IDF raids Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

Economies taking a hit as war rages on

TEL AVIV — The war is reshaping the economies and labor forces of the region.

Since the war began, at least 18 percent of the Israeli workforce is off the job, according to the Israel Ministry of Labor.

And in Gaza, six in 10 jobs have been lost, according to the United Nations. Forty-five percent of the homes there have been damaged, the agency says, contributing to the area’s sky-high poverty rate.

Israeli authorities open investigation into Oct. 7 sexual violence allegations

TEL AVIV — Israeli officials are opening a joint investigation into crimes committed during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in Israel, including a look at sexual violence allegations, a spokesperson for Israel’s police force confirmed.

The investigation will be shared by Israel Police, Shin Bet and the IDF.

A court order was issued prohibiting publishing any information that might identify potential suspects or testimony given to investigators, the spokesperson said.

Police evacuate DNC headquarters during pro-Palestinian rally

Police said they are evacuating the area around the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., after they made arrests at a chaotic pro-Palestinian rally tonight.

Officers are “working to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting in the area,” Capitol Police said on X, adding that they’re making arrests and that all lawmakers have been moved from the area.

IfNotNow, a group that describes itself as “American Jews organizing our community to end U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid system,” appeared to be at the protest, and it accused officers of being violent toward demonstrators.

Sara Netanyahu sends letter to Jill Biden claiming Hamas hostage gave birth in captivity

TEL AVIV — Sara Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister’s wife, has reportedly sent a letter to U.S. first lady Jill Biden claiming that a Hamas hostage gave birth in captivity.

NBC News has not independently verified the claim. 

Biden says war won’t end ‘until there’s a two-state solution’

Biden said tonight that he didn’t believe the Israel-Hamas war would end “until there’s a two-state solution.”

The remark came in response to a question about setting a deadline around the United States’ support for Israel in the conflict.

“I can’t tell you how long it’s gonna last,” Biden said. “But I can tell you, I don’t think it ultimately ends until there’s a two-state solution. I made it clear to the Israelis I think it’s a big mistake for them to think they’re going to occupy Gaza.”

The president was also asked about hostages in Gaza, including a 3-year-old American reportedly being held.

“I’m not gonna stop ‘til we get her,” Biden said.

Group of Democrats urges Biden and Blinken to support a cease-fire in Gaza

Two dozen Democratic lawmakers signed a letter today urging President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to seek a cease-fire in Gaza. 

The letter — signed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and 21 others, many of whom are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — said the lawmakers were concerned about the intensifying war in Gaza, “particularly grave violations against children, and our fear that without an immediate cessation of hostilities and the establishment of a robust bilateral ceasefire, this war will lead to a further loss of civilian life.”

“We write urging clarity on your strategic objectives for achieving deescalation and stability in the region,” the Democrats wrote. “We understand that the Administration has serious concerns regarding the objectives and consequences of a large-scale ground offensive, and we urge you to press this case directly.”

Read the full story here.

U.N. Security Council passes Gaza resolution for first time since war breaks out

For the first time since the war broke out between Israel and Hamas, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on Gaza, expressing deep concern over the conflict’s grave impact on civilians especially its disproportionate impact on children.

The United States, United Kingdom and Russia abstained.

The resolution calling for “extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days” to enable rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access was supported by 12 of the 15 member countries.

“The council appears indifferent to the carnage and indifferent to the suffering. Today we have an opportunity to begin changing that perception,” United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the U.N. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh said.

Despite abstaining, the U.K.’s Ambassador to the U.N. Barbara Woodward told the council the resolution would save lives. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas Greenfield said the U.S. could not vote yes on a resolution that failed to condemn Hamas or reaffirm the right of all member states to protect their citizens from terrorist attacks.

U.K. Labour Party faces internal division in battle over ‘cease-fire’ vs. ‘pause’

U.K.’s Parliament voted today on two conflicting amendments on whether to call for a humanitarian “pause” or “cease-fire,” causing discord within the Labour Party as many disagreed with leadership’s push for a pause.

