Photo: Palestinian children run for their lives
In the southern Gazan city of Rafah, children fled today as strikes pounded the region. Rafah is in the area of the Gaza Strip where the Israeli government told Palestinians to go to for their own safety.
5 U.N. workers killed in Gaza in past 24 hours, 88 killed since start of conflict
Five staffers with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees have been killed in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes in the last 24 hours, the agency said in an update.
“UNRWA received confirmation that another four colleagues were killed in strikes earlier in late October. This brings the total number of confirmed UNRWA colleagues killed to 88 and at least another 25 injured since the hostilities began,” the agency said.
One UNRWA staffer was seriously injured as a result of a strike that hit her home, killing her husband and three children, according to the agency.
The total of 48 UNRWA locations or installations have been damaged since Oct. 7.
“Almost 1.5 million people have been displaced across the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Nearly half (717,000) are sheltering in 149 UNRWA installations across all five governorates of Gaza, including in the north,” the agency said.
Families of Israeli hostages protest outside Knesset in Jerusalem
Families and friends of Israeli hostages who were taken by Hamas on Oct. 7 protested outside the Knesset in Jerusalem and called on the government to do more to bring them home.
Biden and Netanyahu discuss ‘possibility of tactical pauses’ in Gaza
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today discussed “the possibility of tactical pauses” to allow for safe civilian departures from “areas of ongoing fighting” in Gaza, according to a statement from the White House.
The goal would also be “to ensure assistance is reaching civilians in need, and to enable potential hostage releases.” No additional information was provided on what a tactical pause would entail.
“The President reiterated his steadfast support for Israel and the protection of Israeli citizens from Hamas and all other threats while also emphasizing the imperative to protect Palestinian civilians and reduce civilian harm in the course of military operations,” the White House statement read.
Biden also mentioned ongoing settler violence in the West Bank and “the need to hold extremist settlers accountable for violent acts.”
IDF says families of 240 hostages were notified of their detainment
TEL AVIV — The families of 240 hostages were notified of their detainment by Hamas, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari.
The families of 348 IDF members who died in battle were also notified, Hagari said.
Hagari said the IDF has eliminated “a number” of Hamas members in the last few hours, and senior field commanders in the last day.
Photo: Woman and child flee strikes in refugee camp
People flee following strikes on a neighborhood in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Monday.
International Committee of the Red Cross urges protection of medical facilities and personnel
The International Committee of the Red Cross is calling for the protection of medical facilities and personnel as the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorates.
The ICRC accompanied a convoy of four ambulances that took patients from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to the Rafah crossing border with Egypt today.
“It is an immense relief to know that these patients are safe and will receive urgent medical care,” said William Schomburg, head of the ICRC office in Gaza. “I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is that hospitals, medical personnel, and patients are protected amid this violence. There are thousands of critically injured people in Gaza. It is an obligation under international humanitarian law to spare them from harm.”
The ICRC is calling on “the parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and do everything in their power to avoid any harm to medical facilities, vehicles, and personnel,” according to a statement.
“Accepting violence against healthcare facilities, now when their role is so critical, will come at an unacceptable cost in human life,” Schomburg said. “The wounded and sick must be protected in all circumstances.”
Hostage family representatives meet opposition leaders
Representatives of the families of the hostages held by Hamas met with the leaders of the opposition, including Mansour Abbas, chairman of the Ra’am party. The meeting, which took place in the Knesset, was also attended by the opposition chairman, Yair Lapid, and the ead of the Labor party, Merav Michaeli.
U.S. targets in Iraq and Syria were attacked at least 10 times since Thursday
Bases in Iraq and Syria with U.S. personnel have been attacked at least 10 times since Thursday, bringing the total number of attempted attacks on U.S. targets in the region since Oct. 17 to 38, according to three U.S. defense officials.
The officials say most of the attacks have come via one-way drones and rockets, and there have not been any new U.S. casualties or damage to infrastructure.
Most of the newest attacks occurred yesterday and today, according to U.S. officials.
