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Israel’s military moved into the area of Gaza’s largest hospital in what it said was a targeted operation against Hamas — but which targeted a site that houses a medical complex where hundreds of staff members, patients and civilians have been taking shelter.
The situation at the Al-Shifa hospital has been described as dire, with a lack of electricity leaving it no longer functioning, according to the World Health Organization.
In the U.S., National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the White House has information that Hamas uses hospitals in Gaza, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath the buildings, to support its military operations.
“Members operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City,” Kirby said. He did not go into great detail, saying that was to protect sources and methods, but that it came from a variety of U.S. intelligence methods.
Hamas, medical staff and Palestinian health officials deny that Gaza hospitals are used by militants.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his message to the more than 200 hostages believed to be held by Hamas is, “hang in there, we’re coming.” Biden also expressed optimism that the hostages would be freed. Negotiations are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the devastation in Gaza continues. The head of the United Nations aid organization UNICEF visited and said, “Inside the Strip, there is nowhere safe for Gaza’s one million children to turn.”
Executive Director Catherine Russell said that many children are missing and believed to buried under the rubble of buildings that have collapsed in airstrikes and other bombardments.
Giving birth as bombs fall in Gaza: ‘My girl came to the world broken’
TEL AVIV — Ahlam is younger than this war.
The tiny Gazan was born prematurely Nov. 7, weighing just 2.75 pounds. She has spent most of her short life in an incubator in the Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza. The neonatal ward where she’s being cared for is filled with cries of newborns, the beep of the medical machines that keep them alive, and the nearby thunder of Israeli airstrikes.
Ahlam is one of around 180 children being born every day in Gaza, according to the World Health Organization. There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, mothers-to-be who conceived their children at a time of relative peace but are now giving birth amid the chaos of war.
Heavy rain in Gaza brings new problems and fears for Palestinians
GAZA/GENEVA — Heavy rain in Gaza on Tuesday brought new concerns and challenges for Palestinians, many of whom are homeless and living in makeshift tents after weeks of Israeli bombardment.
The start of the rainy season and the possibility of flooding increased fears that the densely populated enclave’s sewage system will be overwhelmed and disease will spread.
One displaced Gazan, Karim Mreish, said people at a shelter were praying for the rain to stop. "Those children, those women, those elderly pray God that it doesn’t rain,” he said. “If it does, it will be very difficult and words will fail to describe our suffering.”
Ahmed Bayram, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said the start of the rainy season could mark “the most difficult week in Gaza since the (military) escalation began.”
“Heavy rains will mean more impeded movement for people and rescue teams,” he said. “It will make it harder to save people stuck under the rubble, or to bury the dead, all of this amidst ceaseless bombardment and a fuel shortage catastrophe.”
International effort rescues child cancer patients from Gaza, but many remain trapped in war zone
A group of pediatric cancer patients have been rescued from Gaza and are now receiving treatment after more than a month in Egypt, but many remain trapped in Gaza without chemotherapy and live-saving medical care.
Andrea Mitchell reported on the international efforts by Egypt, Jordan and the U.S., alongside the Palestinian Children’s Rescue Fund and St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, to get the children out of Gaza and to safety.
“Immediately upon hearing about this request, the President directed us to do whatever we could to help these civilians, who were in very acute situations, get out of Gaza,” National Security Council Chief of Staff Curtis Reid said.
“They start to smile for the first time and they start to feel secure. It is very relieving and we hope that we can do that for all the children in Gaza,” Egyptian Minister of Health Hossam Abdel Gaffar added.
Family of 3-year-old girl taken captive by Hamas reveals harrowing details
WASHINGTON — The families of American citizens kidnapped by Hamas militants in Israel nearly 40 days ago said Tuesday they want to focus international attention on the plight of their loved ones in captivity — including a 3-year-old American girl who the White House confirmed was taken into the Gaza Strip during the Oct. 7 terror attack.
Liz Hirsh Naftali, the great-aunt of 3-year-old Abigail Mor Idan, revealed that the little girl’s parents were killed in their home at the Kfar Aza kibbutz. Abigail was in her father’s arms when a Hamas gunman shot him. He fell on top of her. Abigail then “crawled out from under her father’s body … full of his blood,” Hirsh Naftali said.
The girl ran over to a neighbor’s house and hid with that family in a bomb shelter. “The last thing we learned was that somebody saw (a) terrorist taking this mother, her three kids and Abigail out of the kibbutz,” Hirsh Naftali said. “That’s all we know.”
