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Israel-Hamas war live updates: Netanyahu says Israel will not agree to a cease-fire; UNICEF

38 Mins Ago

UNWRA head warns that further breakdowns of civil order endanger agency’s operation in Gaza

A Palestinian woman covered in dirt and dust stands next to a destroyed home following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on October 30 , 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Said Khatib | AFP | Getty Images

The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is warning that “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” stressing that “the present and future of Palestinians and Israelis depend on it.”

Philippe Lazzarini warned during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Monday that a further breakdown of civil order, following the recent break-ins at the agency’s warehouses by panicked Palestinians searching for food and other aid, will make it extremely difficult for the largest U.N. agency in Gaza to continue operating.

He said in a virtual briefing that he is worried about a spillover of the conflict and urged all 193 U.N. member nations “to change the trajectory of this crisis.”

The commissioner-general of the agency known as UNRWA, also said 64 of its staff have been killed in just over three weeks — the latest only two hours prior when UNRWA’s head of security in mid-Gaza was killed with his wife and eight children.

Lazzarini said most Palestinians in Gaza “feel trapped in a war they have nothing to do with” and “they feel the world is equating all of them to Hamas.” He stressed that the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities in Israel don’t absolve Israel from its obligations under international humanitarian law, starting with the protection of civilians.

Associated Press

An Hour Ago

Israel warns citizens to leave northern Caucasus after mob storms Dagestan airport

Israel has warned its citizens to leave the northern Caucasus after a mob stormed an airport in Russia’s Dagestan region when a flight from Israel landed there.

Hundreds of men, some carrying banners with antisemitic slogans, rushed onto the tarmac of the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the predominantly Muslim region, on Sunday night, looking for Israeli passengers on the flight from Tel Aviv, according to Russian news reports.

The attack seemed to be partly fueled by anger at Israel’s actions in Gaza, where it has been at war with Hamas following a deadly incursion by the militant group earlier this month. Several people in the mob were waving Palestinian flags.

More than 20 people were wounded, with two in critical condition, and police made 60 arrests.

Israel raised its travel warning level to 4, the highest level, calling on citizens to avoid all travel to Dagestan and neighboring regions, and for those who are there to leave as soon as possible.

Associated Press

An Hour Ago

Kirby: U.S. was part of the conversation that resulted in the restoration of internet service in Gaza

Smoke rises and billows in different regions of Gaza as the Israeli army conducts the most intense air attacks on the 21st day in Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 27, 2023. 

Ali Jadallah | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby was asked during a press briefing to confirm reports that the U.S. was involved in convincing Israel to restore internet and communication services on the Gaza Strip after it was plunged into darkness Friday night, NBC News reported.

“I would just tell you that we’re glad to see that the internet connectivity was restored,” Kirby said,

Later he confirmed, “yes, we were part of the conversations that led to that restoration.”

The Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness Friday night as Palestinians lost access to internet and communication. Large explosions could be seen lighting up the night sky as Israel stepped up bombardment.

Communication services were slowly restored on Sunday.

Riya Bhattacharjee

2 Hours Ago

Israel backtracks on refusing to grant entry to U.N. officials

Israeli officials are going back on their promised refusal to grant entry visas to U.N. officials.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tweeted Monday that he was in Israel — less than a week after Israel’s U.N. ambassador said it had “refused” to grant Griffiths a visa.

Israeli officials had expressed outrage over comments last Wednesday by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants “did not happen in a vacuum.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, accused Guterres on Israel’s Army Radio of justifying a slaughter, called for his resignation and said Israel would “refuse to grant visas to U.N. representatives.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres stood by his remarks.

On Monday, Israel’s ambassador in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, said, “We haven’t said categorically that we’re not giving visas. We are … We understand their need to be there.”

Eilon Shahar confirmed that Griffiths was in Israel, as well as other officials, including Han Kluge, the regional head of the World Health Organization.

But she continued to voice Israel’s frustration that U.N. institution chiefs didn’t speak out more forcefully against Hamas militants for “butchering civilians and women in such a vicious way.”

“The United Nations has let down the people of Israel,” Eilon Shahar added. “When I say the United Nations, I’m talking about the multilateral organizations have let down the people of Israel.”

Associated Press

2 Hours Ago

Israel airstrikes damaged oxygen system and water supply at Turkish Palestinian hospital, director says

Doctor Sobhi Skeik, director of the Turkish Palestinian Hospital, situated just south of Gaza City, said his hospital was damaged by an Israeli strike at 6:30 pm Monday evening.

The blast partially destroyed two rooms on the third floor of the small hospital, damaging the building’s oxygen system and water supply.

