Biden, Saudis call for Israeli restraint as Gaza suffers another bloody day

GAZA/TEL AVIV/CAIRO— Pressure grew on Israel on Monday from its staunch ally the United States and from Middle East powers to ease its assault on Gaza as its forces said they engaged in “tough battles” against Hamas militants in central and southern parts of the enclave.

Following talks with Arab leaders, Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed late Monday in Tel Aviv on the latest leg of a regional tour aimed at preventing the war — now entering its fourth month — from turning into a wider conflagration.

Israeli officials have said they are entering a new phase of more targeted warfare after mass bombardments that have devastated the Gaza Strip and killed more than 23,000 Palestinians.

There was no respite today, however, with the Israeli military saying a “different mix of forces” was pursuing holdout Hamas fighters in the enclave’s north as “intense operational activity” focused on central Gaza and the area of the southern city of Khan Younis.

Blinken held talks in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia today to try to chart a way forward in the bloodiest chapter ever of the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict. It is his fourth mission to the region since the deadly Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas militants triggered the massive Israeli assault.

The Saudi crown prince, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, stressed the importance of stopping the hostilities in Gaza and forming a path for peace, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, confronted by protesters shouting “ceasefire now” while he visited a church in Charleston, South Carolina, said he had been working “quietly” with the Israeli government to encourage it to reduce its attacks and “significantly get out of Gaza.”

Over 300 arrested in protests in New York City

NEW YORK — Hundreds of protesters calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war disrupted the Monday morning rush hour in New York City by blocking major bridges and a tunnel leading into Manhattan.

Police said more than 325 people were arrested, with many facing misdemeanor charges.

Demonstrators sat in roadways and locked themselves together using zip ties and even cement-filled tires, which at times required officers to use power tools to pry the demonstrators apart.

Protest organizers included the Palestinian Youth Movement and Jewish-led groups long opposed to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, such as Jewish Voice for Peace.

A steady stream of demonstrations have broken out in cities across the United States and in other countries during the war. The groups said they want to see a permanent cease-fire and an end to the U.S. government’s arming of the Israel, among other things.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams questioned the demonstrators’ tactics, telling reporters, “The right to protest does not give one the right to block bridges and tunnels.”

Arab Knesset member accuses government of ‘legitimizing’ genocide, Israeli media reports

Ahmad Tibi, head of the Knesset’s Hadash–Ta’al party coalition, criticized recent comments from Israel Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich as “legitimizing” genocide against Gazans, according to a report from the Times of Israel.

Smotrich has made comments advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of the Gaza Strip, a concept which has been repeatedly condemned by U.S. officials. Tibi told the Times of Israel that Smotrich’s remarks are part of South Africa’s complaints against Israel to international courts, and lawmakers who speak this way want the war to continue.

“The finance minister said that there are two million Nazis in Gaza,” Tibi said. “This is how you legitimize genocide.”

Israel says focus has shifted to central region

Israeli officials have said the operation is entering a new phase of more targeted warfare, but there was no respite in the fighting on Monday.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesman, said a “different mix of forces” was pursuing holdout Hamas fighters in the north as “intense operational activity” focused on central Gaza and around the southern city of Khan Younis.

“Handling tough battles in both the center and south,” Hagari said. “The fighting will continue through 2024.”

Israeli forces bombarded the eastern part of Khan Younis and the central Gaza Strip amid ground clashes, residents said.

Biden adviser responds to pro-Palestine protesters: President isn’t ‘writing love letters to dictators’

President Joe Biden was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire during a speech in South Carolina.

“The president’s deep and intimate knowledge of foreign affairs” and ability to “work diplomatically” contrasts with former President Trump’s actions, said state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Pa., a Biden campaign adviser.

Commander who was killed led operations targeting Israeli sites, Hezbollah says

Hezbollah commander Wissam Hassan Tawil, also known as Al-Haj Jawad, led several special operations targeting Israeli military sites and deployments near the border since Oct. 7, the organization said.

Tawil was killed by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon today, the organization said. The Israel Defense Forces told NBC News in a request for comment that it does not comment on foreign reports.

