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Israel marked one month since the surprise Hamas terror attack with commemorations Tuesday for the 1,400 people it says were killed and the 239 it says are still held hostage in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military said its troops were now operating in the "heart" of Gaza City as its ground assault against Hamas intensifies. The offensive and Israel's aerial bombardment of the Palestinian enclave have forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee.
And the mounting death toll and humanitarian crisis have fueled growing outrage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's suggestion that Israel would maintain "overall security responsibility" for Gaza when the conflict ends raised new questions over what his country plans, and drew a new warning from the White House.
There was also growing evidence of fallout in the United States, where tensions have been high on city streets and college campuses. House lawmakers censured Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the sole Palestinian American in Congress, over her remarks and actions in response to the Israel-Hamas war.
In tensions over Israel-Hamas war, college campuses confront violent threats
The war between Israel and Hamas continues to roil college campuses, inspiring heated protests and fiery rhetoric. In recent days, Jewish and Muslim students have been forced to confront a more grave reality: the specter of violence.
Federal officials charged a Cornell University student for making violent antisemitic threats in an online forum. The University of Pennsylvania alerted the FBI to a series of “vile, disturbing antisemitic emails” that threatened violence against the campus Jewish community. Authorities opened a hate crime investigation after a hit-and-run at Stanford University that left an Arab Muslim student hospitalized.
“We are profoundly disturbed to hear this report of potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus. Violence on our campus is unacceptable. Hate-based violence is morally reprehensible, and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” Stanford University’s president Richard Saller and provost Jenny Martinez said in a joint statement Friday.
White House says it's 'wrong, hurtful' to tear down photos of hostages
WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday condemned demonstrators tearing down photos of Israeli hostages, calling it “wrong and hurtful” in a social media post shortly after sidestepping the question in a news briefing.
“As a result of the Hamas terrorist attacks, communities and families are grieving,” she said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “For the past month, the families of those who have been taken hostage have lived in agony. Tearing down pictures of their loved ones — who are being held hostage by Hamas — is wrong and hurtful.”
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war last month, artists have created posters calling attention to the 240 hostages held in Gaza. The posters feature photos, names and ages of hostages and say “kidnapped” in bold, uppercase letters at the top. Videos have circulated on social media of demonstrators ripping down the posters, garnering widespread media attention.
Dozens of humanitarian aid trucks arrive in Gaza Strip from Rafah crossing
Dozens of trucks with humanitarian aid arrived in the Gaza Strip today through the Rafah crossing, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The Egyptian Red Crescent sent 81 trucks carrying food, water, medical equipment and medications, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said.
Since Oct. 21, 650 trucks with aid have been received, an average of about 36 a day, the group said.
House censures Tlaib for 'promoting false narratives' about Oct. 7
The censure resolution, authored by Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., passed 234 to 188, with 22 Democrats voting for it.
The measure censures Tlaib, D-Mich., for “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”
“It is a sad fact, but this type of antisemitic hate is being promoted by a small group of members in this body, chiefly Rep. Tlaib,” McCormick said on the House floor before the vote. “We must hold her accountable.”
Israel marks one month since Hamas attack
Israeli flags flew outside the gates of all 16 kibbutzim in the country today, marking the end of a 30-day mourning period — a Jewish tradition to commemorate the dead.
Residents in the kibbutzim have moved to safer ground following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, which Israel says killed 1,400 people and led to the kidnapping of 240 others.
'There is no cease-fire,' IDF spokesperson says
Over the past month, the IDF attacked more than 14,000 "terrorist targets" and destroyed more than 100 Hamas tunnels and 4,000 weapons, spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.
"Hamas terrorists are telling themselves that there will be a cease-fire. There is no cease-fire. We are moving forward," Hagari said.
Since the war started one month ago, 240 hostages have been taken, he added.
Netanyahu adviser: ‘We don’t want to govern Gaza’
Netanyahu adviser Mark Regev talks to Ana Cabrera about Netanyahu’s comments that Israel will take "overall security responsibility" in Gaza after the war.
House minority leader condemns use of 'river to the sea' phrase
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., today condemned the use of such phrases as “from the river to the sea" language recently used by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
“Echoing slogans that are widely understood as calling for the complete destruction of Israel — such as from the River to the Sea — does not advance progress toward a two-state solution. Instead, it unacceptably risks further polarization, division and incitement to violence," Jeffries said in a statement.
"As public officials serving in Congress, the words we choose matter," he added. "It is my strong belief that we must all take care to respect each other personally, even when strongly disagreeing on matters of policy or legislation."
