Israeli forces advance in Gaza as hospitals are on the verge of collapse
Calls for a cease-fire are growing after a deadly weekend of fighting in Gaza where hospitals are on the verge of collapsing. NBC News’ Jay Gray reports on the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war.
17m ago / 3:33 PM UTC
Hamas says Hezbollah will enter the war if Hamas is fully destroyed by Israel
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Hezbollah will fully enter into war with Israel if Hamas is completely destroyed in the Gaza Strip, said a senior Hamas official on Monday.
“Now is not the time,” said Ahmed Abdul Hadi, a Hamas representative in Beirut, of Hezbollah’s full involvement in the fighting across Lebanon’s border with Israel. “The red line for Hezbollah would be the full destruction of the resistance in Gaza.”
Hadi’s comments are the first clear indication from a Hamas official of the group’s expectations for their Lebanese partners’ role in the ongoing fighting.
In several interviews, multiple Hezbollah officials have declined to offer a “red line” for their increased involvement, repeatedly stressing that Hezbollah will base its role on Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip and on its border with Lebanon. In an interview last week, Hezbollah second-in-command Naim Qassem told NBC News that so far, Hezbollah’s fighting was meant as a deterrent “for the sake of lowering the pressure on Gaza.”
Like Hamas, Hezbollah is backed by Iran and designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel. It has lost at least 73 fighters.
24m ago / 3:26 PM UTC
Israeli forces surround Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, Red Crescent says
Israeli forces have surrounded the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said today, as its evacuation convoy was forced to turn back because of the relentless bombardment.
“Israeli tanks and military stationed near Al-Quds Hospital from all directions. Bombardment is ongoing,” PRCS said in a post on X.
The IDF said Hamas militants had fired on them from the hospital entrance.
“During the exchange of fire, civilians were seen leaving the hospital building, and other terrorists who came out of adjacent buildings hid among them and joined the attempted attack,” it said, adding the militants returned to the hospital after firing rockets at the military.
33m ago / 3:17 PM UTC
Peace negotiator who helped secure release of Israeli soldier decades ago weighs in on hostage talks
TEL AVIV — Gershon Baskin, who helped secure the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit more than a decade ago, told NBC News that he is skeptical of any reports related to hostage negotiations that are not officially announced by both sides.
“It’s all aimed at influencing the negotiation process itself,” he said, adding that he believes Netanyahu’s remarks about a possible deal are “so general that they’re just meant to keep the hostage families quiet and in line.”
Baskin is a columnist and a prominent figure in Middle East peace efforts. He founded the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, a joint Israeli-Palestinian policy think tank, and now co-chairs its board.
Baskin noted that the recent visits to Doha by the CIA director and the head of Mossad underscore the importance that Israel and the United States place on the Qatari track.
“I hope the Americans are pressuring Qatar to deal seriously with Hamas, because the Qataris potentially hold the keys. If the representatives of Hamas in Qatar actually have access to the people underground in Gaza, which I’m suspicious about, then pressure from Qatar on Hamas is essential.”
46m ago / 3:04 PM UTC
Shattered buildings form a scarred landscape in northern Gaza
Two men walk along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel today, amid a backdrop of shattered buildings.
2h ago / 2:16 PM UTC
U.S. military video shows airstrike on a weapons facility in Syria
The Defense Department has released video of a reported airstrike on a weapons storage facility in Maysulun, Syria, on Wednesday.
2h ago / 1:57 PM UTC
Israel’s assault on Gaza adds to uncertainty of fragile hostage talks
TEL AVIV — The Israeli government is in talks to try to free hostages who’ve been held in Gaza for over a month, while simultaneously pushing on with a military campaign that could risk their lives or turn out to be a hostage rescue.
“The clock is ticking,” a diplomat with knowledge of the hostage talks told NBC News. “It has to happen this week because Israel is getting deeper into Gaza. If Hamas is pushed too far, they may think they have nothing to lose. The further the Israelis get, the more they’ll think they don’t need the hostage talks.”
A Biden administration official told NBC News yesterday one possible deal being discussed includes the release of about 80 women and children in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and teenagers held in Israel.
2h ago / 1:43 PM UTC
Israel and U.S. discussing long-term plan for Gaza, Israel’s ambassador says
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. said yesterday that Israel is in dialogue with Washington over long-term plans for the Gaza Strip.