Keir Starmer, Labour leader, received a number of frontbench resignations from members of Parliament today who held positions in the opposition’s shadow cabinet. Frontbench-position holders are largely expected to vote along party lines, so the resignations are symbols of dissent.

A total of nine shadow ministers have left their roles over the issue, Sky News reported.

MP Afzal Khan said he could not “in good conscious” vote against a cease-fire and was leaving his role as shadow minister for exports in a letter to Starmer he posted on X.

“I believe it is up to each and every one of us in a position of power to call out the killing of innocent civilians — which every Labour MP has done — and to advocate for the court of action we feel will have the best result,” Khan wrote.

Photo: Flares over the Gaza Strip

Flares rise over the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, foreground., on Nov. 15, 2023.
Leo Correa / AP

Flares rise over the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, foreground, on Wednesday night.

‘Terrified and scared’: Doctor describes scene inside raided Gaza hospital

TEL AVIV — The director of Al-Shifa Hospital’s burn unit said he was terrified and scared after the Israeli military announced its soldiers were conducting a “targeted” mission inside the medical complex.

The director told NBC News that he asked whether observers from the International Committee of the Red Cross or United Nations could accompany soldiers, but the IDF allegedly refused.

WHO chief condemns Israeli raid on Al-Shifa hospital

“Even if health facilities are used for military purposes, the principles of distinction and precaution and proportionality always apply,” insisted World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Kirby on Al-Shifa: U.S. doesn’t OK Israeli military operations

When asked whether the U.S. knew about the IDF’s plan to raid Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the government doesn’t expect a heads-up from their ally.

“These are Israeli military operations that they plan and they execute on, you know, in accordance with their own established procedures,” he told reporters this morning.

The IDF announced it was conducting a “targeted” mission at Al-Shifa just hours after Kirby told reporters yesterday that the U.S. had information about Hamas’ use of tunnels underneath hospitals, including Al-Shifa. Today, Kirby reiterated that the U.S. was confident in its intelligence assessment that Hamas used Al-Shifa as a “command and control node.”

Kirby added that the U.S. has been “very clear” in its conversations with Israel’s officials about the special care needed when dealing with hospitals in war.

IDF says it found Hamas assault rifles and grenades inside Al-Shifa hospital

Israeli military forces discovered AK-47s, hand grenades, military uniforms and a laptop with a photo of a kidnapped Israeli soldier on it in Al-Shifa hospital today, according to Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the IDF.

In a seven-minute video shot by the IDF, Conricus walks through what he says is the MRI department of Al-Shifa hospital. He points out what he calls several military “go bags,” one of which had an AK-47 rifle still inside it.

“What you will be able to see is military equipment. There is an AK-47, cartridges, ammo,” he said. “There are grenades in here, of course, uniforms. All of this was hidden very conveniently — secretly — behind the MRI machine.”

Later, in the video, he points to a closet in another area and points to two piles of what appear to be AK-47s.

“These weapons have absolutely no business being in a hospital,” Conricus said. “The only reason they are here is because Hamas put them here because they use this place like many other hospitals and ambulances and sensitive facilities inside the Gaza strip for their illicit military purposes.”

NBC News was unable to independently confirm what was shown in the video. The video does not appear to show definitive evidence that a Hamas command center exists beneath the hospital, a claim that Israeli officials have repeatedly made.

After walking to another area, Conricus shows an open laptop computer. Its screen displays a photo, according to him, of Ori Megidish, an Israeli soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 and later rescued by IDF special forces and returned to her family.

“I don’t know who it belonged to but now it is being analyzed by our intel people,” Conricus said, referring to the laptop. He added that IDF intelligence officers will be analyzing the laptop, a radio communications device, what appear to be CDs or DVDs, and other documents recovered from inside the MRI department.

