The latest developments from the Israel-Hamas war.
Internet and telephone lines cut again in Gaza - telecoms company
Telephone and internet lines in the Gaza Strip were cut on Sunday evening by Israel, for the third time since the start of the war on 7 October, the Palestinian operator Paltel has announced.
“We regret to announce the complete shutdown of communications and internet services in Gaza after the Israeli side disconnected the servers,” Paltel said in a statement.
Netanyahyu reiterates no cease-fire until hostage freed
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Ramon Air Force base in southern Israel on Sunday and reiterated his opposition to a cease-fire in Gaza.
Addressing pilots, Netanyahu said, “There will be no cease-fire without the return of our hostages.”
“We say this to both our enemies and our friends. We will continue until we beat them,” he added.
Weapons cache found in Gaza, Israeli troops claim
The Israeli military has said that it discovered an extensive stash of weapons in a home in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip as it searched the area. It claims rifles, grenades, explosives, suicide drones and missiles in the residence were found. Officials say they brought some of the weapons back to Israel to inspect them. The military said that forces had also destroyed a nearby explosives lab.
Relatives of Scotland’s First Minister return home from Gaza
Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf says his in-laws have returned home after being allowed to leave the Gaza Strip. The parents of his wife, Nadia El-Nakla, were visiting relatives when the conflict erupted on 7 October, trapping them in Gaza.
Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla were among about 100 British nationals permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt on Friday. They have had to leave behind Maged El-Nakla’s mother, son and grandchildren.
“We are, of course, elated. But my father-in-law said, ‘My heart is broken in two,’” Yousaf said on X, formerly Twitter. “He then broke down telling me how hard it was saying goodbye to them.”
Yousaf has regularly shared updates on his in-laws’ plight including that they had to drink sea water. He said his brother-in-law is a doctor treating the wounded in Gaza.
The past four weeks had been “a living nightmare for our family,” Yousaf said on Friday. He said he and wife will continue to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict.
“Although we feel a sense of deep personal relief, we are heartbroken at the continued suffering of the people of Gaza,” the couple said in a statement on Friday.
Turkey: police disperse pro-Palestinian demonstration near military base
Turkish police have dispersed a pro-Palestinian rally organised in front of the Incirlik military base housing American forces with tear gas.
The move came just a few hours before the planned arrival in Ankara of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The demonstration, in front of the air base, was organised by the Turkish NGO Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). In 2010, it chartered a flotilla to try to reach Gaza under Israeli blockade, leading to an Israeli raid which left ten people dead.
There have been reports of police intervening when the crowd began moving towards the base after holding a peaceful rally in Incirlik.
Images posted on social media show several hundred people waving Palestinian flags, pursued by police who also used a water cannon.
No injuries or arrests have been reported at this stage. American authorities made no immediate comment.
Incirlik Air Base is owned by NATO member Turkey but is used by the US Air Force - and occasionally the British Royal Air Force - providing strategic access to large areas of the Middle East.
Antony Blinken is expected in Turkey later on Sunday after visiting the West Bank and Cyprus. He is due to meet his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, in Ankara on Monday to discuss the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza.
Nearly a thousand people also gathered on Sunday in front of the American embassy in Ankara, according to reports.
Turkey has been the scene of major demonstrations in support of the Palestinians in recent weeks.
White House: more than 300 Americans or US residents evacuated from Gaza
More than 300 Americans or American residents and members of their families have been evacuated in recent days from the Gaza Strip, the White House confirmed.
“We have successfully evacuated more than 300 Americans, legal permanent residents and their family members,” Jonathan Finer, a national security adviser, said in an interview with CBS on Sunday.
The evacuations took place “during the last few days” and were made possible by “intensive negotiations with all parties involved in this conflict,” he said.
"We believe that there are still a number of Americans inside Gaza… and we will continue to work until all Americans who want to leave can do so," he added.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday the evacuation of 74 dual nationals holding American passports.
Several hundred wounded, foreigners and dual nationals have been able to leave Gaza towards Egypt since 1 November via the Rafah border post.
Mahmoud Abbas denounces ‘genocide’ carried out by Israel in Gaza
The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the "genocide" carried out in the Gaza Strip by Israel.
Abbas was speaking during a meeting with the American Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"Once again, we meet in the harshest conditions possible, I have no words to describe the war of genocide and the destruction suffered by our Palestinian people in Gaza at the hands of the military apparatus of Israel, without any respect for the principles of international law,” Abbas said in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, where he received the American official.
