What we know
- As Israel pushes forward with its deadly assault on the southern Gaza Strip, the United States has warned that Israel must "put a premium on civilian protection" while it battles Hamas. In a rare criticism of its close ally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that "there does remain a gap between ... the intent to protect civilians and the actual results that we're seeing on the ground."
- The Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel into Gaza is set to be reopened in the coming days for inspections of aid trucks, a move seen as a much-needed boost to humanitarian operations in the Palestinian enclave as supplies of food, water and medicine run short.
- The United Nations Security Council met to vote on whether to urge an immediate cease-fire, after Secretary-General António Guterres invoked a rarely used power to warn an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza risked a total breakdown in public order. The U.S. vetoed the resolution.
- About 1.9 million people have been displaced in Gaza, where health officials say the death toll has now surpassed 17,000 after weeks of Israeli attacks. The Israel Defense Forces estimates 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attack, with around 140 people still held captive in Gaza.
- NBC News’ Richard Engel, Raf Sanchez, Hala Gorani, Hallie Jackson and Chantal Da Silva are reporting from the region.
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Kirby: U.S. working to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza
The National Security Council's spokesperson today stopped short of agreeing that Gaza is on the brink of collapse.
Asked if he agreed with the assessment of a United Nations' official who said Gaza is "on the brink of full-blown collapse," John Kirby said, "I would just say we’re mindful of the extreme humanitarian suffering inside Gaza, and we're doing everything we can to help alleviate that."
Thomas White, the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said today civil order in Gaza was breaking down and much-needed shipments of aid were being looted if they make it through at all.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said today aid was being choked off, with only 69 trucks with vital supplies making it into the enclave yesterday.
Kirby, speaking aboard Air Force One en route to Las Vegas, said "dozens" of trucks carrying aid were being held up by Israeli inspections, and the United States would like to see about 200 such trucks reach Gaza each day.
U.S. official says Israel scaled back northern Gaza incursion over civilian casualty concerns
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby today said Israel scaled back its military operations in northern Gaza over concerns about potential civilian casualties raised by the United States.
"They have, in fact, taken some steps to try to be more careful," he said during a news conference aboard Air Force One. "For instance their movement into Gaza, north Gaza, was smaller than originally planned. And some of that is based on some council and perspective that we shared."
U.S. military advisers with experience in Iraq, described as urban warfare experts, helped advise Israel on "deliberate and precise targeting," Kirby said en route to Las Vegas.
The time frame for the scaled-back operation Kirby described wasn’t completely clear.
Gaza health officials say at least 17,000 people, including children and civilians, have died in the war between Israel and Hamas following the latter's Oct. 7 attack. Israel, which said it has all but dismantled Hamas in the north, is now focused on southern Gaza.
It was Israel's targeting of caravans and hospitals in northern Gaza — military officials said they were used to shroud enemy operations — that prompted calls for a war crime investigation, which is under way.
World Food Program director describes chaotic scene in Gaza
The World Food Program's deputy executive director, Carl Skau, visited Gaza today and he said nothing prepared him for the "fear, the chaos, and the despair" he saw.
"Confusion at warehouses, distribution points with thousands of desperate hungry people, supermarkets with bare shelves, and overcrowded shelters with bursting bathrooms," Skau said in a statement. "The dull thud of bombs was the soundtrack for our day."
Skau said one woman told him she lived with nine other families in an apartment where they all took turns sleeping at night because they can't all lay down at the same time.
Skau's said his team got stuck at the Rafah crossing at the start of their mission, which he said is "a reminder of how cumbersome it is to get critical aid and staff into Gaza and the critical need for more border crossings."
The deputy director said he visited WFP staff in Gaza, where the breakdown of law and order prevented any meaningful humanitarian work from taking place. Gazans are desperate and living in packed, unhealthy shelters or on the streets in the cold, and have little food, Skau said.
"A WFP survey taken during the pause in hostilities, showed that Gazans are simply not eating. Nine out of ten families in some areas spent a full day and night without any food at all. When asked how often this happened, they told us that for up to 10 days in the past month, they had not eaten food," Skau said.
Skau called for more than one crossing and safe passage for Palestinians in order to continue their humanitarian operations, Skau said.
"This will only be possible with a humanitarian ceasefire and ultimately, we need this conflict to end," he said.
U.K. mission abstains from U.N. resolution over lack of condemnation of Hamas
The United Kingdom said it has abstained from a United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza cease-fire because the resolution failed to condemn the terror group Hamas.