Hamas denied the allegations in a statement today, calling it a “blatant lie” that the group was keeping weapons inside Al-Shifa Hospital. Hamas said it asked the United Nations and international organizations to independently review the hospital weeks ago to disprove the IDF’s allegations.

‘Cease-fire now’ demonstrators gather outside British Parliament

Protesters in London call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Protesters in London call for a cease-fire today.Henry Nicholls / AFP – Getty Images

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have gathered outside the British Parliament building in London chanting “cease-fire now” in the hopes their representatives will vote to push for a cessation of war violence.

Members of Parliament will be voting on competing amendments to the king’s speech, one which calls for a “humanitarian pause” in Gaza and another that calls for a cease-fire, according to Sky News. The broadcast organization said that demonstrators outside swelled in numbers and blocked traffic with their gathering. Metropolitan Police said they were at the scene and placed diversions to allow traffic to flow.

The rally was organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, whose director Ben Jamal spoke to attendees. Jamal called it a “simple moral test,” according to video posted the group’s X account.

“MPs who today vote against a cease-fire and for a humanitarian pause are giving this message to the Palestinian people: That we believe that there should be a temporary halt to the bombing to get you food and medical supply … and then Israel can again begin to bomb your hospitals and bury you and your families under the rubble of your own homes.”

Tens of thousands ill as Gaza waste system shuts down

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza are suffering from disease as they lose access to clean water and proper waste disposal, according to the World Health Organization.

“There’s more than close to 72,000 cases of acute respiratory infections, 44,000 cases of diarrhea, 808 cases of chickenpox and more than close to 14,200 skin diseases, scabies and lice,” said Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, the WHO’s representative for the occupied Palestinian territory.

The United Nations said earlier today that its water treatment and waste management systems have shut down entirely as they have run out of fuel. Israel has placed limits on the fuel it is allowing to enter Gaza, the U.N. said, restricting its use to supplying the trucks transporting aid.

Bolstering medical support staff and access to medical care is one pillar of aid response, Peeperkorn added.

“The second pillar is what already discussed, public health challenges, disease prevention and what do we do in an outbreak response,” he said. “Everything should be underpinned by the third pillar, which is everything related to supplies and health logistics support.”

Displaced Palestinians walk in a United Nations tent camp in Khan Younis, Gaza, on Nov. 15, 2023.
Displaced Palestinians at a camp today in Khan Younis, Gaza.Fatima Shbair / AP

U.N. Security Council to vote on call for pauses in Gaza fighting

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council is due to vote later today on a call for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a number of days to enable aid access, diplomats said.

Some diplomats said they expected the 15-member council to adopt the resolution, though some countries were likely to abstain. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Russia, China, France or Britain.

It will be the fifth council attempt to take action since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Israel has launched airstrikes on the enclave of 2.3 million, imposing a siege and launching a ground invasion.

The Security Council attempted four times in two weeks in October to act — Russia failed twice to get the minimum votes needed, the U.S. vetoed a Brazilian-drafted resolution, and Russia and China vetoed a U.S.-drafted resolution. The stalemate has largely been centered on whether to call for a humanitarian pause or a cease-fire.

A boy stands amid the destruction after Israeli strikes in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. Image:
A boy stands amid the destruction Wednesday after Israeli strikes in Rafah, Gaza Strip.Hatem Ali / AP

IDF military activity at Al-Shifa ‘unacceptable,’ WHO chief says

The World Health Organization has been struggling to communicate with staff at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza and is increasingly concerned for their safety, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today.

Tedros also condemned the IDF’s activity at the hospital after it announced its raid on the campus. He noted international law protects medical staff against acts of war, even if health facilities are used for military purposes.

“Israel’s military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City is totally unacceptable,” Tedros said during a virtual press conference. “Hospitals are not battlegrounds.”

Al-Shifa is currently without water, power or fuel and has reduced its dialysis treatments to two hours a day for 45 kidney patients, according to the WHO. There are 80 dead bodies awaiting burial. The staff told NBC News that roughly 180 bodies were placed in a mass grave on the hospital grounds yesterday, and the WHO reported another 80 were buried today.