As Israel’s ground operation in the enclave continues, Michael Herzog told “FOX News Sunday” that Palestinians will have to govern Gaza after Hamas is defeated, and that Israel is entering into discussions with the U.S. about what the enclave’s future could look like.
Last week, Netanyahu suggested that Israel would maintain “overall security responsibility” for Gaza once the conflict ends.
“We are not in Gaza in order to occupy Gaza or to govern Gaza,” Herzog said. “We are there to remove the Hamas military threat against Israel and their ability to rebuild their capabilities and strike again and again, as they’re saying they would like to do. That’s our intent.”
Herzog added that the Palestinian Authority, which currently administers semi-autonomous areas of the occupied West Bank, would have to “undergo reform” if it wants a leading governing role in Gaza.
2h ago / 1:30 PM UTC
Gaza hospital staff conduct a medical procedure by cellphone flashlight
Medical staff stitched up a patient’s head wound using the flashlight from a cellphone yesterday amid power outages at Gaza’s Indonesia Hospital.
3h ago / 1:18 PM UTC
Humanitarian corridor open for civilians fleeing south, IDF says
The Israel Defense Forces said that a humanitarian corridor is open again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time today to enable civilians in northern Gaza to flee south.
There was also a tactical military pause between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Rafah in southern Gaza, it said in a post on X, which was also posted in Arabic.
Well over 100,000 Gazans have already fled south using the corridor, according to estimates from the U.N. and the IDF.
The Israeli military also said that since Hamas’ attacks Oct.7, it has conducted 4,300 strikes in Gaza, including on 300 of the militant group’s tunnel shafts.
3h ago / 1:00 PM UTC
‘We are collapsing,’ Al-Shifa neurosurgeon tells NBC News
TEL AVIV — The situation at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza is “extremely difficult and dangerous,” the head of neurosurgery at the hospital told NBC News this morning.
Dr. Nidal Abu Hadrous said in a telephone interview that about 2,000 people are packed inside Gaza’s largest hospital, including staff and 600 patients. Due to a lack of supplies, doctors are unable to treat their patients fully and can only offer “nursing” services, he said.
“[Because of] the shooting and bombing, we cannot move out,” Abu Hadrous said. “It’s not safe to move out and it’s not safe to stay. We don’t know what to do. Please help us.”
Patients are dying “every day” because of a lack of oxygen, electricity and water, he added, and the 36 babies who had to be taken off their incubators are likely to die. Three newborns died at the hospital over the weekend, according to the Health Ministry.
Abu Hadrous said the hospital is running out of food, and he’s not sure when he will eat again.
“Personally, we are collapsing,” he said. “I’m not sure how many days more we will be able to survive … I don’t believe in humanity anymore. I don’t believe in all these special committees and organizations anymore. Nobody is taking care of us. This is unbelievable. I have no words.”
He appealed to the Red Cross to help facilitate the evacuation of the hospital.
3h ago / 12:31 PM UTC
U.N. honors 101 staff members killed in Gaza
The United Nations today honored more than 100 of its staff members who have died in Gaza since the war between Hamas and Israel broke out last month.
The organization’s flags flew at half-staff at its offices around the world in memory of the 101 employees of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) who have been killed in the enclave since Oct. 7.
“This is the highest number of aid workers killed in the history of our organization in such a short time,” said Tatiana Valovaya, director general of the United Nations office in Geneva.
4h ago / 12:13 PM UTC
U.N. agency guesthouse struck in southern Gaza
A guesthouse in Rafah belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza “sustained significant damage from Israeli Force naval strikes,” it said today.
U.N. staff had left the building in southern Gaza only 90 minutes before the strike, it said, adding the agency has recorded direct and collateral damage to more than 60 of its facilities, mostly schools that have been sheltering many thousands of displaced people.
A majority of these facilities are in southern Gaza, the UNRWA said. Israel has repeatedly told Gaza residents in the north to evacuate south for their own safety, though it continues to bombard the region.
“The disregard for the protection of civilian infrastructure including UN facilities, hospitals, schools, shelters and places of worship is testament to the level of horror that civilians in Gaza are living every day,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.
4h ago / 11:56 AM UTC
U.S. strikes targets in Syria in retaliation for attacks on its forces
The United States conducted strikes last night against two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iranian militant groups that the U.S. says were responsible for attacks on its forces in Iraq and Syria.