Jeffries did not mention Tlaib by name, but the House is preparing to vote tomorrow to censure Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, over remarks and conduct that have sparked bipartisan criticism since the Israel-Hamas war began.
U.S. assisted more than 400 people out of Gaza, but hundreds still remain
More than 400 U.S. citizens and residents have left Gaza as of today, according to Vedant Patel, the State Department's deputy spokesperson.
Roughly 600 eligible citizens and green-card holders are believed to be waiting to move through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, but Patel noted that citizens are not asked to register themselves abroad and that the number may not be exact.
“There are three entities involved in controlling access to the border crossing: Israel, Egypt and Hamas,” Patel said. “We’re continuing to work with Egypt and Israel to ensure that American citizens who have indicated a desire to depart are able to do so.”
Netanyahu: ‘We have killed thousands of terrorists’
Netanyahu lauded military progress in Gaza, warned Hezbollah against further involvement and thanked Biden for U.S. support.
Red Cross says its aid convoy was fired on in Gaza City
The International Committee of the Red Cross said its humanitarian convoy was hit in Gaza City today as it tried to move supplies.
A convoy of five trucks and two other ICRC vehicles was carrying medical items for multiple health facilities, including the Palestine Red Crescent Society's Al-Quds Hospital. Two of the trucks were damaged, and a driver was injured.
The ICRC did not assign blame, but William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC subdelegation in Gaza, emphasized the obligation of warring parties to protect aid workers under international law.
"These are not the conditions under which humanitarian personnel can work,” Schomburg said. “We are here to bring urgent assistance to civilians in need."
Record number of U.N. workers killed since Oct. 7
A total of 89 staffers with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, the agency said in an update.
"This is the highest number of United Nations aid workers killed in a conflict in the history of the United Nations," it said.
In the previous 24 hours, a UNRWA staffer was killed and another was seriously injured. Yesterday, five staffers were killed within 24 hours.
Senator calls for TikTok ban, citing debate over war
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., asked the Biden administration today to ban TikTok in part because of how the app has handled content about the Israel-Hamas war.
He called for the ban in a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who chairs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency panel with the authority to block foreign involvement in corporations and markets on certain national security grounds.
Hawley wrote that the Israel-Hamas war is a “crucial test case” for TikTok’s influence as a media organization and source of news, and he expressed concern about what he called “the ubiquity of anti-Israel content” on TikTok.
Sirens and blasts in Tel Aviv as people gather to mark one month since Hamas' attack
TEL AVIV — Sirens and blasts rang out in central Tel Aviv today, sending scores of people who were gathered in a square to mark one month since Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack running for shelter. Israel’s Iron Dome appeared to intercept rockets fired toward the area.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the square near the IDF’s headquarters to call on the Israeli government to do more to free Hamas’ hostages.
“Nothing is safe! Nothing is safe!” a woman shouted through a speakerphone at the demonstration before sirens started to blare. She warned that what happened in southern Israel could happen “here in Tel Aviv. … Next time it’s going to be your children!”
As the sirens and blasts started to sound, a crowd ran into the nearby Tel Aviv Museum of Art. A person started to play a guitar once everyone had made it into a downstairs shelter. For many, running to a shelter has become somewhat routine since Hamas’ attack, with rockets regularly being fired at Israel as Israeli forces continue their offensive in Gaza.
Israel has 'elaborate plan' to protect northern border, commander says
NAHARIYA, Israel — A commander for Israel’s forces on its northern border with Lebanon told NBC News that Israel has “an elaborate plan” to confront rockets and other threats from militant groups in Lebanon.
“We have multiple forces, tanks, infantry, artillery ready,” Lt. Col. Dotan of the 300th Regional Brigade said in an interview in Nahariya, just 5 miles from Lebanon. “We have an elaborate plan. Some of it is digging holes and waiting in the bush for anybody to attack. Some of it is a pillar of fire. But we’re ready.”
The lieutenant colonel, who spoke on condition that only his first name be used under IDF security rules, spoke amid an escalation of attacks emanating from Lebanon. Hezbollah launched Grad rockets at Israel yesterday and Hamas targeted Israel’s third-largest city, Haifa, the farthest site from the Lebanon border targeted in the war so far.
“When I look through the binoculars or for my night vision systems, I don’t see the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas,” Dotan said. “Whoever fires at the northern part of Israel will get shot.”
Netanyahu: No gas and no aid workers until all hostages are released
Netanyahu said at a briefing today that no gas or aid workers will enter Gaza until all of the hostages are released.
