Mohammed Nazzal hugs his mother after being released from an Israeli jail.

    Mohammed Nazzal hugs his mother after being released from an Israeli jail. 

    Ahed Tamimi, who rose to global prominence after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral in 2017, is on a list of Palestinian prisoners who could be freed in exchange for Israeli hostages, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported.

    Tamimi spent eight months in prison for the 2017 assault.

    The now 22-year-old was arrested again on 6 November when the Israeli military raided her home in the occupied West Bank, accusing her of inciting violence and calling for terrorist activity in an Instagram post.

    Her family has denied that she wrote the post, saying she is frequently hacked online.

    While Haaretz reported that she was on the list of 50 detainees and prisoners Israel is willing to exchange for Israeli hostages held by Hamas, the New York Times reported at the same time that Israel had moved to incarcerate her under administrative detention.

    Citing her lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, the Times reported that she now faces indefinite imprisonment, without charges or trial, based on evidence that neither she nor her lawyer are allowed to see.

    “I’m hopeless to defend her,” Hassan said.

    Ahed Tamimi pictured in 2018 in the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem.

    Ahed Tamimi pictured in 2018 in the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP

    Updated at 03.24 CET
     

    More images have come through on the wires of the latest batch of Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli prisons, including of one former prisoner who apparently fainted.

     People tend to a former Palestinian prisoner who fainted after his released in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

    People tend to a former Palestinian prisoner who fainted after his released in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

    Released Palestinian prisoners arrive in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday.

    Released Palestinian prisoners arrive in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday.

    Palestinian prisoners celebrate after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer.

    Palestinian prisoners celebrate after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer.

    A Palestinian prisoner (R) greets a relative after being released.

    A Palestinian prisoner (R) greets a relative after being released.r being released.

    • Nofuz Hammad, the youngest female Palestinian held in Israeli custody, was among the latest batch of prisoners released, Al Jazeera has reported.

      As Bethan McKernan and Sufian Taha reported for the Guardian earlier, the 16-year-old was on the list of imprisoned women and children to be released on Saturday, the second day of the agreed four-day truce, but she didn’t appear when her father went to pick her up.

      Nofuz was arrested in 2021, aged 14, for stabbing an Israeli woman, a settler, who suffered minor injuries. The girl was sentenced to 12 years, with three suspended, and fined 50,000 shekels (£10,700) in damages.

      Her father believes her heavy sentence was to punish the family, one of six in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem who face eviction orders from their homes after claims from Israeli settlers that they own the land. The dispute helped spark an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel in May 2021.

      Here’s an excerpt from Bethan and Sufian’s report:

      Only one member of each family was allowed to go to collect the detainees, some of whom, including Nofuz, were supposed to be released at the notorious West Jerusalem detention and interrogation facility known as the Russian Compound.

      Her father, Jad, 47, used his Jerusalem ID card – the retractable Israeli residency permits given to people of Palestinian ethnicity living in the annexed eastern half of the city – to travel to the Russian Compound, where he waited for hours in the cold. But around midnight, as other sons and daughters came out of the building and ran into the arms of their parents, Nofuz was nowhere to be seen.

      Read on here:

      ‘I don’t know if she’s dead or alive’: prisoner releases leave Palestinian girl’s family in limbo
    •  

      ‘I don’t know if she’s dead or alive’: prisoner releases leave Palestinian girl’s family in limbo

      Nofuz Hammad, 16, was on the list of those to be freed, but when her father went to meet her, she did not emerge

    • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/27/i-dont-know-if-shes-dead-or-alive-hostage-swap-leaves-palestinian-girls-family-in-limbo

    • ‘I don’t know if she’s dead or alive’: prisoner releases leave Palestinian girl’s family in limbo | Israel-Hamas war | The Guardian

    • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/27/i-dont-know-if-shes-dead-or-alive-hostage-swap-leaves-palestinian-girls-family-in-limbo

    • image.png
    • Nofuz Hammad’s father, Jad, and her younger brother Arif. Photograph: Sufian Taha
    • Palestinian families, as well as Israelis, have been celebrating reunions, as loved ones held in Israeli prisons return home under the ceasefire deal with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But for the Hammad family, from occupied East Jerusalem, this week has brought more questions than answers – and more worry than joy.

      Their daughter, 16-year-old Nofuz Hammad, was on the list of imprisoned women and children to be released on Saturday, the second day of an agreed four-day truce. Only one member of each family was allowed to go to collect the detainees, some of whom, including Nofuz, were supposed to be released at the notorious West Jerusalem detention and interrogation facility known as the Russian Compound.