At least 19 of the 38 attacks against U.S. targets have come since the U.S. launched retaliatory strikes on two Iranian-linked targets in Syria on Oct. 26.
Before they retaliated, U.S. and coalition forces had been attacked repeatedly in Iraq and Syria, according to defense officials.
The U.S. defines attacks as attempted strikes on U.S. facilities. Not all attempts actually reach the U.S. targets.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Defense Department press secretary, said on Oct. 24 that the groups conducting the attacks are supported by Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“We always reserve the right to defend ourselves, and we will never hesitate to take action when needed to protect our forces and our interests overseas,” he said.
Read the full story here
Photos: Israelis call on the government to bring hostages home
Outside the Knesset in Jerusalem today, friends and relatives of those held hostage by Hamas called on the government to do more to bring their loved ones home.
9,000 rockets have been fired at Israel since war began, government says
More than 9,000 rockets have been fired at Israel since Oct. 7, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said in a briefing. Around 245,000 Israelis have been evacuated from their homes, he added, and more than 6,900 have been injured.
Levy said the IDF attacked more than what it called 450 targets in Gaza yesterday. The IDF announced earlier that its troops had reached Gaza’s coastline and split the enclave in two.
Levy reiterated the Israeli position that “there will be no cease-fire at any stage as long as the abductees do not return.”
“We do not see a conflict between the desire to take into account the humanitarian needs of the citizens in Gaza and the continuation of the fighting. We continue to produce humanitarian corridors,” he said.
Israel’s death toll remains around 1,400, Levy said. The number of people killed in Gaza today surpassed 10,000, according to its Health Ministry.
Gaza health minister: 16 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are out of service
Gaza Health Minister Mai Alkaila says 16 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are out of service, according to a statement.
She added that 51 health centers out of 72 are also out of service.
Alkaila said that medical facilities in Gaza are unable to provide treatment to the injured and sick due to a lack of medical supplies and fuel.
She alleged that Israel’s military targets medical facilities in Gaza and said the IDF’s claims that Hamas operates out of hospitals “are weak pretexts to target them and continue killing innocent people.”
Palestinian Health Ministry: 4 people killed by IDF
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, four people were killed by the IDF in Tulkarm, a city in the West Bank.
“The arrival of a fourth martyr from the same assassination operation committed by the Israeli occupation forces in Tulkarm, and the health condition of the fifth wounded person, a 14-year-old child, who was injured in the chest, is stabilized,” it wrote in a statement.
Photos: Palestinians search for survivors
In the aftermath of airstrikes on the refugee camp in Khan Younis, Palestinians today sifted through the rubble in the hopes of finding people still alive.
Sinai Red Crescent director: 12 injured people have crossed into Egypt from Gaza
Sinai Red Crescent Director Dr. Khaled Zaid told NBC News’ freelance producer in Egypt that 12 injured people, along with 12 relatives of the injured, have crossed into Egypt from Gaza so far today.
Egyptian authorities are waiting for 18 more injured people to cross. It was agreed that 30 injured people would cross into Egypt from Gaza today.
World Food Program: Access to bread in south Gaza is also challenging
Access to food in northern Gaza is limited, but access to bread in south Gaza is also challenging, according to the World Food Program.
“The only operative mill in Gaza remains unable to grind wheat due to a lack of electricity and fuel,” the WFP said in an update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “Eleven bakeries have been hit and destroyed since 7 October. Only one of the bakeries contracted by WFP, along with eight other bakeries in the southern and Middle areas, intermittently provides bread to shelters, depending on the availability of flour and fuel. People queue for long hours in bakeries, where they are exposed to airstrikes.”
The distribution of food to internally displaced people in Gaza City and northern Gaza “was almost completely halted for the past few days, following the intensification of ground operations.”
“Anecdotal information suggests that limited food assistance by local NGOs and community-based organizations continues. Some reports indicate that no bakery is currently operational in these areas,” the organization said.
Stocks of essential food in all of Gaza, including rice and vegetable oil, will be depleted in one to three days, the WFP said.