Netanyahu also demanded that the Red Cross check on the hostages and help bring them back.
When he meets world leaders, Netanyahu said, he shows them "the horror movie of what Hamas did," adding that "we will win, and you should support us to win; otherwise you will be next."
"Gaza will no longer be a threat to Israel," he said. He urged everyone in Gaza to head south.
Israel defense minister: 'Gaza is the biggest terrorist base ever built by man'
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said at a briefing today that "Gaza is the biggest terrorist base ever built by man."
“This whole city is one big terror base," Gallant said. "Under the ground, kilometers of tunnels connect to hospitals, to schools; they are interconnected. It contains communication rooms, ammunition depots, places to sleep and everything to serve as a base of terrorism from which the citizens of the state of Israel and IDF soldiers can be harmed."
Gallant said Israel is "gnawing away at this ability" and making progress, with forces in the north and the south "advancing into the heart of Gaza City" and "fighting inside the built-up area.”
Gallant said he's seeing more people leave Gaza City today and encouraged them to continue to do so.
"We will destroy Hamas, and we have no will to hurt civilians," he said.
He spoke about growing calls for a humanitarian cease-fire, saying, "There won’t be any without bringing the hostages back."
Asked about a possible shift in U.S. support of Israel, Gallant said the countries "have the same strategic plan — demolishing Hamas."
"We share 100% of the same values, are aligned on 99% of the interest," he said. "The 1% we're fixing. I speak on a daily basis with the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, and others around the president."
Israeli prime minister's office says tanks protected civilians from Hamas as they tried to evacuate
The Israeli prime minister’s office reiterated calls for civilians in northern Gaza to move south, asserting that Israeli tanks protected civilians from Hamas attacks as they tried to evacuate.
The office also claimed that Israeli military forces gained hold over a key Hamas stronghold and struck a 10-man Hamas terrorist cell. It said the current count of people held hostage by Hamas is 239.
“Over 9,500 missiles were fired at Israel. Over 1,400 Israelis were killed, over 7,100 were injured,” the prime minister’s office said in a news briefing, adding that 348 IDF soldiers have also died.
NBC News has not independently verified the claims.
Photos: Firefighters put out blazes in Gaza
After a strike on the refugee camp in Khan Younis today, firefighters worked to put out fires.
Hezbollah says it targeted artillery positions in Israel in response to Israeli fire
Hezbollah said it targeted artillery positions in Israel today in response to Israeli fire last night.
In a statement, Hezbollah alleged that, in response to Israel targeting one of its positions in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood last night, it was prompted to attack Israeli positions in occupied Palestinian territory.
Israel's president sends letter to U.S. schools calling for ‘action on antisemitism’
TEL AVIV — Israeli President Isaac Herzog sent a letter this evening to American universities and colleges calling for them to take “action on antisemitism,” the Israeli government said in a news release.
Noting reports of antisemitic incidents at "various university and college campuses" in the U.S., Herzog demanded that "any incidents of support or sympathy for the actions of Hamas terrorists, be dealt with with as a matter of urgency."
Reflecting on his "days at Cornell and NYU," Herzog wrote, "It was on these campuses that I gained critical thinking skills that have served me throughout my life,” according to a news release sent out by the Israeli government. But, he said that as he has been “trying to comfort survivors of the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” he was hearing “of Jewish students harassed” at schools in the U.S.
"Debate is welcome on any topic, including Israel’s actions. This goes without saying," he said. But he asked: "How can anyone endorsing, excusing, or glorifying the Hamas atrocities have a place in any college, or in the civilized world?”
Herzog said he hoped schools would create task forces aimed at developing "a plan of action for the campus." He added: "This will either be a teaching moment that moves us toward constructive action — or a moment of irreversible decline."
Israeli flags mark the end of the 30-day mourning period outside the 16 kibbutzim attacked by Hamas
ISRAEL — Miles from war-torn Gaza, Israeli flags are hoisted high outside the gates of all 16 kibbutzim assaulted by Hamas on Oct. 7, a day known in the communities as "black Saturday." The flags mark the end of the 30-day mourning period, a Jewish tradition to commemorate the dead.
Each kibbutz is now an open wound, closed off and abandoned by residents who have since moved to safer ground. Those include Nadav Nassi-Tsentsiper and his pregnant wife, Viki, who evacuated from the Kfar Aza kibbutz, just 3 miles from the Gaza border.
The couple, armed only with a knife, barricaded themselves inside their safe room for 17 agonizing hours. Nassi-Tsentisper described how a group of terrorists walked toward his home, armed with machine guns, grenades and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades).