The United States vetoed the resolution, put forth by the United Arab Emirates, that called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Israel’s war against Hamas and its military campaign in Gaza.
“We are gravely concerned about the desperate situation in Gaza,” the U.K. mission said, adding that the civilian casualties and displacement can’t continue.
“But we cannot vote in favour of a resolution which does not condemn the atrocities Hamas committed against innocent Israeli civilians on the 7th of October,” the U.K. mission said in a statement.
“Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage,” it continued.
The U.K. mission to the U.N. also said that Israel has a right to address the threat posed by Hamas but must do so in accordance with international humanitarian law. The U.K. had also expressed support for an eventual two-state solution.
IDF arrested civilians, forced them to take off their clothes and handcuffed them, Gaza media office says
The Israel Defense Forces arrested civilians in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza and forced them to take off their clothes, according to the Gaza Media Office.
The civilians were then blindfolded, put in trucks and taken to the seashore and left in the cold, the media office said.
"They ordered some of them to return to their homes and kept others under arrest, torture, and interrogation," the media office said in a statement. "One of the eyewitnesses who lived through these harsh hours says: 'We returned to our homes while we were walking naked, and we were surprised that most of the homes that we left from were burned and stolen by the Israeli occupation soldiers.'"
Dozens of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear, blindfolded and made to kneel while detained by Israeli soldiers in Gaza can be seen in images that emerged on social media yesterday.
The IDF said in a statement that it worked with the ISA to apprehend what they called "hundreds of wanted suspects throughout the Gaza Strip."
The photos and videos were circulated widely. NBC News was able to geolocate some of the footage of the city of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It was unclear exactly when and in what circumstances the detentions depicted in the images occurred, although it appears to be the first time that such images have been shared online and by Israeli news media.
In one photo shared on social media, men can be seen wearing nothing but underwear as they kneel in a line, surrounded by soldiers in full combat gear wielding guns amid shoes and clothing that are lying scattered on the ground.
Wharton advisory group calls for resignation of Penn president over antisemitism testimony
The Wharton Board of Advisors, the governing body of the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious business school, joined a growing chorus demanding the resignation of the university's president over testimony she gave this week at a congressional hearing on campus antisemitism.
In the undated letter to Penn President Liz Magill, the board wrote that the Ivy League school "requires new leadership with immediate effect." The board is largely made up of business and finance industry executives.
In a five-hour House hearing Tuesday, Magill and her counterparts at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were grilled over how their institutions have responded to a rise in anti-Jewish hate since Oct. 7.
In their testimonies, the three university leaders each condemned antisemitism. The outcry centered on a contentious exchange with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who asked whether "calling for the genocide of Jews" would violate each school’s code of conduct.
Instead of directly replying to Stefanik’s yes-or-no question, Magill said that decision would be "context-dependent." She said: "If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment."
In a two-minute video message posted Wednesday night on the social media platform X, Magill elaborated on her answer and condemned calls for the genocide of Jewish people in more unequivocal terms.
“I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate,” she said in the video.
The letter from the Wharton advisory board was first reported by the Daily Pennsylvanian, the university's student newspaper.
U.S. blocks cease-fire resolution at U.N. Security Council
The United States once again blocked the U.N. Security Council from demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, vetoing a resolution by the United Arab Emirates less than one hour before the top diplomats from the League of Arab Nations met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington.
“Although the United States strongly supports a durable peace, in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support this resolution’s call for an unsustainable ceasefire that will only plant the seeds for the next war,” U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said shortly after the vote. The U.S. also accused the council of a rushed process that resulted in an “unbalanced” resolution that was “divorced from reality.”
Of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, the U.S. was the sole vote against the resolution with 13 voting in favor and the United Kingdom abstaining.
“Mr. President, the United Arab Emirates is deeply disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote, regrettably, and in the face of untold misery, this council is unable to demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” the UAE’s deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Mohamed Abushahab said. “Let me be clear against the backdrop of the Secretary General’s grave warnings, the appeals by humanitarian actors, the world’s public opinion, this council grows isolated. It appears untethered from its own founding document.”
Two soldiers injured during operation to rescue hostages in Gaza, IDF says
Two soldiers were seriously injured during an operation to rescue hostages in Gaza last night, according to the IDF.
The IDF raided the site and killed members of Hamas they believe took part in kidnapping and holding hostages, spokesperson Daniel Hagari said. No hostages were rescued in the operation, he added.