Families of hostages say they don’t understand why posters are being torn down
WASHINGTON — The families of American citizens kidnapped by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 said Tuesday they cannot fathom why people would rip down posters showing the names and faces of their loved ones — a phenomenon that has led to tense confrontations captured on video.
“How can you do that? I just don’t understand it,” Orna Neutra, whose 21-year-old son Omer was kidnapped, told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an exclusive interview in Washington, where thousands of people from across the U.S. gathered Tuesday for a pro-Israel rally on the National Mall.
As outrage grows over fate of babies in Gaza hospital, Israel offers incubators and fuel
As outrage grows over reports of babies’ dying and a mass grave’s being dug at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, Israel has publicly indicated a desire to mitigate the crisis there — not by ending the siege but by offering fuel and mobile incubators.
On Sunday night, the Israel Defense Forces released video appearing to show soldiers depositing 300 liters (about 79 gallons) of fuel at Al-Shifa’s entrance and announced an evacuation route for people in the complex. Yesterday it was pledged that the IDF would coordinate the delivery of incubators to Al-Shifa following reports that premature babies had to be removed from their incubators because of power shortages. Then, today, the IDF shared a photo of a soldier helping load mobile incubators into a van, which an IDF spokesperson said would be used to transfer at-risk infants out of the hospital.
“We are trying to bring in incubators that can help transfer babies out of Shifa Hospital to other places down south, which will help safeguard the babies in the hospital,” said an IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
15-person medical team enters Gaza through Rafah crossing, Doctors Without Borders says
An international team of 15 people from Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, has entered into Gaza through Egypt, the organization said today on X.
“We [will] do everything we can to alleviate suffering in this catastrophic situation," said Christophe Garnier, the project coordinator.
The MSF team will be stationed in south Gaza Strip to support medical and surgical staff, “where the health care infrastructure has collapsed and medics are utterly exhausted,” the post said.
Médecins Sans Frontières reiterated its calls for a cease-fire. It added that delivering aid is extremely difficult in northern Gaza because of bombardments and ground warfare.
Israeli hostage families start 5-day march on Netanyahu’s home
TEL AVIV — The families of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip kicked off a five-day march today from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to demand the government do much more to secure their release.
Hamas fighters took around 240 people hostage during their Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. The captives are ages 9 months to 85 years, and they are believed to be held in tunnels deep under the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu is coming under fierce criticism from some relatives for not doing more to secure their release as the Israeli military pushes deep into Gaza with an order to destroy Hamas.
“I demand from Benjamin Netanyahu and the Cabinet to give us answers and actions,” said Shelly Shem Tov, whose 21-year-old son, Omer, was dragged into Gaza five weeks ago.
Netanyahu has so far rejected any talk of a cease-fire, telling NBC News on Sunday that he would be willing to pause the fighting only if all the hostages were freed.
Biden, Netanyahu speak on phone about efforts to free hostages
Biden and Netanyahu spoke today by phone and discussed the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas, the White House said.
“The President and the Prime Minister discussed at length ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, including many children and a number of Americans,” the White House said in a statement.
Israel’s military has said Hamas was holding around 240 hostages taken in surprise attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.
Biden and Obama alumni sign letter supporting president's handling of Israel
"Mr. President, we are grateful to you and Vice President Harris for your leadership in this moment of crisis, and please know that you have our strongest support as you continue to serve our country with such distinction and dedication," the letter said.
The list of signers included Ron Klain, Biden's former chief of staff; Larry Summers, Obama's director of the National Economic Council; and Colin Kahl, Biden's former undersecretary of defense for policy. It also included three members of Congress — all Obama alumni — and 19 ambassadors.
Family of 3-year-old kidnapped by Hamas reveals harrowing details
WASHINGTON — The families of American citizens kidnapped by Hamas militants in Israel nearly 40 days ago said today they want to focus international attention on the plight of their loved ones in captivity — including a 3-year-old American girl who the White House confirmed was taken into the Gaza Strip during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack.
In an exclusive interview in Washington with NBC News’ Lester Holt, the girl’s great-aunt was joined by seven other families whose relatives were taken hostage during the brazen Hamas assault on kibbutzim, a musical festival and homes across Israel’s south. They spoke as thousands of people from across the U.S. descended on the National Mall for a pro-Israel march.
IDF says it is carrying out an operation at Al-Shifa hospital
IDF soldiers are conducting a "targeted" operation at Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza City, where hundreds of medical staff members, patients and civilians have been taking shelter, the military said on X.
"IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital, based on intelligence information and an operational necessity," the IDF said.
The news comes hours after the White House said it had information that Hamas and other militants in Gaza used tunnels underneath hospitals, including Al-Shifa, to hide in and keep hostages.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that he did not want to get into granular detail about the matter to protect sourcing but that it came from multiple intelligence sources. Hamas issued a statement denying Kirby's accusation.