About 30 launches were identified from Lebanon toward northern Israel in last hour; witness sees interception by Iron Dome
Over the last hour, approximately 30 launches were identified from Lebanon toward northern Israel, the IDF said.
A witness in Haifa saw rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome
NBC News has not independently verified these claims.
The IDF said it is responding with artillery fire toward the origin of the launches.
To weaken Hamas, ‘show that there is an alternative,’ Israeli peace activist says
JERUSALEM — Benzi Sanders fought in Gaza in 2014 while serving in the IDF. What he saw led him to become an activist for peace.
“I saw the suffering that was inflicted upon the civilian population. I found a corpse of an elderly woman in one of the neighborhoods that we were in,” Sanders told NBC News.
Sanders has long been critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, which he says lacks a strategic, long-term plan for Palestinians.
“I don’t think he’s capable,” he said of Netanyahu. “I think this war could be fought differently — if there was actually some kind of vision and some kind of understanding that we have to commit ourselves to a political solution.”
In his view, Sanders explained, “the only way to really weaken Hamas in the eyes of the Palestinian public is to show that there is an alternative, and to be willing to say, ‘We are willing to work toward an alternative reality in which Palestinians have hope, and Palestinians can have their own independence and not live under a military occupation.’”
However, such opinions aren’t always accepted at this moment in Israel, Sanders said. “On my kippah (yarmulke), I used to have a picture of a Palestinian flag and an Israeli flag. And I don’t wear it anymore,” he said. “My wife is afraid of me wearing it in public.”
Blinken gets a frosty reception in Turkey as U.S. pushes a pause
ASHDOD, Israel — Blinken is in the Middle East trying to prevent this war from expanding into a regional conflict and trying to shape what things may look like once the war is over.
In Turkey, a place that has been more vocal about its opposition to this war than many countries, he was there to try and ease tensions and deliver the message that the U.S. is pushing for a humanitarian pause to the fighting.
But Turkey saw protests overnight.
Survivor pulled from the rubble in Khan Younis
A boy is rescued from under the rubble today as airstrikes continue in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.
IDF police officer from U.S. killed in stabbing in east Jerusalem
TEL AVIV – A 20-year-old woman from the U.S., who was serving in the IDF as a border police officer, has died following a stabbing attack in east Jerusalem, Israeli authorities said.
Rose Elisheva Aida Rubin, who emigrated to Israel in 2021 to serve in the army, was one of two officers stabbed this morning, police confirmed. The attack took place near the Shalem police station, which is located near Herod’s Gate to the old city of Jerusalem.
Police said they found and killed the attacker: a 16-year-old Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem. They also “arrested a suspicious individual in the vicinity of the incident,” a spokesperson said in an earlier statement.
Rubin was found unconscious and in critical condition, according to Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency services. The other officer stabbed, a 20-year-old man whose name has not been released, was less severely injured. Both were rushed to the hospital following the attack.
NBC News’ Raf Sanchez was able to see the Israeli military’s ground operation in Gaza for himself while embedded with a unit tasked with locating and destroying the network of tunnels built by Hamas.
Student arrested for punching Jewish student at Shabbat event
A student was arrested after allegedly punching a student holding an Israeli flag at a campus event organized by a Jewish group calling for the release of Hamas-held hostages, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Friday.
UMass Hillel organized a “peaceful walk and gathering,” which included symbolic Shabbat tables with a seat for each of the 240 hostages.
The group said in a statement that toward the end of the event, “a student approached the gathering and walked through the crowd, aggressively giving people the middle finger.”
Then after the event had ended and security staff left, the same student returned and punched a Jewish student holding an Israeli flag, before taking the flag and spitting on it, the statement said.
“We know this incident is disturbing to many of us, particularly during a time when tensions, emotion and concern are heightened on our campus. But we must not let the most extreme voices and actions create undue fear or dominate the campus climate,” the statement said.
