Israel-Hamas war live: US sends second aircraft carrier ‘to deter hostile actions against Israel’; ground assault on Gaza looms | Israel-Hamas war
Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel last weekend, which killed more than 1,300 Israelis and led to an estimated 130 more held captive in Gaza, has been met with a harsh crackdown by Israeli forces across the West Bank.
Beyond the closed checkpoints and the empty roads, residents across Ramallah have feared the rising violence from the Israeli military and security forces, as well as some of theacross the area.
The Palestinian health ministry said 54 people, including children, had been killed with more than 1,100 injured in the West Bank since Hamas’s attack. Monitoring groups said the dead included minors shot in the head, chest or abdomen with live rounds.
Fatal violence from Israeli settlers was twice caught on video last week. The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem circulated footage of a settler in the village of At-Tuwani, south of Hebron, shoving a Palestinian man before shooting him at point blank range as the man dropped to his knees, with an Israel Defence Forces soldier standing nearby.
The day before, video footage showed armed Israeli settlers attacking the village of Qusra, south of Nablus.
Ruth Michaelson and Sufian Taha’s full report is here:
An estimated 35,000 people have crammed into the grounds of Gaza City’s main hospital, seeking refugee ahead of the expected Israeli ground offensive, medical officials say.
Mohammad Abu Selim, the general director of Shifa hospital – the largest in Gaza Strip – confirmed that huge crowds had thronged the building and the courtyard outside, Associated Press reports.
Health ministry official Dr Medhat Abbas said:
People think this is the only safe space after their homes were destroyed and they were forced to flee.
Gaza City is a frightening scene of devastation.
The Israeli military has ordered roughly half of Gaza’s population of more than 2 million, including all of Gaza City, to evacuate as it prepares to send in ground forces.
Aid groups have warned the exodus could cause a humanitarian disaster.
Here are some of the latest images coming in from Gaza and Israel over the news wires.
Welcome to our continuing coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas. Here is a summary with a selection of the latest developments.
The US is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean, the US defence secretary has confirmed, saying it is “to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas’s attack”. Lloyd Austin said on Saturday the deployment signalled Washington’s “ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and our resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war”. The USS Eisenhower and its affiliated warships will join another carrier group already deployed to the region in the wake of the attack on Israel a week ago and Israel’s ongoing response. The US has sent munitions to Israel and warned other countries not to escalate the conflict.
The World Health Organization has condemned Israel’s order to evacuate 22 hospitals in northern Gaza that are treating more than 2,000 inpatients. Moving that many patients to southern Gaza, “where health facilities are already running at maximum capacity and unable to absorb a dramatic rise in the number patients, could be tantamount to a death sentence”, the organisation said.
Iran has warned of “far-reaching consequences” if Israel’s “war crimes and genocide” are not stopped immediately. On Saturday, the permanent mission of Iran to the United Nations added: “The responsibility of which lies with the UN, the security council and the states steering the council toward a dead end.”
Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar. Hamas said the two had agreed to continue cooperation to achieve Hamas’s goals. Earlier, Haniyeh said in a televised speech that “there will be no migration from Gaza to Egypt” in the wake of Israel’s order to evacuate, and that Egypt “welcomes the Palestinian people, but not on the basis of migration or an exodus”.
US president Joe Biden spoke separately with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday. Netanyahu’s office said that the prime minister told Biden that “unity and determination” were needed to achieve Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas. Meanwhile, Abbas’s office said Abbas told Biden he rejected the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza as thousands fled amid deadly Israeli airstrikes.
Russia has asked the United Nations security council to vote on Monday on a draft resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism.
The Syrian defence ministry has confirmed Israel’s targeting of its Aleppo airport on Saturday night, putting it out of action. “The Israeli enemy carried out an air attack from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, west of Latakia, targeting Aleppo international airport, which led to material damage to the airport and it being out of service,” Reuters reports the ministry saying.
Israel’s military said on Saturday that it had fired back at Syrian areas from which two rockets were launched towards Israeli territory and fell into open areas. The military also said it fired an interceptor towards a “suspicious target” that crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanon but did not provide any additional details.
The European Council chief has called on a virtual summit with EU leaders next week to discuss the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. “It is of utmost importance that the European Council, in line with the treaties and our values, sets our common position and establishes a clear unified course of action that reflects the complexity of the unfolding situation,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council.
Médicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has called on the Israeli authorities to “show humanity”. In a statement issued on Saturday, MSF condemned Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip “without restraint for a week”.
Israel has admitted to intelligence “mistakes” in failing to predict Hamas’s attacks last weekend. “It’s my mistake, and it reflects the mistakes of all those making [intelligence] assessments,” Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, said at a press briefing.
The Israeli military announced on Saturday that its forces were preparing to implement a wide range of operational offensive plans. It also announced its forces had been deployed throughout Israel and were preparing for the next stages “with an emphasis on significant ground operations”.
Lebanon said on Saturday that Israel had launched a deadly strike on Friday that killed a Reuters journalist and injured six other journalists from Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Al Jazeera. The Lebanese army said in a statement: “The Israeli enemy fired a rocket shell that hit a civilian car belonging to a media team, leading to the death of Issam Abdallah.”
The UN’s under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “fast becoming untenable”. In a statement issued on Saturday, Griffiths said: “Even wars have rules, and these rules must be upheld, at all times, and by all sides. Civilians and civilian infrastructure, including humanitarian workers and assets, must be protected.”
The European Commission announced that it will triple humanitarian aid for Gaza. The move comes after the EU faced criticism for conflicting messaging from its senior leadership. The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke on Saturday with the UN secretary general, António Guterres, the commission said.