Hezbollah described Tawil as someone who “significantly contributed” to the “Islamic resistance” over the years. Tawil, 48, joined the Iran-backed group in 1989 and led a reconnaissance mission against Israeli forces in 1996, when Israel occupied southern Lebanon.

Tawil also participated in the groups 2006 operation to capture IDF soldiers in July 2006, Hezbollah said, which plunged Lebanon into war with Israel for roughly 30 days.

Hamas issued a statement of condolences to Hezbollah following news of Tawil’s death.

Dozens protest outside the Knesset calling for immediate election

Around 40 protesters blocked the entrance to the Israeli parliament today before being dispersed by police. The event was organized by the families of the victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

It’s the latest in a series of protests against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that have occurred across the country.

U.N. seeks accountability for ‘sexual torture’ committed on Oct. 7

The U.N. is calling for accountability for the “sexual torture” committed against Israeli citizens on Oct. 7, according to a statement released today by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

It comes after Israeli criticism of the U.N. for what it saw as inaction on the issue of the use of sexual violence by Hamas.

The Israeli mission to the United Nations in Geneva said in a statement to Reuters: “The whole international community must fully recognize the brutal and terrorist nature of Hamas, and the responsibility of those who have been shielding them for years, including the Palestinian Authority.”

Israel appoints ex-Supreme Court chief to serve as judge at International Court of Justice genocide trial

Israel has appointed the former president of its Supreme Court to serve as the country’s representative at the International Court of Justice when it hears South Africa’s case accusing the country of genocide, several Israeli media outlets reported today.

Aharon Barak, 87, will serve on the 15-judge panel in The Hague as it hears the accusations that stem from Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

The ICJ’s rules say a state that does not have a judge of its nationality already on the bench can choose an ad hoc judge to sit in their case.

Barak, a champion of Supreme Court activism, was a focus of opposition for members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, whose judicial reform push last year bitterly polarized the public.

Israel has also hired a British jurist, Malcom Shaw, to represent it at the hearings, which are scheduled to happen later this week.

A Palestinian journalist loses another son in an Israeli strike, but vows to keep reporting

In a makeshift funeral service on a packed sidewalk in southern Gaza, Wael Dahdouh fought back tears as he led a communal prayer over a body draped in a white burial shroud covered with a blue press jacket.

Dahdouh’s 27-year-old son, Hamza Dahdouh, on Sunday became the latest Palestinian journalist killed in an Israeli airstrike, and the latest searing loss for the veteran reporter. Yet after joining mourners who wailed and prayed over the death of his son, the elder Dahdouh — Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief who has become a symbol for many during this war of both personal tragedy and defiant perseverance — vowed to continue his work.

“It is true that the pain of losing someone is very difficult and when it is about your eldest son after the death of the family, then it becomes even more difficult,” he told an NBC News crew in Gaza later Sunday, as he sat with grieving relatives to receive condolences.

“In the end, this does not change anything of reality, and will not change any of our decisions. We are going to proceed as long as we are alive and breathing. As long as we are able to do this duty and deliver this message,” Dahdouh said.

Read the full story here.

Netanyahu vows to restore security in the north, warns Hezbollah it made a ‘mistake’ launching attacks

TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with soldiers in north Israel today to show support and “to send a message to Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia, has been firing rockets into Israel over the border with Lebanon since Oct. 8 in solidarity with Palestinians. Netanyahu referenced Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, saying that the organization made a “mistake” then and continues to make one now.

“We will do everything to restore security to the north and allow your families, because many of you are local, to return home safely and know that we cannot be messed with,” Netanyahu told the troops. “We will do whatever it takes. Of course, we prefer that this be done without a wide war, but that will not stop us.”

5-year-old girl in critical condition after Doctors Without Borders shelter hit by shell

The 5-year-old daughter of an aid worker is in critical condition after a shell hit the wall of her shelter in Khan Younis this morning, according to a statement from Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders.

The organization said the daughter of a staff member is among four people injured at the building, where 100 people were sheltering at the time. Doctors Without Borders did not assign blame for the attack and said it was working to learn more.