Hagari also said that the IDF has arrested more than 200 "suspects" in the last 48 hours to be interrogated, which include Hamas commanders.
Images of dozens of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear, blindfolded and made to kneel while detained by Israeli soldiers in Gaza emerged on social media yesterday.
NBC News has not independently confirmed if all those detained have connections to Hamas or the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
Video: Mother of teen kidnapped by Hamas speaks out
The mother of a teen kidnapped by Hamas who was seen across the world in one of the first videos following the Oct. 7 attack says she could "see the terror in her eyes."
“It’s so difficult for me to even think and speak about it … I don’t even know what words to use," Ayelet Levi said.
Gaza is 'reaching a point of no return,' UNRWA says
The U.N. agency in Gaza said today that the strip is now "reaching a point of no return," adding that international law was blatantly being disregarded there.
"An end to the fighting is imperative if we are to avert the decimation of #Gaza and contain the spillover of this crisis," it said in a post on X.
65% of Americans say Hamas is at fault for the current conflict, Pew Research Center says
Sixty-five percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center blame Hamas for the current conflict, according to recent findings.
About 35% of Americans say the Israeli government bears a lot of the responsibility for the conflict.
Meanwhile, 46% of adults ages 18 to 29 say Hamas bears a lot of responsibility for the war, which compares with at least 60% among older age groups.
The Pew Research Center's findings differ based on age and partisanship.
"Majorities of both Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (73%) and Democrats and Democratic leaners (62%) say Hamas has a lot of responsibility for the conflict. But Democrats (50%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (21%) to say the Israeli government bears a lot of responsibility," the center says.
Around 49% of Democrats and 48% of Republicans say they're extremely or very concerned about increasing violence against Jewish people in the U.S., while 53% of Democrats expressed the same concern about Muslims. Only 22% of Republicans expressed that they're extremely or very concerned about the safety of Muslims in the U.S.
"While about half of Republicans (53%) say they are at least somewhat concerned about the prospect of rising violence against Muslims in the U.S., 46% say they are not too concerned or not at all concerned about this. That compares with 15% of Democrats," the center said.
About 35% of adults surveyed approve of President Joe Biden's response to the war, while 42% disapprove and 24% aren't sure.
For Republicans, 51% disapprove and 28% approve, while 33% of Democrats disapprove, 44% approve and 22% aren't sure.
"Adults under age 30 are particularly disapproving of the administration’s response to the conflict. Just 19% approve, while 46% disapprove. The administration’s response is viewed less negatively among older age groups," the center said.
Destroyed mosque in central Gaza
The ruins of the Jaffa Great Mosque after an airstrike in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, today.
E.U. puts Hamas leaders on its terrorist list
The European Union today put two senior members of the militant group Hamas on its terrorist list over the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
The E.U. headquarters said that it is freezing the funds and other assets in Europe of the commander general of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, and deputy commander Marwan Issa.
The move came in “response to the threat posed by Hamas and its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Israel.” No further details were provided.
Hamas and its military wing as organizations have been on the E.U.’s terrorist list for about 20 years.
U.N. official expresses 'grave concern' over reports hostages were victims of sexual violence
The special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict expressed "grave concern" over reports of sexual violence against hostages held by Hamas, the U.N. said today.
"Pramila Patten is gravely concerned about emerging reports of sexual violence, against both women and men, while they were held in Hamas captivity. Special Representative Patten expresses concern for those civilians still held hostage by Hamas, and calls for their immediate, safe, and unconditional release," a U.N. statement said.
Patten has "responded positively" to an invitation from the Israeli government to visit with and hear accounts from "survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, including recently released hostages, in order to amplify their voices," it said.
Qassam Brigades says multiple hostages killed and injured in IDF bombing in Gaza City
The Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, said a number of hostages were killed and wounded in the IDF's bombing of Gaza City.
“We announce the killing and wounding of a number of enemy prisoners in the barbaric occupation bombing of several areas in Gaza City," a statement from the Qassam Brigades said, without specifying the exact number of killed and wounded.
NBC News has not verified these claims and has reached out to the IDF for comment.
IDF says soldier injured in West Bank shooting
The IDF said a soldier was injured in the West Bank, according to a statement.
The soldier was injured as a result of individuals opening fire at soldiers in a military post adjacent from the town of Ya’bad, it said. The soldiers responded with live fire.
NBC News has not independently verified these claims.
Palestinian President Abbas: Peace conference is a must to end Israel-Gaza war
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said today that an international peace conference is a necessity to end the war in Gaza and to work out a lasting political solution that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In an interview with Reuters at his office in Ramallah, Abbas, 87, said the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in general had reached an alarming stage that requires an international conference and guarantees by world powers.