Belize withdraws accreditation for Israeli ambassador
The government of Belize said today that it is withdrawing its agreement of accreditation for Einat Kranz-Neiger, Israel’s ambassador-designate to Belize.
Belize is suspending all its honorary consul activities with Israel after its government said it had appealed for a cease-fire and condemned the IDF's actions in Gaza. The government's statement described Israel's siege of Gaza as "indiscriminate bombing" that has killed more than 11,000 people since Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.
"Despite our requests, Israel has not stopped its violations of international humanitarian law nor allowed relief workers to alleviate the suffering of millions of Gazans," the statement said.
Palestine Red Crescent Society says it evacuated Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it evacuated "patients, the wounded, their families, and the medical teams" from Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City today.
"This comes after more than ten days of siege, during which medical and humanitarian supplies were prevented from reaching the hospital," the organization said on X. "As the hospital had become a threat to the lives of everyone inside due to the ongoing Israeli bombardment around the hospital and firing upon those inside, in addition to a complete power outage and the depletion of water and food for the patients, it became impossible to continue providing the necessary medical care under these conditions."
Patients were taken to hospitals in south Gaza to receive medical care, which the agency said "are already suffering from fuel shortages and a scarcity of medical supplies and medications."
Over 600 Americans and U.S. permanent residents left Gaza through Rafah crossing; almost 1,000 are still stuck
Over 600 Americans, lawful permanent residents and their family members have left Gaza through Rafah crossing, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said today.
According to the State Department's knowledge, almost 1,000 American citizens, lawful permanent residents and their families are still stuck in Gaza, Miller said.
The State Department hopes to facilitate their departure "over the coming days" should they wish to leave, Miller said.
House Speaker Johnson, Sen. Schumer among speakers at March for Israel rally
NBC News’ Valerie Castro reports on the throngs of college students in attendance at the March for Israel on the National Mall, as well as remarks from members of Congress.
U.N. relief agency says operations 'will grind to a halt' in Gaza from lack of fuel
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East says its humanitarian operations "will grind to a halt" in Gaza because of a lack of fuel.
“The humanitarian response in the Gaza Strip, on which over 2 million people depend, is gradually coming to an end because no fuel has been allowed into the Gaza Strip since 7 October," UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in an update published today.
Lazzarini said the organization "set off alarm bells over the fuel situation three weeks ago" and has rationed fuel as well as "accessed pre-existing, limited amounts stored in a depot inside the Gaza Strip, through close coordination with Israeli Authorities." The depot is now empty, he said.
“It is unbelievable that humanitarian agencies have to beg for fuel and operate on life support," Lazzarini said. "Since the beginning of the war, fuel has been used as a weapon of war and this should stop immediately."
“I appeal to all parties to make fuel available now and stop using humanitarian assistance for political or military gains," he said.
Biden staff sign open letter demanding cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war
More than 400 employees of President Joe Biden’s administration have signed an open letter demanding he pursue a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war that has killed thousands of civilians thus far.
“We represent a coalition of Biden-Harris Administration political appointees and civil servants, positioned across the domestic and foreign policy spheres, working in federal agencies, departments, independent agencies, and the White House,” the letter, released Tuesday, begins.
“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip,” it continued.
Israeli forces kill eight Palestinians in West Bank, medics say
Israeli forces killed at least eight Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, seven of them in clashes during a raid in the town of Tulkarm near the boundary with Israel, Palestinian medics and local media said.
The Israeli army and police said their forces, sent into Tulkarm to detain suspected militants, came under fire and killed several Palestinian gunmen in the ensuing skirmish.
An Israeli airstrike hit a group of Palestinians who shot and threw a bomb at the group, an army and police statement said. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said the airstrike was carried out by a drone and killed three people.
An eighth Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire on Tuesday in Beit Aynoun, north of the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank, medical officials said.
'Talk is good. We want action': Family members of hostages push Biden to help free their loved ones
In an interview with "NBC Nightly News" host Lester Holt, 12 family members of hostages spoke about the White House's efforts to free their loved ones.
Orna Nuerta, mother of hostage Omer Nuerta, said she was reassured by President Joe Biden's response. "He was very empathetic. He was very present. He heard each and every one of the stories. His heart was there and he understands the graveness of the occasion," Nuerta said. "And he assured us that his administration would do everything to resolve this. And I personally believe him and found it very reassuring."
But Ruby Chen, father of hostage Itay Chen, said he doesn't believe talking with Biden is enough. "At the end, talk is good. We want action. It’s been 39 days. Where’s the action? Where’s the bottom line?"