“We’ve seen a number of attacks against our forces here in in recent past and we have said, and we will continue to say, that we will take all necessary measures to protect our troops,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a news conference.
“These attacks must stop and if they don’t stop, then we won’t hesitate to do what’s necessary again,” he added.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the U.S. strikes killed eight militia members, though the death toll was expected to rise, as more people were wounded. The U.S. targeted weapons and ammunition depots, the group said.
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported the militants claimed to have launched a drone that hit an American base, causing “direct casualties.”
NBC News has not independently verified those reports or the death toll.
4h ago / 11:32 AM UTC
European Union calls for ‘meaningful’ pauses in Gaza fighting
Pauses in the fighting in Gaza have to be long enough to make a difference in improving the humanitarian situation, the European Union’s commissioner for crisis management said today.
“These pauses have to be meaningful,” Janez Lenarčič told reporters in Brussels. He added that the pauses need to be clearly defined and announced well in advance to enable humanitarian organizations to take full advantage of them.
“This has not been the case so far,” Lenarčič said.
Israel has refused to agree to a humanitarian cease-fire, though it has offered safe evacuation routes to the southern Gaza Strip during designated daily windows and allowed four-hour pauses in fighting. That amount of time was deemed insufficient by some aid groups, however.
5h ago / 11:14 AM UTC
Israel vows to ‘change security situation’ in the north as conflict with Lebanon escalates
Israeli artillery is striking targets in Lebanon in response to anti-tank missiles fired from the country, the Israel Defense Forces said today. Hezbollah said in a statement that it had fired rockets at Israeli infantry and achieved “direct hits” this morning.
Clashes between the Iran-backed militant group and the IDF have continued to intensify around the Israel-Lebanon border, and at least 58 Hezbollah fighters and 10 civilians have been reported dead.
“The IDF has operational plans for changing the security situation in the north,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing yesterday, adding that residents in the north do not feel safe returning to their homes.
On Saturday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant suggested that Hezbollah was dragging Lebanon into a war. “What we are doing in Gaza we can do in Beirut,” he told IDF troops in the north.
5h ago / 11:03 AM UTC
Funeral for fallen soldier in Jerusalem
A family member grieves over the coffin of school principal and Sgt. Maj. Yossi Hershkovitz, who died at age 44, during his funeral in Jerusalem yesterday.
5h ago / 10:49 AM UTC
Aid organization says it’s not possible to safely move babies from Al-Shifa hospital
Babies in the neonatal unit at Al-Shifa hospital cannot be safely moved amid ongoing fighting in Gaza, the aid organization Medical Aid for Palestinians said yesterday.
Israel said over the weekend that Al-Shifa staff had requested help evacuating at-risk babies from the facility to a safer location, and the IDF later announced the opening of evacuation routes from Al-Shifa and two other hospitals.
However, Dr. Marwan Abusada, a surgeon at Al-Shifa who also the head of international cooperation at the Gaza Health Ministry, told NBC News that no evacuations had begun there.
The transfer of critically ill neonates is a “complex and technical process,” Medical Aid for Palestinians said in a post on X. “With ambulances unable to reach the hospital and no hospital with capacity to receive them, there is no indication of how this can be done safely.”
The only safe option to save the babies, Medical Aid for Palestinians said, would be for Israel to “cease its assault and besiegement of Al-Shifa, to allow fuel to reach the hospital, and to ensure that the surviving parents of these babies can be reunited with them.”
6h ago / 10:18 AM UTC
Former British PM Cameron makes surprise return as foreign minister
LONDON — David Cameron, the former prime minister who left politics after losing the Brexit referendum in 2016, has made a shocking return to the Cabinet as foreign secretary.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appointed Cameron this morning after firing Suella Braverman, a controversial figure on the right of the ruling Conservative Party.
Cameron, who is strongly associated with losing the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, has vast foreign policy experience from six years in Downing Street. He will immediately turn to managing the country’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.
Cameron is not a serving lawmake,r so was swiftly made a lifelong member of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the Houses of Parliament, by King Charles.
His return is hugely unexpected and caught British politics commentators and pundits unaware.
