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U.S. and Israel increasingly isolated amid growing cease-fire calls

“Time is running out” for those still being held by Hamas, former hostage Yocheved Lifshitz told NBC News.

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What we know

  • U.S. and Israel are being increasingly isolated internationally amid growing calls for a cease-fire in Gaza and ahead of a Two U.S. officials say there is limited hope in the Biden administration that the U.S. can secure another pause in fighting.
  • President Biden offered his harshest public criticism yet of the Israeli government since Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack amid growing international condemnation of of Israel's war in Gaza. Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly called for an immediate humanitarian pause in violence.
  • Amid growing international condemnation of of Israel's war in Gaza, Close to 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in the enclave, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the territory's health officials. Meanwhile, 90% of Gaza’s 2.2 million people have been displaced, and aid agencies estimate that half of the population faces starvation.
  • Israeli military officials say 97 soldiers have been killed during the country's fight in Gaza, which came after Hamas militants killed 1,200 people and seized about 240 hostages Oct. 7.
  • One of the first Israeli hostages released by Hamas, Yocheved Lifshitz, told NBC News in an interview that "time is running out" for others still being kept captive. "They need to get out today. Otherwise, they won’t survive," she warned.
  • NBC News’ Richard Engel, Raf Sanchez, Hala Gorani, Hallie Jackson and Chantal Da Silva are reporting from the region.

Palestinian minister accuses Israel of starving Gazans; Israel calls charge ‘obscene’

GENEVA — The Palestinian foreign minister on Tuesday accused Israel of starving Gaza, a charge swiftly rejected by an Israeli official, as the U.N. human rights chief said the battered enclave was on the verge of finding itself “well beyond breakdown."

“As we speak, at least 1 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, half of them children, are starving, not because of a natural disaster or because of lack of generous assistance waiting at the border,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a U.N. event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“No, they are starving because of Israel’s deliberate use of starvation as a weapon of war against the people it occupied.”

In response, an Israeli official told Reuters in Jerusalem: “This is, of course, obscene ... (a) blood-libellous, delusional level of allegations.” Israel was encouraging increased shipments of food into Gaza from Egypt, which also borders the Palestinian enclave, the official said, blaming lags on a “bottle neck."

U.S. Defense Secretary will visit Israel, Bahrain and Qatar to seek maritime protection

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Israel, Bahrain and Qatar next week as the U.S. continues to press allies to commit to an international maritime task force to protect commercial ships in the Red Sea as those ships have come under increased attacks.

Austin will also meet with his defense counterparts in Tel Aviv to show continued U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself but also press the need for Israel to avoid more civilian casualties in Gaza.

Late Monday, a land-based cruise missile launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen hit the Motor Transport ship STRINDA, causing a fire. The USS Mason, a destroyer, responded to assist the ship.

Israel defense minister says IDF will 'soon' eliminate Hamas infrastructure in Gaza City

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said today that IDF soldiers are operating deep underground in Gaza, "locating Hamas infrastructure and destroying it.”

Hamas’ operations in Gaza City and the northern area of the strip are on the verge of collapsing, according to Gallant’s assessment. Fighting continues in southern Gaza, where the IDF has recently increased its operations.

"We are expanding our achievements, and soon we will eliminate the entirety of Hamas’ infrastructure in Gaza City," Gallant said.

'Hate has no home' at University of Pennsylvania, interim president says

The University of Pennsylvania’s interim president said today that “hate has no home” at the school, following controversy over his predecessor’s comments at a congressional hearing on campus antisemitism.

In a letter to the Penn community, Dr. Larry Jameson, a physician who previously was dean of Penn’s school of medicine, wrote that the last few weeks have been “a profoundly painful chapter” that has caused fear and uncertainty at the university. 

“I want to reiterate that every person at Penn should feel safe and be secure in the knowledge that hate has no home here,” Jameson said.

Jameson is taking over after Liz Magill resigned following intense criticism of her response at the congressional questioning about the rise of campus antisemitism. 

Asked whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate each school’s code of conduct, Magill responded that the decision would be “context-dependent."

  

WHO says aid convoy in Gaza was harassed and under attack by gunfire

The World Health Organization reiterated its call to protect humanitarian corridors in Gaza after, it said, an aid convoy was subjected to harassment of staff members and shelling on a convoy in northern Gaza Strip.

