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CIA director to meet with Israel and Qatar representatives over hostage deadlock

The Gulf state has criticized Israel's prime minister for reportedly saying its role as a mediator in hostage talks with Hamas is "problematic."

What we know

  • Qatar has said it was appalled by leaked comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disparaging its role as a mediator with Hamas. In a meeting with hostages' families, Netanyahu reportedly said the Gulf state's role as a broker with the militant group was “problematic.” Qatar said that was “irresponsible and destructive,” but a Qatari official told NBC News today that the country “would never jeopardize” hostage talks.
  • CIA Director William Burns is set to meet with Qatar's prime minister and the director of Mossad this weekend in an effort to secure a hostage release deal, a diplomat with knowledge of the plans said.
  • The International Court of Justice is expected to rule tomorrow on South Africa’s request for the United Nations court to order a temporary cease-fire in Gaza while a full case accusing Israel of genocide is heard. An Israeli government spokesperson said he expected the case to be tossed out.
  • The United Nations said a shelter housing thousands of displaced civilians in Gaza was hit by tank shells, killing at least 12 people amid intensified fighting in the area. Israel has denied responsibility for the strike in the southern city of Khan Younis, and it said it is investigating whether Hamas was behind the explosion. The U.S. denounced the deadly attack and emphasized the need to protect civilians.
  • Houthi naval forces claimed to have directly hit a U.S. warship in the Red Sea yesterday, forcing two merchant ships to ''retreat.'' The U.S. said that it shot down two of the three missiles and that there were no injuries or damage from the latest attack by the Iran-backed militants.
  • More than 25,700 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 63,700 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead.
  • Israeli military officials said at least 219 soldiers have been killed during the ground invasion of Gaza. About 1,200 people were killed and about 240 hostages were taken after Hamas launched multipronged attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.
  • NBC News’ Richard Engel, Raf Sanchez, Matt Bradley, Chantal Da Silva, Anna Schecter and Ali Arouzi are reporting from the region.

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Follow live updates here.

Nasser Hospital out of anesthesia and food as Palestinians seek aid in Khan Younis

Nasser Hospital, the main health facility in Khan Younis, is nearly out of supplies as desperate civilians seek care after days of bombardment in the southern Gaza city.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, reported that the hospital has no more pain-relieving medications to offer patients and that the operating rooms are completely out of anesthesia. There is reportedly no more food, even as many seek shelter at the facility.

"The remaining amount of fuel is sufficient for less than five days in Nasser Medical Complex," Al-Qudra said.

The Health Ministry also reported that the area surrounding the hospital's complex has been subjected to intense fighting. The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement this morning responding to a request from NBC News, the IDF said: "The IDF is carrying out precise operations against the Hamas terrorist organization in Khan Yunis. IDF intelligence indicates that Hamas terrorists are operating from inside and around the Nasser hospital and Al-Amal hospital in Khan Yunis. The systematic use of hospitals across Gaza by Hamas has been repeatedly documented and distributed. This includes an incident two weeks ago, where IDF radar systems identified a rocket launch from within the Nasser hospital compound."

It added that "the IDF has been liaising with the hospital directors and medical staff, on the phone and on the ground, to ensure that the hospitals can remain operational and accessible. The IDF communicated that there is no obligation to evacuate the hospitals. On the contrary, we have reiterated the importance of safeguarding and protecting these hospitals so that they can continue providing medical services to the people of Gaza. IDF forces were briefed about the importance of operating with caution in the area of the hospitals and designated shelters prior to their operation against Hamas in this area."

"Gazans who wish to move from the Nasser and Al-Amal hospitals, as many have chosen to do, can pass through the corridor on the Al-Bahar street, located on the western side of the hospitals"

Deaths of Israeli soldiers in explosion highlight friendly fire accidents in Gaza

TEL AVIV — The explosion could be heard across central Gaza.

