Live updates | Israel’s war against Hamas, now in its fifth month, has devastated Gaza’s hospitals


The war between Israel and Hamas, now in its fifth month, has devastated hospitals in the Gaza Strip, with less than half of them only partially functioning as scores of people are killed and wounded in daily bombardments. Israel accuses the militants of using hospitals and other civilian buildings as cover.

Palestinians began evacuating the main hospital in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, according to videos shared by medics on Wednesday. The Israeli military said it had opened a secure route to allow civilians to leave the hospital, while medics and patients could remain inside

The war began with Hamas’ assault into Israel on Oct. 7, in which militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250. The overall Palestinian death toll from the war in Gaza has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.

The United States, which has provided crucial military and diplomatic support to Israel, has been working with Qatar and Egypt to try and broker a cease-fire and the return of the remaining 130 hostages held by Hamas, around a fourth of whom are believed to be dead.

The negotiators held talks in Cairo on Tuesday that were attended by CIA chief William Burns and David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, but there were no signs of a breakthrough.


— Airstrike during Israeli hostage rescue wipes out an entire Palestinian family in a Gaza border town

— South Africa launches an ‘urgent request’ with the top UN court over Israel’s targeting of Rafah

— Family of Palestinian-American detained by Israel seeks her release

Biden says ‘key elements’ of a Gaza deal are on the table as he meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah

— The Israeli military says it has rescued 2 hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip.

— Find more of AP’s coverage at

Here’s the latest:


BEIRUT — Israel carried out airstrikes on southern Lebanon on Wednesday after a rocket slammed into a northern Israeli town earlier in the day. Casualties were reported on both sides of the border.

Four people were killed in Lebanon, including a Syrian woman and her two Lebanese children in the village of Souaneh, and at least nine were wounded, Lebanese security officials and local media said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported that another airstrike on the village of Adchit killed one person and wounded nine. It was not immediately clear if the dead person was a civilian or a Hezbollah fighter.

Earlier Wednesday, a projectile hit a home in Israel’s northern town of Safed, wounding at least eight people. Israeli media reported that a woman was killed in that attack, but the military did not immediately confirm the reports. Hezbollah did not claim the attack on Safed.

Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which supports Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, have traded fire along the border nearly every day since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on Oct. 7.

—By Bassem Mroue


MADRID — Ireland and Spain have sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressing deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and urging the body to “undertake an urgent review” of whether Israel is complying with its obligations regarding human rights in the area.

The letter, signed by Ireland’s premier, Leo Varadkar, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, said that if the Commission deems Israel is in breach of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, “which makes respect for human rights and democratic principles an essential element of the relationship,” it should propose “appropriate measures” to the European Council to consider.

The letter underlines condemnation of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself but highlights surging death toll and devastation in Gaza. It said that Israel must respect international human rights.

The two leaders said they shared the concerns of the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres “about the appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma of civilians, and the risks to them given his view that nowhere in Gaza is safe.”


JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says a rocket attack on Wednesday wounded eight people in the northern town of Safed, not far from the border with Lebanon. Israeli media reported that a woman was killed in the attack, but the military did not immediately confirm the reports.

The town, around 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the border is farther south than most of the daily border skirmishes with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.

The Israeli army said there were approximately 10 launches towards northern Israel on Wednesday and that a nearby military base was targeted. One of the rockets hit a home in Safed, causing the casualties, while another two were intercepted.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah or Palestinian armed groups in Lebanon, which have also fired rockets into northern Israel.

Last month, Hezbollah said it launched a drone strike at the army’s northern headquarters. Israel’s military acknowledged at the time that one of its bases was targeted but said there were no injuries or damage.

The increasing cross-border attacks have led to fears of a wider conflict linked to the ongoing war in Gaza. Hezbollah says that by keeping Israel’s northern front active, it is helping to reduce pressure on Palestinian Hamas in Gaza. Nearly 200 Hezbollah fighters and more than 20 civilians have been killed on the Lebanese side since Oct. 7.

In Israel, 19 people have been killed by rocket attacks from Lebanon, including 10 civilians. More than 180 Israelis have been wounded, including a woman and her son who were critically wounded on Tuesday in a rocket attack in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona.

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes on both sides of the border.


JERUSALEM — The Israeli military has released a video of what it claims is Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar walking through tunnels underneath Gaza’s second-largest city with his family.

The Israeli military says the video was taken under Khan Younis days after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in southern Israel.

In the video, a man identified as Sinwar is seen from the back, with his wife and three children walking ahead of him. He is wearing sandals and carrying a bag. His daughter clutches a doll as the family, led by what the army claims is Sinwar’s brother, makes their way through the tunnels.

The face of the man identified as Sinwar is not visible and the claims could not be independently verified.

The army also released video of a tunnel compound where it claimed Sinwar was recently hiding with his family. The compound had a bathroom and kitchen with stockpiles of food, including bags marked with logos of the U.N. agency that delivers most aid to people in Gaza. Israel has long accused UNRWA of tolerating or collaborating with Hamas — a charge the agency denies.

Another room had a safe with plastic storage bags filled with shekels and dollars. The army did not provide information to support its claim that Sinwar had spent time in that tunnel compound.

Sinwar is Hamas’ top leader inside the Palestinian territory. Israeli officials have vowed to kill him and crush the militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Tuesday evening that the army was combing through intelligence files seized during operations in the tunnels. He said the army had multiple videos of Sinwar.

“While the people of Gaza are suffering above ground, Sinwar is hiding in tunnels and the ground underneath them, running like the coward that he is,” said Hagari.


UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. humanitarian chief is warning that Israeli military operations in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah “could lead to a slaughter.”

Martin Griffiths said Tuesday more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled to Rafah seeking safety from Israeli attacks and are “staring death in the face,” with “little to eat, hardly any access to medical care, nowhere to sleep, nowhere safe to go.”

Gaza’s residents, he said, are the victim of an Israeli assault “that is unparalleled in its intensity, brutality and scope.”

Griffiths reiterated U.N. demands for an end to the war that Israel launched after Hamas’ surprise attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked his military to prepare plans to evacuate Rafah so it can pursue Hamas fighters in the city.

The Hamas attacks in Israel killed about 1,200 people and led to the taking of about 250 hostages. More than 28,000 people, mostly women and children, have been killed across Gaza in the Israeli offensive, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, he said.

Griffiths said in a statement that he has been warning for weeks that the U.N. humanitarian response is “in tatters” and now he is sounding “the alarm” again.

“Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza,” he said. “They could also leave an already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door.”

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