Palestinians in Gaza said Israeli airstrikes left multiple fatalities across the besieged enclave, including in the south where Israel had told civilians to seek refuge as its ground operation intensifies in northern Gaza.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making a new push to ease the plight of civilians. He met with Arab foreign ministers on Saturday in Jordan, the day after talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted there could be no temporary cease-fire until all hostages held by Hamas are released.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,448, 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. The UNRWA says 72 of its staff members have been killed.
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. Blinken tries to cajole Arab leaders on support for post-conflict Gaza.
2. Israel’s fortified underground blood bank processes unprecedented amounts.
3. These numbers show the staggering toll of the Israel-Hamas war
4. Israel deports thousands of Palestinian workers back to Gaza’s war zone.
5. A U.N. official says the average Palestinian in Gaza is living on two pieces of bread a day
6. 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:
JERUSALEM — Thousands of Israelis are protesting outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in central Jerusalem, calling on the Israeli leader to resign in the wake of the bloody Oct. 7 Hamas rampage that sparked the latest Israel-Hamas war.
Netanyahu has so far refused to take responsibility for the Oct. 7 attack, in which several thousand Hamas militants burst into Israel and killed over 1,400 people and took some 240 hostages back to Gaza. He says officials, including himself, will have to give answers to the public, but only after the war.
Israel has carried out weeks of airstrikes and launched a ground offensive in Gaza, with Palestinian health officials saying over 9,000 people were killed in the fighting.
During Saturday night’s protest, demonstrators called on Netanyahu to step down and called for the return of the hostages. They also held a moment of silence for victims of the attack and those in captivity.
“Where were you in Kfar Azza,” chanted the protesters, referring to one of the Israeli border communities that was overrun by Hamas.
“I came here to rescue the country,” said Nava Hefetz, a rabbi and human rights activist, who attended the protest.
BERLIN — Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets of Berlin waving flags and demanding the end of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
German news agency dpa reported that about 6,000 protesters marched through Berlin’s center after calls from Arab and German leftist organizations to join the demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
Around 1,000 police officers were on duty to prevent possible clashes after several previous pro-Palestinian protests in Berlin turned violent in the past four weeks.
Police banned any kind of public or written statements that are antisemitic, anti-Israeli or glorify violence or terror.
Several thousand protesters also marched through the western Germany city of Duesseldorf in support of Palestinians.
AMMAN, Jordan — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from Egypt and Jordan agreed on the need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but a clear point of division emerged on the question of a possible cease-fire.
Though the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers urged an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Blinken took the position that that would be counterproductive and made clear the furthest he would go was supporting a humanitarian pause to give time for humanitarian supplies to be delivered and getting civilians out of Gaza.
“It is our view now that a cease-fire would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on Oct. 7,” Blinken said at the news conference after the talks, referring to Hamas’ attack on southern Israel that triggered the latest Gaza war.
BERLIN — German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said in a video speech Saturday to members of his party, The Greens, that “basically, Hamas must be destroyed because it is destroying the process of peace in the Middle East.”
Habeck added, according to German news agency dpa, that Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack “requires a necessary consequence from Israel.”
The vice chancellor said that “the Palestinians also have the right to their own state,” but added that Hamas has no interest in such a solution.
Germany has been one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in its war with Hamas.
AMMAN, Jordan — Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters Saturday that though he condemned the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7 and that though “nobody in their right mind” would “belittle” the pain felt by Israel that day, the war in Gaza could not be permitted to continue.
“The whole region in sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come,” Safadi said after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
He said the Arab countries were demanding an immediate cease-fire, a more dramatic action than the humanitarian pauses supported by the Biden administration to allow for the delivery of food and other supplies and to enable time to secure the release of hostages.
“We don’t accept that this is self-defense,” Safadi said, adding, “It cannot be justified under any pretext and it will not bring Israel security, it will not bring the region peace.”
PARIS — Several thousand protesters calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza are taking part in a pro-Palestinian march through the rain-dampened streets of Paris, with some shouting “Israel, assassin.”
Demonstrators are also taking aim at French President Emmanuel Macron, chanting “Macron, accomplice.” Some are carrying placards that read “immediate cease-fire,” a cry also chanted repeatedly by the crowd. Banners on a sound-system truck at the center of the march read “Stop the massacre in Gaza.”
Demonstrators are also chanting “Palestine will live, Palestine will win,” with many carrying Palestinian flags. The demonstrators’ planned route runs between two large public squares in eastern Paris, République and Nation. Paris’ police chief has authorized the march but vowed that any behavior deemed antisemitic or sympathetic toward terrorism will not be tolerated by police officers mobilized to keep order.