“The staff and their families have moved to another location,” the organization said. “We’re trying to understand what happened. MSF had informed Israeli forces that this was an MSF shelter. We did not receive evacuation orders.”

This incident is just the latest example that “no one and nowhere is safe in Gaza,” Doctors Without Borders said.

Blinken visited Saudi Arabia ahead of Israel visit

Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Saudi Arabia today as he continues his visit to the region and the war in Gaza goes into a fourth month.

The U.S. diplomat is there to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and will travel from there to Israel. Blinken has already made a stop in the United Arab Emirates, where he met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media at al-Ula airport in northwestern Saudi Arabia before departing for Tel Aviv on Jan. 8, 2024.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media today at al-Ula airport in northwestern Saudi Arabia.Evelyn Hockstein / AFP – Getty Images

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators interrupt Biden campaign stop

President Joe Biden was visiting Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on a campaign stop today when a group of war protesters interrupted his speech.

“If you really care about the lives lost here, then you should honor the lives lost and call for a cease-fire in Palestine,” one protester shouted.

A pro-Palestinian group began chanting “cease-fire now” but were shortly drowned out with boisterous calls for “four more years.” Biden thanked the group but then addressed the demonstrators.

“I understand your passion,” Biden said. “I’ve been quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce significantly and get out in Gaza.”

Only 5 U.N. health facilities remain operational in central and southern Gaza

Only five of the U.N.’s 22 health centers remain operational in central and southern Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said today on X.

The post added that there have been 200 incidents impacting its premises in Gaza and displaced people sheltering in them since the Israel-Hamas war began. This included 63 direct hits on its installations in the enclave, it said.

The post came after UNRWA said in a situation report yesterday, that more than 300 people have been killed in its shelters and more than 1,100 had been injured.

Anti-U.S. opinion in Arab countries grows over support for Israel, Middle East leaders tell Blinken

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United States is being blamed by the Arab public along with Israel for the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza, leaders in the Middle East have warned Blinken on his diplomatic tour this week, according to multiple senior administration officials, diplomatic sources, and congressional officials.

Arab leaders delivered the same message to a Senate delegation visiting the region this week according to those familiar with the discussions. They said that the strong popular feeling is being fueled by catastrophic images of the devastation from Israel’s military campaign, the sources said.

And although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of months of fighting ahead, a senior administration official traveling with Blinken told NBC News that the U.S. expects the fighting to end in a matter of weeks. Blinken is expected to tell Israel in meetings this week that it needs to wind down its military campaign as soon as possible and employ better targeting to reduce the number of civilian casualties.

That message comes as outrage grows across the region.

Public opinion in Jordan, for decades America’s closest Arab ally, appears to be particularly negative. According to several senators, officials in Amman told them a recent survey found 70% of those questioned said they supported Hamas. A veteran Jordanian diplomat told NBC News that anti-U.S. sentiment is now so high that American-branded local franchises such as McDonalds and Starbucks have seen business drop dramatically, with many closing.

Still, two senior administration officials told NBC News that while Arab leaders are publicly demanding an immediate cease-fire, they are privately telling Blinken that they are prepared to help with one of his top priorities for this trip: supporting post-war reconstruction and governance of Gaza. But they, and the administration, are adamantly against any Israeli reoccupation of Gaza or displacement of Palestinians, as some hard-line ministers in Netanyahu’s coalition have proposed.

Blinken rejected those statements as “irresponsible” and “inflammatory” at a news conference in Doha on Sunday after meeting with Qatari leaders. “Palestinian civilians must be able to return home as soon as conditions allow. They cannot and they must not be pressed to leave Gaza,” he said. Blinken has been focused intently on the humanitarian crisis, and his other top priorities on the trip are getting U.S. and other hostages out of Gaza and preventing the conflict from spreading to other fronts.

Multiple State Department officials have told NBC News that they are eager to hear what Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, says about U.S.-led efforts to combat the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have been attacking international shipping in the Red Sea.