As they got ready to destroy a Hamas facility used to build rockets, Israeli combat engineers were busy lining the site with explosive charges, making final preparations for a controlled detonation.

And then, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces, a nearby tank crew, believing it had spotted Hamas fighters, opened fire. The shell toppled an electricity pole, which fell and triggered the explosives.  

Six soldiers were killed and 14 were injured in the explosion on Jan. 8, the IDF said, after television crews inside Gaza captured two gray plumes of smoke towering over the Bureij refugee camp

Read the full story here.

Poll finds 35% of Americans believe Israel is guilty of genocide

More than a third of Americans believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, according to a poll published late yesterday.

The wide-ranging survey of 1,659 people, conducted by pollster YouGov and The Economist magazine, found that 35% answered yes to the question: “Do you think Israel is committing genocide against Palestinian civilians?”

Slightly more, 36%, answered no, and 29% said they were undecided. Younger Americans were more likely to say Israel is committing genocide: 49% of those ages 18 to 29 compared with 21% of people over 65. And Democrats (49% yes — 21% no) were more likely to agree than Republicans (18% — 57%). The questions were asked from Sunday to Tuesday, with an margin of sampling error of 3.1%.

South Africa has brought a genocide case against Israel at the United Nations’ top court, which is deliberating. Israel has vehemently denied the allegations, saying it is targeting only Hamas militants and has made every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

Israel ‘close to the last best chance’ of freeing hostages, which depends on ‘permanent cease-fire,’ expert says

CIA Director William Burns will head to Europe to help broker a deal between Hamas and Israel to release the hostages. Ex-CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos and The Soufan Group researcher Colin Clarke joined Ryan Nobles to discuss a possible hostage deal.

“We’re getting close to the last best chance to free the hostages, though. The big issue, the breaking point, is, you know, whether or not to agree to a permanent cease-fire,” Clarke said. “I think if there is the opportunity to reach a deal, I do think these are the individuals best positioned to do it, and it would also alleviate some of the pressure that we’re seeing from all of these other Iranian proxies that have been highly active in the region.”

Houthi and Russian officials met to discuss Red Sea conflict, group's spokesperson said

Yemen's Houthi rebels met with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, to discuss the group's conflict with the U.S. over Houthi-led attacks in the Red Sea.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, the Houthi spokesperson, wrote on X that the position asserted to Bogdanov is that there must be intensified international efforts to pressure the U.S. and Israel to implement a cease-fire in Gaza.

"Yemen's position was clarified in support of Gaza and the American-British aggression it was subjected to in order to protect Israel, and that it is better for America to stop the aggression against the Gaza Strip and bring humanitarian aid into it, not to go towards militarizing the Red Sea," Abdulsalam wrote, according to a translation of the post.

Since October, the Houthis have attacked vessels in the Red Sea believed to be supporting Israel and hindering global shipping as a result.

The U.S. and the U.K. have issued strikes in Yemen twice and just today announced a round of sanctions on Houthi leaders in an attempt to dissuade the group’s attacks.

Hamas lays out conditions for hostage release if International Court of Justice orders cease-fire

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Beirut, described the general conditions the group wants in order to release more than 100 hostages who remain captive in Gaza.

Hamdan told reporters that Hamas is closely following the genocide case against Israel brought to the International Court of Justice and suggested it would adhere to a court-ordered cease-fire if Israel agrees to the same. He added that the group would release hostages if Israel releases Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas also demands an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza, which has been in effect since 2007, with Israel controlling land, sea and air access to the Palestinian enclave.

There has been no significant movement toward a second hostage deal since a temporary pause in hostilities fell apart at the end of November. Hamas told NBC News on Sunday that it would not agree to a deal without a permanent cease-fire, a condition that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected in public statements. Israeli officials have pointed out that a cease-fire was in place at the time of Oct. 7, when Hamas breached the Gaza-Israel border and attacked Israeli civilians.