The full interview with the families is set to air tonight on "NBC Nightly News."
Photo: Supporters of Israel fill the National Mall
Scores of people flood into the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at the March for Israel today. While organizers expected thousands to attend the pro-Israel rally, officials have not released an estimate of how many they believe were in attendance.
White House: U.S. has 'information' Hamas uses hospitals, including Al-Shifa, to store weapons and hostages
The White House has “information" that Hamas and other militants in Gaza use hospitals and tunnels beneath them to hide in and keep hostages, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said today aboard Air Force One.
“I can confirm for you that we have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use some hospitals in the Gaza Strip including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them, to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages," Kirby said, referring to Gaza’s largest hospital.
"Members operate a command and control node from Al-Shifa in Gaza City," he said. "They have stored weapons there and they’re prepared to respond to an Israeli military operation against that facility."
Kirby said that he did not want to give granular detail on the information to protect sources and methods, but that it came from a variety of U.S. intelligence methods. Hamas, medical staff and Palestinian health officials deny that Gaza hospitals are used by militants.
Hamas denied using hospitals to hide captured Israeli soldiers or as command centers. In a statement today, the group accused Israel of lying to give a green light to commit "brutal massacres targeting hospitals."
Sympathy for Palestinians, but unwavering support for IDF at March for Israel
WASHINGTON — When asked about the Israeli military's response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, many in attendance at the March for Israel expressed concern and sympathy for Palestinians in Gaza — but largely backed the IDF.
Sandra Nudelman, who traveled from New Jersey to attend the rally, said of the IDF, “I think they’re doing the best they can in a war that is not of their own making."
"Civilian casualties are never something anyone wants to see," Nudelman said. "When I see pictures of Palestinians who are dying, I feel terrible for them. Right? It’s horrible what happened, but this didn’t have to happen if Oct. 7 didn’t happen.”
Leena Zelman, who traveled from New York City, said: “We want everyone to be able to live and be happy, and for the Palestinians living in Gaza, they’re not living in peace right now either. So I think it’s across the board just trying to find that middle ground. I don’t have answers.”
Eli Ciner, the head of a Jewish school in New Jersey, said, "Our thoughts and our prayers are with the IDF. They are doing more than any other country would do. They are using incredible, incredible care to preserve the life the lives of civilians, and at the same time to return their hostages.”
“Many of our students have family members who are in the Israel Defense Forces, and many of our students know Israelis who have been killed,” Ciner said.
Photos: Injured arrive at hospital in southern Gaza
Injured Palestinians arrive Tuesday at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, after Israeli airstrikes in the city.
Israeli airstrike on family car in Lebanon should be considered war crime, Human Rights Watch says
An Israeli airstrike that hit a family in a car on Nov. 5 should be treated as a war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack killed three girls, their grandmother and their mother, HRW said. The family was traveling from south Lebanon to Beirut at the time.
“This attack by Israeli military forces that struck a car carrying a family fleeing violence shows a reckless disregard for civilian life,” Ramzi Kaiss, Lebanon researcher at HRW, said in a press release. “Their killing is a violation of the laws of war, and Israel’s allies, like the US, should respond to this apparent war crime by demanding accountability for this unlawful strike.”
The IDF admitted to carrying out the strike, telling the Times of Israel that it “struck a vehicle in Lebanese territory that was identified as a suspicious vehicle containing several terrorists […] The claim that there were several uninvolved civilians in the vehicle is being examined. The event is under review.”
March for Israel attendees decry 'anti-Israel propaganda,' rally for family kidnapped by Hamas
WASHINGTON — Some of those who arrived early at the March for Israel said they wanted to lend their voices to denounce antisemitism.
Indiana University student Jared Cohen, 21, said he has been dismayed by the “anti-Israel propaganda” at school and language questioning whether Israel was responsible for the Oct. 7 attacks.
“This is the moment to speak up for ourselves and be united in support of Israel,” said Cohen, who was joined by other Indiana University student said.
Tahl Ben-Yehuda, 53, a cantor from Overland Park, Kansas, said she wanted to be a voice for two of her cousins, Keith and Aviva Siegel, who had been taken by Hamas.
“Those hostages need to be freed,” Ben-Yehuda said. “Israel is living right now with an existential threat. It is simply not OK to let 240 people be held as hostages. The world needs to rise.”
But Ben-Yehuda, who considers herself a “liberal Jew,” said she has empathy for Palestinians in Gaza and remains critical of Netanyahu’s policies and failures for not working toward a two-state solution.
