Live updates | Macron urges Israel to protect civilians in Gaza, calls for a humanitarian pause


French President Emmanuel Macron has opened a Gaza aid conference with an appeal for Israel to protect civilians, saying that “all lives have equal worth” and that fighting terrorism “can never be carried out without rules.”

Macron repeated calls a humanitarian pause in Israel’s operations against Hamas but also stressed that protecting civilians is “non-negotiable.”

France wants Thursday’s aid conference that brings together more than 50 nations to address the besieged Palestinian enclave’s growing needs including food, water, health supplies, electricity and fuel.

The aid conference coincides with negotiations for a three-day humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza in exchange for the release of about a dozen hostages held by Hamas.

Ywo officials from Egypt, one from the United Nations and a Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic efforts. said the negotiations were underway.

The war, now in its second month, was triggered by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

The number of Palestinians killed in the war passed 10,500, including more than 4,300 children, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said.

In the occupied West Bank, more than 160 Palestinians have been killed in the violence and Israeli raids. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, and 239 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.


— Israeli strikes pound Gaza City as ground forces battled Hamas militants in dense urban neighborhoods

— US launches airstrike on site in Syria in response to Iranian-backed militia attacks on bases housing U.S. troops

— Israel pressured by allies over plight of civilians in Gaza as thousands flee enclave’s north

— Americans divided over Israel response to Hamas attacks, AP-NORC poll shows

— U.S. House of Representatives censures only Palestinian American in Congress

— Blinken urges united future Palestinian government for Gaza and West Bank, widening gulf with Israel

— Find more of AP’s coverage at

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


French President Emmanuel Macron is appealing for Israel to protect civilians in Gaza and is repeating calls for a humanitarian pause to allow aid to reach those who need it.

Macron told a Gaza aid conference in Paris on Thursday that “all lives have equal worth” and that fighting terrorism “can never be carried out without rules” while protecting civilians ”is non-negotiable.” b

He said that by attacking Israel on Oct. 7, Hamas “shouldered the responsibility for exposing Palestinians to terrible consequences,” and he again defended Israel’s right to defend itself.

Officials from Western and Arab nations, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations are meeting in Paris with the aim of providing urgent aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip. Macron’s office said Israeli authorities aren’t participating.

More than 1.5 million people — or about 70% of Gaza’s population — have fled their homes, and an estimated $1.2 billion is needed to respond to the crisis in Palestinian areas.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark says it will increase its humanitarian aid to the civilian population in Gaza by 75 million kroner ($10.7 million).

The country’s Development Cooperation Minister Dan Jørgensen on Thursday called the situation “catastrophic and is worsening day by day.”

The aid will be channeled via U.N. agencies and the International Red Cross.


ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s president is accusing Western nations of “weakness” in the face of civilian deaths in Gaza and called on Muslim nations to display unity against Israel’s actions.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been a vocal critic of Israel’s actions in Gaza, made the comments Thursday at a meeting of the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organization in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Erdogan said Western nations and organizations are observing these “massacres by Israel” from afar but are “too weak to even call for a cease-fire, let alone criticize child murderers.”

He added:“If we, the Economic Cooperation Organization, as Muslims, are not going to raise our voices today…when will we raise our voices?”

Erdogan also said Turkey would continue with its diplomatic efforts to implement a cease-fire and prevent the spread of the conflict.

The Economic Cooperation Organization regroups five Central Asian nations as well as Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.


JERUSALEM — Israel’s labor minister says Benjamin Netanyahu will have to call early elections right after the war.

Labor Minister Yoav Bentzur made the unusually public suggestion in remarks quoted Thursday by the Maariv daily.

Bentzur from the ultraorthodox Shas party said Netanyahu ” will be forced to go to elections within 90 days, even before a commission of inquiry of some sort (into the war) is established.”

He added: “We can’t go on like this. The public will have its say, and then we will see if Netanyahu is given the mandate.”

Bentzur later tried to walk back the comments, saying they were taken out of context and don’t reflect the position of Shas, a close ally of Netanyahu.

Polls show Netanyahu’s support has dropped over Hamas’ shock attack, which killed more than 1,400 and left over 240 hostage, touching off a devastating Israeli war in the militants’ Gaza Strip stronghold.


JERUSALEM – An advocacy group for Israel’s Arab citizens says six prominent leaders in Israel’s Palestinian community has been arrested in route to a protest against the military’s war in the Gaza Strip.