A team from WHO was part of a "high-risk mission to Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City" on Saturday. The convoy was formed to deliver medical supplies, as well as transfer critical patients to a hospital in the south, WHO said. It was hit by bullets, and patients were forced to leave ambulances to be searched by armed soldiers.

Two staff members working with the Palestine Red Crescent Society were detained for more than an hour at a checkpoint; one was held at gunpoint, taken away and reportedly "harassed, beaten, stripped and searched," the WHO said. One of the Red Crescent staff members was detained a second time, and the convoy had to leave without him.

"Once released, he was left to walk toward the south with his hands still tied behind his back, and without clothes or shoes," the WHO said.

U.S. pressing for Israel to open Kerem Shalom border crossing for aid into Gaza

The U.S. government is urging Israel to open its border with Gaza at Kerem Shalom as the Rafah crossing cannot meet the needs for Palestinian people in Gaza, the majority of whom are displaced by war, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said today.

"We need the capacity that Kerem Shalom provides — on an emergency basis — to get more food, water, medicine and essentials in to be distributed to Palestinian civilians, and we’re putting that quite urgently to the Israeli government to say we are asking you to do this ASAP because of the nature of the humanitarian situation on the ground," Sullivan said.

A U.S. official told NBC News it is not a new request, but the Israeli government's answer has been that it can build the capacity of Rafah. Biden raised the issue directly with Netanyahu in their last phone call, the official added.

Kerem Shalom, a commercial crossing that connects Israel, Gaza and Egypt, opened today, but only to allow additional security screening for aid that will go through the Rafah crossing. Israel's government has said the move would double aid going into Gaza after the U.N. estimated that half of Gaza's population is starving.

War could inspire hate crimes over the holidays, FBI warns

The Israel-Hamas war may prompt lone-wolf terrorist attacks in the U.S. over the holidays, the FBI and other agencies warned today.

Although the announcement is not in response to any specific plotting activity, targets are likely remain attractive to lone actors inspired by a variety of ideologies because of their accessibility and symbolic natures, the FBI said. The alert was issued jointly with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center.

A recent rise in hate crimes means religious gatherings over the winter holidays could prompt attacks on Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Arab communities, the FBI said.

Israeli journalist Tal Schneider: Netanyahu has ‘no vision’ for Gaza after war

Tal Schneider, political correspondent for The Times of Israel, spoke to MSNBC's Katy Tur about Biden’s call for Netanyahu to change government and support a two-state solution.

"That's the biggest problem here, because we have a leader who doesn't have a vision," Schneider said about Israel's plan for Gaza after the war.

U.N. General Assembly votes in favor of cease-fire resolution 153-10; U.S. and Israel vote against

The U.N. General Assembly voted 153-10 in favor of a resolution to demand a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, days after the U.S. unilaterally vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council.

There were 23 member states who abstained. The United States and Israel both voted against the resolution's adoption.

An amendment that condemned Hamas Oct. 7 attack failed to pass with a two-third majority vote.

A resolution made in the General Assembly is nonbinding and carries less weight than those made in the Security Council, but is a significant marker of how the international community regards the current situation.

Israeli representative says U.N. cease-fire resolution is 'hypocritical,' would only help Hamas

Gilad Erdan, Israel's representative to the United Nations, described the draft resolution calling for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza as "hypocritical" and said that it will "only prolong the death and destruction in the region."

"There are no war crimes more heinous than those committed by Hamas," Erdan said. "And those that support this resolution are giving the terrorists a free pass. A cease-fire means one thing and one thing only: ensuring the survival of Hamas."

Holding up a sign with a phone number, Erdan told members of the international body to call Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar if they wanted to demand a cease-fire.

He also criticized the resolution for failing to condemn Hamas' Oct. 7 attack in Israel, though the U.S. representative has proposed an amendment that would do just that. A previous resolution calling for a humanitarian truce passed by the U.N. General Assembly included condemnation language.

Israel pumping seawater into Hamas tunnels in limited areas, U.S. official says

The Israeli military has begun pumping seawater into tunnels “in limited areas” of Gaza, a U.S. official told NBC News.

The decision was made after exploring the option of flooding Hamas tunnels beneath Gaza with seawater, part of an effort to destroy an underground network where the IDF has said Hamas fighters are hiding and keeping hostages captive.

