7w ago / 10:51 AM EDT

IDF says naval base in Eilat struck, Iraqi militia claims responsibility

A strike on a naval base in Eilat caused some damage to a building but not injuries, the Israel Defense Forces said today.

The incident, which occurred overnight is under review, the military said.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed it attacked three Israeli military targets over the weekend, including Eilat. NBC News has not verified the militia's statement.

7w ago / 10:30 AM EDT

Ships carrying food for Palestinians approach Gaza

The Associated Press

Ships carrying hundreds of tons of aid are approaching war-ravaged Gaza, Cyprus Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said today.

Kombos told The Associated Press that the three ships have been granted permission to start offloading their cargo in the enclave where war has displaced most of Gaza’s population and driven a third of its residents to the brink of famine.

According to U.S. charity World Central Kitchen, the vessels Jennifer, Open Arms, Ledra Dynamic and a barge are carrying enough ready-to-eat items to prepare more than 1 million meals. The items include rice, pasta, flour and canned vegetables.

7w ago / 10:00 AM EDT

Senior Hamas member arrested, Israeli police say

Yarden Segev

TEL AVIV — A senior member of Hamas "was arrested on suspicion of having contact with Hamas operatives and identifying with the terrorist organization while inciting and supporting acts of terrorism in Israel," a spokesperson for Israel Police said today.

The 57-year-old woman, "a relative of a senior member of the terrorist organization Hamas," was detained at her home in Tel Sheva, southern Israel, for questioning, the spokesperson said in a statement.

"During the raid on her home, the forces located documents, media, telephones, other findings and evidence linking her to committing serious security offenses against the State of Israel," they added.

Israeli media later reported that the woman arrested is a sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. NBC News could not independently verify this.

7w ago / 9:40 AM EDT

At least 63 killed in past 24 hours, Gaza Health Ministry says

At least 63 people have been killed and 94 injured in the past 24 hours, the Gaza Health Ministry said in a statement today.

That brings the total number of dead since Oct. 7 to 32,845, the statement said, adding that 75,392 since that date, when Hamas launched multipronged attacks on Israel.

"A number of victims are still under the rubble and on the roads, ambulances and civil defense crews cannot reach them," the statement said

7w ago / 9:06 AM EDT

U.S. and Israel to discuss alternatives to Rafah invasion, officials say

Raf Sanchez
Raf Sanchez and Monica Alba

TEL AVIV — Senior Israeli and American diplomats will take part in a virtual meeting today to discuss alternatives to a ground assault on Gaza's overcrowded southernmost city of Rafah, an Israeli official and a U.S. official have told NBC News.

The meeting was scheduled to happen in person at the White House last week. But after the U.S. declined to use its veto power and abstained in a United Nations Security Council vote calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, Netanyahu canceled the talks.

After days of public tension with the White House over the cancellation, Israel quietly asked for the meetings to be rescheduled, a U.S. official said last week.  

The Israeli official said that Ron Dermer, a minister in the war Cabinet, and national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi will attend the meeting, which was first reported by Axios. National security adviser Jake Sullivan will likely be part of the American team, they added.

Israeli officials may still travel to the White House in the coming days to continue the meetings in person, the Israeli official said. The U.S. official said they anticipate follow-up meetings in person after additional work by expert teams. 

7w ago / 8:46 AM EDT

Palestinian Christians attend Easter Mass in Gaza City

Palestinian Christians gathered at the Holy Family Church in Gaza City to celebrate Easter yesterday.  

The Catholic church built in 1974 has turned into a refuge for hundreds of displaced Palestinians in the enclave.

7w ago / 8:00 AM EDT

Drones destroyed in Houthi-controlled Yemen, U.S. says

American forces “engaged and destroyed” two drones in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthis rebels yesterday morning, U.S. Central Command said in a post on X.

“One was engaged over the Red Sea and the other was engaged on the ground prepared to launch,” the post said. “It was determined these unmanned aerial systems presented a threat to U.S. and coalition forces and merchant vessels in the region,” it added.

“These actions are necessary to protect our forces, ensure freedom of navigation, and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels,” the post said.

7w ago / 7:20 AM EDT

Pope Francis makes strong appeal for Gaza cease-fire in Easter message

Claudio Lavanga

ROME — Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica looking healthy and in good spirits as he waved to crowds gathered for Easter services yesterday.

During his address, the pontiff made a strong appeal for peace around the world. “May the risen Christ open a path of peace for the war-torn peoples of those regions,” he said, following it with a call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, increased humanitarian aid and the release of all hostages taken Oct. 7. He also called for a cessation in fighting in Ukraine.

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica during the Easter 'Urbi et Orbi' message, yesterday. Tiziana Fabi / AFP via Getty Images

“Peace is never made with weapons, but with outstretched hands and open hearts,” Francis said from the loggia overlooking the square, to applause from the wind-swept crowd below.

For the past few months, the pope has been battling frequent bouts of bronchitis, cold and the flu, with regular visits to the hospital for checks on his lungs. Respiratory problems and a chronic cough have often led him to ask his aides to read passages of speeches for him, and cancel private audiences. But yesterday, he didn’t pause and he did not cough.

7w ago / 7:02 AM EDT

Netanyahu recovering after hernia surgery, hospital says

The Associated Press
Yarden Segev
The Associated Press and Yarden Segev

JERUSALEM — Netanyahu is recovering after undergoing successful hernia surgery yesterday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Netanyahu’s office said the hernia was discovered during a routine checkup, and that he was to be under full anesthesia and unconscious for the procedure.

In a news briefing yesterday, Netanyahu took the time to thank people who checked in on him following his diagnosis.

“I promise you that I will go through this treatment successfully and will be back in action very quickly,” he said. Justice Minister Yariv Levin, a close confidant who also holds the title of deputy prime minister, was to serve as acting prime minister during the operation, the prime minister’s office said.

Read the full story here.

7w ago / 6:40 AM EDT

Hundreds of slain civilians found in Al-Shifa Hospital after IDF withdrawal, Gaza Health Ministry says

Hundreds of bodies of slain civilians were found at Al-Shifa Hospital and its surrounding areas after the Israeli military withdrew its forces from the complex in Gaza City, the enclave's Health Ministry said in a statement today, citing medical sources.

"According to eyewitnesses, the withdrawal revealed that the occupation forces burned all the buildings of Al-Shifa Hospital and made it completely out of service," the statement said.

A body is carried away from the grounds of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City today.AFP - Getty Images

The statement added that “dozens of slain Palestinians” were found inside the complex and streets surrounding it. “The army also bulldozed all the graves surrounding the complex and took the bodies out of the ground,” it added.

NBC News has approached the Israeli military for comment.