“Just out of luck no one was in the rooms at the time,” Skiek said. There was no evacuation order from the Israeli army before the strike.

Over the past few days, Skeik said dozens of missile strikes have hit the atmosphere and area surrounding the hospital, which specializes in cancer treatment. He said the hospital is currently housing 100 to 150 patients, 200 staff members and 100 displaced people.

Associated Press

4 Hours Ago

US Ambassador to UN calls on Security Council members to ‘step up’

U.S. Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea at the United Nations headquarters on April 17, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on members of the Security Council to do more as the conflict in Gaza intensifies.

“Lives hang in the balance and we must all step up as the United States has done,” Thomas-Greenfield said before the Security Council.

Thomas-Greenfield said the United States is the “single largest donor to the Palestinian people” and has committed more than $1 billion to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency since 2021.

She added that the Biden administration has also recently announced another $100 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza as well as in the West Bank. 

“But of course, no amount of aid will matter if it cannot reach people in need,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding that the U.S. continues to work with Israel, Egypt, the UN and other partners to move critical humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“Food, fuel, water, medicine and other essential services must be restored and while the number of trucks entering Gaza continues to increase, it is not nearly enough,” she added.

— Amanda Macias

4 Hours Ago

Biden’s top national security adviser meets with Saudi delegation at the White House

Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser, speaks during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s top national security adviser met with Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud at the White House.

The two discussed a number of issues including the ongoing situation in Gaza.

“They affirmed the urgent need to increase humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza. They further emphasized the importance of working towards a sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians, building on the work that was already underway between Saudi Arabia and the United States over recent months,” a readout issued by the White House said.

The two also discussed the importance of mitigating the expansion of the conflict in the region.

— Amanda Macias

4 Hours Ago

UNICEF says ‘more than 420 children are being killed or injured in Gaza every day’

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Palestinian children injured in an Israeli air strike await treatment at the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern of Gaza Strip, on October 17, 2023. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mahmud Hams | Afp | Getty Images

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said that “more than 420 children are being killed or injured in Gaza every day.”

“It’s a number that should shake each of us to our core,” Russell said, addressing the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

“Save the Children reported yesterday that nearly 3,200 children were killed in Gaza in just three weeks. This surpasses the number of children killed annually across the world’s conflict zones since 2019,”

— UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told the Security Council nearly 70% of those reported killed were children and women.

“Save the Children reported yesterday that nearly 3,200 children were killed in Gaza in just three weeks. This surpasses the number of children killed annually across the world’s conflict zones since 2019,”  Lazzarini said.

This cannot be “collateral damage,”  Lazzarini said, stressing that there must be strict “adherence to international humanitarian law.”

Read his full statement here.

A Palestinian woman holds a child as a boy stands next to her outside a destroyed building following the Israeli bombardment of the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip on October 30, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Mohammed Abed | AFP | Getty Images

4 Hours Ago

USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group arrives in the Mediterranean in support of Israel

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Arabian Sea, June 12 2020.

US Navy photo

The U.S. Navy’s USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group arrived in the Mediterranean Sea en route to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the deployment of the carrier strike group in order to support Israeli security and to deter further aggression throughout the Middle East.

The U.S. Navy’s USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group is already in the region.

“Our arrival in the Mediterranean, en route to CENTCOM, provides reassurance to our allies and partners that we are committed to ensuring their security and well-being,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Marc Miguez in a statement.

“Our presence, along with that of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier strike group, demonstrates the combat power and proficiency of the Navy’s deployed forces,” Miguez added.

— Amanda Macias

4 Hours Ago

Zelenskyy slams scenes from Russian airport, says Russian antisemitism is ‘deeply rooted’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during a meeting with Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 10, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the “appalling videos” from Makhachkala, Russia, showing an angry mob at the airport searching for Israeli citizens on a flight from Tel-Aviv.

“This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala, but rather part of Russia’s widespread culture of hatred toward other nations, which is propagated by state television, pundits and authorities,” Zelenskyy said in a social media post on X.

Zelenskyy, whose country has been fighting off a full-scale Russian invasion for more than 600 days, called Russian antisemitism “deeply rooted.”

“The Russian foreign minister has made a series of antisemitic remarks in the last year. The Russian President also used antisemitic slurs. For Russian propaganda talking heads on official television, hate rhetoric is routine,” Zelenskyy wrote.

“Russian antisemitism and hatred toward other nations are systemic and deeply rooted. Hatred is what drives aggression and terror. We must all work together to oppose hatred,” he added.

— Amanda Macias

4 Hours Ago

White House says cease-fire is not the answer to Israel-Hamas fighting

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. does not believe a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is currently “the right answer.”