"The only thing I thought about was why they’re going to do to my wife," said Nassi-Tsentsiper. "She was six months pregnant. And I knew that my fate is going to be easy. They will shoot me and kill me, but I didn’t want even to imagine what they will do to her."
With tears in her eyes, Viki Nassi-Tsentsiper said that her husband is her hero.
The couple were rescued by the Israeli military Oct. 7, but 52 members of their village were killed, and 17 are still missing. After the attack, they moved north, along with the other surviving members of their now shattered community, taken in by another kibbutz outside Tel Aviv.
Nassi-Tsentsiper said the end of the mourning period is only the beginning, and there's still a lot more to mourn.
"We’re lucky our bodies are safe, but everyone here, their souls are just devastated," he said.
Red Cross calls humanitarian crisis in Gaza a "moral failing"
GENEVA — The International Committee of the Red Cross said today the suffering of children caught under the bombardment of Gaza represents a moral failing.
“In Gaza, ICRC surgeons treat toddlers whose skin is charred from widespread burns,” said ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric. “What more must children endure? The images of suffering, dead and wounded children will haunt us all. This is a moral failing.”
The ICRC made a plea for de-escalation of the conflict, calling on involved parties to ensure safe humanitarian access to Gaza, the restoration of critical facilities and the release of hostages.
Spoljaric added that until hostages are released, the ICRC will continue its efforts to urge Hamas to allow humanitarian workers to visit the hostages.
Medics from Red Cross member humanitarian organizations in both Israel and Gaza have been killed while trying to help victims of the war in the past month, the ICRC said.
UPenn president says staff received antisemitic emails threatening violence
University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill said a small number of staff members received "vile, disturbing antisemitic emails threatening violence" against the university's Jewish community, and targeting the personal identities of the recipients. The FBI are working to determine the identities of those responsible, she said.
Magill said UPenn's Division of Public Safety conducted safety sweeps of the student dormitory Lauder College House and Penn Hillel, the university's Jewish organization, after both locations were named in the emails.
Police presence has been increased at the university's religious and cultural spaces, rallies, protests and other gatherings, said Magill.
"At a time when campuses across the country are being targeted with these types of threats, my first and highest priority is the safety and security of our community," Magill said.
Prior to the emails incident, Magill released an action plan and a task force to combat antisemitism at UPenn, which included ways to educate and engage with the university community, and improve security.
More than 400 Americans and family members have left Gaza, U.S. official says
More than 400 U.S. citizens and their family members have been able to depart Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a U.S. official said today.
Crossings were temporarily stopped over the weekend but resumed on Monday and more are hopefully expected to depart today, the official said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the total number of Americans and their families who expressed a desire to leave Gaza was around 1,000 people.
UNRWA says 70% of population in Gaza Strip displaced by war
One month into the Israel-Hamas conflict, 70% of the population in the Gaza Strip have been displaced, said the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves Palestinian refugees in Gaza.
Many of those displaced in Gaza have taken shelter in UNRWA facilities, but the humanitarian organization said the shelters are at four times their full capacity. As many as 66 people have been killed and 540 injured while sheltering in those facilities, it said.
"This is forced displacement & humanitarian tragedy of colossal proportions," UNRWA said in a post on X.
Palestinians wave white flag as they head south
A woman holds-up a white T-shirt today as Palestinians in Bureij, in the central Gaza Strip, flee to southern Gaza.
U.S. consul general at Cairo Embassy describes relief Americans feel upon arrival from Gaza
CAIRO — After a long journey from Gaza, more than 100 American citizens and their families have entered Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Jonathan Webster, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo's consul general, said some of those families are telling him they ran out of food and water during their journeys.
“We can see the relief on the faces of the families that come through,” he said. “They ranged in age from a newborn baby to much older senior citizens, and it’s been very gratifying to be able to assist them.”
The embassy sent a team to the Rafah border to offer assistance to the families, assess their needs and organize their transport to Cairo. One U.S. citizen was born recently in Gaza, and the embassy helped the family secure the necessary documentation to facilitate their entry into Egypt, he said.
"We’re very happy to be able to play this role, but we also know we still have a lot of work to do," he said. "We really want to see this effort continue until everybody who needs to exit Gaza has an opportunity to do that safely."
Hezbollah’s second in command warns of expanding conflict
BEIRUT — Rockets launched from Lebanon reached deeper into Israeli territory yesterday than any since the 2006 war, as the Hezbollah militant group’s second-in-command official threatened to escalate cross-border attacks if Israel continues its deadly assault on the Gaza Strip.
