NATIONAL NEWS

Live updates | Israel deepens military assault in the northern Gaza Strip

Oct 30, 2023, 12:19 AM | Updated: 6:30 pm

Palestinians resort to the sea water to bathe and clean their tools and clothes due the continuing ...

Palestinians resort to the sea water to bathe and clean their tools and clothes due the continuing water shortage in the Gaza Strip, on the beach of Deir al-Balah, Central Gaza Strip, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman)

Israel expanded its military incursion deeper into the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Monday as the U.N. and medical staff expressed fears over airstrikes hitting closer to hospitals, where tens of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter alongside thousands of wounded. The largest convoy of humanitarian aid to arrive in Gaza still fell far short of needs, relief workers said.

The movements of recent days, including larger ground operations both north and east of Gaza City, point to a focus on the city.

Israel’s military said late Monday that a female soldier captured during Hamas’ wide-ranging Oct. 7 attack inside Israel was released during its ground operation — the first such rescue since the weekslong war began.

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,306, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them civilians slain in the initial Hamas rampage that started the fighting Oct. 7. In addition, 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.

Currently:

    1. Internet, phone service gradually returns to Gaza.

    2. Putin calls meeting after mob storms Dagestan airport looking for Israelis on jet from Tel Aviv.

    3. Israeli media, traumatized by Hamas attack, become communicators of Israel’s message.

    4. Biden says Mideast leaders must consider a two-state solution after the war ends.

    5. Watchdog group says attack that killed videographer‘explicitly targeted’ Lebanon journalists.

    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:

CANADA’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER SAYS HUMANITARIAN ACCORD URGENTLY NEEDED TO AID PEOPLE OF GAZA STRIP

TORONTO — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Monday that a humanitarian agreement is urgently needed to help people in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada, Joly called for a temporary pause in hostilities in the Israel-Hamas war to allow more aid to get into Gaza.

“The humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people, facing Palestinian women and children, is dire,” she said.

Joly reiterated Canada’s unequivocal condemnation of Hamas for its attacks on Israelis and said Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorism “in accordance with international law.″ She also criticized attacks by extremist Israelis on Palestinians in the West Bank.

UNWRA HEAD WARNS THAT
FURTHER BREAKDOWNS OF CIVIL ORDER ENDANGER AGENCY’S OPERATIONS IN GAZA

UNITED NATIONS — The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees is warning that “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” stressing that “the present and future of Palestinians and Israelis depend on it.”

Philippe Lazzarini warned during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Monday that a further breakdown of civil order, following the recent break-ins at the agency’s warehouses by panicked Palestinians searching for food and other aid, will make it extremely difficult for the largest U.N. agency in Gaza to continue operating.

He said in a virtual briefing that he is worried about a spillover of the conflict and urged all 193 U.N. member nations “to change the trajectory of this crisis.”

The commissioner-general of the agency known as UNRWA, also said 64 of its staff have been killed in just over three weeks — the latest only two hours prior when UNRWA’s head of security in mid-Gaza was killed with his wife and eight children.

Lazzarini said most Palestinians in Gaza “feel trapped in a war they have nothing to do with” and “they feel the world is equating all of them to Hamas.” He stressed that the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities in Israel don’t absolve Israel from its obligations under international humanitarian law, starting with the protection of civilians.

ISRAEL BACKTRACKS ON REFUSING TO GRANT ENTRY VISAS TO UN OFFICIALS

GENEVA — Israeli officials are going back on their promised refusal to grant entry visas to U.N. officials.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tweeted Monday that he was in Israel — less than a week after Israel’s U.N. ambassador said it had “refused” to grant Griffiths a visa.

Israeli officials had expressed outrage over comments last Wednesday by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants “did not happen in a vacuum.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, accused Guterres on Israel’s Army Radio of justifying a slaughter, called for his resignation and said Israel would “refuse to grant visas to U.N. representatives.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres stood by his remarks.

On Monday, Israel’s ambassador in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, said, “We haven’t said categorically that we’re not giving visas. We are … We understand their need to be there.”

Eilon Shahar confirmed that Griffiths was in Israel, as well as other officials, including Han Kluge, the regional head of the World Health Organization.

But she continued to voice Israel’s frustration that U.N. institution chiefs didn’t speak out more forcefully against Hamas militants for “butchering civilians and women in such a vicious way.”

