Israel-Hamas war live: dozens of Palestinians reported killed in central Gaza strike; Biden decries Hamas sexual violence allegations | Israel-Hamas war #IsraelHamas #war #live #dozens #Palestinians #reported #killed #central #Gaza #strike #Biden #decries #Hamas #sexual #violence #allegations #IsraelHamas #war

Dozens reportedly killed in strike on central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli strike on homes sheltering displaced people in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, according to the head of the local hospital and an AP reporter there.

“We have received 45 martyrs from the Israeli bombing on the houses of three families in Deir al-Balah in the past hour,” Dr Eyad Al-Jabri, head of the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah told Reuters on Tuesday.

An AP reporter at the hospital counted at least 34 people bodies including at least six children. It was not possible to verify the reports independently. The AP reported further:

Footage from the scene showed women screaming from an upper floor of a house shattered to a concrete shell. In the wreckage below, men pulled the limp body of a child from under a slab next to a burning car. At the nearby hospital, medics tried to resuscitate a young boy and girl, bloodied and unmoving on a stretcher.

A Palestinian child injured in an Israeli attack is taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.
A Palestinian child injured in an Israeli attack is taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

In the south, witnesses said an Israeli strike hit a school in Khan Younis where hundreds of displaced people were sheltering on Tuesday, Reuters reported. It wrote:

Casualties overwhelmed the nearby Nasser hospital, where wounded men and children were lain on a bloody floor amid a tangle of IV tubes. In the morgue, a woman draped herself over the stretcher where her dead husband and child lay among at least nine bodies.

“What’s happening here is unimaginable,” said Hamza al-Bursh, who lives near the school. “They strike indiscriminately.”

Key events

Countries supporting Israel with arms have a ‘permanent stain on their reputation’, Norwegian Refugee Council says

Countries supporting Israel with arms have a “permanent stain on their reputation”, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, a major aid agency, has said in a statement.

While condemning the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas and demanding the release of hostages held by the militant group, Jan Egeland said Israel’s military campaign “can in no way be described as ‘self-defense.’” He said:

The pulverising of Gaza now ranks amongst the worst assaults on any civilian population in our time and age. Each day we see more dead children and new depths of suffering for the innocent people enduring this hell …

Countries supporting Israel with arms must understand that these civilian deaths will be a permanent stain on their reputation.

They must demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Only a cessation of hostilities will allow us to ensure effective relief to the two million who now require it.

Israeli military campaign creating ‘apocalyptic’ conditions, top UN aid official says

Julian Borger

Julian Borger

The UN’s top aid official has said the Israeli military campaign in southern Gaza has been just as devastating as in the north, creating “apocalyptic” conditions and ending any possibility of meaningful humanitarian operations.

Martin Griffiths, the UN emergency relief coordinator, said he was speaking on behalf of the entire international aid community in saying the continuing offensive had robbed aid workers of any significant means of helping the 2.3 million people of Gaza, other than to call for an immediate end to the fighting.

His comments came as the Israeli military said it had stormed southern Gaza’s main city in the most intense day of fighting so far, and hospitals struggled to cope with scores of dead and wounded Palestinians.

“What we’re saying today is: that’s enough now. It has to stop,” Griffiths said in an interview with the Guardian, adding that the small amount of aid being allowed into Gaza could no longer be distributed, since the Israeli ground offensive had spread to southern Gaza and the city of Khan Younis, bringing the humanitarian operation effectively to an end.

“It isn’t really a statistically significant operation any more,” said Griffiths, who is also UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs. “It’s a bit of a patch on a wound and it doesn’t do the job, and it would be an illusion for the world to think that the people in Gaza can be helped by the humanitarian operation under these conditions.

Not good for US to ‘be identified with so much killing’, Mary Robinson says

It’s not good for the US to be “identified with so much killing”, former Irish president Mary Robinson has told CNN in the wake of a statement by the Elders group calling on the US and other countries to reconsider their military aid to Israel.

Robinson, who is the chair of the Elders group of global leaders and a former UN human rights commissioner, told the US broadcaster on Tuesday:

We as Elders are asking that countries that provide military aid, notably the United States to Israel, now have to urgently review military assistance and put in place conditions for any future provision.

I think it’s really necessary. I’ll tell you why – if this doesn’t happen, then the United States owns the problem. And that is not good for the United States, that the United States would be identified with so much killing.

In their statement on Monday, the Elders – a group founded by Nelson Mandela – called for governments to set conditions for any future provision of arms to Israel. They warned that the military campaign in Gaza risked “fuelling an escalating cycle of mass atrocities”.

It continued:

Israel’s disproportionate response to the horrendous terror attacks by Hamas on 7 October – which the Elders unequivocally condemned – has reached a level of inhumanity towards Palestinians in Gaza that is intolerable.

Mary Robinson, chair of the Elders group of world leaders.
Mary Robinson, chair of the Elders group of world leaders. Photograph: Thomas Hartwell/AP

Israeli PM says IDF will enforce demilitarisation of Gaza after war ends

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Israeli military will retain open-ended security control over the Gaza Strip long after its war against Hamas ends.

