Live updates | Intense bombardments strike in southern Gaza on 11th day of Israel-Hamas war


Palestinians described intense bombardments early Tuesday near two towns in southern Gaza, where Israel had ordered civilians to seek refuge.

Thousands of people trying to escape Gaza are gathered in Rafah, which has the territory’s only border crossing to Egypt. Mediators are pressing for an agreement to let aid in and refugees with foreign passports out. The U.S. hoped to break a deadlock with President Joe Biden set to head to Israel and Jordan on Wednesday.

Aid workers warned that life in Gaza was near complete collapse because of the Israeli siege that followed a Hamas attack on Israel.

The war that began Oct. 7 has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides. The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,778 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded. More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.


    1. U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced.

    2. A shortage of drinking water continues across Gaza, leading humanitarian workers to warn of the risk of disease from drinking untreated water.

    3. Overwhelmed doctors at the territory’s largest hospital struggle to care for patients as supplies of water, fuel and medicine run dangerously low.

    4. Hundreds of civilians killed in the Hamas attacks have yet to be identified by Israeli forensics teams.

Here’s what’s happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:


The U.N. human rights office is decrying “appalling reports” that civilians who were trying to flee to southern Gaza were hit and killed by a military strike.

Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani urged Israeli forces to avoid “aerial bombardments, indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks” and to “take precautions to avoid – and in any case, to minimize – loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.”

She said those who managed to evacuate are now trapped in southern Gaza with scant access to shelter, food, water, sanitation and medicine.

“Appalling reports that civilians attempting to relocate to southern Gaza were struck and killed by an explosive weapon, must be independently and thoroughly investigated as must all allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law,” she said.

Shamdasani also reiterated the call from the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to Palestinian armed groups “to immediately and unconditionally release all civilian hostages and to halt the use of inherently indiscriminate projectiles against Israel.”


TIRANA, Albania — French President Emmanuel Macron said the situation of hostages is “absolutely odious and unacceptable” after Hamas’ military wing released a hostage video showing a dazed woman having her arm bandaged.

The woman identified herself as Mia Schem, 21, a French-Israeli national.

Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Albania, Macron said he watched the video and expressed “support and affection” to Schem’s family and all other hostages’ loved ones.

“To have taken hostages, both civilian and military, of all nationalities and to use blackmail at this time is absolutely odious and unacceptable,” he said.

Macron said France is using contacts with Israeli authorities and also with Hamas “through friendly intermediary powers,” which he did not identify, to get the release of French and other hostages.

In her statement, Schem said she was taken from Kibbutz Reim, where she was attending a rave near the Israel-Gaza border.

The Israeli military said Schem’s family was told of her abduction last week, and officials dismissed the video as propaganda.


A cruise ship carrying some 160 U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who opted to leave Israel has arrived in Cyprus’ main port of Limassol.

The Rhapsody of the Seas docked at dawn Tuesday and were met by the U.S. ambassador to Cyprus, Julie Fisher. Passengers were processed by Cypriot authorities and local U.S. embassy officials before being bussed to temporary accommodation prior to their flight back home.

Barbara Zwillick, 73, was escorting her granddaughter to New York City at the request of her daughter, who has stayed behind to continue her work as a nurse.

“She doesn’t want to leave. I don’t want her to leave. But she wants her daughter out,” Zwillick told The Associated Press.

Naama Kopelman, who has relatives believed to be Hamas hostages, said she decided to leave Israel for the sake of her daughter.

“It’s a big relief to be out of there in a safe place. No alarms, no sounds of the planes going about all the time,” Kopelman said.


TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader Tuesday has insisted that his country will not stop Hamas, and repeated a call for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “If the crimes continue, Muslims will be impatient, resistances forces will be impatient, and nobody will be able to prevent them.”

“Bombardments should be immediately stopped, Muslim nations are angry,” said Khamenei.

He reiterated Iran’s stance in calling Israel’s assault against Hamas,” genocide” and urged the prosecution of the Israeli government for its killing of civilians in Gaza.

He also urged the U.S. to “pay attention to its responsibility” in the war.


DEIR AL BALAH, Gaza Strip — Palestinians in Gaza are taking stock of the latest deadly airstrikes from Israel.

A strike in Deir al Balah, south of Gaza City, reduced a house to rubble, killing nine members of the family living there, mostly women and children. Three members of another family that had evacuated from Gaza City were killed in a neighboring home. Witnesses said there was no warning before the strike.

In Khan Younis, in a neighborhood just a few hundred meters away from Nasser Hospital, Samiha Zoarab looked around at the destruction in shock as children rummaged through the piles of debris and detritus around a leveled home, which lies within a dense cluster of buildings. At least four people from the same family were killed in the attack, locals said. “There are only two survivors,” Zoarab said.


BEIRUT — An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon landed in the town of Metula in northern Israel Tuesday morning. Three people were injured in the attack, according to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, which was expecting to receive them.

No group in Lebanon immediately took responsibility for the rocket. It was not immediately clear if the injured were civilians or soldiers, but Israel has ordered civilians to evacuate from the area near the Lebanese border.

