Israel-Palestine conflict LIVE: Health ministry says Gaza death toll topped 9,000 with 32k injuries

Palestinian group, Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, has announced the start of military the operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. Thousands of rockets have been fired from the blockaded enclave towards the occupied territories as far away as Tel Aviv, killing over 1,400 Israelis, including both military and settlers. More than 8,800 Palestinians have been so far killed in an exchange of fire between the two sides.

US to press Israel to agree to ‘pauses’ in Gaza offensive: Report

IDF says it’s striking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday announced it was responding to multiple launches from Lebanon toward Israeli territory.

“Over the last hour, a number of launches from Lebanon toward Israeli territory were identified. In response, the IDF is currently striking a series of Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanon,” the IDF said.

Several areas are also under alert in northern Israel, including Manara, Kiryat Shmona, and Safed.

Hezbollah released a statement saying it hit an Israeli military barracks in the Shebaa Farms area with two attack drones, adding they made “very direct hits inside the barracks”.

In addition to Hezbollah, the Lebanon branch of Hamas’ military wing announced Thursday their forces had launched 12 rockets targeting the Kiryat Shmona and its surrounding areas in northern Israel.

The group added the actions were a response to the “occupation’s massacres against our people in Gaza.”

Over 70 staff members of UN aid agency killed in Gaza since war began

The chief of the main United Nations aid agency in Gaza said on Thursday that 72 of its staff members have been killed in the enclave since the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7.

“We have lost as of now 72 staff,” Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), told CNN.

He continued by saying that UNRWA staff in Gaza are “sharing the same living condition(s) … (as) anyone else.”

“They’re struggling on a daily basis to find the bread, to find the water, to protect their children. And despite that, and despite the heavy loss within this organization, they remain committed to do whatever is possible to provide support to the people in Gaza. But it’s a constant daily struggle,” Lazzarini added.

On Wednesday, UNRWA communications director Juliette Touma echoed that sentiment, stating “no place is safe” in Gaza. Some staff workers were killed “in the line of duty and some were killed at home,” she added.

Hezbollah says it simultaneously attacked 19 positions in Israel

Hezbollah said that it had launched simultaneous attacks on 19 different positions in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon on Thursday, according to a senior Hezbollah source speaking to Reuters.

The source stated the positions included military sites, but did not elaborate further.

Earlier today, Hezbollah announced two drones attacked an Israeli military position in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms.

Netanyahu: Get out of north Gaza ‘because we will not stop’

‘Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide’: UN experts

Israeli army confirms two more soldiers killed

Heavy clashes reported around Gaza City 

Heavy clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters are ongoing around Gaza City, the most densely populated area in the besieged strip housing its biggest hospital and other key facilities.

Herzi Halevi, chief of the general staff of the Israeli military, said Israeli troops were “surrounding” Gaza City, operating in it and “deepening” the ground offensive.

“The forces are fighting in a dense and complex urban area, that requires professional combat, and courage,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in several updates throughout Thursday that its fighters were battling Israeli forces in several areas on the outskirts of Gaza City.

It added members of the group attacked Israeli forces in south and northwest Gaza City using mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades, as well as clashing with infantry forces from point-blank range.

Palestine Red Crescent says ambulance attacked by Israel, paramedics injured

Hamas says ‘shelled’ northern Israel

Hezbollah says it used drones to attack Israeli army position

At least 33 journalists killed in Israel-Hamas conflict since war began: Committee to Protect Journalists

At least 33 journalists have been killed since the latest Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, according to a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) statement released Thursday.

The death toll among journalists includes 28 Palestinians, four Israelis and one Lebanese, the CPJ said.

Eight journalists have been reported injured, and nine others have been reported missing or detained, CPJ added.

Latest Israeli strikes have killed people sheltering at UN schools in Gaza: Relief agency

Israeli airstrikes on Thursday killed more than 20 people sheltering at United Nations schools in Gaza, the head of the main UN relief agency working in the enclave told CNN.

The agency has received “extraordinary, difficult news” about schools in the refugee camps of Jabalya and Al Shati, which is sometimes referred to as Beach camp, said Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

“Over the last few hours, I received reports that three of our schools sheltering about 20,000 people have been hit,” Lazzarini told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“This reportedly has led to the deaths of more than 20 people in Jabalya, and also one person at the Beach camp,” he added.

