Biden says US can support both Israel and Ukraine: “We have capacity to do this and we have an obligation”
President Joe Biden said the US can provide support to Israel and Ukraine while still maintaining, “our overall international defense,” in an interview excerpt aired Sunday morning.
“We have the capacity to do this and we have an obligation to, we are the essential nation,” Biden said on CBS News, paraphrasing a famous quote from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
“We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in the history — not in the world, in the history of the world. The history of the world. We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense,” Biden added, when asked if the US could take on both wars at the same time.
“And if we don’t, who does?” the president noted.
Death toll in Gaza rises to 2,670
155 held captive in Gaza: Israeli military
Death toll of French citizens rises to 19
EU leaders back Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law
More than 1,400 killed in Hamas attacks on Israel: PM office
Gaza death toll reaches 2,450: Health ministry
Gaza invasion could lead to ‘genocide’: Arab League, African Union
White House expects new Israel and Ukraine aid to be over $2bn
‘Collective punishment’: Sisi on Israeli attack on Gaza
Israel to operate ‘everywhere in the Middle East’: Army spokesperson
Pope Francis appeals for humanitarian corridors and release of hostages
Pope Francis called for the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Gaza and for the release of hostages taken by Hamas during an address at St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.
“I’m thinking of the many people who are suffering, the young people and the elderly and I renew my appeal for the release of the prisoners,” the Pope said.
“And please respect the humanitarian situation in Gaza to guarantee humanitarian corridors to help and assist the entire population.”
Pope Francis stated he was following “with great sorrow the situation in Israel and Palestine.”
“Please may there be no more blood spilled — here or in any other place,” he continued, adding, “Wars are always a defeat.”
Netanyahu says Israel will ‘demolish Hamas in Gaza’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened Israel’s expanded emergency cabinet for the first time.
He said that the national unity on display, sent a message at home and abroad as the country gears up to “demolish Hamas” in Gaza.
The meeting, held in military headquarters in Tel Aviv, began with ministers standing for a moment’s silence in memory of some 1,300 Israelis killed in Hamas’ unprecedented attacks.
Sirens wail in Tel Aviv: Report
Israeli media reported sirens wailing in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, has announced it fired rockets at the city in response to the killing of civilians.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
There are 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza who are facing a “nightmare: UNFPA
Gaza’s 50,000 pregnant women are facing a “nightmare” situation with the enclave’s healthcare system on the brink of collapse, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative for the state of Palestine, Dominic Allen.
“The health care system itself in Gaza is critical. It’s under attack, on the brink of collapse and these pregnant women that we’re seriously concerned about have nowhere to go. They’re facing unthinkable challenges,” Allen said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
Allen added that about 5,000 of the 50,000 pregnant women are expected to give birth in the coming month, and some of them could face complications.
“Imagine going through that process in those final stages and your last trimester before giving birth, with possible complications, without clothing, without hygiene, support, and not sure about what the next day, next hour, next minute will bring for themselves and for their unborn child,” Allen said.
Stories coming out of hospitals have been “harrowing,” Allen stated.
One midwife at a maternity hospital in Gaza told Allen that since the beginning of the conflict, some midwives have been unable to even reach the maternity ward to provide assistance due to the unsafe environment.
“Humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza must be allowed through. There must be a humanitarian corridor opened, and humanitarian law abided by. The pregnant women must therefore get access to those lifesaving health services,” Allen added.
Israel seals off Lebanon border
The Israeli army announced it has decided to isolate an area up to four kilometres (2 miles) from the northern border with Lebanon, making it off-limits to public access.
It said that “entering the area is strictly prohibited”.
The move comes after Hezbollah claimed responsibility for firing a missile at an Israeli northern border village, Shtula, killing and injuring several.
World Food Programme running out of supplies in Gaza and is struggling to bring food to the enclave
The World Food Programme (WFP) is running out of reserve stock inside Gaza and is so far unable to get more food into the enclave, according to Corinne Fleischer, a regional director with the United Nations humanitarian organization.
Fleischer said the WFP has enough supplies to feed 1.3 million people for two weeks piled up on the border, ready to go, but that the group cannot yet safely enter Gaza.
“We’re talking to all parties to be able to move in. Unfortunately, we have not received that okay yet. We need to be able to cross the border, we need to have safe supply corridors to go to the shelters to distribute the food,” Fleischer told CNN in an interview from Cairo on Sunday.
“(We) are running out of time … people are really getting hungry.”
The WFP has so far provided 520,000 people in Gaza with canned food, bread and cash.
The group is expected to reach another each 224,000 people on Sunday “despite the absolute chaos and our staff being themselves in shelters with no food, no mattresses, no water and no bathrooms, no electricity,” Fleischer added.
Israeli medics say at least one killed, three injured in attack on Lebanese border
At least one person was killed and three wounded in an Israeli village close to the border with Lebanon, Israel’s national emergency medical service has announced.
The service did not mention the exact location of the attack, but noted the casualties were brought to a medical center in Naharyya, a town about 30 minutes drive from Shtula.
US will evacuate Americans in Israel by sea
The United States government will evacuate its nationals from Israel to Cyprus by sea, the US Embassy in Israel said.
Only US nationals and their immediate family members will be eligible for passage. The ship will depart Haifa, a city in northern Israel, on Monday. The journey is expected to take about 10 to 12 hours.