After meeting with the crown prince in the kingdom later today, Blinken will head to Israel for talks, followed by final stops in the West Bank and Egypt before returning to the U.S. on Thursday.

Analysis: Israel taking a calculated risk with attacks on Lebanon

What started as tit-for-tat attacks across Israel’s northern border is ratcheting up fears among Middle Eastern leaders that the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah will be drawn into a wider conflict.

Today’s news that Wissam Hassan Tawil, one of the Iran-backed militant group’s commanders, was killed will undoubtedly fuel fears further. He is the most important Hezbollah officer to be killed in months.

A number of diplomats have told NBC News that Middle Eastern leaders do not want the conflict to escalate and this is the message they have been conveying to Blinken during his tour of the Eastern Mediterranean region and the Middle East.

While Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has condemned both Israel and the U.S. in a series of recent fiery speeches, no major offensive has materialized, even after the death of Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, last week.

“Nasrallah is not interested in a full scale war,” a former IDF general told NBC News last week. The general, who was not authorized to speak publicly, added that Hezbollah had “plenty of chances” to launch that.  

Those behind the strike on al-Arouri, which Israel has denied carrying out, “were smart enough not to hit any Hezbollah terrorists,” the general added.

The message from Iran also appears to be that it does not want to get involved in a war.  

While Israel is taking risks, it believes they are calculated.

IDF and Hezbollah trade fire over Lebanon border

The IDF said in a statement today that it had struck “a number of areas” in Lebanon after an anti-tank missile was launched from the country toward northern Israel.

An Israeli fighter jet also struck a number of targets in the country, including military sites operated by Hezbollah, the statement added.

Meanwhile, in several statements over the course of today, Hezbollah said it had targeted Israeli soldiers and military installations.

NBC News could not independently verify the claims from either side.

Smoke rises over buildings on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese border village of Khiam following a reported Israeli bombardment on Jan. 7, 2024.
Smoke rises over buildings on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese border village of Khiam following a reported Israeli bombardment yesterday.Rabih Daher / AFP – Getty Images

Israel’s ‘brutal’ war creates generation of Gaza orphans, Jordan’s King Abdullah says

Jordan’s King Abdullah said today that Israel had created a whole generation of orphans with its “brutal” war in Gaza, where he said more than 30,000 people, mostly women and children, had been killed or were missing as a result of the conflict.

In remarks at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, where the monarch spoke of “unspeakable crimes” during that African conflict, Abdullah said a lesson to be drawn was that Israel’s “indiscriminate aggression” in Gaza would never guarantee its security. His remarks were carried on state media following a statement by the royal palace.

“More children have died in Gaza than in all other conflicts around the world this past year. Of those who have survived, many have lost one or both parents, an entire generation of orphans,” he said.

“How can indiscriminate aggression and shelling bring peace? How can they guarantee security, when they are build on hatred?,” Abdullah said of Israel’s war against the militant group Hamas.

An injured young Palestinian is treated at Kuwait Hospital on Jan. 8, 2024 in Rafah, Gaza.
An injured Palestinian child is treated today at Kuwait Hospital in Rafah, Gaza. Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Medical teams forced to withdraw from hospital in Gaza

Emergency medical teams have been forced to withdraw from Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza, the International Rescue Committee said yesterday in a statement.

Along with IRC teams, staff from Medical Aid for Palestinians, a British charity had been unable to continue working at the facility, the statement said.

“The amount of injuries being brought in over the last few days has been horrific, and with a huge reduction in the number of staff able to come to the hospital there is even less capacity for treating them,” said Nick Maynard, a surgeon and the IRC’s clinical lead.

Many local health workers have been unable to access the hospital even as hundreds of patients need care, the statement added.

Wounded Palestinians are treated at Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, centeral Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.
Wounded Palestinians are treated yesterday at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, central Gaza Strip.Adel Hana / AP

Analysis: Aid blame game highlights fractious relationship between Israel and the U.N.

TEL AVIV — Israel and the United Nations are blaming each other for the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, underscoring the long-strained relationship between the Middle Eastern country and the global club of nations.