“The United Nations has let down the people of Israel,” Eilon Shahar added. “When I say the United Nations, I’m talking about the multilateral organizations have let down the people of Israel.”

ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES DAMAGED OXYGEN SYSTEM AND WATER SUPPLY AT TURKISH PALESTINIAN HOSPITAL, DIRECTOR SAYS

CAIRO — Doctor Sobhi Skeik, director of the Turkish Palestinian Hospital, situated just south of Gaza City, said his hospital was damaged by an Israeli strike at 6:30 pm Monday evening. The blast partially destroyed two rooms on the third floor of the small hospital, damaging the building’s oxygen system and water supply.

“Just out of luck no one was in the rooms at the time,” Skiek said. There was no evacuation order from the Israeli army before the strike.

Over the past few days, Skeik said dozens of missile strikes have hit the atmosphere and area surrounding the hospital, which specializes in cancer treatment. He said the hospital is currently housing 100 to 150 patients, 200 staff members and 100 displaced people.

ISRAEL WARNS CITIZENS TO LEAVE NORTHERN CAUCASUS AFTER MOB STORMS DAGESTAN AIRPORT

JERUSALEM — Israel has warned its citizens to leave the northern Caucasus after a mob stormed an airport in Russia’s Dagestan region when a flight from Israel landed there.

Hundreds of men, some carrying banners with antisemitic slogans, rushed onto the tarmac of the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the predominantly Muslim region, on Sunday night, looking for Israeli passengers on the flight from Tel Aviv, according to Russian news reports.

The attack seemed to be partly fueled by anger at Israel’s actions in Gaza, where it has been at war with Hamas following a deadly incursion by the militant group earlier this month. Several people in the mob were waving Palestinian flags.

More than 20 people were wounded, with two in critical condition, and police made 60 arrests.

Israel raised its travel warning level to 4, the highest level, calling on citizens to avoid all travel to Dagestan and neighboring regions, and for those who are there to leave as soon as possible.

US CONTINUES TO PROVIDE ISRAEL WITH WEAPONS SHIPMENTS ALMOST DAILY, PENTAGON SAYS

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon continues to provide weapons shipments almost on a daily basis to Israel, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters Monday.

Despite the rising number of civilian casualties, “we are not putting any limits on how Israel uses weapons,” Singh said. “That is really up to the Israeli Defense Force to use and how they are going to conduct their operations.”

Singh did not answer a question on whether there were concerns inside the Pentagon about the way the weapons were being used, but said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has regularly emphasized the need for Israel to follow the laws of armed conflict and avoid civilian casualties as much as possible.

NETANYAHU SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS TO RESIGN AND WILL NOT AGREE TO A CEASE-FIRE

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no plans to resign, despite a public uproar over the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas raid that killed over 1,400 Israelis and sparked the current Israel-Hamas war.

Netanyahu was asked at a news conference Monday if he has considered stepping down.

“The only thing that I intend to have resigned is Hamas. We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of history,” he said. “That’s my goal. That’s my responsibility.”

Netanyahu also said he would not agree to a cease-fire, saying it would be tantamount “to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”

He said Hamas was responsible for the high death toll in Gaza, accusing the group of using civilians as human shields.

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,306, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR SAYS HAMAS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEATH OF GERMAN-ISRAELI CITIZEN AND OTHERS

BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Hamas must be held accountable for the death of German-Israeli dual citizen Shani Louk and others killed by the militant group in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“The news of Shani Louk’s death is terrible,” Scholz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Like many others, she was brutally murdered. This shows the full barbarity behind the Hamas attack — who must be held accountable.”

Louk’s mother told German news agency dpa earlier Monday that she had been informed by the Israeli military of the death of her 22-year-old daughter, who had been missing since the attack.

“This is terror, and Israel has the right to defend itself,” Scholz wrote.

ISRAEL SAYS FEMALE SOLDIER CAPTURED DURING HAMAS ASSAULT HAS BEEN RELEASED

JERUSALEM — Israel says a female soldier captured by Hamas militants during their Oct. 7 incursion has been released during Israel’s ground operations in Gaza. The military provided few details, but she appears to be the first captive to be freed since Israel stepped up its ground war. The military says Private Ori Megidish “was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family.”

UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA WARNS OF ‘POTENTIAL WIDER ESCALATION’

UNITED NATIONS — The Israeli-Hamas conflict has spilled into Syria which is now “at its most dangerous situation for a long time,” fueled by growing instability and violence and a lack of progress toward a political solution to its 12-year conflict, the U.N. special envoy for the country says.