The U.S. official says it remains unclear whether Israel’s effort will work. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

White House still believes in Palestinian Authority as 'legitimate governing authority,' NSC spokesperson says

President Joe Biden's administration remains steadfast in its view that the Palestinian Authority is the "legitimate governing authority" over the Palestinian territories, a spokesperson for the National Security Council said.

The comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he disagreed with the White House's view of having the Palestinian Authority take over in Gaza following the end of the war.

The spokesperson noted that while the U.S. might not always agree with the Palestinian Authority, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, has a long track record of providing security and stability in the West Bank.

"They are not prepared to go into Gaza tomorrow, but Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revamped and revitalized Palestinian Authority," the spokesperson said.

U.N. General Assembly president urges world body to vote to end bloodshed and 'psychological torture' of Palestinians

U.N. General Assembly President Dennis Francis urged representatives to vote in favor of the humanitarian cease-fire resolution, calling on member states to end the bloodshed and "psychological torture" of Palestinians.

"For as long as this violence persists, a political solution will continue to be undermined," he said in his opening remarks. "The longer it takes, the higher the risk that a negotiated two-state solution will increasingly become out of reach. The fact of the matter is, quite simply, the violence must stop. It must."

A cease-fire is the only realistic step forward to end the war, Francis said, especially as the world watches an "already crumbling humanitarian system" collapse in real time.

He asked the world body to vote in favor of the resolution "for the sake of humanity."

U.N. General Assembly begins session ahead of cease-fire vote

The United Nations General Assembly begins its special session today to vote on a draft resolution demanding a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

Last week, the U.S. used it's veto power to unilaterally reject a similar resolution in the U.N. Security Council. The move drew widespread condemnation as critics of Israel's campaign in Gaza are increasingly concerned for the survival of Palestinian civilians.

A General Assembly resolution, unlike those made in the council, are nonbinding. The General Assembly approved a resolution in October calling for a humanitarian truce and condemned Hamas' Oct. 7 attack in Israel.

Senior Palestinian official accuses Israel of waging war 'against all Palestinians' after Netayhu's Oslo comments

Hussein Al-Sheikh, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said comments from Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu about the Oslo Accords confirms "that his war is against all Palestinians."

In a post on X directed to Netanyahu, Al-Sheikh said that “Oslo died under the tracks of his tanks that are sweeping through all our cities, villages and camps from Jenin to Rafah.”

Israeli media reported yesterday that Netanyahu compared the Oslo Accords with Hamas' Oct. 7 attack during a closed-door meeting with the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee. Netanyahu posted on his official Facebook page today with a message in Hebrew that translates to “I won’t let Israel repeat the Oslo mistake."

The Oslo Accords were agreements negotiated in 1993 between Israel, the PLO and the U.S. establishing the Palestinian Authority, the governing body that rules in the West Bank. The discussions led to yearslong peace talks that fell apart after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was killed by an Israeli who opposed the accords.

Israel risks losing ‘all international support’ with humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Israel may win the war against Hamas but runs the risk of becoming an isolated state over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, Michèle Flournoy, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

"Israel may destroy Hamas or degrade them seriously, but they're going to lose all international support," Flournoy said.

NGOs urge British government to stop arms sales to Israel

Four organizations —Amnesty International, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Human Rights Watch and War on Want — signed a joint letter to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urging the government to stop arms sales to Israel as the war on Gaza continues.

According to The Guardian, the organizations argued that there is a "clear risk" that arms provided by the U.K. could be used in acts that violate international law in Gaza. Human Rights Watch U.K. Director Yasmine Ahmed published an op-ed today explaining the decision to sign on to the letter.

Ahmed argued that Israel's military has targeted civilian infrastructure and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel intends to make Gaza a wasteland. By contributing arms to such a venture, Ahmed wrote, the United Kingdom could be complicit in war crimes.

"The UK should follow its own laws and immediately suspend licenses for arms and military equipment to Israel," Ahmed wrote. "In failing to do so, it risks breaching its own laws and being complicit in grave abuses."

A smoke plume erupts during an Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, 2023.
An Israeli bombardment today in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

IDF says it's recovered bodies of two hostages in Gaza

TEL AVIV — The bodies of two hostages have been recovered in Gaza and returned to Israel following a special forces operation, the IDF said in a statement.