Blinken says U.S. 'reaffirmed' to Israel need to protect civilians after U.N. facility hit

The U.S. has "reaffirmed" to Israel the need to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza after the United Nations says multiple people were killed yesterday in a hit on one of its facilities, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters today.

A training center in Khan Younis where thousands of displaced Palestinians have been seeking shelter was hit by tank fire, the international organization said. The Israeli Defense Forces denied it struck the facility, saying it was investigating whether Hamas was responsible.

Blinken described the United Nations work in Gaza as life-saving and desperately needed in the conflict zone.

"And no else can do it, no one else is doing it," Blinken said. "And it only underscores the importance of making sure that its facilities — including facilities that it's erected or are maintaining — that are housing the many, many, displaced Palestinians until they can go back to their homes ... it has to be protected."

CIA director to meet with Mossad director, Qatari prime minister over hostage deal deadlock

CIA Director Bill Burns will meet with representatives from Israel and Qatar this weekend in Europe to try to break the deadlock in their efforts to negotiate a deal to secure the release of the hostages in Gaza, a diplomat with knowledge of the matter confirmed to NBC News.

Burns is set to meet with Mossad Director David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, according to the diplomat.

There has been no movement on hostage releases since December, when a temporary cease-fire and hostage exchange deal fell apart. Hamas has repeatedly stated it will not release any of the more than 100 people still captive without a permanent end to hostilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to agree to such terms, reportedly floating the idea of a two-month pause instead.

Israel orders evacuation of U.N. facility hit by tank fire, UNRWA says

Hundreds of displaced Palestinians taking shelter at a United Nations facility in Khan Younis have been ordered to leave by the Israeli military by tomorrow evening, a spokesperson for the UNRWA told Agence France-Presse today.

The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News on the report.

The facility is the same one the agency said was hit by direct tank fire yesterday, killing a dozen people and injuring dozens more. The IDF has denied it was its artillery that hit the facility and said it was investigating whether it was caused by Hamas fire.

Thomas White, director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, said today that more than 43,000 civilians are registered to the overcrowded facility and many have nowhere to go because they've already fled their homes.

"This shelter has been impacted directly and indirectly by military activity twenty-two times since 7 October 2023," White said in a statement. "Yesterday’s strike was the third direct hit on this compound. Buildings flying the UN flag have been hit at least twice by tank fire, without warning."

U.S. and U.K. issue joint sanctions on Houthi leaders

Another round of joint action has emerged from the U.S. and U.K. as the allies announced sanctions on Houthi rebel leaders today, the latest development as the Yemen-based militia says it is undeterred from attacking vessels in the Red Sea.

There are four people designated for sanctions: Muhammad Fadl Abd al-Nabi, commander of the Houthi naval forces; Muhammad Ali al-Qadiri, chief of the Houthi coastal defense force; Mohamed al-Atifi, Houthi defense minister; and Muhammad Ahmad al-Talibi, assistant minister of defense for logistics and director of the procurement department.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said that all assets belonging to the leaders in U.S. control must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and any outside institutions working with the leaders would be subject to enforcement. In its own statement, the U.K. government added that it would be issuing a travel ban on the individuals.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron described the sanctions as a response to the Houthis' "unacceptable and illegal actions" that have impeded trade and put lives at risk.

"These sanctions reinforce our clear message to the Houthis in recent weeks," Cameron said. "We can degrade their ability to attack international shipping. We are determined to protect freedom of navigation."

The Houthi rebels have repeatedly stated they attack ships the group believes to support Israel and will continue to do so until Israel's siege on Gaza is over.

Israeli official condemns restaurant in Jordan named ‘October 7’

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid posted on X calling a restaurant in Amman named October 7, seemingly in reference to Hamas' attack on Israel, "disgraceful." He called on the Jordanian government "to condemn this publicly and unequivocally."

NBC News has not been able to contact the owners of the restaurant for comment.