More than 230,000 Israelis request firearm permits, minister says

Israel has seen a skyrocketing amount of requests for firearm permits since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on civilians, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said in a post on X.

Since the attack, the ministry has seen 236,006 new applications for permits, which according to Ben-Gvir is the equivalent of 20 years worth of requests.

“This is an increase of thousands of percent compared to previous years,” he noted.

Of that, 31,048 conditional permits for private weapons were issued and more than half have used their permits to purchase a weapon, Ben-Gvir said.

UNICEF director delays visit to Israel after car accident

UNITED NATIONS — UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell was injured in a car accident in Egypt yesterday while traveling to the Gaza Strip and has had to postpone a visit to Israel because of her injuries, an agency spokesperson said today.

“While en route to Rafah, we believe the car hit or tried to avert a big pothole that made the car go over a deep ditch and flip on the side,” said UNICEF’s head of media, Kurtis Cooper, adding that Russell “experienced significant bruising, and is in quite a bit of discomfort, but her injuries are not considered serious.”

He said Russell continued her visit to Gaza and then doctors determined she required further care, so she postponed the rest of her visit to the region, which included Israel, where she had hoped to meet with families of children abducted in the Hamas attack.

Civilians train to repel attacks in northern Israel

A civilian member of the first-response tactical team is armed with an automatic weapon during a simulated attack conducted by the Israel Defence Forces on the outskirts of Safed on Nov. 15, 2023.
Menahem Kahana / AFP – Getty Images

A civilian member of a first-response tactical team is armed with an automatic weapon during a simulated attack today conducted by the IDF on the outskirts of Safed, northern Israel.

Harvard faculty sign statement concerned over handling of academic freedom

More than 100 members of Harvard University’s faculty signed a letter expressing concern over the handling of academic freedom in regard to discussions of the Israel-Hamas war on campus.

The letter said that the university’s “delineation of the limits of acceptable expression on our campus is dangerously one-sided” and that there must be room to be critical of Israel’s actions without immediately being condemned as being antisemitic.

Faculty who signed the letter made four demands, including asking the President’s Advisory Group on Antisemitism to explain its definition of antisemitism before making policy recommendations and for the university similarly to create an advisory group on Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism.

The other two demands were that the university resist calls to suspend and/or decertify the Palestine Solidarity Committee and that the university affirm its commitment to the freedom of thought. The faculty noted that there cannot be tolerance for a ‘”Palestine exception’ to free speech.”

Netanyahu said he spoke to Biden, won’t give up Gaza campaign

In a video posted on X today, Netanyahu struck a defiant tone. “We were told that we would not reach Gaza City. We did. We were told that we would not enter Shifa. We entered,” he said, referring to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

“There is no place in Gaza that we will not reach,” Netanyahu said. “There is no hiding, no shelter, no refuge for the murderers of Hamas.”

The U.N. humanitarian aid chief said today he was appalled by the reports of today’s raid on the hospital, as international support for Israel’s offensive begins to erode.

Netanyahu added that he had spoken to Biden, and that Israel will not give up until Hamas is eliminated and the hostages are returned.

Smoke rises during an Israeli military bombardment of the northern Gaza Strip on Nov. 15, 2023.
Smoke rises during an Israeli military bombardment today of the northern Gaza Strip. Fadel Senna / AFP – Getty Images

Homes shattered in Rafah

A Palestinian child looks through a broken window of a destroyed building in Rafah, in southern Gaza, this morning.

Israeli attacks continue on its 40th day in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib / Anadolu via Getty Images

Israel and Hezbollah trade fire over Lebanese border

The Israeli military said on X today that it had fired at parts of Lebanon “in response to a number of launches toward Israeli territory.”

The IDF added that its tanks had “struck a Hezbollah observation post in Lebanon.”

Meanwhile, a Lebanese militant group said in a statement that it had hit Israeli barracks “with guided missiles, causing confirmed casualties.” 