The World Health Organization, a U.N. agency, said today that it has been unable to deliver badly needed medical supplies to northern Gaza for 12 days, calling it “nearly impossible” amid “heavy bombardment, movement restrictions and interrupted communications” imposed by Israel’s military.

The WHO said a planned mission to a key hospital and drugstore had been aborted for the fourth time because Israel did not guarantee the convoy’s safety.

It comes after the U.N. warned on X last week that Gazans who now face “catastrophic and life-threatening food insecurity,” because of the obstacles preventing food getting into the enclave.

In active conflict zones, humanitarian groups and U.N. aid agencies generally rely on assurances from militaries and combatants that they won’t strike aid vehicles traveling on designated routes at specific times, a process known as “deconfliction.”

Yet Israeli officials have repeatedly pointed the finger toward the U.N. for bottlenecks in distributing aid within Gaza, arguing that Israel is not limiting the number of trucks that, following close inspection, can bring approved aid into the coastal strip.

Late last month, Israeli President Isaac Herzog blamed “a decisive failure” by the U.N. during a meeting with French President Gérard Larcher. “It is possible to provide three times the amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza if the U.N., instead of complaining all day, would do its job,” Herzog said.

Israel and the U.N. have had a fractious relationship for decades with Israeli leaders frequently accusing the international body of antisemitism and of disproportionately targeting Israel with accusations of human rights violations.

Between 2015 and 2022, the U.N. General Assembly adopted 140 resolutions about Israel and only 68 about all other countries combined, according to a tally by UN Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog that says it tracks “anti-Israel prejudice at the U.N.”

Since the Israel-Hamas war started Oct. 7, Israel’s government has repeatedly faulted the U.N. and its Security Council for failing to sufficiently condemn Hamas for the atrocities of the attack, alleging hypocrisy.

Following U.S. moves to block several U.N. Security Council resolutions, last month the council adopted a resolution calling for more aid to Gaza without demanding an immediate Israeli cease-fire. The U.S. abstained rather than use its veto, allowing the resolution to pass.

WHO cancels mission to northern Gaza because of lack of safety guarantees

The World Health Organization said it had canceled a planned mission to northern Gaza for the fourth time since Dec. 26, because of the lack of safety guarantees.

“The mission planned to move urgently needed medical supplies to sustain the operations of five hospitals in the north, including Al-Awda,” WHO’s office in the occupied Palestinian territory said in a post on X yesterday.

Heavy bombardment, movement restrictions and communications blackouts have made it almost impossible to deliver critical medical aid to the northern part of the strip, the agency added.

Injured people are only able to reach doctors days or weeks after they’ve been hurt, the agency said, with the lack of doctors and specialists forcing doctors to perform above-knee, rather than below-knee, amputations.

Gaza conflict looms large in Pope Francis’ ‘state of the world’ speech

Pope Francis, speaking about the Middle East conflict in his yearly address to diplomats, today called for a “cease-fire on every front, including Lebanon”.

In the long address, sometimes called his “state of the world” speech, he also condemned the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas as an “atrocious” act of “terrorism and extremism”, and renewed his call for the immediate liberation of those still being held hostage in Gaza.

Hezbollah commander killed in southern Lebanon

A Hezbollah commander was killed in southern Lebanon today, the Iran-backed militant group said in a statement.

Wissam Hassan Tawil was killed in the town of Khirbet Selm, the statement said. It did provide any further details about his death.

An Israeli airstrike killed Tawil, who is an elite Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon, the latest in an escalating exchange of strikes along the border that have raised fears of another Mideast war even as the fighting in Gaza exacts a mounting toll on civilians.
An undated image of senior Hezbollah commander Wissam Tawil.AP

His death comes days after senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri was reportedly killed by a drone strike in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

Hamas is using North Korean weapons, South Korean spy agency says

Hamas militants are using North Korean-made weapons to attack Israeli forces in Gaza, South Korea’s main spy agency told the country’s Yonhap news agency today.

The National Intelligence Service also provided a picture to Yonhap of a rocket grenade launcher it said had been manufactured in the North.

