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Israel-Hamas war updates and latest news on Gaza conflict


Russia’s Putin warns conflict may spread ‘far beyond’ Middle East borders

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the Israel-Hamas conflict could “spill far beyond the borders of the Middle East,” according to a Google-translated readout of a speech given to religious leaders.

“Our task today, the main task, is to stop the bloodshed and violence. Otherwise, further growth of the crisis is fraught with severe and extremely dangerous, destructive consequences,” he said.

Divided between loyalties to Israel and Hamas-supporting Iran, Russia has repeatedly called for an end to violence and civilian suffering, but has fallen short of condemning the Palestinian militant group. Putin previously spoke against a possible Israeli ground incursion into the Gaza Strip, warning of the likelihood of civilian casualties resulting from attacking urban areas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his press conference at the Third Belt and Road Forum on Oct. 18, 2023, in Beijing.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“We see attempts by some forces to provoke further escalation, to drag as many other countries and peoples into the conflict as possible, using them for their own selfish interests, to launch a real wave of chaos and mutual hatred not only in the Middle East, but also far beyond its borders,” Putin said.

The Kremlin has repeatedly blamed the Israel-Hamas war on the U.S. — which, alongside several Western countries, slapped sanctions against Moscow for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ruxandra Iordache

IDF says it conducted operation in northern Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces said it carried out an operation in northern Gaza overnight, in which tanks and infantry targeted “numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts.”

The military said its troops have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory.

“Overnight, the IDF conducted a targeted raid using tanks in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of preparations for the next stages of combat. The activity was commanded by the Givati Brigade,” the IDF said in a statement.

— Christine Wang

Israel’s military responds to calls for fuel: ‘It’s all inside the Gaza Strip’

Israel’s military responded to reports of a critical dearth of fuel in the Gaza Strip, which humanitarian relief agencies say is needed to power local medical equipment, water desalination and the distribution of aid resources.

Israeli Army Spokesperson for International Media, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.

Jalaa Marey | Afp | Getty Images

“We don’t want hospitals, or the entire[ty] of Gaza to run out of fuel or electricity or water,” Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said in an overnight live press address.

“We responded to UNRWA’s claims by referring them to where Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, stores fuel. Both diesel fuel and … other types of fuel,” he said. “It’s all inside the Gaza Strip and there’s enough for many days for hospitals and water pumps to run, only the priorities are different. Hamas prefers to have all of the fuel for its war fighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it.”

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees has warned that it cannot continue to carry out its operations after Wednesday night without fresh fuel deliveries. “If fuel is not received into Gaza, UNRWA will be forced to significantly reduce and in some cases bring its humanitarian operations across the Gaza Strip to a halt. The coming 24 hours are very critical,” the agency said Wednesday.

Conricus urged humanitarian organizations to request supplies from Hamas, not Israel’s neighbor Egypt, and also not to blame Israel — which cut off the Gaza Strip from supplies of fuel, water, electricity and food as part of its campaign against Hamas.

Ruxandra Iordache

WHO urges release of hostages held by Hamas on medical grounds

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends an ACANU briefing on global health issues, including COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine in Geneva, Switzerland, December 14, 2022. 

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

The head of the World Health Organization urged Palestinian militant group Hamas to release its hostages, citing medical concerns.

The Israeli military says Hamas abducted around 222 people during its terror attacks of Oct. 7, of whom only four have been released to date.

“[The World Health Organization] calls for the immediate release of all the hostages, along with urgent access to each of them and delivery of medical care,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on social media late Wednesday.

“There is an urgent need for the captors of the hostages to provide signs of life, proof of provision of health care and the immediate release, on humanitarian and health grounds, of all those abducted,” he added, noting that many of the hostages have pre-existing health conditions that require urgent care and stressing the “acute” mental health trauma that captives face.

Ruxandra Iordache

Oxfam says ‘just 2% of usual food delivered to Gaza since siege imposed ’

Oxfam released a statement saying “just 2 percent of usual food has been delivered to Gaza” since the siege was imposed.

“ The international agency analyzed UN data and found that just 2 percent of food that would have been delivered has entered Gaza since the total siege – which tightened the existing blockade – was imposed on 9 October,” Oxfam said.

The agency renewed its call for food, water, fuel and other essentials to be allowed to enter.   

“The situation is nothing short of horrific – where is humanity?” Oxfam spokesperson Sally Abi Khalil said in a statement. “Millions of civilians are being collectively punished in full view of the world, there can be no justification for using starvation as a weapon of war. World leaders cannot continue to sit back and watch, they have an obligation to act and to act now. ”

Oxfam estimates a staggering 2.2 million people are now in urgent need of food.

Palestinian children receive food between tents set up for Palestinians seeking refuge on the grounds of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) centre in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 24, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Palestinians take shelter in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as fighting continues between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Palestinian emergency services and local citizens search for victims in buildings destroyed during Israeli air raids in the southern Gaza Strip on October 22, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

Ahmad Hasaballah | Getty Images News | Getty Images

U.S. calls for ‘humanitarian pause’ in Israel’s military campaign in Gaza

Palestinians take shelter in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as fighting continues between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

The Biden administration is now backing the idea of a “pause” in Israel’s military operations against Hamas in order to allow more aid to get into Gaza as the international community sounds the alarm on a growing humanitarian crisis in the region, NBC News reported.

Biden stressed the need for more aid into Gaza at a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, saying that Israel needed to do “everything in its power to protect innocent civilians.”

A U.S. official told NBC News the shift in the administration’s language was deliberate.

The official also said that the Israelis are “hearing” the call for a humanitarian pause and it is “actively being discussed.”

Read the full story on NBC News.

Palestinian children receive food between tents set up for Palestinians seeking refuge on the grounds of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) centre in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 24, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Treasury Department weighs methods to cut off Hamas’ funding

Palestinians take part in a protest in support of the people of Gaza, as the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, October 25, 2023.

Mussa Issa Qawasma | Reuters

A senior Treasury official met with counterparts in Qatar to discuss ways to cut Hamas’ funding stream.

“The U.S. is prepared to take unilateral action, but when we are strategically aligned with partners in this region, we have a great chance for success at a greater speed with more efficiency,” said Brian Nelson, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Nelson hinted that the department will extend the offer to other countries in the Middle East and said he spoke with officials in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Prompted by the Hamas attacks, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control last week sanctioned 10 institutions that fund Hamas from Gaza, the West Bank, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and Qatar.

The terrorist group is funded in part through charitable organizations — including Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation — taxes on Gazan-made goods and imports and provisions from Iran.

— Chelsey Cox





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