    • State Department says it will take action in response to Houthi attacks on Israel and in Red Sea

      The State Department said it is holding 13 individuals and entities responsible for funding the Houthis in Yemen through a network of exchange houses and companies. Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the funds were generated through the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities.

      "The Iranian regime’s support to the Houthis has enabled unprovoked attacks on civilian infrastructure in Israel and on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden," said Miller. "Attacks launched from Houthi-controlled areas have also threatened U.S. warships operating in international waters."

      The Houthis are a rebel militant group with a history of funding from Iran. Over the past couple weeks, they have launched multiple ballistic missiles and drones toward Israel. Yesterday, a U.S. warship shot down an unmanned drone from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

      Miller warned that Houthi attacks risk broadening the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

    • IDF surrounds home of top Hamas leader as Palestinians flee Khan Younis (nbcnews.com)
    • Muslim advocacy group reports 'staggering' increase in bias complaints since Oct. 7

      The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the leading Muslim advocacy group in the U.S., received more than 2,000 requests for help and reports of bias over the last 57 days, according to new data released today.

      In the eight weeks between Oct. 7 and Dec. 2, the organization's national headquarters and chapters logged a total of 2,171 complaints — a 172% increase over a similar two-month period last year, according to the organization.

      “It’s staggering to see this kind of spike in anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate in less than two months,” said Corey Saylor, the organization's research and advocacy director.

      The organization said that First Amendment violations were the most-reported issue during the eight-week period, representing 33.94% of all complaints. The other top issues included employment problems (22.38%), and hate crimes and hate speech (16.7%).

      Jewish advocacy groups such as the Anti-Defamation League have tracked a concurrent rise in antisemitism since the Hamas terror attack in Israel on Oct. 7, including an uptick in violent threats and hate speech.

    Death toll in Gaza surpasses 17,000, Health Ministry says

    The death toll in Gaza has now reached 17,177, with more than 46,000 people injured, said Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry.

    “We are facing difficulties in counting the martyrs and wounded due to the continuous bombing and the cutting of communications,” he said on Al Jazeera.

    Al-Qudra added that 350 dead bodies and 900 injured people arrived in the region's hospitals within the past 24 hours, contributing to the already overwhelmed health care system in the Palestinian enclave.

    Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, has been struggling to operate over the past month because of scarce power, fuel and supplies. "The liquidation of health services in northern Gaza will have serious and disastrous repercussions for the wounded," Al-Qudra said. “We face great difficulties in operating the Shifa complex and need the support of international institutions.”

    Israeli forces have been allowing some wounded civilians to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt to get treatment, but Al-Qudra said that those who left make up less than 1% of those injured.

    Palestinians carry a dead girl found under the rubble of a destroyed building in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.
    Palestinians carry a dead girl found under the rubble today of a destroyed building in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.
     
     

    IDF gunners prepare naval vessel before Gaza operation

    Israeli Navy Gaza
    Israeli Navy Gaza

    Israeli soldiers prepare ammunition onboard a gunship at the Israeli naval base in Ashdod, before setting out to the waters around Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea today.

     
     

    Israeli shell killed journalist in Lebanon, rights groups and news agencies conclude

    Israeli strikes killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others in south Lebanon on Oct. 13, in what was likely a direct attack on civilians and should be investigated as a war crime, two rights groups said today.

    Amnesty International said in a statement that it had come to that conclusion after verifying more than 100 videos and photographs, analyzing weapons fragments from the site, and interviewing nine witnesses.

    “The findings indicate that the group was visibly identifiable as journalists and that the Israeli military knew or should have known that they were civilians yet attacked them anyway in two separate strikes 37 seconds apart,” it said. The strikes “were likely a direct attack on civilians that must be investigated as a war crime,” it added.

    Human Rights Watch also released similar findings, as did news agencies Reuters and AFP.

    An Israeli government spokesperson said he was not aware of the findings. “We do not target civilians,” spokesperson Eylon Levy said in a televised briefing.

    Civil Defense workers remove the body of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah who was killed by Israeli shelling in south Lebanon  on the border with Israel on Oct. 13, 2023. .

    Poll finds Democratic support rebounds for Biden's handling of Israel-Hamas war

    Democratic support for President Joe Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war has rebounded, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center Public Affairs Research.

    Around 59% of Democrats approve of Biden’s approach to handling the war, rising slightly from 50% in November, the poll found. Meanwhile, only 18% of the Republicans supported Biden on this issue, it added.