He reiterated his long-standing position in favor of negotiation rather than armed resistance to end the decadeslong occupation.
“I am with peaceful resistance. I am for negotiations based on an international peace conference and under international auspices that would lead to a solution that will be protected by world powers to establish a sovereign Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” he said.
Israel revises hostage number to 137
The number of hostages being held by Hamas has been revised downward to 137, Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister’s office, told a news conference today.
“That is one down from yesterday,” Levy said, adding that Dror Kaplon, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, had been confirmed dead.
Until today, Levy said, it had been thought that Kaplon had been taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. He added that “an investigation was still ongoing.”
Committee to Protect Journalists calls for release of Gaza correspondent Diaa Al-Kahlout
The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the release of Diaa Al-Kahlout after he was arrested by Israeli forces along with his family members.
Al-Kahlout, was working as a Gaza correspondent for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed when he was detained with his brother, relatives and other civilians in the Al-Souk area in the northern Gazan city of Beit Lahya, the London-based media outlet said in a statement.
In a separate statement, Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the CJP, said the New York-based nongovernmental organization was "deeply concerned by reports of the arrest."
“The Israeli army should disclose his location, release him immediately, and take steps to ensure the safety of all journalists covering this war, especially those in Gaza who face imminent harm,” Mansour added.
More than 300 killed in the past few hours, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson says
More than 300 people have been killed and almost 560 injured in the past few hours, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said today in a statement on Telegram.
“The health situation in the south is very disastrous,” he said, adding the hospitals have “lost the bone stabilizers and various supplies and surgical drugs and burn treatment.”
“The blood banks lost the virus test for the blood units and blood units are transferred without examination,” al-Qidra added.
NBC News could not independently verify his statements.
Conditions for Gaza aid delivery 'no longer exist,' U.N. chief tells Security Council
Conditions for effective aid delivery “no longer exist” in Gaza, Guterres said in an address to the Security Council in New York today.
“Gazans are running out of food,” the U.N. secretary-general said. “According to the World Food Programme, there is a serious risk of starvation and famine.”
“Food stocks are running out,” Guterres said. He added that at least 40 trucks of food supplies were needed every day.
“Families who have lost everything sleep on bare concrete floors wearing clothes they have worn for two months,” he said.
Parking lot becomes donations 'store' for families affected by Hamas attack
TEL AVIV — Packed with everything from strollers to clothing to homeware and toiletries, the parking lot of the Expo Tel Aviv convention center has been transformed into a donations "store" for families in Israel who had to leave their communities or saw their homes destroyed in Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks.
Lusil Blek, one of the organizers of the initiative by Eran's Angels, an organization supporting Israeli civilians and soldiers, told NBC News that families continue to show up at the site to pick up items after being temporarily displaced from their homes.
“At first, it was a lot of families and now they’re still coming in because they’re going into new homes that are empty,” Blek, 29, said. “They were normal people before that and now they’re homeless.”
Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for the Israeli government, told a news briefing today that an estimated 250,000 Israelis had been displaced after the Hamas attack.
In the Gaza Strip, about 1.9. million people have been displaced amid Israel's offensive in the enclave, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Blek said she believed that "what is going on right now is a humanitarian crisis," but she said her team does not take a "political" stance on the war.
U.N. warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza
JERUSALEM — The United Nations is warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as Israel expands its offensive against Hamas to the south of the enclave where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are seeking refuge.
U.S. officials are pressing Israel to explain what it plans next.
“We cannot have Israeli reoccupation of Gaza,” Blinken told a news conference yesterday. “We cannot have forced displacement.”
At least six killed by Israeli forces in West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry says
At least six people including a teenage boy were killed by Israeli forces in the Al-Fara'a camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement today.
It added that the youngest victims was a 14-year-old boy.
In a separate statement on X, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli forces were obstructing ambulances during a raid at the camp.
NBC News could not independently verify either claim.
Palestinian girl loses her leg and 15 members of her family in Israeli strike
Razan Arafat’s life changed forever in the strike, which killed 15 members of the family, including her parents and three siblings.
The 13-year-old also lost her left leg.
“I found myself and my sisters covered in stones and smoke filling the place,” Razan told an NBC News crew today as she described the blast at the house in Al-Zeitoun in northern Gaza.
She added that her family had heeded Israeli warnings to move before the strike blew the building to pieces.