NBC News could not independently verify either claim.

The people of Gaza have no time to grieve or bury lost loved ones

The Israeli military’s deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the Hamas terror attack has piled up not just bodies, but also indignities.

Palestinians struggle to bury their dead
Fatima Shbair / AP

In this densely populated and impoverished Palestinian territory — where families have long been forced to become accustomed to loss and laying the dead to rest is often a communal occasion — the war has overturned lives and robbed the dead of traditional funeral rites.

NBC News spoke to several Gaza residents including a gravedigger, a morgue worker and grieving relatives, who detailed overburdened morgues and mass graves filled with unidentifiable bodies in the besieged strip.

Read the full story here.

IDF says it has taken over Hamas training center

TEL AVIV — The IDF said today that its troops have taken over a Hamas outpost in northern Gaza.

According to it, the “Falestin” outpost was utilized by Hamas as a training base to prepare to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers. There were dozens of “terrorists” who were “eliminated” during the event, the IDF said, and command infrastructure was destroyed.

NBC News could not independently verify the details of the statement or its characterization of the outpost.

“Falestin” is the Arabic pronunciation of Palestine, as the Arabic language has no equivalent for the letter “P.”

Gaza’s largest telecom company expects full blackout soon

Paltel, Gaza’s largest telecommunications company, expects a “full telecom blackout” in the coming hours, it said this morning on X.

Since Israel’s offensive, internet and phone blackouts have regularly plunged Gaza out of contact. But Paltel’s latest warning is that with no remaining electricity, it simply has run out of remaining generator and battery reserves to keep operations going.

“We regret to announce that our main data centers and switches in Gaza Strip are gradually shutting down due to fuel depletion,” Paltel announced.

Parents mourn their fallen son in Israel

The parents of Israeli reserve soldier captain Omri Yosef David, mourn during his funeral in Carmiel, northern Israel today. David, 27, was killed during a military ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli soldier funeral
Ariel Schalit / AP

Israel says 17,000 Palestinians evacuated south from northern Gaza yesterday

Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories said that 17,000 people evacuated from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip yesterday.

In a statement, COGAT said the evacuation corridor was “open on a daily basis” between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time (5 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET). So far, more than 250,000 persons have evacuated from the northern Gaza Strip to its southern part, it said.

It added that it was “enabling tactical pauses in certain neighborhoods” to encourage people to move south. Yesterday, there was a tactical pause in the neighborhood of Daraj Tuffah, it added.

A spokeswoman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said it was “very difficult to tell” how many people had evacuated the north but it estimated tens of thousands of people had left.

Palestinians fleeing north Gaza ride a horse-drawn cart as they move southward on Nov. 12.
Palestinians in northern Gaza make the journey southward Sunday. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Netanyahu hits back after Trudeau says Israel should stop killing babies

After Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that Israel should stop the “killing of women, of children, of babies,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back today, saying it was keeping civilians out of harm’s way.

“Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones, Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint,” Netanyahu wrote on X in a post directed at Trudeau this morning.

“Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,” Netanyahu said.

International support for Israel’s offensive in Gaza has begun to erode in recent weeks, as the U.S. and other European leaders have called for restraint or a cease-fire to save civilian lives.

Legal experts weigh in on Al-Shifa raid by Israel

Determining the legality of Israel’s raid on the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza will require an understanding of a multitude of factors, legal experts told NBC News today. 

David Scheffer, who served as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes, said that Hamas was “a legitimate combat military objective but the issue is how to target that military objective in a hospital setting.”

Hamas and medical staff have denied the militant group is operating in the hospital or in tunnels underneath the facility, which the IDF disputes.

Scheffer said “precise facts” were needed about the intelligence the IDF has, but “operations inside the hospital does not disarm the Israel Defense Forces and provide militant group with an unchallenged sanctuary.” 

“The law of war does not immunize combatants that way,” he added.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said today that the hospital’s protected status under international law was jeopardized by Hamas using it for military purposes.