“Hezbollah participates for the sake of lowering the pressure on Gaza,” Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general, told NBC News in an exclusive interview. He framed Israel as the aggressor, saying that growing attacks from Iranian-backed militant groups across the Middle East against American targets were “a clear message that if you expand, there will be serious consequences.”
Taken together, Hezbollah’s heightened rhetoric and the widening strikes by the group of Iran-backed proxies suggest that this “axis of resistance” is acting in harmony to ramp up pressure on the U.S. and Israel to check the latter’s escalating assault on the Gaza Strip.
Military vehicles along the Gaza border with Israel
Israeli army vehicles leave a trail of dust as they pass through the border fence crossing back into Israel from Gaza today.
Hundreds of thousands still stuck in northern Gaza, officials say
Despite Israeli warnings to move south, hundreds of thousands of residents are still in Gaza City and northern Gaza, the enclave's officials said today, as Israel continues its ground advances into the strip.
"No aid has reached citizens in Gaza and the north for 32 days, and no supplies have reached shelter centers or residential neighborhoods," Iyad Al-Bazm, a spokesperson for the Gaza Interior Ministry and national security, told a news conference in Gaza City.
He added that all bakeries had stopped working because they were being targeted and "the lack of flour and fuel in others," adding "the lack of drinking water in the Gaza and North governorates has forced citizens to drink polluted water that is not suitable for drinking."
Hamas has been in power in Gaza since 2007.
Vigils held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for victims of Oct. 7 Hamas attacks
Some 1,400 candles were lit at Jerusalem’s Western Wall yesterday in tribute to the number of victims that Israel says were killed in the Hamas-led terrorist attacks of Oct. 7. In Tel Aviv, another vigil took place in Habima Square, where empty beds were presented in memory of the hostages who remain held in the Gaza Strip.
U.N. agency says 40% of hospitals in Gaza have stopped functioning
Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, 40% of hospitals and 71% of primary care facilities in Gaza have stopped functioning because of damage or lack of fuel, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OCHA also said in a report today that on Sunday, the close vicinities of four hospitals in Gaza were struck, killing eight people and damaging buildings. Evacuation calls were made by the IDF to all hospitals in the north following allegations about the use of their premises by armed groups, the agency said.
"Out of the 102 attacks on health recorded by the World Health Organization (WHO), 83 were in the Gaza and North Gaza governates," OCHA said.
Those hospitals are also where many of the 1.5 million internally displaced people in Gaza are sheltering. Others have taken up residence in churches, public buildings and schools — facilities where overcrowding and worsening sanitary conditions remain a major concern, the agency said.
The most crowded shelter, the Khan Younis Training Center, hosts more than 22,000 displaced Palestinians, who each have less than 2 square meters (about 21 square feet) of space.
"At least 600 people are sharing one toilet," the OCHA report said.
UAE to set up field hospital in Gaza as part of humanitarian operation
The United Arab Emirates is setting up a field hospital in the Gaza Strip to deliver “essential medical support,” the state news agency WAM said today.
“The field hospital, with a 150-bed capacity, is set to be established in multiple stages,” it said, adding that five aircraft had already left Abu Dhabi for Cairo carrying the equipment.
The hospital will be equipped with various departments such as surgery and intensive care units, it said, including clinics for medicine, dentistry and psychiatry.
A field hospital is already running in Gaza and operated by the kingdom of Jordan.
WHO: More than 160 health care workers have been killed on duty in Gaza
GENEVA — A World Health Organization spokesperson said today that more than 160 health care workers have been killed on duty in Gaza and called for a lifting of restrictions on medical aid, saying some doctors were performing operations, including amputations, without anesthetics.
“Over 160 of the health care workers have died on duty while taking care of those injured and diseased. These are the people keeping the health system going, through the dedication they have somehow found a way to keep some level of service going,” Christian Lindmeier told a press briefing, without citing the source of information.
Jewish man dies at dueling protests over Israel-Hamas war
A vigil was held for Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jewish man, who died during dueling protests in California. His death has been classified as a homicide by the medical examiner, but investigators are not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports for the "TODAY" show.
Israeli minister's comments over nuclear weapon use raise 'huge questions,' Russia says
Russia said today that a comment made by an Israeli junior minister that expressed Israel's willingness to use nuclear weapon on Gaza raised huge questions.
“This has raised a huge number of questions,” Maria Zakharova, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, was quoted as saying by the state RIA news agency.
