Hamas and Israel at war: what we know on day 14 | Israel-Hamas war
Israel’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, has told troops gathered at the Gaza border that they will soon see the Palestinian territory “from the inside”. Gallant urged the forces to “get organised, be ready” for an order to move in, suggesting an Israeli ground invasion could be nearing.
Israel is likely to launch a bloody ground assault on the Gaza Strip in the coming days, the former prime minister Ehud Barak said in an NBC interview. The Israeli military has a “green light” to move into Gaza whenever it’s ready, Israel’s economy minister, Nir Barkat, said in an interview with the US’s ABC network.
Trucks carrying humanitarian aid will enter Gaza from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula in the coming days, according to the White House, after Joe Biden’s whirlwind visit to Israel on Wednesday. Biden said Israel had agreed to allow the opening of the Egypt-Gaza Rafah crossing to deliveries of desperately needed food, water and medical supplies on condition that the humanitarian assistance was not diverted by Hamas for its own use.
The Rafah crossing was not expected to open on Friday for a convoy of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, CNN, citing multiple sources. “I would not put money on those trucks going through tomorrow,” one source told the news outlet. US officials now expect the first convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid will cross into Gaza from Egypt this weekend, possibly Saturday, the report says.
Egyptian state media earlier reported that the Rafah crossing with Egypt would be opened on Friday to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. It came after Israel, the White House and Egypt confirmed that limited aid would be allowed to travel into Gaza through the crossing. The source told CNN that the situation was “really volatile” and there were a lot of other details to ensure aid was sustained, not a one-off.
The UN’s secretary general, António Guterres, has said Gaza “needs aid at scale and on a sustained basis”.
Lack of access to water is one of the biggest challenges in Gaza, according to the international charity Action Against Hunger, which is warning of “a health crisis on the brink of explosion”. The UN estimates that there are fewer than three litres of water per person each day for the 2.3 million people living in Gaza, half of whom are children who are most at risk from water shortages and infections causing diarrhoea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said its trucks were “loaded and ready to go” as soon as the Rafah crossing was opened – “hopefully tomorrow” (Friday). The WHO director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the agency was “gravely concerned about the health and wellbeing of civilians in Gaza, who are suffering from bombardment and siege” and about the attacks on healthcare in both Gaza and Israel.
Eight Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military operation in the Nur Shams refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israel’s police said an officer was also killed.
At least 21 journalists have been killed since the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war, the majority in Israel’s attacks on Gaza, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.that as of this Thursday, 17 Palestinian, three Israeli and one Lebanese journalist had died since Hamas militants attacked Israel on 7 October, followed by the Israeli bombardments of Gaza.
Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have condemned the “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza as they met in Cairo for talks on the Israel-Hamas war. Sisi and King Abdullah also warned of the dangers of a regional spillover.
The US state department has issued a worldwide alert advising American citizens overseas “to exercise increased caution”. The US state department cited “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against US citizens and interests”.
The US and British embassies in Beirut have advised their citizens to leave Lebanon while flights “remain available” as border tensions between Israel and Hezbollah intensify over the Israel-Hamas war. Both countries had already warned citizens against travel to Lebanon.
Israel is counting on the UK’s “continuous support” in what will be a “long war” with Hamas, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has told Rishi Sunak, as the two leaders met in Tel Aviv. Sunak flew to Saudi Arabia on Thursday in efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and prevent a wider regional conflict.
Sunak and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “agreed to coordinate action” to avoid any further escalation in the region, Downing Street said after a meeting. The UK prime minister “encouraged” Saudi Arabia to use its influence to “support stability” in the region, a No 10 spokesperson said.
At least nine British nationals are confirmed to have died and a further seven are missing after the attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October, a Downing Street spokesperson has said.
The US state department said 32 Americans have been killed in Israel. Eleven US citizens remained unaccounted for, Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the state department, said at a news conference on Thursday. The Philippines embassy in Tel Aviv has confirmed the death of another Filipino national, bringing the country’s death toll to four.
The US president, Joe Biden, will address the nation later today to discuss the US’s response to the Israeli-Gaza conflict and the war in Ukraine, less than 24 hours after returning from Tel Aviv to offer Israelis support and aid for Palestinians in a trip upended by a hospital blast in Gaza.
More than 60 international charities – including Action Aid UK, Bond, Cafod, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Médecins Sans Frontières UK, Oxfam GB and Save the Children UK – have signed a statement calling on the UK government to step up its efforts to secure an urgent ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.
US intelligence assessed there were likely between 100 and 300 people killed in the blast at al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday. The US national security council said on Wednesday that the US government assessed that Israel “was not responsible” for the blast. The Israeli government accused the BBC of perpetuating a “modern blood libel” in its reporting of the explosion.