Israel responded by striking several areas along the border in southern Lebanon with shelling and white phosphorus, the state-run National News Agency in Lebanon reported. The Israeli military said its tanks fired back into Lebanon over the anti-tank missile fire it received.


ISTANBUL — Turkey and other regional powers should act as guarantors of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians to ensure peace, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said late Monday.

The international community should insist that Israel accept the creation of a Palestinian state, Fidan said in a briefing with the Turkish media.

“After an agreement is reached … the guarantor countries should assume responsibility for fulfilling its requirements,” state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Fidan following a briefing with Turkish media.

He added: “Unless peace is guaranteed, the state of Israel and its people can never feel safe in the region.” The minister did not provide further detail on the plan. Turkey, along with the U.K. and Greece, has acted as a guarantor on the divided island of Cyprus since 1960.

Fidan has had a series of diplomatic meetings focused on Gaza in recent days and has others scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fidan said he had presented to idea of guarantors to those he had spoken with.

“The important thing is to realize the two-state solution by using this crisis as an opportunity,” he said. “It is to bring permanent peace to the region.”


BERLIN — King Abdullah II of Jordan has said at a meeting with German Chancellor OIaf Scholz in Berlin that neither Jordan nor Egypt would be willing to take in any Palestinian refugees.

The Jordanian king told reporters on Tuesday that “this is a red line … no refugees to Jordan and also no refugees to Egypt.”

“This is a situation that has to be handled within Gaza and the West Bank,” he said. “And you don’t have to carry this out on the shoulders of others.”

Abdullah also said that everything needs to be done to prevent a further escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The whole region is on the brink,” Abdullah said. “This new cycle of violence is leading us towards the abyss.”

Scholz, who is traveling to Israel later on Tuesday, stressed that the country has every right to defend itself and can count on Germany’s support.


BEIRUT — The Israeli military said it killed four militants attempting to cross into the country from Lebanon with an explosive device, its Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee said.

A video from a reconnaissance drone the Israeli army shared showed the militants near the separation wall before they were targeted, causing an explosion.

No group in Lebanon claimed immediately claimed responsibility. Last week, militants from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in southern Lebanon crossed the border and clashed with Israeli troops, killing 3 and wounding several others. The militants were killed, and the Palestinian group held funerals for two of them.

Tensions have flared along the Lebanon-Israel border between the Hezbollah group and Israeli military. While shelling has been limited to towns along the border, there are fears Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups would escalate their actions to support Hamas should Israel begin a ground operation in Gaza.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the crisis in Gaza could turn into genocide if Israel’s war against Hamas in the territory continues.

Anwar said Tuesday that civilian safety must be given top priority. He said he expressed Malaysia’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people during a phone conversation Monday with Hamas political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh.

“Given the dire situation in Gaza, I strongly advocate for the immediate cessation of bombardment and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor in Rafah,” he wrote on social media. He urged Israel to “genuinely pursue a peaceful resolution” to end the conflict.

Anwar told Parliament on Monday that Malaysia rebuffed calls by Western countries to condemn Hamas for its Oct. 7 incursion into Israel that set off their latest war. Malaysia blames years of injustice and Israeli oppression on the Palestinian people for the Hamas incursion.

“If no action is taken, it will turn into a genocide war,” he said. “If the world is unable to do anything, it means that the world is allowing the mass killing of Palestinians.”

Malaysia, a moderate, mostly Muslim nation, has long been a critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. It does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

Anwar plans to attend a meeting of Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia this week and has said he would discuss the issue with his counterparts.

Malaysia has allocated $2.1 million to the U.N. relief agency helping Palestinian refugees and hopes to raise up to $22 million for Palestinian humanitarian aid.


KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — Palestinians in Gaza reported intense bombardments early Tuesday near the southern towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, where Israel ordered civilians to seek refuge.

Israeli bombs hit areas west and southeast of Khan Younis and west of Rafah, according to local reports. Thousands of people trying to escape Gaza are gathered in Rafah, which contains the territory’s only border crossing to Egypt, as international mediators press for a deal to allow aid in and refugees with foreign passports out.

Details of casualties were not immediately available.


NEW YORK — Gov. Kathy Hochul said she will travel to Israel on Tuesday for a “solidarity mission.”

She said she plans to meet with diplomatic leaders and communities devastated after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israeli towns.

“During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever for New York to show up in support of Israel,” Hochul said.

New York has the largest percentage of Jews among all the U.S. states, according to the American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University.


TEL AVIV, Israel — President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday to show support for the U.S. ally amid concerns the Israel-Hamas war could become a larger regional conflict, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Biden will then go to Jordan to meet with Arab leaders, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

Blinken’s announcement followed hours of talks with Israeli officials, as well as an invitation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip grows more dire, Blinken also said the U.S. and Israel had agreed to develop a plan to enable humanitarian aid from donor nations to reach civilians in Gaza, “including the possibility of creating areas to help keep civilians out of harm’s way.”

“We share Israel’s concern that Hamas may seize or destroy aid entering Gaza or otherwise prevent it from reaching the people who need it,” Blinken said.


Associated Press writer Tara Copp contributed to this report.

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