“I believe in the state of Israel, but the government is different,” Ben-Yehuda said. “Israel has to continue, but she has to be for justice.”
36 neonatal babies still alive at Al-Shifa, surgeon says, but still no evacuation plan
TEL AVIV — Despite the lack of resources, 36 babies requiring neonatal care at Al-Shifa hospital are still alive, plastic surgeon Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati told NBC News.
The Israeli military said it was working on getting portable incubators to help the infants at Al-Shifa, but El Mokhallalati said he believes they will still need electricity the hospital cannot afford to give.
The babies need evacuation to a place where they can get proper care, but the IDF has not given them permission to move the children out of Gaza City or a plan to do so, he added.
"We didn't receive anything as a proper offer to evacuate the patients yet — the babies yet — no one has offered anything," El Mokhallalati said. "The only beginning of talks were from the Egyptian side saying how many do you have? What are their names?"
Biden administration bolsters effort to battle antisemitism and Islamophobia in schools
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is rolling out new tools today to address the continued rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia on college campuses nationwide following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war last month, according to a White House official.
Among the materials are a list of resources from the Education Department for students, parents and staff members aimed at preventing antisemitism and Islamophobia in all school levels, from elementary to college.
The two guides, one meant for young students and one for higher education institutions, were put together by the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, a technical assistance center funded by the Education Department, the White House said.
‘We are proud to be Jews’: Protester speaks about the March for Israel rally
Ahead of the March for Israel in Washington, NBC News’ Jesse Kirsch speaks to demonstrators about why they are attending the rally on the National Mall to show their support for Israel amid the country’s war with Hamas.
Power outage at hospital in southern Gaza puts 90 patients at risk, Red Crescent says
The Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza is out of power, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said today, with its sole generator no longer operating.
PRCS said on X that 90 patients are at risk, including 25 in critical condition.
"9,000 displaced individuals are also seeking refuge at the hospital and PRCS premises," it added.
IDF says it has taken over Hamas buildings in Gaza City
IDF troops have taken control over multiple "institutions that Hamas utilized for military purposes," according to a statement from the military today.
Israeli soldiers were able to gain access to what the military described as a Hamas legislature and government building, a governor's residence and a compound. NBC News has not been able to independently verify the IDF’s statement or its characterizations of the buildings.
According to the IDF, these facilities served multiple purposes, including serving as a Hamas headquarters, interrogation and detention spaces and training facilities.
"Some of these outposts were used by Hamas for training in preparation for the invasion into Israel on Saturday, October 7th," the IDF statement said.
Photo: Armed for prayer at the Western Wall
A child looks at the weapon of an off-duty member of Israel’s security forces at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem today. Tens of thousands of Israeli reservists have been called up for action for the war against Hamas, while other security personnel have begun to carry weapons in public.
IDF left fuel too far from hospital for staff to safely collect, Al-Shifa surgeon says
TEL AVIV — Al-Shifa hospital staff were not able to receive fuel offered by the Israeli military over the weekend because it was more than a mile away, according to Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a plastic surgeon at the facility.
The IDF left 300 liters of fuel for the hospital 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the building and told the staff to send ambulances to collect the containers, El Mokhallalati said. But ambulance drivers said it was too risky to go out in the active war zone.
"You know the tanks are in the front of the hospital," El Mokhallalati told NBC News. "They are 100 meters away from the hospital. ... Why not to put (the fuel) just here in front of the gate?"
Today, Al-Shifa staff spent hours burying around 180 bodies on its grounds without the use of any machinery as the situation turns increasingly desperate. The building is now home to roughly 700 staff members, another 700 patients and thousands of civilians taking shelter, according to El Mokhallalati.
El Mokhallalati refuted allegations from the Israeli military that there were Hamas fighters in the hospital and added that the hospital staff has offered, through the International Committee of the Red Cross, to allow IDF soldiers to personally check every person within the facility as proof.
"I'm here to help the patients staying in the hospital, not to save Shifa hospital ... I'm here for the patients," he said. "That's the only thing ... so we won't allow anyone with a gun to stay in here."
'The morality of the world is gone': 'March for Israel' supporters explain why they made the trip to D.C.
WASHINGTON — Tzvi Schwartz, a teacher at a Jewish school, bused 14 hours overnight with about 50 eighth, ninth and tenth graders from Miami, Florida.
“It’s very simple,” he said. “There’s a certain sense of like, the morality of the world is gone.”
Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky from Congregation Beth Shalom in Teaneck, New Jersey, drove to D.C. with two full buses — about 105 people. He said he was proud to “reinforce the idea of peoplehood, that we’re connected to Jews all over the world, and that what happens to Jews in Israel impacts us.”