Marko Milanovic, an international law professor at the U.K.’s University of Reading, said it was correct that medical facilities, like hospitals, can lose their protection from attacks but emphasized that two conditions need to be met for that to happen.

Firstly, he said, they need to be used “to commit acts harmful to the enemy.” This could be sheltering able-bodied combatants and storing munitions, he said.

Warnings to cease these acts had to be issued within a reasonable time limit and remain unheeded, Milanovic said, adding that Israel had repeatedly done this.

“If Israel is right about the tunnels beneath the hospital, and in particular that a Hamas command and control center is located there, then the IDF would be acting within the law, at least in principle, by conducting its military operation within the hospital,” Milanovic said. 

Israeli military conducts ‘targeted’ raid inside Gaza’s main hospital

This morning, the Israeli ministry released edited images it said showed fighting in the Gaza Strip.

And Gaza’s Health Ministry sent video it said showed the intensive care unit of the Al-Shifa hospital.

NBC News could not independently verify the footage.

Water pumps and sewage facilities have stopped in southern Gaza, UNRWA says

All water wells and sewage pumps in Rafah in southern Gaza have stopped working because of a lack of fuel, Thomas White, chief of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, said today.

The desalination plant in Khan Younis has also stopped working as fuel ran out, he said in a post on X, adding the plant supplies drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people.

Palestinian children fill containers with water in Rafah, southern Gaza, on Nov. 13, 2023.
Palestinian children fill containers with water Monday in Rafah, southern Gaza.Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

Some 6,000 gallons of fuel entered Gaza today, he wrote earlier on X. But he said none of that can be used for water because of Israeli restrictions.

The latest on Israel’s raid inside Al-Shifa hospital

TEL AVIV — Israeli forces are raiding the Gaza Strip’s main hospital, a significant escalation of its assault on the Palestinian enclave that further raised fears for the hundreds of patients and staff trapped in the Al-Shifa complex with dwindling fuel, food and medical supplies.

The IDF said its soldiers were carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas” in a specified area of the hospital. In a video briefing, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the raid was done out of “operational necessity,” as intelligence indicated that Hamas activity had been detected there. 

Global attention has been centered on the hospital for days, and news that troops had entered the site drew new expressions of concern from U.S. leaders, the World Health Organization and aid groups.

Read the full story here.

At a funeral today in Israel, a father mourns his ‘peaceful’ son

ASHDOD, Israel — For 12 years, Aviv Kutz organized an annual kite festival at the Kfar Aza kibbutz where residents would fly kites along the Gazan border, meant to send a message of peace.

“It was to show them they are bombarding us with bombs, so we are answering with kites,” his father, Beni Kutz, told NBC News as he buried his son today. “It was his way of expressing his answer to those rockets. He was a peaceful man. He believed in peace with his neighbors.”

Beni Kutz at the Gan Yavne cemetery in Ashdod, southern Israel, today.
Beni Kutz at the Gan Yavne cemetery in Ashdod, southern Israel, today. Tony Rutanashoodech
People leave rocks, flowers and prayers at headstones of the Kutz family in Ashdod today.
People leave rocks, flowers and prayers at headstones of the Kutz family in Ashdod today.Tony Rutanashoodech

On the morning of Oct. 7, when Hamas conducted multiple raids on Israel, the food, drinks, and kite-making materials had all been prepared.

Aviv Kutz, his wife, Livnat, and their teenage children, Rotem, 19, Yonatan, 16, and Yiftach, 14, were killed in their safe room, Beni Kutz said, adding that his son had a protective arm around them when their bodies were found.

Today, as hundreds gathered to commemorate them at a cemetery outside Ashdod, the family said they were struggling to find the best way to honor their relatives.

“They were very positive, peaceful people,” Beni Kutz said. “There are many ways to remember. So we have to decide. It’s so fresh now. We have to take our time until we can decide how to do it. But it will come.”

