Live updates | Day 10 of the latest Israel-Hamas war
(AP) — More than a million people have fled their homes in the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected Israeli invasion that seeks to eliminate Hamas’ leadership after its deadly incursion. Aid groups warn an Israeli ground offensive could hasten a humanitarian crisis.
Israeli forces, supported by U.S. warships, positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle the militant group. A week of blistering airstrikes have demolished neighborhoods but failed to stop militant rocket fire into Israel.
The war that began Oct. 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides, with more than 4,000 dead. The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.
1. A shortage of potable water continues across Gaza, leading humanitarian workers to warn of the risk of disease from drinking untreated water.
2. Overwhelmed doctors at the territory’s largest hospital struggle to care for patients as supplies of water, fuel and medicine run dangerously low.
3. Hundreds of civilians killed in the Hamas attacks have yet to be identified by Israeli forensics teams.
4. U.S. President Joe Biden is considering a trip to Israel in the coming days, though no travel has been confirmed.
Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:
ISRAEL HITS SOUTHERN GAZA WITH MORE AIR STRIKES
RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli air strikes continue to lay waste to Gaza, hitting homes sheltering people seeking safer ground and wiping out 18 members of the same family.
Three families who had fled Gaza City were in a house that was struck early Monday in the southern city of Rafah. The attack killed a dozen people and left nine buried in the rubble, according to surviving family members.
A vast crater marked where the building had stood.
In the Nuseirat refugee camp in the middle of the besieged Gaza Strip, the bodies of 18 members of the Ghabayen family were loaded onto a truck.
“This is an entire family,” said Mustafa Ghabayen, a relative. “Eighteen martyrs and three are still under the rubble.”
PUTIN URGES PEACE IN PHONE CALL WITH NETANYAHU
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his desire for peace between Israel and the Palestinians in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kremlin said Monday.
The Kremlin said Putin also urged a quick end to hostilities in earlier calls to Egyptian, Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian leaders.
Speaking to Netanyahu, Putin expressed his “sincere condolences” to the families and friends of deceased Israelis and emphasized “his strong rejection and condemnation of any actions that victimize the civilian population.”
The Kremlin said Putin reiterated his desire for “a peaceful settlement through political and diplomatic means.”
EUROPEAN COMMISSION VOWS TO TRIPLE AID TO GAZA
TIRANA, Albania — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that the European Union will increase humanitarian aid to Gaza starting with two flights this week via Egypt.
She said the Commission has tripled humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza to 75 million euros ($79 million) and would “keep working with our partners in the region to assess and address the needs on the ground.”
Von der Leyen denounced the “heinous” Hamas attacks and said “Israel has the right to defend itself in line with humanitarian international law.”
The Commission head was speaking in Tirana at the end of a summit with Western Balkan leaders.
FORENSIC TEAMS STRUGGLE TO IDENTIFY THOSE KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACKS
TEL AVIV — Some 400 of the 950 Israeli civilian bodies sent to the National Center of Forensic Medicine following the Hamas attacks remain unidentified, the head of the center said Monday.
“The amount of charred bodies that we receive now, the proportion is high,” Dr. Chen Kugel said. “I don’t know how long it will take.”
He said there were DNA, dental records and CT scans to help identify the dead.
More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, the vast majority civilians, in the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,750 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched counter strikes.
PENTAGON SENDS DEPLOYMENT NOTICES TO 2,000 U.S. TROOPS
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has sent “prepare to deploy” orders to about 2,000 U.S. troops to be ready to respond to the Israel-Hamas war, two U.S. officials said on the condition of anonymity to discuss a decision that has not been announced yet.
The troops would cover a variety of support roles, such as additional medical support or explosive ordnance support, such as providing additional security at gate crossings, one of the officials said.
They would not be sent to Israel but could be sent to countries in the region, one of the officials said. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the orders.
Associated Press writer Tara Copp contributed to this report
SHIN BET HEAD TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR NO WARNING BEFORE HAMAS ATTACK
JERUSALEM — The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service has taken responsibility for the bloody Oct. 7 Hamas rampage that killed over 1,400 Israelis.
In a message sent to Shin Bet workers and their families over the weekend, Ronen Bar wrote that “despite a number of actions we took, unfortunately, on Saturday we were unable to create enough early warning to prevent the attack.”
“As the person at the head of the organization, the responsibility for that is on me,” he added. “There will be time for investigation — now is a time for war.”
The letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday.
The Shin Bet leads Israel’s efforts to track and monitor Palestinian militants. The Israeli news site Ynet has reported that on the eve of the attack, Bar was summoned to the office because of abnormal activity detected in Gaza. But officials believed that only a limited attack would take place, according to the report.
HEZBOLLAH SAYS IT ATTACKED ISRAELI POSITION NEAR LEBANON
BEIRUT - Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group says its fighters have targeted an Israeli position along the border directly hitting a Merkava tank.
Hezbollah said in a statement that the Sunday evening attack hit an Israeli position near the Lebanese border village of Duhaira. It gave no other details about the attack.
EU LEADERS TO MEET TO DISCUSS ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR
BRUSSELS — European Union leaders will hold an emergency summit Tuesday as concern mounts that the war between Israel and Hamas could fuel inter-communal tensions in Europe and bring more refugees in search of sanctuary.
The leaders will also attempt to restore some order after a series of social media messages, statements and visits by EU officials sowed confusion about the 27-nation bloc’s intentions after Hamas attacked southern Israel.