Eden Zakaria, 27, and Ziv Dado, 36, were identified by the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Israeli police and their families have since been notified, according to the military. Two IDF reservist soldiers were killed in the operation and several others were injured.

Zakaria was abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7, while he was attending a music festival. Dado, a sergeant major in the IDF, was abducted while serving as a logistics supervisor in the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion.

Relatives and friends of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas call for their release in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023.
Relatives and friends of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas call for their release today in Jerusalem. Leo Correa / AP

Biden says Netanyahu's government needs to change as some don't believe in two-state solution

Israel's government needs to change as the country loses support in the war, President Joe Biden said today during a campaign reception in Washington.

He told the crowd that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was making their relationship "difficult" as some within Israel's legislation do not want a two-state solution. He said that Netanyahu has a tough decision to make but that there is an opportunity to unite the region.

Biden's remarks come after he expressed overall support for Israel at a Hanukkah reception at the White House last night. But Biden also noted that he has long had "differences with some Israeli leadership," including Netanyahu.

"He has a picture on his desk of he and I when he was a young member of the Israeli service here. ... I was a 32-year-old senator, and I wrote on top of it, 'BiBi I love you but I don't agree with a damn thing you had to say,'" Biden said last night. "It's about the same today."

Netanyahu rejects idea of Palestinian Authority rule in Gaza, in contrast with U.S. position

In a video posted on his official government account, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will not allow the Palestinian Authority to take over in Gaza after the war is over.

The statement is a stark contrast to the U.S. position, and Netanyahu acknowledged that, saying he appreciates the U.S. government support, but this is where they disagree. He states that he will not allow Gaza to become "Hamastan nor Fatahstan."

"I would like to clarify my position: I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo," Netanyahu says. "After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism."

Videos show IDF soldiers destroying supplies and goods in Gaza

Two videos circulated over social media this weekend of IDF soldiers apparently destroying goods in Gaza, which the Israeli military condemned and said it will be reviewing.

In one video that appears to be from Dec. 8, two soldiers are in front of a truck in Shuja’iyya, Gaza, telling the camera that they are lighting the second candle of Hanukkah before setting a fire inside the cargo. The truck appears to have some food inside and one of the soldiers say they are in a "sweets" factory, alleging that children are given treats in Gaza to "celebrate terror attacks," according to an NBC translation.

In a different video, a soldier is recorded inside a store in Jabalia mocking children's toys and notebooks as he smiles and throws items around. It's unclear when this video was initially filmed.

The IDF said in a statement to NBC News that it condemns this type of behavior from its soldiers. "The behavior of the soldiers in the video is inappropriate and contrary to the values of the IDF," the statement said. "The case will be reviewed and handled accordingly."

Israel says Houthi attacks on ships 'will be dealt with force'

Attacks on international cargo ships by Yemeni Houthi rebels "pose a threat to international merchants and Israel," Israeli government spokesperson Ofir Gendelman said in a news briefing today.

"This threat will be dealt with force," he said hours after a cruise missile launched from a Houthi-controlled area struck a Norway-flagged ship.

Gendelman also said the Lebanese militia-group Hezbollah was escalating fighting along the Lebanese border north of Israel.

"Beirut will become like Gaza if Hezbollah decides to wage war against us," he added.

Biden invites families of American hostages to White House

President Joe Biden has invited family members of Americans taken hostage by Hamas to a meeting at the White House tomorrow, according to a senior administration official. This will be their first in-person meeting since those Americans were kidnapped Oct. 7 during the terrorist attacks in Israel. 

Biden has previously spoken with them over Zoom, and other senior administration officials have met with some of them, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Vice President Kamala Harris. 

It’s unclear how many families will attend and some may appear virtually, the official said.

Flour is rationed in southern Gaza

Palestinians wave their identity cards as they gather to receive flour rations outside a United Nations Relief and Works Agency warehouse in Rafah, southern Gaza, today.

Flour rationing in Gaza
Mohamed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

Less than a third of Gaza's hospitals are partially functional, WHO says

A total of 11 hospitals in Gaza are partially functional, the WHO's representative for the occupied Palestinian territory said today. That is only a third of the 36 total functionals hospitals in the area before Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks.

Just one hospital in the north and 10 in the south are functioning, Richard Peeperkorn told a U.N. press briefing by video from Gaza. Those hospitals are overburdened, severely understaffed and out of supplies.