He added that he did not know whether his family would return to the kibbutz.

Asked if he still believed in the power of kites, given everything that has happened, he said, “Well, maybe.”

Al-Shifa raid is ‘a crime against humanity,’ Palestinian health minister says

Israel’s raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa medical complex is a “crime against humanity” Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila was quoted as saying today.

Mai al-Kaila said the international community bears responsibility for the lives of everyone inside the hospital, according to a Telegram post from Palestinian Health Ministry.

Al-Kaila serves under President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority, which partially administers the occupied West Bank. His Fatah movement is a rival of Hamas, which controls Gaza.

She also warned about the potential for a “massacre” at the hospital.

Fuel enters Gaza but only for aid trucks and not enough, UNRWA says

Only “half a tanker” or around 6,000 gallons of fuel has entered Gaza via its Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Thomas White, director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said on X today.

Fuel Truck Rafah Border Crossing
A fuel truck waits on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the southern Gaza Strip today.AFP – Getty Images

“No fuel for water or hospitals,” White said, adding it was only 9% of what was needed daily. He added that Israel had restricted the use of the fuel and it could only be used for transporting aid from the crossing.

Earlier, the crossing’s public relations director, Hisham Adwan, told NBC News that vehicles from the United Nations “received the quantity directly.” He added that it was solely for the use of the UNRWA.

Previous aid supplies to Gaza have not included fuel, which UNRWA and other aid agencies say is vital for hospitals, food supply and water salination plants, among other things.

IDF soldiers inside Al-Shifa hospital complex

IDF handout of Israeli soldiers delivering aid to Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City
Israel Defense Forces via Reuters

An Israeli soldier stands guard near boxes labeled “medical supplies” at the Al Shifa hospital complex in Gaza City, in images supplied by the Israeli military today.Soldiers can also be seen raising weapons as they patrol the hospital complex in Gaza City today.

Israeli soldiers walk at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City
Israel Defense Forces via Reuters

‘Hospitals are not battlegrounds,’ U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs says

Martin Griffiths, the United Nations’ undersecretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs said today that he was appalled by reports of an Israeli raid on Al-Shifa hospital.

“Hospitals are not battlegrounds,” he said on X.

Anti-Israeli protests in Pakistan

Students hold placards during an anti-Israel demonstration in Lahore, Pakistan, today.

Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza.
Arif Ali / AFP – Getty Images

Hamas blames Biden, as well as Israel, for Al-Shifa storming

President Joe Biden is responsible for “the repercussions resulting from the occupation army’s aggressive incursion into Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the Gaza,” as well as Israel, Hamas said in Telegram post today.

The medical staff and displaced people sheltering at the hospital will now face a “barbaric assault” it said.

Separately, Jordan also criticized Israel for storming the hospital. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said on X today that it was “holding Israel responsible for the safety of civilians and the medical staff working in the hospital.” 

WHO says it lost contact with Al-Shifa staff

The World Health Organization said today, that it had lost contact with staff at the Al-Shifa hospital as reports emerged about Israeli tanks entering the complex.

“Reports of military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital are deeply concerning. We’ve lost touch again with health personnel at the hospital,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X.

“We’re extremely worried for their and their patients’ safety,” he added.

Injured civilians treated in Khan Younis

An injured Palestinian woman covered in blood and dust hugs a young girl at a hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, today.

Injured civilians in southern Gaza
Belal Khaled / AFP – Getty Images

Israeli tanks are moving inside Al-Shifa, doctor says

A doctor inside the Al-Shifa hospital said Israeli tanks were moving inside the hospital today, as the Israeli military conducted what it called a “targeted” operation inside Gaza’s biggest medical facility.

Dr Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a plastic surgeon at Al-Shifa, told Reuters from the hospital an IDF tank drove in from the eastern gate and “just parked in front of the hospital’s emergency department.”

