NEWS

Live updates | Day 9 of the latest Israel-Hamas war



Hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents sought to heed Israel’s order to evacuate roughly the northern half of the territory, while others huddled at hospitals in the north on Sunday. Gaza’s 2.3 million civilians faced a deepening struggle for food, water and safety, and braced for a looming invasion more than a week after Hamas militants launched a deadly assault on Israel.

Israeli forces, supported by a growing deployment of U.S. warships in the region, positioned themselves along Gaza’s border and drilled for what Israel said would be a campaign by air, land and sea to dismantle the militant group. Israel dropped leaflets over Gaza City in the north and renewed warnings on social media, ordering more than 1 million Gaza residents to move south.

Currently:

    1. People are struggling to flee from northern Gaza while also grappling with a growing water crisis after Israel stopped the flow of resources to the Gaza Strip

    2. The Israeli military said Sunday that it would refrain from targeting a single route south from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., again urging Palestinians to leave the north en masse. The military offered two corridors and a longer window the day before.

    3. No decision on a ground offensive has been announced, although Israel has been massing troops along the Gaza border

    4. The war has claimed more than 3,600 lives since Hamas launched an incursion on Oct. 7

    5. Gaza’s hospitals are expected to run out of fuel for emergency generations within two days, according to the U.N., which said that that would endanger the lives of thousands of patients

Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:

CHUCK SCHUMER AND VISITING US SENATORS RUSHED TO A TEL AVIV SHELTER DURING HAMAS’ ROCKET ATTACK

TEL AVIV, Israel — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on social media that a bipartisan group of senators visiting Israel was rushed to a shelter in Tel Aviv on Sunday to wait out a rocket attack from Hamas. Schumer posted a photo of himself and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah in the shelter.

“It shows you what Israelis have to go through. We must provide Israel with the support required to defend itself,” Schumer said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the United States, took the trip to show support for Israel ahead of an expected request from President Joe Biden for Congress to approve wartime funding for Israel as well as Ukraine. Schumer, a Democrat, has said he would also hold discussions with Israeli officials what kind of support the country would need for both military and humanitarian operations.

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona were also on the trip.

REGIONAL WHO CHIEF APPEALS FOR THE IMMEDIATE REOPENING OF EGYPT’S RAFAH BORDER CROSSING WITH GAZA

CAIRO — The regional head of the World Health Organization told The Associated Press on Sunday that evacuating hospitals from the northern part of the Gaza Strip is “impossible” and said Israel’s demand for the evacuation of medical facilities there goes against international law.

Ahmed Al-Mandhari said 22 hospitals with 2,000 patients in northern Gaza managed to move “mobile patients” to the south over the past two days but most of the patients can’t be evacuated.

“It is really very risky, very dangerous if we push these hospitals to evacuate,” he said in Cairo.

Egypt has yet to reach an agreement with Israel and Hamas to reopen the Rafah border crossing to deliver medical supplies and other humanitarian aid territory to the besieged, Hamas-ruled strip.

Al-Mandhari urged for the reopening “immediately, with no delay.” The U.N. health agency has supplies waiting in Egypt, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Rafah crossing but cannot take them inside, he said.

Rafah was shuttered early on Tuesday after Israeli airstrikes hit close to Gaza’s side of the crossing.

CROSS-BORDER FIGHTING BETWEEN LEBANON’S HEZBOLLAH AND ISRAEL ONLY A ‘WARNING,’ SAYS GROUP’S SPOKESWOMAN

BEIRUT — Cross-border clashes between Lebanon and Israel intensified Sunday, with the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group firing rockets and Israeli forces responding with shelling.

The Israeli army also reported a shooting at one of its border posts. The fighting has killed at least one person on the Israeli side and wounded several on both sides of the border.

Iran-backed Hezbollah, an ally of Gaza’s Hamas rulers and an archenemy of Israel, said in a statement that it had fired rockets towards an Israeli military position in the northern border town Shtula in retaliation for Israeli shelling that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.

