Israel Hamas war: Death toll rises, Netanyahu says Israel to ‘demolish Hamas' as thousands flee Gaza

Children crying following Israeli raids in Khan Yunis, Gaza on Sunday
Children crying following Israeli raids in Khan Yunis, Gaza on Sunday Copyright Ahmad Hasaballah/2023 Getty Images
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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That's the end of our live coverage for today, thanks for reading. We'll be back again at 07:00CET on Monday morning with all the latest developments. For now, read our live blog below to see how events unfolded on Sunday:



  • Israel has instructed all 1.1 million Palestinians in north Gaza to leave, including those in hospitals. That figure is around half the strip's population

  • No decision on a ground offensive has yet been announced - although Israel has been massing troops along the Gaza border

  • The UN warns Israel's evacuation plan would have "devastating humanitarian consequences"

  • Pope Francis has called for humanitarian corridors for Gaza residents

  • The war has claimed at least 2,450 Palestinian and 1,400 Israeli lives since Hamas launched their incursion on 7 October

  • The UN say the conflict has displaced around a million people in a week

  • Gaza hospitals are reportedly overwhelmed - and say around 60% of casualties women and children. Many have been unable to evacuate despite Israel's demands

  • WHO has managed to deliver medical supplies ‘despite the airstrikes’

  • Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus munitions in its military operations in Gaza and Lebanon

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns this is 'just the beginning' 

  • People are scrambling to evacuate northern Gaza even as Hamas told Palestinians to stay home

  • An Israeli shell landed in a gathering of international journalists covering clashes on the border in southern Lebanon on Friday, killing one and wounding six

  • United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has assured Israel: “We have your back”


Blinken assures that the United States' Arab allies do not want the conflict to spill over

The Arab countries that American Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited this week are “determined that the conflict does not spill over,” he assured as he left Cairo for his return to Israel on Sunday.

“No one should add fuel to the fire elsewhere,” he said, while for days violence on the border between Israel and Lebanon has raised fears of a regionalisation of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Hamas. 

The different Arab capitals where Mr. Blinken visited “are using their own channels to ensure that this does not happen,” he added.


Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) in Cairo on Sunday (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

EU underlines 'Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with international law'

The leaders of the 27 countries of the European Union have stressed "Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with humanitarian and international law in the face of violent and indiscriminate attacks" by Hamas, in a joint statement published on Sunday.

“We reaffirm the importance of providing emergency humanitarian assistance and stand ready to continue supporting civilians most in need in Gaza, in coordination with our partners, ensuring that such assistance is not not hijacked by terrorist organizations. It is essential to prevent regional escalation,” they added.


Blinken says he is confident about the passage of aid from Egypt to Gaza

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that he was confident about the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, bombed relentlessly by Israel, a sine qua non condition posed by Egypt to help get Americans out of the Palestinian enclave.

“Rafah will be open,” he said, referring to the Egyptian terminal, Gaza’s only opening to the world not controlled by Israel. 

“We are setting up a mechanism with the UN, Egypt and Israel to deliver aid to those who need it,” he added during a visit to Cairo. 

Meanwhile, the first aid first shipments are waiting in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula for delivery.



Israel's invasion of Gaza 'could lead to genocide' - Arab League, African Union

The ground offensive that the Israeli army have been promising against the Gaza Strip "could lead to a genocide of unprecedented proportions", the heads of the Arab League and the African Union Commission have warned in Cairo.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Moussa Faki also called on “the United Nations and the international community to stop a catastrophe”. 



London: Hundreds attend vigil for Israel

Hundreds of people have gathered at a vigil in central London to remember the Israeli victims of Hamas' invasion.

Many held or draped themselves in Israel flags while holding posters reading 'bring them home'.

People wave Israeli flags as they attend a vigil at Parliament Square for victims and hostages of the Hamas attacks in London on Sunday (James Manning/PA via AP)

Israeli death toll rises - Netanyahu's office

A spokesperson for Benjamin Netanyahu has said that more than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since Hamas’ offensive on 7 October.

“Over 1,400 were killed (and) over 120 Israelis were abducted by Hamas terrorists,” Tal Heinrich, spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister’s office, told press.

The figure previously stood at a figure closer to 1,300.


Israel confirms resuming water distribution in southern Gaza - minister



Israel does not want a war on its border with Lebanon - defence minister

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said the country is "not interested" in a war on the border with Lebanon, after an increase in exchanges of fire.

"We are not interested in a war in the North, we do not want an escalation of the situation," the minister told soldiers, according to a video released by his office, specifying however that "if the Hezbollah chooses the path of war, it will pay a very heavy price.”



Health ministry: Gaza death toll reaches 2,450

The Palestinian health ministry have announced that at least 2,450 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli shelling and air strikes in Gaza.

The ministry also added that the number of people injured has reached at least 9,200 since the start of the conflict. 

In Israel, more than 1,300 people have been killed as a result of Hamas' attacks, according to the latest figures.

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