“These are official UNWRA schools, where we shelter a number of displaced persons in the north of Gaza,” Lazzarini said, adding, “These are shelters which are clearly notified,” he added, meaning the Israeli military knows their location.

Those sheltering in a school in the Al Shati camp, northwest of Jabalya, recounted the ordeal to a CNN stringer.

“The school was shelled and we started screaming,” a woman who fled the school after the attack told CNN, adding, “It was an absolute horror.”

“We were sheltering in the UN school thinking it would be safe,” another man stated.

“It’s getting destroyed. And it’s mostly women and children, because so many of their men have died. They are innocent. They are innocent.”

Israel maintains Bahrain ties are ‘stable’, ambassador not recalled

Israeli ground attack hinders humanitarian aid to 300,000 displaced Gazans: UN

The UN humanitarian office on Thursday announced that the Israeli ground attack hinders the delivery of humanitarian aid to 300,000 displaced Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army has expanded its air and ground attacks on blockaded territory, which has been under relentless airstrikes since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“The ongoing Israeli ground operation in northern Gaza is impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid to about 300,000 displaced people,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

“Gaza’s main cancer hospital ran out of fuel and was forced to stop its services, risking the lives of 70 cancer patients,” OCHA added.

Tunisia MPs debate bill criminalising normalisation of Israel ties

The draft bill defines “normalisation” as “recognition of the Zionist entity or the establishment of direct or indirect ties” with it.

Its text says “the crime of normalisation”, which would be classed as “high treason”.

Anyone found guilty would face a penalty of between six to 10 years in prison and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 Tunisian dinars ($3,200 to $32,000), while repeat offenders would be jailed for life.

“There is total agreement between the president, the parliament and public opinion” on this matter, parliamentary speaker Brahim Bouderbala told lawmakers at the start of the session.

“We strongly believe Palestine must be liberated from the river to the sea … and that a Palestinian state must be established with holy Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.

Bahrain summons envoy to Israel, suspends economic relations

Bahrain announced it has recalled its ambassador to Israel and halted all economic ties with it.

In a statement, the parliament of the Persian Gulf state said the moves were part of measures taken in support “for the Palestinian cause and the
legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”.

Bahrain, which established diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020, added the Israeli ambassador to Manama had already left.

The announcement came a day after Jordan announced it had also recalled its ambassador to Israel to protest against the “catastrophe” amid Israel’s attacks.

Bolivia this week cut official ties with Israel over the war in Gaza while Chile and Colombia also recalled their ambassadors to Tel Aviv for consultations.

52 mosques destroyed in Israeli attacks on Gaza

Israeli attacks on Gaza have completely destroyed 52 mosques and caused varying degrees of damage to 110 other mosques, the government media office in the besieged enclave has announced

Salama Marouf, head of the government’s media office, told the press that 2,510 students have so far been killed in the ongoing conflict.

He added that the conflict has turned the Gaza Strip into a “disaster zone, with over 1.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, seeking refuge in shelters.”

Marouf said that the Israeli forces have also destroyed 82 government offices and dozens of service institutions and public facilities.

“212 schools sustained varying degrees of damage as a result of the attacks, and 45 schools were out of service,” he continued.

Israeli army to recruit ‘defence militiamen’ to guard West Bank settlements

The Israeli military is set to recruit settlers who have not previously served in the army as “defence militiamen” to protect ultra-Orthodox settlements in the occupied West Bank, Haaretz reported on Thursday.

Applicants will undergo an accelerated three-week weapons training course before being deployed across settlements, and receive a regular salary from the army.

Settlers with criminal records could be among those recruited, depending on the “nature” of the crime, which the army could “overlook” if the applicants were serious, according to Haaretz.

Since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, Israeli authorities have handed out more than 8,000 weapons to so-called settlement defence squads and regional defence battalions in the West Bank.

Settler rampages across the West Bank have risen sharply over the past year and have accelerated since 7 October.

Several Palestinians have been killed by settlers in the past three weeks, while their communities have been terrorised, livestock stolen and their businesses and homes attacked.

Egypt says it will help evacuate nearly 7,000 foreign nationals from Gaza

Egypt is preparing to facilitate the evacuation of nearly 7,000 foreign citizens in Gaza from more than 60 countries via the Rafah crossing, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The announcement follows a meeting between foreign ministry officials and ambassadors and other foreign representatives in Cairo, the statement read.