At least 20 killed by Israeli fire in crowd waiting for aid, Gaza Health Ministry says

Israeli shelling hit a crowd of people waiting for humanitarian aid at a roundabout in central Gaza, the Palestinian enclave's Health Ministry has said.

In a statement posted to Telegram today, a Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, said the Israeli military “committed a new massacre against thousands of hungry mouths who were waiting for humanitarian aid.”

Twenty people were killed and 150 were injured, he said. He added that the incident happened in the Kuwaiti Square of Gaza City and that the number of dead "would likely increase as a result of dozens" of critical injuries that were still being attended to at Shifa Hospital in the city.

NBC News was unable to independently verify the claims. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It said it was looking into the reports, according to The Associated Press.

In a video Reuters published yesterday, mass crowds of panicked residents flee amid sounds of gunfire in what appears to be a humanitarian aid distribution point in Gaza City.

Shots ring out in the background as hundreds of residents are seen running, many carrying aid boxes, with some on donkey-led carts, but mostly by foot.

The man recording the video can be heard panting breathlessly as he runs, saying Israeli forces are "opening fire at citizens as they receive humanitarian aid" in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City. He locates the chaos to Kuwait Square.

Wounded Gazans receive treatment at Nasser Hospital

A doctor carefully seals stitches on a head injury, a man seeks advice for a bleeding stomach wound and a man lies on a bloodstained floor, wrapped in a blanket.

The scenes were recorded yesterday by an NBC News team at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, the city in southern Gaza that in recent days has been the focus of Israel's military operation in the enclave.

Other video captured groups of residents scrambling to bring wounded Palestinians into the medical complex.

“The situation in Khan Younis has been very intense for six days now,” said Majeed Diab Dahanu, who has been sheltering in the facility, adding that there had been Israeli shelling nearby.

“It is a state of fear and terror for the displaced people, even for the patients; so many people have been displaced from this hospital,” he added.

Separately, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, said the "humanitarian situation" was "extremely catastrophic" at the hospital, which he said is operating within 10% of its capacity.

We expect ICJ to toss 'completely absurd' genocide case, Israel says

Israel says it expects the International Court of Justice to “throw out the completely absurd and ridiculous charges pressed by South Africa,” which has accused it of genocide.

The ICJ, the United Nations' top court, is set to give a ruling tomorrow on South Africa’s request for it to order a temporary cease-fire in Gaza while the full case is heard, a complex legal process that could take years.

“We suggest let’s wait and see what the ICJ has to say,” Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said in a news briefing, while noting he expected the case to be tossed out.

South Africa is accusing Israel of breaching the Genocide Convention of 1948 by prosecuting its war with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part,” the Palestinian people. Israel vehemently denies this, saying it is only targeting Hamas, whose tactics it blames for the high level of civilian casualties killed in the Israeli bombing and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip.

'Fauda' star released from hospital after being badly injured in Gaza blast 

Idan Amedi, an Israeli pop singer and actor from Netflix's hit show “Fauda,” was released from hospital today after suffering severe injuries in an explosion while he was serving in combat in Gaza.

Speaking from the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, he told members of the foreign press: "Although I was seriously injured, my spirit is strong. I refuse to make this injure the story of my life. It’s just another milestone."

Image:
Idan Amedi in Ramat Gan, Israel today after been released from hospital.Leo Correa / AP

He said hoped would be able to return to his music career once the war is over. But before that, he wants to return to the battlefield in Gaza.

"I will come back to sing and act, and with God’s help, I will also return to fight for my country," he added. "The Israeli people are the strongest in the world. when we are united — we are invincible."

Father hails ‘miracle’ daughters who were pulled from rubble after Israeli strike

ANKARA, Turkey — Mira Nijim, 9, was still in a wheelchair. Her left leg — mangled in the airstrike that killed her brother, sister and mother — was held in a cast buttressed by metal joints and rods. But in a pastry shop in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, this week, Mira, her surviving sister, Miral, 14, and their father, Mahdi, managed some smiles.