However, a Hezbollah spokeswoman, Rana Sahili, said Sunday’s increase in the intensity of the exchanges doesn’t indicate Hezbollah has decided to fully enter into the Hamas-Israel war. The fighting on the border is “only skirmishes” and represents a “warning,” she said.

Israeli army spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that regardless who was shooting at Israel from across the northern border, “the country of Lebanon is responsible and will continue to be responsible for the fire that comes from its territory.”

The Israeli military has said the incident that killed the Reuters videographer was “under review.”

After Hezbollah fired at several locations along the border Friday, including with an anti-tank missile that hit the Israeli-built security fence, Israeli soldiers “suspected a terrorist infiltration into Israeli territory, and in response, used tank and artillery fire to prevent the infiltration,” a military statement said.

“A number of hours later, a report was received that during the incident, journalists were injured in the area.”

POPE FRANCIS RENEWS HIS CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF ISRAELI HOSTAGES HELD BY HAMAS

ROME — Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his call for the release of Israeli hostages held by Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers and called for humanitarian corridors to help those under siege in Gaza.

“I continue to follow with much sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine,” Francis said during his Sunday’s Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square. “I think back to the many people, especially the little ones and the elderly.”

The Pope reiterated his appeal for the release of scores of Israeli hostages snatched during Hamas’ deadly incursion into southern Israel last weekend and taken to Gaza.

“I strongly ask that the children, the elderly, women and all civilians don’t become victims of the conflict,” Francis said. He added that humanitarian law must be respected, “especially in Gaza where there is an urgent need to guarantee humanitarian corridors and to rescue the entire population.”

The Pope appealed for the world not to “shed any more innocent blood, neither in the Holy Land, nor in Ukraine, nor anywhere else. Enough! Wars are always a defeat, always.”

THOUSANDS MARCH IN MOROCCO’S CAPITAL IN SUPPORT OF GAZA PALESTINIANS

RABAT, Morocco — Thousands took the streets of the Moroccan capital on Sunday to rally in support of Palestinians in Gaza and denounce Israel’s actions in the latest war with Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.

Waving Palestinian flags, the rally also marked a major showing for the banned Islamist movement Al Adl Wa Ihssane, which supports Hamas. After Hamas’s unprecedented and deadly Oct. 7 incursion into Israel, Morocco issued a statement condemning the violence. Royal Air Maroc, temporarily cancelled flights from Casablanca to Tel Aviv — a route that began in 2021.

Demonstrators marched in central Rabat and threw smoke bombs and fireworks as riot police stood between them and the Parliament building and other landmarks.

Hassan Ait Amar, a 52-year-old from Casablanca, carried a sign demanding Morocco’s lawmakers revoke a normalization of ties with Israel.

“If they want peace, they (Israel) should respect Palestinians, international law and a two-state solution,” he said.

Israel and Morocco normalized relations as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic agreements between Israel and four Arab countries brokered by then-President Donald Trump. Israel is home to a large community of Jews of Moroccan descent. Morocco and Israel have agreed to military cooperation and boosted trade.

ISRAELIS IN THE SOUTHERN CITY OF SDEROT NEAR GAZA BOARD BUSES TO ESCAPE HAMAS’ ROCKETS

JERUSALEM, Israel — Residents of the southern Israeli city of Sderot boarded buses for other parts of the country on Sunday to escape the rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Hamas militants who infiltrated Israel on a rampage that killed more than 1,300 people more than a week ago have also bombarded the country with thousands of rockets. Sderot, a city of about 34,000 people located about a mile from the Gaza border, has been a frequent target.

One of the residents, Yossi Edri, told Channel 13 before boarding a bus that “children are traumatized, they can’t sleep at night.”’

Thousands already left the city last week under a state-sponsored program that puts them up in hotels elsewhere as a respite from the violence. The program in Sderot was expanded Sunday.

“There is no reason to return to Sderot,” Mayor Alon Davidi told Army Radio. “It’s on the front line.”

