The latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.
Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza phone and internet
A dire fuel shortage in the Gaza Strip has shut down all internet and phone networks, the main Palestinian telecom provider said Thursday, effectively cutting off the besieged territory from the outside world.
And in a signal that Israel’s ground invasion is about to expand in the south, Palestinians in parts of southern Gaza said they received evacuation notices Thursday.
Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crowded into the south, including hundreds of thousands who heeded Israel’s calls to evacuate the north to get out of the way of its offensive. Residents say bread is scarce and supermarket shelves are bare. Central electricity and running water have been out for weeks.
More than 11,470 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and minors — have been killed since the war began, according to Palestinian health authorities, which do not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people are reported missing.
Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the militant group launched its Oct. 7 incursion. Some 1,200 people have died in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and around 240 were taken captive by militants.
Israeli raid on Gaza's largest hospital continues
The Israeli army is continuing its assault on the al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza, where it claims to have found materials pointing to the fate of hostages taken by Hamas on October 7th.
An Israeli army official said on Thursday that "images relating to hostages" captured during the Hamas attack on Israel had been found on computers seized during the army's intervention in Gaza's al-Shifa hospital.
The images were found on equipment "belonging to Hamas", the official said in a statement. "Soldiers are searching every floor, building by building, while hundreds of patients and medical staff are still in the complex," the same source said.
After a days-long siege, Israeli troops and tanks raided the immense hospital complex early yesterday morning, sparking serious international concern for the thousands of critically ill patients, newborns and displaced civilians trapped inside.
The Israeli army accuses Hamas of using the hospital as a military base, something both Hamas and hospital staff deny.
Dozens of Israeli soldiers, some hooded, burst into this hospital early Wednesday, according to a journalist working with AFP on site.
“All men aged 16 and over, raise your hands in the air and exit the buildings towards the inner courtyard to surrender,” soldiers shouted in Arabic.
They also searched crying women and children, the journalist reported. In the hospital corridors, troops sometimes fired into the air as they went from room to room.
Dwindling supplies and no water or electricity have placed those inside the medical facility in a dire humanitarian situation, with the hospital left with no way to run incubators and other lifesaving equipment.
Gaza's health ministry said 40 patients, including three babies, have died since Shifa’s emergency generator ran out of fuel Saturday.
After days without refrigeration, morgue staff dug a mass grave on Tuesday for 120 bodies in the yard.
Biden 'mildly hopeful' about Hamas hostage release
The US President says he is "mildly hopeful" there will be a deal to free the more than 200 people being held hostage in Gaza.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself because I don't know what happened in the last four hours, but we have had great cooperation from the Qataris," said Joe Biden, following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday.
Qatar has been leading ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas.
A hostage gave birth in captivity in the Gaza Strip, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.
The war was sparked by Hamas' attack on southern Israel on 7 October, unprecedented since the state's creation in 1948.
Around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed, according to the authorities. Israel also says some 240 people were kidnapped, including foreign nationals.
In retaliation, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip and placing it under near total siege.
Israeli bombings have left 11,500 dead, mostly civilians, including 4,710 children, according to Palestinian officials.
Washington, which provides significant military aid to Israel, has provided unwavering support to its ally since the attack, saying it has a right to defend itself against Hamas while worrying about the high number of Palestinians killed.
Israeli opposition head urges Netanyahu to quit
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid called on Wednesday evening for the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without waiting for the end of the military operation against Hamas.
“Netanyahu should leave immediately... We need change, Netanyahu cannot remain prime minister,” said Lapid in an interview with Israeli channel N12.
“We cannot afford to lead a long [military] campaign with a Prime Minister in whom the population no longer has any confidence.”
Lapid accused Netanyahu's government of an "unforgivable failure" for not preventing Hamas' deadly attack on southern Israel.
The opposition leader did not call for early elections but a motion of confidence in parliament, paving the way for a new government led by another member of Netanyahu's party Likud.
“This is not the time to hold elections... We should opt for national reconstruction with another Prime Minister from Likud,” he said.
In a press release, Netanyahu's party described such a proposal in a "time of war" as "shameful".
Violent pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of Democratic Party HQ
Clashes broke out between dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators and police on Wednesday evening in front of the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, forcing the closure of nearby US Congressional offices.
“Our officers are working to contain approximately 150 people who are demonstrating illegally and violently” near the party offices, Capitol Police said in a message on X.
“Officers are making arrests,” added the police, who reported six injuries in their ranks for “minor cuts” and “punches.”
Elected officials who were at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices at the time were escorted out of the building by police to safety.
Protesters are demanding a ceasefire and an end to Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.