Gaza hospital unable to deal with the many dead and injured arriving, director says
JERUSALEM — Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza Strip is no longer able to deal with the large number of dead and injured people amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment, its director, Dr. Iyad Abu Zaher, told NBC News.
He said dozens arrived as the result of recent bombing in the area, and ambulances continue to transport more, since people are still trapped under rubble.
“We call on the world to intervene to stop this aggression, supply hospitals with fuel and medical supplies immediately, and transport the wounded for treatment in Egypt,” Zaher said this morning.
The hospital is in the southern half of Gaza, within the area the IDF has repeatedly instructed Gazans in the north to go for their own safety.
In a statement responding to Zaher’s comments, the IDF said: “In stark contrast to Hamas’ intentional attacks on Israeli men, women and children, the IDF follows international law and takes feasible precautions to mitigate civilian harm.”
Rafah border crossing open again for some foreign nationals
JERUSALEM — The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt is open again today for foreign passport holders and injured Palestinians whose names were already included on lists of people approved to exit, officials there said.
“They must go to the crossing now, while travel will not be allowed for those whose names were not included in the lists,” the General Authority for Crossings and Borders in Gaza said in a statement.
Wael Abu Omar, media director at the Rafah crossing, said that a number of ambulances had arrived at the crossing, “carrying a number of wounded, accompanied by the Red Cross, in preparation for leaving the Gaza Strip.”
Hamas has said that any convoys attempting to transport wounded people to the crossing must be accompanied by the Red Cross and the United Nations to “ensure their protection.”
Triage doctor describes ‘catastrophic’ conditions at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza
TEL AVIV — A triage doctor at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City has described the “catastrophic” conditions that medical workers and patients are living under amid Israel’s bombardment.
Dr. Alaa Shitali, the primary triage officer at Al-Shifa’s emergency department, said the hospital has treated at least 9,500 people since the current conflict began. Most of them, he said, are children, women and the elderly.
“We have a lot of serious injuries,” he said, adding that many of the injured are patients with burn wounds amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. He said the hospital has also received “children who are burned to death.”
“This is tragedy. This is catastrophic,” he said. The doctor said medical workers were “exhausted” and “overwhelmed,” with many of them having not left the hospital for weeks now.
Shitali also noted mounting concerns that the generator keeping the hospital running “will stop totally,” which he said would imperil many patients in the ICU. “They will lose their lives,” he said.
The doctor called on the international community and human rights organizations to step in. “We need your help,” he said.
Securing humanitarian pause still a ‘work in progress,’ Blinken says
ANKARA, Turkey — Blinken said the U.S. is working “almost every single minute” to make diplomatic progress in the Israel-Hamas war.
When pressed about whether he has really accomplished his goals on this tour of the Middle East — given that Israel has not yet agreed to a humanitarian pause and the strikes on Palestinian civilians continue — Blinken said that is “a work in progress.”
“Sometimes, the absence of something bad happening may not be the most obvious evidence of progress, but it is,” he said, noting that people can expect to see an expansion of U.S. humanitarian assistance in Gaza in significant ways in the days ahead.
Blinken left Turkey this morning following his more than two-hour meeting with the country’s foreign minister. His whirlwind trip has also involved surprise visits to Baghdad and the occupied West Bank. He said the tour has included important conversations about setting the conditions for a just, durable and sustainable peace.
“When it comes to humanitarian losses, we’re engaged with Israelis on the particular practicalities of that,” he said. “One critical aspect, though, is seeing progress on hostages. That’s something we’re intensely focused on. But we also believe that a pause could help that proposition as well.”
Pope calls for peace, condemns antisemitism in meeting with rabbis
Pope Francis has called for peace in the Holy Land and strongly condemned antisemitism that has accompanied some pro-Palestinian protests, at a meeting with European rabbis at the Vatican this morning.
“Not weapons, not terrorism, not war, but compassion, justice and dialogue are the fitting means for building peace,” he said, according to a prepared speech which he said he was unable to deliver because he was feeling unwell.
