Hamas and Israel at war: what we know on day 17 | Israel-Hamas war
A second aid convoy of 14 trucks entered Gaza via the Rafah border crossing on Sunday, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said. Griffiths called it a “small glimmer of hope for the millions of people in dire need of humanitarian aid” but added “they need more, much more”.
US president Joe Biden spoke with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and welcomed the first two convoys of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The leaders “affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza”, the White House said. It also added that Biden and Netanyahu discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all the remaining hostages currently held by Hamas, including US citizens.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said Israeli strikes have killed 4,741 Palestinians, with 15,898 hurt. Authorities in Gaza said 40% of those killed in the Gaza Strip were children. Israel has been launching the attacks since 7 October, when a Hamas attack inside Israel killed more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians.
Israel has said it is intensifying attacks on north Gaza, and warned that anyone who stays risks being considered a terrorist sympathiser.
Palestinian media reported that Israel was also bombing the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis. The attacks came hours after the Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari called on Gaza’s residents to move south “for your own safety”.
The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has said 29 of its workers have been killed in Gaza since 7 October.
Doctors in the Gaza Strip say dwindling fuel supplies are putting dozens of premature babies hooked up to incubators at risk of imminent death. The UN health agency estimates there are 130 premature babies at “grave risk” while some hospitals say they are hours away from running out generator fuel.
Israel’s military said the number of people held captive was confirmed to be 212. The release of two Americans on Friday raised hopes that others might be able to return home.
Israel said it had returned fire into Lebanon after a drone and anti-aircraft missiles were fired into northern Israel. The country has said it plans to evacuate 14 additional communities in the area.
Israeli fighter jets launched an airstrike on the southern outskirts of Aitaroun town, southern Lebanon, the Lebanese state media of NNA reported late Sunday.
Israel also struck the West Bank, hitting a compound beneath a mosque early on Sunday that the Israeli military claimed was being used by Hamas.
Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah on Sunday against opening a second war front with Israel. He said: “If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will long for the second Lebanon war. It will be making the mistake of its life. We will strike it with strength that it cannot even imagine and the significance to it and to the country of Lebanon will be devastating.”
Speaking to soldiers near the blue line UN-drawn boundary that separates Israel and Lebanon, Netanyahu said: “I know that you lost friends, and it’s a very difficult thing, but we are in the fight of our life, a fight for our home. That’s not an exaggeration, it’s not an overstatement, that’s this war. It is kill or be killed, and they need to be killed.”
US secretary of state Antony Blinken and defense secretary Lloyd Austin said the US expected the Israel-Hamas war to escalate through involvement by proxies of Iran. “We don’t want escalation,” Blinken said. “We don’t want to see our forces or our personnel come under fire. But if that happens, we’re ready for it.”
Joe Biden held a call on Sunday with the leaders of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and Italy to discuss the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the White House said.
Benjamin Netanyahu said that French president Emmanuel Macron and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will visit Israel. The Israeli prime minister’s office said in a statement that the two leaders “will arrive on Monday and Tuesday” and meet with Netanyahu.
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, will visit Tehran on Monday.
Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discussed the means of stopping the Israeli “brutal crimes” in the besieged Gaza enclave, the group said in a statement late Sunday.
Turkey sent its presidential plane with a medical team and supplies to Egypt on Sunday, carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said on Sunday he had “no idea” how many people died in a blast at an Anglican hospital in the Gaza Strip, and that assuming Israeli culpability could be tantamount to antisemitic libel.
Thousands of people gathered in Berlin and London to oppose antisemitism and support Israel on Sunday. “It is unbearable that Jews are living in fear again today – in our country of all places,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the crowd at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, estimated at 20,000 by organisers and 10,000 by police.
Thousands of people attended a rally in Paris in the first pro-Palestinian demonstration allowed by police since the 7 October Hamas attacks. About 15,000 people showed up at the Place de la Republique, according to police figures, to express their solidarity with Palestinians.