“Question No. 1 — it turns out that we are hearing official statements about the presence of nuclear weapons?” Zakharova said. Israel has not publicly acknowledged the presence of nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu has suspended Amihay Eliyahu, the heritage minister from a far-right party in the coalition government, from Cabinet meetings.
Netanyahu says Israel could be in Gaza for an ‘indefinite period’
The Israeli military says its troops will comb through every inch of Gaza. They've surrounded Gaza City. And Netanyahu says Israel may occupy Gaza for a period, until a replacement for Hamas can be found. But President Joe Biden has said occupying Gaza would be a mistake.
Richard Engel reports from Jerusalem for NBC News.
Israeli flags fly as crowd falls silent in Jerusalem
People hold Israeli flags during a ceremony in Jerusalem today, to mark the one month anniversary of the attack by Hamas.
Israeli government spokesman: No cease-fire until hostages are released
There is no chance of any cease-fire while Hamas still holds 240 hostages, Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said today.
"We will not consider any cease-fire no matter how temporary without the return of our hostages," he told the German broadcaster DW. "There was a cease-fire on Oct. 6 but Hamas broke it," he said, referring to the Oct. 7 terror attack.
Israel will not stop until it has achieved its goal of eradicating Hamas, he added.
Voter groups warn Biden his stance on Gaza could suppress youth turnout next year
The leaders of progressive groups focused on mobilizing young voters are warning Biden that his handling of the war in Gaza could depress turnout in a demographic that’s already notoriously difficult to energize on Election Day.
“We are experts in youth voting behavior who have worked tirelessly across the years to generate Generation Z and Millennial enthusiasm for civic action under a variety of circumstances,” the leaders wrote today in an open letter addressed to Biden and first shared with NBC News.
“We write to you to issue a very stark and unmistakable warning: you and your Administration’s stance on Gaza risks millions of young voters staying home or voting third party next year.”
At least 16 dead in Khan Younis after airstrike levels residential buildings
Ahmad Al-Najjar lost at least 16 people from his family in southern Gaza yesterday, after a strike leveled buildings in a residential area of Khan Younis, according to local officials.
“We are civilians, we have nothing to do except we are Palestinians. We are Muslims,” the former teacher told a NBC News crew, as he emerged from the rubble covered in dust with blood dripping down his face.
“All my family are inside, more than 27 people are inside,” he said, struggling to breathe. “Babies inside, kids inside,” he added, as he pointed to the destroyed buildings.
A spokesperson for the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis provided NBC News with a list of the people killed in the strike, including women, children and a 7-month-old.
Khan Younis is in the southern portion of the Gaza Strip. Israel has repeatedly asked civilians to move south so it can concentrate its military campaign on the north, where it says Hamas' strongholds are concentrated. The death toll in Gaza has passed 10,000, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.
NBC News has contacted the Israeli military for comment. The IDF previously said it was "unable to address or confirm specific queries" when asked about strikes in residential areas.
Gaza protests as Blinken attends G7 in Tokyo
Protesters stage a pro-Palestinian demonstration near the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry in Tokyo today.Blinken arrived in Japan for a meeting of G7 foreign ministers set to seek a common line on Gaza, as calls mount for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Blinken calls for a united G7 in Japan
After making multiple stops in the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Japan today appealing to the Group of Seven leading industrial nations to align on the Israel-Hamas war.
"It’s a very important moment as well for G7 to come together in the face of this crisis and to speak as we do with one clear voice," Blinken told Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, after a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Kamikawa vowed Japan's support.
“We appreciate the diplomatic efforts by the U.S. on the recent situation in Israel and Palestine. You have our utmost support,” he told Blinken.
University of Pennslyvania staff received antisemitic emails threatening violence
Staff members at the University of Pennsylvania have received "vile, disturbing antisemitic emails that threatened violence against members of our Jewish community," the university's president said in a statement yesterday.
M. Elizabeth Magill wrote in an online statement that the messages, received by a small number of staff, "included hateful language, targeting the personal identities of the recipients."
Penn Hillel, a Jewish students’ group, was specifically mentioned in the messages, she said. The university's security team conducted a search and concluded there was no "credible threat" of physical violence, she added.
The news comes a day after a student at the University of Massachusetts was arrested for allegedly punching a Jewish student at a vigil for the hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, organized by UMass Hillel.
Tensions over Israel-Hamas war on the rise in the U.S.
The U.S. has seen hundreds of rallies in support of both Israel and Palestinians that have sparked incidents on college campuses and even the blockade of a military ship believed to be carrying supplies bound for Israel. NBC News reports on how tensions over the war are reaching a boiling point.