Egyptian officials say the evacuation plan will be carried out “in accordance with Egypt’s regulations and governing laws, and the role incumbent upon each foreign mission in receiving its nationals from the Rafah crossing.”

The first foreign nationals were able to cross from Gaza to Egypt Wednesday. Evacuations resumed Thursday and are expected to continue over the coming days.

Twenty ambulances have arrived at the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian side, waiting to pick up injured Palestinians, an Egyptian border official stated at the crossing on Thursday.

An Egyptian government official has confirmed that 45 injured Palestinians crossed into Egypt from Gaza on Wednesday and are currently undergoing treatment in various hospitals. More are expected to arrive Thursday.

According to Egyptian state-affiliated Al-Qahera News, 70 humanitarian trucks carrying aid are also parked outside the border crossing, waiting to enter Gaza.

Senior Israeli commander killed amid ‘prolonged’ and intense Gaza battles

Palestinian fighters killed an Israeli commander of an armoured brigade’s battalion in Gaza, the Israeli army confirmed on Thursday.

Lt. Col. Salman Habaka became the 18th soldier to be killed in Gaza in two days of heavy fighting. He is the most senior Israeli soldier to be killed since the ground offensive escalated on Tuesday.

Reports of close combat continue to emerge since Tuesday in at least four fronts along the outskirts of Gaza’s eastern and northern towns and cities.

The Israeli army radio said that “prolonged” and intense fighting took place overnight after Israeli infantry troops were ambushed by Palestinian fighters. The report added 20 Hamas fighters died while the army claimed it killed “dozens of operatives” without providing further details.

Hamas has not commented on the reported number of casualties.

Germany bans Palestinian prisoner advocacy group

The German government says it has banned the Palestinian prisoner advocacy group Samidoun as it moves to stamp out support for Hamas.

“Samidoun, as an international network, spreads anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda under the guise of being a ‘solidarity organisation’ for prisoners in various countries,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated.

The ban means anyone who continues to be an active member of the group, which describes itself as a “Palestinian prisoner solidarity network”, will be committing a criminal offence.

Israel claims Hamas lines in northern Gaza continue to “collapse”

Hamas defensive lines in northern Gaza continue to “collapse” as they retreat southwards to the center of the enclave, according to a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“The IDF continues to advance in the Gaza City area, conducting face-to-face battles with Hamas terrorists and deepening the fighting,” Daniel Hagari said in a press statement Thursday.

“Our fighters continue to collapse the defensive lines of Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip and take control of central areas,” he added.

Hagari claimed Israeli forces had “the upper hand” in every confrontation.

“We continue to intensify the activity and move forward according to the plan and the goals we have set for ourselves. The battle is progressing as we planned,” Hagari continued.

The IDF announced it was “expanding ground operations” in Gaza on Friday.

Palestinian death toll update: Over 9,000 killed, 32,000 wounded

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has released updated casualty figures from the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

At least 9,061 people have been killed since 7 October, including 3,760 children and 2,326 women, according to officials. At least 32,000 people have been wounded.

The ministry said 256 people were killed in the past 24 hours alone in 15 different “massacres”, a word Palestinian officials use to refer to attacks that cause mass deaths at once.

Around 2,000 people are still missing in Gaza, including 1,100 children. The vast majority of these people are believed to be dead and buried under rubble.

Additionally, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 131 Palestinians in the West Bank in the same period – a sharp rise from the monthly death toll in the occupied territory.

According to the health ministry, the October deaths take the total number of Palestinians killed this year in the West Bank to over 343.

Israeli army drops white phosphorus on UN school sheltering displaced Palestinians 

Israeli forces dropped munition containing white phosphorus on a UN school sheltering thousands of displaced Palestinians in Gaza on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.

A video shared by Ahmed Hijazee, a Gaza-based video blogger, showed the moment the alleged munition was fired at the school, located in the Beach refugee camp.

Israeli soldier killed in Gaza: IDF

A 25-year-old Israeli soldier was killed Wednesday during the Israel Defense Forces’ ongoing ground operation in northern Gaza, the IDF confirmed Thursday.

The soldier was named as Capt. Yuval Zilber.

It brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the ground incursion to 17 — 16 of whom were killed inside Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes hit near Al Quds hospital in Gaza City: Director

Israeli airstrikes struck near the Al Quds hospital in Gaza City, where doctors say thousands of displaced people are sheltering, the key medical facility’s director told CNN Thursday.

The strikes that began Wednesday evening continued into Thursday morning and were “getting closer to the hospital,” Dr. Bashar Mourad said in a phone call.

“Very heavy airstrikes in the vicinity of the hospital since last night, intensified this morning and getting closer to the hospital where 14,000 displaced people are,” he added.

The Palestinian Red Crescent announced in a statement around 10 p.m. local time Wednesday that heavy air raids were targeting near the hospital “for two hours”.

The hospital, the second-largest in the main urban center of Gaza City in the northern part of the enclave, has previously been targeted in Israeli airstrikes.

Israeli troops launch overnight raids on West Bank cities

Israeli security forces on early Thursday morning launched another round of overnight raids on several cities in the occupied West Bank.

Forces have launched raids on Nablus, Jericho, and Ramallah, the seat of power for the Palestinian Authority, according to several Palestinian news outlets.

According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians in West Bank.

Pope Francis endorses two-state solution

Pope Francis spoke about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and reiterated his support for a two-state solution, while confirming he would attend a key UN climate summit this year.

Speaking on Italy’s state-run TV channel RAI, the pope also addressed the issue of antisemitism, saying it “remains hidden” and “unfortunately, it hasn’t passed.”

“Two peoples who must live together. With that a wise solution exists: two peoples, two states, follow the Oslo Agreement: two very limited states and Jerusalem with a special status,” Pope Francis said.

The two-state solution has been the goal of the international community for decades, dating back to the 1947 UN Partition Plan, and many nations say that it is the only way out of the conflict.

Indonesian Hospital’s main generator in northern Gaza is out of service: Director

The main generator for the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza went out of service Wednesday night, Dr. Atef Al Kahlout, the head of the hospital, told CNN Thursday.

Al Kahlout said a secondary generator was running in some sections of the hospital. However, the electromechanical systems throughout the entire hospital had stopped working, he added, including the ventilation systems in the operating rooms, the hospital’s only oxygen station, and the hospital morgue refrigerators.

Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital is considered a backbone in providing health services in the northern part of the coastal enclave as the nearest medical facility receiving scores of people injured from two days of Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalya refugee camp.

The Israeli military conducted airstrikes on the densely populated refugee camp on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

Medics announced there were “hundreds” of dead and wounded.

Eleven bakeries destroyed, only nine remain: UN relief agency

Turkish hospital in Gaza ceases operations following Israeli attacks

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital in Gaza had ceased operations as a result of the ongoing attacks by Israel and fuel shortages, Turkey’s health minister has confirmed.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Fahrettin Koca said the hospital shut down on Wednesday despite repeated warnings.

“The international community has to make a choice between knowingly letting patients die and saving their lives,” added Koca.

“Unfortunately, the international community and relevant institutions have not taken sufficient action to prevent the attacks on the hospital.”

Almost 200 killed, over 100 missing in Israeli bombings on Jabalia

Yemen’s Houthis say they will continue operations until ‘Israeli aggression’ against Gaza ends

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have promised to keep up operations against Israel until the Zionist regime’s “aggression” against the Gaza Strip stopped.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group’s military spokesperson said they had launched a “large batch of drones” at targets “deep within” Israeli territory.

“We will continue to carry out military operations in support of the oppression of the Palestinian people until the Israeli aggression against Gaza stops,” stated Yahya Saree.

On Tuesday, the Houthis announced they had launched three drone and missile attacks towards Israel since 7 October.

The Israeli military also announced it had intercepted an “aerial threat” over the Red Sea overnight.

Israeli president says Hamas wants to “incite hatred”

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog urged Israelis to remain united as Hamas intends to “incite hatred.”

“The enemy seeks to incite hatred within us – between Jewish citizens and Arab citizens. Such attempts must be fought uncompromisingly and unequivocally. We must eradicate any incarnation of enmity, racism and violence towards different groups within us,” Herzog said during an address Wednesday night.

Herzog stressed the important role played by Arab citizens in Israel.

“Remember that there are dozens of Arab citizens here who paid with their lives in the terrible massacre, and as part of the security forces and the IDF. Remember the mutual responsibility as displayed by the overwhelming majority of the Arab society in Israel,” Herzog added.

