Calls for a humanitarian pause increased with the United Nation’s agency for Palestinian refugees reporting the average Palestinian in Gaza is surviving on two pieces of bread a day, and only one of three water supply lines from Israel is operational.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, “We are going full steam ahead” unless the hostages held by Hamas are released. Israeli troops have further closed in on Gaza City, launching targeted attacks on militant cells there.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,227, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 140 Palestinians have been killed in 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 242 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.
Roughly 1,100 people have left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing since Wednesday under an apparent agreement among the United States, Egypt, Israel and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas.
1. Israel deports thousands of Palestinian workers back to Gaza’s war zone.
2. Honduras becomes the latest Latin American country to recall its ambassador to Israel.
3. Israel’s fortified underground blood bank processes unprecedented amounts as troops move into Gaza.
4. The mood of all of Gaza seemed to be channeled in an emotional outburst on live TV over the death of a reporter.
5. A U.N. official says the average Palestinian in Gaza is living on two pieces of bread a day.
6. Blinken warns Israel that humanitarian conditions in Gaza must improve.
7. Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.
Here’s what is happening in the latest Israel-Hamas war:
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia dispatched a batch of humanitarian aid for people in Gaza on Saturday, its first since the latest Israel-Hamas war began.
The 51.5-ton aid was sent off directly by President Joko Widodo from Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base. Widodo said the medical equipment, food, blankets, tents and other supplies came both from the government and from Indonesian civilians, collected by humanitarian agencies.
The aid will be transported Saturday by two Hercules aircraft and an Airbus cargo plane to el-Arish Airport in Egypt. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has long been a strong supporter of Palestinians. The country does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
“This is a form of Indonesian solidarity, a form of Indonesians’ concern for humanity,” Widodo said, “because the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza is unacceptable and must be stopped as soon as possible.”
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief renewed his demand for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying civilians “have been besieged, denied aid, killed and bombed out of their homes” for nearly one month in Israel’s retaliation after Hamas’ surprise attacks.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement late Friday that he is “horrified by the reported attack in Gaza on an ambulance convoy outside Al Shifa hospital,” calling the images of bodies strewn on the street “harrowing.”
The secretary-general said international humanitarian law must be respected, including protecting civilians and civilian infrastructure — and not using civilians as human shields. He also called for the delivery of humanitarian supplies across Gaza “at a scale commensurate with this dramatic situation.”
UNITED NATIONS — “Maya! Maya! Water! Water!” is now the refrain from people on Gaza streets, the Gaza director for the UNRWA, the United Nation’s agency for Palestinian refugees, said Friday.
Thomas White described Gaza as “a scene of death and destruction.” No place is safe now, he said, and people fear for their lives, their futures, and that they will not be able to feed their families.
UNRWA is supporting about 89 bakeries across Gaza aiming to get bread to 1.7 million people, White said in a video briefing to diplomats from the U.N.’s 193 member nations. The average person in Gaza is living on two pieces of bread made from flour the U.N. had stockpiled in the territory, he said.
But “now people are beyond looking for bread. It’s looking for water,” he said.
U.N. deputy Middle East coordinator Lynn Hastings, who is also the humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said only one of three water supply lines from Israel is operational and “many people are relying on brackish or saline ground water, if at all.”