GERMANY WARNS AGAINST ALL TRAVEL TO ISRAEL, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES AND LEBANON

BERLIN — The German government has issued a travel warning for Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. Sunday’s warning is a big step up from previous longstanding partial travel warnings for the Gaza Strip and some areas of Lebanon.

The German foreign office said in a statement that “due to the escalation of violence in the region in connection with the massive terrorist attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7., we are warning against traveling to the countries and areas mentioned.”

The government also called on all German citizens affected by the warning to register on its crisis precaution list where it provides information on departure options.

In recent days, the German government has helped with the evacuation of more than 2,800 German citizens and their family members from Israel. On Saturday evening, the German army started using military airplanes for evacuations.

More than 100,000 residents of Israel hold dual German and Israeli citizenship.

WITH FUEL RUNNING OUT AND ISRAEL’S GROUND OFFENSIVE APPROACHING, GAZA HOSPITALS WARN OF AN IMPENDING TRAGEDY

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — In Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second largest hospital, the ICU rooms are packed full of wounded patients, most of them children below the age of 3. Hundreds of people with blast injuries have come to the hospital in the past eight days and many risk death as fuel is expected to run out by Monday, said Dr. Mohammed Qandeel, a consultant at the critical care complex of the hospital.

Many patients have severe and complex injuries and need intensive care, he said. “The difference with this escalation is we don’t have medical aid coming in from outside, the border is closed, electricity is off and this constitutes a high danger for our patients,” he said.

He said there are 35 patients in the ICU unit who depend on ventilators to stay alive. A further 60 patients are on dialysis. If fuel runs out, “it means the whole health system will be shut down, the services will be off,” he said. “We we are talking about another catastrophe, another war crime, a historical tragedy.”

“All these patients are in danger of death if the electricity is cut off,” he said.

Further north, In the Kamal Alwan Hospital, the head of pediatrics Dr. Hussam Abu Safiya said the hospital did not evacuate despite the Israeli order to move south because there was no way to move patients without risking their lives.

“They have asked us to evacuate the hospital but we did not answer that order because evacuating the hospitals means death to all the children and patients under our care. We shall not evacuate the hospital even if it costs us our lives,” he said, adding that there are seven newborns in the ICU hooked up to ventilators.

CROSS-BORDER FIRE ON LEBANON BORDER KILLS ONE PERSON

JERUSALEM — Cross-border fire erupted between Israel and Lebanon early Sunday, killing at least one person on the Israeli side of the border.

Both the Israeli military and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah acknowledged the fighting.

Hezbollah said it shelled Israeli military positions in the northern border town of Shtula. The group said in a statement the attack was in retaliation for Israeli shelling that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.

Israel has responded by targeting the outskirts of the town of Ait el-Shaab, the Israeli military said.

Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue service said a 40-year-old man was killed in the attack from Lebanon, without elaborating or giving his nationality

As Israel wages its war against Hamas over last week’s unprecedented attack by the Gaza Strip militant group, there’s been concern that Hezbollah could enter the war as well as Israel moves toward launching a ground offensive in Gaza.

BLINKEN MEETS WITH SAUDI CROWN PRINCE

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh as the Biden administration scrambles to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from becoming a broader regional conflict.

Blinken and the crown prince spoke Sunday for a little less than an hour at his private farm outside the capital, U.S. officials said. Asked how the meeting went, Blinken replied “very productive,” but there were no other immediate details. The meeting, which had been expected late Saturday night but never materialized, was closed to media.

The talks came just hours after the Israeli military warned that a full-scale assault on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip would begin soon amid increasingly dire warnings that the expected ground invasion will have devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement after the meeting: “The Secretary highlighted the United States’ unwavering focus on halting terrorist attacks by Hamas, securing the release of all hostages, and preventing the conflict from spreading. The two affirmed their shared commitment to protecting civilians and to advancing stability across the Middle East and beyond.”