"Devastation is simply enormous," he said. "I have never seen scenes like this in my life."

"The hospital grounds are full of IDPs," he said, referring to internally displaced people, adding people were turning up injured on donkey carts or on foot.

Israeli forces have stormed Kamal Adwan Hospital, Gaza officials say

Israeli forces have stormed Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, after besieging and bombing it for several days, Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra said today in a statement on Telegram.

"The Israeli occupation forces are currently gathering the males, including the medical staff, in the hospital courtyard, and we fear that they and the medical staff will be arrested or liquidated," Al-Qudra said.

There are 12 children in intensive care, six premature babies and 3,000 displaced people inside the hospital, the Palestinian Information Ministry said in a statement, adding that two women and their children were killed after the maternity ward was bombed.

The IDF said that it continued to pursue Hamas in northern Gaza, and that it "takes all feasible precautions to mitigate harm to noncombatants," including civilians and medical teams.

NBC News has not independently verified the claims.

Gaza is facing 'collective punishment,' Qatari minister says

Qatar's state minister yesterday called what's happening in Gaza a "collective punishment."

In his speech at the Doha forum, Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh al-Khulaifi said that humanitarian actions have become political, "which led to collective punishment, with innocent civilians becoming victims of political agendas."

He also stressed the importance of "rebuilding not only the physical infrastructure, but also people’s dignity, and their hopes and potential for a better tomorrow.”

Sidal, from Khan Younis, died overnight from a shrapnel fragment that hit her in the head while she was sleeping in a tent.
The grandfather of Sidal Abu Jamea carries her wrapped body Tuesday in an ambulance next to his son, the girl's father, in Rafah, southern Gaza. Sidal, from Khan Younis, died overnight from a shrapnel fragment that hit her in the head while she was sleeping in a tent.Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

Displaced Gazans say they have been 'abandoned' near Rafah

Members of the Bakar family, who said they were displaced from Shifa in Gaza, are now sheltering at the Al-Mawasi camp near Rafah. They fear they may next be forced to move across the border into the Sinai Desert.

Israeli strike leaves large crater in Rafah

People salvage belongings following an early morning Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today.

Israeli Strikes Gaza
Said Khatib / AFP - Getty Images

Harvard president to stay amid outcry over antisemitism testimony

Claudine Gay, the embattled president of Harvard University, will remain in the role, the school’s governing board announced today, following almost a week of outcry over testimony she gave at a congressional hearing on antisemitism.

“As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University. Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing,” the Harvard Corporation said in a statement signed by the college’s fellows.

“President Gay has apologized for how she handled her congressional testimony and has committed to redoubling the University’s fight against antisemitism,” the statement said.

Claudine Gay
Claudine Gay speaks to the crowd after being named Harvard University's next president Dec. 15, 2022.Erin Clark / Boston Globe via Getty Images file

Gay was appointed to the university presidency less than six months ago. She is the second woman and first Black person to lead the Ivy League institution.

Read the full story here.

Surgeon injured inside northern Gaza hospital, Doctors Without Borders says

A surgeon with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was injured in the Al-Awda hospital in northern Gaza after being shot at, MSF said last night in a post on X, adding the hospital has been under full siege since last week.

“Al-Awda is a functioning hospital with medical staff and many patients in vulnerable condition,” Renzo Fricke, MSF head of mission. "Targeting medical workers as they care for their patients is utterly reprehensible, utterly inhumane."

The hospital building has also been damaged in the bombing, MSF said, adding "supplies are running low, further compromising the doctors' capacity to treat patients."

IDF to double the amount of aid being checked

The Kerem Shalom crossing is expected to open today for security checks on the aid being brought into Gaza, Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, said yesterday.

"The simultaneous security checks at Kerem Shalom and Nitzana crossings will DOUBLE the volume of aid delivered through the Rafah Crossing and admitted into the Gaza Strip," it said in a post on X.

Only a few dozen trucks are entering Gaza every day and doubling that aid will still be a fraction of what used to reach Gaza before Hamas' Oct. 7. attacks.

Exclusive: Senators call for U.N. to open independent probe into Hamas and sexual violence

A bipartisan group of almost three dozen senators is urging the United Nations to open an independent investigation into what it called a “growing body of evidence” that Hamas engaged in sexual violence during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

In a letter first shared with NBC News, 33 senators pressed U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to establish “an independent fact-finding effort” that would collect survivors’ and witnesses’ testimonies.