Ruthie Hollander, director of the executive fellowship program at the Orthodox Union, said, “I would say probably all of us, every single person is one degree of separation from someone in Israel.”
“And so wherever politically many fall out, on a personal level, this is such a tragedy and so difficult, and many of us are really struggling even to just go day to day and there’s a lot of fear, especially in New York City hate crimes have risen significantly,” Hollander said.
She spoke while holding her 14-month-old daughter, who wasn’t new to the rally scene. Hollander said she brought her daughter to an October rally, too. The Orthodox Union team was welcoming buses of rally goers as they entered a parking lot near the RFK stadium.
“For me, it’s a recognition that unfortunately, this type of thing needs to start young because because this is the reality of being Jewish even in America,” she said.
Biden's message to hostages: 'Hang in there, we're coming'
"Hang in there, we’re coming," Biden said today when asked whether he had a message of hope for the hostages.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, the president said negotiators were not any closer to a deal with Hamas to release the hostages, but he still believed they would make their way home.
"I’ve been talking with the people involved every single day," Biden said. "I believe it’s going to happen, but I don’t want to get into detail."
Doctors Without Borders says sniper fire is targeting patients at hospital
Doctors Without Borders said today that one of its three premises near Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City that is sheltering its staff and families, including 65 children, was fired upon.
"In front of the main gate, there are many bodies. There are also injured patients; we can’t bring them inside," one of its staff members was quoted as saying yesterday from inside the hospital.
"There’s also a sniper who attacked patients, they have gunshot wounds. We operated on three of them," the staffer added.
NBC News has not independently verified the report.
Searching for survivors at Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp
Crowds gather among the ruins as civil defense teams and civilians conduct a search and rescue operation in the rubble of demolished buildings at the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza City today.
Israel can't accept existence of Gaza, minister says, calling for 'voluntary migration'
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich today said Israel "will no longer be able to put up with the existence of an independent entity in Gaza," after prominent lawmakers suggested moving the Gazan population to other nations in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
"A cell with a small area like the Gaza Strip without natural resources and independent sources of livelihood has no chance to exist independently, economically and politically in such a high density for a long time," Smotrich said in a post on Facebook.
He added that the "reception of refugees" by other countries that will accept them is the only solution to "end the suffering and pain of Jews and Arabs alike."
Only one hospital functioning in northern Gaza, U.N. agency says
There is now just one functioning hospital remaining in northern Gaza, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today, citing bombardment in the area and a lack of power and oxygen.
"Shifa and Al Quds hospitals are being subject to heavy strikes," the OCHA said in a report, referring to the two major hospitals in Gaza.
"The ICU facility, the maternity ward, and the top floor of the surgery building, were hit and damaged. A fire broke near the department treating patients with kidney disorders," OCHA said of the condition of the Al-Shifa complex.
Red Cross chief to meet families of the hostages
Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric will meet with the families of hostages at the aid group's headquarters in Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross said today in a statement.
“We are deeply concerned that children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people are among those held,” she said.
Spoljaric will also meet with Israel’s foreign minister and health minister, alongside the families. The Red Cross has played a key role in securing the release of some of the hostages in past weeks.
Crowds gather outside the White House ahead of pro-Israel march
Demonstrators pray on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House before a rally supporting Israel today.
U.S. imposes new sanctions on Hamas 'leaders and financiers'
The Biden administration has announced a new round of action against what it describes as "Hamas-affiliated individuals and entities."
The State Department said the sanctions, imposed in coordination with Britain, "designates key Hamas officials and the mechanisms by which Iran provides support to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)," another militant group.
In a statement, the State Department said it was "designating Akram al-Ajouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for being a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)."
Biden’s handling of Israel draws the support of many American Jews
WASHINGTON — After Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, many American Jews are rallying around Biden, referring to his response to the war in Gaza as a show of “moral clarity.” Thousands are expected to descend upon Washington today to push for continued assistance to Israel.
Biden “feels it in his kishkes,” said Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, using a Yiddish word that can translate to “gut.”
“He feels the connection to our community,” she added.
Gunfire and a mass grave: Gaza hospital director describes conditions
Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza has "turned into a real cemetery for the sick and wounded," its director told NBC News today.
Those trapped in Gaza's main hospital are caught between caring for the living and struggling to bury the dead as fighting rages in the vicinity, Dr. Midhat Abbas said.
"Anyone moving inside the hospital’s courtyards or around it is exposed to gunfire," he said via WhatsApp this morning. "We were forced to bury the martyrs inside the hospital after their bodies decomposed and there was no consent to take them out. The grave we are digging is small and cannot accommodate all the martyrs," he said.