Kirby made the comment at the White House press briefing when asked about the U.S.’s decision to vote against a UN resolution calling for humanitarian pauses.

“We do not believe that a ceasefire is the right answer right now,” Kirby said. “We believe that a ceasefire right now benefits Hamas, and Hamas is the only one that would gain from that right now.”

More than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks since Oct. 7, nearly half of them children. The number is expected to rise rapidly as Israel continues a ground offensive in Gaza.

Kirby said the U.S. supports “temporary, localized humanitarian pauses for aid” and to get people out.

Emma Kinery

5 Hours Ago

Hamas continues to block civilians from leaving Gaza, White House says

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby takes questions on the situation in Israel as he joins White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that Hamas was still blocking foreign nationals from exiting the Rafah crossing.

“Hamas is still the hold-up,” Kirby said, adding that Israeli and Egyptian officials are willing to process foreign nationals who successfully pass the Hamas side of the crossing.

Kirby said the Biden administration is working with partners on the ground as well as regional allies on the safe passage of civilians and aid through the Rafah border crossing.

— Amanda Macias

5 Hours Ago

Nearly 40 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza, WHO says

An injured child is brought to the Nassr hospital after the Israeli airstrikes in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 19, 2023. 

Belal Khaled | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, said the World Health Organization has tallied more than 30 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza since the war started on Oct. 7.

“Twelve of Gaza’s 35 hospitals, which are also being used as shelters for displaced people, can no longer function,” UNICEF Director Catherine Russell said before the United Nations Security Council.

Russell called on the Security Council to adopt a resolution to remind the warring parties to respect international humanitarian law, which would include targeting civilian infrastructure.

— Amanda Macias

5 Hours Ago

An explanation of the two-state solution

5 Hours Ago

UNICEF: Clean water in Gaza ‘quickly running out’

Palestinian women wash their clothes using sea water due to the lack of fresh water and electricity, along the beach in Deir el-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 29, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Israel pounded Hamas-ruled Gaza on October 29, in an escalating air and ground campaign as the UN warned civil order was “starting to break down” in the besieged Palestinian territory. 

Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images

Gaza is being depleted of clean water as a single desalination plant operates well under capacity, according to UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.

Clean water is “quickly running out, leaving more than 2 million people in dire need,” Russell said during a United Nations Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in the region.

The remaining desalination plant is operating at only 5% capacity, Russell said, while Gaza’s water waste treatment plants are nonoperational.

“The lack of clean water and safe sanitation is on the verge of becoming a catastrophe,” she added. “Unless access is urgently restored, more civilians will fall ill or die from dehydration or waterborne diseases.”

—Chelsey Cox

5 Hours Ago

Netanyahu says he has no plans to resign and will not agree to a cease-fire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no plans to resign, despite a public uproar over the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas raid that killed over 1,400 Israelis and sparked the current Israel-Hamas war.

Netanyahu was asked at a news conference Monday if he has considered stepping down.
“The only thing that I intend to have resigned is Hamas. We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of history,” he said. “That’s my goal. That’s my responsibility.”

Netanyahu also said he would not agree to a cease-fire, saying it would be tantamount “to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”
He said Hamas was responsible for the high death toll in Gaza, accusing the group of using civilians as human shields.

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,306, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

Associated Press

6 Hours Ago

About 45 trucks carrying aid arrive in Gaza, White House says

First convoy of relief trucks begins to enter the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, in Rafah, Gaza on October 21, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The White House said that approximately 45 trucks carrying humanitarian aid passed through the Rafah crossing into Gaza.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House that the Biden administration is working with partners in the region to accelerate the delivery of additional aid.

— Amanda Macias

6 Hours Ago

Israeli economists urge Netanyahu to re-open the nation’s budget to account for the war

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant during a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv , Israel , 28 October 2023. 

Pool | Via Reuters

Hundreds of influential Israeli economists are warning the government that it must make big economic changes quickly, including re-opening the country’s budget.

The letter released Monday by the Israeli Economists’ Forum comes as the war with Hamas approaches its fourth week.

The economists call on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich “to wake up and start responding to the tough challenges that the Israeli economy faces.”

Read the full story here.

— Jason Gewirtz

7 Hours Ago

Graphic pro-Israel ads are cropping up in children’s video games

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Extremely graphic pro-Israeli ads have been showing up on children’s video games, according to a Reuters report.

Reuters said it has documented at least six cases across Europe where the same pro-Israel video, which carried footage of rocket attacks, a fiery explosion, and masked gunmen, was shown to gamers, including children.

In at least one case, the ads were played inside the popular “Angry Birds” game…

Read More:Israel-Hamas war live updates: Netanyahu says Israel will not agree to a cease-fire; UNICEF