Israel-Hamas war live updates: Israel says it will push offensive beyond northern Gaza

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Mourning the dead in Khan Younis

A man kisses the shrouded body of a relative who was killed in an airstrike in the southern city of Khan Younis today.

MAHMUD HAMS / AFP – Getty Images

Hundreds gather for a funeral procession in the West Bank after overnight air strike

NABLUS, West Bank — In the outskirts of city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, hundreds of people, many wearing black, line the streets as they wait for the funeral processions of several people reported killed in an air strike overnight. Gunshots were fired into the air as part of the procession, as the first body was carried thorugh the crowds.

One man, a 20-year-old wearing all black, told NBC News it was the first time he had seen what he believes was a drone strike at the Balata refugee camp. He said he was afraid that what’s happening in Gaza will happen in the West Bank.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said a number of people were killed in a strike on a building in the Balata refugee camp. NBC News was not immediately able to independently verify the details of the strike or the death toll.

The Israel Defense Forces said its aircraft struck a “hideout that was used by terrorists involved in the planning of imminent terror attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets.”

It said that alongside those targeted in the strike, Mohammad Zahid, “a senior terrorist in the city of Nablus was killed.”

One 20-year-old waiting for the procession told NBC News it was his understanding that militants were killed, but he said he believed at least one person not a militant.

The IDF said Zahid was involved in a number of shooting attacks in the area of Nablus and “planned terror activities, including a shooting attack in Jerusalem in April 2023, in which two Israeli civilians were injured.”

The IDF said that during counterterrorism activity in the Balata Camp, an explosive devices manufacturing laboratory was also identified and struck, while IDF engineering vehicles “exposed IEDs located underneath and beside roads in order to hit IDF soldiers.”

Gaza should be governed by Palestinian Authority after war, European Comission said

Josep Borrell, Vice President for the European Commission, says he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a regional security summit in Manama, Bahrain where they discussed ways to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas and the need to invest in a two-state solution.

“We need to support the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza,” Borrell said on X today, adding that this was a “medium term” goal following the need for aid in Gaza, humanitarian pauses, and the release of hostages. In a separate post he added that the E.U. would “do its part” in “redoubling efforts” to ensure security for both Palestinians and Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority have not been in control of the Gaza strip since their collapse in the area in 2007, after Hamas won local elections and the militants ousted them during the Battle of Gaza.

Jordan minister doubts Israel can wipe out Hamas

Jordan’s foreign minister said on Saturday that he did not understand how Israel’s goal of obliterating the Palestinian militant group Hamas it is fighting in Gaza could be achieved.

“Israel says it wants to wipe out Hamas. There’s a lot of military people here, I just don’t understand how this objective can be realized,” said Ayman Safadi.

He warned Jordan would do “whatever it takes to stop” the displacement of Palestinians, amid heavy Israeli bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and other Islamist militants.

IDF denies it ordered evacuation of Al-Shifa hospital

The Israeli military today denied reports it tried to force patients and medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza to evacuate, and instead has “acceded to the request” of it director to help Palestinians who wanted to leave the complex.

“At no point, did the IDF order the evacuation of patients or medical teams and in fact proposed that any request for medical evacuation will be facilitated by the IDF,” a statement added today. “Medical personnel will remain in the hospital to support patients who are unable to evacuate.”

According to earlier unverified reports circulating on social media, Israeli forces had given people in Al-Shifa one hour to leave the hospital.

Sick and injured were ordered to evacuate Al-Shifa hopsital, Palestinian health officials say

“The Israeli army ordered people to leave the hospital, and not everyone was able to leave,” said Dr. Muhammad Zaqout, Director General of Hospitals for the Palestinian health ministry.

“The displaced people walked to Al Wahda Street amidst the destruction and rubble, and a large number of them were sick,” Zaqout said. Those who remained were left without “drinking water, food, treatment or electricity.”

Israel has denied ordering the evacuation, saying that it came at the request of the director of Al-Shifa hospital.

After fleeing northern Gaza, Israel warns people to evacuate the south

As Israel pushes its offensive beyond northern Gaza, Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned residents in the line of fire in the southern city of Khan Younis should evacuate.

“We’re asking people to relocate. I know it’s not easy for many of them, but we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire,” Regev told MSNBC’s ‘The Mehdi Hasan Show’ on Friday.

The evacuation order comes after tens of thousands of Gazas fled the beseiged north to the south, many of them arriving in Khan Younis in the last two weeks. According to the U.N., 1.6 million people are already displaced inside Gaza.

Talks to secure release of hostages in Gaza are ‘very fluid’

NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell sits down with Kristen Welker about the latest developments in the attempts to secure the release of hostages, progress toward fuel deliveries and an uptick in violence in the West Bank.

Biden tells two different stories about the Israel-Hamas war in letters to Americans

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is delivering different messages on the war in the Middle East to pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel Americans, according to copies of official White House correspondence obtained by NBC News.

While one letter emphasizes Biden’s support for Israel against the “pure evil” of terrorism, the other focuses on the administration’s work to protect civilians in Gaza.

Though the two letters do not contradict one another — or Biden’s own policies — it is not common for the White House correspondence office to craft versions of a letter on the same topic that diverge so dramatically in their emphasis. Yet they reflect the political tightrope Biden is trying to navigate as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian elements of his coalition fray over the war.

Read the full story here.

PRCS: Several killed in strike on West Bank refugee camp

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Several people were killed and at least two more injured in a strike on a building in the occupied West Bank, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said early on Saturday, local time.

The Israeli military did not immediately provide comment on the incident at Balata refugee camp, in the central city of Nablus.

The PRCS earlier said its medics were dealing with several serious injuries from the blast.

NBC News could not independently confirm the details of the incident.

The West Bank, part of territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, has seen a sharp surge in violence since the deadly attack on southern Israel by Hamas gunmen from Gaza last month.

Situation in Al-Shifa complex is ‘catastrophic’, Ministry of Health spokesperson says

The humanitarian situation in Al-Shifa medical complex is “catastrophic,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra told Al Jazeera in a phone interview that the food that was delivered to the complex is sufficient for only about 400 people, though between 7,000 and 10,000 people are in the hospital complex.

“The patients in the Shifa complex are starving and in pain, and the displaced cannot find a piece of bread,” he said, according to an NBC News translation.

A number of patients, including babies, have died, and more are at risk without aid, he told Al Jazeera.

Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a plastic surgeon at the facility, told NBC News today that IDF soldiers had provided some sandwiches and drinking water, but it was not enough.

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