"There are real fears that the lives of many children and wounded people will be lost inside the hospital," he added.
China condemns Israeli minister's comments on Gaza nuclear option
China has condemned recent comments made by an Israeli minister that dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza was an option in the war.
China’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Geng Shaung, called the comments by Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu “extremely irresponsible and disturbing” at last night's opening of a United Nations conference whose goal is to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.
Other nations, including Iran and many Arab countries, joined China in condemning the statement at the conference.
Although Israel has never publicly said it has nuclear weapons, it is widely believed that the country possesses them. Eliyahu was suspended from Cabinet meetings after the comments.
Israel confirms the death of soldier, 19, held captive by Hamas
Israel's military today confirmed the death of 19-year-old soldier Noa Marciano, who was abducted by Hamas.
“She was promoted from private to corporal posthumously,” the IDF said as it posted her name on the website of fallen soldiers, adding it had notified her family.
Marciano was shown in a video released yesterday by the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. In it, she appeared before the camera where she mentions the name of her parents and the bombings in Gaza.
Questions swirl about Hamas and Gaza hospitals
TEL AVIV — Biden said last night that he is in contact with the Israeli government about Al-Shifa hospital, where dead bodies are piling up and 36 premature babies had to be taken off incubators.
Biden said his "hope and expectation" is that there would be "less intrusive action relative to the hospital."
"The hospital must be protected," he told reporters.
At the same time, the IDF released a roughly edited six-minute video that it said shows a Hamas headquarters containing weapons under Al-Rantisi hospital. NBC News has no way to verify the Israeli claims, which included allegation that hostages had been held there.
The Gaza Health Ministry denied Israel's allegation, calling it a "stupid charade for which there is not a single piece of evidence that deserves a response." The basement area the IDF described had been used to shelter displaced people, it said.
The question in the coming days will be whether there is really a Hamas operation under Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip. The Health Ministry says there is not, and three doctors at Al-Shifa have told NBC News in recent weeks that they have not seen Hamas operating from the complex. But a former Israeli intelligence officer told NBC News: "No doubt there is an underground Hamas headquarters under Al Shifa and many other hospitals. Israel has proof, no doubt about it, I saw it in the past."
Israeli tanks are outside Al-Shifa hospital. The expectation is that at at some stage, the IDF will take control of it and will then look for evidence of Hamas. The world will be watching.
‘March for Israel’ rally to condemn rising antisemitism at D.C.’s National Mall
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather this afternoon on the National Mall in a forceful show of support for Israel and to condemn antisemitism in the wake of increased incidents of bias across the U.S.
Organizers of the event said they are calling for the return of the hostages held by Hamas, and also want to underscore “Israel’s right to remain free from violence and the right of Jewish communities in North America and around the world to live free from hate.”
Organizers expect congressional leaders, actors, activists and family members of the hostages to be among the speakers.
Brazil’s president blasts Israel’s 'inhumane violence' and welcomes Brazilians who fled Gaza
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva blasted Israel last night as he greeted Brazilians who arrived home after fleeing Gaza.
"Yes, Hamas committed an act of terrorism and did what it did, but the State of Israel is also committing several acts of terrorism by not taking into account that children are not at war," Lula told reporters after he greeted the evacuees.
His government helped evacuate 32 nationals from Gaza, who arrived at the Brasilia air base after a daylong flight.
Al-Shifa hospital staff are burying 150 bodies, Health Ministry says
Staff at the Al-Shifa hospital are working to bury approximately 150 bodies in a mass grave at the complex, the Gaza Health Ministry said today.
The efforts come as gunfire and bombings continue around the complex's buildings.
"We have repeatedly warned against hospitals becoming mass graves and morgues," the ministry's director general, Dr Marwan Al-Barsh, said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the ministry separately said it would take staff "6 hours of continuous work" to bury all the dead, and added that the death toll is likely to increase due to the hospital's inability to provide proper care for the wounded.
"Shells are still falling on Al-Shifa Medical Complex, and everyone in it is surrounded by certain death," the spokesperson said. No ambulances have been able to reach the complex since Friday.
A crowd waits to collect the bodies of loved ones in Khan Younis
Mourners stand behind a metal fence near the bodies of loved ones at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, before their burial today.
Israeli strikes on hospitals should be investigated as war crimes, Human Rights Watch says
Israeli attacks on Gaza's hospitals "should be investigated as war crimes," Human Rights Watch said in a new report.