The pontiff’s plea comes after Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission, warned of a resurgence of antisemitism in Europe since the Israel-Hamas war erupted Oct. 7.
“Europe has seen a rise in antisemitic incidents at a level reminiscent of some of the darkest moments in our history.” he said in a statement.
“We have to push back against this rise in antisemitism, as well as the rise in anti-Muslim hatred that we have been witnessing over the past weeks — which has no place in Europe,” the statement said. “It is our shared responsibility as Europeans to call out hate in all its forms and stand up against it,” it added.
Gaza’s death toll passes 10,000, Health Ministry says
The number of dead in Gaza since the start of the war Oct. 7 has now reached 10,022, according to the Health Ministry in the Palestinian enclave.
That number includes more than 4,000 children, the ministry said. NBC News has not independently verified the numbers.
Israel is facing growing international pressure to at least pause its aerial bombardment and ground assault on the Hamas-run strip of land.
Iranian state media confirm meeting between Khamenei, Hamas’ Haniyeh in Tehran
DUBAI — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has met with Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Tehran-backed Palestinian group Hamas, in Tehran, Iranian state media reported yesterday, a day after a Hamas official said they held a meeting in recent days.
Iranian state media said Haniyeh, who has resided in Qatar and Turkey since 2019, “briefed Khamenei on the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza, as well as the developments in the West Bank.”
The Islamic Republic says it supports Hamas but did not play any role in the militants’ surprise attack on Israel last month.
“Ayatollah Khamenei praised the steadfastness and resilience of the people of Gaza and expressed strong regret over the crimes of the Zionist regime, supported directly by Washington and some Western countries,” Iran’s state TV said.
Israeli bombardment could be a potent Hamas recruitment tool, experts warn
TEL AVIV — Israel’s ferocious bombardment of the Gaza Strip will create an incubator for a new generation of terrorists, some extremism experts say, as thousands of young people who have lost families and homes risk being radicalized by the war and its likely chaotic aftermath.
“The cycle of radicalization cannot be thwarted by operations like the one Israel is carrying out, which only makes the cycle deeper, wider and uglier,” one expert said. Israel, they said, risks creating “Hamas 2.0” or perhaps “worse, from another group we’ve not seen yet.”
Read the full story here.
Israel sets its sights on Gaza City, but many civilians don’t want to leave
JERUSALEM — Israel this morning is on a search and destroy mission in Gaza, with its military having encircled Gaza City — one of the most densely populated places on earth and one riddled with Hamas tunnels.
The Israeli military says it left a corridor open for civilians to escape south, but our team inside the city tells us that hundreds of thousands of people remain despite the extreme dangers for three reasons.
Palestinians don’t trust the Israeli promises of safe passage, they say. They believe southern Gaza isn’t safe either, with deadly airstrikes continuing this weekend. And there’s a principle: Many Palestinians believe Israel’s real goal is to drive them out of the Gaza Strip for good, pushing them into Egypt and erasing part of their homeland.
IDF says safe route open for civilians to flee south as it splits Gaza
Israel’s military is continuing to call on the people of Gaza to evacuate the northern portion of the Palestinian enclave, as it looks to step up its war against Hamas and says its troops have split the strip in two.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video briefing this morning that Israel was continuing to urge people to move south.
“Hopefully they will do so, so that at the end of those efforts we will be able to have a northern Gaza which is relatively clear of civilian population and then we will be able to take the fight to Hamas wherever they are,” he said.
On its Arabic language social media, the IDF said that it would allow the safe movement of civilians from the north to the south via the Salah al-Din Road between 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) and 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).
Israeli forces inside Gaza
Stills from video footage supplied by the IDF show Israeli soldiers during ground operations at a location given as Gaza today.
Another image released by the Israeli military yesterday shows Israeli armored vehicles and heavy smoke inside the Gaza Strip.