Razan's aunt Sahar Arafat also survived the attack and is now taking care of her niece.
“Sometimes she wakes up or when we talk about her father, we try as much as possible not to talk about her father, but when we talk about her father she loses consciousness, feels like a hopeless situation, and screams,” Sahar Arafat said.
“No matter what we do, it will never be possible to replace the presence of the mother and father,” she added.
Netanyahu attends funeral of former Israeli army chief's son
Netanyahu attended the funeral for First Sgt. Maj. Gal Meir Eisenkot in Herzliya, Israel, today.
The IDF said the 25-year-old son of the Cabinet minister and former army chief Gadi Eisenkot, died yesterday in Gaza.
Gadi Eisenkot mourned his son who was killed in action during his funeral ceremony.
Civil order is 'breaking down' in Gaza, UNRWA chief says
The Gaza Strip is “on the brink of a full-blown collapse,” Thomas White, the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said today.
“Society is on the brink of full-blown collapse,” White wrote on X, adding the streets “feel wild.”
"Civil order is breaking down," he said. He added that some aid convoys had been looted and U.N. vehicles stoned.
Loud explosions heard in Tel Aviv
TEL AVIV — Loud explosions and sirens were heard in Tel Aviv today.
They came as Hamas's military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said on Telegram that they had launched a missile barrage.
No injuries were immediately reported.
China supports U.N. chief’s call for a cease-fire
HONG KONG — China supports Guterres’ call for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said today in a daily briefing.
“The prolongation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to the present day has resulted in a grave humanitarian catastrophe,” Wang said when asked about Guterres’ letter to the president of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday appealing for a humanitarian cease-fire.
Wang added that China supported Guterres' efforts on the issue, and called on the Security Council to listen to the calls of Arab and Islamic countries and push for an end to the war.
“The international society should take more actions to save lives and restore peace,” he said.
Rockets fired at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone
BAGHDAD — Two rockets were fired at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a senior Iraqi official told NBC News today.
The rockets fell inside the Green Zone and close to the embassy with no damage or casualties reported, the official said.
"Targeting diplomatic missions is something that cannot be justified and cannot be accepted," Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, according to a statement from the Iraqi armed forces.
“These unruly, lawless groups do not in any way represent the will of the Iraqi people,” he added, before he he ordered Iraqi security forces to pursue those responsible for the attack.
Video shows injured patients arriving at a hospital in southern Gaza
In southern Gaza where Israel has expanded its military operation, injured people arrived at a hospital in the city of Khan Younis this morning. Some were carried in, others were put on stretchers.
Freed Israeli hostage describes sneaking her dog into captivity
Mia Leimberg emerged from almost two months’ captivity in Gaza with Bella, her Shih Tzu, in her arms.
“When we were there we had to feed her our leftovers — yeah I’m talking about you Bella,” the 17-year-old said looking down at the small white dog in her arms. “And we had to make sure that she doesn’t run wild where we were. We had to keep her so that she doesn’t go exploring and annoy anybody there.”
The teenager and her mother, Gabriela Leimberg, were visiting family in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak when they were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7.
She, her mother, an aunt and the dog were set free as part of a swap for Palestinian prisoners, but her uncle and her aunt’s partner remain in captivity.
“It was difficult. I held (Bella) all the way there. It was an extra 4 kilos. And I’m just lucky enough that I managed to keep her through that whole situation and bring her back,” She said from her home in Jerusalem in her first media interview.
Leimberg’s father, Moshe Leimberg, said they searched for Bella during the weeks of his family’s captivity. The day of their release, he was surprised to hear his daughter came out holding the dog.
He described in more detail what his daughter went through to keep Bella. “She was worried that something would happen to the dog if she left her behind,” he said.
The teenager hid the dog under her pajamas as they were loaded into a vehicle that drove out of the kibbutz.
“Then they took them to tunnels ... she had the dog with her the whole time,” he said. “When they came out of the tunnel they had to climb up a ladder, that’s when the Hamas people noticed that this was not a doll, it was a living, breathing dog.”
“A bit of an argument ensued, and it was decided to let her keep the dog instead of leave it behind.”
The hostages cleaned up after the dog to prevent bad smells.
“She was very determined to bring the dog back, and one of the expressions that she has now, about the dog, is ‘I love you to Gaza and back.’”
She said they will fight for the freedom of the other hostages, including her uncle and aunt’s partner.
“We miss them every day and it feels wrong being here without them,” she said. “As much as I am happy to be back, we’re still not done.”