Image: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.Sean Gallup / Getty Images

“An independent investigation is a necessary step to hold perpetrators accountable, support survivors, and provide justice for victims,” according to the senators, led by Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin, D-Md.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of using rape and sexual violence as weapons of war during the October attack, which killed about 1,200 people in Israel. Since then, the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 18,000, according to health officials there.

Read the full story here.

U.N. General Assembly expected to vote today on a nonbinding cease-fire resolution

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote today on a resolution demanding a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, days after the United States unilaterally vetoed a Security Council draft resolution on the same drawing widespread condemnation.

The General Assembly is set to meet today at 3 p.m. ET.

The General Assembly, whose resolutions are nonbinding, had adopted a resolution in October which called for "humanitarian truce."

A child's body is marked with identification

A nurse writes identifying information on the body of Sidal Abu Jami at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today. Jami, a Palestinian girl from Khan Younis, who was sleeping in a tent died overnight after being struck in the head by a shrapnel fragment following Israeli bombardment on a nearby position.

Palestinian Girl Identified Using Pen
Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

Israeli forces arrest at least 30 people from West Bank, Palestinian Prisoners' Club says

Israeli forces arrested at least 30 people from the occupied West Bank between Sunday evening and yesterday morning, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said in a statement yesterday.

Palestinian health officials say four people have been killed in an Israeli strike in the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers during an operation in the West Bank today.Majdi Mohammed / AP

"The occupation forces continue to carry out widespread acts of abuse, severe beatings, field investigations, and threats against detainees and their families," it added.

This brings the tally to more than 3,760 people who have been arrested since Hamas Oct. 7 attacks, it said.

IDF says it located 250 weapons as it continues its aerial campaign

The Israel Defense Forces said today it found approximately 250 rockets, shells and rocket launchers during a raid on a Hamas compound as it continues its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

"IDF troops in Jabalya identified a post launching rockets toward the city of Sderot," it said in a statement, adding IDF forces responded with an aerial attack on the launch post.

"Israeli naval forces identified a terrorist cell that was firing at the ground troops in the Gaza Strip and struck the cell," it said.

NBC News could not independently verify the report.

'Life is death': Displaced Gazans describe life inside Al-Mawasi

NBC News spoke with displaced Palestinians who were forced to evacuate to Al-Mawasi, an Israeli-designated “safe zone” along the Mediterranean in southern Gaza. United Nations officials warned that conditions in Gaza are deteriorating rapidly as Israel continues its military offensive.

About 1.9 million people have been displaced in Gaza, officials have said. Aid and health organizations have warned of a health care system that is collapsing. Cindy McCain, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, has said that “only a fraction of the food needed is getting in,” and has called the situation in Gaza “a nightmare.”


Zara pulls ad from website front page after Gaza boycott calls

MADRID/LONDON — Zara pulled an advertising campaign featuring mannequins with missing limbs and statues wrapped in white from the front page of its website and app yesterday after it prompted calls by some pro-Palestine activists for a boycott of the fashion retailer.

Inditex, which owns Zara, said the change was part of its normal procedure of refreshing content. It did not comment on the boycott calls, but said the “Atelier” collection was conceived in July and the photos were taken in September. The war between Israel and Hamas began after Oct. 7. In a statement, Zara reiterated the timeline and said the images had been removed after customers "saw something far from what was intended when they were created."

Image: People walk past a Zara store in Barcelona
Albert Gea / Reuters file

Zara’s Instagram account saw tens of thousands of comments posted about the photos, many with Palestinian flags, while “#BoycottZara” was trending on the messaging platform X.

In one of the photos, a model is pictured carrying a mannequin wrapped in white; in another, a bust lies on the floor and another features a mannequin with no arms. Critics said they resembled photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.

Zara said at the launch of the collection Dec. 7 that it was inspired by men’s tailoring from past centuries. The photos appear to show an artist studio with ladders, packing materials, wooden crates and cranes, and assistants wearing overalls.

The reaction highlights heightened sensitivity that international brands are navigating as fighting across Gaza intensifies and calls for company boycotts rise. The CEO of Web Summit resigned in October after comments he made on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The photos, which featured on Zara’s online store home page yesterday morning, were no longer visible on the website or on its app by 7:30 a.m. ET.