Herzog also cautioned against what he called a “psychological campaign” being conducting against Israel.

“They want to scare us with videos, rumors, and lies. They try to undermine us psychologically, to hurt our personal and national spirit. We will not let them succeed,” Herzog said.

The president added that the return of the hostages remains “an integral part of the success of this campaign – of course – alongside victory in this decisive war against the enemy and restoring security to all Israeli citizens.”

“Tragedy is unprecedented” in Gaza Strip: UN organization

The scale of tragedy in Gaza “is unprecedented,” according to Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA,) who just returned from a visit to the area.

Lazzarini said in a statement that the trip marked the first time he was allowed in the Gaza Strip since the war began nearly four weeks ago. He called it “one of the saddest days in my humanitarian work.”

“I met with displaced Palestinians sheltered in one of the UNRWA schools in Rafah,” he said of his visit.

“They showed me where it was damaged during bombardments. One person was killed and more than 80 were injured. The place was overcrowded. The levels of distress and the unsanitary living conditions were beyond comprehension.”

“Everyone was just asking for water and food,” he recalled, adding, “Instead of being at school, learning, children were asking for a sip of water and a piece of bread. It was heart wrenching. Above all, people were asking for a ceasefire. They want this tragedy to end.”

Lazzarini went on to say that the UNRWA “has become the last remaining lifeline for survival,” noting that basic necessities “are running out fast.”

He stressed the agency “will continue to stand with Palestine Refugees and the rest of the Palestinian communities,” and also renewed calls for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Biden hails Rafah gate’s opening, and calls loss of civilians a tragedy

US President Joe Biden hailed the opening of the Rafah gate to wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals on Wednesday. He said the US will continue pressing Israel to adhere to international laws protecting civilians in conflict.

Speaking inside a barn on a hog and corn farm in rural Minnesota, Biden stated it was impossible not to be moved by images of suffering Palestinians.

“Israel has the right to respond and a responsibility to defend its citizens from terror. And it needs to do so in a manner that is consistent with international humanitarian law, that prioritizes protection of civilians,” Biden continued, adding, “We’ve all seen the devastating images from Gaza, Palestinian children crying out for lost parents.”

“The loss of innocent life is a tragedy. We grieve for those deaths and continue to grieve for the Israeli children and mothers who brutally slaughtered by Hamas terrorists,” he went on.

Biden said the Rafah crossing’s opening came after “intense and urgent American diplomacy with our partners in the region,” and said as many as 1,000 more foreign nationals could depart soon.

He added the US would continue pushing to increase aid to Gaza, noting the number of trucks crossing into the enclave continues to “increase significantly, but we still have a long way to go.”

“The United States is going to continue to drive humanitarian support for innocent people in Gaza who need help and they do need help,” he said.

And on the hostages being held in Gaza, Biden stressed his administration “continues to work around the clock to reunite those families.”

“We are not going to give up, period,” he continued, adding, “And I am optimistic. But I am an optimist, folks.”

Jabaliya attacks ‘horrific and appalling’: UNICEF

UN Human Rights Office concerned Israeli strikes on refugee camp “could amount to war crimes”

The United Nations’ Human Rights Office expressed concern that Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza “could amount to war crimes.”

“Given the high number of civilian casualties and the scale of destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Jabalya refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes,” the office said in a social media post Wednesday.

The UN’s statement comes after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that a blast in the Falluja neighborhood of the Jabalya refugee camp Wednesday was due to an airstrike, following an initial air raid on Tuesday.

A State Department spokesperson said the agency is not beginning its official process to assess whether Israel has committed war crimes during the conflict with Hamas at the moment.

“We will continue to discuss with them [Israel] directly, as we will say publicly, that it is our expectation that in all of their activities, all their military campaigns that they comply with the laws of war,” stated State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller at a press briefing.

Asked about the civilians Israel has killed in its strikes on the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, Miller said the department is “deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life,” but would not condemn the strikes.

Palestinian Red Crescent says it received 55 aid trucks at Rafah crossing on Wednesday

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its teams at the Rafah crossing have received 55 trucks of humanitarian aid from the Egyptian Red Crescent on Wednesday, noting those trucks contained food, water, medicine and medical supplies.