Israeli politicians condemn death of Jewish man at protest in California
Senior Israeli political figures have blamed antisemitism for the death of a Jewish man during rival protests inspired by the Israel-Gaza war in California on Sunday.
Paul Kessler, 69, died in Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, after falling backwards and hitting his head while pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators took to the streets and waved flags.
The cause of death is being investigated and community leaders — including local Jewish figures — have urged both sides not to speculate.
“The murder of Jewish-American Paul Kessler should serve as a stark warning sign to the whole world,” said Benny Gantz, the opposition leader who joined a wartime Cabinet after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
“Israel stands today at the forefront of the global fight against the murderous antisemitic ideology behind the Hamas terror attacks of 7.10,” he said in a post on X.
Another Israeli opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said in a post on X: “Paul Kessler was killed in Los Angeles because he was a Jew. It is not because of Gaza, it is because of antisemitism.”
'One full month of carnage,' U.N. human rights chief begins Middle East visit
The United Nations high commissioner for human rights today began his five-day visit to the Middle East region, seeking access to Israel, Gaza and the occupied West Bank, a month after the Oct 7. attacks.
"It has been one full month of carnage, of incessant suffering, bloodshed, destruction, outrage and despair," Volker Türk said in a statement. He will visit Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt tomorrow.
"Human rights violations are at the root of this escalation and human rights play a central role in finding a way out of this vortex of pain," he added.
Israeli who survived Hamas attack recalls events of a month ago
Amir Tibon, a prominent Israeli journalist, has shared his account of his family hiding from Hamas terrorists a month ago and his views on the war and a way forward.
"It was 7AM, they had just woken up in a dark room with no electricity or food, and five people were shouting outside the window," he wrote on X in a lengthy thread to mark the date.
In Israel, a moment of silence a month after Hamas' attack
TEL AVIV — An informal moment of silence was held in Israel today as residents marked one month since Hamas launched its deadly attack.
In the weeks since the ambush, those whose loved ones were among the 1,400 killed or the dozens of of people taken hostage in the attack have gathered with supporters day after day in a square in Tel Aviv near the IDF headquarters.
Today, many have gathered there as they continue to call on the Israeli government to do everything it can to see those taken hostage returned.
Around the time that the informal moment of silence was held, a red alert warning of a possible air attack over Ashkelon in southern Israel was sent out, while Israeli forces continued their deadly offensive in Gaza in a war that, one month on, appears to be far from over.
Gaza is becoming a ‘graveyard for children,’ U.N. chief says
The Gaza Strip is becoming a “graveyard for children,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said, as he called for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and the unconditional release of all hostages being held by Hamas.
The U.N. Security Council failed again last night to agree on a resolution on the war, however.
Despite more than two hours of closed-door discussions, differences remained, with the U.S. calling for “humanitarian pauses” and many council members demanding a “humanitarian cease-fire.”
Yesterday, the U.N. launched a $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help 2.7 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 10,000 people, including more than 4,000 children, have been killed since the conflict began a month ago.
“Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children,” Guterres said. “Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day.”
“Ground operations by the Israel Defense Forces and continued bombardment are hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches and U.N. facilities — including shelters. No one is safe,” he told reporters yesterday in New York. “At the same time, Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately toward Israel.”
Analysis: Netanyahu's 'little pauses' a little step toward U.S. position
LONDON — Overnight, Netanyahu endeavored to answer some of the questions the U.S. and its allies have been asking. In an interview with ABC News, he said that Israel ‘will have the overall security responsibility’ for the Gaza Strip ‘for an indefinite period’ after the war, hinting at a potential endgame for his military's ground assault. But there was no detail or explanation of exactly how that might work.
And he seemed to move a little bit toward the White House's call for a ‘pause.’ He said again there ‘will be no cease-fire — general cease-fire — in Gaza, without the release of our hostages.’ But then went on to say that ‘as far as tactical, little pauses — an hour here, an hour there — we’ve had them before. I suppose we’ll check the circumstances in order to enable goods —humanitarian goods — to come in or our hostages, individual hostages, to leave.”
But diplomats who have spoken to NBC News in recent weeks have talked of the need for a pause that lasts days in order to get the hostages out. Hamas has been described as needing to reach some hostages held by other groups and organizing the release of up to 240 people would inevitably take time. Offering pauses of ‘an hour here, an hour there’ will be viewed by many as the minimum concession to massive pressure from the Biden administration.