It was a miracle they are alive, Mahdi, 42, told NBC News. “They are the only survivors.” 

On Oct. 26, an Israeli airstrike brought down the apartment building where they were staying with relatives in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second largest city. Dozens of people were killed, Mahdi said, including his wife, Mayada, 41; their daughter Maria, 12; and their 5-year-old son, Ahmed.

More than two months after their deaths, Mahdi is still accounting for their losses: their presence, of course, and the life they were building together, as well as their memories, their dreams and their wishes, the grieving man said. “Everything is gone.”

Read the full story here.

British foreign secretary says he told Netanyanhu there should be an 'immediate humanitarian pause' in Gaza

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said today that he told Netanyahu there should be an “immediate humanitarian pause” in the fighting in Gaza.

In a statement, the former prime minister said that the scale of the suffering in the enclave was “unimaginable.”

“More must be done, faster, to help people trapped in this desperate situation,” he said, adding that he told Netanyahu in a meeting yesterday that “far more trucks need to be able to enter Gaza and more crossings need to open.”

“We need an immediate humanitarian pause to get aid in and hostages out, followed by a sustainable cease-fire, without a return to hostilities.” he said.

Freed hostage says she met with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar while she was held

TEL AVIV — An Israeli woman held hostage by Hamas for more than 50 days said yesterday that she met the militant group's leader Yahya Sinwar during her time in captivity. 

Adina Moshe, 72, was taken captive from kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7 and freed in late November as part of an exchange with Palestinian prisoners.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 12 TV station yesterday, she said she met Sinwar while she was being held underground with a group of fellow hostages. Speaking in Hebrew, Sinwar asked them how they were, she said. The hostages bowed their heads and did not respond.

NBC News was not able to independently verify her account.

Qatar will not 'jeopardize' hostage talks, official tells NBC News after Netanyahu spat

After a series of angry exchanges over a leaked recording of Netanyahu criticizing Qatar, an official in the wealthy Gulf nation told NBC News today that the country “would never jeopardize” talks to free hostages held by Hamas. 

In a leaked recording from a meeting with hostage families that aired on Israel’s Channel 12 news on Tuesday, Netanyahu called Qatar “problematic” and suggested that it funded Hamas. 

Asked about the comments, a government spokesperson said Israel “cannot go into details regarding the efforts and steps taken to release the hostages.”

Responding on X,  Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Majed Al Ansari, said Qatar was “appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister,” adding that if they were found to be true, Netanyahu would only be obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career.” 

Israel’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, responded by accusing Doha of “supporting and funding terrorism,” on X, before going on to say that Qatar was “largely responsible” for the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. 

Qatar, a long-time champion of the Palestinian cause, has financed reconstruction and government operations in Gaza with the knowledge of the Israeli government. 

In a bid to temper the ongoing feud, the Qatari officials said today that the mediation was “about saving lives of the hostages and of Palestinian civilians and not about politicians.” He added that Qatar ‘would never jeopardize’ the talks because of “differences with individuals.” 

International Court of Justice to rule on part of Israel genocide case tomorrow

The International Court of Justice has said it will rule on granting emergency measures against Israel following South Africa’s genocide case against Israel tomorrow.

The 17-judge panel will not rule on whether Israel is committing genocide but will look at emergency measures requested by South Africa to restrain Israel’s actions in Gaza.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor will travel to The Hague in the Netherlands to be present at the court as it delivers its judgment, the country's Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

Attacks on civilian sites in Khan Younis 'are utterly unacceptable,' UNRWA chief says

Persistent attacks on civilian sites in the city of Khan Younis “are utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately,”  Thomas White, director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said in a statement today.

UNRWA building Gaza
Palestinians carry the body of a person killed after a bombardment at a UNRWA building in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza yesterday.Ramez Habboub / AP

“The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality and precautions in carrying out attacks,” he said. “This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop.”