    About half of the public said the top priority is to negotiate a permanent cease-fire and offer humanitarian relief to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, while around 34% said it is “extremely or very important” to provide military aid to Israel, the report read.

     
     

    Criticism and concern over today's far-right march in Jerusalem

    A march organized by far-right Jewish activists in Jerusalem set to take place today, the first day of Hanukkah, has drawn concern and criticism.

    Dubbed "The Maccabi March," a flyer for the event says its purpose is to "renew full Jewish control in Jerusalem and Temple Mount," a site that is sacred in both Judaism and Islam.

    It is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) from Tzahal Square and continue through the Damascus Gate toward a site Jews call the Temple Mount, the spot where the biblical Temples once stood. Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock.

    The event has been approved by Israeli police but some have expressed concern that it could inflame tensions in the holy city. Opposition leader Yair Lapid said it was an "attempt to set fire to more arenas and cause more destruction and death."

     

    Israel blows up Hamas tunnels and considers flooding them

    NIR OZ, Israel — Israeli troops say they’re making advances against Hamas in Gaza, killing its field commands.

    Israel is also blowing up the entrances to tunnels and is reportedly considering flooding them with seawater, though some hostages might be inside.

     
     

    Relatives grieve after strike in Rafah

    A Palestinian woman embraces the body of a loved one killed in an Israeli strike outside a hospital morgue in Rafah, southern Gaza, today.

    Gaza Strip Rafah Morgue
     

    University leaders clarify positions on genocide after White House criticism

    Two elite university leaders have attempted to clarify their positions after they appeared to sidestep the question of whether calling for the killing of Jews was against their students’ codes of conduct at a congressional hearing earlier this week.

    Referring to the hearing yesterday, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement that it was “unbelievable that this needs to be said: calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country.”

    In a video posted to Facebook yesterday, Elizabeth Magill, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said she should have been focused on “the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate.”

    “It’s evil, plain and simple,” she added.

     

    Israel approves 'minimal' increase of fuel to Gaza

    The Israeli security Cabinet approved a “minimal” increase in supplies of much-needed fuel to southern Gaza. The move was taken to "prevent a humanitarian collapse and the outbreak of epidemics," the Israeli prime minister's office said in a post on X.

     
     
     
     

    UNRWA says required conditions to deliver aid 'do not exist'

    The main U.N. agency for Palestinians said today that the conditions required to provide aid to the Gaza Strip “do not exist.”

    Heavy bombardment and the resumption of military operations have made the situation “desperate,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said, citing a lack of aid and overcrowding in shelters.

    “UNRWA operations are being strangled,” it added in a statement on X.

     
     

    Exclusive: Jewish organization staffers call for White House to back Gaza cease-fire

    Biden In Israel
     Miriam Alster / Pool / AFP via Getty Images file

    While most major American Jewish organizations staunchly support Israel in its war against Hamas, dissent has quietly been growing among their often younger employees, some of whom are now speaking out to “demonstrate broad support within the Jewish community for a ceasefire.”

    More than 500 staffers at over 140 Jewish organizations across the country signed on to an open letter to President Joe Biden, shared first with NBC News, calling for a cease-fire, the return of all hostages and a lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

    Read the full story here.

     
     

    Saudi Arabia urges U.S. restraint as Houthis attack ships in Red Sea

    Saudi Arabia has asked the United States to show restraint in responding to attacks by Yemen’s Houthis against ships in the Red Sea, two sources familiar with Saudi thinking said, as Riyadh seeks to contain spillover from the Hamas-Israel war.

    The Iran-aligned Houthis have waded into the conflict that has spread around the Middle East since war erupted Oct. 7, attacking vessels in vital shipping lanes and firing drones and missiles at Israel itself. The Houthis are one of several groups in the Iran-aligned “Axis of Resistance” which have been attacking Israeli and U.S. targets since the start of the conflict.

    With the Houthis stepping up attacks on shipping over the past weeks, two sources familiar with Saudi thinking said Riyadh’s message of restraint to Washington aimed to avoid further escalation. Riyadh was so far pleased with the way the United States was handling the situation, the sources added.

    Overnight strike in Rafah displaces Palestinians

    Palestinians gather near a building destroyed by an Israeli bombardment overnight in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip this morning.

    Displaced Palestinians in Rafah, Southern Gaza.
     
     

    Palestinian student paralyzed in Vermont shooting is released from hospital to applause