Global marches call for immediate halt to Israeli bombing
From Washington to Milan to Paris, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched during the weekend, calling for a halt to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
The protests reflected growing disquiet about the mounting civilian casualty toll and suffering from the Israel-Hamas war. Protesters, particularly in countries with large Muslim populations, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, expressed disillusionment with their governments for supporting Israel while its bombardments of hospitals and residential areas in the Gaza strip intensify.
Iron Dome malfunction sees ‘parts of’ interceptor crash in Israel
TEL AVIV — A technical malfunction with Israel’s Iron Dome yesterday saw parts of an interceptor missile crash back down onto Israeli territory, the IDF said.
Video shared on social media, which has not yet been verified by NBC News, appeared to show at least part of an Iron Dome interceptor plummeting down to the ground in a fiery explosion.
A spokesperson for the IDF said an interceptor had been launched in response to a “barrage of rockets” fired from the Gaza Strip toward central Israel, but due to a “technical malfunction,” it said, “parts of” the interceptor fell on Israeli territory.
No one was injured in the incident and all of the rocket launches were “intercepted according to protocol,” the spokesperson said, adding that the incident is still under review.
The Iron Dome’s short-range defense system intercepts most rockets fired toward Israel. It is designed as a mobile anti-rocket, anti-mortar and anti-artillery system meant to be able to intercept launches from 2½ miles to 43 miles away, according to a March Congressional Research Service report.
Moving pets through war-torn Gaza
A Palestinian child uses a bicycle to transport a caged bird past destroyed buildings in Rafah in southern Gaza this morning.
U.S. says it moved an Ohio-class submarine to the Middle East
The United States military has moved an Ohio-class submarine to the Middle East, according to a statement last night.
U.S. Central Command said in a post on X that the vessel had moved to its “area of responsibility,” which includes the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.
The short post was accompanied by a picture of a submarine in what appeared to be the Suez Canal. Such a public announcement is rare, and comes as the U.S. aims to deter any escalation of the war into a broader conflict.
2 Israeli officers stabbed in east Jerusalem, suspect dead
Two border police officers were stabbed this morning near a police station in east Jerusalem, and the attacker was killed by border police, Israeli authorities said.
Both victims, a male and female each around 20 years old, were taken to the hospital. The woman was found unconscious and in critical condition, according to Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency services. The man suffered less severe injuries.
Jerusalem police confirmed that the incident occurred near the Shalem station, which located outside the Herod Gate to the old city of Jerusalem. They said they found and killed the attacker: a 16-year-old Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem. Police also “arrested a suspicious individual in the vicinity of the incident,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
China says it will work to restore peace as it takes U.N. Security Council presidency
China has said it will do its utmost to restore peace in the Palestinian territories as it assumes the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council.
“China will do its utmost to restore peace in Palestine, encourage the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities, play its role, build consensus and take responsible and meaningful actions as soon as possible to alleviate the current crisis and maintain the safety of civilians,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular news conference in Beijing this morning.
The presidency rotates each month among the 15 members of the Security Council, where China is one of five permanent members.
While China says it opposes any actions that harm civilians, it has refrained from explicitly condemning Hamas and says the root of the current conflict “is that justice has not been done to the Palestinian people.”
‘We are suffering’: People in Gaza struggle to get food
People in Gaza are struggling to get basic food and supplies. “There is no drinking water, no wheat flower, nearly all bakeries are closed,” Mohamed Maher said.
Poll shows Biden support slumping among Michigan Muslims
A new survey conducted by one of Biden’s former pollsters and first shared with NBC News shows the president’s support has cratered among Muslim and Arab Democrats in Michigan, a key demographic group that overwhelmingly backed him in the swing state in 2020.
The poll lends further credence to the warnings Arab and Muslim community leaders in Michigan and beyond have been issuing for weeks: that Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza could cost him a state that he won by just 150,000 votes in 2020 and is home to an estimated 240,000 Muslims.
Read the full story here.
Aid agencies urge immediate cease-fire to end ‘outrage’ of Gaza civilian suffering
The heads of 11 U.N. agencies and six humanitarian organizations have issued a a joint plea for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, the protection of civilians and the swift entry into Gaza of food, water, medicine and fuel.