That brings the total number of trucks received since aid was first allowed to enter Gaza to 272, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The most recent shipments included “only water, food, and medical equipment,” according to a spokesperson for Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Israel has refused to allow vital fuel supplies into Gaza, citing the risk of it being stolen by Hamas.

Though the number of trucks going into the enclave has increased in recent days, it’s still less than a normal day’s worth of aid before the conflict started. Prior to October 7, there were 450 trucks going into Gaza daily, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Lynn Hastings stated in a press briefing last week.

MSF says 22 international staff able to leave Gaza

In a statement, Doctors Without Borders said its staff members had been stuck in the enclave since October 7.

“A new team of international staff, including a specialised medical team, has already been identified and is ready to enter Gaza as soon as the situation allows, to support the humanitarian and medical response,” the organisation, known by the acronym MSF, announced.

It added: “Many of our Palestinian colleagues continue to work and provide lifesaving care in hospitals and across the Gaza Strip, while the most basic protections for hospitals and medical personnel are not guaranteed.”

The group reiterated its call for a humanitarian ceasefire and said more humanitarian supplies – as well as staff – must be allowed into Gaza.

White House avoids criticism of Israeli strike on refugee camp

The White House continued Wednesday to avoid direct criticism of Israel’s military actions in Gaza, including its massive airstrike on a refugee camp, saying it wouldn’t respond to each development on the battlefield.

Speaking aboard Air Force One, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated instead the US was in constant conversation with the Israelis about the importance of protecting civilian lives.

“We’re going to be cautious about reacting to each and every event on the ground,” Kirby told CNN, adding the US was still gathering details on the strike.

He could not provide American estimates of causalities.

Kirby declined to elaborate on US President Joe Biden’s personal reaction to the airstrike, which occurred Tuesday.

He said the US has long been concerned about the imperative to protect civilians.

“There’s not a conversation we’re having with our Israeli counterparts that doesn’t reflect our continued concern over civilian casualties and urging them to be as careful and deliberate as possible to avoid that risk,” he continued.

“You’ll continue to hear from the president about our significant concern over civilian harm,” Kirby added later.

Health ministry says Israel ‘bombarded’ maternity ward in Gaza’s Al-Helou Hospital

Israeli air strikes have hit a maternity ward in a hospital filled with women and medical staff members in Gaza City, says Ashraf al-Qudra, the Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson.

In remarks to reporters, al-Qudra stated the maternity ward was moved from Gaza’s main Al-Shifa Hospital to the Al-Helou International Hospital, the latter of which was “bombarded”.

Israel has “suffocated the healthcare system, stopped the delivery of medical supplies and fuel, and flooded [Al-Shifa] with thousands of wounded people, forcing us to move maternity services to the Al-Helou Hospital and make room for more wounded people”, al-Qudra added.

“We call on the international community to urgently intervene to stop Israel and protect hospitals, medical staff, and patients before another … massacre is repeated.”

At least 361 foreign nationals entered Egypt through Rafah crossing from Gaza: Egyptian official

At least 361 foreign nationals have entered Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, an Egyptian government official stated.

According to the official, 491 foreign nationals were registered to arrive in Egypt today, but the remaining 130 either didn’t make it to the border crossing or refused to cross without their families, whose names were not registered on the list.

As of Wednesday evening, the Rafah crossing remains open, and the rest of the foreign nationals registered to cross today will continue crossing through.

The release of the foreign nationals is the result of a deal brokered by Qatar between Israel, Hamas and Egypt, in coordination with the US, that would allow for the release of those individuals, alongside critically injured civilians from Gaza, according to sources familiar with the talks. The agreement is separate from any hostage negotiations, the source added.

Sources close to the matter had stated that up to 500 foreigners were expected to cross out of Gaza at Rafah.

Connectivity in Gaza is being restored: Internet monitoring site

Connectivity is being restored in the Gaza Strip, the internet monitoring site Netblocks announced Wednesday, after two Palestinian internet providers earlier announced a “complete interruption” of communications and internet services in the enclave.

“We can confirm connectivity is being restored. Duration of the incident is just over 8 hours,” stated Isik Mater, Netblocks Director of Research.

Internet and communication services have been repeatedly impacted in Gaza, with independent internet monitoring groups saying that blackouts have worsened since the Hamas attack on October 7.

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