US citizens and their families will be responsible for arranging their own travel to Haifa and their own accommodations and onward travel from Cyprus, according to the embassy announcement.
Israeli army says it attacked targets in Lebanon
The Israeli army has announced it struck targets in Lebanon in response to an attack towards Shtula, a border town.
The Israeli army radio has also reported the attack in Shtula caused at least four casualties.
IDF killed Hamas commander overnight: Spokesman
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson told CNN that it had killed another Hamas commander, Billal al-Qedra, who allegedly led the attacks on the Nirim kibbutz near the border.
“This just goes to exemplify that we have the intelligence in order to take out Hamas’ leadership … all the way down to the terrorists that breached, penetrated and butchered our babies in their bedrooms. So, the operation is ongoing,” Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
The Israeli Air Force also put out a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday about the commander’s death, claiming IDF and Israel Securities Authority (ISA) “killed the Nukhba commander of the forces in southern Khan Yunis, who was responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre.”
Hamas has not yet commented.
The IDF continues to urge civilians to evacuate to the south of Gaza, Lerner said, to enable the Israeli military to target Hamas.
Hamas has “physically prevented people from moving” and “booby-trapped some of the roads in anticipation” of the move, he claimed.
In preparation for the next stage of conflict, Lerner stated the IDF has recruited “several hundreds of thousands of soldiers and reservists,” with many of them in southern Israel and on the border with Gaza.
“The IDF is targeting the institutions of Hamas because they have subordinated the entire government system to build support, fund, finance and instruct and execute their terrorist activities. So effectively, what we’re doing is dismantling the entire system to begin with,” Lerner added.
Lerner said he “hopes” that the war between Israel and Hamas does not become a larger regional conflict, but he said he recognizes that “hope is not a method.”
“I would caution Hezbollah, look very closely how we are dismantling Hamas. They need to be very, very cautious with regard to Iran,” Lerner continued.
‘Life here does not feel normal’: No safe place in Gaza: Refugee council adviser
Life is a struggle for all Palestinians in Gaza as they face potential blackouts and an “inability for people to get basic necessities,” the communications adviser of the Norwegian Refugee Council told CNN in an interview from Jerusalem Sunday morning.
Shaina Low said that a colleague of hers who had just fled to the south of Gaza is experiencing a shortage of food and difficulty finding other basic needs like water. She added her colleague also had airstrikes near him, despite relocating to the south.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been advising civilians to evacuate to southern Gaza as military activities continue in the region.
“There is no safe place in Gaza. Some people were killed while trying to make that journey to the south, and others are still facing bombardments, even once they’re relocated to the south,” Low said.
Life in Gaza had previously been challenging, Low added, but the conflict has only made things worse.
“Even before this war, Gaza was facing a humanitarian crisis, [with] the poverty rate over 50% [and] a third of the residents living in extreme poverty,” Low continued.
Some members of Low’s team in her humanitarian organization have evacuated, while others have chosen to stay behind because “they have nowhere to go in the south,” Low said, adding, “They’re worried because there’s a lack of facilities able to accommodate a mass influx of people. Others are having trouble even finding transportation because the size of their families is so large.”
With the lack of resources and diminishing fuel, Low said her team is facing increased difficulty operating.
Low added her neighborhood, which was previously “bustling,” has been “eerily quiet” this past week.
“Now what I hear besides this eerily quietness is often just the sound of warplanes going overhead, heading towards Gaza or surveilling the area. Life here does not feel normal. It feels that people are anticipating the worst.”
Palestinian Water Authority warns Gaza very low on supplies
The Palestinian Water Authority has warned that water supplies in Gaza are running very low because of the destruction of generating capacity.
It said Saturday that before the conflict began, 262,000 cubic meters of water were being drawn from wells daily. Now that figure is 14,000 cubic meters, and there is an urgent need for fuel to provide more water, it said.
The shortages are throughout Gaza, according to the water authority.
There is an urgent need for 14,000 liters of fuel per day, which would provide around 130,000 cubic meters of water, it added.
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Saturday that most people in Gaza now had no access to water.
“As a last resort, people are consuming brackish water from agricultural wells, triggering serious concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases,” it noted.
Blinken says meeting with Saudi Crown Prince was ‘very productive’
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said his meeting in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “very productive”.
The top American diplomat was answering a shouted question from a Reuters reporter as he returned to the hotel the US delegation was staying at.
A US official stated his meeting with the Kingdom’s de-facto ruler lasted a little under an hour.
Blinken’s meeting came as part of his trip to the Middle East, where he is working with regional allies to prevent the war between Israel and Hamas from spiralling into a bigger conflict, and to help secure the release of hostages kidnapped by the group.
US announces deployment of fighter jets to the Middle East
US Air Forces Central on Saturday announced the deployment of F-15E fighter jets and A-10 ground-attack jets to the Middle East region.
The movement of the warplanes from the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, respectively, “bolster the US posture and enhance air operations throughout the Middle East,” an Air Force statement read.
It did not specify the number of warplanes involved.
A US Central Command social media post said the A-10s will join another squadron of the aircraft already in the region.
“By posturing advanced fighters and integrating with joint and coalition forces, we are strengthening our partnerships and reinforcing security in the region,” Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, 9th Air Force commander, stated in a statement.