In a statement issued last night, they called Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attacks in Israel “horrific.”
“However, the horrific killings of even more civilians in Gaza is an outrage, as is cutting off 2.2 million Palestinians from food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel,” said the heads of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The United Nations and humanitarian organizations said that more than 23,000 injured people need immediate treatment and that hospitals are overstretched.
“An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship,” the joint statement said.
The U.N. and aid organization leaders said that more than a hundred attacks against health care operations have been reported and 88 staff members from the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, have been reported killed — “the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict.”
Blinken in Turkey on diplomatic tour amid pro-Palestinian protests
Blinken is in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on the latest stop of his whirlwind diplomatic tour of the Middle East.
Hours before Blinken’s meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, police used tear gas to disperse pro-Palestinian protesters who advanced on a U.S. military base during a rally in the southern city of Adana, Reuters reported.
The last 24 hours have seen Blinken visit Cyprus and make surprise visits to Iraq and the occupied West Bank.
Mourners convene as bodies are laid outside Gaza morgue
Relatives gather around bodies outside the morgue of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital ahead of funeral ceremonies in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza, this morning.
Gaza communications restored after latest outage
JERUSALEM — Communications networks have been restored in the Gaza Strip after the latest total cutoff, a local aid group said.
“A little while ago, telecommunications and internet services in the Gaza Strip were restored after being intentionally and forcibly cut off by the Israeli authorities. This repeated interruption further adds to the suffering of disaster response teams, especially medical teams.,” the Palestine Red Crescent Society said in a post on X.
The local operator said earlier that services were being restored.
“We are pleased to announce that telecommunication services (landline, mobile, and internet) in Gaza Strip, disrupted on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, due to the ongoing aggression, are gradually being restored,” Paltel said in a statement.
The telco added that its technical teams continued to work to fix the damage “under challenging conditions.”
Jordan airdrops medical aid to Gaza field hospital
The king of Jordan said his country’s air force dropped vital medical aid to a field hospital in Gaza overnight.
“Our fearless air force personnel air-dropped at midnight urgent medical aid to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza. This is our duty to aid our brothers and sisters injured in the war on Gaza. We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren,” King Abdullah II said in a post on X.
Jordan, a key regional power broker and U.S. ally, has been a staunch critic of Israel’s assault on Gaza and last week recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and told Israel’s ambassador to Jordan to stay away. Around 3 million of Jordan’s 11 million population are Palestinian.
The Israeli military said it had helped coordinate the airdrop, according to a statement reported by the AFP news agency.
Israeli flares light up the night sky over northern Gaza
Flares dropped by Israeli forces above northern Gaza, seen from Sderot, Israel, yesterday.
IDF says it captured Hamas compound, hit 450 targets in Gaza
The Israeli military said it took control of a Hamas military compound in the Gaza Strip that had observation posts, training areas and tunnels.
In a post on social media this morning, the Israel Defense Forces said its jets also struck 450 targets inside Gaza in the past day and killed Hamas militants including Jamal Mussa, who it said was responsible for Hamas’ “special security operations.”
It said Mussa had carried out a shooting on IDF soldiers patrolling the Gaza strip in 1993.
NBC News has not independently verified the claims.
CIA director to meet Middle East leaders about Israel-Hamas war
CIA Director William Burns arrived in Israel today on a trip that focuses on talks with political leaders and intelligence counterparts across the Middle East, a U.S. official said.
“They will discuss issues of mutual concern, including the situation in Gaza, support for hostage negotiations and the U.S. commitment to continuing to deter state and nonstate actors from widening the conflict between Israel and Hamas,” the official said.
He “will reinforce our commitment to intelligence cooperation, especially in areas such as counterterrorism and security,” the official said.
The CIA declined to comment.
The trip comes as Blinken made a surprise visit to the occupied West Bank, Iraq and Turkey.
Search for survivors in Khan Younis
A man searches through the rubble of a destroyed building in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, this morning.