Residents in Gaza are facing an imminent loss of electricity as fuel supplies run dangerously low in the sealed-off territory.…
Residents in Gaza are facing an imminent loss of electricity as fuel supplies run dangerously low in the sealed-off territory. Israeli airstrikes left entire neighborhoods demolished Wednesday, and hospitals in the Gaza Strip are struggling to treat the injured with dwindling medical supplies.
The war, which has claimed more than 2,100 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate. The weekend attack that Hamas said was retribution for worsening conditions for Palestinians under Israeli occupation has inflamed Israel’s determination to crush the group’s hold in Gaza.
The Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have died in Israel since Saturday’s incursion. In Gaza, the health ministry says some 950 have been killed and 5,000 injured. The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency says 250,000 people have been displaced in Gaza.
Here’s what’s happening on Day 5 of the latest Israel-Palestinian war:
9 UN STAFFERS ARE KILLED IN AIRSTRIKES IN GAZA SINCE SATURDAY
JERUSALEM — The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees told the AP on Wednesday that nine of its staffers have been killed in airstrikes since the the start of the Israeli bombardment on Gaza on Saturday, with several killed late Tuesday.
“The protection of civilians is paramount, including in times of conflict,” said Juliette Touma, director of communications of the agency, known as UNRWA. “They should be protected in accordance with the laws of war.”
Touma said the strikes killed the U.N. staffers at their homes across the territory. She also said that 18 UNRWA schools-turned-shelters were damaged in the bombing, and that its headquarters in Gaza City was also damaged, without causing casualties.
POPE FRANCIS CALLS ON HAMAS TO RELEASE HOSTAGES IMMEDIATELY
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday called for the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas fighters in the most serious assault on Israel in half a century.
Francis said during a weekly audience that he is following events in Israel and the occupied territories with “pain and apprehension,” with “many dead and injured,’’ and said he is praying for those who saw “a day of celebration transformed into a day of mourning.”
The pope said that “whoever is attacked has the right to defend himself. But I am very worried about the total siege under which the Palestinians in Gaza are living, where there are also many innocent victims.”
GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER OFFERS HIS ISRAELI COUNTERPART SUPPORT
BERLIN — Germany’s defense minister has offered his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Galant, support from Germany following the major attack by Hamas.
The German government made that offer also to the Israeli military attaché in Berlin, Boris Pistorius told reporters on Wednesday. “Both have said so far that they do not need support of a military or technical nature. It is about political support,” the German defense minister said, adding that Germany’s political support for Israel was self-evident.
Pistorius also said that “as soon as we can help in a humanitarian way, the offer is there, too, but so far it has not been asked for.”
RAFAH BORDER CROSSING IS STILL CLOSED, EGYPT SAYS
CAIRO — The Rafah border crossing remains closed on both sides as of Wednesday morning, according to an Egyptian security official. The official told The Associated Press that a number of Egyptian aid convoys loaded with fuel, construction materials and food were unable to enter the Gaza Strip through Rafah on Wednesday. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian families remain stranded in the Sinai city of Arish. No other details were immeditaely available. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not briefed to speak.
AP writer Jack Jeffery contributed to this report.
YELLEN SAYS THE LATEST GAZA WAR PRESENTS CONCERNS, BUT INFLATION CAN STILL BE CONTAINED
MARRAKECH, Morocco — United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the war between Israel and Hamas militants poses “additional concerns” to the American economy, but she still expects inflation can be contained without causing a recession.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, Yellen said the Biden administration’s focus was on people “affected by these barbaric attacks on Israel” and reiterated support for Israel.
A day earlier, IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said it was “too early” to assess the impact on global economic growth from the days-old war between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza. He did note that oil prices have risen by about 4% in the past several days.
CATHAY PACIFIC CANCELS WEEKS OF TEL AVIV FLIGHTS
HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways said all its flights flying between the city and Tel Aviv from Wednesday to Oct. 29 will be canceled “in view of the latest situation in Israel.”
ISRAEL STRIKES THE ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY OF GAZA, IDF SAYS
Aircraft struck the Islamic University of Gaza on Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces said.
According to Israel, the university was being used as a Hamas training camp for military intelligence operatives, as well as for the development and production of weapons. The IDF also says Hamas used university conferences to raise funds for terrorism, and that the university maintained close ties with the senior leadership of Hamas.
HEZBOLLAH FIRES MISSILES AT AN ISRAELI MILITARY POSITION
BEIRUT — Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired missiles at an Israeli military position in a northern border town of Aramsha. The group claimed in a statement Wednesday that the attack led to a “large number” of wounded as well as some killed troops, without specifying any numbers.
The Israeli military said that anti-tank missiles were fired at a position in the northern border town of Aramsha, but did not mention anything about casualties. The Israeli army shelled the Lebanese border town of Duhaira and surroundings where the missile attack came from.