“Israel’s repeated attacks damaging hospitals and harming healthcare workers, already hard hit by an unlawful blockade, have devastated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,” A. Kayum Ahmed, special adviser on the right to health at Human Rights Watch said in the report. "The strikes on hospitals have killed hundreds of people and put many patients at grave risk because they’re unable to receive proper medical care.”
The Israeli military denies it is targeting civilians. It alleges that Hamas operates from tunnels under Gaza hospitals — allegations that both Hamas and hospital workers have denied.
Human Rights Watch said that "even the threat of an attack or minor damage can have massive life-or-death implications for patients and caregivers,” and called on the International Criminal Court to investigate.
Pro-Palestinian protesters clash with police in front of U.S. Embassy in Manila
Almost 200 demonstrators, angry at the way the U.S. has been supporting Israel in its war with Hamas, clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, today.
Almost 200,000 people in Gaza have fled south, U.N. agency says
An estimated 200,000 people have fled south since Nov. 5 via the humanitarian corridor opened at daily intervals by the Israeli military, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
Most of the evacuees arrive "exhausted and thirsty," carrying very few belongings, after walking for miles on foot or traveling by donkey carts, the OCHA said in a report.
"There are reports of some people being subjected to acts of violence, including being stripped, beaten, and, in some instances, fired upon," during their journeys, the agency said.
More than 600 expected to pass through Gaza's Rafah crossing
Around 630 foreign passport holders and dual nationals are expected to cross into Egypt today through Gaza’s Rafah border crossing, Raed Abdel Nasser, the Red Crescent general secretary for North Sinai, told NBC News.
The total includes 159 Egyptians.
U.N. says trucks have run out of fuel in Gaza, warns humanitarian work 'will grind to a halt'
U.N. trucks in Gaza have run out of fuel, its Palestinian refugee agency said late yesterday.
"We will not be able to receive aid coming through the Rafah crossing tomorrow," the UNRWA said in a post on on X, referring to the crossing between Egypt and Gaza through which aid has been trickling in. "The humanitarian operation in #GazaStrip will grind to a halt within 48 hours as no fuel is allowed to enter."
Fuel has not been allowed into Gaza since Israel started its blockade of the enclave last month, out of fear that Hamas will use the fuel to launch rockets and power its operations against Israeli forces.
But health authorities and humanitarian organizations, including the U.N., have sounded the alarm about the shortage of fuel inside Gaza, since it imperils Gaza's hospitals, sanitation systems, water infrastructure and aid delivery.
IDF says it will transfer incubators to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza
The IDF said last night it will coordinate the transfer of incubators from a hospital in Israel to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, where doctors have said they had to remove premature babies from incubators that could not be kept running without power.
NBC News was not able to verify when the incubators might be delivered or how the Israeli army would deliver them amid intensifying fighting, which hospital staff said left them too afraid of leaving the premises of the hospital to evacuate.
It's also not clear how the delivery of additional incubators to Al-Shifa will help save the lives of the premature babies when the hospital still lacks power that forced their removal from the incubators in the first place.
An Israeli flag flies over ruins in northern Gaza
Buildings are reduced to relics in northern Gaza yesterday, viewed from Sderot, Israel.
Vivian Silver, peace activist thought to have been taken hostage, was killed Oct. 7
Vivian Silver, a renowned Canadian Israeli peace activist who was believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas, was actually killed at her kibbutz on the day of the attack, officials said last night.
Silver, 74, was last heard from around 11 a.m. Oct. 7 when she texted friends and family members that she was hiding in her house at the Be’eri kibbutz and could hear gunfire and people screaming. As the days passed with no word from the authorities that her body had been found, her family suspected that she had been abducted by Hamas fighters.
But Israel’s consul general in Toronto, Idit Shamir, announced today that she has been confirmed dead, killed by Hamas at her kibbutz.
“Tragic news: Vivian Silver, the Canadian-Israeli peace activist previously thought to be taken hostage, has been confirmed dead, murdered by Hamas in Kibbutz Beeri,” Shamir posted on X. “Our hearts go out to her family and friends. May her memory be a blessing.” It was not immediately clear how her remains were identified or why it took nearly five weeks.
Her son, Yonatan Zeigen, told CBC News that his mother’s remains had been found earlier at the kibbutz but had only just been identified. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
NBC News' latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas war
- Gaza hospitals’ evacuation efforts falter amid heavy fighting
- ‘Nakba 2023’: Israel right-wing ministers’ comments add fuel to Palestinian fears
- Israel-Hamas war stokes tensions in Europe
- Biden struggles to quell backlash in party over Israel’s response to Hamas
- Israel’s assault on Gaza adds to uncertainty of fragile hostage talks