A link on the British website to Zara Atelier led to a page showcasing last year’s collection.

The collection, of six jackets, is one of Zara’s most expensive, priced from $229 for a gray wool blazer with chunky knit sleeves, to $799 for a studded leather jacket.

WHO urges for protection of humanitarian space in Gaza

The World Health Organization has again called for the protection of health care and humanitarian work in Gaza, in a statement issued today.

The statement came after a patient died following “military checkpoint delays and detention of health partners during a mission to transfer critically ill-patients and deliver supplies to a hospital in northern Gaza.”

Incidents, including obstructing ambulances, as well as attacks on health care workers, are deemed as “unconscionable,” the report said.

Two rockets fired from Lebanon, IDF spokesperson says

Two rockets have been fired from Lebanon to an area near Malkia in northern Israel, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a X post.

He added that the Israeli army would be responding with artillery.

NBC News was not able to independently verify the report.

Scenes of grief and despair in southern Gaza

World Health Organisation's Executive Board adopted a rare resolution on access for life-saving aid into Gaza and respect for laws of war, with the UN health chief reiterating an immediate ceasefire as "nowhere and no one is safe" in Gaza.
Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images
World Health Organisation's Executive Board adopted a rare resolution on access for life-saving aid into Gaza and respect for laws of war, with the UN health chief reiterating an immediate ceasefire as "nowhere and no one is safe" in Gaza.
Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

People mourn as they collect the bodies of loved ones outside a hospital morgue in Khan Younis today, after they were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the region.

Four people killed in the West Bank, Red Crescent says

Four people were killed in Jenin camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said today, adding three of them were evacuated by its emergency teams.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement that three arrived at Martyr Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital and later revised the death toll to four.

"They also prevent PRCS from offering medical assistance unless with prior coordination, which delays the arrival of ambulances and threatens the lives of the patients," the PRCS said in a post on X.

"Israeli drone had fired at Al-Sibat area in the old city of Jenin," it added.

NBC News couldn't independently verify the cause of deaths.

Biden officials meet with Jewish leaders in White House to discuss rise in antisemitism

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials met with Jewish leaders at the White House to discuss rising antisemitism, according to a meeting participant.

Amy Spitalnick, chief executive of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, was there and confirmed that the gathering included White House coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk, Homeland Security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Deborah Lipstadt, special envoy on antisemitism.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff spoke at the meeting, Spitalnick said.

“The administration has been incredibly responsive and engaged,” Spitalnick said in a statement.

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Israeli artillery units fire on Gaza

An IDF unit, stationed in southern Israel, fired howitzer shells toward Gaza late yesterday.

Israel-Hamas War Enters Third Month
Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Cruise missile from Houthi area of Yemen hits commercial vessel

A land-based cruise missile launched from the Houthi-controlled area in Yemen struck a Norway-flagged ship, the motor transport STRINDA, two U.S. defense officials said.

There was some damage and a fire, but no casualties had been reported, the officials said.

No U.S. ships were anywhere near where the attack occurred, which was about 60 nautical miles north of the Bab-al-Mandab Strait, the defense officials said.

The USS Mason is on scene to render aid, the officials said.

There have been other attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea that U.S. officials said were believed to have been carried out by Houthis in Yemen. The Houthi rebels are backed by Iran.

“There were no US ships in the vicinity at the time of the attack, but the USS MASON responded to the M/T STRINDA’s mayday call and is currently rendering assistance,” said the U.S. Central Command in a statement on X.

U.N. General Assembly to vote on cease-fire resolution, Palestinian ambassador says

The U.N. General Assembly has scheduled an emergency meeting today to vote on a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

Assembly President Dennis Francis sent a letter to the 193 U.N. member states Sunday saying the meeting had been requested by the 22-member Arab Group and 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., told The Associated Press that the draft resolution to be voted on this afternoon is similar to the Security Council resolution the United States vetoed Friday.

Mansour said that resolution was co-sponsored by 103 countries, and he is hoping for more co-sponsors and a high vote for the General Assembly resolution when it is put to a vote.

There are no vetoes in the General Assembly, but unlike the Security Council, its resolutions are not legally binding. They are important nonetheless as a barometer of global opinion.

Highlights from NBC News' reporting relating to the war in Gaza