In a news conference late Tuesday, Netanyahu said Gaza would have to remain demilitarized and that the only body capable of ensuring this would be the Israeli military, the AP and the Times of Israel reported.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photograph: Reuters

“Gaza must be demilitarized. And in order for Gaza to be demilitarized, there is only one force which can ensure this demilitarization – and this force is the Israel Defense Forces,” said Netanyahu.

“No international force can be responsible for this,” he said.

Various proposals have been made about who would take charge of security in Gaza after the war, including the suggestion that Arab states could send troops, although this has been dismissed by Arab countries.

Two Palestinians have been killed in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank, local media has reported.

Two teenagers were killed by Israeli gunfire in the city of Tubas, Reuters cited the Palestinian news agency Wafa as reporting.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper meanwhile reported that two people were killed and four injured in clashes with the military in the West Bank, citing the Red Crescent.

It was not immediately clear if the reports referred to the same incident – more on that as soon as we can find out more.

At least six people have been killed and others wounded in an Israeli attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp, Al Jazeera has reported.

The broadcaster said it had a news team at the site of the strike and that its footage showed a collapsed building and and rescue efforts.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa confirmed the death toll and cited civil defence forces as saying that “a large number” of people were feared to be under the rubble, Al Jazeera reported.

Wafa also reported casualties following separate Israeli attacks on the southern city of Khan Younis; the neighbourhoods of Tuffah, al-Daraj, and Shujayea in Gaza City; as well as on Fukhari, Khuza’a, Abasan and the Jabalia refugee camp.

Here are some of the latest images that have come into us overnight from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, which has been flooded with those killed and injured in Israeli attacks. The Israeli military said it had reached the heart of southern Gaza’s largest city on Tuesday, as well as surrounding it.

A woman mourns next to the bodies of her child and her husband.
A woman mourns next to the bodies of her child and her husband. Photograph: Fatima Shbair/AP
A little boy and a little girl wait to be treated on the hospital floor.
A little boy and a little girl wait to be treated on the hospital floor. Photograph: Fatima Shbair/AP
Palestinians lie on the hospital floor as they wait to be treated.
Palestinians lie on the hospital floor as they wait to be treated. Photograph: Fatima Shbair/AP
The bodies of Palestinians killed during Israeli strikes are laid out in the court yard.
The bodies of Palestinians killed during Israeli strikes are laid out in the court yard. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Biden condemns reports of rape of Israeli women and girls by Hamas miltants

US President Joe Biden has denounced the reported rape and sexual violence committed against Israeli girls and women by Hamas militants during the 7 October attack on Israel, calling on the world to condemn such conduct “without equivocation” and “without exception.”

Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Boston, Biden noted that in recent weeks, female survivors and witnesses to the attacks have shared “horrific accounts of unimaginable cruelty.”

Dozens of Jewish women and their supporters protest on Tuesday in front of UN headquarters to highlight the sexual violence allegedly committed by Hamas militants during the 7 October attack on Israel.
Dozens of Jewish women and their supporters protest on Tuesday in front of UN headquarters to highlight the sexual violence allegedly committed by Hamas militants during the 7 October attack on Israel. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

“Reports of women raped – repeatedly raped – and their bodies being mutilated while still alive – of women corpses being desecrated, Hamas terrorists inflicting as much pain and suffering on women and girls as possible and then murdering them,” Biden said, according to AP. “It is appalling.”

Israel has said it is investigating several cases of sexual assault and rape from the Hamas attack on Israel. Witnesses and medical experts have said that Hamas militants committed a series of rapes and other attacks before killing the victims in the 7 October attack, though the extent of the sexual violence remains unknown.

The United Nations held a meeting on Monday at which it heard accounts of the sexual violence allegedly committed by Hamas, and at which speakers also attacked women’s rights activists and UN officials for not doing more to investigate or condemn these crimes.

Read our full report on the meeting here:

Dozens reportedly killed in strike on central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli strike on homes sheltering displaced people in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, according to the head of the local hospital and an AP reporter there.

“We have received 45 martyrs from the Israeli bombing on the houses of three families in Deir al-Balah in the past hour,” Dr Eyad Al-Jabri, head of the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah told Reuters on Tuesday.

An AP reporter at the hospital counted at least 34 people bodies including at least six children. It was not possible to verify the reports independently. The AP reported further:

Footage from the scene showed women screaming from an upper floor of a house shattered to a concrete shell. In the wreckage below, men pulled the limp body of a child from under a slab next to a burning car. At the nearby hospital, medics tried to resuscitate a young boy and girl, bloodied and unmoving on a stretcher.

A Palestinian child injured in an Israeli attack is taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.
A Palestinian child injured in an Israeli attack is taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

In the south, witnesses said an Israeli strike hit a school in Khan Younis where hundreds of displaced people were sheltering on Tuesday, Reuters reported. It wrote:

Casualties overwhelmed the nearby Nasser hospital, where wounded men and children were lain on a bloody floor amid a tangle of IV tubes. In the morgue, a woman draped herself over the stretcher where her dead husband and child lay among at least nine bodies.