The detainees include Mohammed Barakeh, a former lawmaker and head of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens; and former lawmakers Hanin Zoabi and Sami Abou Shahadeh.

Police said in a statement that the protest in Nazareth was “liable to incite and harm the public’s welfare.” Police recently banned antiwar protests.

Adalah, the advocacy organization, said Barakeh was detained for questioning after he was followed by an unmarked police car. He had notified police on Wednesday that the committee planned to hold a protest with fewer than 50 people and therefore did not need a permit.

Adalah said Barakeh’s arrest was illegal and evidence of a policy “designed to muzzle any dissent and to suppress the freedom to protest of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.”


The general director of Gaza City’s main hospital says scores of wounded people are being treated at the Al-Shifa Hospital following overnight Israeli strikes and shelling.

Dr. Mohammad Abu Selmia told the Associated Press by phone that at least one shell landed very close to the hospital at around dawn Thursday, resulting in only a few people sustaining minor injuries. He said it would’ve been a “catastrophe” had the shell landed any closer, adding that conditions at the hospital are “disastrous in every sense of the word.”

Abu Selmia said the hospital is in short supply of medicine and other medical equipment while doctors and nurses are exhausted, while staff is “unable to do much for the patients.”

He said the hospital has also been acting as makeshift shelter for some 60,000 displaced Palestinians.

A convoy of medical aid from the United Nations World Health Organization and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, reached al-Shifa Hospital Wednesday night. The heads of both agencies said in a joint statement that this the second convoy to reach the hospital since the onset of the Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7. It did not include fuel, as Israel has banned it in its blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

“It would help us get by for another few hours, not days,” Abu Selmia said the aid was enough to help doctors get by “for another few hours, not days”, adding that a steady stream of such aid convoys are needed to mee the hospital’s needs.


BEIRUT — About 50,000 Palestinians fled southward from northern Gaza on Wednesday, the United Nations said, the largest number of evacuees through an Israeli-controlled corridor that was first opened days ago.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs agency estimated that a total of 72,000 Palestinians have evacuated since Sunday. The Israeli military allowed Palestinians to evacuate from 10am until 3pm.

Clashes between the Hamas militant group the controls the besieged Palestinian enclave and the Israeli military have intensified in Gaza City.

“Clashes and shelling on and around the road reportedly continued, endangering evacuees with reports of corpses alongside the road,” UNOCHA said in its daily report. “Most evacuees are moving on foot and Israeli military reportedly forced those evacuees who use vehicles to leave them at the southern edge of Gaza City.”

The UN estimates that some 1.5 million Gazans out of the strip’s population of 2.3 million have been internally displaced. Many have found shelter in overcrowded hospitals and schools.


JERUSALEM — Two Israelis were shot overnight into Thursday and moderately wounded while driving in the northern West Bank, Israeli media reported. A baby in the back seat of their car was unharmed, they said.

It was the second shooting attack on Israeli drivers in the West Bank in a week. On Nov. 2, an Israeli man was killed after his car was shot at, then crashed and overturned.


CAIRO — Negotiations are underway to reach a three-day humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza in exchange for the release of about a dozen hostages held by Hamas. That’s according to two officials from Egypt, one from the United Nations and a Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic efforts.

The deal would enable more aid, including limited amounts of fuel, to enter the besieged territory to alleviate worsening conditions for the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped there. It is being brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, according to the officials and the diplomat.

One of the Egyptian officials says details of the deal were discussed this week in Cairo with the visiting CIA chief and an Israeli delegation. The official said mediators are finalizing a draft deal.

A senior U.S. official said the Biden administration has not put forward any specific time frame for a pause in Israel’s military operations but has suggested that Israel consider tying the length of a pause to the release of a certain number of hostages.

If an agreement on the duration of the pause and the number of hostages to be freed can be reached and the deal successfully implemented, the same formula could be revisited for additional pauses and releases, according to the official.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said any temporary cease-fire would have to be accompanied by the release of the hostages who were seized by Hamas during the militant group’s Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel. Israel has said around 240 hostages, both Israelis and those with foreign passports, are currently held in Gaza.

A three-day cease-fire would allow the delivery of humanitarian aid across Gaza, including the northern area, the focus of Israel’s military campaign to crush the territory’s Hamas rulers. Under the proposed deal, some fuel would also enter Gaza for the first time since the start of the war, to be distributed to hospitals and bakeries under U.N. supervision.