“The fuse with the Korean characters is located in the mid-section of the North Korean-made F-7 rocket,” Yonhap quoted the agency as saying. The agency added that it was collecting detailed evidence of North Korea supplying to Hamas, it said.

NBC News has not independently reviewed the evidence supplied to Yonhap.

More than 10 kids are losing a leg every day in Gaza, Save the Children warns

More than 10 children are losing a leg every day in the Gaza Strip, Save the Children said in a statement yesterday, citing United Nations statistics.

“Small children caught up in explosions are particularly vulnerable to major, life changing injuries. They have weaker necks and torsos, so less force is needed to cause a brain injury,” said Jason Lee, the country director for the occupied Palestinian territory.

“Their skulls are still not fully formed, and their undeveloped muscles offer less protection, so a blast is more likely to tear apart organs in their abdomen, even when there’s no visible damage,” Lee added.

Surgeons report unprecedented numbers of limbs amputations among children in Gaza
Eman al-Kholi, whose right leg was amputated after she was wounded in an Israeli strike that killed her parents.Arafat Barbakh / Reuters

The charity’s statement also referenced remarks from James Elder, a spokesperson for UNICEF, who after returning from Gaza last month said that around 1,000 children had lost one or both of their legs since Hamas launched multipronged attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.

Blinken meets with UAE leader, urges avoiding spread of conflict

ABU DHABI — Blinken today met with the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

Blinken in UAE
Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi today.Abdulla Al-Bedwawi / AFP – Getty Images

Blinken emphasized the need for preventing the spread of the conflict, according to the readout, reiterating U.S. commitments to “Israel’s security” and “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” the State Department said in a readout of the meeting.

Blinken is now headed to Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before traveling to Israel.

Australia bans Nazi salute and other terror group symbols

As of today, Australia has outlawed the Nazi salute and the public display or sale of symbols associated with Nazis and terror groups.

The law was introduced in June but gained new urgency amid a surge in antisemitism and Islamophobia since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, passing Australia’s Parliament last month. Violations can bring up to a year in prison.

“This is the first legislation of this kind and will ensure no one in Australia will be allowed to glorify or profit from acts and symbols that celebrate the Nazis and their evil ideology,” Mark Dreyfus, Australia’s attorney-general, said in a statement.

WHO warns of ‘sickening scenes’ at key Gaza hospital

The WHO has warned that a key hospital in central Gaza “must remain functional” after staff reported “sickening scenes” amid reports of patients and workers fleeing fighting in the area.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his staff have seen “sickening scenes of people of all ages being treated on blood-streaked floors and in chaotic corridors” at Al-Aqsa Hospital, the main hospital still serving central Gaza.

In his X post, he further added that it is unbelievable that an essential need like that of health care was not assured.

IDF says it killed 10 fighters in Khan Younis

Israeli forces have killed at least 10 fighters in the main southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, the IDF said today in a statement, as it struck areas used to launch rockets.

Overnight, the IDF struck a total of 30 targets in the city, including underground targets, it said, as its aerial forces assisted the IDF’s ground operations.

The IDF said it also located a tunnel shaft and weaponry in an agricultural area in the central Gaza Strip. In al-Maghazi, an Israeli fighter jet struck a weapons storage facility, it added.

Blinken says Palestinians must not be pressed to leave Gaza as he continues Middle East tour

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Arab leaders yesterday, kick-starting talks on a post-war Gaza, he said Washington opposes any idea of displacing Palestinians from the territory.

“Palestinian civilians must be able to return home as soon as conditions allow. They cannot, they must not, be pressed to leave Gaza,” he told reporters after meeting his Qatari counterparts in Doha.

Blinken is expected to meet with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan this morning after arriving in Abu Dhabi last night.

He is then expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before departing for Tel Aviv.

An Israeli bombardment lights buildings in Khan Younis

Seen from Rafah, southern Gaza, the city of Khan Younis was lit up last night by Israeli strikes.

Khan Younis bombardment
AFP – Getty Images

Catch up on NBC News’ latest coverage


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?