“What’s happening here is unimaginable,” said Hamza al-Bursh, who lives near the school. “They strike indiscriminately.”

Opening summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war with me, Helen Livingstone.

Dozens of people sheltering at homes in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah were among those killed in Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday, as the Israeli military reported its “most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation”.

Dr Eyad Al-Jabri, head of the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital, told Reuters at least 45 were killed in the strike. A reporter for the Associated Press who was at the hospital and counted the bodies said at least 34 people were killed, including at least six children. It was not possible to verify either report.

Palestinians search for bodies and survivors among the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes on Deir al-Balah.
Palestinians search for bodies and survivors among the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes on Deir al-Balah. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

Israel’s military is meanwhile assaulting southern Gaza’s main city, Khan Younis, in what the commander of the Israeli military’s Southern Command, General Yaron Finkelman, said was the fiercest combat since it began its ground invasion of Gaza.

Finkelman said Israeli forces, backed by war planes, on Tuesday reached the heart of Khan Younis and also surrounded the city. Hamas’ armed wing, the al Qassam Brigades, said its fighters engaged in violent clashes with Israelis.

In other key developments:

  • The UN’s top aid official has said the Israeli military campaign in southern Gaza has been just as devastating as in the north, creating “apocalyptic” conditions and ending any possibility of meaningful humanitarian operations. “What we’re saying today is: that’s enough now. It has to stop,” Martin Griffiths said in an interview with the Guardian, adding that the small amount of aid being allowed into Gaza could no longer be distributed.

  • Israeli forces have reported the most intense day of fighting in Gaza since the ground attack began nearly six weeks ago. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday they had mounted an attack into the “heart” of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, and that paratroopers and navy commandos had raided the Hamas general security headquarters there. Heavy fighting was also reported in Shujai’iya, another Hamas stronghold in the north.

  • Israeli forces have killed at least 16,248 people, including 7,112 children and 4,885 women, in Gaza since 7 October, a statement from the Hamas media office has said. At least 43,616 people have been injured and at least 7,600 people are missing, according to the statement on Tuesday.

  • A “catastrophic hunger crisis” is intensifying in Gaza, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday. “Only a lasting peace can end the suffering and avert the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” it said in a statement calling for a humanitarian ceasefire.

  • The UN has heard accounts of sexual violence during the 7 October attacks by Hamas, in a meeting where speakers also attacked women’s rights activists and UN officials for not doing more to investigate or condemn these crimes. Joe Biden also spoke about “horrific” reports of sexual violence by Hamas on 7 October, urging: “The world can’t just look away at what’s going on.”

  • Recently released hostages and relatives of Israelis still held by Hamas in Gaza have confronted Benjamin Netanyahu at an angry meeting in which some of those present reportedly called on the Israeli prime minister to resign. By the latest count, 138 Israelis and other nationals are still being held by Hamas in Gaza. During a week-long ceasefire that expired on Friday, 105 civilians were freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza – including 81 Israelis, 23 Thai nationals and one Filipino – in return for the release of 240 Palestinian women and minors held in Israeli jails.

  • The US state department has announced it will impose visa bans on Israeli extremist settlers engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank. The restrictions will target those who have committed acts of violence or taken other actions that restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities and may also apply to those individuals’ family members, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said. The move comes just a month after Israel was granted entry into the US’s visa waiver programme. Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said only Israeli military and security forces and the police have the right to use violence.

  • The US aid chief has announced new support for the Palestinian people during a visit to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Tuesday. Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAid), announced $21m (£16.7m) in new US assistance that will include hygiene and shelter supplies and food for people in Gaza, as she travelled to the Egyptian town of El-Arish, the gateway to the Rafah crossing into Gaza.

  • The Israeli military (IDF) issued a rare apology after an IDF strike killed a Lebanese soldier and injured three others on Tuesday, saying it had been targeting Hezbollah militants on its northern border with Lebanon.

  • A Hamas official has said there will be no negotiations or exchange of detainees until the Israeli assault against the Gaza Strip stops. Speaking to reporters in Beirut on Tuesday, Osama Hamdan also said that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was “responsible” for the lives of Israeli hostages in Gaza, adding that his true objective is to “eliminate the Palestinian people”.

  • Israel revoked the visa of the top UN humanitarian aid official for the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, according to foreign minister Eli Cohen. In a post on X, Cohen accused Lynn Hastings of failing to condemn Hamas for the 7 October massacre and instead of condemning Israel. He said she “cannot serve in the UN and cannot enter Israel!”

  • It is not good for the US to be “identified with so much killing, former Irish president Mary Robinson has told CNN in the wake of a statement by the Elders group calling on the US and other countries to reconsider their military aid to Israel.

  • Qatar’s prime minister has said mediation talks were still ongoing with an objective to end the war. “Qatar continues to make efforts to restore the truce, release hostages, and exchange prisoners,” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Tuesday.

  • Rishi Sunak expressed his “disappointment” about the breakdown of the pause in fighting in Gaza during a call with Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, Downing Street said. The two leaders also discussed “urgent efforts to ensure all remaining hostages are safely freed and to allow any remaining British nationals in Gaza to leave”, a No 10 spokesperson said.


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