Geir Pedersen told the U.N. Security Council Monday he was “sounding an alarm” that the Syrian people now face “a terrifying prospect of a potential wider escalation.” He pointed to airstrikes attributed to Israel hitting Aleppo and Damascus airports several times and U.S. retaliation against what it says are multiple attacks on its forces by groups the U.S. “claims are backed by Iran, including on Syrian territory.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused “terrorist groups,” some backed by Syria and Iran, of threatening to expand the Gaza conflict “by using Syrian territory to plot and launch attacks against Israel.”

“We call on the regime to curb the activities of Iran-backed militias in Syria, stop the flow of foreign arms and fighters through its territory, and cease escalatory actions in the Golan Heights,” she said, warning that the United States will continue to respond to attacks on U.S. personnel and facilities in Syria “or against U.S. interests.”

Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia of Russia, Syria’s closest ally, accused Israeli forces of striking sites in Syria, including civilian airports, and called U.S. attacks in the country “illegitimate actions” and “a gross violation of Syria’s sovereignty.”

5 PEOPLE KILLED IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

JERUSALEM — Five Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Another Palestinian died of wounds sustained in an attack on a Jewish West Bank settler last week near Ramallah, the ministry said.

Four Palestinians were killed in heavy clashes after dozens of military vehicles and two bulldozers entered the town of Jenin and and the adjacent refugee camp of the same name for an arrest raid. Israeli media reported that the battle included drone strikes — a once rare, but now increasingly common attack mode used in the West Bank.

Another Palestinian man was killed in a military raid near Hebron.

Violence has surged in the West Bank since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out on Oct. 7. Since then, Israeli forces and settlers killed 122 Palestinians, according to the health ministry.

National News

Dr. Max Rogers, the obstetrician-gynecologist at Grove Hill Memorial Hospital, poses for a photo Mo...

Associated Press

Alabama birthing units are closing to save money and get funding. Some say babies are at risk

GROVE HILL, Ala. (AP) — One of the last remaining birthing units in southern Alabama will close next month to qualify for federal funding that will save the hospital’s emergency services, but doctors warn the move may cost newborns and pregnant women essential access to obstetric care. Nestled in rural Clarke County, the small, nonprofit […]

48 minutes ago

Jim, left, and Tamara Hamilton watch former President Donald Trump speak on television on Thursday,...

Associated Press

Some GOP voters welcome Trump’s somewhat softened tone at Republican National Convention

For those conservative voters long turned off by former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, his somewhat softened tone in accepting the Republican nomination Thursday night was a welcome relief. “He’s much improved,” Dave Struthers, a 57-year-old farmer from Collins, Iowa, said as he watched Trump’s speech in the basement of his farmhouse. “The thing I’ve had […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks in Athens, Greece, June 21, 2023. Democrats at the high...

Associated Press

Obama’s dilemma: Balancing Democrats’ worry about Biden and maintaining influence with president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has a delicate balance to strike: how to weigh the mounting opposition to President Joe Biden continuing his campaign with his loyalty to his former running mate. In recent days, Obama has taken calls from congressional leaders, Democratic governors and key donors in which he has shared their […]

1 hour ago

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives for an Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Town Hall, Sat...

Associated Press

Majority of Democrats think Kamala Harris would make a good president, AP-NORC poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden faces a growing drumbeat of pressure to drop his reelection bid, a majority of Democrats think his vice president would make a good president herself. A new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Democrats believe Kamala Harris would do […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

How bootcamps are helping to address the historic gap in internet access on US tribal lands

There’s a home movie theater with orange walls and plush recliners at the top of a steep hill on Matthew Rantanen’s ranch in Southern California. But on a recent afternoon, people weren’t flocking to the room to watch a movie or to escape the scorching heat, they were shining a beam of light through more […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Thousands celebrate life of former fire chief killed at Trump rally, private funeral set for Friday

FREEPORT, Pa. (AP) — Thousands of mourners paid their respects at a Pennsylvania banquet hall Thursday to the family of a former fire chief who was shot and killed during the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump. Trump sent a note of condolence hailing Corey Comperatore as a hero, a copy of which was […]

2 hours ago

Live updates | Israel deepens military assault in the northern Gaza Strip