His comments came a day after at least 12 people were killed and 75 injured after an attack on an UNRWA training center in the city where hundreds of people were sheltering. White said it was hit by two shells and caught fire.

The IDF has said it is investigating the incident.

Rocket sirens sound in Israeli border communities

For the first time in days, rocket sirens were sounded today in Netiv Ha'Assara in southern Israel, a community near the Gaza border..

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Attacks on Israeli cities have dropped significantly as the IDF's campaign pushes into southern Gaza.

China denies providing weapons to Gaza

HONG KONG — China has denied it has provided weapons to Hamas after Israeli media reports claiming a number of Chinese weapons had been used in Gaza.

“Since the beginning of the Israel-Palestine conflicts, China has provided food, health care and other first aid, but never sent any weapons to Gaza,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a news conference today.

Senior Col. Wu Qian added that Beijing had always adopted a “prudent and responsible” attitude in terms of weapons exports.

“We strictly abide by three principles, including contributing to the legitimate self-defense capability of the recipient country, not jeopardizing the peace, safety and stability of the region and not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.”

Hostages' families attempt to block aid to Gaza

TEL AVIV — Some of the relatives of Israelis still held hostage in Gaza attempted to block aid from reaching the enclave this morning amid mounting frustration over the lack of a deal to see their loved ones released.

Families were expected to attempt to block the Kerem Shalom crossing at Israel's border with Gaza around 8 a.m. local time, according to the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, which represents families whose loved ones remain in Hamas' captivity.

Protest against the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip until Israeli hostages are freed, near the Kerem Shalom crossing
Demonstrators protest against the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip near the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel last week.Tyrone Siu / Reuters

In photos published by the Times of Israel, some demonstrators could be seen marching toward the border. “Nobody can stop us," Danny Elgarat, who has relatives held in Gaza, told the newspaper.

It was not immediately clear if the demonstrators made it to the border crossing or were successful in blocking aid into Gaza, where a humanitarian crisis has spiraled over the months since the war began. A spokesperson for the forum representing hostages' families told NBC News there appeared to have been difficulties in reaching the border because of road blocks.

Hostages' posters defaced in London

In an attempt to galvanise support, Artists Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid designed the now ubiquitous posters, which can be seen on walls and posts in cities across the world. Many of the posters however continue to be torn down by those apposed to Israel, in particular their governments response to the October 7 attacks.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

The remains of posters of Israeli hostages on a wall in central London yesterday.In an attempt to galvanize support, artists Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid designed the now-ubiquitous posters, which can be seen in cities across the world.

In an attempt to galvanise support, Artists Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid designed the now ubiquitous posters, which can be seen on walls and posts in cities across the world. Many of the posters however continue to be torn down by those apposed to Israel, in particular their governments response to the October 7 attacks.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Many of the posters, however, continue to be torn down by those opposed to the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. 

In an attempt to galvanise support, Artists Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid designed the now ubiquitous posters, which can be seen on walls and posts in cities across the world. Many of the posters however continue to be torn down by those apposed to Israel, in particular their governments response to the October 7 attacks.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

IDF says its aerial forces and artillery didn’t strike U.N. facility

The Israel Defense Forces has ruled out the possibility that a strike against a United Nations facility in Khan Younis came from its aerial forces or artillery.

Twelve people were reported killed and others were injured in the strike at a facility of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which an agency official said came from two tank shells.

“After an examination of our operational systems, the IDF has currently ruled out that this incident is a result of an aerial or artillery strike by the IDF,” the IDF said in a statement. “A thorough review of the operations of the forces in the vicinity is underway.”

“The IDF is also examining the possibility that the strike was a result of Hamas fire,” the statement said.

United Nations shelter struck in southern Gaza

Smoke and flames rise from a UNRWA building where displaced civilians had been taking shelter in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza yesterday.

Israeli attacks hit UNRWA building housing displaced Palestinians in Khan Yunis
Ramez Haboub / Anadolu via Getty Images

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