“The outpatient department was targeted directly, and the 4th floor of the main building was targeted as well,” El Mokhallalati said, according to Reuters. “With the 4th floor, one of the patient’s rooms was targeted, and there was a hole in the wall with around half a meter diameter, thankfully no one got injured.”

El Mokhallalati said the IDF informed them that it will be going through al-Shifa’s buildings “one by one” but troops still have not reached the main building where he is. “We are waiting for them,” he added.

Incubators, baby food and medical supplies have reached Al-Shifa, IDF says

The Israeli military has shared photos of boxes that it says contain medical supplies and baby food for Al-Shifa hospital, the site of its raid today.

“We can now confirm that incubators, baby food and medical supplies, provided by the IDF, have successfully reached the hospital,” the IDF said on X.

Israel said yesterday it was in the process of transferring incubators for Al-Shifa’s premature babies, who had to be removed from their incubators due to power shortages and were at risk of dying, according to medical staff.

Israel says Hamas militants are hiding below the hospital, but staff and the militants have denied it.

Israeli civilians buying more guns as war intensifies

TEL AVIV — Israel is seeing an increase in its civilians buying guns for self-defense as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

The influx of gun buyers has changed the process of buying a gun from months to less than a week. 

Israel allows fuel delivery into Gaza for humanitarian operations

Israel has approved the delivery of fuel into the Gaza Strip today for the first time since war with Hamas erupted.

Trucks refueled with 24,000 liters of diesel for United Nations humanitarian operations in Gaza will be allowed to enter via the Rafah border crossing, the Israeli body for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said, adding that it followed a request from the U.S. administration.

Later, Dr. Raed Abdel Nasser, secretary-general of the Egyptian Red Crescent in North Sinai, said that the first truck had entered the crossing.

Fuel has been running out in the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a full siege on the enclave and refused calls to let fuel in, saying it would benefit Hamas. Aid groups have warned their operations will have to cease imminently and hospitals have struggled to treat patients.

‘We don’t want to see a firefight in the hospital,’ White House says

The U.S. does not support airstrikes on Gaza’s largest hospital and does not want to see a firefight inside, the White House said last night as the Israeli army raided the Al-Shifa hospital, where hundreds of patients and doctors remain trapped.

“To be clear, we do not support striking a hospital from the air, and we do not want to see a firefight in the hospital where innocent people, helpless people, sick people are simply trying to get the medical care that they deserve — not to be caught in a crossfire,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. “Hospitals and patients must be protected.”

The White House said earlier that the U.S. has information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad use “some hospitals” in Gaza, including Al-Shifa, and tunnels underneath them to “conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages.”

Israel has alleged that Hamas uses Gaza’s hospitals and people inside them as human shields — an allegation denied by the militants and doctors inside.

NBC News was not able to independently verify these claims.

‘Stop this horror,’ UNICEF chief pleads after Gaza visit

The chief of UNICEF said today that her recent tour of Gaza revealed dangerous and often deadly circumstances for children who call the war zone home.

“What I saw and heard was devastating,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement. “They have endured repeated bombardment, loss and displacement.”

The current level of humanitarian aid shipments, including much-needed diesel fuel, is not enough to sustain the enclave’s children, she said. Russell reiterated a call for a humanitarian cease-fire that would allow children to travel to safety while a greater flow of supplies is shipped to Gaza.

“Only the parties to the conflict can truly stop this horror,” she added.

IDF continues to strike targets in northern Gaza today

Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023.
Fadel Senna / AFP – Getty Images

IDF continues ‘targeted operation’ at Al-Shifa hospital

TEL AVIV — The Israeli military said its troops were still carrying out a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas” this morning in the Al-Shifa hospital.

The IDF said its movements were based on “operational necessities,” as well as intelligence information indicating that “Hamas activity is being directed from that area.”

It said troops encountered what it called explosive devices and terrorist cells prior to their entry, as well as “an engagement” in which it said militants were killed.

The raid has now been ongoing for many hours. NBC News has not verified the claims.

NBC News’ latest coverage of the Israel-Hamas war


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