Hezbollah said the attack was in response to Israeli shelling Sunday that killed three Hezbollah militants. The Iran-backed group, a key ally of Hamas, has endorsed the Palestinian groups’ attacks on Israel, but has not officially joined the war.
SPAIN RECEIVES 200 PEOPLE EVACUATED FROM ISRAEL IN A MILITARY PLANE
MADRID — Spain’s defense ministry says its first military plane arrived early Wednesday carrying 200 people evacuated from Israel. It says the passengers included Spaniards, other citizens of European Union countries, and foreigners with residences established in Spain who had been visiting Israel. The ministry added that a second military plane was heading to Tel Aviv to evacuate more Spaniards whose commercial flights were canceled.
GAZA IS SET TO RUN OUT OF ELECTRICITY WITHIN HOURS
Gaza’s power authority says its sole power plant will run out of fuel within hours, leaving the territory without electricity after Israel cut off supplies.
Israel said it would cut off all electricity to the territory after Hamas’ bloody rampage over the weekend.
All of Gaza’s crossings are closed, making it impossible to bring in fuel for the power plant or the generators on which residents and hospitals have long relied.
The power authority said Wednesday that the plant would shut down in the afternoon.
AT LEAST 30 KILLED IN AN AIRSTRIKE ON A LAW EXPERT’S HOUSE, HAMAS SAYS
A respected expert in international law was visiting family in Gaza when an Israeli airstrike struck his home in central Gaza City late Tuesday and killed everyone inside, authorities said. Saeed al-Dahshan was on his way to Cairo, where he primarily lives.
Health officials did not immediately give a number of those killed but al-Dahshan’s friends said that his entire immediate family along with his brother and his family were killed, with Hamas official Bassem Naim estimating the death toll to be at least 30 people.
“This level of death and destruction is unprecedented,” said Hamas spokesperson Ghazi Hamad, whose house was razed by airstrikes late Tuesday along with the homes many other members of the Hamas political bureau.
HAMAS OFFICIAL SAYS ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES KILLED FAMILY MEMBERS OF LEADER MOHAMMAD DEIF
Hamas officials say Israeli airstrikes late Tuesday struck the family house of Mohammad Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’s military wing. The attack killed his father, brother and at least two other relatives in the southern town of Khan Younis, senior Hamas official Bassem Naim confirmed to The Associated Press. The whereabouts of Deif himself have long been unknown.
SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES OFFER EVACUATION FOR THEIR CITIZENS CAUGHT IN THE CONFLICT AREA
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The three Scandinavian countries said Wednesday that they will offer to evacuate citizens permanently living in Norway, Sweden and Denmark via the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, stressing that those who want to be evacuated must pay for themselves.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström, told Swedish news agency TT that they have been “following the situation in Israel and Palestine hour by hour, together with the other Nordic countries.”
“Last night a decision was made that assisted exit should be carried out, in cooperation with other countries,” Billström said according to TT. The foreign ministry in Oslo called it “an offer in addition to the scheduled flights that still depart from Israel.”
In Copenhagen, the foreign ministry said that the opportunities to leave “are still present, but are dwindling.”
HOSPITALS IN GAZA ARE RUNNING DANGEROUSLY LOW ON FUEL AND SUPPLIES
CAIRO — Aid group Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday that fuel and medical supplies in the enclave are running dangerously low.
“In the Al Awda Hospital, we consumed three weeks’ worth of emergency stock in three days, partly due to 50 patients coming in at once from Jabalia camp after it was struck,” said Matthias Kannes, MSF Head of Mission in Gaza. Meanwhile, Gaza’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, only has enough fuel for three days, he said.
GAZA CAN’T REACH PEOPLE WHO ARE TRAPPED UNDER RUBBLE, OFFICIALS SAY
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — As airstrikes are reported nonstop in the Karama district north of Gaza city, many dead and injured are stuck under rubble that Gaza lacks the equipment to handle, officials said Wednesday.
With streets badly damaged and the ongoing and intense nature of the airstrikes, ambulances and civil defense teams are unable to approach areas where people were reported trapped under crumbled infrastructure, Eyad Bozum, the Interior Ministry spokesperson, said in a statement.
Bozum said that heavy airstrikes were also reported in the southern town of Khan Younis and in an area east of the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
20 THAI NATIONALS ARE FEARED DEAD WITH DOZENS INJURED OR KIDNAPPED
BANGKOK — There are 20 Thai nationals feared dead, 13 injured and 14 kidnapped, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday during a news briefing, citing reports from workers and their employers.
About 30,000 Thais have been working as low wage laborers in Israel, especially engaged in farm work. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kanchana Patarachoke says 5,019 have registered so far to be evacuated back to their homeland.
© 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.