Prince Mohammed is the sixth Arab leader Blinken has seen in person since he arrived in the Middle East on Thursday, stopping first in Israel to reaffirm the Biden administration’s pledge to stand with and support Israel. From Israel, Blinken has traveled throughout the region meeting the leaders of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. He plans to visit Egypt later Sunday.

PALESTINIAN DEATHS SOAR PAST 2,300

The Gaza Health Ministry says 2,329 Palestinians have been killed since the latest fighting erupted, making this the deadliest of the five Gaza wars for Palestinians.

The death toll on Sunday surpassed that of the third war between Israel and Hamas, in the summer of 2014, when 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, were killed, according to U.N. figures.

That war lasted six weeks, and 74 people were killed on the Israeli side, including six civilians.

The current war erupted a week ago when Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel in a shocking surprise attack. More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed in the initial, wide-ranging assault and in rocket attacks from Gaza. The overwhelming majority were civilians.

For Israel, this is the deadliest war since the 1973 conflict with Egypt and Syria.

INDONESIANS RALLY TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIANS

JAKARTA, Indonesia — More than 2,000 Muslims rallied in Indonesia’s capital on Sunday to show solidarity with Palestinians and called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war.

Waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and signs that read “Save Palestinians,” they gathered outside Al Azhar Grand Mosque in southern Jakarta.

“Let’s pray for an end to the war, which is full of tears and blood of the martyrs,” a speaker told the crowd with a loudspeaker. “Victory will at the end be in the hands of the Palestinian people.”

The rally ended peacefully and the community raised money for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Similar rallies were held Saturday in other major cities across the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, including in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo and Medan.

US DEFENSE SECRETARY SAYS 2ND CARRIER IS PART OF EFFORT TO PREVENT WIDENING OF WAR

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is sending the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the additional carrier was being sent “as part of our effort to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas’s attack on Israel.”

The Eisenhower will join the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group, which is already sailing near Israel, to bolster U.S. presence there with a host of destroyers, fighter aircraft and cruisers.

The Eisenhower deployed from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., Friday. Having two carriers in the region can provide a host of options.

They can disperse and serve as primary command and control operations centers, to cover a wide swath of area. They can conduct information warfare. They can launch and recover E2-Hawkeye surveillance planes that provide early warnings on missile launches, conduct surveillance and manage the airspace.

Both ships carry F-18 fighter jets that could fly intercepts or strike targets. They also have significant capabilities for humanitarian work, including an onboard hospital with medics, surgeons and doctors, and they sail with helicopters that can be used to airlift critical supplies in or victims out.

US TO SEND A SECOND CARRIER STRIKE GROUP TO SUPPORT ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is sending the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, two defense officials told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the move ahead of its announcement.

The Eisenhower will join the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group, which is already sailing near Israel, to bolster U.S. presence there with a host of destroyers, fighter aircraft and cruisers.

The Eisenhower deployed from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., Friday. Having two carriers in the region can provide a host of options.

They can disperse and serve as primary command and control operations centers, to cover a wide swath of area. They can conduct information warfare. They can launch and recover E2-Hawkeye surveillance planes that provide early warnings on missile launches, conduct surveillance and manage the airspace.

Both ships carry F-18 fighter jets that could fly intercepts or strike targets. They also have significant capabilities for humanitarian work, including an onboard hospital with medics, surgeons and doctors, and they sail with helicopters that can be used to airlift critical supplies in or victims out.

— By Tara Copp

HAMAS SAYS THREE KILLED AFTER CROSSING BORDER BETWEEN LEBANON AND ISRAEL

BEIRUT — Hamas announced early Sunday that three of its members from Lebanon had been killed after crossing the border from Lebanon into Israel and clashing with Israeli forces.

The group said in a statement that its militants had “inflicted losses” before being targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

Since the outbreak of the latest Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7, there have been sporadic border clashes between Israeli forces and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, and with Palestinian armed groups in Lebanon including Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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