6h ago / 9:59 AM UTC
No babies have been evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital, surgeon says
TEL AVIV — None of the 36 babies who doctors at Al-Shifa hospital say are at risk of dying were evacuated from the medical facility yesterday, a surgeon there told NBC News.
The IDF announced yesterday that it was opening an evacuation route from Al-Shifa and two other hospitals, and said that Al-Shifa staff had requested help evacuating at-risk babies from the facility.
But Dr. Marwan Abusada, a surgeon at the hospital who also the head of international cooperation at the Gaza Health Ministry, told NBC News that he is not aware of anyone coming in or out of the hospital that day.
Three babies at Al-Shifa died over the weekend, while 36 are desperately in need of care after they had to be removed from incubators because of a lack of power, Abusada said.
“If they stay here in this condition in Shifa … they are going to die,” he said. “We don’t want our babies to die.”
Abusada said that he was open to the infants being transported to a hospital in Egypt that could provide care and safety for them. Failing that, he said, fuel should be delivered to the hospital to keep it running — the “easy solution” compared to evacuating babies from Al-Shifa.
Asked what happened with the evacuation route, a spokesperson for the IDF did not provide a direct response, saying that there were “intense battles” in the area surrounding Al-Shifa though not at the hospital itself.
The IDF also said it tried to deliver 300 liters of fuel to the hospital.
Abusada said that would not be enough to keep the hospital running for even a day: “It does nothing. It means nothing, 300 liters of fuel. It will run our generators for just half an hour.” He said the hospital needs at least 9,000 to 10,000 liters of fuel to run essential services in the hospital per day.
6h ago / 9:45 AM UTC
British PM fires senior minister for criticizing police over pro-Palestinian march
LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has fired the home secretary, Suella Braverman, NBC News’ partner Sky News reported.
The move came after Braverman used a newspaper article to refer to pro-Palestinian demonstrators as “hate marchers” and said police were “playing favorites” by not using tougher measures against them.
Opposition politicians and anti-extremism groups accused Braverman of firing up far-right counterprotesters who disrupted a ceremony to remember Britain’s war dead Saturday, a traditional event held Nov. 11 to coincide with the end of World War I in 1918.
Police arrested 145 people Saturday and have since charged seven with public disorder, including many counterprotesters who attempted to confront the main pro-Palestinian march. Police said 300,000 people attended the march but organizers claim it was closer to 800,000.
Braverman has been a controversial figure on the far right of the ruling Conservative Party. Her flagship policy was a plan to fly unauthorized migrants to Rwanda.
6h ago / 9:30 AM UTC
Biden holds call with Qatar leader, says 3-year-old American among Hamas hostages
President Joe Biden spoke with the leader of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, yesterday to thank the country for its efforts to secure the release of Hamas hostages and its ongoing work to secure more, a readout released by the White House said.
Two American citizens have been released so far, but on the call, Biden acknowledged that a 3-year-old American, whose parents were killed by Hamas on Oct. 7, was among “many young children” still held hostage.
Hamas is believed to be holding as many as 239 people hostage inside Gaza, according to the latest numbers from Israeli officials. It’s not clear how many are still alive amid the fighting. Hamas has released four hostages in total since the war began.
The two leaders agreed that all hostages must be released without further delay, according to the readout.
7h ago / 9:01 AM UTC
Al-Shifa is ‘no longer functioning as a hospital,’ WHO chief says
TEL AVIV — The situation at Al-Shifa hospital is “dire and perilous,” with the medical facility no longer “functioning as a hospital,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned.
Tedros said the WHO had managed to get in touch with health workers at the hospital and heard that the facility had gone for three days “without electricity, without water and with very poor internet, which has severely impacted our ability to provide essential care.”
He said patient fatalities had increased significantly amid the spiraling humanitarian situation at the hospital, which has seen heavy bombardment and intense fighting outside the facility. “The constant gunfire and bombings in the area have exacerbated the already critical circumstances,” he said in a post on X yesterday.
Calling for a cease-fire, he said: “The world cannot stand silent while hospitals, which should be safe havens, are transformed into scenes of death, devastation, and despair.”
7h ago / 9:01 AM UTC
Surgery by spotlight as Gaza hospitals run out of fuel
A doctor applies stitches to the head of an injured civilian, using only the light from a cellphone, at the Indonesia Hospital outside Gaza City today.
7h ago / 9:00 AM UTC