“The conflict could have major security consequences for our societies,” EU Council President Charles Michel said Monday as he announced the video summit. The meeting will also focus on getting aid to civilians and working with other countries in the region to stop tensions from spreading.
U.K. PRIME MINISTER SAYS AT LEAST 6 BRITONS KILLED, 10 MISSING
LONDON — Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says at least six British citizens were killed in Hamas’ attack on Israel and another 10 are missing.
He told lawmakers in the House of Commons Monday that some of the missing are feared dead.
Sunak said the people killed and missing in the attack came from more than 30 countries, as well as Israel. He called the attack “an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people.”
He said Britain supports “absolutely Israel’s right to defend itself, to go after Hamas, take back the hostages, deter further incursions and strengthen its security for the long term … in line with international humanitarian law.”
Sunak said the U.K. has earmarked 10 million pounds ($12 million) to alleviate the “acute humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, and urged Israel and Egypt to open a border crossing to let in aid.
PALESTINIANS LACKING FOOD AND WATER
Across besieged Gaza, food shortages are causing desperation. With trucks full of humanitarian goods unable to cross the Rafah border, many in Gaza have no running water or enough food.
Residents said they are eating whatever morsels they could find from before the war started and that they are scared about the coming days. The shortages are most visible in U.N. shelters, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge after fleeing intensifying bombardment, and in houses where dozens of family members are sheltering.
Hourslong lines snaked from bakeries where Palestinians waited anxiously to get basic supplies.
“I have been waiting for 10 hours to get bread ... and of course this amount is not enough,” said Ahmad Salah in Deir al-Balah, where he said he had to feed 20-30 family members. “This is a painful suffering for us.”
BLINKEN MEETS WITH ISRAELI OFFICIAL FOR SECOND TIME IN A WEEK
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has renewed pledges of American support for Israel in its war against Hamas as he returned to the country for the second time in less than a week.
In Jerusalem on Monday to consult with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials, Blinken also briefed them about discussions he had with Arab leaders on the conduct of the war and the need to protect civilians.
Blinken “underlined his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas’ terrorism and reaffirmed U.S. determination to provide the Israeli government with what it needs to protect its citizens,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
Blinken also discussed U.S. efforts with the U.N. and others to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians, and the U.S. commitment to helping in attempts to rescue nearly 200 hostages held by Hamas.
Blinken arrived after a six-nation tour of Arab states during which he heard the concerns of Arab leaders about an impending Israeli ground invasion of Gaza causing a humanitarian catastrophe for Palestinians and possibly igniting a broader regional conflict.
Blinken has twice extended his diplomatic mission and plans to return to Jordan after his visit to Israel.
AID GROUP’S MEDICAL PERSONNEL STAY PUT IN NORTHERN GAZA
The aid group Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, says many of its personnel in northern Gaza have decided to stay in hospitals to continue to treat the wounded.
“Hospitals are overwhelmed,” said Claire Magone, general director of MSF France, in a video statement. “There are no more painkillers now. Our staff tells us about the wounded screaming in pain, the injured, the sick who cannot get to the hospital, and the terror of finding themselves bombed in a few hours.”
She said the situation in southern Gaza is also difficult. “People are crowded into makeshift precarious camps, where access to water and food is extremely problematic,” she said. “Our teams report that accessing water is difficult, and is getting worse by the hour. Gaza’s water shortage has now reached a critical threshold.”
NETANYAHU WARNS MILITANTS IN THE NORTH: ‘DON’T TEST US’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and their Iranian backers that they will pay a high price if they become involved in the war.
Speaking to the Israeli Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu warned Iran and Hezbollah, “Don’t test us in the north. Don’t make the mistake of the past. Today, the price you will pay will be far heavier,” referring to Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah.
With a ground invasion of Gaza expected, Israel is preparing for the potential of a new front opening on its northern border with Lebanon, where it has exchanged fire repeatedly with the Hezbollah. The military has ordered residents from 28 Israeli communities close to the border to evacuate.
TWO PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS GO TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
The U.N. Security Council is set to vote Monday on dueling resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war. A Russian proposal calls for a cease-fire while a Brazilian draft seeks “humanitarian pauses” to let aid flow and urges Israel to rescind its order for the evacuation of northern Gaza.
Either draft, if adopted, would mark the first collective statement on the war from the U.N.’s most powerful organ.
Both draft resolutions, obtained by The Associated Press, call for releasing all hostages. In somewhat different language, both also condemn violence toward civilians, express concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and seek the provision of food, fuel and other aid.
But the differences are significant. Ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive in Gaza, Russia’s proposed resolution calls for a “humanitarian cease-fire.” The Brazilian draft calls for “humanitarian pauses” and encourages establishing aid corridors and a notification mechanism to protect U.N. facilities, humanitarian sites and aid convoys.
The council has become increasingly divided due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia is a veto-wielding member. Brazil, a two-year member without a veto, currently holds the rotating presidency.
TRUCKS CROSS INTO EGYPT TO LOAD UP WITH FUEL FOR GAZA
Oil tankers bearing United Nations flags have crossed into Egypt from Gaza to pick up fuel for the besieged enclave.
A U.N. escort vehicle led the trucks across the Rafah border as people stood in line in hopes of crossing.
Hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel in the next 24 hours, endangering the lives of thousands, according to the U.N. Gaza’s sole power plant shut down for lack of fuel after Israel completely sealed off the 40-kilometer (25-mile) long territory following the Hamas attack.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.