CAIRO — The Lebanese and Egyptian leaders urged the international community to intensify efforts to “contain the situation and avert expanding the scope of violence.”
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati flew to Cairo on Saturday for talks with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, after his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
According to a statement from el-Sissi’s office, they also affirmed the necessity of “relaunching the peace track and implement the state-state solution principle to achieve justice, security and stability to the region’s peoples.”
JERUSALEM — Palestinians in besieged Gaza say it has become increasingly difficult to find food as supermarkets shelves empty faster than the trickle of trucks carrying humanitarian aid through the southern Rafah crossing can distribute.
A rising number of bakeries have also stopped operating due to the fuel and water shortages as well as airstrike damage.
Residents and officials have also complained that there’s not enough food coming through Rafah and much of it has already expired or will expire before it can reach people in need.
Wael Abu Omar, a spokesperson for the Rafah crossing, said that in recent days the trucks have contained far more body bags than canned food. He claimed that recently delivered biscuits had already expired and were inedible.
Lynn Hastings, a senior U.N. official based in Jerusalem, said she was aware of the reports of expired food but could not independently confirm them as the World Food Program’s food shipments of date bars wouldn’t expire for another month.
The WFP has warned that widespread food insecurity across Gaza was quickly becoming a serious crisis.
“There is a real threat of malnutrition and people starving,” said Alia Zaki, a spokesperson for the WFP. “There is some food that’s still available but people can’t reach it. The situation is catastrophic.”
CAIRO — The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza says at least 231 people were killed in the past day, brining the death toll to at least 9,488 since the war began between Israel and the Palestinian militants.
The fatalities included 3,900 children and 2,509 women, said the ministry’s spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra, adding that more than 24,000 people were also wounded since Oct. 7.
He said 16 hospitals and 32 primary health care centers are out of service because of a lack of fuel and Israeli bombardment across the strip.
He appealed for the immediate delivery of fuel to Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest, to keep it operating.
CAIRO — The Palestinian Red Crescent says at least 21 people taking shelter outside Al-Quds hospital in Gaza city were wounded Saturday afternoon when an Israeli airstrike hit a building close to the entrance of the emergency ward.
Writing on X platform, formerly Twitter, the charity said the bombing, the closest to the facility, stoked panic and fear among displaced families camping outside the hospital. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.
Israel’s military has repeatedly demanded the evacuation of the hospital and other medical facilities in northern Gaza. Such a demand was deemed impossible by the U.N. health agency and other aid groups given the increasing number of patients and thousands of people sheltering in the facilities.
RMEISH, Lebanon — Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes along the border with Lebanon Saturday as the militant Hezbollah group attacked several Israeli army posts along the tense frontier.
The escalation came a day after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his powerful group is already engaged in unprecedented fighting along the border and threatened a further escalation.
Hezbollah said in a statement that its fighters attacked at least six Israeli posts along the border with “suitable rockets and weapons.”
On the outskirts of the border village of Rmeish, an Israeli airstrike in a rugged area along the border caused thick gray smoke. Artillery shelling could be heard from a distance.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported airstrikes on the outskirts of several border villages including Labbouneh and Hibarieh.
ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could no longer speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in light of the bombardment of Gaza, Turkish media reported Saturday.
“Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We erased him and threw him away,” Erdogan told journalists on a flight back from a summit in Kazakhstan.
Erdogan, however, added that his foreign minister and intelligence chief would continue to talk to “the Israeli side” as well as Hamas and other Palestinian groups.
Turkey announced Saturday that it was recalling its ambassador to Tel Aviv for consultations. Israel withdrew its diplomatic staff from Turkey within two weeks of the war following mass protests at its embassy in Ankara and the Istanbul consulate.
Erdogan, in remarks reported by state-run Anadolu news agency and other Turkish media, also reiterated the possibility of Turkey being a guarantor for any future long-term peace deal between Israel and Palestine.
“If Greece can be a guarantor country, England can be a guarantor country and Turkey is a guarantor country in Cyprus, why can’t there be a similar structure in Gaza?” the president said, referring to a 1960 treaty on the east Mediterranean island.
He added that Ankara was “taking initiatives and developing formulas” to find peace.
Criticizing international support for Israel, Erdogan said “the whole West, especially America, is currently on Israel’s side” and that people “should not expect a fair attitude” from the European Union over Gaza.