The meeting comes at a time when the international community fears that the war between Israel and Hamas could extend to the West Bank and beyond.
This is the first time that the American Secretary of State has visited the occupied West Bank since the start of the war on 7 October triggered by the bloody attack by Hamas on Israeli soil, after having made several trips to Israel and in Jordan.
Hamas Health Ministry announces death toll has risen to 9,770
The Palestinian Hamas Health Ministry has announced that at least 9,770 people, including 4,800 children, had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war with Israel.
According to the ministry, 2,550 women are also among these deaths recorded since 7 October.
Israeli minister suspended after saying dropping nuclear weapon on Gaza 'an option'
An Israeli minister has been suspended from his post after suggesting that dropping a nuclear weapon on Gaza may be one of the country’s military options.
The Times of Israel reported that far-right heritage minister Amichai Eliyahu said "this is one of the possibilities" when asked during an interview with Radio Kol Berama whether an atomic bomb should be dropped on the war-torn region.
Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition in Israel, took to X - formerly Twitter - and called the comment a "shocking and crazy statement by an irresponsible minister", calling for his immediate firing.
Eliyahu later tried to justify the comment, saying it was simply "metaphorical".
Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the minister's words were "not based in reality".
Hamas government says at least 45 killed in Israeli bombing of refugee camp
At least forty-five people have been killed and a hundred others injured in an Israeli bombardment on Saturday evening against the Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip.
That’s according to a new report published on Sunday by the Ministry of Health of Hamas.
“The number of martyrs in the Maghazi massacre has risen to 45,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry's spokesperson, Ashraf Al-Qudra, initially reported "more than 30 martyrs" were transported to hospital "after the massacre committed by the occupation in the Maghazi camp."
The majority of victims "are children and women", the ministry added, claiminng that houses had been directly targeted.
An Israeli army spokesperson said he was checking whether Israeli forces were operating in the Maghazi camp area.
On Saturday, one of the Israeli bombings hit, according to Hamas, a UN school where displaced Palestinians were sheltering in the Jabaliya refugee camp, killing 15 people. Hamas also reported on Friday evening a strike on a school transformed into a makeshift shelter for displaced people in the north of the Gaza Strip, leaving 20 dead and dozens injured.
Israel continues to refuse a humanitarian pause in Gaza despite mounting international pressue
The soaring death toll in Gaza has sparked growing international anger, with tens of thousands from Washington to Berlin taking to the streets Saturday to demand an immediate cease-fire.
Israel has rejected the idea of halting its offensive, even for brief humanitarian pauses proposed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his current tour of the region. Instead, it said that the besieged enclave’s Hamas rulers were “encountering the full force” of its troops.
“Anyone in Gaza City is risking their life,” Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said.
Large columns of smoke rose as Israel’s military said it had encircled Gaza City, the initial target of its offensive against Hamas. Gaza’s Health Ministry has said more than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in the territory in nearly a month of war, and that number is likely to rise as the assault continues.
Early Sunday, airstrikes hit the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, killing at least 33 people and wounding 42, said Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Health Ministry.
He said first responders, aided by residents, were still searching the rubble for dead or possible survivors.
The camp, a built-up residential area, is located in the evacuation zone where Israel’s military had urged Palestinian civilians in Gaza to seek refuge as it focused its military offensive in the northern areas.
Despite such appeals, Israel has continued its bombardment across Gaza, saying it is targeting Hamas fighters and assets everywhere. It has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields.
Arab leaders push for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire now
Blinken met with Arab foreign ministers in Jordan on Saturday after talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted there could be no temporary ceasefire until all hostages held by Hamas are released.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Arab countries want an immediate cease-fire, saying “the whole region is sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come.”
Blinken, however, said “it is our view now that a ceasefire would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7," when the group launched a wide-ranging attack from Gaza into southern Israel, triggering the war.
He said humanitarian pauses can be critical in protecting civilians, getting aid in and getting foreign nationals out, "while still enabling Israel to achieve its objective, the defeat of Hamas.”
Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told reporters in Beirut that Blinken “should stop the aggression and should not come up with ideas that cannot be implemented.” The spokesman of the Hamas military wing, who goes by Abu Obeida, said in a speech that fighters had destroyed 24 Israeli vehicles and inflicted casualties in the past two days.