Israel has barred fuel shipments to Gaza since the start of the war, arguing Hamas would divert them for military use. Over the past month, only limited amounts of aid, such as medicine, food and water, have entered Gaza. Aid workers say it’s not nearly enough to meet mounting needs.

Under the proposed truce deal, Hamas would release a dozen civilian hostages, most of them foreign passport holders, and provide a complete list of hostages to mediators, according to the officials. The International Committee of the Red Cross would be allowed to visit the hostages.

The diplomat said the talks are complex because of the involvement of different parties in the region and in Western capitals.


Associated Press writers Samy Magdy in Cairo and Matthew Lee in Seoul, South Korea, contributed.


GENEVA — The U.N. human rights chief said collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians and their forced evacuation, as well as atrocities committed by Palestinian armed groups on Oct. 7 and their continued holding of hostages, amount to war crimes.

Volker Türk, standing in front of Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza, told reporters Wednesday: “These are the gates to a living nightmare.”

“We have fallen off a precipice. This cannot continue,” he said later in Cairo.

Türk said international human rights and humanitarian law must be respected to help protect civilians and allow desperately needed aid to reach Gaza’s beleaguered population of some 2.3 million people.

He said the U.N. rights office received reports in recent days about an unspecified orphanage in northern Gaza with 300 children who need urgent help, but communications were down and access were impassable and unsafe, so “we cannot get to them.”

“I feel, in my innermost being, the pain, the immense suffering of every person whose loved one has been killed in a kibbutz, in a Palestinian refugee camp, hiding in a building or as they were fleeing,” Türk said. “We all must feel this shared pain — and end this nightmare.”


KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza City — Hospitals in Gaza are nearing collapse under Israel’s wartime siege, which has cut power and deliveries of food, fuel and other necessities to the territory.

Inside the maternity department at Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis, the workload has doubled because of the mass displacement from Gaza’s north. That’s according to neonatal specialist Dr. Asaad al-Nawajha, who said Wednesday his team has seen an increase in premature births as the monthlong war intensifies.

Shouq Hararah is one of those mothers. She says her delivery took place with “no proper birth procedures, no anesthesia, painkillers or anything.”

“I gave birth to twins. The boy was discharged, but the girl remains in the maternity ward,” she said.

Standing before a row of beeping incubators, al-Nawajha emphasized the war’s life-threatening consequences.

“All of our work depends on electricity; all the machines you see here rely on it,” the doctor said. “When the electricity is cut, these devices stop working, and all the babies will face certain death.”


Associated Press writer Lolita Baldor contributed.


Israel’s military released video on Wednesday of what it says are combat engineers locating, entering and blowing up Hamas-built tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has destroyed 130 tunnels since the war began, according to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman.

The videos show a soldier’s body camera footage inside what Israel said was a Hamas tunnel, its walls lined with cement and the shaft partially filled with sand. Another clip shows the mouth of what appears to be a tunnel in an open area near damaged buildings. There are clips of armored excavators and bulldozers digging in the dirt, as well as explosions apparently destroying tunnel entrances.

The Israeli military did not provide locations where the videos were filmed, and the images did not include any visible landmarks except for one shot showing the sea in the background, so The Associated Press could not independently confirm the videos.

Hamas is believed to have a massive underground network throughout Gaza, allowing it to transport weapons, supplies and fighters.

Israeli warplanes have bombed crowded urban neighborhoods, saying the strikes target the tunnel system or Hamas commanders. But airstrikes can inflict only limited damage on the subterranean network.


WASHINGTON: U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said it was likely that Israel would maintain a military presence in Gaza for a “period of time” after the ongoing war, but said the U.S. believes it would be a “mistake” for Israel to re-occupy the territory.

“I think all of us can foresee a period of time after the conflict is over where Israeli forces will likely still be in Gaza and will have some initial security responsibilities,” Kirby told CNN on Wednesday. “But for how long and where and to what size and scale and scope, I think it’s too soon to know.” Kirby said the U.S. was focused on devising a long-term governance structure for Gaza after the current conflict, but said that as yet there has been little prospect of a viable plan.

“I think where we are is: a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers,” he said. “We know what we don’t want to see in Gaza post conflict, we don’t want to see Hamas in control, and we don’t want to see a re-occupation by Israel.”

He added: “We know that the United States can’t solve this alone,” and that the U.S. was engaging with regional and international partners on the matter.

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