Only 69 aid trucks entered Gaza yesterday, Palestine Red Crescent says
The Palestine Red Crescent Society received 69 aid trucks yesterday, it said yesterday in a post on X.
The trucks received aid through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and contained essential supplies, it added.
U.N. secretary-general to brief Security Council today
Guterres will brief the Security Council today after he invoked Article 99 of the charter calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
Guterres has spoken to officials from seven different states, including Blinken since he made the rare move Wednesday to formally warn the Security Council of a global threat from the Gaza war, his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told a news conference yesterday.
Article 99 of the U.N. charter allows the secretary-general to present a matter before the Security Council which "in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."
Palestinian Authority 'working with U.S. on postwar plan for Gaza'
American officials are working with the Palestinian Authority on a postwar plan for the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian prime minister.
Mohammad Shtayyeh told Bloomberg today that he was he was hopeful that Hamas would join the Palestine Liberation Organization as a junior partner in helping to establish a new independent Palestinian state that included the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
“If they [Hamas] are ready to come to an agreement and accept the political platform of the PLO, then there will be room for talk. Palestinians should not be divided,” he said.
Shtayyeh’s Palestinian Authority partially administers the occupied West Bank. His Fatah movement is a rival of Hamas, which controls Gaza.
He added that Israel’s aim to defeat Hamas completely is not realistic as “Hamas is in Lebanon, everybody knows Hamas leadership is in Qatar and they are here in the West Bank.”
Relatives hold vigils on first night of Hanukkah in Israel
Jacob Swid, whose son died fighting Hamas militants during the attack in a kibbutz on Oct. 7, lights a Hanukkah candle at a staging area in southern Israel, near the Gaza border last night.Families of hostages carry candles and raise placards during a vigil on the first night of Hanukkah in Tel Aviv.
Gaza aid program ‘no longer functioning,’ U.N. humanitarian chief says
The head of the United Nations humanitarian program in the Gaza Strip said today that it was “no longer functioning.”
“The pace of the military assault in southern Gaza is a repeat of the assault in northern Gaza,” Martin Griffiths told a press briefing yesterday in Geneva.
He added that there was “no place safe” for civilians in southern Gaza, which had been a “cornerstone” for the U.N. to protect people and provide aid.
“Without places of safety, that plan is in tatters,” he said.
Captive Israeli soldier killed in clash with special forces, Hamas says
A hostage was killed in a clash with Israeli forces attempting to reach the captive soldier, Hamas’ military wing, Qassam Brigades, said on Telegram today.
The militant group identified the victim as Sa'ar Baruch, 25.
“Military aircraft intervened and bombed the place with a series of airstrikes to cover the withdrawal,” the post said, adding that “the clash led to the death of the captured soldier.”
NBC News has not independently verified the claim.
Mom and her newborn in Gaza displaced in Gaza
Israa Kamal Al-Jumalah is a 28-year-old woman living in Gaza who gave birth the night of the initial truce. Today, as the war continues, the mother and her newborn are living in a Gaza hospital for the displaced.
IDF says it hit more than 450 sites in Gaza in past day
The IDF has said it struck almost 450 targets across Gaza Strip yesterday, adding that many targets across Khan Younis in southern Gaza were eliminated.
Some of these targets were killed by unmanned aerial vehicles, it said, adding that its troops continue to "locate and destroy underground tunnel shafts, weapons, and additional terror infrastructure."
The IDF's naval forces are also striking targets across central and southern parts of Gaza, it said.
Palestinians grieve in southern Gaza as losses continue
A Palestinian woman cries as she collects the body of a loved one outside a hospital morgue in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.
Israel agrees to open Kerem Shalom border crossing for aid to Gaza, official says
Israel has agreed to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza for screening and inspections of humanitarian aid, a senior U.S. official said.
The opening was agreed to on the request of the U.S., the official said.
The Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt has been allowing aid to enter Gaza in recent weeks, but the larger Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza from Israel has been closed throughout the war.
“This is an important step, and we will continue to be in touch with our Israeli counterparts to ensure it happens,” the U.S. official said.
Catch up with NBC News' latest coverage of the war
- Freed Hamas hostages come home to find kibbutz destroyed
- Israel considers flooding Hamas tunnels as it pursues top leader thought to be hiding underground
- Nikki Haley went after TikTok, but she may have flubbed her statistics
- Man federally charged after firing shots outside New York synagogue, officials say
- University leaders condemn Jewish genocide rhetoric as backlash grows