Vigils held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv a month after Hamas attack
Some 1,400 candles were lit at Jerusalem’s Western Wall last night in tribute to the 1,400 victims of the Hamas-led terror attack in Israel a month ago. In Tel Aviv, another vigil took place in Habima Square, where empty beds were presented in memory of hostages who are being held in the Gaza Strip.
Singapore threatens jail for displaying symbols linked to Israel-Hamas war
Singapore has threatened jail time for the public display or wearing of signs and symbols related to the Israel-Hamas war, calling it an “emotive issue.”
Those convicted can be fined up to 500 Singapore dollars ($370), imprisoned for up to six months or both, the Home Affairs Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
“The peace and harmony between different races and religions in Singapore should not be taken for granted, and we must not let events happening externally affect this peace and harmony we have in Singapore,” the ministry said. It added that displaying the logos of militant groups such as Hamas would in particular not be condoned.
The semiauthoritarian city-state said Singaporeans who wish to express their support for those affected by the war should contribute to authorized charities.
IDF says it took control of a Hamas stronghold in northern Gaza
TEL AVIV — Israel has taken control of a military stronghold in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said this morning, as it advances its ground operations in the enclave.
"Anti-tank missiles and launchers, weapons, and various intelligence materials were located in the compound by the troops," it said.
The IDF also said it struck a building next a hospital that was being used by Hamas for attacks, which "led to significant secondary explosions," indicating "the presence of a Hamas weapons depot."
Israeli ground operations in northern Gaza
An image released by the Israeli army today shows soldiers during ground operations in northern Gaza.
Iranian and Indian leaders emphasize need for de-escalation
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need for de-escalation, continued humanitarian aid and the early restoration of peace and stability, according to a readout of their call from Modi’s office.
During the call yesterday, Raisi said that he “supports any joint global effort for an immediate ceasefire, lifting the blockade and providing relief to the oppressed people of Gaza,” Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported.
Raisi also accused the United States of complicity in recent “crimes” against Gaza because of its support for Israel.
“Terrorist incidents, violence and loss of civilian lives are serious concerns,” Modi said yesterday on X after their call. “Preventing escalation, ensuring continued humanitarian aid and early restoration of peace and stability are important.”
Israel open to 'little pauses' and will have Gaza ‘security responsibility’ for indefinite period, Netanyahu says
Israel is open to "tactical little pauses" for humanitarian aid to be let in to Gaza and hostages to be allowed out, Netanyahu said yesterday.
The Israeli leader also gave the strongest indication yet of what Israel may plan for the Palestinian enclave after the war, now a month old.
“I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, will have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have that security responsibility,” he told ABC News, when asked about who would govern Gaza if Hamas is removed.
Indonesia denies Gaza hospital is being used by Hamas
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said today that the purpose of the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza was to “fully” serve Palestinians, responding to an accusation by the Israeli military that it has been used by Hamas to launch attacks.
“Indonesia Hospital in Gaza is a facility built by Indonesians fully for humanitarian purposes and to serve the medical needs of Palestinians in Gaza,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the hospital is run by Palestinian authorities with the help of a few Indonesian volunteers.
The hospital “is currently treating patients in the amount that far exceeds its capacity,” the ministry said.
Sarbini Abdul Murad, chairman of the MER-C voluntary group that funded the Indonesia Hospital, also denied Israel’s accusations, saying yesterday that they were a “precondition so that they can attack the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza.”
Israeli flares light up Gaza City refugee camp
Illumination flares fired by Israeli forces light up the night sky over the Al-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip last night.
Massachusetts family trapped in Gaza returns safely to the U.S.
A Massachusetts family who spent weeks trapped in war-torn Gaza is back in the United States.
Abood Okal, Wafaa Abuzayda and their 1-year-old son, Yousef, arrived in Boston yesterday and are now safely back in their home in Medway, according to a statement from the family.
“The Okal Family continues to be incredibly thankful for their family and friends around the world who spoke up on their behalf, the Medway community, the media for sharing their plight and the plight of the hundreds of other Americans trapped in Gaza, their elected officials who fought hard for their return, and the State Department for providing them with safe departure,” the statement read.
The couple and their baby had spent weeks waiting to cross through the Rafah border into Egypt.
Catch up with NBC News’ latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas war
- U.S. struggles to exert influence as war rages in Gaza
- An inside look at Israel’s mission to find and destroy Hamas’ vast tunnel network in northern Gaza
- Jewish man dies after hitting head in altercation at dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies in California
- Rupi Kaur rejects Biden administration’s Diwali invite over its response to Gaza
- Israel’s bombardment of Gaza could be potent recruitment tool for Hamas, experts warn